The Negro in his Relations to the Church : historical view / by John S. Fairly.
THE NEGRO IN HIS RELATIONS TO THE CHURCH. HISTORICAL VIEW BY JOHN S. FAIRLY CHARLESTON, S.C. CHARLESTON, S.C. WALKER, EVANS [and] COGSWELL CO., PRINTERS, 3 and 5 Broad and 117 East Bay Streets, 1889.
PREFACE. Lest, emanating from South Carolina, some persons, into whose hands this pamphlet may fall, should prejudge it to be an expression of what is called in some localities. "The old slaveholding prejudices," and therefore consign it to the waste-basket, unread; itmay be wellto say here; that-, u til within a few years of his majority, the writer had neser, even seen a slave, and, though afterwards living among them for a number of years while they were still slaves, he neither owned, nor ever wished to own one; and,that he is sincerely thankful, that, in the good providence of God, the institution of negro slavery has been abolished in the United States of America. No church newspaper being published in this diocese, this letter was sent to the "Southern Churchman," of Richmond, for publication, shortly before the annual meeting of the' Council of the Diocese of Virginia, in May last, hoping that in its columns it would be read by most of the deputies to that Council, and perhaps; by more of the deputies to the Convention of this diocese than could be reached through any other channel. The editor of the "Churchman" refused to publish it; and the writer therefore, availed himself ofthe courtesy of the editor of the "Charleston World" a daily secular newspaper of this city, in which it. appeared on the 4th of last May. Several of the Clergy of our Church, and laymen, of dis- tinction both in Church and State, having been pleased to express to the writer, personally and by letter, their concur- rence in the views presented in this paperand their desire for its re-publication in a more permanent form and for more general distribution among Churchmen; the writer, in deference to their judgment and wishes, presents it in this form, heartily _joining them in the hope that it inay in some degree promote the knowledge of the truth--the welfare of our race, and the maintenance of a pure faith and practice in the Church of God, in this country, as it has come down to us from our forefathers, uncontaminated by the heredi- tary idiosyncracies of an alien and savage race.
Sir: The action soon to be taken by the Diocesan Coun- cil of Virginia. and by the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina, in reference to the relations to be established between these bodies and the congregations of negroes within their limits and jurisdiction, will be so deeply freighted with good or evil consequences, not only to are cimrehes within their borders, but to to all the Churches [asterix] that it seems unnecessary to apologize hir asking space in your valuable columns to invite attention to a view of this ques- tion, which appears hitherto, to have escaped the attention it merits, because, it presents the matter in the searching light of experience, which prudent men have always ac- counted the most trusty guide, in settling upon a course of action in diflicult questions; therefore, it surely ought not to be neglected by the Church in determining her course, in this, most important matter now under consideration- involving, as it does, the guardianship of the most precious treasure bequeathed to her care, not for this generation ' only, but in trust, for all future generations,-"The Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints " The history and anteccdents of a man are generally regarded as the best standpoints from which to forecast his future conduct, and so, oi nations and races. The experience of mankind, in this respect, is expressed in the common aphorism; "History repeats itself." Let the Church 0fChrist then, carefully examine the religious history of the negro race, before making it co-trustee ofthe things committed by her All wise Founder to the keeping of the Caucassian race, -with the hope, that, by His blessing, hcr duty may be made clear, in dealing with "the race question." Opinions diametrically opposed to each ot.her are held by Cliristian men, with equal tenacity, as to the unity or diver- sity of origin of the different- races of men that inhabit the earth; but it is lereign to my purpose, at present, to discuss [asterix] See lst Corinthians, 12th chapter, 12th to 26th verses,
4 this question. I accept, as true, merely forthe purpose of this inquiry, the assumption; that the negro is a descendant of Adam, and consequently of Noah, as well as t.he white man '; because it is the chosen, and certainly, the strongest position of those who advocate negro equality in the Church. This being admitted : it, of course, follows; that t.he ancestors of the negro received the same religiousinstruction that was imparted to his white brethren by their common father;- Noah, who, the Bible tells us, was " a preacher of righteous- ness." - He must, therefore, have lived and taught among his de- scendants the negroes, just as he lived 'and taught among A their white brethren, for three hundred years 'after the Hood. We may, therefore, reasonably look to find in their posterity, fruits of his ministry and their Godlike lineage, similar to those developed in their white brethren. Letus see if it so fell out.. The white race; as a race, has retained the knowledge o1` God and His laws, and has continued to worship Him, and obey them ; more or less generally, more or less