Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Piety of "Stonewall" Jackson: Part Four: Man of Prayer (Continued)

Dabney relays how Jackson once spoke with a Christian friend who asked “can one be always praying?”:

He answered that if it might be permitted to him, without suspicion of religious display he would explain by describing his own habits. He then proceeded with several parentheses, deprecating earnestly the charge of egotism, to say that, besides the stated daily seasons of secret and social prayer, he had long cultivated the habit of connecting the most trivial and customary acts of life with a silent prayer. “When we take our meals,” said he, “there is the grace. When I take a draught of water, I always pause, as my palate receives the refreshment, to lift up my heart to God in thanks and prayer for the water of life. Whenever I drop a letter into the box at the post-office, I send a petition along with it, for God’s blessing upon its mission and upon the person to whom it is sent. When I break the seal of a letter just received, I stop to pray to God that He may prepare me for its contents, and make it a messenger of good. When I go to my classroom, and await the arrangement of the cadets in their places, that is my time to intercede to God for them. And so of every familiar act of the day.” “But,” said his friend, “do you not often forget these seasons, coming so frequently?” “No,” said he, “I have made the practice habitual to me; and I can no more forget it, than forget to drink when I am thirsty.” He added that the usage had become as delightful to him as it was regular (pp. 106-107).


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