Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/355
Address of the Chaplains of the Second Corps.
as much alive to its duty as the State? Is the Christian as active and as earnest as the citizen? Duties never conflict. Our patriotism will be all the stronger and purer when sanctified by religion. The natural sympathies require the controlling influence and the plastic power of the love of Christ for their proper regulation. To the political and social must be added the religious element. To patriotism must be added the mightier principle of faith. Let love of country be joined to love of God—let the love of our sufiering brother be associated with the love of our crucified Saviour—let the temporal interests be connected with the eternal. One duty should not be allowed to exclude another, nor one emotion crowd from the heart the holier presence of another. The church should clearly understand and fully estimate the relation which it sustains to the war, and the duty which it owes to the army. In an important sense the cause of the country is the cause of the church. The principles involved are those of right, of truth, and of humanity, as well as of law, of constitutional liberty and of national independence. In a sense equally as true, and even more important is the fact, that the church, to the full extent of its ability and opportunity, is responsible for the souls of those who fall in this conflict. Has she realized this solemn responsibility? Has she discharged her sacred duty? With the opportunities which we have for estimating the work to be done, and of observing what has been accomplished, we are constrained to say that she has not. Surely her whole duty has not been done. We tremble when we contemplate the results which may follow from such delinquency. To estimate correctly the work which the church is called to perform, we must consider the vast number of our citizens who now compose the armies. All the men of the country, below the age of forty, are in the field. To these must be added many manly boys below, and many patriotic men above the prescribed ages. The intellectual and physical strength of the entire country is assembled in martial array. The ratio of religious instructors assigned by the bill for the appointment of chaplains (a bill in some important respects still defective) is one chaplain for every regiment. How has this arrangement been seconded by the church and the ministry? How many of the five or six hundred regiments are now supplied with faithful pastors? We have not the means of determining the number engaged in the whole service, but we give you the result as to our own corps—a body of troops commanded by that sincere Christian, Lieutenant-General T. J. Jackson, who has given special encouragement to the work of supplying the