The Hale Memorial Sermon 1907
BY THE RIGHT REVEREND ROBERT STRANGE, D. D.
Western Theological Seminary CHICAGO
The Hale Memorial Sermon No. 2
Among the Negroes in the South
BY THE RIGHT REVEREND ROBERT STRANGE, D. D. BISHOP OF EAST CAROLINA
Preached on the Evening of the Fifth Sunday in Lent at Grace Episcopal Church
CHICAGO WESTERN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 1907
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF ANNA McK. T. HALE A LOVER OF EVERY GOOD WORD AND WORK THE PREACHING AND PRINTING OF THIS SERMON WERE PROVIDED FOR BY HER HUSBAND C. R. H.
FROM THE WILL OF THE RT. REV. CHARLES REUBEN HALE, D. D., LL. D., BISHOP COADJUTOR OF SPRINGFIELD, born 1837; consecrated July 26, 1892; died December 25, 1900.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
I, Charles Reuben Hale, Bishop of Cairo, Bishop Coadjutor of Springfield, of the City of Cairo, Illinois, do make, publish, and declare this, as and for my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
First. First of all, I commit myself, soul and body, into the hands of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, in Whose Merits alone I trust, looking for the Resurrection of the Body and the Life of the World to come.
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Fourteenth. All the rest and residue of my Estate, personal and real, not in this my Will otherwise specifically devised, wheresoever situate, and whether legal or equitable, I give, devise, and bequeath to "The Western Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois," above mentioned, but nevertheless In Trust, provided it shall accept the trust by an instrument in writing so stating, filed with this Will in the Court where probated, within six months after the probate of this Will—for the general purpose of promoting the Catholic Faith, in its purity and integrity, as taught in Holy Scripture, held by the Primitive Church, summed up in the Creeds and affirmed by the undisputed General Councils, and, in particular, to be used only and exclusively for the purposes following, to wit:—
(1) The establishment, endowment, printing, and due circulation of a yearly Sermon, to be delivered annually forever, in memory of my dear wife, Anna McK. T. Hale, to be known as "The Hale Memorial Sermon," and
(2) The establishment, endowment, publication and due circulation of Courses of Lectures, to be delivered annually forever, to be called "The Hale Lectures."
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The subject of this Sermon shall be some branch of Church Work, in any part of the world, which, in the judgment of the Trustees of "The Western Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois," deserves to be better known, in order that it may be more adequately appreciated. These sermons shall be preached at such time and place as the said Trustees of The Western Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois, may appoint, and shall be printed in a style similar to the Sermons of this kind already published under my direction, viz: "Confucianism in its relation to Christianity," and "The Religion of the Dakotas." One hundred copies of each of these Sermons are to be given, so soon as they come from the press, to the preacher thereof, and one copy of such Sermon is, so soon thereafter as may be, to be sent to each Bishop in the Anglican Communion, and to such other Bishops as may be in full communion with these Bishops, to the Patriarchs and other chief Hierarchs of the Orthodox Eastern Churches, and to the chief Public Libraries throughout the world. Should it be, at any time, deemed expedient to offer any of these Sermons for sale, the entire receipts, over and above the expenses incurred in such sale, shall be given to "The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America," a Corporation existing under the laws of the State of New York, for the uses of said Society.
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The preacher of the Hale Memorial Sermon shall always be a clergyman of the American Church, commonly called "The Protestant Episcopal Church," or of some Church in communion with the same, or of one of the Orthodox Eastern Churches.
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The Western Theological Seminary has gladly accepted the Trusteeship as outlined in the above extracts from the will of the late Bishop Hale.
It will be the aim of the Seminary, through the Hale Sermons, to make from time to time some valuable contributions to some of the Church problems of the day, without thereby committing itself to the utterances of its own selected Preachers.
Church Work Among the Negroes in the South
CHURCH WORK AMONG THE NEGROES IN THE SOUTH
I take as the South the eleven old slave states, which stood at one time in armed array against the rest of the United States, which are to-day as loyal and true to the General Government as any other states in this great and favored land of ours. They are Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. These states make up one-fourth of the area of the United States, and their population is about one-fourth of that of the whole country. These figures and the others that I shall give cannot be exact, as we are so far away from the last census; but they are close estimates, and present, I think, a fair idea of the facts as they are to-day.