persistently, and more or less purely, ever since the time of Noah. When one or more families, or nations, lapsed into idolatry and consequent wickedness, another ezpne to its rescue, or; if wicked, past reformation, destroyed it., as t.he Israelites destroyed the Canaanites; and so, the truth has been pre- served among them, and a pure worship, until at length, after many struggles and incalculable suffering, self-denial, and sacrifice (in which none but the white race took part), the knowledge of God, and national obedience to His laws, has again become nearly coextensive with the expansion of that race. The white man ; beginning to replenish the eart.h after the flood; retaining (though sadly deiaced by the fall of Adam) the image of his Creator; in which he was made; his con- structive ;--may we not say, his Godlike, though deteriorated; creative faculty ‘? soon began to assert itself, and-undcterred by the failure at liabcl-within eight hundred and fifty years after the flood, he had surrounded himself, in Ethiopia
5 and Egypt, Babylonia and Syria,-wherever he went, with marvellous works of industry and art, some of the ruins of which remain to this day, exciting t.he wonder and emulation of architects, and confounding the atheistic cvolutionist, who would have us believe, that our ancestors were apes, and were not made in the image of God. lixcrcising another Godlike characteristic ; he already, began to record, for the instruction and delight of future generations, the mighty works of God, and His dealings with the children of men, and to celebrate His praise, in language never since surpassed in purity and sublimity of thought, or in force and beauty of expression: for it was about this time that Job lived and ‘wrote the story of his unparalleled afflic- tions, and sublime faith and fortitude. How had it been with the negro? He was taught of Noah, as we have seen, for three hundred years after the Hood, and until within one hundred and thirty years of the call ot` Abraham, "the friend of God," and, probably by the Patriarchs. Yet, notwithstanding his many marked peculiarities of mental, moral, and 1physical constitution, we find no clearly distinct-ive reference to him in the sacred Scripture; and the only knowledge we have of his subsequent history, for nearly two thousand years, is derived from pic- tures found in Egyptian and Ethiopian monuments. Some of these have, in the good providence of God, been prcserrved, as Ibelieve; for -our instruction in this matt.er, and placed within our reach by an English traveler who explored Ethiopia A. D. 1833, and in 1835 published a very instructive book, enti- tled, "Hoskin’s Travels in Ethiopia." It is profusely illus- trated from photographs taker. by a French artist, whom he took with him for that purpose. Some of them, to secure accuracy of detail in coloring, were colored upon the spot. Several of these represent- processions bringing presents to the great king Thothmes lll, who reigned at Thebes about five hundred and fifty years after t.he death of Noah. They were painted in fresco on the walls of his tomb at Thebes; and nearly thirty-five hundred years later, this traveler found them wonderfully, almost. perfectly, and, as it would seem,
6 miraculously preserved in outline and coloring. In these frescos we find white men, represented with long beards, straight hair and blue eyes, and fully clad in long robes, accompanied by horse and chariot, and carrying weapons_of war. The negro is represented also, but always as a slave; almost nude, and presenting every characteristic which distinguishes the pure negro of Equatorial Africa to- day. His physical condition and appearance being the same, the presumption is strong, almost to certainty, that his mental, non-moral and non-religious conditions were the same, in the time of Thothmes III, thatfwe now find in his posterity in Africa. T We must, therefore, conclude, that while the white man retained, and had taken steps to transmit it to his poster- ity, the negro had, within tive hundred and fifty years, lost the knowledge of God, as taught him by his ancestor, N0ah,and had already lapsed into savagery. That he was subsequently instruct.ed in the law, as given to Moses on Mount Sinai, we learn from St. James, who says, (Acts 15, verse 21). " Moses, of old time, hath in every city, them that preach him." But, we have no record ot the conduct of the race under the Mosaic dispensation. Sacred history is silent regarding him;[asterix] which, taken to- gether with the fact, that no remains of cities or tombs or monuments of his building, have ever been found, would [asterix] NOTE.-Except Jeremiah, 13e. 23v., where he doubtless referred to the aborigines of Ethiopia, just as we to-day, would speak of the Indian without fear of being supposed to mean the Englishman born in India. Jeremiah also speaks, ch. 25, v. 20 and 24, of all the mingled people of Egypt and Arabia, who may have been mixed with the negro or other aborigines, and in Daniel, 2d Chap. 4lst to 43d v., where the pro- phet- predicts t.he disintegration and destruction of the ten king- doms that- were to grow out of the Roman Empire, because of their intermingling with these people, and with the lied Men-as is most probable-represeuted by the "Potter’s Clay," and the " Mirey Clay," " t.he seed of men." Will the Church deliberately incur the same penalty in spiritual things, and so promote its prolmbility in carnal things? Its disintegrating ellevt are already felt in the Church in South Carolina.
