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An Appeal To Young Soldiers by a Young Lady

An Appeal To Young Soldiers
by a young lady

"I write UNTO YOU, YOUNG MEN!"—First Epistle of John.

Young soldiers, fighting in the glorious cause of Southern Independence, my message is to you. I am commissioned by the King of kings to procure recruits for His army, and 1 wish you to enlist. My appeal is to you, young men, rather than to the old man at your side — though I rejoice to see many hoary-headed veterans already in this army, and though I would not have the old man think that he would be scorned if he wishes to enlist The King of kings counts none over military age, none unfit for service, who are willing to enlist, for his armor giveth strength to the wearer, and "to them that have no might he increaseth strength." He has declared, u him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out," and this is just as true for him that cometh, broken down with years of fighting against Him, covered with wounds and full of disease, as for him that cometh in the glow and vigor of his youth. But now I am not talking to such — "I write unto you, young men." But since I cannot expect you to rush blindly forward without knowing why, I will give you some good reasons for enlisting in this great army.

In the first place, you must fight either for or against the King. The foe is mighty, and all must be mustered to meet him. None are exempt. The military age is from the cradle to the grave; No feebleness, no press of oilier business, no danger of losses, will excuse. Much less shall you, so young and strong, be exempt. There is no neutrality —nay, you are already with the enemy, for the great King has declared, "He that is not with me is against me." And since you must fight on one side or the other, let me give you a few of the many reasons for choosing the service of the King of kings.

1st. The goodness of the cause. This war is waged for the establishment of Truth, Justice, and Mercy—for the rescue of the gracious King's subjects from the tyranny of a cruel oppressor, who seeks to delude them into serving him—and if they do not leave him, he will lead them into a place where they will be tortured for ever and ever. When the trumpet of war called you to leave your peaceful homes to battle for the right, from rugged mountain and smiling valley — from Virginia to the shore of the Mexican Gulf, rang clarion voices, "We come! we come!" Aye, even from the downtrodden state, which writhes beneath the oppressor's iron heel, from the very presence of his hosts the cry was still, "We come!" The farmer left his fields of golden grain, the tradesman his counter, the scholar turned from his books, the fair-haired boy left his mother's arms, to rush to the battle field. Oh! as I seem to see you, your strong limbs and brave hearts forming a wall of defence around the sacred rights of a nation of freemen, I ask, is there one in that host of heroes who will refuse to take up arms to rescue a world from tyranny? You, who would die rather than submit to a tyrant through the years of this mortal life, how will you endure the rule of the most cruel of masters, the deadliest of tyrants, through eternity? Will you resign yourself to "everlasting chains and slavery," when the great "Captain of our salvation" is willing to admit you to "the glorious liberty of the children of God?" Would you not shrink in horror from the thought of aiming your blows at the hearts of the leaders who are seeking to free you from oppression? of madly contending against your own liberty? But what shall be said of your folly, when every hour is spent in the service of your cruel enemy? of your ingratitude in living in rebellion against Him who shed His blood to set you free? How can you refuse to enlist, when Jesus, your crucified Saviour, says come. 

2d. The certainly of victory. This war has already continued through thousands of years. It may last many years more. But the victory will surely come. "At the name of Jesus every knee shaft bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. "Every hour brings nearer the glorious triumph of the King of kings. Aye, and his faithful soldiers will be "more than conquerors through him that loved them." Those who fell in the early morning of the conflict, shall share the triumph with those who "have borne the burden and heat of the day," with those who saw the evening of Time close on the vanquished hosts of the foe. You must witness the glory of the King of kings—but how? Will you in that hour stand trembling before His throne, to hear your awful doom: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels?" Or will you, with glad hallelujahs, answer the sweet welcome: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world?" Oh! dear young soldiers, "as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, he ye reconciled to God."

3d: The pleasantness of the service. Perhaps some of you will say, that your present service is pleasant to you. But you cannot always find it so, and you would never think so, if once you would taste of the happiness of the soldiers of the King of kings. Only try the service of Jesus, and you will find what unutterable joy His followers have even in this life. Are you hungry? He will give you the bread of life. Are you thirsty? "The water that fie will give you will be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Are you sorrowful? "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will He comfort you." Are you friendless and forsaken?" There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother," and He hath said: "1 will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Are you weary and heartsick? Oh, hear Him: "Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I do not deny that you will have to encounter some hardships. But the worst of them will be far less bitter than the sufferings of the enemy's soldiers. Young soldier, does your pillow seem hard when you lie on the ground and look up to the stars and remember, that they shine on the home you are lighting to possess in peace and freedom ? Do you not, for that sweet hope, cheerfully brave toil and danger? And will you shrink from tiie battle for that dearer, brighter home, where the smile of your Saviour shall welcome you to everlasting rest? "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

4th. The greatness of the reward. Ah! "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels," I could not describe it. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither had it entered into the heart of man, to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." Only enlist in His army," fight the good fight of faith," and in heaven you shall find how "blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."

And will you not enlist in this army. My feeble pen has weakly urged you. There is a book wherein you may learn the importance of coming, and coming now. "Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve." You must decide quickly. Time is flying, while you delay. Oh! why do you hesitate? Shall the Saviour's mournful words apply to you, as to the Jews of old: "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." Do you fear that you will fail as others have done? None ever failed, who continually sought help and guidance from "the Captain of our salvation. Do you say, that you have no weapons? In the gr^al Captain's message, by his servant, Paul, to the company of the Ephesians, He telleth them what armor to use. They have entered into rest; but the same armor remaineth for you. Do you urge your unskilfulness in the use of such armor, your ignorance of the military tactics of our great Captain? "Search the Scriptures," and you will learn all that is necessary for you to know. Are they hard to understand sometimes? Ask the King of kings to make them plain to you, and he will do it. Do you cling to your pleasures? You are only required to give up what will destroy your own happiness if you continue in them. The innocent enjoyments of life will Ite heightened, and "in His presence is fulness of joy; at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Are you still delaying? "Harden not your heart. Behold now is the accepted time now is the day of salvation." God is not willing that you should perish: Jesus died that you might come to Him. Arise and come.

"Arise! because our serpent foe 
Unwearied strives by day and night—
Remembers Time is short below—
And wrestles on with hellish might.
Then boldly grasp both sword and shield.
Who slumbers on the battle field?

"Arise! before that hour unknown,
The hour of Death that comes ere long—
And comes not to the weak alone;
But to the mighty and the strong.
Beloved, oft in spirit dwell
Upon that hour that none can tell.

"Arise! It is the Master's will.
No more His heavenly voice despise.
Why linger with the dying still?
He calls—arouse you, and arise!
And listen to the Saviour's call,
It sounds to you—to me—to all.

An Appeal To Young Soldiers by a Young Lady (Charleston: South Carolina Tract Society, 1860), 1-6.


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