Chaplains' Corps Chronicles June 2017
Chaplains’ Corps Chronicles
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Anno Domini 2017
Issue No. 138
“That in all things Christ might have the preeminence.”
"I think it worth a lifetime of hardship to prepare, under God, one of our dear defenders thus to die." Chaplain J. Wm. Jones
Chaplain-in-Chief Ray Parker
2961 Gaffney Avenue SE
Palm Bay, Florida 32909
Editor: Past Chaplain-in-Chief H. Rondel Rumburg
PO Box 472
Spout Spring, Virginia 24593
Assistant Editor: Past Chaplain-in-Chief Mark Evans
20 Sharon Drive,
Greenville, SC 29607
“That the Southern people literally were put to the torture is vaguely understood, but even historians have shrunk from the unhappy task of showing us the torture chambers.” Claude G. Bowers
“Reconstruction was … an artificial fog, behind which the ‘master minds” staged a revolution that changed America from a democracy to a plutocracy of ever-growing magnitude.” Rep. B. Carroll Reece (R-TN) 1960
“That the Southern people literally were put to the torture is vaguely understood, but even historians have shrunk from the unhappy task of showing us the torture chambers.” Claude G. Bowers
“Reconstruction was … an artificial fog, behind which the ‘master minds” staged a revolution that changed America from a democracy to a plutocracy of ever-growing magnitude.” Rep. B. Carroll Reece (R-TN) 1960
Quote from a Confederate Chaplain
“[N]ear Orange Court House … we met in Christ’s name and He met with us. Never before have I seen the like; often we would meet to worship, having only the dim candle-light; hundreds would be there. When an invitation was given for prayers there would come so many I knew not what to do with them…. Brother (James Madison) Anderson, chaplain in General Walker’s Virginia Brigade…. After he came out (from baptizing in the Rapidan) I opened service in our usual way by singing and prayer. Such music I never before heard. It sounded as though the heavenly host had come down to take part in our earthly worship.”
Chaplain J. J. Hyman
49th Georgia Regiment
Fellow Compatriots in the Chaplains’ Corps and Friends of the Cause:
Perhaps most reading this e-journal realize a need for a spiritual awakening or a divine reviving of God’s people in a world overflowing with sin against the holy God. We often reminisce regarding the glorious visitations of our God among our Confederate forefathers in the Confederate Army. True revival cannot be produced by human effort. There is no method, no psychology, no crowd manipulation, no sociology, no high-powered evangelist, no religious secrets that can be implemented to bring God’s transforming work about. Anything produced other than by God is satanic, humanistic, superficial, false, emotional, and evil.
What is revival? “When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19b). How can we have revival? If it comes from the presence of the Lord we must appeal to Him to give it. How should we pray for revival? We must come to our great sovereign God according to His Word. Pray, “Quicken (or revive) thou me according to Thy Word” (Ps. 119:25, 107, 149). We should only want what He wants! “Quicken” in Hebrew is also translated “revive.” “Quicken” (chayah) means to live anew, to recover, to be well again, to be animated. The rule established by the Lord is revealed in the Bible. David wants a reviving that is consistent with the purpose of God as revealed in His Word. His soul is distressed because of personal failure and he desires to be revived (see. v. 50). “Let Thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word’ (Ps. 119:41). Pray, “Revive me in Thy way” (Ps. 119:37). It is either God’s way or no way at all. Pray, “Quicken or revive me according to Thy righteousness” (Ps. 119:40). Why? Our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight. David prays for this enlivening to take place in the context of the Lord’s “righteousness.” The Lord’s righteousness is evident in His revelation to us. If this is the case it will not be fleshly. C. H. Spurgeon reminded, “We need quickening every hour of the day, for we are so sadly apt to become slow and languid in the ways of God. It is the Holy Spirit who can pour new life into us; let us not cease crying to him. Let the life we already possess show itself by longing for more.” Pray, “Revive me after Thy lovingkindness” (Ps. 119:88, 159). The Psalmist pleads for a “quickening or reviving.” Yes, “quicken or revive” (chayah) means to live anew, to recover, to be well again, to be animated (v. 25). The Lord is the only source of life or enlivening again. We must look to the lovingkindness of the Lord as the source of spiritual revival, and we entreat for it on the basis of grace (Spurgeon). “Lovingkindness” is one of the most important words in the Old Testament and is sometimes translated “mercy.” An act of “lovingkindness” presupposes the existence of a relationship between the parties involved (2 Sam. 9:7; Joshua 2:12). God’s lovingkindness is everlasting (Isa. 54:8).
Does our God speak to this issue? Yes! “If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14). When the Holy Spirit moves God’s people they begin praying to that end. There will be a significant change in attitudes that begins to develop. A. E. Dickinson writing about events in a camp near Orange Court House wrote about helping Chaplain J. J. D. Renfroe of the 10th Alabama for about a week: “Never in my life have I seen men so eager to hear and be profited by the Word spoken. Though I have preached nine times I have not seen one listless hearer among all the hundreds who have been in attendance. Not a word has been spoken during the services, and, so far as I could see, every man has seemed profoundly impressed with the solemnity and importance of the occasion. It is impossible to say how many have asked to be prayed for. On several nights not less than from 150 to 200 made this request of us. Many have professed conversion—not less, I should think, than 175” [Christ in the Camp, 327].
They spoke of Christ being in the camp in vital and real power; then their camp becoming “a school of Christ.” Chaplain J. William Jones penned, “But figures cannot, of course, give a tithe of the results of a great revival. The bringing back of backsliders, the quickening of the zeal, and faith, and general consecration of God’s people, the comfort, the joy, the peace, the strength for hardships, privations, sufferings, trials, temptations—these cannot be counted, but are really of far more value than mere numbers of professed converts. Add to all this, the joy and gladness which these revivals carried to ‘loved ones at home’ who were wont to spend sleepless nights thinking of, and praying for the soldier boy at the front, and the reflex influence upon the Churches, many of which were blessed with great revivals, directly traceable to our army work, and eternity alone will be able to estimate the glorious results of these army revivals” .
Who among us would not welcome Christ in our midst in the way of true revival? Oh, to know the presence and power of our God as was known during the years of 1861-1865. We know the old denominations have long departed from the Lord in so many ways. They do not have the moving of the Spirit of God in revival anymore. They prefer to apologize for their ancestors that were so greatly blessed of God in revival. Consider, for example, the following quote from “Narrative of the State of Religion” by the Southern Presbyterians in Virginia. “The history of the world and of the Church presents few things more extraordinary than the work of God in the army. An army has generally been considered a school of vice. It is the very profession of a soldier to kill and destroy. How can the sensibilities fail to be hardened, and the moral perceptions to be blunted? Removed from the happy influences of the Church, and from the refining, sustaining, elevating society of wife, mother, sister, at home; living a life now of great excitement, and now of dangerous leisure, the soldier, it was supposed, had little chance of being saved. It was fully as much as could be reasonably expected, if those who professed the name of Christ did not fall away, and make shipwreck of their profession. But the extraordinary spectacle is now presented to us, of an army in which there is more zeal, apparently, for God and the salvation of sinners, than there is in the Church at home. Making all due allowance for unconscious exaggeration in the statements which come to us, and discounting not a few cases of spurious conversions, there can be no doubt that the valley of Achor has become a door of hope to our brethren in the field, and that a very large number of them have been turned unto God.”
What of the Southern Baptist Convention that so recently dishonored their fathers and mothers in the faith? When they met in 1863 they adopted some resolutions. Consider the following ones:
“Resolved, That it is the sense of this body, that the field opened in the army for pious labor is one of the most important that can be opened at present; and that the providence of God calls loudly on His people to make prompt and vigorous efforts to secure the services of chaplains, and to send forth missionaries and colporters into the field.
“Resolved, That the pastors of our churches be, and are hereby, earnestly requested to bring this subject prominently and frequently to the attention of their people; and also the duty of constant supplication of the Divine blessing upon such labors among our soldiers, that we may be obedient to the sacred command, ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’”
Jones recorded that “the best evidence of the genuineness of the revival is to be found in the after lives of professed Christians, and of the young converts.” True revival has abiding fruit. He went on, “That revival which does not result in more consecration on the part of Christians, and a ‘godly walk and conversation’ on the part of the new converts, is not worth calling a revival” .
How should we be praying? We need to implore the gracious triune Godhead: God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, “Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee” (Ps. 85:6)?