7 argue, almost. conclusively, that under the Mosaic dispensa- tion he did not recover from the " degraded " condition to which he had fallen in the time of Job, at least, not sufii- eiently, to be counted among "the nations" spoken of in the bible; though, it is of course, improbable, if not impos- sible, that any of the writers of these sacred books, were ignorant of his existence. He is 'not mentioned, I believe, in profane history until nearly a thousand years after the reign of Thotlimes, when Herodotus, book 4, chapters 183 and 191, mentions wild men who inhabited Africa to the south of Lybia, whom the Lybians hunted in chariots, because of their exceed- ing swift-ness of foot. Probably to make slaves of them; just as the Lybians or Arabs hunt their descendants to-day. Let us now inquire what were the opportunities of this race under the New Dispensation ? Happily here we reach firm ground. The record is clear; and so complete, that there is no room t.o doubt, that the negro, (if a descendant of Adam), as well as the white man- every man who sinned in Adam-had the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ ;- the second Adam-preached to him before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. Because; in predicting that event, Jesus Christ himself, said: " but the Gospel must first be published among all nations." (Sec Mark, Chap, 13, v. 10.) And in order that this might be fulfilled, He, just before Ilis ascension, gave the eleven disciples their commission- "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to éiiery crecztm'e;"-Of course, the words, "every creature," must here. be t.akeu in the limited sense of every sinfuland res- ponsible creature--every creature who sinned in Adam ; for, to t.he descendants of Adam only, is sin possible. " By one man sin entered into t.he world." Romans, 5th chapter, 12th verse. To them only, was the law and the Gospel sent and they only have conscience of sin. - And to enable them to fulfill this prophecy and commandment, he endowed t.hcm with miraculous powers, so that they should east out devils, heal the sick, be unhurt by serpents or any deadly thing, and speak to all nations in their
8 native tongues. They were as free from fear of danger, and as well equipped to preach in the wilds of Africa, as in the mountains of Judea; and; that distance could have been no obstacle to the execution of their commission, we learn, from the translation of Philip t.o Azotus after the bap- tism of the Ethiopian Eunuch. No power was denied them necessary to the accomplislnnent of the work set before them; and, these powers were bestowed, not alone upon the Apostles, but upon all who believed, until this great evangel was completed. See Mark, 16c., v. 17. Being thus perfectly furnished for the work, did t.hey execute the glorious task commit-ted to them ? We are left in no doubt upon this point, for in the last verse of the same chapter, we read: "And they went forth and preached every where, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following. _ Surely with such a corps of workers-very soon increased by multitudes of converts, full of zeal, in every country where the word was preached,-so endowed, and with the risen and ascended Lord himself, working with them, their ministry must have been successful, in every nation.. The great apos- tle to the Gentiles tells us that it was, eminently successful, not only at Jerusalem, but everywhere. Writing to the Romans, some thirty years later, review- ing this glorious work, in which he had taken so arduous a part. he says, Chapter 10, verse 18 : " But, I say, have they not heard Z’ Yes. verily, their sound went out into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the u:orld," and in the sixteenth chapter, twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth verses of the same Epistle, he says: " The preaching of Jesus Christ [3 asterix] now made manifest, and according to the commandment of the everlasting God; made known to all -nations. Again, a few years later, writ- ing to the Colossians, he says: Chapter 1, verses 5 and 6: "The Gospel, which come unto you, as it is in all the world and bringeth forth fruit, as it does also in you ;" and in verse tweiity-third; re-afiirming the perfect and complete execution of th‘eir commission. as given to the eleven dis-
9 ciples by "Our Lord." He says, "The Gospel which ye have heard. and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven." And again, we see in the second chapter of Acts, that the Gospel was preached by Peter " to devout men from every nation under heaven," and in Romans, first chapter and eighth verse, [3 asterix]" Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." Eusebius, writing in the fourth century, says: "The Apostles preached the Gospel in the remotest cities and countries, from India to the British Islands." Jerome con- firms this, and so Theodoret (in t.he next century); all proving beyond doubt, the fulfillment of our Lord’s in- struction and prophecy; Acts, 1st chapter ami Sth verse, ‘[3 asterix] " And ye shall be my witnesses unto the uitcrmost parts of the earth." It is therefore indisputable, except by those who think themselves "wise beyond what is written ;" that the negroes ; being of Adamic origin, the law of God was preached to them; First, by Noah, for three hundred years after: the flood, and, doubtless, by many