The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors Executed at TYBURN, on Tuesday the 27th Day of MAY. 1712.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, the 30th day of April last, and Thursday and Friday, the 1st and 2d instant, Seven Persons, viz. Six Men and One Woman, that (upon their Trials) were found Guilty of several Capital Crimes, received Sentence of Death accordingly. But of those Seven Malefactors, Five having obtain'd a gracious Reprieve (which I wish they may have Grace to make a right use of) Two only are now order'd for Execution: And this gives occasion to my melancholy Paper's appearing in Publick again; which, in the two last Sessions, were happily interrupted by the merciful Reprieves granted to the Persons then Condemn'd.
While these were under Condemnation, I constantly visited them, and had them, twice every Day, brought up to the Chapel, where I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of GOD to them: And,
On the LORD's Day the 4th instant, I preach'd to these Condemn'd and other Persons there present, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon Luke 24. 46, & 47. And [JESUS] said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved CHRIST to suffer, and to rise from the Dead the Third Day: And that Repentance and Remission of Sins should be preach'd in his Name, amongst all Nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
From which Words, first explain'd in general, I then apply'd myself more particularly to the Consideration of the latter Clause of my Text, which concerns Repentance: And herein I shew'd,
That as the Apostles of CHRIST had a Commission given them by Him to preach Repentance and Remission of Sins, so they have, who are their Successors in the Ministry of the Gospel.
1st. They are appointed to Preach Repentance; which is a Turning from sinful Courses into a Course of Life, consonant and agreeable to the Will of GOD, reveal'd in the Gospel of CHRIST.
2dly. They are impower'd to Declare the Remission of Sins, viz. GOD's Pardon, to those that do thus Repent, and turn to Him, by Amendment of Life:
And both this Preaching of Repentance, and Declaration of Pardon to the Sinner upon his Conversion, are to be perform'd by the Ministers of the Gospel, in the Name and by the Power of CHRIST, by whom they are here commission'd to Preach Repentance, and Remission of Sins: The blessed Effects whereof are Eternal Peace and Happiness with GOD, promid to all true Believers and sincere Penitents.
Which to illustrate, and make still more evident, and press it upon the Minds of my Auditors, I spoke distinctly and amply to these, viz.
I. The Nature and Extent of that Commission, which CHRIST has given his Ministers about this great and important Doctrine of Repentance.
II. The Reasonableness of Men's complying therewith, i. e. Doing as they are taught herein.
III. and lastly, The Advantage that would be deriv'd, both to the Teacher and Them that are Taught, did they but unanimously pursue what they profess, and make their Lives the Transcript of this Doctrine of Repentance: Which certainly is the best way both of Preaching and Living.
On the LORD's Day the 11th instant, I preach'd to them again, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the Epistle for the Day, viz. 1. Pet. 2. 11. Dearly Beloved, I beseech you, as Strangers and Pilgrims, abstain from fleshly Lusts, which War against the Soul.
In discoursing upon which Words, I shew'd them;
I. The Import of the Apostle's Exhortation, or rather Dehortation, which he ushers in with this most pathetick, tender, and affectionate Compellation, Dearly Beloved, I beseech you, and which he levels against Fleshly Lusts, as he calls them here; meaning,
1st. All Sensual Desires in particular; such as are denominated under these, Adultery, Fornication, Lasciviousness, Uncleanness, Filthiness, Lewdness, Wantonness, and the like, which the Carnal Mind is filled with.
2dly. All Sins in general; which are called the Works of the Flesh, and of which we have a black Catalogue, Ephes. 5. 19. &c; in the Front whereof are placed the Lusts of the Flesh.
II. The two-fold Argument, by which the Apostle enforces this his Dehortation, taken from these weighty and pressing Considerations; viz.
Ist. That Christians are (and therefore should look upon themselves to be) Strangers and Pilgrims here on Earth, not only with respect to some particular Place or Country they may be driven to, but with respect to the whole World, in which indeed they are but Sojourners and Passengers, travelling towards their own proper Country, which is Heaven.
2dly. That those Fleshly Lusts are directly opposite to our great and Spiritual Interest; For, says our Apostle in the Text, they War against the Soul. And this we may be sensible of, if we consider these 2 or 3 Particulars.
1. They stain and defile the Soul in its Coelestial Beauty and Perfections.
2. They hinder it from its noble Operations.
3. They deprive it of its Surpassing Comforts in this World, and most glorious Rewards in the next.
In all which respects Carnal and Fleshly Lusts make War against the Soul, and will (if not timely and vigorously oppos'd) utterly subdue it, and bring it to Eternal Ruin and Destruction.