Please consider ConfederateChaplain.com & Chaplain-in-Chief.com
This issue contains our Chaplain-in-Chief’s editorial on the Chaplains Conference in Harrisonburg, VA. You will also find our Chaplain-in-Chief’s article titled A Defense of Southern Heritage. Your editor has provided Part II of a biographical sketch of Chaplain Stokely R. Chadick, which deals with his chaplaincy during the war and his ministry afterward. Assistant editor, Mark Evans, has written an article entitled Spiritual Power. This issue, as usual, includes A Confederate Sermon submitted by Kenneth Studdard of Rev. John L. Girardeau which is titled The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God. Our Book Review is by your editor on Revivals in the Midst of the Years by Benjamin Rice Lacy, Jr.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Editor H. Rondel Rumburg
[Compatriots, if you know of any members of the Chaplains’ Corps or others who would like to receive this e-journal, please let us have their names and e-mail addresses. Also, feel free to send copies of this journal to anyone you think would like to receive it. If you want to “unsubscribe” please e-mail the editor or assistant editor. Confederately, HRR]
*The Chaplain-in-Chief's Message, Dr. Ray L. Parker
*A Defense of Southern Heritage, Dr. Ray L. Parker
*Chaplain Stokely R. Chadick, Part II, Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg
*Spiritual Power, Rev. Mark Evans
*A Confederate Sermon, Rev. John L. Girardeau
*Book Review: Revivals in the Midst of the Years
THE CHAPLAIN-IN-CHIEF'S MESSAGE
Dear fellow Chaplains and Friends of the Corps:
The 2017 National SCV Chaplains' Conference is now history and our view turns to the 2018 Conference. I do want to thank each one that made the 2017 Conference such an inspirational success. We appreciate so much Pastor Andy Rice and the good people of the Providence Baptist Church in Harrisonburg, VA for their kindness in allowing us to use their beautiful campus for the Conference.
The music this year was exceptional. Special thanks to Pastor Lloyd Sprinkle for serving as the Conference Song Leader -- truly an excellent job. We also thank Jacqueline Sprinkle and Mariam Clark for the beautiful organ and piano music in each service and for providing our special music in each service. The Lord has blessed those two ladies with true musical ability. Each song was an inspiration.
We appreciate so much those who ministered the Word of God in these five great services. Thank you to John Weaver, Andy Rice, Cecil Fayard, Ron Rumburg, and Mark Evans. The Holy Spirit used each sermon to bless and challenge us.
Now more good news. All five services were recorded and are available on CD should you desire. The cost is only $20 for the five services plus $5 for shipping and handling. Send you request and payment for CDs to "Wally" at the Providence Baptist Church, 1441 Erickson Avenue, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801. If you were not in attendance, you will enjoy the services for the first time. If you were in attendance you will enjoy the services over and over again.
We also express sincere appreciation to all who attended the 2017 Conference. We had chaplains, compatriots, and friends from many states who traveled many miles to share in this good time of Spiritual and Southern fellowship. Thank you so much for your attendance.
The tentative dates for the 2018 National SCV Chaplains' Conference are May 17 and 18. I hope you will keep those days "clear" and plan to attend. Please share any ideas or suggestions that you feel could make the Conference even better. Just forward to my email at email@example.com
The National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs will feature a section highlighting the service of Confederate chaplains and the great revival that spread through the Southern armies during the War. Several past Chaplain Corps' leaders are working with the Chaplain-in-Chief and Executive Director Colonel Mike Landree in designing this section. If you have items that would be appropriate for this section (Bibles used by Confederate chaplains, hand written sermons by Confederate chaplains, etc.), please let me know so we can explore that possibility.
I also hope that you will spend quality time at the Chaplain-in-Chief's Web Page each month. You will find a monthly article, prayers for use in the monthly camp meeting, a monthly sermon, and a "Happening Now" page to keep you up to date with news from across the Confederation. You may reach the web site at this link: http://chaplain-in-chief.com/
Ray L. Parker
The Defense of Southern Heritage
(A Must Read)
Ray L. Parker
A Contemporary Battlefield
Across the nation, Southern heritage is under bitter and unrelenting attack. Southern monuments are being removed. The names of streets, parks, and schools are being changed. Southern flags are being lowered. War Between the States' Battlefields are being rearranged without Southern symbols. Those with a high view of Southern heritage are being disgraced. As Southerners we are told that we are to sit perpetually upon the stool of shame with eternal apologies coming from our lips. We are told that all things Southern are to become "invisible." It is to be as though the Confederate States of America never existed and our ancestors were not brave defenders of family and home.
The reality is, Southerners have nothing to apologize for. Our ancestors sought to sustain the Constitutional realities birthed out of the American Revolution of the 1700s. The Southern States recognized the un-Constitutional direction of the Federal Government and thus sought to form a governmental system based upon the American Constitution. It was Southern desire to do this peacefully. One of the first acts of President Jefferson Davis was to send a peace delegation to Washington, DC. This delegation President Lincoln refused to see.
The War Between the States was an unnecessary conflict -- it was a war that did not have to be. It was a war fought for only one reason. The Federal Government sent armed troops to practice total war against the Southern population. If Federal troops had not marched South, there would have been no war. The Southern Government and the Southern Army had no designs to destroy the Northern States. The South only wanted to be left alone.
Many, of course, seek to convolute the reasons for the war. The current "politically correct" reason for the war is slavery. Thus they "say" that Southern monuments praise "white supremacists" and bigots who fought the war "to keep their slaves." They are "reading into history" what is not factually there.
It is certainly true that slavery was part of the nineteenth century US culture and was discussed with much emotion. The US Constitution protected the institution of slavery. The US Supreme Court defended the rights of slave owners. The US Congress passed laws regarding the protection of the institution of slavery. Abraham Lincoln in his election campaign stated that he did not desire nor did he have the power to alter the practice of American slavery. Lincoln believed that the white race was superior to the black race. Slave labor was used in the construction of the US Capital building during the War itself. How hypocritical it is to point to the South and declare that the 1860s American conflict was about Southern slavery. Slavery was a national problem in the nineteenth century not a Southern problem.
And if (as is being said) Southern monuments must be removed because they represent white supremacists (which they do not), then to be consistent we must remove statutes of Abraham Lincoln. He specifically stated that the white race is superior to the black race -- but, we do not hear about that. If I made that statement, you would hear about it. Abraham Lincoln made that statement and all is silent. This establishes the reality of prejudice in decisions made regarding Southern monuments.
A Contemporary Response
As Southerners we cannot be silent and we will not become "invisible." At every Southern home a Confederate Flag should fly. In every Southern city defense should be made for our Southern monuments; and if these monuments are removed by the overreach of government all of our efforts must be used to secure and place these monuments in a prominent place -- on private land, of course -- to continue their visibility. We must not allow these monuments to disappear -- to become "invisible." This is exactly what our detractors desire. Let's make ourselves visible.
We must be involved in the political arena of our community. We must attend the City Council meetings and we must allow our voice to be heard when Confederate items are on the agenda. We must fight for street names, park names, and school names. We must defend the battlefields and the Confederate symbols that are there. We must do our duty. Let's make ourselves visible.
We must place flags in prominent places -- on Interstates and other major roads. We must place billboards with the Southern message all across the South. For example, would it not be impressive as you enter (say) South Carolina on every Interstate to see a billboard that says, "Welcome to South Carolina -- the first Confederate State." Now multiply that with these billboards in every Confederate State. What a sight that would be! These symbols must be continually obvious to those traveling Southern highways. Let's make ourselves visible.
Let us write the Governor of each Confederate State and express the reality of what faces us in the South. Let the politicians know that we expect them to protect the history of the State. They must do what is right. Let them know that we are watching. Let's make ourselves visible.
Below I share a copy of the letter I am forwarding to the Governor of each Confederate State. Feel free to use the information in this letter and form your own correspondence for each Confederate State Governor. Let's mail these letters this week to every Confederate State Governor. Let's make ourselves visible.
(Sample Letter to the Governor of Virginia -- change the details as your write the other Governors)
Thousands of young Virginians gave their lives in defense of their State in the War Against Southern Independence. These young men answered Virginia’s call in a time of armed invasion and defended her borders, cities, and citizens. They endured the horrors of the conflict because they loved their State and families. They sought not honor or geographical expansion, only peaceful self-determination in a time of cultural upheaval. The hoped for peace was broken by invading armies.
It is only right and proper that each Southern State remember with dignity, honor, and propriety these young champions. They gave their highest sacrifice for the State they loved. No honorable State would ignore, belittle, or politicize the depth of their devotion.
The Flag under which they served their State should be publicly evident. Their battlefields should be preserved and their graves and monuments maintained. In the history of our country, these are the only ones to die in defense of the State of their birth and in which they lived. How inappropriate it would be for the State they loved so dearly to convolute the bold sacrifice they made.
