attend religious services now to one who attended six months ago
. I speak principally with reference to our own regiment, but I have been informed by those who have travelled among the different parts of the army in Virginia
that such is the case everywhere.’
‘Strange as it may appear to some,’ writes an experienced post chaplain, ‘scores of men are converted immediately after great battles.
This has become so common that I as confidently look for the arrival of such patients as I do for the wounded.
It is not very strange, if we remember that before they went into battle they had been serious and thoughtful.
Here God covered their heads, and their preservation was a manifestation of His power and goodness that humbled their souls.
“What cause for gratitude to God that I was not cut down when my comrades fell at my side.”
“But for God I would have been slain.”
“I do not see how I escaped.
I know that I am under renewed obligations to love Him, and am resolved to serve Him.”
“After the battle at Malvern Hill
, I was enabled to give my soul to Christ
— this war has made me a believer in religion, sir,” said a wounded soldier.
These and other expressions show how God is working out His purposes of grace and wisdom in these times of darkness and distress.’
Among the many thousands of wounded that filled the Richmond hospitals
, the work of salvation was deep and general.
is with us at Seabrooks' Hospital,’ wrote Rev. W. R. Gualtney
; ‘we have a great revival of religion here.
A greater one I scarcely ever witnessed.
Rarely a day passes but I find one or more new converts.
The number in our hospital is being rapidly reduced, many being transferred to other places, and many having died; but the religious element in our midst is by no means dying out. A large number are yet inquiring, “What must we do to be saved?”
Those who have professed a hope in Christ
seem to be in the full enjoyment of faith.’
‘I am happy,’ says another minister, ‘to report the manifest tokens of the presence of the Spirit among us, even in these times of strife and battle.
I do believe that these solemn visitations of Providence
have been His chosen way of touching many a heart.
There are earnest desires awakened in many a bosom, which I trust will lead them to the Cross.
I believe there are many of our brave men lying on their hard pallets in the hospitals who are now secretly indulging a hope in Jesus.’