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A Word of Encouragement

The race has had much advice. We are loth to add to the same. And, yet, we dare assert that the solution of the so called race problem is not conditioned upon any one thing, but rather upon the wise use of all the elements of strength which have energized the advance and prosperity of all other races and peoples. As a word of encouragement, we give two extracts, one each, from the writings of two of the purest and ablest men this race of ours has yet produced.

The learned late Rev. Dr. Alexander Crummell, in writing of the "Destined Superiority of the Negro," uses these stimulating and most helpful words:

"You need not entertain the shadow of a doubt that the work which God hath begun and is now carrying on, is for the elevation and success of the Negro. This is the significance and the worth of all effort and all achievement, of every signal providence, in this cause; or, otherwise all the labors of men and all the mightiness of God is vanity. Nothing, believe me, on earth; nothing brought from perdition, can keep back this destined advance of the Negro race. Xo conspiracies of men nor of devils. The slave trade could not crush them out. Slavery, dread, direful, and malignant, could only stay it for a time. But now it is coming, coming, I grant through dark and trying events, but surely coming.

The Negro, black, curly headed, despised, repulsed, sneered at is nevertheless a "vital being, and irrepressible. Everywhere on earth has been given him, by the Almighty, assurance, self-assertion, and influence. The rise of two Negro States within a century, feeble though they be, has a bearing upon this subject. The numerous emancipations, which now leave not more than a chain or two to be un-fastened, have, likewise, a deep moral significance. Thus, too, the rise in the world of illustrious Negroes as Tousant L'Ouverture, Henry Christophe, Benjamin Banneker, Eustace, the Philanthropist, Stephen Allan Benson, and Bishop Crowther.

With all these providential indications in our favor, let us bless God and take courage. Casting aside everything trifling and frivolous, let us lay hold of every element of power, in the brain; in literature, in art, and science; in industrial pursuits; in the soil, in cooperative association; in mechanical ingenuity; and above all, in the religion of our God; and so march on in the path of progress to that superiority and eminence which is our rightful heritage, and which is evidently the promise of our God."

A fit companion with Dr. Crummell, is the great scholar and giant in character, the late Bishop Daniel A. Payne, founder of Wilberforce University, in Ohio, and Historian of die African Methodist Episcopal Church. Paraphrasing the words 'African Methodist Episcopal Church," in the closing page of his history of that Church, we reproduce the same, as follows:

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him: I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."

"We cannot do better than to echo this command, and save to all and every man, woman and child of the race, as individual elements in it, and to the aggregated whole: The Almighty God, is thy God, who has led thee on from one degree of strength to another until thou hast attained a little productive power. Do not be proud of it, for pride does not become mortal man. Do not boast of it, for boast-ing is the breath of pride. Remember that God looks at the proud afar off. Rather be modest, be humble, be grateful, be obedient, be loving, be faithful, and He, the Al-mighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will raise thee to a higher plane of strength, of power, of usefulness, and consequent greatness. Listen to Him as Abraham listened, when He says unto thee, Colored People, I am the Almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect.' Be thou perfect in every one of thy members, be thou perfect in every one of thy departments, and I will make thee to multiply exceedingly; and I will make thee exceedingly fruitful;' 'and I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee.'

Listen, Colored People, listen, and when thou hearest, obey the command of the Lord God Almighty, when He says: 'Walk before me, and be thou perfect.' 'I have formed thee, and I have led two generations of thine; I can, I will, I shall, lead a thousand generations further and higher than I have led thee and thine. Only walk before me, as Abram did, and with me as Enoch did.' Fear not, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.' 'Walk before me, and be thou perfect.' "

 Maryland Biographies | Maryland AHGP

Source: Gazetteer of Maryland, by Henry Gannett, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1904.


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