The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Dying-Words, of John Peter Dramatti, Elizabeth Tetherington, alias Smith, and Jane Bowman, who were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, the 21th of July, 1703.
AT the Sessions held in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 7th, 8th, and 9th instant, there were Seven Persons that were found guilty, and did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. Of which Number, 4 have obtained a gracious Reprieve, which the Lord grant they may improve to his Glory, and the good of their own and others Souls: And the other 3 are now order'd for Execution.
From the time of their Condemnation to that of their Death, I constantly visited them; and having them brought up to the Chappel; twice every Day, and sometimes going to see them in their Condemned Holds, I gave them the best Instructions and Exhortations that I could, both in publick and private, suitable to their respective Cases; and on the two intervening Lord's-days, I preach'd to them in a full Auditory, when there were many Strangers, who (as I suppose) came thither out of a Christian Compassion, to joyn in Prayer with them, and recommend their Souls to God.
The first Lord's-day after their Condemnation, being the 11th instant, I preach'd, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon the last Words of the Epistle for the Day (viz. Rom. 6. 23.) which are these. For the Wages of Sin is Death, but the Gift of God is Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
From which Words, I shew'd;
1st. How the Reward due to Sin is Shame and Misery, and Death both Temporal and Eternal. 1. It is Temporal Death; it being appointed unto all Men, in this World, once to die. Which Death some Men (through Intemperance, Rashness, and notorious Crimes) often bring on sooner, it upon them. And 2. This Reward due to Sin, is especially Eternal Death; which they must expect to receive, who go out of this World, before they have thoroughly and effectually repented of all their Sins.
2dly. How the End of Holiness is Eternal Life, which God freely bestows, as a Gracious Gift, on Believers and true Penitents, for the Sake, and through the Merits of Christ, and not for any Merits or Worthiness of their own; the Apostle shewing, that tho' Death be the Wages and just Reward of Sin; yet Eternal Life is not a Reward due to Men upon the account of any their Works or Deserts; but (as in his variation of the Phrase he expresses it) it is the Gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Having enlarg'd upon these two general Heads, and shew'd the vast Difference between a Life of Sin and a Life of Righteousness; Between the Wages of Sin and the Gift of God; the former of them being Death, and the latter Life Eternal; I concluded both these Forenoon and Afternoon-Sermons, with particular Exhortations to the Condemned Persons; thereby endeavouring to make them sensible of their Spiritual Misery, and the absolute Necessity they were under of calling upon God with all earnestness, for his inlight'ning and converting Grace, by which alone they could be brought into a State of true Repentance and Salvation.
On the second Lord's-day after Condemnation, being the 18th instant, I preach'd again to the Condemned Prisoners and others, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon Phil. 3. 14. I press towards the Mark for the Prize of the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus.
In discoursing upon which Words, I shew'd;
1st. What that Mark was, towards which the Apostle was pressing, and the End, Scope, and Prize he had in , it was the Prize of the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus; which imports the whole Reward of Christianity; all the Glory and Happiness of Eternal Life.
2dly. What Means, viz. Vigor, Earnestness, Strength, and Activity, we ought constantly (in imitation of the Apostle) to use for the coming-up to that Mark; for the obtaining of that Prize. A Mark, which we should continually have before our Eyes, and unwearily press to: A Prize indeed, which we should strenuously contend, and manfully fight for.