In this large section of our country, with only 1.6 per cent. foreign born, the negroes make up 40 per cent. of the population. They are found chiefly in the cities and towns, and in the country along the coastal plains and on the first rise of the hills; we see very few in the mountain districts.
What of the religious affiliations of the negroes? Nearly every negro is a nominal church member. The first reason for this is that his childish emotional nature is essentially religious, fearing or adoring the unseen powers. The second reason is that the Church is not only the religious but the social center for the negro, largely taking the place with him, which the secret and benevolent societies hold among the white people. Very few are Roman Catholics. The Roman Church has not made the progress among the negroes, which one would expect of the Church which has such a hold on the common peoples of Southern Europe. Only about four thousand are members of the Presbyterian Church; and to the Episcopal Church belong only 9,000 communicants. The rest are divided between the Baptists and Methodists. The low educational standard of the ministry for these Churches, their easy methods of organization and their insistence on feeling rather than on conduct have appealed strongly to the great mass of the negroes.
Looking more closely at those in our Church, we find that out of nine million negroes in the South, we have about nine thousand communicants: one in a thousand. They vary from one in 381 in Virginia to one in 7961 in Mississippi. In my own State of North Carolina we have one negro communicant to every 480 of the negro population.
What was the religious condition and teaching of the negroes before the Civil War? In 1816 in Philadelphia the African-Methodist Episcopal Church separated from the whites; and they have formed the strongest negro organization in the country. A large number of the negro Methodists remained, however, with the whites; and for some of these, churches were built, and a white preacher regularly set aside by the white Conference to minister to their black people. Others came to the same church with the whites, occupying the gallery or pews allotted to them in the rear of the Church. The colored Baptists and Presbyterians worshipped in the same way with the whites, and were ministered to by white preachers. In the Church we had no colored ministers; but the negroes worshipped with us in separate parts of the same Church building, and the white clergyman felt responsible for the black portion of his flock. In many Churches—I have one now particularly in mind—the white people sat in the front pews in the morning and the negroes in the back. In the afternoon, the same clergyman, in the same Church, preached to the negroes, sitting in front, and the white people, some of whom generally came, sitting behind. At the Holy Communion and at Confirmation whites and blacks came together, the blacks generally last. In South Carolina, when the Civil War began, there were very nearly as many black communicants in the Church as white. On every plantation and in nearly every Christian home throughout the South, without regard to religious affiliations, the negroes were taught in Sunday-schools by the mistress and her older daughters. Many of the large planters employed a regular chaplain for their negroes. I knew intimately the Rev. George Patterson, who began his ministry in East Carolina as chaplain to the negroes belonging to Mr. Josiah Collins.
Just a word or two here about slavery, this suggestion coming to me from a Northern clergyman, who has for the past twenty years been doing noble work for the negroes in North Carolina. Slavery with all its horrors was over-ruled by God to be a great missionary institution. The savage black men were brought into the closest contact with the highest Anglo-Saxon civilization, the best negroes coming into personal touch with the best whites as servant and master. They were taught Christ by as fair representatives of his religion as the world has ever seen. The negroes were brought under law, and were forced to see the blessings of order and justice. As Booker Washington also admits, they were taught the value of work and its necessity. So, through slavery the negro in the United States to-day stands far above the wild and ignorant African who now inhabits the land from which he came. When you read Uncle Tom's Cabin, remember that Uncle Tom was a product of slavery and that the fairer side as presented by Mrs. Stowe was the most common in the whole South. Do not misunderstand me; together with a large majority of the thinking white men of the South, I rejoice that slavery is a thing of the past; I would not have it again if I could; I see its frightful evils; but we must all acknowledge that slavery has been a potent factor for good in the evolution of the negro in the United States.
The great Civil War swept over the South; and the negro was made a free man. How did this change affect his religious position? The negroes as a rule left their old masters, to try their wings and see if they were really free. One sad incident in my early childhood comes back to me now. I was awakened one night by the uncontrollable weeping of my mother. "Mother, Mother," I cried, "what is the matter!" "Hagar"—my dear black mammy—"is going to leave us." I broke out with her in still louder lamentations. Mammy came in; and then her tears fell with ours. "You aren't going to leave me, Mammy?" "Yes, chile, I'm bound to go." "Why?" "All the cullud people is gwine down de river; and I must go too." And so for pride and fear of race, though her heart was breaking for us, she went away. I am happy to tell you that in a few months she came back, and was, just as before, my loving and beloved mammy, until the day of her death. The negroes left the white churches in like manner, and most of them stayed away in their own negro churches. The Baptists and Methodists separated entirely from the whites, becoming completely independent. After working together for many years the colored Presbyterians have become an independent organization. We in the Church tried to keep them with us just as before in the days of slavery; but we only partially succeeded. We began to train colored men for the ministry; we built Churches for them; we admitted them to our Diocesan Councils on equal terms; and we strove manfully to cling to the Catholic idea: one Church for all peoples and races.
