A True Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and last Dying Speeches of the Condemned Criminals, that were Executed at Tyburn on Friday the 16th of this Instant July, 1697.
On the Lords-Day, after the Condemnation of the Condemned Criminals, a Sermon was Preached on this Text, Prov. 8. 36.
But he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own Soul: All they that hate me, love Death
The Doctrinal Observation.
TO neglect and despise, much more to reject Christ who is offered to us of God, to be made Wisdom for our Folly, Righteousness for our Guiltiness, Sanctification for the Pollution of our Nature, and Redemption for our voluntary Subjection to Sin and Satan, is a very great provoking Sin. Such cannot wrong Christ, God blessed for ever, whose essential Glory and Self-contentment is above their Affronts. They Sin against their own Souls, drawing on themselves the remarkable Effects of God's just Severity.
Sinners are afraid of Punishment, which is only Sins shadow; yet they decline not to run into the Excesses of Wickedness, which is the Hell of Hell. They Virtually make a Covenant with Satan to fullfil all Iniquity with greadiness, and Seal it with their Blood: They make their Souls a Prey to the Fiends of Hell, which might be everlasting Lamps of Glory to garnish and brighten Heaven, were they willing to submit to the Scepter of Christ's Righteousness. This informs us that there is not so much regular Self-love as Men pretend. It is Natural to desire happiness; yet most Men make the Gratification of their Lusts to be the very Design of their Lives, and Self-willfullness the Rule of their Conversation. Some will pretend that they Love you as they Dove their own Souls; yet they cast these away for a Triffle into the Abyss of Hellish Darkness. Such is the Folly of most Men, That they chuse a Self-destroying Sinner to be their familiar Friend: Can they be faithful to others who break Covenant with God himself, who bur in sunder all the Bones of Natural Affection? If this may promote their worldly Self-Interest; when wicked Men change their Nature and Course of Life, they will be fit Company; otherwise you take a Viper into your Bosom.
Second General Head.
Christ hath many pretended Friends only, because most Men are Foes to themselves.
Qu. Who are such?
1. All who beg not Wisdom from Christ, to order their Conversation aright; who chuse to remain Ignorant of his Will, because they have no mind to please him.
2. Who do not obey his Divine Commands, tho' they are convinced of their Equity and the Reward of fulfilling them.
3. Who do not renounce their Lusts with Abhorrence, but indulge them to the gratifying of Satan, who breaks not off a Compliance with Sinners, but delight to strengthen a Combination in Wickedness.
4. Who court worldly Vanities, as if these were the very Essence of their Felicity.
5. Who hate the Ministers of Christ, because they preach his Laws to bind them to their good Behaviour, and to discipline their Conversation.
What could God do more in a moral Way, than to court Men to accept of Blessedness in the Ways of Holiness? Therefore all such who hate Christ the Son of God, the Lord of Life and Glory, deserve to perish Eternally.
Characters of such who presume that they are Christ's Friends while they hate him.
1. If you have a less Degree of Love to Christ, than for your Natural Lives, or Worldly Interest.
3. All Men-pleasers who readily transform themselves into a Compliance with such Examples of Sinning, which are made modish by customary Prescription.
4. All self-justifying Pharisees; these being full of their own Righteousness, by a fulsom Pride of Heart, sacrilegiously derogate from Christ's Divine All-sufficiency to sanctify and save them. This is as great Folly, as if a drowning Man should catch hold on Weeds, which will the more entangle him; and refuse to get on a Rock, which may preserve him.
5. Such hate Christ secretly who fear the Reproaches of Sinners, if they quit and renounce their Fellowship, as if this were to bid Adiu to all the Comforts of human Conversatson.
6. All such are Haters of Christ who study to advance carnal Reason, above or against the Authority of divine Revelation; who doubt of, much more deny, the Divinity of Christ's Person. This will in Time prevail on such to despise, yea renounce, the whole Contexture of Christ's Doctrine, as if it were a fabulous Invention.
The Causes of hating Christ.
He comes from God his Father, inviting Sinners that they would be Reconciled to him, in the change of their corrupt Nature, and to declare it in the resigning their Hearts for Universal Obedience to his sacred Laws. Christ comes to call Men to Repentance, to Severities in the Mortifying of their Lusts. This is very grevious to a carnal Mind and Heart. Christ presses Self-denial, the love of Enemies, and the Renunciation of worldly Pomp and Grandeur. Christ injoins us to submit to his Yoke of Discipline; to take up his Cross and to follow him under it; denying our selves to the very Death, in the justifying of his sacred Institutions. Therefore most Men hate Christ's Doctrin, and thereby his Person.
The Cure of Hatred to Christ.
