A True Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and last Dying Speeches of the Condemned Criminals, that were Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday the 3d. of this Instant August, 1698.
THE Ordinary is much obliged to the Right Honourable and Right Reverend Father in God, the Lord Bishop of London, for sending to his Assistance Mr. Adams, Minister of St. Alban's in Wood-street; and Mr. Moorer, Minister of St. Anns Aldersgate, who visited the Condemned Criminals every Day with great Care and Fidelity.
On the Lord's-Day, after the Condemnation of the Condemned Criminals, a Sermon was Preached on this Text,
Proverbs 30. 17. The Eye which mocks the Father, and despises the Counsel of the Mother, the Ravens of the Valley shall pluck it out, and the young Eagles shall eat it.
TThis Text is suitable, because many Criminals at their Execution lament their undutifulness to their Parents affirming That this sin made way to their succeeding Crimes, which may warn Young Persons against Disobedience to their Parents to prevent an untimely ignominious death. Persons undutiful to either Parent, being driven to extreme want, usually fly to the Wars, as a Refuge; and being slain, their Carcasses lie unbury'd. The Ravens which haunt the Valleys for Careon, pick out the Eyes of a Rebellious Son, as the Instrument of unnatural Malignity; and if they leave it uneaten out of a loathing Contempt, the young Eagles as more greedily intent upon the Prey, devour that Eye, which disdainfully abused the Parent, as a just revenge of undutifulness. The Mothers Person, and her Instructions, are usually more slighted than the Fathers.
Therefore the Sacred Scripture stiles the Mothers Admonition a Law, to guard its Authority from contempt, Prov. 1. 8, and 6. 20. What tho' Children do not so absolutely depend on the Mother for a livelihood, yet the Observation of Reverence towards her, should not be grafted in Self-Interest. The Tongues and Doings of such who despise their Parents, will soon affront the Father of their Spirits, and provoke him to destroy them. Such are seldom the objects of God's Converting Grace; for that when Common Reason is silent, or deposed, their Passions are more furious than those of Beasts. A Curse will come swiftly on such who frustrate the Design of Gospel Grace, which is, to turn the Disobedient to the Wisdom of the Ju, to comply with the Counsels and Examples of Holy and Righteous Parents. Otherwise it cannot be expected that the Hearts of a Nation should be prepared for a thorough Reformation, St. Luke 1. 17. It is very observable in the 19. Chapter of Leviticus the 3. verse, That the Law of obeying Parents is placed before the observation of the Sabbath. Therefore he cannot truly fear the Lord, nor be Religious, who doth not honour his Parents. This introduces the Contempt of God himself, and leaves the tainture of Impiety on the Heart. Such will soon violate the Sanctity of the Sabbath who slight their Father and their Mother, Ezekiel, 22. 7, 8, 9. Nor will this pretence vacate or disannul my Duty to Parents, that he or she is unnatural to their Off-spring, or impious toward God. For in the wst of Parents, there is the impress of God's Authority who hath made them the Instruments of their Childrens Being.
In the Great Day of Christ's Universal Judgment, Parents shall implead their Disobedient Children, who rejected their tender faithful Admonitions with a scornful Heart.
How will good Children acknowledge their Parents faithfulness, who train'd them up in early Piety, bequeathing the fear of God's Majesty as the best Inheritance? How will such Parents be honour'd in presenting their Off-spring at Christ's Tribunal, as the regenerate Sons of God, as made Ornaments to Heaven it self; Good Parents did not rigidly stand upon their Authority, and at the same time undermine it by any icious practice. Their Examples were more prevalent than their Precepts. They did not indulge them in any show of Vanity, but convinced them of the odiousness of the sin of Pride and Voluptuous Sensuality. They put them upon Serious Employment. Their Reproofs were not too mild: They did not stroak them when they did amiss, but used all means to save their Souls. They exercised and maintained mutually in the Marry'd State, the Purity and Strength of Love; this shed a benign influence on their Off-spring to force them into an high Veneration of their Parents. The Reason is, because the quarrelsom Husband or Wife, indulge that Child most, in vicious Excesses, who strikes in, and upholds the Contest, by a contempt of the other Parent.
Let Parents consider, that they have begotten their Children, with the Image of Sin and Satan upon them. Tho' Parents cannot cure corrupt Nature (it being God's Prerogative only, to work Grace in the Heart) yet the Parents wining Amiability of an exemplary Holiness, may check a sensual course, and by degrees, may form their Off-spring to the love of Christian Vertues. Thus they shall not strengthen the poisonous works of sinful Nature in their Children, who otherwise affix the Seal of their own choice, to make themselves miserable to Eternity.