What are we doing now? First here is our educational work. In some parishes of every diocese we have parochial schools, teaching the children mentally and morally, hoping to get hold of the next generation, feeling the importance of a moral and religious training which cannot be given by the public schools. We have now in all our dioceses nearly a hundred of these parochial schools. In North Carolina and Virginia we have a group of institutions well worth mentioning, with which I am in close personal touch, on which we are building great hope for the future: St. Augustine Normal and Industrial School, Raleigh, N. C.; St. Paul's Normal and Industrial School, Lawrenceville, Va., and the Bishop Payne Divinity School, Petersburg, Va. In these schools we are educating for our part of the South workmen, teachers, business and professional men, and clergymen. We are combining in them education for the hand, for the head, for the heart, and for the spirit of man; we are giving these negroes the education that trains for life in all its phases, fitting them to be workers and leaders among their people. You have heard of the "Church Institute for the Negro." I beg you will give it your hearty sympathy and cordial co-operation. The good purpose of the Institute is to raise money first for these three Institutions, to lift them forward and to so increase the area of their influence that they will do in the Church a work similar to that done outside the Church by Hampton and Tuskegee. After placing these three schools on a firm financial basis, the Institute hopes to continue its good work, helping in the whole South to increase the number and to add to the efficiency of all of our parochial schools.
I should not forget at this point of my address to give brief but hearty mention of the blessed Christlike work for the negroes, which is being done by Mrs. Buford's Hospital and Home in Brunswick County, Va., St. Peter's Hospital, Charlotte, N. C., and St. Agnes Hospital and Training School, for Nurses, a department of St. Augustine School, Raleigh, N. C.
What are we doing to evangelize the negroes and build them up into Christian men and women? I will tell you a little of the work which I know myself, in my own State of North Carolina, in our two dioceses and our one missionary jurisdiction. Bishop Atkinson—our great Church Father during and after the Civil War—felt his responsibility for the souls of the black folk; and he and his successors have been in more or less degree pressing the work of the Church among the negroes. We have now in the State two arch-deacons, thirteen clergymen, 1,400 communicants and 35 parishes and missions. Each arch-deacon goes all about his own diocese, visiting the colored parishes and missions, consulting with the clergy, and opening out new fields. The clergy are doing just the same kind of work among their people that the white clergy are doing in their white parishes and missions, with the exception that the colored clergy are giving more of their time to educational work. I have about the same size classes for Confirmation among the negroes that I have among the whites in the Churches of the same numerical strength. I have been Bishop of East Carolina about two and a half years; and I have confirmed 106 negroes and 644 white people, being an increase of 25 per cent. for the negroes and 18 per cent. for the whites. I am really proud of my staff of negro clergy; they are men of high moral character and are doing good and effective service. Work like this I have described in North Carolina is going on in every one of our States, larger or smaller as the Church of the white people has been larger or smaller in strength and numbers, and as the Bishop has been more or less interested in this special work.
In this purely missionary field many of us are trying to develop and utilize Catechists, men of age and character without the necessary literary qualifications for the ministry, who can go forth to teach and preach to their people the simple facts of the Gospel, bringing the power of Christ to bear on their daily moral life.
Two special ways in which the Church is influencing the negro race I take pleasure in mentioning. Arch-deacon Russell is holding every summer on his school grounds at Lawrenceville a "Farmers' Conference." The negroes come from all over the county and spend the day together, asking and answering publicly questions about their progress or their failure, their customs, good or bad, praising or criticising one another, and listening to selected speakers, urging them on to the best lines of development for their race. I attended this conference last summer; and I was much impressed and greatly encouraged for the true progress of the negro. Another far different kind of influence is going out from the Church in Arkansas. Bishop Brown and his Council have made an entire separation between the whites and blacks in his diocese. He has appointed a negro arch-deacon for the negro race, and has given him large power and wide discretion. Arch-deacon McGuire is appealing to the negroes both within and without the Church, attending all large negro gatherings, speaking to them about the Church, her customs and claims. He is getting a large and sympathetic hearing; and he and Bishop Brown have great hope of rapid progress for this negro branch of the Church in Arkansas.