Virginia will want to honor her soldiers in the most public venues possible – the best of their generation. These young men died in the War Between the States for their beloved State. They gave the full measure of devotion for Virginia.
Ray L. Parker, PhD
A Contemporary Power
All of these efforts must be baptized in prayer. Prayer allows us to unleash the power of God into our lives, for prayer is not what we can do but rather what God can do. R. A. Torrey wrote: "Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouse of God's infinite grace and power. All that God is and all that God has is at the disposal of prayer."
Truly there is enough of God's power available to answer every prayer ever prayed in His will. Leonard Ravenhill wrote: "One might estimate the weight of the world, tell the size of the celestial city, count the stars of heaven, measure the speed of lightening, and tell the time of the rising and the setting of the sun -- but you cannot estimate prayer-power. Prayer is as vast as God because He is behind it. Prayer is as mighty as God because He has committed Himself to answer it." Virginia Whitman stated: "Other activities produce what we can do. Prayer output is what God can do."
Prayer is not some psychological exercise to make us feel better about ourselves. Prayer is not some magical formula or incantation. Prayer is not some religious endeavor to answer some superstitious belief. Rather, prayer is the means through which the power of God can be released within our experience. It provides us enough power to handle whatever has come before us.
Let us individually spend time in prayer. And would it not be appropriate in every SCV Camp Meeting for the Chaplain to lead in a prayer regarding heritage defense. These are uncertain times. We face a dedicated enemy. We need the direction and protection of God as we make ourselves visible.
Chaplain Stokely Rowan Chadick
7th Texas Infantry
Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg
A Confederate Chaplain
Rev. Stokely R. Chadick was the chaplain of Gregg’s Regiment. He was listed as being on the commissioned staff of the 7th Texas Infantry as chaplain. Colonel John Gregg began his service in the 7th Texas as did Chaplain Chadick.
Gregg was captured at Fort Donelson and upon being exchanged was commissioned brigadier-general August 29, 1862. His brigade was made up of the Texas 7th and the following regiments of the Tennessee infantry 3rd, 10th, 13th, 41st and 50th regiments and Bledsoe’s light artillery. Gregg’s Brigade campaigned in north Mississippi and then when the Federal arsonist Sherman came to Vicksburg with 33,000 men the brigades of Barton, Vaughn and Gregg were immediately transferred from Grenada to Vicksburg. Chaplain Chadick was to know a great deal about war and the suffering of soldiers. The battle that occurred at Chickasaw Bayou on December 27, 1862 resulted in the repulse of Sherman with great loss. In January of 1863 they were moved to Port Hudson and in May ordered to Jackson. When Grant advanced on Vicksburg from the rear that May the Confederate forces in Mississippi were mangled. General Gregg and his men were overwhelmed by massive numbers but they made a memorable fight in spite of the extreme odds.
Chaplain Chadick had his work cut out for him preaching to the soldiers, visiting the wounded and dying, preaching funerals, and burying the dead. Gregg’s Brigade, along with others, was assembled under General J. E. Johnston with the purpose of raising the siege of Vicksburg. When Vicksburg fell their forces were then concentrated in Georgia to enable Bragg to defeat Rosecrans. On the second day of Chickamauga General Longstreet pushed the brigades of Gregg, McNair, Kershaw, Law, Humphrey, Benning and Robertson. The Confederates had a brilliant victory at Chickamauga.
Gregg’s old brigade was separated and the Texas Regiment became a part of Granbury’s Brigade. After Longstreet was sent back to Virginia in the spring of 1864 then Gregg was transferred with him in command of Hood’s old brigade. Hiram Bronson Granbury was commissioned brigadier-general in the provisional army of the Confederate States on February 29, 1864. Under his new command was the famous Texas Brigade consisting of the 6th, 7th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 24th and 25th regiments. The fame of this brigade increased throughout the Atlanta Campaign from Dalton to Jonesboro. They carried off the honors of the brilliant victory at Pickett’s Mill and helped check the advance of the enemy at the Battle of Jonesboro.
While encamped at Dalton the Army of the Tennessee was visited by a wonderful revival from the Lord. One of the soldiers, Tom Stokes, described the impact of the preaching of Christ to the soldiers as many were professing faith in Christ. There was such a glorious spirit in the army that it was manifest about the campfires at night where you heard the sweet songs of Zion. This was pervasive as God worked His mighty work. Stokes wrote, “There seems to be a deep interest taken, and God grant the good work may go on until the whole army may be made to feel where they stand before their maker.” Later he confided, “Yes, men who never shrank in battle from any responsibility, came … weeping. Such is the power of the Gospel of Christ when preached in its purity. Oh, that all ministers of Christ could, or would, realize the great responsibility resting upon them as His ambassadors.”
The account says that Christ and Him crucified was the theme of the preaching. Things were so glorious and the Holy Spirit’s work so evident that it was obvious that this was not something caused by human effort. Tom Stokes wrote on April 18, 1864,
If this state of things should continue for any considerable length of time, we will have in the Army of Tennessee an army of believers. Does the history of the world record anywhere the like? Even Cromwell’s time sinks into insignificance. A revival so vast in its proportions, and under all the difficulties attending camp life, the bad weather this spring, and innumerable difficulties, is certainly an earnest of better, brighter times not far in the future.
The wonderful spiritual awakening occurred before so many generals and soldiers were to die in one battle the next fall. There was a great ingathering of souls to Christ before so many entered eternity. General Granbury fell on November 30, 1864 at the Battle of Franklin along with four other generals, John Adams, O. F. Strahl, S. R. Gist and Patrick Cleburne. General John C. Carter was mortally wounded. One has written, “Their loss could never be compensated, and to this day the survivors of the Army of Tennessee mention their names with reverence.”
Chaplain Stokely Chadick gave a brief description of his chaplaincy.
I spent four years as a Confederate soldier in the late civil war. I soldiered in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky preaching everywhere and at all times I could get a chance. Was in many battles, served in the hospitals, preached the funerals and buried the soldiers who died in camps in my immediate command, and at the same time carried on a farm in Texas, giving directions as to the planting, sowing and reaping. I owned a farm and a few servants.
The work of the chaplain seemed to never end until the war concluded and the men returned home and to their ministries for the Lord in civilian life. He left out the state of Georgia in his list.
After the War
Rev. Chadick returned home, continued his ministry and worked his farm. He was a supervisor for the American Bible Society for the eastern half of Texas from 1868 to 1871. He said,
I reorganized said Society in this vast district, which had been torn up during the war; I preached and organized Bible Societies in every city, town and village and leading neighborhood in this wide territory. It took me one year to go around my circuit. During the four years I traveled 19,645 miles on horseback, and collected and transmitted to said Society over $12,000 in gold. I still carried on my farm, working free negroes, giving orders from various parts of my circuit.
He pursued his tasks with earnestness for the Lord. Chadick persisted in preaching and farming but often had to undertake other tasks to help provide a living. His fields of endeavor included editing and publishing, being a life insurance agent, dabbling in politics, planting orchards, vineyards and berries. He concluded that during “fifty years and more of strenuous life in the various pursuits of activity, I have kept up with the advanced thought and the ever onward progress of science, philosophy and literature, and have written various manuscripts.” He never seemed to reach a plateau of learning that satisfied him since he missed so much in his youth.
His philosophy in his later years was “I am no better, but rather worse. Still I am trying to do something for the uplifting of our glorious church, and the promulgation of her peculiar and distinctive doctrines, which are the doctrines taught in the Gospel of Christ, pure and simple. I am determined not to sleep the balance of the way on the course of life, though it is short, but to be up and at work.”
In what was called Chadick’s last message he stressed his denominational convictions of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He spoke of the conflict then raging between the original Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith and their Confession of 1883 which stood against some of the original doctrines. He said, “Here I take my stand and renew the fight day by day for a distinctive Confessional doctrine that will stand the test of a fair and honest investigation on the part of all men, and breath a prayer in my last expiring breath, for its triumph over its forces.” He said he believed the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was a “special instrument of God to propagate and promulgate this doctrine. That she was specially called, set apart, and ordained of God to their work, that her heaven-born and heaven-ordained mission cannot end until the world knows of the doctrine of her most excellent Confession of Faith, I am persuaded is true.” He stood for what he believed to be true to the very end. Thus he stuck by his convictions.
Rev. Chadick’s work came to an end on February 12, 1909 in Gilmer County, Texas when he died on his beloved farm. His denominational paper, The Banner, found it difficult to speak of his death. One of the things they wrote, “There is a tear in every eye and a pathos of sorrow in every soul over his departure, yet there is a deep consciousness that he continues to leave a heritage to the church that time can never extinguish nor earthly things purchase.”
