Why his Life was Spared

    Two Americans who were crossing the Atlantic met on Sunday night to sing hymns in the cabin. As they sang the hymn, "Jesus, Lover of my Soul," one of them heard an exceedingly rich and beautiful voice behind him. He looked around, and although he did not know the face he thought that he recognized the voice. So when the music ceased he turned around and asked the man if he had not been in the Civil War. The man replied that he had been a Confederate soldier.

    "Were you at such a place on such a night?" asked the first.

    "Yes," he said, "and a curious thing happened that night; this hymn recalled it to my mind. I was on sentry duty on the edge of a wood. It was a dark night and very cold, and I was a little frightened because the enemy were supposed to be very near at hand. I felt very homesick and miserable, and about midnight, when everything was very still, I was beginning to feel very weary and thought that I would comfort myself by praying and singing a hymn. I remember singing this hymnó

    'All my trust on Thee is stayed,
        All my help from Thee I bring.
    Cover my defenceless head
        With the shadow of Thy wing."

    "After I had sung those words a strange peace came down upon me, and through the long night I remember having felt no more fear."

    "Now," said the other man, "listen to my story. I was a Union soldier, and was in the wood that night with a party of scouts. I saw you standing up, although I didn't see your face, and my men had their rifles focused upon you waiting the word to fire, but when you sang outó

    'Cover my defenceless head
        With the shadow of Thy wing.'

I said, 'Boys, put down your rifles; we will go home.' I couldn't kill you after that."