of his descendants, pro- bably by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and secondly, that they were, as St. James tells us, instructed in the law, as given to Moses ; and lastly in the law of t.he'Xew Covenant of Jesus Christ, under circumstances, and attended by miraculous phenomena, impressive beyond our powers of realization; illld, as we are assured by St. Paul, as to the last, so, we may reasonably suppose, that he received " the preached word," under the two former dispensations, to some extent, fruitfully. Yet, (and thisis the point that bears most directly upon the question before us), in every instance, after being brought to the knowledge of God, the negro race must have lapsed, - more or less speedily, into absolute savagery : losing totally that knowledge, and all sense of responsibility to any God. The white man on the contrary, when he forsook the true God, always set up some other in his stead to be worshipped, and to which he held himself more or less re- sponsible, To him the existence and worship of a superior
10 being, has always been; the one: a scelf-oviclent. fact: the ot-her, a iiecessity. Not so the negro. He, neither conueives of, nor holds himself responsible t.o any superior, except under the influence of fear. Ile has always feared and pro- pitiatetl an evil spirit. Having seen, then: that neither the destruction of` the Adamic world for sin, by t.he flood: nor the grand and terrible circunistances t.hat attended the delivery of the law to Moses; nor the eloquence and mighty works ot` the prophets, nor the wonders ot' inerey and grace that Jesus Christ and his disciples, and the multitude of believers, peirtorined and taught; produced any lasting eflect. upon the negro race; all having utterly failed, to fix in him the knowledge and loveof the truth, so that he would continue in it. How can (lhristian men persuade themselves to believe that, through the attenuated and secularized instru- mentalities of the nineteenth century, we can etfeet, what Noah and the Patriarchs, Moses and the l’rophets, and finally, Jesus Christ and his chosen Apostles, with their im- mediate and multitudinous following of specially inspired and endowed men, failed lo etlect. If any can be so infatu- ated, let him read the observations made during a long residence in Hayti, by t.hat philanthropist- and friend of the negro race, Sir Spencer St. John, in his "Hayti" or the "Black Republic;" hut, if it should be thought that the case of the negroes in Hayti is an unfair test of the powcr_ of' "the religious instruinentalities ofour age,"because they have there, been, under the influence ofthe ehnreli ot' Rome, whereas some negrophilists assert holly,-though without- reason or evidence,-that. " our branch of' the chu rch is pecu- liarly suited to the spiritual wants ofthe negro." If he will read Froude'sbook on " The English in the West Indies," where, during many years, the negro has been very largely under the tutelage of our mother Church of' England, under the most. favorable circumstances, both betbrc and after eman- cipation; he will find their religious and moral condition to he little, if any, better there than in Hayti ; where they have largely returned to fetich worship and cannibalism;
11 but still professing to be Christians; they make history give . way to their, not illogical, vanity, by representing our Lord as a negro upon the cross; and white Romish Archbishops and Bishops, bred in France, permit this, in order to con- ciliate negro prejudice Y Y l The perusal of' Mr. Froude's hook leaves one profoundly impressed with the conviction that in whatever the condi- tion ofthe negro in the British West Indies is superior to that of his brother in Hayti, it is in no degree attrilnltable to religious causes, but only to the presence and political control of' the white man. It is safe to say, that no laboring people ever was taught mo1'c carefully, in the essential tenets and practice of our branch of the Church,than were the slaves of' many planters on the sea coast and elsewhere in South Carolina, and throughout- the South Atlantic States, not only by clergy- men, supported by their masters, but by the planters them- selves and their wives and sons and daughters. The Rev. Mr. Glennie, an Englishman, who labored among them for a life-time, at, and near Georgetown in this State, and was great-ly encouraged, if' mit elated, by his appa- rent success, up to the beginning ol' the war between the States; shortly afterwards, was forced, with most white people, to move to the interior for protection f`rom raids from Federal gunboats. lipon his return, tour years later, he found his flock, among whom he had labpred Su long and faithfully, utterly estranged from him, and wor- shipping a negro woman, whom the lf. 5. authorities were forced to remove, before any degreee of' order could be restored among them, and he was forced to acknowledge at t.he lastgthat his life-work was fruitless. "They have no root- in themselves, and in time of temptation they fall away; " Such is the universal experience of those who know them. Sec Rev. Mr. Tucker’s address before the Church Con- gress in liichmond, Uctobcr, 1882; Bishop Dudley’s Arti- cle, June 1885 number, Century Magazine, pp. 279, says: "Their religion isa superstition, their sacraments are fetiches, their worship is a wild frenzy, and their morality a shame.'
