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Between College and Seminary.



I spent the summer of that year, 1864, again with the Army of the Potomac, then under command of General Grant, and laying siege to the Confederates at Petersburg. I had volunteered, for evangelistic and hospital work, as a member of the United States Christian Commission.

Much of my time was at first spent in the siege trenches; later, chiefly in hospitals with the wounded and sick. For a while I was assigned to the typhoid hospitals, where I saw much pathetic suffering and many deaths. Then, after the explosion, on the 30th of July, of the mine that had been laid under the Confederate works, and which was so disastrous to our forces, I served some Fifth Corps surgeons, for two days and nights, on the field, in four hundred and more serious operations. For a long time afterwards, I was in attendance in the hospitals, nursing the wounded, besides doing what I could to comfort, and to serve in other ways, those who must die.

That summer's experiences affected my religious life chiefly by deepening my conviction of the personal, the essential importance for every man, of religious faith and hope. Some most impressive happenings, never to be forgotten, occurred during those weeks spent among sick and wounded soldiers.

With the summer's close I left the army, to begin specific study for the ministry, under a vividly aroused

sense of the supremely vital calling to which my life had been consecrated.


In the Northwestern Theological


It had been arranged, before my graduation from College, that I should follow the special studies required for the ministry, at the Western Theological Seminary in Alleghany, Pennsylvania. I matriculated there, with the opening of its sessions that autumn.

It so happened, however, that I could not continue as one of its students. Chambersburg had been burned, at the close of July, by Confederate raiders under General McCausland. As a sequel to that terrible calamity, my parents, who were among those who had suffered from it, removed to Chicago, and made their home, for the time being, with some relatives resident in that city.

In Chicago, an excellent Old School Presbyterian Seminary had been established; and my mother, still seriously ill, and never having accepted willingly my separation from home, urged me to take my theological course where I might be near her. For almost five years, I had been practically only a vacation visitor to my parents.

In the mid-winter of 1864-65, consequently, I became a member of the Junior Class of the Chicago institution which in after years was renamed "McCormick Theological Seminary." I was a student there until my graduation in 1867.



During my first Seminary vacation, I was again with the Union Army; and again I was engaged in evangelistic hos

pital service. This time I went to the front beyond Nashville, Tennessee, to the soldiers who were under command of Major General George H. Thomas, whom I had known slightly at the "Carlisle Barracks," five years before, when he was "Major Thomas" of the Cavalry. General Thomas in the preceding December had defeated and wholly incapacitated the Confederate forces under General Hood, thereby practically closing all offensive movements in that part of the country, and hastening the culmination, as a whole, of the successful defense of the Union.

The closing events of the war were moving rapidly when I went to Tennessee. Just before I left Chicago, General Lee, at Appomatox, had surrendered the Army of Virginia to General Grant.

A few days later, while crossing the Ohio river at Louisville, I heard of the assassination of President Lincoln, the night before; and, that day, I witnessed memorable outbursts of popular grief, and some of the vengeful anger which was aroused by that awful tragedy.

Arriving at the front, I got news of repeated defeats, and of surrenders, of the armies of the Confederacy, all along the great lines of battle. Not many days afterwards, we heard of the ignominious death of the President's assassin, Booth; and the capture and imprisonment of Jefferson Davis, the Chief of the Confederacy.

I worked for some weeks among the hospitals, which were still necessitated at the front. But they were gradually closed.

Before I had returned to Chicago, the American Civil War had come to an end. And the United States, saved from disunion, were entering upon their present marvellous era as a thoroughly federated Nation.

In " Part Four," as said before, I have gathered a good deal of material connected with my many and much varied experiences during this ever memorable interstate struggle, under the heading "Memorials of the Civil War." Those chapters will, I think, have far more than a personal interest for my friends, and for others, too.






For the next two years, my time was devoted to a specific training in the Northwestern Theological Seminary for my chosen profession. No longer distracted by the Civil War, I gave the prescribed studies faithful attention. I sought, never with so much earnestness, to become a competent exponent of my avowed beliefs.

Before long, however, I began to be seriously concerned over some of the doctrines I had received from my teachers, especially those which presented the Calvinistic conception of the Plan of Salvation." I was not inclined to deny, I wished rather to understand why the doctrines must be true. To my surprise, I had found among my Chicago teachers less an appearance of sympathy with differing ways of theological thinking than I had seen among the professors at Princeton. Noticeably, such liberalism towards "Science" as that, for example, of Arnold Guyot, or of Stephen Alexander, seemed to be unfelt among the members of the Chicago Seminary's faculty.

As the winter advanced, my mental unrest increased. But I was faithful in attendance at Church and at our devotional meetings. I was active in the City Mission work. I often met Mr. Dwight L. Moody, and was several times a speaker at his "Illinois Street Mission."

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