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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (52).pdf

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51

no mistake. Her inexorable laws provide for the survival of the fittest only. Let the Negro freely find himself, whether in doing so he falls or rises in the scale of life.

With his labor the Negro is in the market of the world. If, all things considered, he have the best article for the price offered, he will sell, otherwise not. But it is of immense value and moment to the South, as well as to himself, that he shall succeed in disposing of his labor. It means much to him morally and economically, but it means much more to the South in both respects. If his labor, in all departments of industry in which it may be employed, be raised by education of head and hand, by the largest freedom and equality of opportunities, to the highest efficiency of which it is capable, who more than the South will reap its resultant benefits? So will not the whole country in the diffused well being and productivity of its laboring classes, and at the same time in the final removal of the ancient cause of difference and discord between its two parts? But if the Negro fail by reason of inherent unfitness to survive in such a struggle, his failure will be followed by decline in cumbers and ultimate extinction, which will involve no violent dislocation of the labor of the republic, but a displacement so gradual that while one race is vanishing another will be silently crowding into the spaces thus vacated.

Dr. Spiller is a practical man of affairs as well as a minister of the gospel. As president of the Peoples' Building and Loan Association he has considerable influence over his people, and in all practical ways is a power for good in the community in which he lives. He has also established an academy in Hampton, and constantly throws his influence on the side of education and better living. His paper, extracts from which we print below, did not adequately represent Dr. Spiller's power in his own pulpit, nor give a proper conception of his practical helpfulness.

THE NEGRO PULPIT AND ITS RESPONSIBILITIES.

BY REV. RICHARD SPILLER, D.D.

When we consider the ways and means by which man is influenced for his development along all lines, none is so patent as that of the pulpit. It would be impossible for any congregation to listen to a pastor for any number of years without being trained along certain lines.

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