How may Parents who have neglected their duty to their Children, condole their untimely death? O my unhappy Child, how have I contributed to thy Perdition? I thrust thee forth into the World as a Sea of Temptation, without instructing thee in the knowledge of God, and thy Duty to him. Had any Limb of thy Body grown awry, surely I had rectified this betimes, while Nerves were gentle and pliable; but I have not been careful to set thy Heart strait toward God. How unworthy have I been of the Title of a Parent, who deckt thy Body and taught thee Complemental Postures, but not how to foot it right in the Paths of the Lord. Had I Instructed, Reprov'd, and Corrected thee, thou mightest have been an Ornament to Heaven: But Oh! How have I sunk thee to the Regions of Darkness, with the weight of sinful Guilt, which might in time have been O my ! How am I dress'd with Anguish of Heart and fruitless Complaints? It is too late to recover thy Soul by all my Prayers and Tears.
Think on the other hand, how the Rebellious Fondling will lament his untimely and shameful death. Is any misery like I despised all the Counsel of my Parents: This was the Source of my Profaneness, in breaking all the Laws of God and Man. How have I walkt in the Counsels of my own He which have betray'd me to my Ruin? How hath Satan train'd me up by all the of his Temptations, to the pursuit of my Lusts with greediness? How hath my Affectation of too much Liberty made me shameless as seating my self in the Chair of the Scorner? I have refus'd to acknowledge even God's Supremacy. How active have I been in sinning, as if it were the very perfection of my Nature? I have not regarded either the Favour of God, nor his Frowns, but have obey'd readily the corrupt dictates of one false Heart. Therefore, I am now justly plagu'd with an obdurate Heart which cannot repent. Yet let me not leave such in a despairing condition. O beg of God before it be too late, that tho' your Ears have been shut against the beseeching Sollicitations of his Spirit, yet that now your Hearts may be set wide open to Christ, the King of Righteousness, that he may be formed in them, and so may rule them by the Conduct of his Word and Spirit. Strive that all the effects of sincere repentance may be made conspicuous in your Conversion from the Dominion of all Iniquity, to the love of the Power of Godliness. O that every self-condemning Sinner would nor rest in meer complaining of the malignity of Sin against the Holy Jesus, but would tudy to make his Heart clean from the incorporating delement of his Lusts. The Lord's great end and design in inflicting anguish of Spirit on Sinners, is, that they may return from the pursuit of their youthful Vanities. As yet it is not too late to retrieve a course of sinning. If you earnestly and incessantly beg the renewing Grace of God's Holy Spirit he will assist you with success. If you unfeignedly repent and convert to God, the Guilt of your Impieties shall be expiated, to present you before the Throne of his Glory, pure and spotless with exceeding Joy.
I proceed to give an Account of the Behaviour and Confessions of the Condemned Criminals, which I took in Writing according to their own Expressions.
1. FErdinando Croutson, condemn'd for false Coining the Currant Money of this Nation; he deny'd not the Crime: What he acknowledged besides, I shall set down in his own Expressions. He is aged thirty years, was born in Cumberland, his Parents died when he was seven years of age, his Uncles took care somewhat of his Education, putting him to School, but afterwards spent that Estate his Father left him, but yet God took care of him and preserved him by his Providence. He went to Sea , to get a Livelihood, but was like to be cast away twice; he then made Vows to God That he would live more strictly, and did often reprove such in his Company who swore or did any thing amiss: He said that while the Mercy of God's wonderful Deliverance was fresh in his mind, he kept his Heart close and fixt upon the Lord; but that sense of his Goodness did wear off and abate, which since he is sorry for. He said, that he did not lead a vicious life, and that now God chastizes him for to wean him from the remissness of his Heart; for tho' he kept the Church constantly, yet it was not with that diligent attendance to the Word of God Preacht, nor with that delight in it which ought to have been. He said, that when he came lately from Sea, he lodg'd in the House of one John Pissal, and he tempted him to ths bad Crime, and accused him, tho he drew him into it. And that he prays God to forgive him, and all his Enemies.
He confess'd, that since his Commitment for his Crime he began to consider, what the sins of his Life past were, for which he did truly repent, and therefore that the Lord being displeased with him suffer'd him to fall into this Crime. He bless'd God, that by his Holy Spirit, he found good Thoughts in his Heart, and perform'd many Religious Services to God; yet that these are so defective, and mixt with wandering Thoughts, that they are the Burden and Grief of his Soul: Yet he despar'd not of God's Mercy, because he hath promised to forgive the sins of such who truly repent, and that he will not remember them to their Eternal Condemnation, tho' he useth them severely in this Life: Hereupon, he consider'd what true Repentance is, and said that he found, that his sorrowing for his sins was chiefly for offending the Lord, and not meerly out of horror of Conscience and the fear of his Torments: And that he now more loaths sin, than at any time he delighted in it. He said, that true Repentance is a hearty turning to the Lord, in the universal change of the Heart, as well as by the Convictions of the evil Nature of Sin in the Mind: And that if his Heart deceive him not, he now is as studiously desirous to serve the Lord, as he had formerly been forward in disobeying him: And that although he cannot so fully clear up the truth of his Repentance, because he hath a short time to live, and bring forth fruits of Holiness, yet that the Lord will accept of his Repentance, if it be from his Heart.
