A selection from a letter by Robert L. Dabney to his mother. The year was 1868. The South was undergoing great hardships due to Reconstruction. He told his mother that he was filled with “melancholy” because of the “present oppressions.” Yet he rejoiced that there were some things that could not be taken away. The letter was written on February 15, 1868.
The labors of my life seem to be like marks made on a sand beach for the rising tide to wash away, save as I may have been instrumental in saving some souls. That work, thank God, cannot be undone by the malice of men or devils.
The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, by Thomas Cary Johnson, first published in 1903, reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust, 1977, p. 303.