The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confession, and last Speech of Mr . Roger Lowen, who was Executed on Friday the 25th of October 1706, at Turnham-Green, for the Murther by him committed there, on the 20th of Sebtember last, upon the Body of Mr . Richard Lloyd.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday the 16th and Thursday the 17th Instant, Six Persons received Sentence of Death, viz. Four Women for Shop-Lifting an Old Man for Robbing a House, and the Gentleman above mentioned, for Murther. This last is the only Person now order'd for Execution; two of the Women being respited upon their Pregnancy, and the other two, with the Old Man, reprieved by the QUEEN's gracious Mercy; which the Lord grant they may improve as intended.
After their Condemnation I visited them twice every day, and on the last LORDS-DAY, the 20th instant, I preached to them, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon part of the Gospel for the Day, viz. Matt. Chap 18. the former part of the 34th Verse. And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the Tormenter.
Which Words led me to the opening of the Parable, whereof they are a part. In which Parable our Blessed Saviour teaches us to forgive Injuries, and by no means seek for Revenge; but on the contrary be ready to repay ill turns with good ones; To love our Enemies; To bless them that curse us; To do good to them that hate us, and pray for them who despitiflly use us and persecute us, This is his express command Matt. 5. 44. By which we are let to understand how much, yea how indispensable we are bound always to entertain a good Will in our Hearts: Always to have a Spirit of Love and Charity towards all Men; Christ shewing us particularly in the Text, the Severe Punishment of that Bankrupt, that hard-hearted Servant therein mention'd, who having had no Mercy on his Fellow, had likewise, upon that account, no Mercy shew'd to him. He had angred and incens'd his Lord against him, by his Iuhumanity and Cruelty towards another: And so was order'd to condign Punishment. His Lord was wroth (Saith the Text) and deliver'd him to the Tormenters.
That we may know the right meaning of this; How far it reaches, and how much every man that wants Christian Love is concern'd in the Parable before us, we have the Application of it made very plainly in the Words immediately following the Text; in which we are told, That God will not forgive the Sins of those Persons, who do not from their hearts forgive them that have done them injury.
From which it evidently appears, That if we are oblig'd to have so much Love and Charity for our Neighbours, as to pardon freely, and entirely all the wrong we may have received from them; it is without doubt, I almost said, much more, our Duty to keep ourselves from doing any hur to such as never were hurtful to us; but shew'd themselves of a peaceable and quiet Disposition.
I would desire every one that hears me to let this sink into his heart; To consider seriously and without partiality whether he has not been guilty of the Breach of Christian Love: And whether he has not gone so far in that Breach as to have harm'd the Harmless and injured the Innocent. And when he finds he has done so; let him be advised to make what amends and Preparation he can, and speedily repent and return to a right mind; lest he provoke God's Wrath to such a degree, as to draw down Vengeance upon him, and he be deliver'd, not only to a Temporal, but to an Eternal Death; Not only to the Executioner here, but to the Tormenter hereafter; i. e. to the Devil, and all the Griefs and Pains, Racks, Tortures and Torments of Hell.
Now, what those Torments are, You may do well to think and consider, that so the serious thoughts and due Consideration thereof may through God's Grace and Mercy, effectually affright you into the happy avoiding of them.
The Torments of Hell into which the Cruel, the Merciless, and all other Sinners shall be adjudged, unless they repent, are of such a Nature, as all the the conceived Torments and Miseries of this World put together cannot come up to them, nor fully expresse them. But the Scripture condescending to our own apprehensions, is used to represent them to us under those Emblems and Metaphors, that are most proper to convey the horror of them into our Minds, and make us sensible that they are great and intolerable indeed.
1. Eternal Darkness,
2. Unquenchable Fire.
3. The Worm never dying.
4. Bonds, Chains, and Fetters that cannot be broken.
5. The Company of horrid Fiends and Devils.
6. Bitter Weeping and Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth.
These are the Things by which the Torments of Hell are describ'd to us in the Gospel: And much greater, yea infinitly greater they are, than any notion we can have of them in this World. They are inexpressible and unconceivable. Who can comprehend the Meseries of the Damned, both as to their Pain of Loss, and their Pain of Sense?
In those two consists their dreadful Punishment: And they seem to be both pointed at in the Text.
I. The Wrath of God, by which he excludes and banishes them for ever from his Beatifick Presence. This is the Pain of Loss.
II. The Delivering of them to the Tormenters. This is the Pain of Sense.
On these two Heads I inlarged, and concluded the Whole with a particular Exhortation and Application to the Condemned, who were attentive.