He said, that this much troubles him, that in the best of his Devotions, his Thoughts wander and are not so fixt on the Lord. He also said, That if his Life might be spared, he hopes that he should never forget so great a Mercy, but would endeavour, to the utmost, to improve it in an honest Employment; yea, in a strict course of Conversation in the World: Yet says, That he is not over-fond of longer living, because that he is prone to back-sliding; for he is very sensible, that he hath formerly quenched the motions of God's Holy Spirit.
I ask'd him, what True Saving Faith is? He reply'd, That it is not a meer reliance on God's Mercy and Christ's Merits, but the sincere Resignation of the Heart, in obedience to Christ's Sacred Laws. I hope that he is truly Penitent.
The second Criminal condemn'd, is John Lee, a Soldier , for the Murdering of his Fellow: He is aged eight and twenty years, born in Cheshire. He was a Farmer's Son, and went from his Father, being undutiful, into the Army , and hath been fifteen years in that Service. He confess'd, That he seldom thought on God, until he was ready to engage with the Enemy in Battle. He neglected to pray at other times and was addicted to swearing, and that he frequented the Company of Women; and that the death of his Fellow Soldier much troubled him because on a sudden he killed him, as quarreling about paying of a Reckoning, so that his Fellow might not be in a fit condition to die. He said, that he strives to repent of all his sins, yet that God can only work it in him, and that he relies on God to give it him.
On Wednesday the 3d, of August, John Lee, Ferdinando Croutson, Mary Potter, Mary Seager, and Joan Brown were carry'd from Newgate to Tyburn. The first being in a Cart by himself, the second in a Sledge, and the three Women in another Cart; and being come to the Place of Execution, where they were assisted by two Eminent Divines, who at their first Application to the Criminals, desired of them, if they were willing to give warning to the Spectators to avoid the Crimes for which they were to die, who unanimously declar'd they were: But for some Reasons, put it upon one of the Ministers to do it for them, which being faithfully discharged, they all kneeled down upon the Cart, and the four former joyned with the Ministers in Prayer for a considerable time; after which, at the desire of the Prisoners, some part of the 4th Psalm was sung. John Lee owned the Crime for which he was to die, and said that his being in Drink was the occasion of it: That he had been with the deceased in the West Indies, and in his Majesty's Service at home, and in Flanders; and that they never quarreled, nor had be any premeditated Malice against him; but in a sudden Passion gave him the Wound without any sufficient ground of Provocation: He said he was never inclinable to any indirect Methods, more than what his Station led him to when in Flanders; was heartily sorry for the Fact, and for his Sins, and seemed very Penitent. Ferdinando Croutson confess'd he had followed the Trade of Counterfeiting the Coin for some Years, and did not seem to deny his being concerned likewise in Counterfeiting the Stamps on Paper; upon which account he owned he had been in Chester Goal, but made his escape: He said he had been a great Sinner, but hoped for forgiveness; seem'd also very Penitent. Mary Potter and Mary Seager, own'd that they were guilty of the Crime for which they were to di and said that one Benn was with them in the Performance: That they had been guilty of so many Crimes of that nature that they could not remember one half of them; and said that the keeping of bad Company had hardened them in their Practice: That they had been very much guilty of the Sins of Profanity and Debauchery; died seemingly very Penitent. Joan Brown owned the Crimes for which she was to die, but seem'd to lessenit: She declared she died a Roman Catholick. All the Prisoners begged the Prayers of the Spectators, died in forgiveness with all Men. And having desired the Divines to sing some part of the 51th Psalm, which was done accordingly; the Cart drew away.
This is all the Account I can give of this Sessions.
Dated Aug. 3.
The Vertues and Uses of that Excellent Gargarism, or Mouth-Water for the Teeth and Gums, truly prepared by W. Elmy, at the Blew-ball in Whale-bone Court, at the lower end of Bartholomew-lane, by the Royal Exchange.
IT cures the Scurvy in the Mouth, and makes a good Pallate, and sweetneth the Breath, by dipping a Liquosh Stick sharpned at the end in this said Water, and rub your Gums there with as oft as need shall require: It whitens black and yellow Teeth, by rubbing your Teeth and Gums with a Tooth-brush dipp'd in this Water it fastens loose Teeth, and prevents their decaying, by holding half a Spoonful or more on that side of the Mouth which is afflicted, by causing the Rheum which falls upon the Nerves that lie under the Roots of the Teeth, to come away to Admiration. It is good for young Children in breeding their Teeth, and fit to be taken inwardly for Fevers: In short it is good for all Diseases incident to the Teem or Gums.
The Glasses are of several Prices.
LONDON, Printed for E. Mallet next the King's Arms Tavern near Fleet-Bridg, 1698.