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ON THE EARLY PARTS OF THE
BY THE REV. WILLIAM MARSHALL HARTE,
RECTOR OF ST. LUCY, IN THE ISLAND OF BARBA DOES.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
LONDON: PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY FOR THE CONVERSION AND RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND EDUCATION OF THE NEGROE SLAVES IN THE BRITISH
WEST INDIA ISLANDS ; AND SOLD BY C. AND J. RIVINGTON, , ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD, AND WATERLOO-PLACE, PALL-MALL.
THE discourses contained in these volumes were originally preached to a congregation of Negroes in the Island of Barbadoes. With the exception of the introductory discourse, and those which are explanatory of the early part of the Bible and Ten Commandments, they form a series of Lectures on the Gospel of St. Matthew, and in some measure answer the purpose of a commentary on that portion of Scripture, which, on account of its simplicity, and the variety of moral instruction intermixed with the narrative, is usually employed in the instruction of new converts.
The object proposed was to make the Gospel History and the principal truths of Christianity intelligible and
interesting to hearers, who had neither intellectual culture, nor previous acquaintance with religion, and to impress on their minds the necessity of receiving the faith of Christ, and living in obedience to his commandments.
In this view it was necessary to write with a plainness both of words and construction, which, to those who are accustomed even to the plainest discourses in this country, will perhaps appear excessive; yet without degrading the majesty of religion, by improper familiarity of language. The effect on his humble congregation was so consonant to the hopes of the preacher, that, with the encouragement of persons at that time in high authority in the island, he was induced to submit the discourses to competent judges in England, and finally placed them at the disposal of
the Society for the Conversion of the Negro Slaves in the British WestIndia Islands. By this Society they are now printed, and recommended to their missionaries, as models of that simple and earnest instruction, which, in the mouth of the preacher or catechist, finds its way to the hearts of the ignorant, and as being in all respects so free from exception, that they may be placed without scruple in the hands of the convert for his private reading. The subject matter indeed is of such vital importance, and the manner of treating it so clear and lively, that the volume, though adapted by the plainness of its language to the humblest capacity, may be read with edification and interest by Christians the most advanced in knowledge.