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[163]

His friend, Elder Lyle, one of the noblest specimens of a noble Christian that ever lived, used to question him very closely on his Christian experience, and one day asked him if he really believed the promise, ‘All things work together for good to them that love God, and to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ He said that he did; and the elder asked: ‘If you were to lose your health, would you believe it then?’ ‘Yes, I think I should.’ ‘How if you were to become entirely blind?’ ‘I should still believe it.’ ‘But suppose that, in addition to your loss of health and sight, you should become utterly dependent upon the cold charities of the world?’ He thought for a moment, and then replied with emphasis, ‘If it were the will of God to place me there, He would enable me to lie there peacefully for a hundred years.’ He nobly stood this test when called upon to cross the Jordan of death.

Soon after he was wounded he said to Rev. B. T. Lacy, who exclaimed on seeing him, ‘Oh, General, what a calamity! You see me severely wounded, but not depressed — not unhappy. I believe that it has been done according to God's holy will, and I acquiesce entirely in it. You may think it strange, but you never saw me more perfectly contented than I am to-day, for I am sure that my Heavenly Father designs this affliction for my good. I am perfectly satisfied that, either in this life or in that which is to come, I shall discover that what is now regarded as a calamity is a blessing. And if it appears a great calamity (as it surely will be a great inconvenience) to be deprived of my arm, it will result in a great blessing. I can wait until God, in His own time, shall make known to me the object which He has in thus afflicting me. But why should I not rather rejoice in it as a blessing, and not look on it as a calamity at all? If it were in my power to replace my arm, I would not dare do it unless I could know that it was the will of my Heavenly Father.’

I have not left myself space to illustrate further the Christian character of this great man, by quoting from his official dispatches and private letters, telling of his personal activity in promoting religion in the army, or relating the details of his glorious death.

Suffice it to say that I saw him frequently, heard him converse on religious topics, heard him offer as fervent, tender, and every way appropriate prayers as I ever heard from any one, and can say from my own personal knowledge of him that if I ever came in contact with an humble, earnest child of God, it was this ‘thunderbolt of war,’ who followed with child-like faith the ‘Captain of our Salvation,’

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