The only apology made for giving this book to the public, is the earnest desire which the author has to inspire young men of the race, and especially those of the Baptist faith, who were born and reared under much more favorable circumstances than he, to greater deeds of usefulness, and to leave to the denomination a written testimony of what was accomplished by the Negro Baptists of the United States in the first years of their separate effort at Christian work. The speeches and sermons contained in this volume are not given out as an exhibition of literary talent, nor is any claim made of perfection in their construction. But they are the promptings of a heart and mind full of love for the cause of the Master and for a race that has long been oppressed and is now struggling to improve its condition in every honorable way. The writer firmly believes in the possibilities of the race and has firmly advocated that the nearly two millions of colored Christians which God has added to the Baptist churches as a mass, are an heritage, and that it is the imperative duty of Negro Baptist leaders to develop this mighty force for the glory of God and the further redemption of the race. The facts presented will be more appreciated, when it is remembered that the wonderful development and unparalleled success of the denomination form the work of only a few years. But this is the most potent argument in favor of what can be done when a united effort is made at self-help. The author has great admiration for those friends of the race who have contributed so much for the educational and religious training of the same; but he believes that people who have been helped become very unworthy when they fail to make an effort to help themselves.
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