Roger Lowen, who is the melancholy Subject of the following Account, was a German Gentleman about 40 years of age born (as he told me) at Hanover, and brought up in the Lutheran Church. He said, that he had been a Gentleman of the Querry to the late Duke of Zell; and that before he was entertain'd in that Service, the Duke (in consideration of his Father, that was his Huntsman) sent him into France to learn his Exercises, at his Highness's Charge. He spoke French very well, and it was that Language in which I frequently conversed with him, and he made his Confession to me; which was to this effect; viz. That he had not lived according to that Knowledge he had in Religion, and that (like many other Gentlemen, who mind nothing but the sinful Pleasures of this present Life, he had been very loose and extravagant. He readily confess'd that he had assaulted, and for a long time before design'd to kill Mr . Richard Lloyd; but for a great while before his Tryal and even some time after it, he seem'd to doubt very much of that Gentleman's Death; saying, that it was impossible he should have dy'd of of the Wounds he gave him. But when he was at last convinc'd, that he was really dead; then he appeared to be sensible that he had committed a very base and heinous Crime, and express'd great Sorrow for it. And this was so much the more afflictive to his now awaken'd Mind, by how much he consider'd the enormity of that bloody Fact, both as to the Nature of it, and the manner of his committing it; and withall the Unreasonableness of that Jealousy which had prov'd the unhappy occasion of it. After his Condemnation he seem'd to apply himself in good earnest to his Devotions; in which he was principally directed by two Reverend Divines of his own Church and Nation, viz. Mr. Ruperti and Mr. Idzardi, who did (together with me) labour to make him sensible that the Crime for which he was justly to die, was both in it self, and in the heinous Circumstances attending it, most base, barbarous and inhumane, and required a degree of Repentance proportionable to the height of that Stain and Guilt which it had brought upon his Soul. And therefore had great need of the Blood of Christ to wash him clean, and of God's extraordinary Help and Mercy, (which he ought to implore) if ever he expected to avoid the Eternal Wrath and Vengeance of the Just Judge of the whole World. He acquiesced in all that was said to him on this Account, and desired our Prayers for him; That God would be graciously pleased to forgive him both this crying bloody Sin, and all his former Wicked Acts of Pride, Lewdness and Debauchery; all the Errors, Follies, and Vices of his mispent Life, and his Neglect of Religious Duties; for which (he said) he heartily begg'd God's Pardon, and theirs whom he had any was offended.
At the Place of Execution, where he was attended, not only by me, but by those two Worthy German Ministers, who had constantly visited him while under Confinement, he deliver'd me a Paper containing his Last Speech to the World. Which Paper being in the German Tongue, I have got it translated into English, as follows.
It is already known to the World for what reason I am now brought to this Place, and am to suffer this shameful Death, viz. for my having Shed innocent Blood. I do acknowledge the Fact, and confess my Fault, and rest satisfy'd of the just Sentence past upon me; it being agreeable to the Laws of the Land, and the Command of God, That Whosoever shadeth Man's Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed, for God has made Man after his own Jmage. I was born of honest and Christian Parents; my Father was an Englishman, and my Mother a German: I was educated from my Youth in the Protestant Religion. I declare before God and Man, That I always had an abhorrence and aversion to Actions of this kind, and have taken great care in all the Course of my Life to avoid them: And though I often had the
opportunity of taking away the Life of my Adversaries in ungodly Duels and Quarels; yet, I take God to Witnass, as a dying Man, I never was guilty of any Murther before this, for which I justly suffer. I am therefore the more grieved now, that I have been moved to so great a Passion, as to study Revenge, by the Instigation of the Devil and Sinfull Jealousy, which made me think (as I was perswaded by Mr. Crusius) that my Wife was marry'd in my absence with the Deceased. This is the unhappy thing th brought me to the Commission of this horrid Sin, which I heartily bewail with tears; and I do submit to my just Punishment. I am deeply sensible how greatly I have offended Almighty God; and therefore humbly implore his Pardon and Forgiveness, and that my Sinfull Soul may be washed from my Sins in the Blood of Sprinkling, that precious Blood shed by my Redeemer, which speaks better things than the Blood of Abel: And having the Promises from the Word af God, and his own Oath, That whensoever a Sinner truly repents and turns to him, he is willing to receive hlm and to forgive him, herein is the only Hope and Comfort of my departing Soul. I likewise humbly beg the Pardon of her Most gracious Majesty Queen ANN (whom God bless) and publickly ask Pardon of the Widow of the Deacesed Mr. Lloyd, as I have done already by a Letter which I have left unsealed with Mr. Rup. Minister at the Savoy &c. to send it to her, hoping she will (as a Christian) forgive me, as we all hope for Mercy and Forgiveness from God, through the Blood of Christ. In like manner I ask Pardon of my dear Wife, which has been many ways injured by this sad Occasion; and I sincerely declare that I am fully satisfy'd of her Innocence, and that I was jealous without a Cause; And I do not in any respect ascribe to her the Cause of my Misfortune. I truly love her, and assure the World that I have never been marry'd to any other Woman; and I pray heartily for her Prosperity and Happiness both of Soul and Body. Lastly, I desire all good People for God's sake earnestly to pray for the Salvation of my poor Sonl; and I exhort all to take Warning by my sad Misfortune, That they would not give way to Jealousy, Anger, Revenge, or such like Passions; but resist the Temptations of the Devil, the World and the Flesh, with constant and devout Prayer to God, and forgive their Enemies, and pray for them. All which I heartily and sincerely do, as I hope God will forgive me for Christ's sake.
After Mr. Lowen had written this his Last Speech in order to his delivering it to me, as he did, at the Place of Execution; he had the great comfort to receive an Answer to his Letter therein mention'd; in which Mrs. Lloyd shew'd so much Christian Charity as to signify to him, That she forgave him, and pray that God would forgive him also, and have Mercy upon his Soul.
This is all the Account here to be given of this Dying Gentleman, by
Friday, October 25. 1706.
††† Whereas some Persons take the Liberty of putting of Sham-Papers, pretending to give an Account of the Malefactors that are Executed; in which Papers they are so defective and unjust, as sometimes to mistake even their Names and Crimes, and often 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 9 in the Morning, the Title whereof constantly begins with these Words, The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, &c. In which Paper (always Printed on both sides the better to distinguish it from Connterfeits) are set down the Heads of the several Sermons' Preach'd before the Condemned: And after their Confessions and Prayers, and Atestation thereto under the Ordinary's Hand, that is, his Name at length; and at the bottom the Printer's Name, Dryden Leach; which if the Readers would but observe, they would avoid those scandalous Cheats so constanly impos'a upon them.
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