AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 6th, 7th and 8th Instant, Ten Persons received Sentence of Death; viz. 3 Men and 7 Women: Of which Number, Two of the Women, then found with quick Child, and (out of abundant Mercy) Three others, with Two of the Men, are reprieved; and the rest, namely, John Smith, Sarah Smith, and Mary White, are now order'd for Execution.
From the time of their having this Condemnation pass'd upon them to that of their Execution, I constantly visited them, and had them brought up to the Chappel in Newgate, where I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of God to them every day, both in the Morning and Afternoon, and preach'd four times in publick to them, viz.
On the LORD's-DAY, being the 11th instant, upon Luke 10. 42. But one thing is needful: And Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Of which Words, and their Context, having first given a general Account; I then proceeded to discourse upon the following Particulars; shewing,
I. What is the One thing needful, viz. A diligent attending to the Word of God, that ingrafted Word which is able to save our Souls, Jam. 1. 21.
II. Mary's Wisdom in her Choice of embracing the present Opportunity, without any delay, of hearing and receiving this Word, to her Souls Instruction and Comfort, while her Sister Martha, like many others of her Stamp, was neglecting it.
III. The Excellency of the thing thus chosen by Mary; prov'd not only from the Goodness of it, [Mary has chosen that good part] but from the Eternal Duration of it, [which shall not be taken away from her.]
These were the Heads of my Morning Discourse, which I concluded with a pressing Exhortation to Repentance, directed in particular to the Persons under Condemnation.
In the Afternoon I preach'd again upon the same Text; and from it took Occasion to inlarge upon the Subject of Repentance; to which the Word of God invites all Sinners, with the gracious Promise of Salvation. And herein I shew'd,
I. The Nature of Repentance; setting forth,
1st, What it is too often mistaken to be, and is not; viz. A meer outward Expression of Grief and Sorrow - &c. And,
2dly, What it really is; viz. A Change of the Heart, a sincere Love to God, a perfect Hatred to Sin, &c.
II. The Necessity of Repentance; shewing that without Repentance there is no Pardon; without Pardon there is no Salvation; and without Salvation there is Eternal Damnation, &c.
III. The Time when this great Duty of Repentance is to be set about; which is, the present time, without any the least Procrastination or Delay. God allows us not one Moment to endulge our selves in Sin. To day if ye will hear his Voice harden not your Hearts, saith the Holy Ghost by David. Psal. 95. 7, 8. & Heb. 3. 7, 8.
Which great Duty of Repentance, both as to the Necessity and Speediness of it, I inforced,
1st, From the Example of Mary in the Text, who lost no time in the reforming of her Life, by the Word of Christ, which she was so greedy to receive. And,
2dly, From the great Reward that shall ever attend her for her having readily chosen to hear her Saviour's Doctrine, rather than to put off the present happy Opportunity she had for, it, and mind some other Business that time.
Again, on the LORD's-DAY following, viz. the 17th Instant in the Morning, I preached to the Prisoners in Newgate upon Acts 17. 31. being part of the second Lesson appointed for that Morning, and the Words these, Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the World.
From which Words, first historically and paraphrastically explain'd, I treated of the Last Judgment, shewing,
I. The Certainty of it.
II. The Severity of it.
III. The use we ought to make of this Doctrine of a future Judgment, and the Means to avoid the Severity thereof.
In the Prosecution of which Subject, I took for my Text in the Afternoon these Words of Solomon, Eccl. 11. 9. But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into Judgment.
From which Words I shew'd,
I. That Men shall certainly be judged for all these things, viz.
1. Their wicked Thoughts.
2. Their idle, prophane, blasphemous and hurtful Words.
3. Their unjust and mischievous Actions.
II. That a timely and sincere Repentance will efface and blot out all these ill things, set all to rights again, and prevent Mens falling under Eternal Condemnation, when they shall come to be judged.
After I had discours'd upon these to my Auditory in general, I then apply'd my self with suitable Exhortations to the Condemned in particular; whom I did (in my frequent Visits to them) find for the most part very tractable and desirous of spiritual Help, in order to their Salvation, which they were now sensible they had by their Sins put to very great Hazard.
What Confessions they made to me, and what Dispositions they appeared to be in at their Death, I shall here acquaint my Reader with, in the following Lines.