Which that they might prevent, I gave them some Directions, as effectual Remedies against those Fleshly Lusts. And,
On the LORD's Day, the 18th instant, I preach'd to the Condemn'd Prisoners and other Persons then present, taking my Text out of the second Lesson for that Morning, viz. Matt. 16. 26, 27. For what is a Man profited, if he shall gain the whole World, and lose his own Soul? Or what shall a Man give in exchange for his Soul? For the Son of Man shall come in the Glory of his Father, with his holy Angels; and then he shall reward every Man according to his Works.
From which Words, spoken by our Blessed Saviour, who calls himself both here and elsewhere, the Son of Man, I spoke to these two Points, viz.
I. The Vast Disproportion between the Things of this World, and a Man's Soul; shewing, 1st, The Vanity and Emptiness of the former: And, 2dly. The Value and Excellency of the latter.
II. The Coming of CHRIST at the Last Day; on which He will not reverse, but confirm, the private Sentence He shall pass upon every particular Man at his Death.
Here I endeavour'd to make them apprehensive of,
1. The Manner of that Coming of CHRIST, which shall be most Glorious and Terrible.
2. The End of it, which is, to reward every Man according to his Works; implying these two Things, viz.
1st, That Christ, at his Last Coming, shall give to them that have done well, or truly repented of their Sins, Eternal Life.
2dly, That he will recompence the Workers of Iniquity and Impenitent Sinners, with Everlasting Punishment.
Of these Two, viz. 1st. The Reward of Eternal Life and Happiness to good Men, and 2dly. The Punishment of Eternal Death and Misery to the Wicked, I treated distinctly; and then proceeded to shew the Certainty of both.
Again, on the last LORD's Day (being the Fourth Sunday after their Sentence) I preach'd to them in the Morning and Afternoon, upon 2 Pet. 3. 9. The LORD is not slack concerning his Promise as some Men count Slackness, but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to Repentance.
These Words, with their Context, I first explain'd in general: And then I laid down from them this Proposition, viz. That CHRIST has declared, He will come to Judgment; and therefore He will not fail of making good his Word: For as his Prediction of Jerusalem's Destruction did exactly come to pass, so shall that (in its appointed time) concerning the Destrustion of the whole World; his seeming Delay herein being no good Supposition, That He shall not come at all; but rather Argument of his great Goodness
and Mercy, who allows this long time, to the end Men might Rpent, and the Number of his Elect be fulfilled. And when that i, (as St. Paul tells us) We shall all appear before his Judgment-Seat, that every one may receive the Things done in his Body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Cor. 5. 10.
For the Illustration of which Proposition, and Explanation of the Text, I made these Observations, viz.
I. That the LORD, who has promised and declared, That He will come One Day to judge the World; and, That He will receive the Good and Penitent to Himself, and destroy the Wicked and Impenitent, is able to perform to the uttermost.
II. That He who has thus promis'd and declar'd, and can fulfil his Word, is yet Long-suffering to us-ward: He is pleased to bear and forbear for a time (yea, a long time too), in that He does not, as He justly might, bring us to speedy Judgment: Thus dealing patiently with us in Mercy; tho' we deserve no such Favour, and our Happiness can be no real Addition of Glory to Him.
III. That one great Reason why the LORD dispenses such Mercy of Long-suffering to us-ward, is, That none of us should perish.
IV. and lastly, That the Means to prevent this Perishing (tho' not that Judgment) is Repentance.
Having enlarg'd upon all these Heads and Particulars, as well of the other foregoing Texts, I concluded my several Discourses thereon with suitable Exhortations and Applications to the Condemn'd, whom, as I thus taught in publick, so I did in private: And then it was, that they who are now appointed to Death, gave me the Account of themselves, which followeth, viz.
1. Thomas Browning, alias Thomas Rawson, which he said was his right Name, and that by which he ever went before, was condemned for breaking open the House of Mr. William Hunt, and taking from thence a Silver-Watch, a Silver-Saucepan, some Silver-Spoons, &c. on the 7th Day of April last. He confess'd, that he was guilty of that Felony, but not of the Burglary; he owning the taking of the Goods, but at the same time disowning his having broke into the House. He said, he was about 20 years of age, born at Long-Cottenham near Cambridge; That when he yet was very young, his Parents (who are now dead) brought him up to London, and he lived a good while with them in Spittlefields: That his Father (a Butcher) bound him Apprentice to a Tripe-man , with whom having served about four years and an half of his Time, he then run away: That not long after this, he accidentally passing one day by a House in Wapping, which had been broke open and robbed the Night before, and being lookt upon as an idle Person, and known by some People to have run away from his Master, was thereupon apprehended and committed to Newgate; where he unhappily contracted such Acquaintance, and such an habit of Sin and Wickedness, as afterwards proved his total Corruption and Ruin; for after his Trial and Acquittal (as being innocent) of that Burglary, no sooner was he discharged and set at liberty, but he fell upon practising abroad those bad Lessons he had learned of other Prisoners when under Confinement with them; which he does here declare for a Warning to others, who should come into the like unhappy Circumstances, that they may guard themselves (better than he did) against all those evil Insinuations, which (by his own woful Experience) he has found wicked Men to be very ready and industrious (on such occasions) to work upon them they converse with.
