A True ACCOUNT of the BEHAVIOUR, CONFESSION, And Last Dying SPEECHES, Of the Criminals that were Executed at TYBURN, On Friday the 24th of this Instant May. 1695.
ON the Lords-day, being Whitsunday, the Ordinary preacht to the Condemned, from the 10th verse of the Fift Chapter of the first Epistle of St. John, in these words, He who Believes hath the Witness in Himself. It was the great design of Christs Spirit, in pouring out his Extraordinary Graces on the Apostles, that They might be furnisht with requisite Endowments for the preaching of Redeeming Grace by Christ. I shall explain the maning of this Sacred Priviledge in the Text.
The renewed Conscience bears Testimony to the Divinity of Christ's Person, and the Meritorious Offices of his Redeeming Love; from the Supernatural Effects of that Water and Blood, which issued out of Christ's Heart, and Side, being Justifyed by the One, and Sanctified by the Other; yet, because the water of Purifying-Grace runs low and shallow, being defective at best, we must have recourse for Comfort, to the Testimony of Christ's Bloud-shed, which merited for Us, the Imputation of Perfect Righteousness.
The doctrinal Observation was this, That the very implanting of Faith in the Heart, gives a Right to Eternal Life, because, God hath appointed an inseparable Connexion 'twixt Faith and Salvation. Therefore such, who were never Sensible of the Malignity of Sinning, and never had any Valuation of Christ's infinite Perfections, so, as to make them Vile in their own account, and root the love of sin out of their Hearts, Their Confidence in Christ, is only a fanciful Presumption, which will decieve them, Christ's Righteousness must not only be rely'd on to pacify the disquieting Guilt of Conscience, but the heart must also be resign'd to the conduct of God's Word and Spirit, for Healing the Corruption of defil'd Nature. Genuine Faith extends it self to the purifying of the Heart, by Corroborating all the combined Graces of the Holy Spirit, being virtually all Obedience, as Unbelief is seminally and radically all Sin.
Doth it not nearly and deeply Concern you, to Inquire, whither the Spirit of Christ dwell in you, as having implanted true Faith in your Hearts. The effects of which, are These.
1. Doth your Faith work by Love to Christ, so that He Commands all your renewed Faculties, in universal, constant, and cheerful Obedience to his Sacred Laws.
2. Doth your Faith draw a Veil over all Creature-Excellencies; so that, you admire Nothing but Christ Crucified?
3. Doth your Love to Christ out bid all Temptations of worldly profit, and sinful pleasure? Do you prefer any single Precept or promise of God, before the Confluance of all earthly Enjoyments?
4. True Faith gathers Growth and Courage by Persecution for Righteousness sake; It can do and suffer all things, unless this, that any Lust should reign and rest uncontrouled in the Soul. These are the Effects of a Genuine Faith, to which, the Spirit of Christ sets his Testimonial Seal, for the Comforting of a Believer in all distresses. This is a superadded act of Grace or Favor, in causing him to have the joyful Perception of Christ's redeeming Love, as Sanctifying his Nature, before defiled with the Reign of Lusts, This being well considerd; It is contradictory to the stated terms of Salvation, to believe that God appointed Christ to dye for any man in particular, till he rightly imbrace Him, on the Conditions of the Gospel Covenant. After he hath done thus, he may persuade himself truly and rationally, that Christ dyed for him in particular, that his Sins are pardoned, and himself is accepted to Eternal Life, that he be not So absolutely assured of this, as to be filled with sensible Joys, unspeakable and full of Glory.
The Conclusion was thus directed to the Condemned.
Is Eternal Salvation only annext to true Faith, as an evident Testimony of it? How doth this Condemn the pride of mens hearts, that no Command of God is so much opposed, as this precept of Believing in Christ for Righteousness; because it nullifies all Conceit of Worthiness in the Creature.
Yet, you have Encouraged your selves in the Excesses of sinning, as perverting Christ's Death, to become the Patronage of your Lusts.
How remote are you from any Well-grounded Hopes of Salvation by Christ, when all the Witnesses in Heaven and Earth, may justly Accuse, Testify against and Condemn you, to Eternal Torments? God the Farther, is a consuming Fire without an Interest in Christ, and the Avenger of every Transgression against his Sacred Laws. How should he have any pitty for such, who have slighted all his gracious and earnest Expostulations, that they would not destroy themselves, but turn to him and Live.
2. The Blood of Christ Crucified a fresh, shall not be the Expiation of their guilt, but shall plead for Vengance against them; It shall justly aggravate there Condemnation, because they despised the value of it to purchass them, and the sanctifying virtue of it, to Seal them to Eternal Life.
3. The Spirit of God, the Comforter, shall not pitty them under the depth of there Eternal Miseries, because they have offred despight to his gracious Sollicitations for there Conversion. Oh Sad! That ever Gospel, which they would not admit to be the Rule of there Obedience, shall sink them deeper into Hell.