Renounce the Indifferency of Love to him. This will soon cool and dwindle away unto the Remisnes of Affection. And this decay will soon determine in contempt and the hatred of Christ: Therefore covet to enjoy the Effusions of his Love, in the Communication of his Graces, as the Pledges of eternal Glory.
The conclusion was thus Directed to the Condemned.
You have heard that he who Sins against Christ, the Wisdom of God his Father, wrongs his own Soul; yet you have been possest with the depth of this Phrensy. Have you not made a Sport of sinning, and thereby Crucified the Lord of Life and Glory? What deplorable madness is this, That sinners Descend to Hell with a merry Security, upon Presumptuous Hopes of eternal Blessedness! You have exclamed against the ways of Holiness and Self-denial, as tedious and very grevious. Yet you have studied to gratify Satan in the indulgence of your Lusts: You have hated to be Reformed, tho' every Sessions you have had exemples of God's just severity, fresh bleeding before your Eyes. The least breath of God's Displeasure should blast the Animosity of the stoutest Sinner, and spoil his Mirth in sinning.
Yet so strong is this Witchcraft that your Hearts have been Insatiable in persuing prodigious Out-rages in Wickedness. It is just with God that such Sinners should at last be as Drunk with the Fury of the Lord, as they have Stupified themselves with the Fumes of Sensuality. O dread! least after long striving to silence the Convictions of your Consciences, you should now be so smitten with an Apoplexy in your Understandings, as not to be able to make any reflexive Sorrow for offering Violence to your own Souls; as if you were Covetous in Treasuring up divine Wrath against your selves into Eternity. But I hope you are not so confirmed in a course of Sinning; yet do not presume that you can by a sudden skip from Prophaness, and betaking your selves to somespecious Formalities in Religion; be made new Cretures in Christ. If you sincerely Repent, and your corrupt Nature be changed, God will be Reconciled to you. Thus you shall be above the fond Love of this World, and may hope to be transported to the Celestial Vision of God; which is the Essence of blessedness to Eternity.
I proceed to give an Account of the Behaviour and Confessions of the Condemned Criminals.
Paul Pullen Esq ; at the Pine-Apple in Suffolk-street, on the 29th of June last. She was also found Guilty of Robbing Mrs. Pullen, of Rich Goods to a great value. She profest her self to be of the Romish Religion ; and said, that being Born, and bred in that perswasion, that she was resolved she would Live and Dye in it. She could speak English; and came to the Chappel on the Lord's-Day after her Commitment, and after Condemnation.
There was a French Minier, who Evidenced the Crime, That she Murthered Madam Plien. I admitted him to discourse with her; which he did in my Presence. He told me in Latin what she said to him in French: That she did not much care for his Advice, and could hardly forgive him for Evidencing against her. He and my Self urged her with Arguments from the sacred Scriptures, to Confess the whole Truth, and not to Dye in denying so wicked a Crime.
She said, That she had been a great Sinner; but would not acknowledg any particulars wherein. She did for a long time utterly deny the Fact; at last with much Endeavors, she did confess that she Murthered Mrs. Pullen, and seemed to have some Remorse for it. She said at that time, That she would follow mine and other Ministers good Advice, to prepare her for Death. Since which she declines me; and as I am told, sticks to her old Principles of a Romanin.
II. David Jenkins, Condemned for the willful Murther of his Wife. He confest that he killed her; but exprest little Sorrow for it: Only he used these Words, I wish that I had Dyed before I did it, which might proceed from the Shame of what he was to suffer. He said, That she was a pevish Wife, and that he had cause of suspecting her Chastlety. I told him that was no excuse for the Murthering of her. He would not declare any other Sins, tho' I told him that God would not have left him to commit so gross a Sin, if he had not led an evil Life. I wish that he had been more sensible of the Crime, and all his other Sins.
III. Eleanor Hunt, Condemned for Murthering her Bastard Child. She acknowledged the Crime, and said, That she lived with a Gentleman, who being overcome with Drink, tempted her to an Unchat Act; yet she readily consented to his Desires, from the evil inclination of her own Heart; for she said, That he gave her nothing at the present, nor promised her any thing. That when she found her self to be with Child, she came to London, and was so unwise as not to let him know it; but wandred about till she got into a Service , and there she did that cruel Act of making away with her Child. She acknowledged that she had been a great Sinner other ways, but did not express wherein.
IV. Judith Bomsellers, Condemned for Coining. She denied not the Crime. Her Employment was to carry things Home which were bought in the Markets. She confest that she minded not the Service of God on the Lord's-Days, and that she had led an evil Life otherways.
