Friday, January 4, 2013

1862 December 24 near Fredericksburg, Va.

Camp near Fredericksburg Dec 24
                    Dear Phebe
                            When skies are
clear and all is calm it is
easy for us to feel satisfied and
to believe that God is Just; and it
is only when storms arise and
the tempest rages that we begin to
doubt, and have our faith shaken
You remember that beautiful
hymn commencing "If through
unruffled seas towards heaven
we calmly sail" and you will
also reccolect that at the close
the Poet refers to those stormy
days which might come in these
words "But if the storms should
come &c["]-these are the days that
are upon us; and it becomes us
as christians to remember
that it is the same God who in
years past has so bountifully bless
ed us that now afflicts us, and

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let us not forget that it is for
our sins that we are thus afflicted
You will call to mind the times
when God declared of his chosen
people, the Jews "I will go down
now and see if they have done in all
things according to my words that
I have spoken unto them" and at
another time he declared he
would search Jeaursalem with
a candle; It is the same God
with whom we have to do and
verily he is searching us to day
Already the widows and orphans
fill the land, already more than
the first born has been taken
already the population of a great
citty find themselves driven from
their homes and their homes
made desolate.  Already the
maimed and the disabled fill
the land by thousands and
their cries and groans go up

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to heaven unmistakeable evidence
of the enormity of our sins For
we must remmember that God
does afflict willingly and is
only because we should not
profit by the blessings of our
heavenly Father that the blessing
was changed into a curse
: I was much struck with
the remark of a soldier two
days ago; says he "It seems
to me that God has given up
trying to govern and has
left us to ourselves to see him
for we will go in wickedness
It was a dreadful thought
to me to be given up of God
and to be ruled henceforth
by the passions of men: But
Thanks be to God it cannot be
God rules in  heaven and on
earth and cannot be moved
though all the powers of earth

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and hell unite: yet shall he
not be be[sic] moved.  He who sitteth
in the heavens shall laugh and
mock when their fear cometh;
Let us not my dear one be of these
but rather let us be of those of
whom Paul speaks: "But we
are not of those who fear
But rather of those of those[sic] who
have a lively hope through faith
laying  hold on eternal life.
Having this we have nothing to
fear though heavens and earth
should pass away: we should only
be the sooner ushered into the
presence of our beloved savior
there to praise Father, Son and
holy spirit forever: This will
be happiness enough to com
ensate us for all we are
called upon to suffer in this
world of sin and sorrow
answer the question, Phebe
Will it not, Josiah

Josiah Perry,  Co. K, 33rd Massachusetts

MSS 2215

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