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the cities are quite exhaustive, including all municipalities having a population of 25,000 and upward. The cities are divided, for the sake of convenience, into three classes: first, those having 500,000 population and upward ; second, those having a population of 100,000 to 500,000; and third, those having a population of 25,000 to 100,000.
The results are, in brief, that there are 5,302,018 communicants in these cities, or more than a fourth of the aggregate for the whole country; 10,241 organizations, which is less than a sixteenth of the whole number; 9722 church edifices, which is a little larger proportion; and church property valued at $313,537,247, or more than fortysix per cent. of the grand total.
The large figures representing church property do not need an explanation. The high values of city property account for them. The cities have an aggregate population of 13,988,938. Of this population it appears that one for every 2.64 persons is a communicant. This is a higher average than obtains in the country generally, where it takes more than three persons to yield one communicant. In the United States there are 337+ communicants in every thousand population; in the cities, nearly 379 in every thousand. Much of this difference may be explained by the fact that the Roman Catholic strength is chiefly in the cities, and it has a larger proportion of communicants to its religious population than any other denomination. The fact that the average of communicants to population is so large in the cities must be an encouragement to those who fear that the church is losing its grip on the masses crowded into our cities.
In the matter of church edifices a little calculation will make it appear that the cities of the second and third classes have more in proportion to population than those of the first class. The latter have one to 2147 of the population; those of the second class, one to 1468; and those of the third class, one to 1052.
Of the denominations, 37 are not represented in any of the cities. Only three—the Roman Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, and Protestant Episcopal—are represented in all of them. Of the Jews (Orthodox), nearly 92 per cent. are in the cities; of the Jews (Reformed), more than 84 per cent.; of the Unitarians and Episcopalians, upward of 48; of the Roman Catholics, more than 42; of the Presbyterians (North), nearly 29; of the Methodists (Episcopal), nearly 15; and of the Southern Baptists and Southern Methodists, only about 4.
THE NEGRO IN HIS RELATIONS TO THE CHURCH.
The negro is a religious being wherever you find him and under whatever conditions. In his own continent, where civilizing influences have hardly begun to lift him above the state of savage degradation in which he has so long remained, his religious instincts are dominant. They find expression often in superstitious, idolatrous, and cruel rites and observances; but he has, nevertheless, conceptions of beings of exalted power who affect the destiny of men.
The negro of the United States has no religion but the Christian religion. He is not a heathen, like our native Indian. He worships but one God, who is a just and merciful God, desiring that all men should be free from sin, and should come to a knowledge of the way of life through Jesus Christ. He is still more or less superstitious; he still has some faith in the power of charms; there is still some trace of heathenish practices in him; but our own race has not altogether outgrown childish thoughts about unlucky days and the way to avoid the evil they bring, and how mascots procure success. We cannot condemn the negro for his superstition without taking blame upon ourselves for the tenacity with which we cling to belief in signs and times and things, lucky and unlucky.
The negro of the United States is a Christian, not an atheist or a doubter. He gives no countenance to secularist or free-thinking organizations; nor does he prefer abnormal types of religion, such as Mormonism and spiritualism. Moreover, he is not a rationalist, or a theosophist, or an ethical culturist. He does not turn aside to follow the erratic turns of little coteries of religionists. Neither does he show a preference for the Roman form of Christianity. The splendid ceremonies of Catholic worship might be supposed to have a strong attraction for him, but it is not so. The actual membership of separate negro Catholic churches does not exceed fifteen thousand, and yet the Catholic Church is not weak in Louisiana or Maryland or the District of Columbia. Thirty-one represents the total of separate Catholic negro churches, not including, of course, the negro communicants in mixed churches.
The negro is not only a Christian, he is an evangelical Christian, He is a devout Baptist and an enthusiastic Methodist. He loves these denominations, and seems to find in them an atmosphere more congenial to his warm, sunny nature, and fuller scope for his religious activity, than in other communions. Perhaps this is due to his long association with them and his training. There is no reason to believe that he might not have been as intense a Presbyterian as he is a Baptist, or as true a Congregationalist as he is a Methodist, if these denominations had been able to come as near to him in the days of his slavery as did the Baptist and Methodist churches. It was fortunate for him that, while he was the slave of the white master, that master was a Christian and instructed him in the Christian faith. The school was practically closed to him; but the church was open, and thus he came into personal freedom and into the rights of citizenship an illiterate man, but a Christian, with that measure of culture in things spiritual and moral that the Christian faith, voluntarily accepted, necessarily involves.
According to the census of 1890, there are 7,470,000 negroes in this country. This includes all who have any computable fraction of negro blood in their veins. Of these all except 581,000 are in the old slave territory, now embraced in sixteen States and the District of Columbia. In other words, notwithstanding the migration of negroes to the North and West, ninety-one percent. of them are still in the South, on the soil where the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 reached them, and made them forever free from involuntary bondage. The negro churches of the South, therefore, form a large and important factor in the Christianity of that section.
In ten of those States the number of negro communicants ranges between 106,000 and 341,000, and in four of them it exceeds the total of white communicants. Thus in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina there are more colored than white communicants, although in Mississippi and South Carolina only does the negro population exceed the white. This shows that in point of church-membership the negro is quite as devoted as his white brother. Indeed, the proportion of colored people who are connected with the church throughout the United States is larger than that which obtains among the white people. About one in every three whites is a church-member. On this basis there should be 2,410,000 colored members. The actual number is 2,674,000, or an excess of 264,000 beyond the proportion that obtains among the whites.
The aggregate of colored communicants in the United States, so far as it could be ascertained by the careful methods of the census, is, in round numbers, 2,674,000. This includes all colored denominations, and all colored congregations in mixed denominations, so far as they could be ascertained; but it does not take account of colored communicants in mixed congregations. The number omitted, however, cannot be very large. The States in which the negro communicants are most numerous are as follows:
186,038 131,015 . 108,872 106,445 92,768 64,337
In these twelve States are found 2,398,865 communicants, leaving about 275,000 to the rest of the States and Territories of the Union.
As to denominational connection, the negro is predominantly Baptist. More than half of all negro communicants are of this faith, the exact number being 1,403,559. Most of these are Regular Baptists, there being less than 20,000 in the Freewill, Primitive, and Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit branches.
It is significant that the negro prefers the progressive and missionary type of the Baptist faith, and does not believe in the Hard-shell, Old School, or anti-missionary wing. Not less Calvinistic than the most Calvinistic of the Regular Baptists, he is also strict in his practice and thoroughly denominational in his spirit, and takes no little satisfaction in winning negro members of other bodies to the Baptist faith.
The number of negro Methodists is 1,190,638, or about 213,000 less than the aggregate of colored Baptists. The