previous next

[303] pulpit; so full that when General Jackson and General Paxton came to the door, they modestly retired, least they should displace some already within; so full that one of the men aptly compared the close packing to that of “herrings in a barrel.”

One could not sit in that pulpit and meet the concentrated gaze of those men, without deep emotion. I remembered that they were veterans of many a bloody field. The eyes which looked into mine, waiting for the Gospel of peace, had looked as steadfastly into eyes which burned with deadly hate, and upon whatever is terrible in war. The voices which now poured out their strength in singing the songs of “Zion” had shouted in the charge and the victory. I thought of their privations and their perils, of the cause for which they had suffered, of the service they had rendered the country, the Church of God, and whatever I hold personally dear, and what could I do but honor them, love them, and count it all joy to serve them in the Gospel?

I missed, indeed, some faces which would have beamed their welcome upon me; some voices with which, in other days, mine had joined in family worship and “in the great congregation.” But I remembered how they lived, how they fought, how they died—in faith, the blessed faith of Christ; that “all the ends they aimed at were their country's, their God's, and truth's,” and that they are now enrolled in “the noble army of martyrs.” I remembered, too, with just gratification, that their rallying, charging and dying at the very crisis of our fate, at Manassas, contributed not a little towards earning for their brigade its immortal name, “Stonewall.”

While we were singing, one thought frequently came to me: If such meetings were common throughout the army, what a school of sacred music it would be! Surely men thus trained, returning to their homes, would break up that slothful and wicked habit, so prevalent in our Churches, of the men remaining stupidly mute while God's praises are sung.

While preaching to these men, their earnestness of aspect constantly impressed me; the absence of that rather comfortable and well-satisfied air which often pervades our congregations, as if mere custom or prospect of entertainment had assembled us. These men looked as if they had come on business, and a very important business; and the preacher could scarcely do otherwise than feel that he too, had business of moment there!

On Sunday we had three sermons; the third was from the


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stonewall (1)
Paxton (1)
T. J. Jackson (1)
Jesus Christ (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: