The soldier's friend. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1863-1???, January 24, 1863, Image 1

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THE SOLDIER’S FRIEND. BY A. S. WORRELL. (Drifliiial. j A Fairy Visit- \ NO. 111. From the presence of Him who sits i upon the eternal throne and from the \ vast assembly of saints and angels, Vir tue and her twin sister, Prudence, de scended to earth, to note some of the affairs of mortals. [The reader should i understand that “Fairies,” when they travel in their real character, go with the speed of thought, or as rapidly as ( a charge on the telegraphic wire ; but < when they assume human form, they j travel in the ordinary pace of mortal, except that they always move grace- \ fully, energetically, ami as if they had some important mission to perform.] After visiting many places, they at length, in passing by a small log cabin, heard the voice of a female, urgently \ import uning God for something. Ap- / proaching nearer, they distinctly heard > these words: “<) Lord, have mercy ) upon my poor son in the army ; re strain him from those vices which over- / whelm and ruin many of the young; * may he avoid all wicked associations— shim the degraded gambler, the pro fane swearer, the drunkard and him I who drinks strong drink as a beverage > —help him to refrain from the use of every impure word, and to discouute- } nance others who use them. Preserve him from every impure feeling, every ( wicked or idle world, and endow him / with wisdom and prudence from on high, that he may, while in the ser- < vice of his country, lead a life ®f virtue < and happiness, and return to his home / UncomaiuiiEm u by ally vice. 31 J The suppliant now arose from her knees, ami returned in the direction of / her humble abode, when the two Sis- ) sere met her. They had a brief con ver- < satioD with her, learned where her son ( was, and bade her a hasty adieu, re- ( solved to visit the camp where the dear [ boy was. Quick as resolved, they were in the encampment, walking about out- ( side of the sentinel’s line. Presently they met a sentinel walking his line, j who had the bearing of a true soldier. ; The Sisters could but admire him.— ‘ Prudence said to Virtue, “ Look how j neat his dress is ! how clean his per- < son! how gracefully he steps! how < much like a soldier does he carry his J gun ! That young man will distinguish j himself!” “Yes,” said Virtue in a strain of ad- < miration, “that is a tine soldier. What j dignity of person! His very counte- ] nance speaks of the noble principles < within his generous bosom. His bright < sparkling eyes show that he has never < contaminated his soul by participating ! in any of those low vices which, alas! pollute so many of the old and young. I venture the assertion that he does not spend his time in idleness, or in the pursuit of the light and trivial.— A noble soldier, indeed !” “I venture < farther 1 ” continued Prudence, “that < this young soldier enjoys good health 1 ' ( for his person and clothing are so neat { and clean—that he enjoys the confidence * and love of his officers ; for he is so < calm and free from rashness—and that < he enjoys sweet peace of mind, since, from his very countenance, as you say, j we may' certainly conclude that he is possessed of the noble principles which dear Sister, make you so happy, and < so much admired. If every soldier was j like him, there would be no need of < sentinels to keep the soldiers within < their encampments ; for their virtuous j principles would not let them go away j except when they are compelled.— j There would be no pigs, turkeys, chick ens, potatoes, apples, or anything else stolen ; for their honesty, as a faithful guard, would protect them from all such crimes. Nor would there be any fear that the enemy would rout them ; for their gallantry, strengthened by | every noble and generous impulse, would make them invincible!” “FIGHT THE LORD’S RATTLES.” Passing along the line farther, they inquired who the noble soldier could ! be, and on learning that he was the ( son of the poor widow woman who < prayed so devoutly for her son, Vir- ! tue said, “Noble son of a noble moth- ( er ! The saying of The Eternal Father < is true, “Train up a child in the way ; he should go, and when he gets old he ! will not depart from it.” “The youth J who commits himself to my care, shall ; be honored. His “ways are ways of : pleasantness, and all,” his “paths are peace.” “But,” asked Prudence, “may not a young man in the army, surrounded ) by so many vices, depart from the paths of Virtue and Prudence, even though j his parents taught him