AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday the 21st, and Thursday the 22d of February last past, Five Persons (viz. Four Men and One Woman) being convicted of several Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death accordingly. Of these Five Malefactors, Four have obtain'd a gracious Reprieve, and One only is now order'd for Execution.
While they were under this Condemnation, I constantly visited them, and had them brought up (twice every day) to the Chapel of Newgate, where I pray'd with them, and read, and expounded the Word of GOD to them; thereby endeavouring to make them truly Sensible and Penitent of their past Follies, and so prepare themselves (through the Divine Grace) to die with a good Conscience, clear and void of Offence towards GOD, and towards Men.
On the LORD'S DAY the 25th of February last, I preach'd to them and others there present (both in the Morning and Afternoon) upon Psal. 119. 59. I thought on my Ways, and turn'd my Feet unto thy Testimonies.
From which Words, whereby David elegantly and metaphorically describes his Repentance, (which is an excellent Pattern for ours) I did (after a general Explanation of them) shew,
I. What that Repentance must be, which GOD will please to accept of.
II. The great Motives to, and blessed Effects of, such a Repentance.
And under these two Heads, I gave them some Directions, How they might repent unto Salvation; concluding (at both times) with particular and suitable Admonitions and Exhortations to the Condemn'd.
Those of them that are Repriev'd, I shall here say nothing of, but give them this Word of Advice, (which I hope they will follow, if they love their own Souls) viz. That they would call to remembrance what I then told them, of the great danger those Sinners are in, of being finally shut out of all Mercy, who do wilfully abuse it, and put off their Repentance from day to day.
Which great Concern leaving to their serious Consideration, I shall now apply my self, in the remaining Lines of this Account, to give the Reader the Substance of what the Person, who is now to die, declar'd to me.
John Addison, Condemn'd for several Robberies, viz. for assaulting and Robbing, on the QUEEN'S High-way, Mr. Matthew Beazley, Mr. William Winslow, Mr. Disney Sanniford, Mr. Robert Sherwood, and Mr. Joseph Ashton; on the 30th of November, the 20th of December, and the 6th of February last. He confess'd, That he was guilty of all those Robberies, and of many more, which he had committed within these Two Years past.
He said, he was about 23 Years of age, born of very honest Parents, in the Parish of Lambeth; That he had been for some time in the Sea and Land-service , but for the most part of his Life follow'd the Trade of a Butcher , to which he was brought up.
He lamented his Sinful Life; and the remembrance of his former Vices, wherein he had so much delighted, was now very grievous to him. He further said, That if he could, he would make Satisfaction to the Persons he had wrong'd; but That was not in his power. He pray'd GOD and them to forgive him, (though unworthy) for the sake of Christ.
This day he was taken out of Newgate; and carried in a Cart to the Place of Execution; where I attended him for the last time, and having (according to my usual manner) Exhorted him, Pray'd for him, sung some Penitential Psalms with him, and made him rehearse the Apostles Creed, I recommended his Soul to GOD; and so left him to his private Devotions, for which he had some time allow'd him. Before I retired I did ask him, Whether he had any thing more to say, that might be useful for the World to hear or know: To which he answer'd, No: but desir'd the Prayers of all good People.
Then, a while after this, the Cart drew away, and he was turn'd off; he then mightily calling upon GOD in these, and the like Ejaculations: Lord, have Mercy upon me! Lord JESUS receive me! &c.
A PRAYER by him frequently used after his Condemnation.
O Lord, give me that true Repentance to which thou hast promised Mercy and Pardon: and accept my Repentance for thine infinite Mercy's sake, and the Merits of my Blessed Saviour, who died for Repenting Sinners.
O Work, by thy Grace, such a Love of Thee in my Heart, as may make me yet grieve more for my Sins.
Create in me a clean Heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me.
O Lord, one day is with Thee as a thousand years, O let thy mighty Spirit work in me now in this my last day, whatsoever thou see'st wanting, to fit me for thy Mercy and Acceptance.
Let it work in me all those Holy Dispositions of Mind, that may fit me for Heaven, and the Enjoyment of thy self.
This is a great thing, O Lord, that I ask, but not too great for thy Almighty Power: Speak the Word only, and I shall be clean. Grant this to me, O merciful Father, for thy dear Son's sake. Amen.
This is all the Account be given of this Dying son, by me,
Friday, March 2. 1710/1711.
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