religious, were moral and respectful to all the religious services, and confessed the value of the revival in promoting the efficiency of the army.’
If these figures are correct, then the estimate for Lee
's army ought to be increased to at least 50,000, as fully one-third of the converts were in that army.
I am fully satisfied that my own estimate is too low (there were, of course, many professions of conversion which were never reported at all, but ‘whose record is on high,’) but I have been very anxious in all of the statements I have made about this great work not to exaggerate in the least
, and I have, therefore, preferred to underestimate
rather than to risk overestimating
these grand results.
What a noble band of recruits for the army of the Lord
Was not ‘Christ
in the camp’ a vital, real power; and was not our camp indeed ‘a school of Christ
But figures cannot, of course, give a tithe of the results of a great revival.
The bringing back of backsliders, the quickening of the zeal, and faith, and general consecration of God's people, the comfort, the joy, the peace, the strength for hardships, privations, sufferings, trials, temptations—these cannot be counted
, but are really of far more value than mere numbers of professed converts.
Add to all this, the joy and gladness which these revivals carried to ‘loved ones at home’ who were wont to spend sleepless nights thinking of, and praying for the soldier boy at the front, and the reflex influence upon the Churches
, many of which were blessed with great revivals, directly traceable to our army work, and eternity alone will be able to estimate the glorious results of these army revivals.
But I will be asked—have been asked—‘Was this a genuine
work of grace?
Was it not a mere animal excitement produced by the dangers to which the men were exposed, and liable to pass off when those dangers were removed?
Are not the accounts of this army work exaggerated?
Was not there an abounding wickedness in the army, even to the close of the war?’
Most certainly there was. I have been very unfortunate if, in endeavoring to portray vividly the power of religion in Lee
's army, I have been understood as representing that the millennium dawned upon us, or that wickedness and vice were entirely banished from our camps.
Far from it.
It was not uncommon, even during our most powerful revivals,