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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.
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C. Braboy. J . H. Walker, J. W. Johnson, J. W. James, G. McFarland, G. H. Clay, W. H. Anderson, Bennett Stewart, S. B . Archie.
Georgia—E. R. Belcher, R.R. Wright, Elbert Head, Horace King, C. C. Wimbush , J. W. Brooks. S. C. Upshaw, J. H. Delamotta, W. A. Pledger.
Virginia—P. J. Carter, R.G.L. Paige, R. A .Perkins, J. G. Baugh, M.R. De Mortie. W. P. Ryder.
Kansas—T. W. Henderson, W. B. Townsend, J. M. Brown.
Alabama—1. Rev. P. C, Murphy, Mobile. 2. H. V. Cashin. 3. Perry Mathews. 4. G. S. W. Lewis, 5. G. W. Braxdall. 6._____. 7._____. 8. Rev. W. H. Ashe.
Missouri—J . W. Wilson, W. R. Lawton, Jas. M. Turner, Davis North. J. W. Hughes, Andrew Hubbard, Moses Dickson, J. J. Bruce, James Matlocler, Burley Jones, C. R. Coleman, John Lang, G. W, Dupee.
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY.
By Rev. B. T. Tanner.
Christianity is the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ. American Christianity is that phase of it found in America, meaning by America the United States; for it is a significant fact that this heterogeneous nation has audaciously possessed itself of the continental appellation. Before, however, we address ourselves directly to the subject presented, it is in place to recognize the fact that American Christianity in many of its phases is largely a thing of America, therefore measureably distinct from European Christianity, and measurably distinct from the Christianity of Asia or of Africa, in so far forth as the Divine faith may be said to have taken foothold upon either of these two great divisions of the earth. A continent eventually gives individuality to the religions faith of the people who eat its bread and drink its waters and regulate their lives in accordance with its political and social institutions. Therefore is it perfectly legitimate to speak of a continental Christianity; or, as in the case in hand, of American Christianity as contradistinguished from the Christianity of the other continents, perfectly legitimate to inquire as to its theory and practice. The question, therefore, in place to ask is: What has been the phase of individuality given the American theory of Christianity by the agencies, physical. political and social, recognized above; and to what extent have they affected its practice?
The theory of American Christianity, what is it?
At this moment we deem it in place to say that the theory of Christianity in general is one thing, the theory of the multiplied forms of ecclesiasticism, or what might be called churchianity, is quite another. Christianity is of God, ecclesiasticism is of men; this of earth, that of heaven. Christianity draws on our faith; ecclesiasticism on our judgment; this suffers change, that endures forever.
And yet nothing is more common than to hear men speaking of them as one and the same. We are quite ready to confess that they should be one and the same, at least mankind thinks so; quite ready to confess that the followers of each of the various systems claim that they are. But in view of the fact that these systems vary greatly from each other, it is very certain that each of them cannot be the exact counterpart of Christianity.
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