December 20

John William Jones was married on this day (Dec. 20) in 1860. That fact has nothing to do with today’s vignette, it just gives us a reference to the calendar.
John Jones was born in 1835, and he was born again while a teenager. He was preparing himself for missionary service when he married, but he and his wife never made it to the mission field due to the commencement of the Civil War. Jones enlisted in the Confederate army as a private, but was soon appointed as a chaplain serving as an evangelist.
In 1887 Brother Jones wrote a book entitled “Christ in the Camp” in which he recounted the service of the many faithful chaplains in the Southern armies. He wrote, “any history of this army which omits an account of the wonderful influence of religion upon it – which fails to tell how the courage, discipline and morale was influenced by the humble piety and evangelical zeal of many of its officers and men – would be incomplete and unsatisfactory.” It is said that more than 100,000 Southern soldiers trusted Christ during that war. He wrote, “It is believed that no army in the world’s history ever had in it so much of genuine, devout piety, so much of active work for Christ, as the Army of Northern Virginia. None but the most severe revisionists in America would dare deny the fact that both General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson were born-again believers.”
When Chaplains Jones and B.T. Lacey visited General Lee one day, they mentioned that many people were in prayer for him, he replied: “Please thank them for that, sir. I warmly appreciate it. And I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation, and need all the prayers that they can offer for me.”
Among many others, Jones wrote of a captain from Georgia who had accepted Christ. He was quoted as declaring this testimony to his troops: “Men, I have led you into many a battle. Alas, I have [also] led you into all manner of wickedness and vice. [But now] I have enlisted under the banner of the Cross, and mean, by God’s help, to prove a faithful soldier of Jesus. I call upon you, my brave boys, to follow me, as I shall try to follow ‘the Captain of our salvation.’”