12 If any one can find in the experiences of these men-some of whom practice and advocate negro social equa1ity,aml the last of whom contemplates, with disgusting compla- cency, the time when his descendants and all the people of America shall be more or less mongrels-cause to think, that we of the Nineteenth century shall effect. for t.he negro what Noah and t-he Patriarchs, Moses and the Prophcts, and at last. the Eternal Son Himself, and His _apostles and preachers, with all their miraculous pow- ers, did noti effect; that. is, permanently to implant and fix in the negro race, such a love of the, truth, as would cause him to adhere to it, through every trial, and all time, and, if need be, to lay down his life for it-. as wlnito men have so often done in all ages; then, his zeal must. have blinded him. Tho negro, if history be a ihir test, will never remain in the faith ; nor make any pretense of doing so ; except. under the spiritual tutelage and immediate control of white mc-n. Then why has he been intrusted with the ministry ofthe Word ‘?-Because ; he and his supposed friends; surely more enthusiastic than wise-have said; that he will not accept t.he gospel from t.he white man. What then? Will they, here, as they have done in Hayt-i. reject. a white Saviour' also, and demand that a. negro be substitutied for Him ? and will our bishops also, accede to this denmml, as the Romislu bishops have done in Hayti, in order to conciliate his vanity and bring him into the Church ? If, like them, they are seeking temporal power, they probably will; unless the laity save the Church and the bishops and clergy from themselves. If the negro will not receive the gospel from white ministers, then it is proven, beyond doubt., that he never can have accepted it at all, and never will ! The negrophilists in the Church have persistently reite- rated the statement that the negro will not receive the gospel from white men; forgetful, apparently, that our Lord said 1 " Whosoever will not receive the Kingdom of Heaven, as a .little child, shall in no wise enter therein." Let us imagine one of the Lords disciples with his com- mission always in mind, coming to a town, or house inhab-
13 ited by negroes and, being told, " we won’t- receive the gos- i pel unless one of our own color preach to us." What would he have done? Unless he disobeyed orders (which is inconceivable in one of them), he must have turned away and left them to their fate, and "shaken the dust from oli his feet as a testimony against them." If our bishops be indeed the successors of the Apostles, are they not bound by our Lord’s instructions to the Apos- tles, in this, as in every other particular `:’ If so; why have they yielded to these clamors and induced the Church, at great labor and expense, diverted from their proper objects, to teach negroes for the ministry? This has been done, in nearly every case. without cost to the negroes themselves, or to their relatives, or any sacrifice, struggle or self-denial which would evidence their sincerity, or fitness to discharge the duties of the oliice? C Having so received an oHiec, in which, above all other, the spirit of Christian humility should he exemplified, surely, the Church, ii" her ordination of them, under the circumstances, was not' contrary to our Lord’s command- ment, had a right to expect; that,'at least; this primary grace would "be seen and known of all men," in these recipients of her bounty,as a first fruit of her instruction and care for them. Has this natural expectation been met? Cn the contrary; instead of deference towards their benefactors; extreme arrogance and self-sufiicieney characterize theiripuhlic acts and utterances, in urging their admission to the councils of the Church. One or two cases of recent- occurrence will sufficiently exemplify these characteristics. One of these negro clergymen through the Southern. Churc]mza'n., of Richmond, Va., recently threatened the Church with the studied enmity of his race, if its leaders should not- be admitted to share in the custody of the faith and` the management of the affairs ot the Diocese of Virginia, in her council. And in the Diocese of South Carolina; the bishop and mostiof the clergy, supported by some of the laity; had, to the great injury and peril of the Church, striven for thirteen
