just on my way to ask Dr. White
to call on me to lead in prayer at the meeting to-night.’
Soon after he was called on, and made such a stammering effort that the pastor felt badly for him, and he was greatly mortified.
Several subsequent efforts resulted in little better results, and the pastor began to think that, perhaps, Major Jackson
was right—that he really could not ‘pray to edification’—and that he was, perhaps, an exception to the general rule that male members of the church ought to lead in public prayer.
Accordingly he said to him one day: ‘Major
, we do not wish to make our prayermeetings uncomfortable to you, and if you prefer it, I will not call on you to lead in prayer again.’
The prompt and emphatic reply was: ‘My comfort has nothing in the world to do with it, sir; you, as my pastor, think that it is my duty to lead in public prayer—I think so too—and by God's grace I mean to do it. I wish you would please be so good as to call on me more frequently
says that he saw from Jackson
's reply and manner that he meant to succeed
—that he did call on him more frequently—and that he gradually improved until he became one of the most gifted men in prayer whom he had in his church.
It was my privilege to hear him pray several times in the army, and if I ever heard a ‘fervent, effectual prayer,’ it was offered by this stern soldier.
He was a ‘deacon’ (not an ‘elder,’ as has been frequently asserted) in the church, and was untiring in the discharge of all the duties of the position.
On one occasion he went at the appointed hour to attend a ‘deacons' meeting’ at which there was important business to be transacted, and after waiting five minutes
for several absentees (pacing back and forth, watch in hand), he asked to be excused for awhile, and darted off to the residence of one of them.
Ringing the door-bell violently the gentleman came out, and Jackson
accosted him with ‘Mr.
——, it is eight minutes after 8 o'clock’ (the hour appointed for the meeting). ‘Yes, major, I am aware of that, but I didn't have time to go out to-night.’
‘Didn't have time?’
retorted the deacon; ‘why, sir, I should not suppose that you had time for anything else
. Did we not set apart this hour (only one in the month) for the service of the church?
How then can you put aside your obligations in the matter?’
With this he abruptly started back to the meeting, and his brother deacon felt so keenly his rebuke that he immediately followed.
There was no