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 struggle of the early sixties. There can be no doubt, however, but that the cause of real religion was helped rather than hindered by the war, although at least one of the great dogmas of the Christian faith was badly shattered as the result of that five-years' ordeal. Any such all-absorbing and critical movement as that war must of necessity have greatly lessened the opportunity for religious forces to carry on their work. Homes were broken up, churches were depleted of men and means, and the whole thought of the people centred on political and military matters, rather than upon the things of faith and God. But the law of compensation ever moves with silent and majestic order to its great ends, and, all in all, the trial of the finest life of the nation in the awful fires of this desperate clash of arms was of inestimable value, for from it all faith in the great essentials of religion arose with an added purity and power. We may well believe that the contention of many is right, that one of the unplanned, but most blessed and beneficent, results of the war was the weakening of the doctrine of everlasting punishment; it took just some such tremendous trial to disabuse men's mind of that barbarous and terrible dogma, so firmly rooted had it become in human thought. Here were multitudes of men rushing to exposure, suffering, and death for country, freedom, and unity, who had never made any profession of religion, who had not complied with the historic and creedal conditions of salvation. These men, strongest, and bravest, and finest of the nation, laid down their lives for absolutely unselfish purposes, and yet, according to the tenets of the traditional belief, they must go away into endless punishment. The heart, the intelligence, and the conscience of a grateful people recoiled from the idea, and from the moment that their faithful service was fully appreciated, the dogma of an absolutely hopeless future for them received a blow from which it could never recover. The creeds, the church, religion were tried by
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