Thus ended the life of a man who had spent his adulthood preaching either in churches or to the Confederate Army where he preached for four years. Then he was gathered unto the Lord from his last earthly residence.
Mark W. Evans
Charles F. Pitts, in the introduction of his book, Chaplains in Gray, wrote: "In considering the chaplains in the Army of the Confederate States, we are brought face to face with the most amazing display of spiritual power ever witnessed among fighting men on the American continent. We are made aware of the effectiveness of their unique approach to the religious needs of men in uniform. We find tangible proof of the tremendous contribution which religious faith makes to military efficiency. We see the startling results of close co-operation between officers of the line and their spiritual leaders. In the ranks of the Southern armies there appeared a spiritual hunger that could only be assuaged by the uncompromised preaching of the cross. In the valley of the shadow, men of God, loyal to their native states, by precept and example wrote their names among Dixie's men of valor. These chaplains have a message peculiarly fitted for us today -- a message of optimism and encouragement [p. 2].
The God of Lee and Jackson has "no variableness, neither shadow of turning." He sustained many of our relatives in war's fiery furnace, and He is able to sustain us today. It is well to consider facts of our glorious history which demonstrate that Christian faith brought victory to the soul, but also martial valor on the battlefield. Confederate Chaplain J. C. Granberry, minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, wrote: "How grateful then to us should be the story of what divine grace did for those brave men; how it exalted and hallowed their character, comforted them amid all their risks and sufferings, inspired the dying, whatever may have been the issue of the day, with immortal triumph, and continues to be in peace as in war the guide and joy of those whom battle, accident and disease have spared” [Christ in the Camp, p. 14).
The Lord sent revival to the Confederate armies which increased the numbers of fighting Christians and carried Southern warriors through the horrible ordeal with fortitude and untarnished honor. Soldiers of all ranks rested their souls upon Christ and His saving work on Calvary's cross. They went to battle with clear consciences and conviction that they were doing the will of God. Confederate Chaplain W. W. Bennett provided a glimpse at a religious service where the men in gray gathered to hear God's Word to the salvation of their souls. "In the evening, at the close of dress parade, the drums would beat the Church call on Chapel Hill. It was a glorious sight, just as the setting sun bathed the mountain tops in his ruddy light, to see those toil-worn veterans gathering in companies and marching to the house of the Lord. From all directions down from the hills, out of the woods, across the valleys, they came, while the gallant Colonel McCullough, of the Sixteenth South Carolina, himself a godly man, leads his men to the place of worship. Then the Twenty-fourth South Carolina falls into line, led by their chaplain, Mr. Auld, and their brave Colonel Capers, son of the deceased Bishop Capers, of the Southern Methodist Church. The benches and the pulpit have to be removed from the house, and a dense multitude of hearers crown the chapel hill. A clear, strong voice starts a great song of praise. The preacher now enters the stand, a thousand voices are hushed, a thousand hearts are stilled, to hear the word of the Lord. Perhaps the speaker is Rev William Burr, of Tennessee. As he rises with his theme, his silvery, trumpet like voice clear as a bugle note, rings far out over the mass of men, and hundreds sob with emotion as he reasons with them of righteousness, of temperance, and a judgment to come. At the close of the sermon, hundreds bow in penitence and prayer, many are converted; tattoo beats -- the men disperse to their cabins, not to sleep, but to pray and sing with their sorrowing comrades; and far into the night the camps are vocal with the songs of Zion and the rejoicings of new-born souls" [The Great Revival in the Southern Armies, pp. 246, 247].
Among many examples of Christian valor, Confederate Chaplain J. William Jones recorded how a wounded soldier, James Chalmers, died at Fairfax Court House: "He possessed all the higher attributes of a Christian warrior with hand on hilt and eye on heaven, fighting at once under the banner of his country and the Cross of his Savior" [Christ in the Camp, p. 425]. Chaplain Jones also reported: "A noble fellow who fell at Gaines' Mill, the 27th of June, 1862, said to comrades who offered to bear him to the rear: 'No! I die. Tell my parents I die happy. On! on to victory! Jesus is with me, and will give me all the help I need" [Ibid., p. 401].
Such were the men in gray who knew Christ as Lord and Savior. In our present spiritual swamp, what a blessing to know that Christ "is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
A CONFEDERATE SERMON
Submitted by Chaplain Kenneth Studdard
John Lafayette Girardeau (1825-98) was a Presbyterian pastor and theologian of great ability. His life was devoted to the preaching of the gospel. His heart was deeply moved to work among the slaves of his native South Carolina. Prior to the outbreak of the War Between the States, he served as pastor of a predominantly black church.
Girardeau was once called the “Spurgeon of America,” and many were moved by his powerful Christ-centered preaching. In Preachers with Power, Douglas Kelly describes Girardeau as one who “had a profound grasp of the reformed faith and was skilled in preaching it with unusual power, clarity and unction to the men and women of his own culture … not a few observers expressed surprise at the theological nature of his preaching to the black slaves.”
Girardeau served the Confederate Army as a chaplain of the Twenty-third Regiment of the South Carolina Volunteers. Following the war Girardeau continued in the pastorate until he was called to the chair of Didactic and Polemic Theology of Columbia Theological Seminary. He would continue in that position until retiring due to poor health.
THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF THE BLESSED GOD
The glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
1 Timothy i:11.
It has been frequently observed that man is essentially a religious being. At no time, and in no place, has he existed without some notion of a Deity, and some form of worship by which he has approached Him and sought to propitiate His favor. An attentive examination of the different schemes of religion which prevail in the world will disclose to us the fact, that they are all, to a greater or less extent, based upon the fundamental principle of the first religion communicated to man—that of personal obedience to the divine law, as the ground of acceptance with God. For although it should be admitted that the worship of even Pagan nations, conducted, in part, through sacrifices, evinces some acquaintance with a religious element foreign to the genius of natural religion; and although it should be confessed that this element belongs properly to the Gospel, and may have been still be acknowledged that, in their case, even the offering of sacrifices is part of a system which proceeds on the principle of personal obedience, and supposes the acquisition of reward in consequence of the services of the worshipper. Whatever may be the material aspect of certain elements in the religious systems of mankind, the principle in which they are founded, and by which they are characterized, is that which has now been attributed to them. They may be said, therefore, to be corruptions of the original scheme of natural religion. There is one system, however, which is grounded in a principle radically and completely different—a system denominated by the apostle in the text, "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God." Coeval with the fall, it was originally communicated to man in the form of a promise, administered during the patriarchal era through the medium of sacrifices, more clearly imparted through the elaborate ritual and the prophetical instructions of the Mosaic dispensation, and, finally, "spoken by the Lord Himself," and fulfilled in His life, death, and resurrection, it "was confirmed to us by them that heard Him, God, also, bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will." This Gospel, coming down to us through the ages marked by distinctive peculiarities, maintaining a position wholly individual and singular, and refusing to coalesce with the religions by which it has ever been encompassed—this Gospel of the blessed God, in opposition to all other schemes of faith, we embrace as that from which we derive our consolations in time and our hopes for eternity. We accept it as the only authoritative communication of God's will to sinful man—rest upon it as the divine testimony in regard to our most precious interests, and not reluctantly stake upon the truth of it our everlasting destinies. Exclusive and uncompromising amidst various and conflicting forms of religion, and standing, as it does, in an attitude of solemn protest against them all, it is a question of no mean interest to its adherents, What is it that peculiarly characterizes the Gospel, and discriminates it from the original scheme of natural religion, and the corruptions of that scheme which may now exist in the world?
