Sunday morning, 29th of February, 1863, I went to chapel expecting to preach on Revelation III. 2, to Christians. After I had commenced service Brother Walton introduced you, and with some reluctance, I confess, I yielded the pulpit and invited you to preach. But my reluctance was soon dispelled, for you preached almost my sermon, upon some other text. This seemed to persuade me that that was the message which the Lord wished urged; so I preached my sermon that afternoon, having introduced it by that strange providence which I hoped was indicative of good. The next day it reached me that the Lord had impressed His truth upon Christians and they were growing ashamed of themselves. They went to praying, and from that day Christ's people began to work in earnest, as they had not done before. It pleased the Lord also just in that week to send Rev. B. T. Lacy to see us. We consulted about the proposition General Jackson had made him. He preached for us with encouraging results. Rev. Wm. J. Hoge was also sent by the good Lord; he preached; and the wave of interest rolled on. Soon sinners began to inquire the way to God; Christians began to make unusual efforts in winning souls; solemnity characterized the command, and congregations began to exceed the capacity of our primitive house of worship. Be it remembered that up to this time the casualities of war had left my regiment almost unrepresented in Christian profession. But many were now gathered into the fold, and many more from the brigade. I kept no record of numbers. But the greatest work was among the troops of the Fourth Regiment. Cold professors were revived; and sinners were converted; yet the work was silent, quiet and deep. I can recall but a single instance of excitement, and verily do I believe that was the genuine product of deep conviction. For the strong young man had backslidden, and under the physical excitement of his returning conviction, he swooned away into my arms as I talked with him; but when consciousness returned he was calm. Interested men crowded us after service, and we were compelled to hold meetings for praying and conversing with them whenever public services were ended. This work continued till I was laid aside from it on the last day of March. Others may continue the narrative of the communion and ingathering; but I am sure all who found peace did not make public profession, because it had yet not been determined what was best to be done about such cases. While this work went on my regiment subscribed $140.00 for reading-matter. I obtained about seventy copies of papers of all denominations, besides a monthly instalment of tracts through the soldiers' true friend, Mrs. E. H. Brown. The regiment, which was from the Valley, and which had known the evil power of the enemy, generously contributed to suffering citizens of Fredericksburg the creditable sum of $505.25; the Fourth Regiment also contributed $349.75, both of which sums were forwarded through me to the injured city. Contributions were also made by other regiments; but the amounts I cannot state. Two tracts which I had requested Rev. R. L. Dabney, D. D., to write, one on “ Profane Swearing,” and one on “ Christ our Substitute,” were published, and I found them of great efficacy. Increased interest had also been manifested in Brigadier-General J. M. Jones's Brigade, near us, and with it increased association between the chaplains of the two commands. This gave more definite shape to our idea of a chaplains' meeting, and we were just reaching the conclusion to invite the other chaplains to meet us. While we were waiting to ascertain a central place, and suitable time, Brother Lacy effected his arrangements for joining the army, and came among us. We talked over the matter with him; ascertained that Round Oak Baptist Church could be used; and determined to call a meeting of the chaplains of the corps for March 16. My own hand wrote the circular; all the chaplains of our brigade and Jones's, I believe, signed it. Brother Vass and I took it to corps Headquarters, and Colonel Faulkner promised to issue it officially. (General Jackson was busy; we did not see him just then; but he had advised us to this course.) Hence the first chaplains' meeting;
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : religious elements in the army.
Chapter 2 : influence of Christian officers.
Chapter 3 : influence of Christian officers—continued.
Chapter 4 : influence of Christian officers—concluded.
Chapter 5 : Bible and colportage work.
Chapter 6 : hospital work.
Chapter 7 : work of the chaplains and missionaries.
Chapter 8 : eagerness of the soldiers to hear the Gospel .
Chapter 9 : State of religion in 1861 - 62 .
Chapter 10 : revivals in the Lower Valley and around Fredericksburg .
Chapter 11 : the great revival along the Rapidan .
Chapter 12 : progress of the work in 1864 - 65 .
Chapter 13 : results of the work and proofs of its genuineness
Appendix: letters from our army workers.
Appendix no. 2 : the work of grace in other armies of the Confederacy .
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