14 years; to secure the admission of this race to the Diocesan i convention; until at last; satisfied that only evil had, or could come of contiiruing the struggle; at Anderson in May last, they passed, unanimously, a preamble and resolutions looking to the separate organization of the negro race. The preamble says: " After long, anxious and earnest efforts to solve," etc. [3 asterix] " It -is apparent that the -interests rj Christ and his Church, among both races, are in great jeopardy and events have forced upon us the conclusion that the absu- lute 'necessity has arisen for the separate organization of the two races in this Diocese," etc. Under this preamble and resolutions a committee was ap- pointed to confer with these people and arrange for separate organization of the races. A meeting for that purpose was called in Columbia in February last ; where, after a long con- ference, the negroes declined to accede to the proposition of the co_mmittee looking to that end, or t.o make any counter proposition, and, although this committee was appointed by a meeting of clergy and laity ; some of whom had worked persistently for years, to have these people admitted to the Convention ; and was composed, in part, of the most violent and persistent advocates of their legislative equality in the Diocese; consisting of their bishop, with three of the clefgy and three laymen, their proposition is denounced through the columns of the " Church Year ".' the diocesan organ of t.his diocese, published in Jacksonville, Fla. : by one of these people as being " contra-ry to the spirit of Christ," etc !!! The application of such terms by the "colored " pas- t.or of a " model colored congregation of South Carolina," to the recommendations of a committee, so constituted, and so appointed, brings into' strong relief the ingratitude, as well as the self-sufficiency and arrogance of this race: and ; their persistence in prosecuting their claims to a privilege, the exercise of which, all their advocates in this diocese had most solemnlydeclared would bring " the interests of Christ and his Church into and his Church into "GREAT JEAOPARDY," exemplified their utter disregard of these interests; when they confiict with their ambitious vanity-their desire to be thought equal to
15 the white man, that they may associate with him on terms of equality, and so, by the operation of criminally outraged natural law, bring about Bishop Dudiey's mongrel’s millennium in America; How irresistibly these incidents recall our l.»ord’s warning to his disciples, " Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot, and turn again and rend you." These beneficiaries of the Church’s bounty, now insist; that, because the Church has done so much for them. she must do more; lest they should be ofieuded and driven f`rom her, and use the power derived from her gratuitous in- structions and ordination, to carry away their ignorant fol- lowers with them, They must be allowed forsooth : to share in making laws for the government ot` the Church and the ad- ministration of her permanentfunds, to which neither they nor theirs, have ever contributed, and her current finances, to which they are to stand, chiefi y in the relation of recipients, and; what is of infinitely more importance than all the rest, to share in the custody of the " the faith which was once de- livered to the Saints," which, as we have seen, they never have, under any circumstances, developed the capacity to retain, for any length of time. ln view of all these facts, would it be wise? Would it be pru- g dent? Would it not., on the contrary, evince amazing reck- lessncss, to admit negroes to the Councils of the church ? or to retain them there, if already admitted, where they may ;_ and will be used by designing white men, to elect standing committees and Bishops-to change our name, and., forms, and symbols, and liturgy, and so, step by step, sap the foundations of our faith itself? Would these whitef men, who urge the admission of the negro to a share in the control of the affairs of the Church, intrust him with the custody and management of any secular enterprise of their own, involving large interests; say as executors of their estates: or guardians ot` their children `? I think not. Why then, are they so reckless about the safe custody of the sacred truth, which is not of man’s creation? but, the legacy of Jesus Christ- to his people-for all time.
