his lines of Gray
, against which the waves of Blue surged in vain.
Soon we hear the familiar command, ‘Break ranks,’ and immediately the streets are filled with soldiers eagerly running in a given direction.
‘What does this mean?’
a stranger would inquire.
‘Is “Old John Robinson
” about to have a performance of his circus?
, the great magician,” come to town?
Are the ‘Negro Minstrels’ about to exhibit?
What means this eager running?’
Ask one of the men, and he will scarcely pause as he replies: ‘We are trying to get into the church before all of the seats are taken.’.
Yes! the house of God is the goal they seek, and long before the appointed hour the spacious Episcopal church, kindly tendered for the purpose by its rector, is filled—nay, packed—to
its utmost capacity—lower floor, galleries, aisles, chancel, pulpitsteps and vestibule—while hundreds turn disappointed away, unable to find even standing-room.
The great revival has begun, and this brigade and all of the surrounding brigades are stirred with a desire to hear the Gospel, rarely equalled.
Enter, if you can make your way through the crowd, and mingle with that vast congregation of worshippers.
They do not spend their time while waiting for the coming of the preacher in idle gossip, or a listless staring at every new comer, but a clear voice strikes some familiar hymn, around which cluster hallowed memories of home, and of the dear old church far away—the whole congregation join in the hymn, and there arises a volume of sacred song that seems almost ready to take the roof off of the house.
I may be an ‘old fogy,’ but I declare I would not give one of those old songs which ‘the boys’ used to sing ‘with the spirit and the understanding,’ and into which they threw their souls, for all of the ‘classic music’ which grand organ and ‘quartette choir’ ever rendered.
The song ceases, and one of the men leads in prayer.
And he prays
. He does not tell the Lord
the news of the day, or recount to him the history of the country.
He does not make ‘a stump-speech to the Lord
’ on the war—its causes, its progress, or its prospects.
But, from the depths of a heart that feels its needs, he tells of present wants, asks for present blessings, and begs for the Holy Spirit
in His convicting, converting power.
I have rarely, if ever, heard such prayers as some of these men