He being desired to clear his Conscience, and give a particular Account of what Robberies he had committed, and make all the Amends he could to the Persons he had wrong'd; he said, That his first Fact, was the taking away a Goldsmith's Show-glass in Bishopsgate-street, about two years ago; but the Owner had it again, and he was not prosecuted for it: That in February 1710-11, he committed a Burglary in Southwark, and was to have been an Evidence against the Man that was concerned with him in that Burglary; but there was no Prosecution: That some time after that, he was made an Evidence against another young Man, who was by him convicted of the stealing a Horse, and upon that Conviction receiv'd Sentence of Death, but was afterwards repriev'd: That about six Months ago he cut down a Box from behind Mr. William Rose, as he was riding thro' Lad-lane in London, and ran away with that Box, wherein there was a great quantity of Lace, to the value of 100l. which he was apprehended with, and the Owner had again; and himself was try'd, and found Guilty, and burnt in the Hand for it, and then order'd into the Queen's Service, into which he had been listed several times before, but always got off, sometimes by Desertion, and at other times with Money, having given Five Guinea's at one time for his Discharge. Now upon my asking him, how he came by that Money, seeing he got but very little (as he had told me) by Thieving; he answer'd, That he lived upon the Diversion of Women. Those were his very Words; by which he meant (as he further explain'd it himself) that he was maintained by some Lewd Women, with whom he kept company. Here he acknowledged, That indeed he had been guilty of Lasciviousness, and filthy Communication, to a very high degree, as likewise of Swearing, Drunkenness, Gaming, &c. and that he had committed some other Thefts besides those above mention'd, but was not in any capacity of making Restitution to the Persons he had wrong'd, which he wished he were. He pray'd GOD to bless them, and them to forgive him; and seem'd to be very sorry for his Sins, and bitterly lamented his past Life, which had been so vicious and so lewd.
2. Jeremy Clark, alias John Williams (which was the Name he had lately took up) condemn'd for stealing out of Mr. Henry Goodwin's House a quantity of Plate to the value of 19 l. on the 6th day of April last. He confess'd, that he was guilty of this Robbery, and had been so before of such another, which he commited in December 1711, in the House of Mr. Robert Hyde, out of which he took 3 Silver-hafted Knives and Forks, 2 Salts and 2 Spoons, and was burnt in the Hand for it in January last. He said, That on last Wednesday he was just 17 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Faith, London; and, that as he grew up he grew vicious, and was disobedient to his Parents, and would not be brought up to his Father's Trade (a Butcher) nor indeed take to any thing but an idle Course of Life; being addicted to all manner of Looseness; And this (he said) he would have other young Men to take notice of, That the chief Cause of his Ruin, was his Custom of Rambling abroad in Church-time on the LORD's Days, instead of attending the Service of GOD (as he should have done) with the rest of the Family. He express'd a great deal of Grief for this his Neglect, and all other his Sins, praying GOD to forgive him all his Negligences and Ignorances, and have Mercy upon his poor Soul.
At the Place of Execution (whither they were carry'd from Newgate, Browning in a Cart, and Clark in a Coach) I attended them for the last time, and after suitable Exhortations, Prayers, and Singing of Penitential Psalms, I left them to their Private Devotions, and recommended them to the Grace and Mercy of GOD.
Before they were turn'd off they spoke to the People to this effect, viz. Thomas Rawson; That all Spectators, and all young Men and Women, would take Warning by them, who were two young Lads that did not make up 40 years both together; That by their Sins they had brought themselves to this untimely End, which he wish'd others would avoid by living better than they had done. And so in like manner Jeremy Clark, desir'd, That all young People would take Warning by him, who was but come to be 17 years of Age on Wednesday last, on which day he was order'd for Execution, but through Mercy, it was put off to this. He wished that all would avoid ill Company, and not break the Sabbath-day as he often had done, to his Shame and Sorrow now. He pray'd, That none would reflect upon his Parents for his wicked Life and shameful Death, for they were not in the least the occasion of it; adding, That it was but about Christmas last, when he enter'd upon this way of Thieving; and, that before that time, he never had lain one Night out of his Fathers House: And now he hop'd this should be such a Warning to all young Men and others, that they would never venture at any time to do an ill Thing.
Both he and Rawson desir'd the Prayers of the People; & after this they pray'd by themselves, and the Cart drew away while they were each of them calling upon GOD to have Mercy on them, in these and the like Ejaculations: O Lord God, be merciful unto me, forgive my Sins, and save my Soul. Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit, &c.
Tuesday, May 27. 1712.
London printed, and are to be Sold by J. Morphew, near Stationers-Hall.