He was satisfied the ordinary evil results from religious excitements are less in the army than at home.’
Rev. Dr. Theodorick Pryor
, of the Presbyterian Church, who labored in the army with great ability and a burning zeal which younger men might covet, thus gives his impressions of the work:
‘Whilst with the army (a period of about two years) my impressions were most favorable as to the influence and effect of religious truth.
It appeared to me that during a career of ministerial experience extending through thirty-four years I had never witnessed more precious seasons of grace, or more signal displays of Divine mercy, than it was my privilege to witness in the army. . . . Never before was it my privilege to preach to as large congregations, or to congregations more respectful in deportment, more serious, and upon whom the truth of God seemed to have more marked power and effect.’
I might quote pages of testimony to the same effect from leading representatives of all of the evangelical denominations.
But, after all, the best evidence of the genuineness of the revival is to be found in the after lives
of professed Christians, and of the young converts.
That revival which does not result in more consecration on the part of Christians, and a ‘godly walk and conversation’ on the part of the new converts, is not worth calling a revival.
I might cite hundreds of cases that came under my own observation where lukewarm, careless Christians were stirred up to their duty, and made more zealous and efficient workers for Christ
than ever before.
I recall the case of a young lawyer who had borne an outwardly consistent character since he had united with the Church
some years before the war, but who (although a ready speaker at the bar or on the hustings) could never be induced to lead a prayer-meeting, open a Sunday-school, or conduct family worship—fluent and eloquent for client or party, but dumb when asked to speak for Christ
For some time after joining the army his chaplain urged him in vain to take an active part in the meetings.
But after his heart was touched by the power of one of the revivals, and just after a great battle, he came to the chaplain and said: ‘I wish you would call on me to lead in prayer at the meeting to-night.
I have been persuading myself that it was not my duty, but I ’