London: Printed by T. Wilkins, [n.d., but ca. 1790]. 4pp. printed on folded sheet. Very good. Item #WRCAM24926
One of several editions of this short account of the Christian conversion of an African-American in late 18th-century New York. The anonymous author says he encountered the man when visiting a plantation. Falling into conversation with him, he discovered the man was enamored of the Bible and a practising Christian, but more out of fear than of joy: his master, a Quaker, had taught his slaves to read but not encouraged them in religion. The narrator asks the man questions about doctrinal issues such as "the merit of works, the justification of a sinner, the power of grace, and the like," and is delighted with the "heavenly wisdom that God had put into the mind of this sweet Negro." The pamphlet ends with an exhortation to the reader, who has been more privileged that the black man, to do likewise: "Reader, this Negro was a Christian; a Bible Christian. He had not indeed the outward form of godliness, but he had the power - How is it with you?" ESTC locates five total editions, two of them American, two London, and one in Edinburgh. All are scarce; this edition with fewer than ten locations.