AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday the 6th, Friday the 8th, and Saturday the 9th Instant, four Persons were found guilty of Death, viz. Two Women for Burglary, a Boy for stealing of a Horse, and the above-named Thomas Sharp for a Murther proved to have been by him committed in Drury-Lane, on the 10th of August last past, upon the Body of Thomas Thompkins, a Watchman in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields. The first Three are repriev'd. (And God grant they may ever remember this Mercy, and make a right use of it.) As for the other ( Thomas Sharp) he is order'd for Execution, as a due Punishment for his Sins, and for a Warning to other notorious Sinners, who will do well to take it, and reform by it.
On Thursday the 8th Instant, being appointed for a Day of Publick Thanksgiving, I had an Opportunity to preach to them, which I did on these Words of the Royal Prophet, Psal. 34. 3. O magnifie the Lord with me, and let us exalt his Name together.
From which Words I took occasion to shew my Auditory,
1st, That it is our most indispensable Duty to praise God, and be thankful to him for all his Mercies, and for all his Dispensations towards us, whether they be gentle or severe, because they are all of them Tokens of his Paternal Care and Love, which in the Issue will prove blessed Effects to his dutiful Children, and returning Sons and Daughters.
2dly, That the Disposition requisite for our serving and praising God acceptably, is to depart from Sin, resign our Will to God's Will, and stedfastly purpose to obey him.
3dly, and lastly, That the Benefits and Advantages accruing to us from the religious Performance of this Duty, are the diverting God's terrible Judgments from us, and obtaining an Encrease of Mercies and Favours, which he often bestows on us in this World; but to be sure, he will do it in the World to come: Where from our praising God here, we shall be advanced to the praising of Him more perfectly and more joyfully hereafter with the blessed Saints and Angels to all Eternity.
On the Lord's-Day, the 10th Instant, I preach'd again to the Condemned Persons and others, viz.
In the Morning upon these Words, which are found in the 27th Verse of the 10th Chapter of St. Luke, and were part of the Gospel for the Day, viz. Thou shalt love - thy Neighbour as thy self.
From which Words, I shew'd,
1st, That this Love to our Neighbour, which is commanded in the Text, is to be understood both Negatively and Positively, and is a Duty which every Man is bound and able to perform. 1. The Negative Part of it, consists in not doing or not wishing Harm and Injury to any Man, even our greatest Enemy, upon any Occasion or Account whatever. 2. The Positive Part of it consists in doing all the Good we can to all Men, and wishing and praying for the Temporal and Eternal Welfare both of their Bodies and Souls, as heartily and sincerely as our own.
2dly, That our Obligation to this Duty is, 1st, From Nature; We are all of the same Kind and Frame, and therefore should be kindly disposed one to another; and do that to others which we would have them do to us. 2. From God's Command, who has strictly enjoyned it. And 3. From the Example of Christ, who is a most perfect Pattern of Love to us.
3dly, That the Want of this Christian Love in Men, is the Cause of most, if not all, the Murthers, Robberies, Injuries, and other Mischiefs committed in the World.
4thly, and Lastly, That the Benefits arising from our sincere Love to our Neighbour, are innumerable and unspeakable; not only in that such a Love makes all things easie and happy to us in this World, but fits and prepares us for that place where eternal Love does reign, that is Heaven; in which blesssed Place we shall be perfectly united to God; in whose Presence is the Fulness of Joy, and at whose Right-Hand there are Pleasures for evermore.
In the Afternoon I preach'd upon Rom. 13. 13. The Words being these. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
Which Words having paraphrastically explain'd with their Context, I shew'd from them,
1st, Our Duty of calling upon, and praying to God.
2dly, The manner of doing this, as it ought to be done.
3dly, The Motives thereto; taken from the mighty Consideration of our receiving Help in our Troubles here, and perfect Salvation hereafter.
On the last Lord's-Day, the 17th I did (according to my wonted manner) preach at Newgate, both in the Morning and Afternoon; and my Text was in Psal. 32. 5. I acknowledged my Sins unto thee, and mine Iniquity have I not hid. I said I will confess my Transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the Iniquity of my Sin.
