Lift Every Voice: African American Oratory, 1787-1900

By Philip S. Foner; Robert James Branham | Go to book overview

people in heaven, saying, Alleluia, salvation and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God; for true and righteous are his judgments--and the four beasts, fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia; and a voice came out of the throne, saying, praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

To conclude the whole, let it be remembered; that all that is outward, whether opinions, rites or ceremonies, cannot be of importance in regard to eternal salvation, any further than they have a tendency to produce inward righteousness and goodness--pure, holy, spiritual and benevolent affections can only fit us for the kingdom of heaven; and therefore the cultivation of such must needs be the essence of Christ's religion--God of his infinite mercy grant that we may make this true use of it. Unhappily, too many Christians, so called, take their religion not from the declarations of Christ and his apostles, but from the writings of those they esteem learned.--But, I am to say, it is from the New-Testament only, not from any books whatsoever, however piously wrote, that we ought to seek what is the essence of Christ's religion; and it is from this fountain I have endeavored to give my hearers the idea of Christianity in its spiritual dress, free from any human mixtures--if we have done this wisely we may expect to enjoy our God in the world that is above--in which happy place, my dear brethren, we shall all, I hope, meet at that great day, when our Great Master shall sit at the head of the great and glorious Lodge in heaven--where we shall all meet to part no more for ever and ever--Amen.■


3 A CHARGE DELIVERED TO THE BRETHREN OF THE AFRICAN LODGE

Prince Hall

A leading organizer of Boston's eighteenth-century black community, Prince Hall ( 1735-1807) left an enduring institutional legacy. Little of his early life, however, can be recounted with certainty. Perhaps born in Barbados, he was enslaved by William Hall of Boston, a leather dresser, for twenty-one years and was finally manumitted in 1770.

On March 6, 1775, Hall and fourteen other free blacks were inducted

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