to walk in these ( paths when young ?” “Tagree,” answered Virtue, “that those who have been only partially trained to walk in our paths, may be enticed away under the influence of strong temptation; but if they have i been trained up, from their infancy, to observe all my principles, when they grow old, they will not forsake them.” Casting their eyes a little to one side they saw a soldier sitting on a log, dir ty, filthy and seemingly much distress- ( ed. Going near him, Prudence ad- < dressed him thus: “Gentle soldier! I am sorry there is no water near you. t Your face is all beclouded with smoke, ( and your clothing is so filthy, I fear it S will make you sick.” “Plenty of water,” murmured the soldier, “but I was never accustomed to wash, and I have no money to pay ( others to do it.” { “But,” said Prudence, would it not J be better for you to do yourself what j needs to be done, and what you can ( not get others to do? T would not ) throw myself away because of being a soldier.” “Perhaps, madam, yon will do my washing for me, retorted the angry sol- ; dier. Whereupon the Sisters immedi ately left him in disgust. ’ [For the Soldiers’ Friend. Camp ijelow Fhkdeiiicksbuko, ) December 28th, 1862. f This is the last Sabbath of the event- i ful year eighteen hundred and sixty two, a fit time to “cast up accounts” 1 and bring to the unchangeable stan dard of righteousness, the deeds of the past twelve months; the lines of which are marked by blood, and whose mem ories are heavy with the sighs and j groans of the bereaved and distressed. 1 A year of spiritual gloom and darkness I in which thousands of God’s people | have been drawn from the paths of ho- 1 liness and virtue, and in which the I scorching heat of adversity and trial, ] ami the thorns of temptation, have 1 withered and choked the seeds which I had no deepness of earth. While war is an evil and certainly j incompatible with the genius of the I Gospel, God may nevertheless use it ■ as a means to chastise and correct the ] guilty nations of the earth, whose sins I have become an abomination in His i sight. Like the hurricane and thunder j storm which desolate and destroy, yet I have their purifying effects upon stag- i nant and overburdened nature. The j Confederates cannot feel the guilt 1 which lies at the door of those who provoked and forced this war upon us; for in every possible way we sought the peaceful exercise of that right which God has guaranteed to all people; the usurpation of which, we were bound to resist even at the sacrifice of all that we possessed, and the lives of thou sands of our bravest and best sons. But while we may thus console our selves in battling for God-given rights, we cannot shut our eyes to the fearful scenes and enormities which are enact ed upon the theatre of war, nor can i even the hard-hearted fail to deprecate the flood-tide of evil and woe that fol- J low in its wake. None perhaps occu- i py 90 good a stand-point to observe all these as the surgeon; and so remO ATLANTA, GA., SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 1863. from those influences which engender the heroism, and add lustre to the deeds of the field. To conquer self is a greater and no bler work than the subduing of our enemies. What a mournful spectacle is constantly presented to the behold er, who sees in our soldiery that c®ur age and daring that brook the shock of battle, and that have so oft driv en back our heartless invaders, yield ing so quietly and unresistingly to the approaches and attacks of the great en emy of souls ! and what is more pain ful among them are to be seen not a few of those, who amid the restraints of home and better influences, were re garded at least respectable in their pro fessions of religion. If the effect of the war religiously, would only be to win now the chaff from the wheat, there would be nothing to deplore, but it is to be feared that many frwe Christians fall a prey to the ensnaring devices of the devil, and wicked men in camps. And even where one does not feel the influence of those temptations which commonly lead men astray, it will be found that the whole tendency ofcamp life is to chill and freeze the piety which, under Sabbath, Church and Home influences, is radiant and potent for good. But amid all these distracting and ruinous influences, corrupting as they do our spiritual life, there is an occa sional ray of light, and we need not be deprived of the hope and consolation which inspire and rejoice our hearts under circumstances less adverse to growth in grace. Aly heart was gladdened and I could but weep, in approaching a young man whose name