Having first given a Paraphrastical Account of these Words, I then proceeded to shew,
1st, That the Confession of our Sins is a most necessary part of Repentance, which being followed by the forsaking of them, and Amendment of our Lives, is a most evident Proof, both to our selves and the World, that our Repentance is sincere; and being such, will find Acceptance with that good and gracious God, who desireth not the Death of a Sinner, but rather that he would turn from his Wickedness, and live.
2dly, That it suits well this Confession of our Sins, to be accompanied with outward Weeping, Lamentation, and Humiliation, to the greatest degree, for our having been such miserable Wretches, such prodigal and disobedient Children, as to displease, and grieve, and run away from our heavenly Father, in whose House and Favour alone we can live happy.
3dly, and lastly, That the Effects and Benefits of true and sincere Repentance, are indeed very great and comfortable Things to a poor Sinner; he being thereby taken out of the Slavery of Sin and Satan, and admitted into the glorious Liberty of the Children of God. Which speaks his happy Rescue from unspeakable and unconceivable endless Misery in Hell, and his obtaining the blessed Enjoyment of unutterable and incomprehensible everlasting Rest and Felicity in Heaven.
All which Discourses I concluded with such Inferences drawn from them, and such pressing Exhortations to Repentance and Faith, as were proper for the Occasion, and applicable (in a particular manner) to the condemned Persons, whom I visited twice every Day, and of whom there is now (as I said before) one only order'd for Execution, viz. Thomas Sharp; who is the melancholy Occasion of this Paper's appearing abroad again, after that it had received a happy Interruption the Session before this, by reason that no Body was then executed.
This Thomas Sharp, in the Account that he gave me of himself (wherein he seem'd, in some Circumstances, to be somewhat sparing, for the sake of his Parents, that are yet living, and know nothing of his Miscarriages and Troubles) told me only (and I did not think fit to press him to a more particular Discovery in things indifferent) that he was about 29 Years of Age, born in the West of England, and was at first a Glover by Trade, but left that Calling to serve the Crown; in whose Service he had spent, both at Sea and Land, about 11 Years; and that the last Sea-Service he was in was on board a Dutch Man of War: and his last Service at Land was in Colonel Hamilton's Regiment , under the Command of Capt. Welsh, in which he had been a Year and a half, and actually was, at the time of his being apprehended. He confess'd, that he had been a very ill Liver, and too too mnch addicted to the common and reigning Vices of the Age, viz. Swearing, Cursing, Drunkenness, Lasciviousness, Sabbath-breaking, Gaming, Neglect of God's Service, and the like; besides those Facts which the Law takes a particular Cognizance of; he having before now been under Sentence of Death, which he receiv'd at the Old-Baily the 27th of February, 1701. for breaking the House of Mrs. Mary Brown, a Widow , then living in St. Giles in the Fields, and taking from thence a pair of Holland-sheets and other Goods; adding, that he was very sorry he had no better improv'd the Mercy shewn him in the Reprieve then given him, and the Pardon that ensued. Whereupon I asking him whether in his former Troubles, he never had any serious Thoughts of reforming and amending his Life; he answer'd, That he had several times taken up Resolutions to that purpose, but for want of one thing, which (as he is now sensible of) ought to have been in his Resolutions, he could never bring them to any Effect; but broke them as soon as he had made them, or at least, upon the next Opportunity and Temptation. Now, what this thing was, which render'd his good Resolutions thus ineffectual, he declared to be this, viz. That in those his Resolutions of forsaking his Evil way, he did not seriously think of parting entirely with, and leaving for good and
all, the Company of those wicked Persons who had, some of them, brought him at first into, and all of them encouraged him in his former vicious Course of Life. But now he said, he hop'd, if he were to live again in the World, he would never give way to the Temptation, and it griev'd him very much he had done it so long, of which (he said) he repented with all his Heart; praying God, for Christ's sake, to forgive him all his Sins, as he freely forgave those that had injured him; and desired also the Pardon of them that he had any ways injured, to whom he was not able to make any other Amends, than by begging of God (as he did) to bless them. He could neither Read nor Write; but being brought up by his Parents in the Church of England, he was not altogether unacquainted with our Common-Prayers (some of which he could say by heart;) neither was he absolutely ignorant of the Principles of that Church, though he had for several years