The recent call for defenders of the Constitution has developed a phenomenon somewhat peculiar to our time. We have been pleased to learn that a number of the regiments of the eastern part of the army have established a prayer meeting, to be held regularly every Sunday and Thursday evening, as far as practicable, during the war.

Although the office of chaplain is common, yet we are glad that the world has the rarely witnessed example of the establishment of a regular religious meeting, in connection with an active and purely military organization. And yet, why should it not be thus? If it is the duty of an individual to defend his sacred rights from invasion, it is an equal or a greater christian duty on the part of a nation—infinitely greater, as the interests at stake are infinitely more momentous.

No sane man can question the influence of such an institution. It indicates, with great significance, the character of the men who establish such meetings, amid all the temptations and distractions of army life: men who have left their friends in order to defend them, but who have not left behind them the sacred influences of home; men of purity and high moral principle who carry with them the stern christian fortitude that reminds one of the better elements of Cromwell’s time. Such men are doubly valuable, from the sobri[e]ty, subordination, conscientious faithfulness, industry and economy they manifest.

But above all these, men who pray and fight, feel as none others do, that they have something to fight for, and as they pray with a true spiritual fervor, so they are very apt to fight with an unction that is marvellously emphatic. A regiment of ordinary soldiers is a force not to be lightly estimated. But a regiment of men with Bibles in their pockets and the truths of God in their hearts constitute a power altogether formidable. They carry with them an influence, a power, far beyond the mechanical forces of gunpowder and musketry: an influence that is the centre and soul of all power.

Now, we suspect that the traitors have precious few religious meetings in their camp: they see no sense in all this; to them it is all cant; little good do they deem comes from a prayer meeting; it is rather with them a matter of profane ridicule and of sneers—and yet just here is the great [o]mission in the character and calculations of the rebels. They have utterly failed to estimate the spirit and motives of those who wish to defend the Government. One man, fighting at his own fireside and in defense of his wife, children, and home, is stronger than he ever was before, and is able, singlehanded to cope with numbers around him. So, we tell these rebels and traitors that an army of men full of christian courage, with God and the Right as their watchword, is an army not safe to encounter.

But above all this, an army sustained by such an exalted moral purpose, has within itself the elements of its own vitality and success. Victory will only stimulate it; defeat, if it be possible, will only stimulate it the more. But as it recognizes for the object of the contest, the ultimate triumph of a principle, it will acknowledge no defeat. The worst disaster that God will permit to befall it, will be but a temporary obstacle to the final accomplishment of its exalted purpose.