Now, my friends, while the work is slowly going forward, as I have shown, while the average per cent. of growth among the negroes is nearly that of the progress among the whites; yet conditions are not satisfactory. While we can excuse ourselves, if we will, by pointing to the changed conditions after the war; by telling of the days of re-construction, which did more to separate and to make antagonistic the two races than many wars; by speaking of the high moral standard, which we demand and which the negroes in the mass will not accept; by deprecating the use of our beautiful liturgy which they cannot understand; yet we ought to have done, we ought to be doing far more with the negroes than we have done or are doing. We are barely touching the edge of the negro people; just think of it: one in one thousand, while we have among the whites one in about 121 of the population. In Virginia, where there is one in 50 of the white population who are members of the Episcopal Church, there is only one in 381 of the negroes; in North Carolina one in 115 whites and one in 480 blacks. In South Carolina, where in 1860 the whites and blacks were about equal, the whites have gone forward to seven thousand, and the negroes have fallen back to one thousand. Yet that is not the most unsatisfactory part of the matter. We are not strongly attracting to the Church the element we ought to have; the exceptional negroes, the educated and enterprising, the leaders of their race. Why? Let the facts answer. I have already said that the Church strove to continue after the war the same method of dealing with the negroes as before. She tried to keep the races together; but she has found it impractical, that impracticability growing more and more clear as the years have run on. The races have been steadily drifting apart in all social or semi-social life; the better class of each race is coming less and less into contact with each other; and race prejudice is increasing and deepening in the great masses of both the white and the black people. Soon after the war, wherever the negroes were in great numbers, we found it necessary to build separate churches for them. We admitted their clergymen and laymen to the Councils of the diocese on equal terms with the whites; but that custom has been steadily changing. Some twenty years ago South Carolina and Virginia, dreading too great an increase of negro clergy and laity, led the way to new conditions. South Carolina excluded them entirely from the Diocesan Council, without any further provision for them. Virginia did not disturb those already having seats in the Council, but simply refused to let any more come in on the same terms. She erected a separate Convocation for the negroes, and now allows a certain number to have seats as representatives from the Convocation to the Council. Two years ago Arkansas put the negroes aside into a separate Convocation with no representation in the Council of the Diocese. Georgia last year formed a separate Convocation; but has allowed them by the act of separation to come into the Council to vote for the Standing Committee, the deputies to the General Convention and for the Bishop, whenever one is to be elected: giving them, you see, legal representation in important affairs. The Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina is now discussing the matter of separation, and is only delaying its own action, while waiting to see what shall be done next fall by the General Convention. In our own Diocese of East Carolina, the negroes are formally and legally on the same basis as the whites; but is that satisfactory? Not at all. The negro laity rarely go to the Council. The negro clergy go; but they take a back seat; they have nothing to do or say; they are not expected to show their interest or their will, except by voting. Instead of its doing them good to come to the Council, it really does them harm. They are depressed, they feel the difference between themselves and the white men; they have little or no opportunity to take responsibility and to develop Christian manhood. Perceiving this state of things, the clear headed leader of the forces for separation in the Diocese of North Carolina tells me that he is urging this separation for the real good of the negro as well as for the growth and influence of the Church among the white people of the State.
The fact is, say what we will about it—it would carry me too far afield to explain it to-night—that the negro cannot work together on equality with the white man; he either assumes an apparent insolence and stubbornness, which the whites will not allow; or he puts on a civility and submission, which strips him of his manhood. So, we are placed in this condition: when we keep the negro close to us on formal equality, he has no real opportunity to grow and develop in the true characteristics of manhood; when we put him off in an inferior diocesan Convocation, he feels that he is not treated as a man; he is forced steadily to realize his inferiority to the white man, that inferiority declared and impressed upon him by the Church of God. This, it seems to me, is the chief reason why we are not now growing as we ought to among the leading influential negroes of the South; and the reason why there is much restlessness and want of satisfaction among the negroes who are already in the Church.