was Day, from Walker county, Georgia, belonging to the 60th Georgia Regiment, and who had been wounded in the buttle of Fredericks burg. I saw that he was rapidly fail ing and that very soon he must change worlds, I asked him iljfie was religious and did he trust in the Savior ? He replied that for several years he had been trying to live a Christian, and that he did trust in Jesus. It could be easi ly seen that the heart was in unison with his lips; which made me feel that to claim friendship with Christ in that last and trying hour, was more than to illumine the pages of history with deeds of daring, or possess a world of wealth. Soon afterwards his heart was hushed in the stillness of death. A Air. Mil ner of the 13th Georgia, brother-in-law of Elder J. Al. Word, in company with another man, was detailed to carry wa ter to the Regiment while in line of battle, and though some distance in the rear, a solid shot instantly killed one and nearly tearing Alilner’s left arm from his body and seriously bruis ing his side. The shock was great from which he never fully recovered. Two days subsequent when it was de termined to remove his arm already of fensive, I asked him of his religious prospects, &e. He answered, “I nev er made any profession of religion (i.e.) have never attached myself to any church, and I have a little family for whose benefit I desire to live, but in re gard to the future,” and turning his eyes up to mine, and with a counte nance serene and composed, and in well-measured words said : “I have no fear.” How like a little Bethel it seemed, when those whose lives were fast ebb ing and before whom the glare of the world, with all its alluring interests, was fading, and to whom the realities of the momentous future were looming up, they could say: “I trust in Christ,” and “I have no fear.” I felt to thank God that He could inspire frail mor tals, full of sin and weakness, in an hour which tries the soul; in the face of that terrible monster death, with such confidence, such coolness and fearlessness. So with all the horrors and wastes of war, now and then a little green spot may be found, and though we know it not as Jacob said, “Surely the ♦Lord is in this place.” It must not be supposed that because I have related these incidents, I am Chaplain, or even doing my duty as a Christian Surgeon. One of my sorest reflections is: I have not used my po sition for good according to the oppor tunities it gives. No one has such rare facilities as are frequently presented to the Surgeon, for serving the cause of Christ, and certainly s as a class none improve them less. .Aly observation is, that Chaplains are doing but very little good in the army. The truth is, theroare butfejv qualified for the position. Many who might do some good at home, would utterly fail as Chaplains. Not a few have sought the position for a livelihood and are receiving more money for doing nothing, than they ever received fpr what little they may have done at home. A man must com bine rare qualifications, and observe a circumspection in his contact with the soldiery, which only few will do in camp-life, ifheisto exert any moral power over men who are thoughtless awd prone to ridicule religion. ****** No one will deny that the army need the restraints of undefiled religion, and the labors of ministers who are adapt ed to the work; but lam not sure if it would not be better served by the voluntary efforts of Christians, who would be far more likely to make wise and proper selections, than the Govern ment appointment. At present the position is more a sinecure than of love 1 and good works, which damages the i man who accepts, and is unfortunate i for the cause which he represents. [ ‘ Your readers have been fully advised ’ through other channels of the late bat- > tie of Fredericksburg and its results, > so that I need not mention them here. Had Burnside ventured to renew the j attack on the following day, the car- > nage would have been far more terri- > ble to the enemy and the victory more decisive to us. Our men were content with their position, and confident of > success. They leisuvely arranged them selves in the ditches and behind the ce dar hedges, and removed every ob struction that would in the least hin der the accuracy of their aim, and there can be no doubt had the enemy’s lines advanced on Sabbath, the wailings of the Abolitionists would have been over a loss not only much greater than it is, but perhaps the destruction of their army. Since the battle, Jackson’s corps has been lying quietly in camps—better say woods —up and down the river be low Fredericksburg. Our