Brother Meredith, of the Forty-Seventh Virginia, reported on his labors at Dr. Black's Corps Hospital at Guinea's. He spent a profitable time there. Narrated several incidents to show the need of a permanent chaplain there. A Universalist was found who was brought to abandon his false belief (instilled into his mind by an uncle) through reading the Gospel of John, and being pointed to Christ's work. From twenty to thirty are daily passing through the hospital, and from twenty to forty constantly there. A Macedonian cry was raised by Captain——, from the Third Alabama Regiment, for preaching. Their place of worship was filled to overflowing, and their Christian Association on Sunday evening was prospering. Brigadier-General William N. Pendleton (Rev. Dr. Pendleton, of Lexington, Virginia) then addressed the body. He said he had come out of his way to meet the chaplains and show his interest in their labors. The ministry was at all times the most blessed of works. How much more now, and here in the army where dangers thicken. Life is uncertain, and therefore there is more solemnity, and a congregation can be gathered at any time. He urged upon the chaplains the power of a holy life, and duty and necessity of cultivation of individual piety—that hidden life of God in the soul. Their religion should not be too much in the crowd; too much a matter of feeling, of sympathy; but a matter of experience, of heart. They should improve all opportunities of speaking to soldiers, in knots, by tract, Gospel and prayer. They had much to encourage them in prayers for them over the land every day, at 1 P. M., in God's co-operating Spirit and providence, and in the way the religious services of himself and others have been received. He referred to the labors of a captain under him in holding daily prayer with his company, and nearly all were converted. He argued that chaplains were a great power in this struggle, and had every motive to stimulate them; for the better Christian a man is, the better soldier he is. “May the Lord be with you!” Rev. Dr. Pendleton was then requested to preach to us, at such time and place as he may name, upon the great work in which we are engaged, our duties and our responsibilities. He accepted the invitation, and said he would make known through the chairman the time and place. Here the meeting engaged in prayer. The meeting then considered the difficulties surrounding chaplains on an active campaign. Was there not too little preaching then? Brother J. William Jones, of the Thirteenth Virginia, who introduced the subject, thought there was. He had found soldiers always ready and anxious to hear the Gospel. At Cross Keys a minister was stopped at ‘thirdly’ by the colonel forming the line of battle. At Richmond he assembled his own cut — up regiment (Thirteenth Virginia) under the guns of the enemy. Every man and officer was present. A young man remarked to him: “This is a lesson to me which I shall never forget.” So at Lee's Springs (Fauquier county, Virginia), in crossing the Rappahannock, a shell fell in the midst of the congregation, but fortunately did not explode. They assembled again, and he thanked God for it. Good was accomplished. General Pendleton's experience was similar. The largest congregation he ever saw was one Sunday after the army had been drawn up in line of battle all day Saturday. All were disposed to hear. Ministers can do more than they suppose if they have the heart and will. In his two years service there was not a Sabbath when, if possible, he did not preach once, and often twice. Brother Thigpen, of the Sixth Georgia, after consultation with his superior officer, held a prayer-meeting, which was a most precious season, the night after the eight at Malvern Hill. Men never were so tired, or marched so far, as to be unwilling
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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