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144

THE MORNING PRAYERS.

out receiving the sacraments, nor did any die without their consolations.

It will interest others to know among the members of the Church of England a marked improvement took place — many turning from evil or careless lives and becoming earnest and zealous in religion, thus rewarding their good chaplain's labours, who spared no pains in the performance of his duty. When Mr. Coney established the daily morning prayers he expected them to be attended by about a dozen at the utmost. To his surprise and pleasure he found more than that come even the first morning, and in a week's time it had increased to thirty or more. The time for prayers was half-past seven in the morning.

Beautiful indeed were those early mornings, before the glaring sun attained its power; the golden light adorning the distant white walls and towers of Constantinople with a crown of glory. It looked like a

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visionary city, making one think of The one for which “we seek," and which “is to come.”

The dewdrops sparkled on the grass, the clear sweet singing of the birds came through the open windows. The blue ripples of the Bosphorus shone brightly, and our first waking sensations were those of admiration of all this wonderful beauty. When we went out the air was so light and fresh and invigorating

A little before seven in the morning a group of convalescents, dressed in blue, and soldiers in uniform, were seen climbing the hill to attend mass. Many who were very weak persisted in going, and counted the fatigue nothing in comparison of the blessing they would receive. At half-past seven another group wended their way to the Eng

lish prayers.

When the heat was gone, and the work had very much diminished, the daily service was altered to nine in the morning, and

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146

RELIGION IN THE ARMY.

when Dr. Freeth succeeded Mr. Coney as chaplain he established an evening one at six o'clock. These services were well attended both by officers and men, who chanted and sang very heartily at each of them. The officers seemed to prefer the later hour in the morning, as now the brunt of the work was over they were not obliged to be in their wards so early as in the summer; this was also the case with some of the ladies and nurses.

These are plain proofs that the spirit of real religion is in the British army, and only needs culture to bring it out, and had not its spiritual wants been so grievously neglected it would not have become noted for its irreligion, nor would English parents have had cause hitherto to consider it a disgrace that their sons should fill its ranks. The following anecdotes will show how ready they were to amend.

One orderly bore a very high character, and was much liked

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by the sister of the ward for his good conduct. One day he became intoxicated; when he came to his senses he hid himself from the sister. However, she met him accidentally and expressed her sorrow and displeasure; he had been a soldier for seventeen years, yet he blushed before her as a guilty schoolboy, and exclaimed

“Oh, ma'am, look it over this time, it never shall happen again ; I'd rather be summoned before all the doctors in the hospital and be punished by them, than that you should once reprove me.”

” Indeed the orderlies at the Upper Hospital thought the sisters' displeasure far worse than being sent to the guardroom.

One day an orderly, partly drunk when the reverend Mother entered the ward, attempted to conceal his state; she turned away and called another, bidding the first go to bed at once. The next day he was ready as usual to carry round the extras for

148 A SOLDIER'S ENDURANCE AT FAULT.

away ashamed.

her. "No," she said, “you have disgraced yourself, I will have another.” He slunk

ashamed. Some days passed, and she took no notice of him. At last one day he waylaid her in the corridor, where no one could hear him, and said with tears in his eyes, “Will you never forgive me, reverend Mother? I am so miserable to be in disgrace with you-indeed I will amend for the future."

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