- The Gospel is not peculiarly distinguished by the fact that it is a revealed religion. Any communication of God's will in an authentic form is a revelation of that will. When man first came from the hand of his Maker, he received a moral nature, in the very fabric of which were inlaid those fundamental beliefs which lie originally at the basis of all religion. We cannot suppose that God left His creature—the subject of His government—destitute of an acquaintance with the nature of his Creator, with the relations he sustained to His law, and with that peculiar religious constitution which was involved in the covenant under which he stood as the head and representative of his posterity. It makes no difference, in regard to the bare fact of revelation, that those credentials which authenticate the Gospel were absent in the case of man's primitive religion. For, apart from the view that the earliest communication of the Gospel itself was not accompanied with these extraordinary external proofs, it may be doubted whether they would at all be required, were it not for the very material difference between the recipients of these respective revelations growing out of the distinction betwixt them as holy and sinful beings. Nor, in reference to the simple fact of revelation, does it make any difference that the particular modes by which God imparted a knowledge of His will in the two cases were widely distinct. For in one respect—and that a most important one—the two schemes of religion which we are considering are characterized by a common feature—the immediacy of the revelation from God of, at least, some of the principal elements of which they consist. In each case God himself immediately- and personally delivered a communication of the knowledge of Himself to man. Under the primitive religion, Adam, we are informed, had free access to his God, who condescended to hold personal intercourse with him; and it is conceded that the Gospel, in its latest and highest development, began to be spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
Nor is the Gospel characteristically distinguished by the fact that all the elements which compose it are peculiarly and solely its own. There are certain fundamental truths incorporated with its matter which lie at the foundation of all religion, are essential to all worship, and were, therefore, component parts of the scheme of natural religion. Adam, in his primitive condition, was, doubtless, acquainted with the doctrines of the divine existence, of the trinal existence of God, of his own federal relations, of the immorality of the soul, and of the retribution of rewards and punishments founded in the principle of distributive justice. And were it the distinctive office of the Gospel to republish, with clearer light, and more commanding authority, these original truths which, it is admitted, have been obscured, or even comparatively obliterated, in consequence of the fall, its province would simply consist in the restoration and re-establishment of a system of religion which, in itself considered, could afford no shadow of relief to the miseries of man, as a sinner against God. The republication and authoritative enforcement of these great articles of religious belief is an important, but subordinate part, of the office of that scheme which the apostle designates as "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God." My brethren, it does infinitely more than this. The very first and most obvious fact connected with its character is, that it is a religion which contemplates man in his fallen, sinful, and ruined estate. It derives its complexion from the mercy of God, from the bosom of which it springs, and all its arrangements, pervaded by this aspect, look to the salvation of those who are not only undeserving of the divine favor, but merit everlasting banishment from His presence, and the severest inflictions of His wrath. Its prime characteristic, therefore, is, that it is a scheme of mercy and not of law and in correspondence with this, its all-pervading feature, it proposes the accomplishment of two great ends entirely peculiar to itself—the re-instatement of man, a guilty sinner, in the favor of God, and the restoration of man, a pardoned sinner, to the image of God. The mode by which it achieves these ends respectively is characteristic of itself—the employment of the principle of substitution in order to the justification of the person of the sinner, and the exertion of a divine and supernatural influence upon his nature, in order to its renewal in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. The incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the mission, supernatural influence and new-creating energy of the Holy Ghost—all tending to secure the redemption of miserable sinners, to the glory of God's grace,—these, I take it, are the vital and potential facts which stamp the Gospel with individuality, discriminate it from all other systems of faith, and impart to it those peculiar and distinguishing qualities which render it "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God."
Having thus briefly considered the nature of the Gospel, let us pass on to inquire more particularly into some of the reasons which constitute it "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God," or, as the words of the text may be rendered, "the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God."
- It deserves, in the first place, to be remarked, that there is no other source than the Gospel from which we may derive any satisfactory information in regard to those attributes of the divine nature which are immediately concerned in the salvation of sinners. It is conceivable that it might have pleased God from eternity to have refrained from exercising His creative power and bringing subordinate and dependent existences into being. Possessed of infinite resources of happiness, essentially and everlastingly resident in Himself, and of an incomprehensible but unutterably blissful society, springing from the personal relations of the ever blessed Godhead, He might have remained forever satisfied with His own intrinsic glory, and ineffably happy in the enjoyment of Himself. But it has pleased Him to stretch forth His creating arm, and to stud the amplitude of space with hosts of worlds. It has pleased Him to bring into being intelligent creatures of His power, and responsible subjects of His moral government. It is, consequently, the office of created substances, both animate and inanimate, both material and spiritual, to make known the glorious perfections of their Maker; and it is clear that the scheme or constitution which most fully discharges this great office brings the largest revenue of glory to His name. It is the very essence, too, of the well-being of intelligent creatures that they should know the nature and character of God; for communion with Him is the life of the soul. "In Thy favor is life, and Thy loving kindness is better than life." Now, when we contemplate man in his condition as a ruined sinner, it is evident that the Gospel alone reveals to him those attributes of the divine nature which contemplate his case with an aspect of beneficence, and from the knowledge of which he derives alike his happiness and his ability to glorify God. "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." Man, as a sinner, needs light in his ignorance, relief in his misery, and salvation in his ruin. Shall he appeal to nature to furnish him information in regard to God's willingness to help him in these his moral exigencies?
It is cheerfully conceded that the noble frame of external nature, and the sublime lessons it imparts, conduct us to some acquaintance with the natural attributes of God. No one can behold the sun marching in flaming glory through the heavens, or look upon the moon walking in queenly grace through the nocturnal firmament, or scan the countless hosts of the stars as they hang like lamps of heaven in the air of night; no one can stand on the shore of the ocean and stretch his vision over its boundless expanse, or listen to the thunder of its mighty billows; no one can watch the ever-changing hues of beauty which flit across the everlasting mountains, or mark the gorgeous tints which adorn the forests, the plants, the flowers of the earth; no one can contemplate these glories of the fabric of nature, and fail to be impressed with the transcendent majesty, the wondrous skill, and the matchless wisdom of the Divine Architect, to whom they evermore render the inarticulate but eloquent tribute of their praise.
"The spacious firmament on high, With all the blue ethereal sky, And spangled heavens, a shining frame, Their great Original proclaim."
And that is all they do proclaim. The over-arching heavens, the rolling seas, the eternal hills, the beautiful garniture of the earth—what utterance do they give forth, what. trustworthy lesson do they furnish, in reference to the grace and the mercy of God, from which alone the slightest ray of hope shines on the benighted, wretched, undone heart of the dying sinner? Alas! the oracles of nature are dumb in response to the most pressing demands of the human soul. We ask them for knowledge as to the gracious willingness of God to pardon and accept the sinner, and they answer—not a word. The way to the solution of the tremendous difficulty lies not through nature. "There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: the lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lions passed by it." No laborious search, no human alchemy, can discover to us this secret of secrets. "The depth saith, it is not in me; and the sea saith, it is not with me. Destruction and death say, we have heard the fame thereof with our ears. God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof, and unto man He said. Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Let it be remembered, moreover, that the elements of nature are not unfrequently made the ministers of destruction to man. The sun, which is at one time the cause of life, is, at another, the occasion of death; the moon blights the eye of the sleeper with its silvery beam; the stars which guide the feet of the benighted wayfarer become obscured with clouds, and mock his wanderings; the ocean, which bears the commerce of man on its smooth bosom is lashed by tempests into wrath, and swallows up his hoarded treasures and the dearest objects of his love; the winds, which now breathe with the softness of the zephyr at summer even tide, anon rise into fury and sweep the earth with the besom of destruction; the ground, which brings forth fruit, is cursed with thorns and thistles; and the plants, which attract the eye by the delicate beauty of their structure, may conceal the deadly poison of the hemlock and the nightshade. If external nature afford us any definite hint in regard to a single moral perfection of God, that attribute would appear to be His retributive justice, which employs natural agencies to execute its sentences; and the inference would seem to be reasonable, that the God who can use the ministries of nature for the destruction of man, may not be willing to manifest the quality of mercy in the pardon and salvation of the sinner.
We may, however, be pointed to the moral nature of man, as that which reflects, to some extent at least, the moral perfections of God. I am not unwilling to admit that were it not for our moral constitution, we might be unable even to conceive of those moral attributes of God to which they may bear some distant resemblance. But the question is, whether from this source we can derive any satisfactory information in reference to the mercy of God, from which alone the hope of a sinner can arise. Now, conscience condemning what is wrong, and the sense of justice sanctioning, sometimes against our strongest affections, the punishment of evil-doers, shadow forth the existence in the divine nature of the great principle of distributive justice; and as that principle in God must be infinitely perfect and uncompromising, our own moral nature would lead us to infer, on the supposition of guilt in a subject of the divine government, the hopeless estate of the offender. It has been contended, however, that the disposition on the part of a human parent to forgive the offence of his child, upon condition of repentance, would lead us to conclude that God would not be unwilling, under like circumstances, to pardon the returning sinner. I will not now advert to the impossibility of adequate repentance on the part of the sinner, though that might, without difficulty, be proved. Reflection will convince us that the pretended analogy, in the case which has been mentioned, is a deceptive one, and that the inference drawn from it is hasty and inconclusive. There is an infinite difference between the parties who are offended. In the one case we have a human being, pervaded by sin and encompassed with infirmity, who, it might be supposed, would be induced by the consciousness of his own frailty to extend indulgence to another; in the other case we have a Divine Being, characterized by spotless holiness and uncompromising justice, upholding the integrity of His own government and conserving the interests of the universe. The offence, too, in one instance, is immensely diverse from the offence in the other. But aside from these considerations, an extreme, though supposable case, will entirely subvert the analogy. It is not difficult to conceive of the commission of certain aggravated crimes by the child against a human parent which would justly doom him to perpetual exclusion from parental regard, and forever preclude the hope of reconciliation. Such a case would furnish a fairer analogy by which to judge the relation of a sinner to a being of infinite holiness and justice. It deserves, further, to be seriously considered, whether the very first act of sin does not necessarily destroy the possibility of the existence of the parental and filial relation between God and the sinner, and leave the latter in the simple condition of a creature—a fallen and condemned creature—until adopted into the family of God through the intervention of the principle of mediation in the person of Him who is the only begotten Son of God. If this view be correct, then the very ground of the analogy is swept away. On the whole, we are driven to the conclusion "that nature imparts no definite information in regard to those attributes of God which contemplate the salvation of a sinner.