4. The Water of Baptism, which gave them the Title of Christians, shall Testifie against them, because, they denyed Christ in their Works, and thereby, tore off the Seal of their Baptism, making void to themselves all the saving Benefits thereof.
Such must needs carry many Hells within themselves, when all the Witnesses in Heaven and Earth shall Condemn them, because they have directly despised and opposed the only Remedy to recover them from a state of sinning and Eternal Misery.
The Sting of their Condemnation is sharpned, because they have drawn it wilfully upon themselves. Besides, it is mixt with the wrath of God, which is inflicted without the least Pitty or Intermission; because they have persisted, in despising the offers of Mercy, and a Pardon on God's equitable Conditions.
Be persuaded to break off your Iniquities by a timely and sincere Repentance; by an hearty Acceptation of Christ, in Obedience to his Sacred Laws. Thus shall you be Redeemed from the wrath of God. Thus shall you obtain well-grounded Hopes of future Happiness; when you have this Witness in your selves that you are Conformed to the power of Christ's Death and Resurrection. Be Abased in your selves, that so Free Grace may Exalt you, to the lively Hopes of heavenly Felicity: Thus may you outface the grim aspect of Death, and Triumph over the bitterest Agonies of it, in the insuperable
strength of God's Salvation. This will be the surest Testimony of his loving Kindness, which is better then Life or Enjoyments of it, as sealing you by his Spirit to the day of Compleat Redemtion.
I proceed to give an Account of the Behavior, and Confessions of the Condemned Criminals.
I. Edward White, Condemned for Felony and Burglary, in breaking the House of Edward Cooke, in the Ward of Broadstreet, London. He acknowledg'd, that he had served King William as a foot Soldier for one year and an half, leaving that Employment, he entred himself into the Kings Seaservice , but coming on Shore, he committed this Fact the night before he was committed for it. He confest that he did it alone, no Person being with him. But repents that he knew Bad company before, which made him more prone to adventure on this Crime. And that he had done wrong to several Persons. That he had Good Education, yet he had been a great sinner. That he omitted praying to God that He would keep him from the Evil Inclinations of his own Heart; so that he proceeded in evil Courses, such as Drunkenness, Swearing, and breaking the Sabbath. He said, that now sin is an heavy burden on his Conscience, yet, he doth what he can to obatin of God Repentance for all his sins, because that Christ will not apply his Merits to any Impenitent Person.
II. James Gillett, Condemn'd for High-Treason, in stamping and making several false pieces of Coin of mixt Metals. Also for Clipping and diminishing the Lawful Coin of this Realm. He said that he served Seven years a Silk stockingweaver , and wrought afterward for himself. Leaving that Employment, he kept the trade of a Lock-Smith , but quitting that, he went to Sea in a Merchent ship . He denied not the Crimes of Clipping aud Coining. He acknowledged, that he joyned with bad Company, that he neglected the worship of God on the Lords day: Did not pray that God would guard him from the Temptations of others, that his own Evil Inclinations might not prevail upon him. So that he fell into many Excesses in Sinning, but said, that now he hopes he doth heartily repent of all his Extravegant Courses, and were he to Live, should hate those Sins, which he did frequently commit.
III. William Moore, Condemned for Felony and Burglary in breaking the House of Thomas Moulton. He is aged 25 years, was Born in Stafford-shire. He kept an House in Pell-Mell, wherein he exercised the Trade of a Barber . He was not free to Confess his sinful course of Life, only said, that he had broke the Sabbath and sinned otherways, but did not Express in what Particular.
IV. John Shaw, Condemned for joyning in the foresaid Felony and Burglary, aged 24 years. He was born in Wales. He denied not the Crime. He was a Corporal in the Kings Guards . But not keeping close to his Duty, fell into loose Acquintance; also that it grieved him, that he did not follow the good counsel of his Parents, but was Refractory to them. Therefore he thinks that he is justly punisht by this untimely Death. Yet, he Hopes that God will not forsake him utterly. For he heartily prays that the Lord would mollifie his hard Heart, and grant him Grace to amend his Life, if he might have sparing Mercy.
V. John Terry, Condemned for joyning in the foresaid Felony and Burglary. Aged 27 years. Born at Exceter, a Wool-Comber by Imployment. He had not left it long, but growing Idle, he contracted bad Acquaintance; Thereupon he broke the Sabbath, and committed other sins. But he hopes, that God by this distress, will make him penitent and change his Heart.
VI. William Wake, alias Dimmett, Condemned as Accessory with one William Yorke and others, for breaking the Spanish Embassador's House. And for making, or procuring to be made, an Instrument of Iron called a Betty, for the Effecting the foresaid Burglary. He is Aged 27 years, was born in Shoelane, was a Gilder by Trade; But for six years past, his Employment was in Heaving Coals out of Ships into Lighters . He said that it was hard Labour yet he spent all the Mony which he got thereby, very vainly. He said that he had been guilty of many Sins, yet named none besides the breaking of the Sabbath. (so they called the Prophanation of it) He said that though he seldom prayed formerly, yet now he Prays, that God would give him Repentance and fit him for his Death.
