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Hampton Negro Conference. Number III. July 1899.

1899VA-State-Hampton_Proceedings (54).pdf

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But what is the Negro pulpit doing towards fullfiling the expectations of the great number of persons who are confiding in its integrity and its ability to lead them? Is it keeping them gazing steadily into the heavens while other races are accumulating wealth, making inventions, tilling the soil, building school houses, education their children, and making the world better by their having lived in it? The pulpit should be the exponent of the great doctrines of economy and industry. Are we teaching the people as we should how to develop the material resources of their various communities? Are we showing them how to get the most out of the soil? Are we helping them to buy land and to build houses? In short, are we training them in economy and in the other virtues of a thrifty people? We ought to encourage the young men to work, and show them by example that we believe and practice what we preach.

Since our people look to us for instruction upon all subjects, let us be prepared to impart it whenever it is needed. The pulpit should look after the the homes and the families. Of all the work committed to the hands of our ministers there is nothing more important than this:—The looking after the homes and making them pure and sweet. We are God's stewards and must account for our stewardship. The pulpit is accountable for its talents, time, and influence,—for all the good it possesses, the ability to do, in the world and in the church.

The three papers that follow were presented at the Thursday evening session held in Virginia Hall Chapel.



The virgin fertility of our southern soils and the vast amount of cheap and unskilled labor that has been put upon them, have been a curse rather than a blessing to agriculture; this exhaustive system of cultivation, the destruction of forests, the rapid and almost constant decomposition of organic matter, and the great number of noxious insects and fungi that appear every year, make our agricultural problem on requiring more brains than that of the North, East or West. Other occupations are holding out inducements to young men and women ready to

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