yet steadily travelling different roads, and constantly developing the most contrary characteristics.
In one you would see gambling, drinking, disorder and discontent; in the other everything would go on very much as in any well-regulated Christian household, In other words, I was never so well satisfied as I am now, that the religion of Christ
is essential to the existence— not to say the efficiency—of a volunteer
It may be
that in the regular army, where the common soldier is hardly better than a brute—a mere machine—men may be trained to the arts of war, and may become most efficient soldiers without the restraints of religion; but, in an army like ours, I believe that religion is absolutely indispensable in order to make it fit to accomplish the mighty results dependent on its efforts.’
The following incident well illustrates the influence of Christian officers:
‘When General Havelock
, as colonel of his regiment, was travelling through India
, he always took with him a Bethel tent, in which he preached the Gospel; and when Sunday came in India
he hoisted the Bethel flag, and invited all men to come and hear the Gospel; in fact, he even baptized some.
He was reported for this at Headquarters
, for acting in a non-military and disorderly manner; and the commander-in-chief
, General Lord Gough
, entertained the charge, but, with the true spirit of a generous military man, he caused the state of Colonel Havelock
's regiment to be examined.
He caused the reports of the moral state of the various regiments to be read for some time back, and he found that Colonel Havelock
's stood at the head of the list; there was less drunkenness, less flogging, less imprisonment in it, than in any other.
When that was done, the commander-in-chief
said: “Go and tell Colonel Havelock
, with my compliments, to baptize the whole army.”
Thank God that we had in the Confederate armies so many Christian officers—men worthy to take their places beside Havelock
, Colonel Gardiner
, Captain Headley Vickars
, General George H. Gordon
, and all of the Christian
soldiers of history, and to exhibit the power of the Gospel in making men truer patriots, braver soldiers, and more influential leaders of their fellows.