I. John Smith, condemned for robbing on the High-Way, viz. 1st, Mr. William Birch near Paddington, on the 29th of October last, and taking from him a Gray-Mare with a Saddle and Bridle: And 2dly, Thomas Woodcock Esq ; and his Lady, with another Gentlewoman in the Coach with them, on Finchley Common the 6th of November last, and taking from them Things of Value, which they had again. He confessed those Facts very freely, and begg'd Pardon both of God and them he had wrong'd; but said withal, that though he must needs own he had been a great Offender in many things, yet he never was before reprehended by the Law; nor ever deserved to be so, but for some Facts which he had committed between and upon those two Days, viz. the 29th of October and 6th of November last: So that (as he said) he was an Offender but of eight Days; adding, that it was at first a great Surprize and Uneasiness to him, to find his last Robbery to have been split into three distinct Facts, and to be the matter of 3 several Indictments against him. But he said he was very much contented to be thought the worst of Men by Men, provided he might obtain the Favour of God by Christ; which he earnestly implored. He said farther, that he was about 23 years of age, born at Winchcomb within 10 miles of the City of Gloucester; That he was a Perriwig Maker by his Trade, and was well brought up by his Parents, who gave him Civil and Christian Education; but he did not answer their Expectation and Desire; and was disobedient and undutiful to them, and fell into many Extravagancies and Debaucheries. Of which he so frankly made his Confession to me, and in all appearance seem'd to be so sorry for them and so desirous to make Amends (if he could) to the World that I have great Hopes he was that inwardly which he outwardly appear'd to be. " And for the Reader's further Satisfaction herein, I must refer him to his Last Speech writ in his " own hand and deliver'd to me at the place of Execution. " A true Copy of which Speech, together with his particular " Confession of all the several Robberies by him committed " (within the space of 8 days only) shall be published this Day " about Noon, in a Paper by it self, it being too long and too " material to be crouded in here.
II. Sarah Smith, alias Boroughs, Condemned for privately stealing Goods out of the Shop of Mr. William Haslewood. She said she was about 48 years of age, born at Lambeth, and liv'd a while in Black-Fryers, and that her Employment wa selling of
Starch . But she could not deny that her chief Trade was stealing; in which she had been conversant for many years past, and had receiv'd the Law above 30 times, she having been whip'd and burnt diverse times, and three times at least under Sentence of Death. All which could not work her into Reformation; she not only going on in her wicked Course, but bringing several young People into it. She seem'd at first very serious and very sad, lamenting her manifold Sins in general; but when she was press'd to give Glory to God, and to labour for her Salvation, by true and unfeigned Repentance, and a free Confession of the Crime for which she was Condemned, and of all others that were a clog to her Conscience, and were necessary to be reveal'd for the good of Mankind; then she was very stiff and very stubborn; saying she would never discover any thing, by which she or others might be expos'd to the World after her Death. This gave me occasion in a particular manner to endeavour the perswading her, that whatever was desir'd of her, and I would put her upon, was of absolute necessity to make her Repentance effectual unto Salvation; and I labour'd to bring her into a clear sight of her miserable Condition, and to make her apprehensive how much more miserable she should be hereafter, if she wilfully neglected the use of those means, and would not follow those good Advices and Admonitions offer'd to her both by my self and others, in order to the pacifying the wrath of God, which by her repeated heinous Crimes she had brought down, and by her strange obstinacy she continu'd upon her; representing to her on the one hand, in as lively a manner as I could, the horror and intolerable endless Torments of the Damned in Hell, to which it seem'd she was hastening by her unheard of Stubbornness and Hardness of Heart; and endeavouring on the other hand to make her sensible and desirous of the unaccountable Joys and Happiness of Heaven. She being thus closely apply'd to, did shew at last some outward signs of Repentance, confessing that she was now justly condemn'd, and that she had long ago deserv'd this Punishment; That she was sorry from her heart she had sinned so much and so long, and had been so injurious and mischievous to the World: That she wish'd she were able (but to her grief it was not in her power) to make amends to those Persons she had wrong'd, viz. some by stealing their Goods, and others their Souls: And that she begg'd of God and them to forgive her, and restore double to them whose Goods she had unjustly taken, and give his Grace to those she had enticed into her ill way, to make haste to repent and amend their Lives. She confess'd that during the whole Course of her former Life, she had wholly neglected the Service of God; which prov'd the unhappy Consequence of her falling into, and continuing so long in those Wicked Actions that had brought her to this her sad and shameful End. By which she desir'd all such Offenders as she had been that they would take due and timely warning, that so they might prevent their Temporal and Eternal Ruine.
