Recollections of a Long Life eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 292 pages of information about Recollections of a Long Life.

In closing this chapter of my reminiscences, I may be allowed to express my strong conviction that our Congress, impelled by generous feeling, and what they regarded as a democratic principle of government, committed a serious error in bestowing the right of suffrage indiscriminately upon the male negro population of the South.  A man who had been all his life an ignorant “chattel personal” was suddenly transformed into a sovereign elector.  Instead of this precipitate legislation, it would have been wiser to restrict the suffrage to those who acquire a proper education, and perhaps also a certain amount of taxable property.  This policy would have avoided unhappy friction between the races, and, what is more important, it would have offered a powerful inducement to every colored man to fit himself for the honor and grave responsibility of full citizenship.  At this time one of the noblest efforts made by wise philanthropy is that of educating, elevating and evangelizing our colored fellow countrymen of the South.  To help the negro to help himself, is the key-note of these efforts.  The time is coming—­yea, it has come already—­when to the name of Abraham Lincoln, the grateful negro will add the names of their best benefactor, General Samuel C. Armstrong (the founder of Hampton Institute) and Booker T. Washington.



The work of the faithful minister covers all the round week.  On the one day he teaches his people in the house of God, on the remaining days he teaches and guides them in their own houses and wherever he may happen to meet them.  His labors, therefore, are twofold; the work of the preacher and the work of the pastor.  The two ought to be inseparable; what the Providence of God and good common sense have joined together let no man venture to put asunder.  The great business of every true minister is the winning of souls to Jesus Christ, and to bring them up in godly living.  In other words, to make bad men good, and good men better.  All this cannot be accomplished by two sermons a week, even if they were the best that Paul himself could deliver; in fact, the best part of Paul’s recorded work was quite other than public preaching.  As for our blessed Master, He has left one extended discourse and a few shorter ones, but oh, how many narratives we have of His personal visits, personal conversation and labors of love with the sick, the sinning, and the suffering!  He was the shepherd who knew every sheep in the flock.  The importance of all that portion of a minister’s work that lies outside of his pulpit can hardly be overestimated.  The great element of power with every faithful ambassador of Christ should be heart-power and the secret of popularity is to take an interest in everybody.  A majority of all congregations, rich or poor, is reached, not so much through the intellect as through the affections.  This is an

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Recollections of a Long Life from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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