were more earnest and simple.
Albert continued at times to read his Bible, but it was evidently more as a task than a pleasant duty; his keen relish for Divine things had abated very much; the excuses of camp-life, long marches, and the general indifference of officers and men upon the subject of religion, offered his conscience the consolation of a temporary opiate.
Sometimes, however, on the reception of letters from home, and sometimes, when alone on his midnight round of picket-duty, he would shed a penitential tear and resolve to double his diligence and regain his lost ground as a Christian; but a plant so tender and unprotected by the pale of the Church
, unwatered by the dews of the sanctuary, persecuted and scathed by the lightnings of contempt, nipped and browsed upon by every wild beast of the forest, necessarily became greatly dwarfed in life and growth; a feeling of self-security, a trust in fate or chance, impressed him more than a simple faith in the ever-present God.
In this spiritually demoralized condition he entered the Sharpsburg
fight, without even asking God to protect him and save him from danger and death.
Soon after the battle opened he was struck by a ball and carried back to the rear a wounded man; from profuse hemorrhage, a sick, dreamy sensation stole over him; the light faded from his eyes, while a thousand mingled sounds filled his ears, and a faint vision of home, friends, green turf, battle-fields and graveyards flitted by like phantoms of the night.
With returning consciousness, there came a sense of shame and sorrow for having declined in his religious state, and a conviction that his wound was the chastening of the Lord
to rebuke his wanderings and check his self-reliance.
As soon as he was sufficiently restored, he drew from his pocket his neglected Bible, kissing it many times over and bathing it in tears as truly penitential as Peter's when he wept at the feet of Jesus.
His bloody fingers searched out the old-cherished promises of God, leaving many a gory stain on the blessed pages of inspiration.
The law of the Lord
again became his meat and drink, on which he feasted by day and by night; a new life was infused into his soul, which enabled him to bear his sufferings with true Christian heroism.
In this condition I found him in the old Academy Hospital in Winchester
, lying on the dirty floor, with a blanket for his bed and a wisp of straw to pillow up his wounded limb.
While sitting by his side, trying to minister to his soul and body, I received