16 Our Holy religion has been transmitted to us, not only _for our own salvation, but., in trust for all future generatiohs. It is not our own, to transfer, or share the t.rust with people that have always proven themselves incapable of preserving it. Do those who would do so. despise their birthright 1' and, Esau-like, count it a profane thing? lt would indeed seem so, if we may judge by their willingness to trust it, even in the smallest degree, to custodians, so often proven untrustworth y. ' St. Paul's confidence in Tim othy’s faithfulness was established, not only by "prophecies which went- before upon him," but "by the unfeigned faith that was in his grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice." Have, or can, any of these negroes, or their congeners, present such guarantees to the Church ? If not, do those who invest them with the authority and functions of the ministry, and desire to share the other sacred trust.s of the Church with them, believe, that the law of heredity, potent in all else ofanimated nature_ is inoperative in man? Paul to the contrary notwith- standing? llasthe " culture" ofthe nineteenth century changed the nature of things, so that we can now, gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thist-les? The Master said it was impossible in His day. ' If these individuals of this race, who by the liberality of the white race, have been taught in the Scriptures, and,by the ecclesiastical authorities of the Church, authorized to teach others; have, under conditions so favorable, failed to learn humility ; the underlying principle ; the first lesson ; the con-- dition precedent; without which, the King himselfhas said, a man cannot enter his kingdom. How shall they teach it to their people, and if they, do not learn it, how shall they enter the Kingdom? If .already they demand a share in the legislation of the Church and threaten to abandon her if refused, and we yield unglcr this threat; what will be their next demand ‘? Why ; and certainly with equal reason ; to be ,represented in our standing committees, and in the general convention and to be made bishops over us. Yes; all who know the
17 negro character, know; t.hat all these would follow, and would be urged with the same threats and appeals that have been used to enforce their preposterous claims from the beginning of this controversy. If their attachment to t.he Church, and interest in her, are measured: by what they can get out of her, and can be. secured, only by admitting them to places for which they are, and have always proved themselves to be. utterly un- fitted by nature; then : the Church never has, and never can benefit them, spiritually, and they can only injure her, whether they be many or few in our conventions. "A lit.t.le leaven, leavens the whole lump," The negroes, and those who speak for them, seem incapa- ble of realizing their vast natural inferiority, demonstrated in every page of their history, if they may be said to have a history at all. Maudlin negrophilists talk about "the debt the white man owes them, to raise them from the degradation of slavery," Degradation of slavery indeed! So far from slavery to Christian men in America, having degraded the negro; it..is t.he only step on record that he has ever made, away from utter savagery. The white man owes him nothing whatever. The debt. is all due by t.he negro; who was saved bythe white rnan’s slave ships from the shambles, or their equivalent in Africa; or worse still- from slavery to his fellow savages there--a slavery; irifinitely worse than the very worst ever known in the Southern States of America. They were emancipated from this latter, by white men; without. an effort or sacrifice of their own. They were t.l1en given offices here, which they received, without. fear of unfitness to discharge their duties, and always mal-administered them; and quite recently they had delegations in Washington clamoring for a place in t.he cabinet, and threatening t.o leave the party that claiins to have, and they admit. has, done every- thing tor them; if they are not so " recognized." Will the Church, with eyes open to the historic incapacity of these people; yield to t.l1eir clamorous threats? Let. every lover of the truth; hope and earnest.ly pray God; so to
18 govern her councils that she will not commit this un- speakable folly; but that her Great Ilcad will give her rulers wisdom to avoid this snare of the Devil; and ever hold her in the knowledge ofthe t.ruth 1 which the admis- sion of the negro to her councils would so greatly imperil; and, at last, utterly corrupt.
- The Negro in his Relations to the Church : historical view / by John S. Fairly.
- Fairly, John S.
- The pamphlet by John S. Fairly, written after slavery had been abolished, outlines the past relationship between enslaved peoples and the church. Originally published in the Charleston World, May 4, 1889.
- College of Charleston Pamphlet Collection
- Contributing Institution:
- College of Charleston Libraries
- Media Type:
- Topical Subject:
- Slavery--South Carolina, African American religious thought and life, Slavery--Religious aspects, Race relations--Religious aspects--Episcopal Church--History--19th century, African Americans--Religion
- Geographic Subject:
- Charleston (S.C.)
- Shelving Locator:
- BX5979 .F35 1889
- S.C. County:
- Charleston County (S.C.)
- Internet Media Type:
- Digitization Specifications:
- 600 dpi, 24-bit depth, color, Epson Expression 10000XL, Archival masters are tiffs.
- Copyright Status Statement:
- Public Domain.
- Access Information:
- For more information contact Special Collections at Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, 29424.