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[234] and deeply enlisted in the cause of the country as ours; and we are also aware of the fact that a large number of chaplains are stationed at posts and laboring faithfully in hospitals, and many ministers of the Gospel are serving as officers and as privates in the army. But how great is the destitution in the field? And how many of our soldiers are perishing without the bread of life?

There are no great difficulties in the way of obtaining an appointment for any suitable minister in any denomination of Christians. God has opened a wide and effectual door of access to the work. In the work itself there are no difficulties which zeal and faith cannot readily overcome. The chief obstructions are those which exist everywhere in the conflict between sin and holiness. There are no vices or prejudices peculiar to the army which are any greater hindrances to the work of grace than those which are to be encountered in the cities and throughout the country. Our work is a hard work, and there are privations which must be endured. The fare of the chaplain is that of the soldier. The exposures and discomforts to be encountered are in striking contrast with the previous lives of most ministers of the Gospel. The health of some has failed in the service, and some, indeed, have laid down their lives for their brethren, but to many the change of habits has been beneficial, and the feeble have come to endure hardness as good soldiers. The chaplain, however faithful, will at times be discouraged. Men will seem to take little interest in his preaching; profanity, card-playing, and Sabbath-breaking will be on the increase; his presence often will be no restraint upon vice, and when he has faithfully discharged his duty he may meet with censure and ridicule. In camp-life there is an indolence of mind produced, and an aversion to serious thought. There is also a disposition to seek entertainment in all manner of foolish talking and jesting. On the march, and on an active campaign, the attention is much absorbed, and time is often wanting for religious duties. The carelessness and open apostasy of professors of religion are here—as well as everywhere else—a great hindrance to the success of the Gospel. The readiness with which chaplains have resigned their places, or absented themselves from their regiments, is a source of discouragement to the soldiers and to their brethren who remain. In the hasty opinions and sweeping judgments of many, in and out of the army, the deficiencies of some have been unjustly attributed

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