past lived so disagreeably thereto. He declared, he rely'd for Salvation upon the alone Merits of JESUS CHRIST. While he was under this Condemnation he behaved himself very decently, and (in outward Appearance) with Devotion, all the time I was with him praying and admonishing him. But yet he would not be perswaded to confess the Fact for which he was condemned to die, though I used many pressing Arguments with him to that purpose; shewing him how his persisting in this his Denial, put him into the greatest Danger of Damnation, turned his Prayers into Sin, tainted his Soul more and more, and removed him still further from God's Mercy; and would certainly bring, instead of a Blessing, an eternal Curse upon him; and that if he thought otherwise, and fancied himself (as he said he was) in a good State, this did not proceed from Reason or Religion, but from a Mind deluded by Satan; who being the great Enemy of his Soul, suggested such things to his Imagination, as might keep him from doing all that he was able to do, and God therefore strictly required he should now do, in order to his obtaining a saving Interest in Christ, whose Merits would never be apply'd to him, nor his precious Blood cleanse him from his Iniquities, unless he own'd himself (if, as it was plainly proved, he was) guilty of that horrid Murther, and, in a due Sence of the Heinousness of such a Crime, beg earnestly Pardon both of God and Man for it. After I had laid this often to him, he at last (when the Dead-Warrant was brought in, and not before) confess'd it was true, (as they swore it against him) that he was endeavouring to break open a House at the End of Great Queenstreet in Drury-lane, & that he shot the Watchman who came to prevent him in it. Which having declared, I gave him such Reproof and Admonition as was fitting; shewing him both the Heinousness of that horrid Crime of Murther which he actually had, with that of Burglary, which he intended to have committed, and the Aggravation of his Guilt by his long obstinate Denial of both. Upon which he acknowledged, he was very guilty indeed, and that his Sentence was just; that he was the worst and the vilest of all Sinners, not worthy to lift up his Hands or his Eyes to Heaven, and receive the least Mercy; praying God not to deal with him in the Severity of his Justice, but deliver him from that eternal Condemnation he had deserved; and desiring my Prayers for him to that end.
This being the Day appointed for his Execution, which (that it might be so much the more Exemplary) was perform'd at the End of LONGACRE in DRURY-LANE, near the Place where he had committed the Murther, and where a Gibbet was erected to that purpose, I attended him there for the last time; and having exhorted him still to stir up his Heart to God, and clear his Conscience before he departed this World, I pray'd and sung a Penitential Psalm with him. Then, upon my Motion, he warned young Men and all others, from living loose and irreligious Lives, and keeping ill Company; and desired them to learn by his sad and shameful End to avoid the Sins that he had done, and practise the Virtues he had left undone; owning that he was justly brought to suffer a shameful Death at the Place where he had committed a most bloody Fact; which he heartily lamented, and pray'd God to forgive. After this I pray'd again with him and for him, and made him rehearse the Articles of the Christian Faith, in which he declared he died; and having sung another Psalm, I pray'd a third time, and commended his Soul to God, and so left him to his private Devotions, for which he had some time allow'd him. When I was retired, he turned his Face towards me, and thanked me aloud, and desired me, and all Spectators, to pray for God's Mercy to him, till he was dead. Then the Cart (in which he was brought thither from Newgate) drew away, and he was turned off, while he was calling upon God in the Lord's-Prayer, and the like Ejaculatory Expressions, Lord have Mercy upon me! O Lamb of God that takest away the Sins of the World, have Mercy upon me! Lord, forgive me a great Sinner! O dear Father of Heaven, have Mercy upon me! Lord, save me for Jesus Christ's sake.
This is all the Account, which is to be given of this Dying Criminal, and which is heartily wished may prove a Means to the Reformation of others, by
Frid. Sept. 22d, 1704.
THE Exemplary Life and Character of James Bonnell, Esq ; late Accomptant General of Ireland. To which is added the Sermon preach'd at his Funeral by Edward Lord Bishop of Killmore and Ardagh The Life by William Hamilton, A. M. Archdeacon of Armagh. Attested by Six of the most eminent Bishops in the Kingdom of Ireland.
AN Account of the Progress of the Reformation of Manners in England, Scotland and Ireland, and other Parts of Europe and America, &c. The Twelfth Edition Enlarg'd.
THE Necessary Duty of Family-Prayer, and the deplorable Condition of Prayerless Families consider'd. In a Letter from a Minister to his Parishioners. With Prayers for their Use.