Shall we, then, appeal to Providence for light on this momentous subject? Here we are met at the very threshold by difficulties of so formidable a character that it is unnecessary to dwell, except very briefly, on this point. Even on the supposition that the principle of grace pervades and influences the scheme of Providence, it is, confessedly, a very difficult matter rightly to interpret the lessons it imparts. There is an apparent inequality in the distribution of blessings and chastisements, so great as at times to confuse the judgment, and perplex the faith of the most pious and exemplary servants of God. Job, the venerable patriarch, of whom God Himself bore witness that he was perfect and upright, was, in one gigantic affliction, stripped of his possessions, bereaved of his children, and driven, under the violence of a loathsome disease, to sit in the dust, to cover his head with ashes, and to scrape his body with a potsherd; nothing, apparently, being left him in his well-nigh exhaustive desolation but friends who misinterpreted Providence in his case, and a wife who counseled him to die with blasphemy on his lips. Aside from the instructions of the Gospel, what sinner may infer, from the dealings of Divine Providence, a disposition on the part of God to pardon his guilt and receive him to favor? He dwells in the land of the curse, and evils in a thousand forms attest the existence, and avouch the scope, of the law of retribution. Famine, war, pestilence, and death, proclaim themselves the ministers of distributive justice. There is no escape from the conclusion, uttered as with trumpet tongues on every side, that God will punish the guilty. It is true, that even to the wicked "He leaves not Himself without witness in that He does good and gives them rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness." But these providential dealings appear to be tokens of the beneficence of God exercised only for a season even towards incorrigible offenders, as a testimony against them, leaving them without excuse, rather than proofs of His merciful disposition to pardon the guilty without reparation to His justice. Nothing can be determined from Providential blessings which are common to the just and the unjust, and indicate no discrimination betwixt them. No, my brethren, the providence of God, apart from the Gospel, furnishes no illustration of those adorable perfections of the divine nature which are conspicuously magnified in the salvation of sinners. Its native language is not that of grace and mercy. When it speaks to us of them it borrows its dialect from the Gospel.
Shall we, then, look to the law? Let us take our place with the Israelites, as, in response to the divine summons, they assembled at the base of Mount Sinai. The preparations for meeting God, and receiving His law, are stringent and awful. On the appointed day the trumpet peals forth from the mountain on the startled ear of the congregation, and waxing louder and louder shakes the camp with terror. Thick clouds and impenetrable darkness enshroud the seat of the august Lawgiver, while breaking forth from them, quick, keen flashes of lightning and tremendous thunderings strike horror into the very heart of the people. The mountain quakes to its center, and hark! There issues from the darkness, smoke and flame, that awful "voice of words, which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore." The congregation shrinks away appalled. They had been confronted with that law which reflects with dazzling luster the insufferable purity and the inexorable justice of God. Do or die is the only alternative it presents. "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them." That scene is now not seldom re-enacted in the sinner's case, when conscience, waking up in near view of death and the last judgment, affirms the sentence of the law, presses in its terrible sanctions upon the impenitent soul, and binds the sinner over to everlasting despair. The law utters not one syllable of grace or mercy. Its office is to convince the sinner of guilt, to condemn him for his sins, and to shut him up, either to despair, or to the acceptance of a vicarious righteousness, which God may be pleased in mercy to provide. That it affords light in regard to some of the attributes of God is true, but it is such light as shines upon the criminal who is sentenced to be burned to death, from the midst of the fire which consumes him.
It is evident, my brethren, that not the frame of nature, nor the scheme of Providence, nor the utterances of the divine law, nor all of them combined, considered merely in themselves, can represent to the sinner the glory of the blessed God so as to elicit his gratitude for saving grace, and call forth his thanksgivings for redeeming love. It is reserved for the Gospel, and for it alone, to reflect those glorious properties of the divine nature which exhibit God in an aspect of infinite mercy towards the guilty and the lost. With what beauty and force does the Psalmist describe the difference between the teachings of nature and Providence on the one hand, and of the Gospel on the other, touching the perfections of God in their relation to the spiritual interests of man! "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it, and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." Such are the lessons which nature imparts. The power, wisdom, and majesty of God the Creator and Providential Ruler, are magnificently proclaimed; but not a word is uttered in regard to the grace, the love, the mercy of God the Savior. But the Psalmist continues in another strain: "The law of the Lord"—and by the law, I conceive, he means the great principles, both legal and gracious, which are embodied in the Gospel—"the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes ; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.''
Most clearly, too, does the apostle contrast the terrific deliverances of the law with the peace-speaking provisions of the Gospel, in a passage as remarkable for its eloquence and sublimity as for the consolatory and elevating instructions it conveys:—"For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more (for they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned or thrust through with a dart; and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake). But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
III. I would further remark, that the Gospel is the representative of the glory of God, as it reveals all the attributes of the divine nature harmonized in the person and work of the glorious Redeemer. The glory of God is the collective result of all His perfections meeting in unison in His own most blessed nature, and shining forth in perfect harmony in the fullness of their manifestation to His intelligent creatures. If it be asked, where this effulgent glory is the most conspicuously and illustriously displayed, I answer—in the wonderful person and atoning work of the incarnate Savior of sinners. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." There is no attribute of the divine character of which we have any knowledge from nature, from Providence, from the law, or from the Scriptures themselves, which is not gloriously magnified by the great Mediator; but above all do the redeeming grace and mercy of God, which are nowhere else displayed, shine in the face of Jesus Christ. The plan of redemption has its foundation in the mercy of God. Sinners might have been left eternally to perish and divine justice would have been glorified in their destruction. But God, having, in infinite mercy, determined to save them, there were formidable difficulties opposing the fulfillment of that purpose, growing out of the insulted perfections of His nature and the claims of His violated law. It was in meeting and removing these difficulties, that the eternal Son of God at once magnified the holiness, the justice, and the veracity of God, and secured the end which was contemplated by free and unmerited mercy. Let us briefly consider the means by which this result was achieved.
If wisdom, in its loftiest exercise, be the adaptation of the best means to the acquisition of the most difficult, and, at the same time, the noblest ends, then is this attribute of the divine nature most signally illustrated in the mysterious constitution of the person of Christ. Look at the exigencies which must be met, and the apparently opposite qualifications which must concur to the accomplishment of the end which was proposed He who should undertake to be the mediator must have a human nature, that he might die, and a divine nature, that he might be sustained in existence while enduring the tremendous pressure of the sentence of the law. He must represent the perfections of God and the interests of sinners—uphold the authority of the divine government, and secure the salvation of those who had outraged it; he must, therefore, be allied by nature, on the one side, to God and on the other to the miserable race of rebels. He must, antecedently to undertaking the mediatorial work, be above law, by the conditions of His being, and he must, subsequently, be under the law, that He might render a vicarious obedience which is capable of being transferred to the persons of sinners. And as the love and gratitude of those for whom an atoning sacrifice might be offered would inevitably be paid to him who should render it, it was necessary that he should be a person of the godhead, so that God, who demanded the punishment of the substitute, might receive the adoration, homage, and love, which the substitute himself would acquire. All these conditions, as well as others that might be mentioned, incongruous and self-contradictory as they may appear, are met by that arrangement of consummate wisdom by which, into connection with the divine person of the Savior, a human nature was assumed. No delicately constructed organisms, no nicely balanced adaptations of nature or of Providence, can sustain any comparison to this wonderful adjustment of the personal constitution of the Redeemer to the stupendous work which He had undertaken to perform.