These were the two general Heads of my Morning and Afternoon Discourses; which I illustrated by several Particulars; wherein I shew'd, 1. The Nature of that God, whom we ought to serve, and the Extent of his Divine Laws; which are not like the Laws of Men, that only restrain our Hands, and determine our outward Actions; but they set bounds to our very Thoughts, reaching the Inside, as well as the Outside; And therefore we must look to be judg'd, that s, either. Condemned or Acquitted, according as we are inwardly dispos'd, either to that which is evil, or to that which is good. 2. The Spirituality, Strength, and Vivacity of our own Souls; whose Noble Faculties shew that they were not given us, to make provision for the Flesh, to fulfill the Lusts thereof; but to unite themselves to God, and dwell on the thoughts, and strive after the attainment of Eternal Life. 3. The strong Opposition and Interruption, which we meet with in our Christian Race; which ought not to discourage us from our Duty, but on the contrary, make us the more vigorous, and diligent, and careful, in the discharge of it, in pressing towards the Mark for the glorious Prize, that is set before us. 4. The Consideration of the former Miscarriages of our Lives, and our great neglect of this Prize, which we would use no endeavours to obtain: But have run greedily after empty things, and wearied and and for and running in a full Carreer to it. And now how happy should it be, if e would serve God with the same alacrity, chearfulness, and vigor, as we formerly serv'd Satan and our diverse Lusts. 5. The particular Obligation we are under, by our Christianity, of devoting our selves to God's Service, who has bought us with a great Price, even the Blood of his Only-begotten Son, by which precious Blood we are redeem'd from Sin and Death: So that we are not our own, to dispose of our selves as we please, and to do what we list; but we are bound by the strictest tie of Duty and Gratitude, to glorify God in our Body and in our Spirit which are God's. 6. I laid before them the Consideration of the sad and miserable Toil and Slavery of a Life of Sin, which might awake and alarm them to Repentance; shewing them what that Repentance was, which might e available to Salvation, and how it was to be obtain'd.
After I had further enlarg'd upon every one of these Particulars, I concluded with suitable Exhortations and Applications to the Condemned Persons, who seem'd always very attentive to, and well affected with the Word that was deliver'd. By which, and several other Admonitions, which I apply'd to them, both in publick and private, I endeavour'd to prepare them for their Reception of the Divine Grace, and Admission into Eternal Glory.
Having thus proceeded with them, they gave me the respective Accounts of their past sinful Lives, with the Instances of their present Repentance, as follows.
I. John Peter Dramatti, a Frenchman , who by mistake was call'd Dromet, Condemn'd for the horrid Murther, by him committed upon the Body of his own Wife in Chelsea-Road, made a very ample and extraordinary Confession to me; which being too long to be inserted here, shall (for the satisfaction of the Publick) be Publish'd by it self, Attested by me, and Printed for Eliz. Mallet.
said, she was about 29 years of age, born at Orms-Church in Lancashire; from whence coming up to London , upon the death of her Mother, about 6 years ago, she fell upon the business of Selling Oysters at Billingsgate, in company with one Jenny Creed, then a very ill Woman, and now beyond Sea, with whom she became acquainted, and by whom she was easily corrupted and drawn away; and being once inticed into a vicious Course of Life, she could not be reduc'd to her Duty, no, not by the Severity of the Law, which she had often felt, as having been burnt in the Cheek several times for diverse Robberies she had committed, and been concern'd in; which nevertheless (as it is most usual) had left her so miserably poor, that (to her great grief) she was utterly unable to make any the least amends to them she had wrong'd: But she pray'd God to bless them, and them to forgive her. She declar'd that of all the wicked People she ever had any thing to do with, none had inticed her more to Stealing, than some Persons that were constant Receivers of stolen Goods, and she particularly named a certain Woman, who was lately try'd for a Fact of that Nature. She pray'd God would forgive both her and all others, who had been the Cause of her committing so many ill Things, as she had done, and to give her and them Grace to repent. She was very ignorant in any thing of Religion; and this was the great Cause of her falling easily into Sin, and not easily recovering out of it. She acknowledging the Fact for which she was Condemned, seem'd at the same time to be sensible, that she deserv'd now to be punish'd with Death, who had not learn'd Wisdom by the many Judgments she had received before. She mightily lamented her great Ignorance, and all the Sins of her past Life, and desired my Prayers for her; she telling me (sometimes) that she found her hard Heart melting, and she hop'd it should at last be quite melted into true Repentance, and that through the Merits of Christ she should obtain Pardon and Redemption.
