Arriving in Harrisonburg
on Sunday morning in his shirt-sleeves, with his suspenders strapped over his blue worsted shirt, he thought he would quietly slip into the Presbyterian church and, preserving his incog., hear a sermon from the pastor.
But some one recognized and reported him, the pastor insisted upon his preaching, and at last the good doctor (who never knew how to say ‘No!’
when anybody wants work out of him) yielded his objections—saying: ‘Well!
if you and your people can stand my filling your pulpit in this garb, I reckon I
can’—and, mounting the pulpit, preached what some of his friends pronounced the most powerful sermon they ever heard from him. By the way, our gifted and loved brother, who has done so much in every way to endear himself to Christian people of every name, has no brighter record of a faithful, useful service than that made by his self-sacrificing labors among our soldiers, and will have no brighter stars in his ‘crown of rejoicing’ than those won to Christ
by his efforts among ‘the boys in gray.’]
A few days after his arrival in Winchester
, Rev. Dr. J. A. Broadus
thus wrote to Superintendent Dickinson
‘I am very glad I came to Virginia
and came to Winchester
Though there are not such opportunities for preaching as there were some months ago at Fredericksburg
, yet I meet a hearty welcome and rejoice in the work.
My heart warms towards the soldiers.
How they do listen to preaching.
be thanked for the privilege of telling them about Jesus; the Lord
prosper all who labor to save them.’
Two weeks later he wrote as follows: