These were the characteristics of Negro religious life as developed up to the time of Emancipation. Since under the peculiar circumstances of the black man's environment they were the one expression of his higher life, they are of deep interest to the student of his development, both socially and psychologically. Numerous are the attractive lines of inquiry that here group themselves. What did slavery mean to the African savage? What was his attitude toward the World and Life? What seemed to him good and evil,--God and Devil? Whither went his longings and strivings, and wherefore were his heart-burnings and disappointments? Answers to such questions can come only from a study of Negro religion as a development, through its gradual changes from the heathenism of the Gold Coast to the institutional Negro church of Chicago.
If all the black land-owners who had ever held land here had kept it or left it in the hands of black men, the Negroes would have owned nearer thirty thousand acres than the fifteen thousand they now hold. And yet these fifteen thousand acres are a creditable showing,--a proof of no little weight of the worth and ability of the Negro people. If they had been given an economic start at Emancipation, if they had been in an enlightened and rich community which really desired their best good, then we might perhaps call such a result small or even insignificant. But for a few thousand poor ignorant field-hands, in the face of poverty, a falling market, and social stress, to save and capitalize two hundred thousand dollars in a generation has meant a tremendous effort. The rise of a nation, the pressing forward of a social class, means a bitter struggle, a hard and soul-sickening battle with the world such as few of the more favored classes know or appreciate.
limitation was always important and was one cause of the spread of the decentralized and democratic Baptist faith among the slaves. At the same time, the visible rite of baptism appealed strongly to their mystic temperament. To-day the Baptist Church is still largest in membership among Negroes, and has a million and a half communicants. Next in popularity came the churches organized in connection with the white neighboring churches, chiefly Baptist and Methodist, with a few Episcopalian and others. The Methodists still form the second greatest denomination, with nearly a million members. The faith of these two leading denominations was more suited to the slave church from the prominence they gave to religious feeling and fervor. The Negro membership in other denominations has always been small and relatively unimportant, although the Episcopalians and Presbyterians are gaining among the more intelligent classes to-day, and the Catholic Church is making headway in certain sections. After Emancipation, and still earlier in the North, the Negro churches largely severed such affiliations as they had had with the white churches, either by choice or by compulsion. The Baptist churches became independent, but the Methodists were compelled early to unite for purposes of episcopal government. This gave rise to the great African Methodist Church, the greatest Negro organization in the world, to the Zion Church and the Colored Methodist, and to the black conferences and churches in this and other denominations.
Thus one can see in the Negro church to-day, reproduced in microcosm, all that great world from which the Negro is cut off by color-prejudice and social condition. In the great city churches the same tendency is noticeable and in many respects emphasized. A great church like the Bethel of Philadelphia has over eleven hundred members, an edifice seating fifteen hundred persons and valued at one hundred thousand dollars, an annual budget of five thousand dollars, and a government consisting of a pastor with several assisting local preachers, an executive and legislative board, financial boards and tax collectors; general church meetings for making laws; subdivided groups led by class leaders, a company of militia, and twenty-four auxiliary societies. The activity of a church like this is immense and far-reaching, and the bishops who preside over these organizations throughout the land are among the most powerful Negro rulers in the world.
In conclusion, I have only to remind the reader of the humble rank to which this volume lays claim. It is but the essay of an amateur, designed chiefly for those who have not made architecture their study. No man can be more sensible than myself, of its defects; yet, well knowing the want of some plain and simple directory of the kind, I lay it upon the altar of utility with the hope that it may be found acceptable to some of my brethren, and save them from many of those perplexities which commonly attend an attempt to erect the earthly sanctuary of God. With regard to credit, emolument, or reputation, I may well apply the adage, 'Happy is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed.' To supply the wants of the Church, in any and every department within my power, is the main business of my life; and if I have succeeded in this design to any reasonable degree, my labor will not have been in vain.
This plate presents a perspective drawing of a design for a small cathedral, in which the roof is concealed by a rich screen of tracery, the water, however, having the same means of escape provided as formerly described, through the lower [43/44] row of small Gothic arches. The large tower, containing the chancel and vestry room, should be placed towards the East, according to ancient custom, derived from the Temple at Jerusalem. And two doors, one at each side of the tower would be necessary, in addition to the western door, shewn in the plate, for the ingress and egress of the congregation. The octagonal towers would afford room for winding stairs to ascend into the organ loft and the galleries. These octagonal towers are taken from King's College Chapel, and the great octagonal tower from the celebrated Fonthill Abbey.
went vaguely wandering into the shadowy East three thousand years ago; and certainly one might frame a pretty and not far-fetched analogy of witchery and dragon's teeth, and blood and armed men, between the ancient and the modern Quest of the Golden Fleece in the Black Sea.
With such foundations a kingdom must in time sway and fall. The masters moved to Macon and Augusta, and left only the irresponsible overseers on the land. And the result is such ruin as this, the Lloyd "home-place ":--great waving oaks, a spread of lawn, myrtles and chestnuts, all ragged and wild; a solitary gate-post standing where once was a castle entrance; an old rusty anvil lying amid rotting bellows and wood in the ruins of a blacksmith shop; a wide rambling old mansion, brown and dingy, filled now with the grandchildren of the slaves who once waited on its tables; while the family of the master has dwindled to two lone women, who live in Macon and feed hungrily off the remnants of an earldom. So we ride on, past phantom gates and falling homes,--past the once flourishing farms of the Smiths, the Gandys, and the Lagores,--and find all dilapidated and half ruined, even there where a solitary white woman, a relic of other days, sits alone in state among miles of Negroes and rides to town in her ancient coach each day.
B. This figure shews a section of the chancel and of the interior, with the frame work of the roof, the end windows, the Gothic pilasters connected with their arches, as before; the pulpit, from the centre of which, at each side, a Gothic screen extends to the end of the chancel railing, and is then turned at right angles to the wall, forming an enclosure for the steps which descend to the vestry room in the basement story, and also for those which ascend to the pulpit. Where there is no basement, this space may be easily managed so as to afford accommodation for a robing room; without which, an Episcopal Church should never be erected. Below [35/36] the pulpit, is seen the desk; on each side of which, are the doors of the screen. Below the desk appears the communion table, and at each end of the chancel, is a gothic chair. In front, is the chancel railing, in the centre of which is placed the font for baptism. The wall behind and above the screen shews an appropriate finish, which may be given by painting; the two oblong squares representing tablets containing the Lord's prayer, the Creed, the ten commandments, or any other parts of Scripture, according to the choice of the minister; and the centre of the wall exhibiting the sentence, HOLINESS TO THE LORD, or any other short and impressive text, in larger characters. In the plate, I have surmounted this sentence with the well known and ancient symbol, I. H. S., signifying, , with the cross rising out of the middle letter a symbol to which I confess myself strongly attached on account of its solemn and affecting signification. Many pious people are afraid of this figure of the cross, because it is used so extensively by the Church of Rome; but this is a weak and unworthy argument for laying aside any thing, which, in itself, possesses an edifying and wholesome character. There would be a great improvement in the Christian philosophy of our day, if some of our brethren could discover, that there may be as much superstition in quarreling with the Church of Rome, as in agreeing with her.
The ancient mode of making the sash which contained the glass of Church windows, was in lattice work of lead or pewter. Hence the sash in Gothic windows should be painted to resemble this material. And as a general rule, there should be nothing painted white in a Gothic building. The lightest tint should be a shade of drab color. This does not seem a very desirable hue for any thing, according to the common judgment; but being in fact a stone color, it forms the most sober and pleasing finish, for the inside walls and wood work of a Church. It is solemn without being gloomy, and skews the workmanship of every part to the best advantage.
speculative demand for land once marvellously rich but already partially devitalized by careless and exhaustive culture. The war then meant a financial crash; in place of the five and a half millions of 1860, there remained in 1870 only farms valued at less than two millions. With this came increased competition in cotton culture from the rich lands of Texas; a steady fall in the normal price of cotton followed, from about fourteen cents a pound in 1860 until it reached four cents in 1898. Such a financial revolution was it that involved the owners of the cottonbelt in debt. And if things went ill with the master, how fared it with the man?