THE Manifesto of the Cevennois. Shewing the true Reasons which have constrained the Inhabitants of the Cevennes to take up Arms. Dedicated to the Dauphine. Price 2d.
A Discourse concerning Sins of Infirmity and wilful Sins, with another of Restitution. By the Right Reverend Richard, late Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. Price 3 d.
DIrections for Communicants how to Celebrate the blessed Sacrament of the Lord's-Supper, according to the Prescription of the Church of England, laid down in a plain and familiar way, for the Use of all, but designed especially for the meanest Capacities. With Considerations and Exhortations to encourage our frequent Coming to that Table, &c.
THE Christian Education of Children. In a Letter to a Friend. In which are contain'd the Fundamental Truths of Religion, and the Duties of a Christian Life. Profitable for all sorts of Persons; but especially recommended to Schools of Charity. Printed for R. Sympson at the Harp in St. j. Paul's Church-Yard, 1704.
THE last Words of the Lady Margaret De la : And, The Dying-Man's Assistant, both printed for J. Lawrence at the Angel in the Poultry. And A Guide to Salvation, Sold at the Star in St. Paul's Church-Yard.
A Medicine for the Cure of the Stone and Gravel, of much greater Certainty than any yet offer'd in Publick; having been experienced in divers Bodies, effectually to Dissolve and Reduce the STONE into Slime in 20 or 30 days time, clearing the Kidneys of Gravel; and in any Fit of the Stone or Gravel to give Ease in the most Raging Pains, and procures Freedom of Urine in a few hours time. To be had of a Chymist at the Golden-Ball and Crown in New-Street without Bishops-Gate, London. A Specifick Powder for the Cure of the King's-Evil.
THIS Powder by a long Experience, has been found to be extraordinarily successful and specifick against the King's-Evil: It helps Digestion, takes off the Crudity of the Chyle, revives the Spirits, purifies the Blood, and gives Strength and a Tonus to the several parts of the Body; so that by it, Sores and Ulcers are easily dried up, Swellings discuss'd, the Humours diverted, and their Malignity corrected: It hath a pleasant Taste, and makes no sensible Evacuation, and so may be taken without any Trouble or Disturbance from Business: 'Tis a gentle and safe Remedy, which doth agree with the Constitutions of all People. It is to be had at Mr. Rogers's a Bookseller at the Sun against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street, at Mr. Round's a Bookseller in Exchange-Alley in Cornhill, at Mr. Baker's Bookseller at Mercers-Chappel in Cheap side, at Mr. Fleetwood's at the Parliament Stairs Westminster-Hall, at Mr. Rowe's-Coffee-House at the Bridge-Foot in Southwark, and at Mr. Watson's Coffee-house the Corner of Denmark-street in Ratcliff High-Way. Price 5 s. the Box, containing seven Doses. Allowance will be made to those who take any Quantity.
RObert Whitledge, Bookbinder , now living at the Bible in Creed Lane, within Ludgate, where all Booksellers, and others, may be furnished with all sorts of Bibles and Common-Prayers, large and small, with Cuts or without, Rul'd or Unrul'd, Bound in Turkey Leather, extraordinary or plain, or unbound. Also the Statutes at large, and Articles and Canons of the Church of England; Tate and Brady's new Version of the Singing Psalms, the Common-Prayer in French, the new Book of Rates compleat; and also all Books neatly Bound.
WHEREAS some Persons take the Liberty of putting out Sham-Papers, pretending to give an Account of the Malefactors that are Executed; in which Papers they are so defective & unjust, as sometimes to mistake even their Names and Crimes, and often quite misrepresent the State they plainly appear to be in under their Condemnation, and at the time of their Death: To prevent which great Abuses, These are to give Notice, That the only true Account of the Dying Criminals, is that which comes out the next Day after their Execucion, about 8 in the Morning, the Title whereof constantly begins with these Words, The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, &c. In which Paper (the better to distinguish it from Counterfeits) are set down the Heads of the several Sermons preach'd before the Condemned; and after their Confessions and Prayers, an Attestation thereto under the Ordinary's Hand, that is, his Name at length; and at the bottom the Printer's Name.
J. Downing in Bartholomew-Close near West-Smithfield, 1704.