V. Mary Murry, Condemned for Picking a Pocket of a Gold Watch, which she denied not; but first she made many trifling Excuses, contrary to Evidence Sworn in the Court against her. She owned that she had been of a very evil Life; yea, Guilty of all Sins, Murther excepted.
VI. Stephen Lingly, Condemned for a Burglary. Aged 17 Years: Born in St. Pulchers Parish. He confest the Crime, and that no Person tempted him unto it; only he blames his own evil Heart. He never drew any Person to join with him in this Crime. He break the Sabbath, was sometimes Drunk, and did Swear.
VII. John Wilkinson, Condemned for Robbing in the High-way. Aged 40 Years. He said, That he had been almost twenty Years in Military Employment . He confest that this was the first time he committed such a Fact as now he is Condemned for. He had been at first a Woodman to the Duke of Buckingham.
IX. George Warbuton, Condemned for Coining. He confest the Crime. He kept a Victualling-House in Westminster. After that being very Poor he opened Traders Shops in London, for the ease of their Apprentice. He confest that he knew Coiners, and that he did sometimes carry Papers with parcels of Mony sealed up in them to several Persons, but pretended that he knew not what sort of Mony it was. He confest that he was sometimes intemperate, and did Swear in his Passion.
X. C harles Ecclestone, Condemned for Coining. He confest the Crime. He formerly kept a Victualling-House . He acknowledged that he had been loose in his Life, which inclined him to this Fact; but he hopes that upon his Repentance God will Pardon him.
XI. Joseph Gregory, Condemned for Coining. Aged 34 Years. He was a Butcher in Clarken-well for some Years; after that he kept Honey Lane Market. He observed not the duties of the Lord's-Day; he did sometimes Swear and Drink in Excess.
XV, XVI. Samuel James and Timothy Pennystone, both Condemned for Forging and making a Counterfeit Sixpenny Stamp, and did stamp Paper with the same, contrary to an Act of Parliament. He refused to come to Prayers, saying, That he was of another Religion. Timothy Pennystone, also refused any good Instructions for his Soul; professing that he was a Romanist .
As for the five Pyrates tried lately by the Court of Admiralty in the Old-Baily; three of which were Condemned for Pyracy, none of them would come to me, tho' I desired it, Objecting that they were of the Romish perswasion.
On Friday the 16th of July, the Sheriffs Officers about Eight in the Morning, came to Newgate and demanded the Body of Margaret Martell the French Woman, who they convey'd to Suffolk-street end, where a Gibbet was erected; and being in the Cart, she read a Paper, and Prayed in the French Tongue. She confessed that she was the Person that Murthered Madam Pullen, and that she did it with her own Hands, and that no Person was asisting to her at that time: She likwise confessed she died a Roman-Catholick . About Eleven the same Day, the Officers came and fetcht the Bodies of Judith Bomsellers, Charles Ecclestone, Joseph Gregory, and George Warbuton, who were convey'd to Tyburn on a Sledge. And Leife Friar, Eleanor Hunt, Mary Murry, Sam. James, Timothy Pennystone, Robert Wheeler, John Willkinson, Rich. Lewly, Daniel Spires, and Stephen Lingley. Judith Bomsellers, who was burnt to Ashes, confest her Fact, saying, She had been concerned in helping to make Money, but never finished it. Charles Ecclestone seemed to be Penitent; and acknowledged his Crime, saying, He had formerly been Guilty of such Crimes; and that now he had been a little medling. Joseph Gregory did not deny his Fact, saying. He had formerly given Evidence against one Holyland who was Executed; and that it was true as he was a dying Man. He confest his Fact for which he justly suffer'd. George Warbuton said, That he knew a little of what belong'd to the Trade, and was unwilling to make any farther Confession. Leife Frier said, He was born Clare-Market, and that he had been Guilty to many such Facts to his own sorrow, as it now appeared. Eleanor Hunt said, she had no Design of Murthering her Infant, and said that it was Stilborn. Mary Murrey, Samuel James, and Timothy Pennystone Confessed that they were Roman-Catholicks and said little. Robert Wheeler owned his Fact, and said, That this was not the first, for which he now suffered, saying, That he had Committed a great many more. John Willkinson said, That it was the first Fact that ever he Committed of this kind in all his Life. Richard Lewley said, That he was Guilty of the Fact for which he suffered; and desired of God to have Mercy upon his Soul. Daniel Spires owned likwise his Fact, and said he had been Guilty of a great many more Robberies. After that Mr. Ordinary Prayed with them a great while; and the Prisoners desired that he would Sing a penitential Psalm, which he did. And the Cart drew away. They turn'd off.
This is all the Account that I can give of this Sessions.
Dated July 16.
LONDON, Printed for E. Mallet, in Nevil's-Court in Fetter-lane, 1697