movements I opine, are dependent to an extent, } upon those of the enemy, which I pre [ sume are closely watched. Already an i expedition is making reconnoisance, J the result of which will probabiy be [ known before this reaches you. > The condition of our troopsis grad- > ually improving, by supplies from home [ and the Government, and it is to be 1 hoped that soon they will be comfort > ably clothed and shod. Their sufler- J ings and privations have been great, ’ but the cause for which they were en- > dured, will richly reward them. Suc i ceeding generations will shed tears of J sympathy upon the pages of history, 1 while they read the accounts of the ex i posures and sufferings through which [ the ragged and bare-foot “rebels” pass -1 ed, and which God’s people should > earnestly pray, may soon have an end. ; ' GEO. F. COOPER. - —II . > Beautiful Sentiment. —A Greek J maiden being asked what fortune she ' would bring her husband, replied in / the following beautiful language: —“I will bring him what gold cannot pur ( chase—a heart unspotted, and virtue 'l without a stain—which is all that de ? scended to me from my parents.”— J?x. A Foolish Bargain. Satan otters the sinner much wealth, honor and pleasure, for his soul. The sinner accepts the offer ; and loses his soul. Suppose Satan should comply with his agreement (which he seldom does,) and should give all he promises, would it be a wise trade on the part of the sinner? Let us see. He has large wealth, but all this he loses as soon as he dies; “for he brought nothing into the world, and it is cer tain he can carry nothing out.” Suppose he has honor. It is but the breath of mortal man ; and so soon as he dies, it is worth nothing to him. — He cannot carry him. Besides, if he could carry it with him, God would not recognize it as of any value. Suppose he enjoys pleasure; it is on ly the pleasure derived from this world, the clamorous excitement of passion and appetite; which will avail him nothing beyond the grave. Should Sa tan, therefore, comply with his prom ise, he would confer nothing that can last longer than human life. At death the soul is left deprived of all that it needs. Besides this, it must then be gin to experience the fierce pangs of an enlightened conscience, the gnawings of the worm that never dies. And when millions upon Bullions of ages have past, he will still be wretched yes, more wretched than when he first entered upon his career ol suffering. The bargain was foolish. Should Sa tan give him the whole world for his soul, the result would be the same. — The poor cheated being would soon crumble to dust, and his miserable spirit would wake up in uesp.m, where nought but suffering and anguish are the doom of the soul. In all eternity he would lament his folly, and would de sire to rue his bargain. There is no folly known to earth that can be com pared with this. If a man should, af ter gaining the whole world, trade it all off for the shadow of smoke, his last trade would be inconceivably wiser than the first, for the one brings him only temporary poverty, while the oth er results in the eternal anguish of the soul! But comparatively few persons who entertain the propositions of Satan, ever realize what he promises. Satan rarely pays his debts. He promises wealth, honor and pleasure ; but com paratively few ever receive them. — Alost of his deluded subjects live poor, die poor, and then inherit eternal in famy, shame and suffering! lie who trades off his soul for any thing whatever, makes a trade which of all other trades is most foolish. A Good Private. I know a private in the 34th Geor gia Regiment (Col. J. A. AV. John son’s) who comes as nearly up to the standard of a good soldier as any one of my acquaintances perhaps in the whole army. I have Seen him on long “forced marches,” where there was lit tle water to be had, and where provi sions were exceedingly scarce ; I have seen him rushing along, but never out of line, almost exhausted from his heavy burden ; I have seen him march ing along, when I knew him to be sick; I have seen him when we 'were hourly expected to meet the enemy in deadly conflict; but I have never seen him falter or heard him complain, or known him to shrink from any duty. If every soldier was like him, there would be few stragglers in the army, and I hesitate not to say that the coun try would have much less cause to fear the advance of our enemies. This private’s name is Bayliss J. Lewis, son of ex-Senator J. AY. Lewis. I take great pleasure in holding him up as a model soldier, both because he de serves it, and because in former days he was a pupil of mine. NO. 3.