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Right Qc SaGea&ica.
Clinton—R. Barnwell Rhett changes his Name—The Descendants of these
fusing to Endorse us—Members of the Church Snurnin^uj^
EXPERIENCES AMONG THE REBELS.
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH—NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN AGITATORS ALIKE TO BE DREADED—MUTINEERS ON BOARD THE SHIP OF STATE
SOUTH CAROLINA METHODISTS—THE RIGHT OF SECESSION ARGUED
JEFFERSON, MADISON, AND JACKSON ALL DENY THE RIGHT OF SECESSION.
It is a delicate task for a modest man to perform, when he undertakes to write out a memorial of himself, and especially when he shall undertake to give both his private and public life. But as I have never arisen to any thing like eminence, and as it is the custom of such only as have, to write out a full history of themselves, and to give their bad as well as good deeds to the world, I will be spared the labor and mortification of any unfavorable disclosures.
It will, perhaps, be urged that both sides of a man's picture of life should be given, and then the reader, having the whole man before him, will be the better prepared to award to him a righteous verdict. Others will insist that a man should so conduct himself as to be wholly free from improprieties, especially if he be a member of the Church, or wear clerical robes. To this I reply, that if the memoirs of only such as have lived and died without fault, and without incurring the displeasure of designing and bad men, were written, we should seldom, if ever, see a production of the kind.
I lay no claim whatever to inimitable excellencies; but I do claim that my good and evil deeds, if placed in a scale, would not be so perfectly poised that neither end would preponderate! An anecdote of my life will illustrate my views of this subject.
Whilst in attendance at an Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, in Abingdon, Virginia, some twelve years ago, I suffered from an attack of fever; and, either from the influence of medicine, or of fever on the brain, I became a little flighty. The opinion prevailed that I would die, and the venerable Bishop Capers, and other ministers, became anxious to know how the "eccentric Parson" felt in view of an exchange of worlds. Accordingly, they visited my room, and the Bishop read the Scriptures, and sang and prayed with and for me. On taking his lea^e of me,—holding me by the hand and looking me full in the face,—he inquired what my prospects were beyond the grave. It is said—and I have no doubt of the truth of the statement—that I returned for an answer, "Well, Bishop, if I had my life to live over again, I could improve it in many respects, and would try to do so. However, if the books have been properly kept in the other world, there is a small balance in my favor /"
I have lived long enough in this present evil world to have enlisted the sympathies of many friends, and at the same time to have excited the bitter resentments of many foes. This affords me proof that I have not been a negative character. That a man engaged in the work of propagating Christianity, in opposing error and defending the cause of truth, and, finally, in going about endeavoring to do good, should find himself exposed to enemies, or should meet with violent and protracted opposition, may seem strange. But history and observation inform us that such has been the lot of all decided public men, in a greater or less degree. While some emblazon a man's virtues, others will amplify his faults. A majority, however, labor
"The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
rather than pursue the opposite course; and it is more than likely that on this account religious sectarians and political partisans have denied me justice. For it has certainly been my lot in life to have the shafts of unmerited censure hurled at me; and since this Great Rebellion has been inaugurated, I have been doomed to bear the base insinuations of invidious tongues and pens in Rebeldom!
Perhaps it will be asked, Who is the person that offers this volume to the world? In this the inquisitive reader