What ought we to do to meet these conditions? Let us turn aside for a moment to consider the general conditions of the negroes and their relation to the white people. We have to-day about the same relative proportion of blacks to whites in the whole country as we had in 1860—about 12 per cent.—; and we have nearly the same in the South, about 40 per cent. What is to become of the negro for the next fifty years? No man would dare suggest an answer looking farther ahead than that: God only knows. Some say he will amalgamate with the whites. Many thought so immediately after the war who do not think or say so now. No; after forty years the separation between the races is clearer, wider and more distinct than ever before. The thoughtful black men do not desire amalgamation; and the white men will not have it. Some say the negro will be colonized. I think that there is less reason in this answer even than in the former. The negroes do not wish to go; and we cannot force them. Think of the difficulty of deporting forcibly nine million people! No; as Dr. Booker T. Washington says, "This problem is not to be solved by deportation or by amalgamation." The negroes are here to stay with us, and the bulk of them will stay in the South.
For years there has been a steady movement of the negroes from the country to the towns and cities of the South, and from the Southern cities to the Northern. I think they are coming and will continue to come North in sufficient numbers for our brethren of the North to learn to know them, to sympathize with us in our problem and to have something of a problem themselves, and to feel that we must all work together towards its true and final solution. The negroes are dividing into two distinct classes more decidedly, it seems to me, than any other nationality in our country; and I hope they will continue to keep and increase this distinction. A minority are improving, are taking advantage of education, are advancing in morality and industry, are acquiring property and becoming worthy citizens. These few are setting a standard, and are giving us hope of what the negro can and may become. The majority are not improving, but rather retrogressing. They are looking on liberty as license; they are thinking that a little education will give them the privilege of living without manual labor; they are making higher wages the way to less work rather than the way to a higher standard of life; they are shiftless, immoral, and criminal. Now, as I study this race so dividing in the great laboratory of Nature, under the law of God which works on so justly, ofttimes apparently so cruelly, always for the general good of man, I look forward with the hope that this smaller, higher class will increase, and that the larger, lower class will decrease. The better class will increase as all good things do and will increase in the providence of God and with the help and sympathy of true good men. The larger, meaner class of negroes will steadily diminish in two directions; the first by movement of their best into the higher class, swelling that slowly into the majority; the second, by the stern sloughing off of their worst by the diseases which spring from idleness, self-indulgence, filth, and immorality.
What we white men of the North and South ought to do to encourage and help this better class of negroes is, in brief phrases, this: First, to keep our faces as flint against all social intermingling that looks toward amalgamation. Then, across this chasm, which both races frankly accept, to join hands with those trying to lift and better themselves, cheering, encouraging, and helping them. We must give them full protection in their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; we must give them even handed justice in law and in politics; we must give them equality of opportunity in earning their bread, in making their homes, in educating their children; we must give them every chance and all cheer and sympathy in seeking the fulfillment of the aspirations of the human heart among their own people. And, my friends, I want to tell you here in Chicago to-night that we men of the South are largely doing all of these things now, and we are going to do them more and more completely. We are coming to see more and more clearly that it will not do to have forty per cent. of the people of our Southern land sullen and suspicious, discontented and hopeless; but that we can only go forward at our best pace towards a happy and noble civilization, with both races cheerful and hopeful, sympathizing with each other in their peculiar perplexities, trusting their brother man on earth and their Father God in Heaven.
Keeping clearly in mind these conditions, what ought we Christians in the Church of God to do to help and strengthen this smaller, higher class and to persuade many of the larger, lower class to join this higher? In the first place, we must frankly acknowledge the hard facts of the case, and, as far as possible, put to one side theories. We are confronted by a condition, as far as I read and study, absolutely new in the history of mankind, where we have no exact precedent to guide us. The underlying practical fact is this: there must be separation not from but in the Church between the two races, for the growth of the Church among white men and black men, and for the development of Christian manhood among the black men. Having settled and agreed on that fact, how are we to effect that separation so as to do justice to the negro? How shall we keep him still in the One Holy Catholic Church in the United States of America and bestow on him her priceless blessings; how shall we keep him close enough to receive the sympathy, the support and the guidance of the white race; and yet put him far enough apart to grow and to strengthen, to meet responsibility and to make character, to develop a manly independence and to cultivate a brave and sober initiative? We have long given up the point of contact in the one parish Church, and have made the separation there; we are now giving up the point of contact in the Diocesan Council, and are making the separation there. What more shall we do? The true answer to my mind is: make the point of contact the General Convention, and make the separation, not by superior and inferior Councils in the same Diocese under the one Bishop; but by the erection of Missionary Jurisdictions, made up out of the colored people in different Dioceses under their own Bishop, on equality with any other Missionary Jurisdiction in the Church. We must have Missionary Jurisdictions in the South—one, or at most, two to begin with—composed of the negroes of two or more contiguous Dioceses, which shall be a part of the General Church, independent of the Bishops and Councils of those Dioceses, bearing the same relation to the General Convention that the white Missionary Jurisdictions do. That is to say, they shall have their representatives to the House of Clerical and Lay Delegates and their Bishops in the House of Bishops. The negro clergy and laity would thus meet together in their Missionary Convocation in numbers great enough to hearten one another and to stir enthusiasm; they would become responsible for their own success or failure; they would discuss, resolve and do their own committee work; they would have large missionary gatherings, which would make a deep impression on the negroes living in the city where the Convocation meets.
