by a large body of Federal troops. A desperate battle ensued, during which I was cut off from my comrades and badly wounded in my hip. I concealed myself under a rock, and there lay for several hours meditating upon my sad and hapless fate. Wearied and exhausted by loss of blood, I fell asleep and was soon in the land of dreams. I thought myself again at my humble home in the East. But to my sorrow and inexpressible grief, my dear mother, during my absence, had been taken sick, and, after a brief illness, died. My only sister and two little brothers were left alone, in the care of two faithful old negroes, and all were clothed in mourning. My sister told me that mother spent her last moments in talking about and praying for me. She said that our dear mother told her to tell me, should I ever live to reach home, “that all of us were poor sinners and rebels against God—that we were justly condemned to die, for we had sinned against our Heavenly Father, who was our constant friend and benefactor, and had never done us an injury; but, on the other hand, had given His Son Jesus Christ to die, that we might be justified, pardoned, and saved. And if I would only believe that God would save me for His Son's sake, and would love that Son, that God would love me, forgive all my sins, make me happy; and, though I would never again see her face on earth, I would meet her in heaven.” I was so affected by this narrative that I awoke, sobbing like a child, and the first expression which burst from my full heart was: “O God! give me faith in Thy promises, love for Thy dear Son, and an obedient heart, that I may meet Thee and my dear mother in Heaven.” I felt at once that I was willing to give up all the world for the love of God, that I could trust Him and serve Him forever. My heart was light; I saw God reconciled through His Son, and was so happy. I hobbled away to the distant camp. I told my comrades what the Lord had done for me, and many a hardened sinner wept and gave his heart to Christ, and we made the Western mountains ring with shouts of joy to God.These extracts might be almost indefinitely multiplied, but the above must suffice.
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