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and honest paths of religion and sobriety. And from the estimation in which he was held, even by those over whom he had been put in authority ; from the “good report,” also, which he had from "all the nation of the Jews,” we may perceive that in his public life and conduct, that in the discharge of his military duties, he was duly influenced by the principles of justice and humanity, of charity and good-will; that, in short, in the ordering of his conversation with the world, he did strictly and constantly endeavour to preserve always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men.”
And now for a moment, my brethren, consider the difference of this man's situation, and your own.
The advantages and the opportunities are all in favour of the soldiers of the present day; especially, we venture to affirm, is the balance in favour of the soldiers of the British empire. We need not here speak of the violence, and rapine, and cruelty which
so generally characterised the habits, and the march of an army in the times of Cornelius. Neither is it among the least of the blessed effects of Christianity, that the preaching of the Gospel hath had a material tendency to lessen the horrors of war, to restrain the sword of indiscriminate slaughter, and to recommend and enforce the exercise of clemency and kindness, instead of insult and oppression towards a prostrate and supplicating foe.
A soldier under the Gospel, a soldier brought up in, and professing to hold to, the doctrines of the holy and righteous Saviour, is taught to know, that. he, in common with all his fellow men, hath a soul to be saved ; that he is, and will be, held accountable hereafter for all his deeds, and for all his words; and that as “ God is no respecter of persons," so must he, as must all men who value their own eternal interests, unceasingly strive to
“ keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right.”?
The soldiers of England, we say, have not been left unreminded of those great duties, and of those solemn vows, which as Christians are binding on them, and which they must set themselves to fulfil. In the
very articles of war, they are called upon and enjoined to fear, to reverence, and to worship the Lord their God. And that man hath very mistaken and very dishonourable notions concerning his military profession, who thinks he
may indulge himself, and with impunity, in the odious practice of idle swearing, or *the filthy custom of drunkenness: or if he mischievously flatter himself that either violence or debauchery, revengeful behaviour or opprobrious words, add manliness and weight to the character of the warrior, unto whom the weak and the unarmed look for support, and to whose fidelity and valour are
7 Ps. xxxvii. 38.
entrusted the honour and the reputation of the empire.
These things, my brethren, even all the outrageous and forbidden “ works of the flesh," ought not to be seen among, ought to be utterly detested and abhorred by you as much as by all other men. You call yourselves by the name, --you name, as the apostle expresses himself, “ the name of Christ,” therefore are you commanded, therefore are you bound by that all sacred name, to “ depart from iniquity.” And if
ye refuse and rebel, if ye harden your hearts, and take pleasure in unrighteousness, why then, alas ! you are throwing away your only lasting comfort, man's only sure stay and support, when sorrow and sickness shall have brought you
down —and O! how quickly may that be the lot of the youngest amongst us-to the confines of the grave, to the valley of the shadow of death. Religion, my brethren, an habitual attention unto, and a cheerful fulfilment of its duties, is most necessary to a soldier; and because he of all men may be said to stand most constantly in the peril of death. His is the post of danger, and loyalty and courage belong not to him, if he “ count his life dear unto him," whenever his military duty calls upon
8 Gal. v. 19.
him to peril it. Therefore ought the soldier to be ever watchful and vigilant, ever on his guard against temptation, and against those sins which do the more strongly and easily beset his peculiar station and calling. The courage, the endurance, the loyalty of a soldier, is to be exercised not merely in the field, but also in the barrack, and when at liberty to rest and refresh himself after the duties of the day. The courage of a British soldier should be the courage of a Christian. And whilst he fears his God, and fears to do a bad action, or to utter a bad word, he is to gather up his moral strength, and bravely disregard the sneers and the ridicule, and, it may be,