Behold, moreover, how the divine holiness shines in the person of Christ. Perfectly fulfilling every requirement of the law in His life, adorned by every grace and virtue, and characterized by stainless purity, He enables us, more clearly than would otherwise be possible, to realize the nature of the divine holiness as it met a palpable and concrete manifestation in His person and character. He thus not only satisfied the demands of the divine holiness in order to the salvation of sinners, but, as far as was possible through the medium of human nature, afforded a perfect exemplification of that attribute, particularly in those gentler and lovelier aspects of it which are not apt to strike us as reflected by the law.
The divine justice, too, is more abundantly glorified in the person and work of Christ than by the judgments of Providence or the retributions of the law. The person who obeyed the divine law, by fulfilling its preceptive requirements, and by enduring its awful penalty, was characterized by infinite dignity, and so more gloriously honored and magnified it than could have been done had the whole race of sinners been offered up an eternal holocaust to the insulted justice of God. The law is satisfied, justice is appeased, and the divine veracity no more interposes itself between the sinner and the favor of God, for the sentence, “the soul that sinneth it shall die,” has been virtually fulfilled in the person of "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." But, brethren, what low and inadequate conceptions have we of that glory of the love and mercy of God which so transcendently shines in the face of the suffering and dying Savior! The record of the Gospel is, that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." And why did God so love us? Violators of His law, abusers of His goodness, coming short of His glory in all things, trampling under foot His kindly and parental rule, filled with hostility to His government and pervaded by enmity to His nature,—why did God so love us? "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet, peradventure, for a good man some would even dare to die; but God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' Why was it that He who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made Himself of no reputation—stripped Himself of that fame which was rehearsed by cherubim and seraphim, sounded through flaming worlds of light, and celebrated in rapturous strains in the worship of all pure and intelligent existences? Why, when He had thus divested Himself of the glory which He had with the Father before the world was, did He stoop so low as to take upon Him the form of a servant, and subject Himself to the law which He Himself had administered in incomparable majesty? Why, when He had thus bowed His neck to assume the yoke of His own law, did He still pass down the descending scale of this wondrous humiliation, and being made in the likeness of men, join Himself to the "accursed company" of hell-deserving sinners? Why, when found in fashion as a man, went He yet farther down into the abysses this surpassing shame, and consent to be esteemed "a worm and no man" in the eyes of the vilest of the sons of men? And why did He even then humble Himself and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross? Why? "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich." In that life of Jesus of Nazareth, which designated Him "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief"—in His bitter conflict in the wilderness—in His intolerable agony on that dark and doleful night in Gethsemane—in the buffeting and scourging and spitting which, with wanton prodigality, were lavished on Him at Pilate's bar—in His condemnation by the supreme authorities of His own visible church—in the derision of foes, the desertion of friends, and His abandonment by His Father, read the love, the grace, the mercy of God to the dying children of men. Oh, my brethren, what a wonderful revelation of all the glorious perfections of God is made in the cross of Jesus Christ! Wisdom, holiness, justice, truth, mercy, and grace, beam with blended and concentrated light in that face of the crucified Redeemer which was marred with human spittle, and reddened with human gore. Mercy, which, with divinest eloquence, had pleaded the cause of the guilty, and truth, which had thundered in opposition to the voice of mercy, "the soul that sinneth it shall die"—mercy and truth have met. Righteousness, which had raised the flames of eternal justice in the face of the approaching sinner, and peace, which allays the fierceness of those flames with atoning blood, righteousness and peace have kissed each other at the cross of the dying Savior. Matchless Redeemer! Brightness of the Father's glory and compassionate friend of undone sinners! We worship Thee! we bless Thee! we laud and magnify Thy name! Let all the ministries of nature praise His name; let the winds whisper it; let the seas thunder it forth; let sun, moon, and stars proclaim it as they roll on in their everlasting harmonies! Bless Him, "ye His angels that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word!" And come, fellow-sinners, let us bring hither our willing trophies, for He redeems our souls from sin and death and hell. Blessed Lord Jesus, had we gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, we would lay them at Thy feet; had we honors we would heap them up before Thee; and, as we have poor, worthless hearts, we would offer them to Thee, and dedicate them forever to Thy service!
- I would briefly remark, furthermore, that the glory of God will be everlastingly displayed in the salvation of a ransomed church, accomplished through the instrumentality of the Gospel. Even in the first creation, the grandest object in the new-formed world was man, made as he was in the image of God, and reflecting, in some degree, the glorious perfections of his maker. Distinguished by knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, his soul mirrored forth those attributes in the divine nature of which these were a faint but noble transcript. But when the likeness of God was effaced by sin, the restoration of its lost lineaments involved not only the renewal of that image in man which reflects the divine perfections, but supposed the exercise of infinite grace and mercy in the redemption and recovery of the sinner. It is a greater and sublime work to reproduce the divine image in a lost and polluted soul than at first it was to stamp it on a sinless nature; and the skill, the wisdom, and the power of God, which are displayed in its restoration, are only exceeded in glory by the splendid luster of that redeeming mercy which prompted their exercise, and harmonized their operations with the claims of offended justice and unbending truth. To have created a living, intelligent being out of nothing was an effect of almighty power which staggers reason by its incomprehensibleness, and requires the assent of a faith which relies on the simple testimony of God to the fact of its production. But to evoke a living and holy soul from one already dead in sin, and contrary to its inherent tendency to perpetual corruption and vice, to infuse into it the vigor of an eternal life, to cause it to advance in every grace, and, in its complete restoration, to furnish a perfect exemplification of the Godlike principles of truth, justice, and charity,—this is the result not merely of inconceivable power, but of unutterable mercy and surpassing love. A redeemed and regenerated soul is the noblest work of God. The simple fact of its production more clearly illustrates the divine wisdom, power and goodness, than the grand mechanism of the external world, and the sublime procedures of natural Providence; while the graces implanted by the Spirit in its nature image forth the beneficent perfections of God more gloriously than the virtues which adorned the innocent soul of Adam, or shine in the unsinning spirit of an angel. These results are accomplished by the instrumentality of that Gospel which the apostle justly regards as affording the most complete representation of the glory of the blessed God. We are able now to perceive them only very inadequately. But the day is coming when they will be fully developed—a day when the whole number of the redeemed, gathered out of every kindred, tribe and tongue of earth, washed from sin in the blood of the Lamb, and made perfect in the beauty of holiness, shall assemble around the person of their enthroned and glorified Lord. Each ransomed saint in that immense multitude, like a polished mirror, shall perfectly reflect the image of his glorious Head, and the Savior shall look upon the purified souls before Him and be satisfied. That joy shall fill His heart for which He underwent the shame of humiliation, the temptations of the wilderness, and the agonies of Calvary. Nor will a single heart in that myriad throng be unmoved, nor a single tongue be silent. A saved church will forever show forth the glory of her God as it shall be everlastingly unfolded in the fruits of redemption. The hymn of justice and the anthem of grace will blend in the great chorus of salvation—the song of Moses and the Lamb; and all the glorious perfections of the Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Ghost, will be rapturously and eternally celebrated by the united choir of angels and ransomed sinners.
It only remains, in the last place, to observe—and the remark may not inappropriately constitute the application of this discourse—that the responsibility of preaching the Gospel rests upon sinful men. The apostle declares that the glorious Gospel of the blessed God was committed to his trust. It would appear to be obvious that there is eminent fitness and profoundest wisdom in the divine arrangement by which men rather than angels are commissioned to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. It might have pleased God to have assigned this office to the latter; and doubtless they would have proclaimed the wonderful condescension and the amazing mercy of God to sinners with hearts of seraphic love and tongues of living fire. But not conscious themselves, by personal experience, of the evil and misery of sin, how could they sympathize with the fallen state of man? It is for a sinner who has himself been "snatched as a brand from the burning" to appreciate the difficulties, the temptations, the wants of sinners: with a patience which never tires, and a charity which "hopeth all things," to bear with their obstinate indifference and persistent unbelief. It is precisely this consideration which sustained and animated the great preacher to the Gentiles when tempted to sink under the weight of his work, and to faint under the discouragements to which in its prosecution he was ceaselessly exposed. "Seeing then we have this ministry, as we have received mercy we faint not." Yes, brethren, this is the resistless argument which, springing from the bosom of our own experience, forbids despair in the presentation of the claims of the Gospel upon our dying fellowmen. We speak that we do know when we declare the wondrous grace and mercy of God in Christ. Have we not in time past resisted the love of Jesus, refused to believe in His name, and turned a deaf ear alike to the moving appeals and the tremendous threatenings of the Gospel? How can we despond? What right have we to faint? No, we must preach the mercy of God, the love of Christ, the hope of salvation, to our unbelieving fellow-sinners, until either they or we are laid in the grave, and pass from the sweet influences of grace to the changeless destinies of eternity. He who has had no experimental knowledge of the discipline of the law, of the anguish of the spiritual conflict, and of the rest of the conscience in Christ, may yield to discouragement, and faint under a task with which he never had any true and heartfelt sympathy; and woe! woe! woe! to that man who, without such experience, impelled by ambition, mere intellectual relish for the sublime truths of redemption, or by any other carnal motive, ventures to invade the sacred precincts of the pulpit, to stand between the living and the dead, and to assume the awful responsibility involved in preaching the glorious Gospel of the blessed God to the deathless souls of men. But they who have felt that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, may well be content to bear all discouragement, and endure all trials, in accomplishing their high vocation, and, with the apostle, exclaim : "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.... We having the same spirit of faith according as it is written, I believed and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak."