Of what race should be the Bishop of this negro Missionary Jurisdiction? There are two answers to this question. One answer comes from those in the Church who still cling to the theory that there must be no race division whatever in the Church, that there must be under all conditions conceivable or inconceivable one Bishop in the same territory to all kinds, classes and races of people. "No," say they, "no negro Bishop. Whatever be your divisions in Councils or Convocations or Conventions, let one white Bishop be the bond of unity." The same answer comes as a practical matter from men who differ widely from the above theory. It comes from those who look too much, it seems to me, at the mass of the negroes, the lower majority of whom I have spoken; it comes from those who are hopeless of doing much for or with the negroes, who regard them as children, careless and unreliable, with different aspirations from those that actuate the white man. They say, "we must have a white man; no negro is fit to be a Bishop."
The other answer comes from the men who think that we are confronted by facts, not theories, and that theories must be given up in the face of opposing facts; who think that the Church in her wisdom must rise up to meet this opportunity and responsibility, must adapt and adjust her system to the facts; who say that if a negro Bishop is acknowledged to be the best means to Christianize and save the negroes, then we must have a negro Bishop. This answer, again, comes from those who are looking more closely at the few, better, advancing negroes, thinking of them as men, with manly hopes and powers and aspirations, believing that races must be lifted by their own race leaders, that they can only truly understand and follow their own heroes. We say, "Remember Frederick Douglass, look at Booker Washington, know that wonderful Presbyterian Missionary, William H. Shepherd, consider the African Methodist Bishops, strong men, leaders of their fellows, against whom no murmur of scandal is raised. Surely among our own men in the Church, or our system is woefully at fault, we can find one or two honest, true, able, pure men, fit to be Bishops to their own race." Such a man would be a Bishop indeed to his race, such a Bishop as no white man can possibly be. He will enter, as only a negro can, into their perplexities, their hopes and their joys, sharing really in their social life, of which their religious life forms so great a part. He and his people will be a real part of the Holy Catholic Church, all worshipping according to her incomparable liturgy, all living under the same Canon law. He and his Deputies will come into close contact with their white brethren in the General Convention, and will gain much from such association and consultation. He will meet with the white Bishops, from whom his Jurisdiction is taken, in brotherly conference as his Council of Advice. From such friendly contact and advice from the highest and most sympathetic white men, he will go forth among his own people as their Apostle, their true Bishop and Father in God. In this double relation, in this position of high responsibility, he will stand forth as a true mediator between the races, pleading with both for peace, harmony, justice.
This action of the Church, this frank and fair position given to the negro will so appeal to the better class of the leading negroes, will so cheer and encourage them in their true progress, that they will come, I believe, steadily and largely into the Church.
From this line of thought, which grows clearer and clearer to me the more I read and think and see, I look forward with hope to a wise and fair adjustment of the relation between the races of this land, and to a happy future for a part of the negro race—how large a part God only knows. Towards this adjustment this Church of ours can make a rich contribution; and I believe she has, under God, a great part to play in enlarging the choice remnant and in bringing it to its true salvation.
Transcriber's Note: Page 13: Changed are'nt to aren't (You aren't going) Page 15: Changed ouside to outside (to that done outside) Page 17: Moved period inside end-quotes for consistency with text ("Farmers' Conference.") Page 21: Changed "the the" to "to the" (rarely go to the Council) Page 27: Changed conposed to composed (composed of the negroes)