III. Jane Bowman, Condemned for a Felony. She said she was about 26 years of Age, born at Kilwinning in Scotland; That about 14 years since she came out of her own Country, and lived 7 years with some Friends in Durham; where she began to be given to Stealing, and other Vices; but never was call'd into question for them, while she liv'd there. But coming up to London, and getting (as she soon and easily did) into acquaintance with ill People, she follow'd more than ever, (and to was severely punish'd for) her common Practice of Stealing and Whoring; two things that generally go together, so far as this at least; That though every Thief may not be a Whore or Whoremaster; yet every Whore or Whoremaster is a Thief. She confess'd she had been guilty of all Sins, Murther only excepted, and she had many times received the Sentence of the Law, and been branded for her former Crimes; and that now it was very just with God and Man to stop her, by this sad untimely Death, in her sinful Course of Life; which no former Punishment, though never so severe, could take her off. She acknowledg'd, with her Fellow-Sufferer, Elizabeth Smith, that her Ignorance and wilful Neglect of the Precepts of Religion, had been the prime Cause of her falling into gross Sins, and now under this shameful Condemnation. But she said, she heartily repented, and was most desirous to do any thing she was directed to, for the Glory of God and the good of her Soul. In this I instructed her, as well as her small Capacity would permit, and I found her very towardly and tractable; and she told me, that she had this assurance that God, upon her true Repentance, would, (for Christ's sake) give her Pardon for all her Sins.
When, by what outwardly appeared in them, I thought them penitent, and that their Hearts were now soft'ned, and had received some impression of Grace; I did, at their request, admit them to the Holy Communion of the LORD's SUPPER; having in some previous Discourse with them, concerning it, acquainted them with the End of Christ's Death, and of his Institution of this Sacrament; and shew'd them the great Obligations incumbent upon Christians, always to remember the exceeding great Love of their Dying Lord and Master, and to walk in Love, as he also has loved us. In the Meditation of which, and other Duties of Religion, and in the practice of the Acts of Devotion (which they said, they were heartily sorry they had so much neglected before) they now, to the utmost of their Endeavours, exercis'd themselves, and so continu'd to the time of their approaching Dissolution: Which drawing on, this Day they were conveyed (in two Carts) to the Place of Execution; where I discharg'd my last Office to them, in Exhortations, Prayers, and Singing of Psalms.
As they had been very free and very ample in their Confessions they made to me before they came to the Tree; so when they were come thither, there was nothing for them to do, but abhor their past sinful Lives, intreat for God's Pardon, and warn all Spectators from Sin, by the sad Example of their untimely Death, and the force of their Dying Words, which they did: And Jane Bowman, in particular, desiring to speak to a certain Person, and he accordingly coming-up to her in the Cart, she spoke thus to him, I desire you in the Words of a Dying Woman, that you would leave off ill Company. You have a good and careful Wife, pray live with her, and take care of her, and of your Child. Which having said, and he promised he would remember her Dying Words, he went from her; who, with Elizabeth Smith, and John Peter Dramatti, her Fellow-Sufferers, continu'd earnestly to cry to God for Mercy. I pray'd with Bowman and Smith in English, and with Dramatti in French, which he understood best; And this lastnamed, viz. Dramatti, (whose Confession and Last Words shall be publish'd to Morrow morning in a Paper by it self) had also the charitable Assistance of Monsieur Le Blanc, a Worthy French Divine, who pray'd very earnestly with him. There were two Penitential Psalms sung in English, and one in French. And so we pray'd again; and when we had recommended all these Dying-Persons to the tender Mercies of God, we left them to their private Devotions; for which they had time allotted them. And while they were, each of them, putting forth with their last Breath, these and the like Ejaculations, Lord have Mercy upon me! O Blessed Jesu, wash away my Sins in thy precious Blood! Deliver me from Blood-guiltiness, O God! Lord Jesu, receive my Spirit! While, I say, these Words were in their Mouths, and with repeated Cries they were earnestly imploring the Divine Mercy, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off.
May their Death be a happy Warning to those who were Condemn'd with them, and afterwards repriev'd, and may it particularly be so to Thomas Cook, who being with the rest carry'd out of Newgate in a Cart, in order to his Execution, was brought back-again by virtue of a Reprieve till Friday next, which he met with in his way about Bloomsbury, and which I pray God may prove to the good of his Soul.
This is all the Account that can be here given of this Sessions, by
Dated the 21th of July, 1703.
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