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[291]

I replied: “You have nothing to do. Everything has been done for you. If you feel yourself to be a sinner, you may rest assured that the Lord is willing and ready to bless you now.” And without a moment's delay he took hold of Christ, and found peace in believing.

He then, in an earnest tone, said: “Where is W., who brought me here? He is a backslider; go and talk to him.”

The next Sunday was a very stormy day. Not being able to hold a public service, I went from tent to tent, conversing and praying with the men. While in the tent occupied by these two young men, I asked, “Are all in this tent Christian soldiers?” When I asked this question, I observed that young W. seemed depressed, though he said nothing. That night was exceedingly stormy, and fearing that my tent would blow down, I went to a neighboring house. Just before reaching the house I heard some one address me, it being too dark to see distinctly. I turned around, and discovered it was young W. He had followed me from the tent, that he might open his heart to me. He said: “When you asked in my tent to-day, if all were Christian soldiers, and some one replied, ‘All except one,’ I felt that that was not exactly true. I was once a professing Christian, but have recently been very wicked; and, while living an ungodly life, have led my sisters to believe that I was still a Christian. I now feel as never before. I trust I have truly repented of my sins, and believe that I am pardoned.”

I exhorted him to confess all to his family, and to make a fresh consecration of himself to his Saviour. And as I thought of his experience, and that of his friend, I could not but be impressed by the mysterious way in which God works. He had here made use of a backslider to lead a wicked companion to Jesus, and then used the converted man to lead the backslider to repentance.

One other interesting incident, in like manner illustrating God's gracious and mysterious Providence, I will mention. One evening, just before night, a large body of troops marched by our camp. In one of the regiments was a very intelligent young man, from Norfolk, who, not being able, on account of sickness, to keep up with his regiment, stopped at our camp to rest, about the usual hour for service. He listened with the deepest interest to the preached word. I dwelt, in my sermon, on God's mysterious dealings with His people, and endeavored to show His

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