III. Mary White, alias Mary Parker, Condemn'd for privately stealing 36 yards of Printed Callico out of the Shop of Mr. Benjamin Shute and Mr. Joseph Carrol in Cornhil London, on the 24th of November last. She said she was 32 years of age, born at Rochester; from whence coming up to London about 14 years since, she liv'd at first in the service of some Citizens and Merchants of great worth; but afterwards was corrupted by ill Company. She confess'd the Fact for which she was condemn'd, and withal acknowledg'd, that she had been an old Offender, and an unhappy Instrument of making others to offend in the way of Lewdness and Stealing: Of which her self was so highly guilty, that she even despair'd of God's Pardon, and did not know how to appear before that just God, whose Mercy she had so much abus'd, having several times justly receiv'd the Law, for diverse Facts, and once before now under Sentence of Death. She complain'd mightily of the hardness of her heart, and desir'd my prayers for her; saying she was throughly griev'd for her past heinous Crimes; which she hop'd, she should never repeat were it in her power to commit them over again. She said farther, that she was not in any capacity to make restitution or any satisfaction to the Persons she had injur'd otherwise than by her untimely Death, which she received as her just Due; praying God and them to pardon her, and all Wicked People, especially those she had made so, take warning not only by this shameful End she had by her crying Sins brought her self to, but the great danger she was in of being undone for ever.
When the day of their Execution was come (for which John Smith, and I hope the other two, had endeavour'd to make Preparation,) they were all of them carry'd in a Cart to the place of Execution, where I attended them for the last time; and having (according to my usual manner) exhorted them to stir up their Affections to God, I pray'd with them: Then I made them rehearse the Articles of the Christian Faith, in which they declar'd they dy'd; earnestly desiring and praying for that Life Everlasting, which they profess'd to believe. After this I sung a Penitential Psalm, and pray'd again for them. Which having done, John Smith made his last Speech to the People, and then deliver'd it me in Writing to be imparted to the World for the benefit of those who did not hear it. This done, and both he and the two Women his fellow sufferers having warned all, both young and old, against Sin, by the sad and dreadful Punishment they were now brought to by it, I continued to pray with them, and sung another Psalm; and so recommending them to the mercy of God in Christ, I left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allowed them. Then the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off; whilst they were calling upon God in these and the like Ejaculations, Lord have Mercy upon me! Sweet Jesus look upon me! O God be merciful unto me! Forgive me all my Sins! O Lord forsake me not. O Father of mercies have mercy upon my sinful Soul! Lord open thy gates unto me. O Lord Jesus Christ, thou Saviour of the World and Lover of Souls, have mercy upon me! O Lamb of God that takest away the Sins of the World, have mercy upon me! O Lamb of God that takest away the Sins of the World, grant me thy peace! Lord Jesus intercode with thy Father for me! Lord, wash away all my Sins in thy most precious Blood. Lord save me, else I perish. Into thy hands I commend my Spirit! Lord receive me! Good Spectators pray for our Souls &c. Again O Lord our God be gracious unto us. Lord! thou art our Helper and our Redeemer. Lord we come, we come unto thee, &c. These were some of the Ejaculatory Expressions which each of these Dying Persons us'd both at this time when they were just going to be lanch'd into Eternity, and before. In which Expressions John Smith surpass'd his fellow sufferers shewing therein much more readiness and fervency than they. So that considering this his Devotion with his whole Deportment since his being under Sentence of Death, I may say this of him, That very few that lead such an ill Life as he did, have Grace to make such a good End as now he has done.
This is all the Account, which the straitness of Time and Room will allow me now to give of these Persons, whose shameful and untimely Death, that God would please to render useful to the reclaiming of other Sinners, who are so sensibly warned here, is the most hearty Prayer of
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.
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 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. Paul's Church-Yard, 1704.
RObert Whitledge, Bookbinder , now living at the Bible in Creed Lane, within Ludgate, where all Booksellers, and others, may be furnished with the WELSH Bible, WELSH Common Prayer and WELSH Almanack, and with all sorts of other Bibles and Common Prayers, large and small, with Cuts or without, Rul'd or Unrul'd, Bound in Turkey Leather, extraordnary 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 Execution, 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.
London, Printed by J. Downing in Bartholomew-Close near West-Smithfield, 1704.