We see, too, in the light of this subject, what it is that the preachers of the Gospel are commissioned to proclaim. It is not the facts of nature, the speculations of philosophy, or the theories of science, physical or political, it is the glorious Gospel of the blessed God that is committed to their trust. I do not mean to convey the impression that science and philosophy constitute a tree of knowledge the fruit of which is forbidden to those who preach the Gospel of Christ. But these are not the Gospel. A dying Savior, a risen Savior, an exalted and immortal Savior,—repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, these are the themes which are to be pressed upon the attention of sinful men, in view of their solemn relations to God and to the eternal world. And oh, my brethren, what responsibilities thicken upon those who preach this Gospel! Standing between God and the sinner, between the Cross of Calvary and the Judgment bar, between the glories of heaven and the glooms of hell, dealing on the one side with the perfections of God, and on the other with the immortal destinies of men, who of them is sufficient for these things? How shall they secure the glory of Him who has commissioned them to preach, and the eternal welfare of those to whom they minister? Erelong preachers and people shall stand before that bar at which all human ties and human duties will be subjected to a rigid and impartial scrutiny; and of all the solemn relations which will there be reviewed, none will appear to be so big with momentous issues, springing into light amidst the splendors and terrors of that day, as that which has existed between a preacher of the Gospel and immortal souls. The complexion of eternity must largely depend upon the manner in which the Gospel has been proclaimed and received. Were it not that he who has been called of God to preach, is constrained to exclaim, with Paul, "necessity is laid upon me: yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel," would it be any marvel that, conscious of his weakness and short-comings, he should sometimes be tempted to shrink back in dismay from the gigantic work, and even pray that he may be released from farther incurring its all but intolerable responsibilities?
But if these responsibilities are confessedly not less than awful, the reward which, through grace, will be conferred on the faithful preacher of the Cross will be proportionately great. To be called of God to minister in the Gospel of His Son, is to be possessed of an honor which he who enjoys it may well prefer to the thrones and diadems of earth. To win one immortal spirit to Christ is to perform an office with which no worldly labor can compare, and to attain an end which richly compensates a weary life-time of toil. It will afford ineffable satisfaction to be conscious of having been the instrument of adding a single crown-jewel to the treasures of a Savior once crucified, now despised, but destined to reign King of kings and Lord of lords. To be impelled to labor by the love of sinners is to partake of the spirit of Jesus, to undergo in this work discouragement, self-denial and pain, is to share the sufferings of Jesus, and to prosecute it unto the end through watchings, fastings, temptations, and tears, will be to participate in the joy of Jesus and reign with Him forevermore. Brethren, the day in which we are privileged to labor for our blessed Master, with some of us at least, is sensibly passing away. "The night cometh when no man can work." Happy, thrice happy will he be who, standing on the extreme verge of life, and looking back upon his mortal history, can feel that its record of sins and short-comings in the ministry is expunged in the blood of atonement, and looking forward to the future, opening upon him with the glories of a celestial morning, can exclaim with the dying apostle,—"I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day.
Revivals in the Midst of the Years
by Benjamin Rice Lacy, Jr.
167 pages, hardback
Review by H. Rondel Rumburg
Lacy, at the time of the writing of this volume, was the President of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Here was a Southern gentleman who was unafraid of dealing with the subject of revival in the Confederate Army. Many general volumes that have been written on revival the past twenty years totally ignore or only give a cursory mention of this great work of God among the Confederates. The fair and balanced approach is to treat it as if it did not exist. Modernity is bent on rewriting history and that is even true among many who claim the name of Christ.
Of course, volumes like Christ in the Camp and Great Revival in the Southern Armies which were written by Confederate Chaplains did not fail us. But since then there are paltry few who have seemingly escaped becoming literary eunuchs.
Lacy’s book in the first chapter deals with Preparatory Revivals which gives a biblical view of the subject, then deals with the post-Apostolic pre-Reformation revivals, then Reformation and post-Reformation revivals, and then Scot-Irish revivals.
Then in the second chapter he deals with The Great Awakening in Great Britain and America. The richest soil for this awakening, Dr. Lacy pointed out, in America was Southern soil. The planting and reaping in the Colonies as well as in Great Britain began almost at the same time. Lacy points out the leading figures and some of the unusual ways of God in revival. The harvest that was reaped in this awakening was “rich and varied.” Then Lacy began to describe the effects of the Great Awakening on churches, education, society, and politics. A great result was the founding of a new nation.
In the third chapter Lacy dealt with The Revival of 1800 which came as the Great Awakening was waning. During this period there are those who dealt with the threat of spiritual bankruptcy which hung over the land. Five causes were pointed out:  the aftermath of the war,  the breaking up of family ties in the great migration,  a spirit of cupidity and avarice,  the indifference to evangelical truth, and  the influence of French infidelity. It was during this time that the powerful revival at Hampden-Sydney occurred and spread. The effect of this revival on religious literature was great.
The fourth chapter deals with Five Decades of Revivals: 1810-1860. In a very succinct remark Lacy penned, “The Great Awakening of the eighteenth century prepared the way for Independence and the New Republic; the Great Revival of the 1800’s saved the new nation from French infidelity, crass materialism, rapacious greed, godlessness, and outbreaking violence on the frontiers.” Do this again Lord! During the 1850’s “one of the sanest and most blessed revival movements America has experienced.... The first was at Lexington, Virginia....” This involved such men as Reverends W.S. White, John H. Bocock, Beverly Tucker Lacy and others. Some of these would be greatly used during the revival during the war of Southern Defense. Then there were outbreaks of revival in other states, such as with Rev. John L. Girardeau in Charleston.
Chapter five deals with The Revival in the Confederate Army. Lacy gives the development of the revival, the instrumentalities of the revival and the results of the revival. The results were considered as the deepening of the faith of believers, the conversion of officers and men in the ranks, the strengthening of them for reconstruction. Lacy dealt with the implications for today--“Except we today have a visitation of God which will make of our soldiers, sailors, and civilian population new creatures in Christ Jesus, and give to our nation a new spirit of devotion to God and sacrificial service to our fellow men both within the fabric of our national life and in the fabric of that new internationalism which must follow the war, we shall not have learned aright the lessons of those days or of our own.”
In chapter six Lacy deals with Post-War and Future Revivals. “Throughout the history of revivals these great movements have come when God’s people were ripe for a visitation either of His judgment or of His mercy. Signs there are of His imminent judgment upon our nation; but there are signs, too, of a turning to Him in penitence and faith. These are more fateful years than we think, for beyond a doubt the future of the world waits on the answer to America’s prime question: Will God visit here now in wrath or in grace?” It is hard to believe these words were written in 1943.
Benjamin Rice Lacy, Jr. ends with the words of Habakkuk the prophet and can be our prayer, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years ... in wrath remember mercy.”
You should be able to find this book in the used book market.
We must remember who we are and what we must be about:
The SCV Challenge by Lt. Gen. S. D. Lee
To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.
Sons of Confederate Veterans
This is an enlarged Sesquicentennial Edition of the Chaplain’s Handbook. It is enlarged from 131 pages to 165 pages. A chapter has been added on the topic, SCV Chaplains Should be Gentlemen; there has also been added a third burial service, The Order for the Burial of the Dead of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America; a chapter on Praying in Public has been added; and a chapter on Prayer Suggestions for Public Use. All the other chapters remain the same.
Hopefully, those using the handbook will find it even more useful than before. There is the same cloth cover, acid free paper for longevity, sewn signatures, etc.
The retail price is being kept to a minimum of $12, which is very low for a hardback quality publication. Contact SCV headquarters or biblicalandsouthernstudies.com for a copy.