VII. Mary Bennet, Condemned for picking the Pocket of Mary Brittin in Newgate-market of one Guinea, value twenty five Shillings, with Forty shillings in Monies numbred. Aged 19 years. Born in St. Giles's Parish. She said that she dwelt with her Father formerly, But not being ruled by him, left him, and fell into bad acquaintance. That she did not pray as she ought, nor keep the Sabbath, so she committed many other Sins
VIII. Eliz. Tethrington, Condemned for a Robbery in the High-way, committed on the body of Elizabeth Garret, an Infant of the Age of six years, stripping her of her Clothes. She is Aged 19 years. Was born in Lancashire. She kept the Markets in London, buying and selling Fruits and Herbs . She denied not the Crime. She said that she had been a wicked sinner in breaking the Sabbath and other ways. Confessing in particular that about last Easter, she was prevailed on to commit an unchaste Act, with a Person who promised to Marry her. But she begs of God, that he would give her Repentance, for that and all her other sins
IX. Peter Major, Condemned for robbing on the High-way. He denied not the fact. He is aged 27 years, was born in in London, was a Shoemaker by Employment, and might have lived well in it, but he grew Idle, and kept company with bad Women. He brake the Sabath, did drink in Excess, and prophaned the Name of God by Swearing. He Marred a Wife, with whom he had some Estate. She would have maintained him well, if he would have followed his Trade, He said that it now grieves him, he did not follow her good Counsel and Example; but was unnatural to her, and the Children he had by her, he wept, yet said, that his heart was hard, as having been, a great Sinner, but he desires, that the Lord would make him thorowly penitent, and change his Heart.
On Friday the 24th Instant, Edward White, John Cole, Will-Moore, and Peter Major, were convey'd to Tyburn in two Carts, and James Gillet on a Sledge, the Criminals all lamented and bewailed their sinful Lives, which had brought them to this untimely and shameful End; and being come to the Tree, were all ty'd up in one Cart. Peter Major deliver'd this Prayer and desired that it might be Printed, which is as follows. O most merciful and comprehensive Lord our God, who knowest how frightful Death is to Humane Nature, how Sin makes it the Prince of Terror; Oh! fit me for this hour of Darkness, this dreadful Hour, that is drawing on; and that great Account I must shortly give at thy Judgment Seat. O God forgive me all my Sins known and unknown, and to them I have Wronged; I humbly beg that thou wouldst be pleased to restore them fourfold in thy Everlasting Kingdom. O Lord, I confess, my Sins are many and great. O Lord increase my Faith in Christ thy Son, make it strong and stedfast, and through thy Mercy and thy Sons Merits effectually awaken my Conscience to a true sense of an hearty Sorrow for all my past Impieties, and let my Repentance be to Salvation. O Lord, into thy Hands do I commit my Spirit. He declared that he had seen many Executed, but never could take warning by it, but did earnestly desire the Spectators to take this timely warning by him, that they may not come to such an untimely Death: Then the Ordinary pressed John Cole three several times to discover the Murderers of Dr. Clinch, but he said, as he was a dying Man, he knew nothing of it, or of any that did do it. Moore said, that he was afraid he had not repented enough, and asked God Forgiveness for all his Crimes: And Gillet thought he had deferred his Repentance in hopes of a Pardon: And White exhorted the People to lead good Lives and to be careful in keeping of the Sabbath: Then the Prisoners desir'd the Ordinary that they might Sing the Hundred Psalm, which accordingly he did; then they joyned with the Ordinary in Prayer, and after that they were turn'd off.
This is all the Account I can give of this Sessions.
Dated April 24.
At the Blew Ball in Whale-Bone-Court, at the lower end of Bartholomew Lane, by the Royal-Exchange, liveth a Physitian.
WHo infallibly Cures the French Disease and Claps, and and all others its Numerous Attendant, which oftentimes are the products of other grievous and lasting Diseases, to the utter ruine of many, besides frequently untimely Death procured by them through grand Abuses, Committed by the irregular and base Methods and Medicines of foolish and unskilful Pretenders.
These are therefore to Advertise all Persons who are Afflicted with the Disease abovesaid to repair to him, for he performeth the true and perfect Cure thereof, without hinderance of business, and with all imaginable speed and secresy.
His Pills only prepared for the French Desease and the Running of the Reins, may be had in Boxes of several prices, with other Venerial Arcanoes, as occasion requires. Price, from 1 s. 6d. to 3s. and from 3s. to 6s the Box with Directions.
London, Printed for E. Mallet, a Sir Edmunbury Godfrey's Head, near Fleet-Bridge, 1695.