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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.
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The place to lay the foundation for self-respecting manhood and womanhood is in the home, and the time to begin is in childhood. Tupper has well said: "The seeds of first instructions are dropped into the deepest furrows." And a greater than Tupper has said, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
(2) That our ministers of all denominations be urged to emphasize more largely than they do in their preaching the practical, every day duties of life. The sooner they realize that the gospel is intended to fit men to live as well as to die, and that dying right depends upon living right, the better it will be. Unfortunately, in too many of our pulpits, the emphasis is laid upon the future rather than upon the present, upon the life beyond rather than upon the life here. A reform in this respect is imperatively demanded. Practical preaching is what is needed in all of our pulpits,—preaching that will teach men how to live, how to let their light shine so that others seeing their good works my be led to glorify their Father which is in heaven.
(3) That our teachers, preachers and, physicians, as well as all parents be urged to throw their influence positively on the side of temperance. If this evil is to be successfully combatted something more is necessary than simply refraining from strong drink ourselves. We must be aggressive; we must do with all our might what our hands find to do in seeking to create a healthy sentiment against it. To remain passive, inactive, however strongly we may believe personally in temperance, will count for but little.
(4) That ignorance and immorality in the pulpit should be everywhere frowned upon. If the pulpit is to be a source of influence for good in the work of elevating the race, it must be apt to teach, and in character it must be above reproach. According to God's Word, "a bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, of good behavior, apt to teach." And this standard must be maintained. An ignorant and vicious ministry is a curse to any people.
(5) That parents be urged to train their children to be industrious and saving, and, the girls, especially, to dress simply and inexpensively. Idleness and the love of dress are among the greatest sources of demoralization among us. Some one has said, "A lad who is not taught to work is trained to steal." And again, "Bring up your boy to do nothing and he will be a rogue." And still again, "The hour of idleness is the hour of tempta-
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