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[519] to have prayer. He commenced his prayer-meetings under these peculiar circumstances, and had continued with good results.

Brother Lacy, the chairman, said, as God had adapted the Gospel to men in all conditions, so he has rendered its preaching practicable under all circumstances. Unquestionably, if the commissariat neglected its duties because of some derangements in its usual routine, the army would starve, although victorious. Yet even with its deranged system, the army must have bread in the trenches; if not the full supply, yet how invaluable is the dry crust or hard biscuit! Brethren, we are appointed to carry the spiritual bread of life to the men. We draw from a neverfailing supply. There is always enough, thank God. If we have some difficulty in getting it to the men in need, let us strive. Difficulties prove their great necessities. In the fight many of these men must fall. One sermon more, brethren, for the love of souls, for the glory of God. Let us devise means to get this bread to them.

Faithful chaplains promote the efficiency of the army. Let every chaplain set an example, like Brother Thigpen, of obedience to military orders. Pray against blind zeal. But we must have true zeal If any brother feels he is about as well here as elsewhere, we would say to him, “You had better go away.” Don't interfere with officers; consult them, and try to work in the Gospel. Don't desert the men because they are in the trenches. Go, speak a word to them, if you only say, “I know you were ready to fight for your country; but were you ready to meet your God?” The Gospel hurts no man at any time under any circumstances. Earnest prayer by the camp-fire makes men rest better, and march better.

Let brevity mark these services. Let the words be few and well chosen. This is the principle: What are the few sentences that will save his soul if I never speak again? A great many useless appendages to sermons will be thus cut off, and we will leave the army better preachers than when we entered it. Long sermons weary and injure your usefulness. Be short and sharp; brief, but brimful of the Gospel.

Brother Strickler, of Fifth Louisiana, thought the condition of the sick a subject of such importance as to demand immediate consideration: the present plan of supplying the hospital with temporary chaplains was inefficient. He thought there should be a corps of chaplains to attend to the field infirmaries.

A committee was appointed, consisting of Dr. Strickler, J. P. Garland, Fortyninth Virginia and B. T. Lacy, to take some action touching this hospital business, and report.

It was resolved that a committee of three be appointed to report on the subject of a badge for the adoption of the chaplains of our corps. J. Wm. Jones, Thirteenth Virginia, F. M. Kennedy, Twenty-eighth North Carolina, and James Nelson, Forty-fourth Virginia, form this committee.

After some appropriate remarks by Brother W. C. Power, of Fourteenth North Carolina, the following resolution was unanimously adopted, all the chaplains standing:

Resolved, That we, the chaplains of the Second Army Corps, pledge ourselves to offer prayer—at sunset—every day, for each other and the success of our labors.

Adjourned with devotional exercises to meet at 11 A. M. next Tuesday, and open with sermon by chairman as usual.

L. C. Vass, Secretary.

Fifth session.

round Oak Church, April 20, 1863.
The body met according to adjournment. Brother B. T. Lacy preached the opening sermon from 1 Kings XX. 40, “And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” He showed, through the history of this unfaithful soldier, the temptation to which chaplains are exposed; and urged them to faithful discharge of their duties by various arguments.


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