THE ORDINART of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words OF the FOUR MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN, On Monday the 28th of April, 1760.
LONDON: Sold by M. COOPER, in Pater-noster-Row. 1760. [Price SIX - PENCE.]
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, &c.
BY virtue of the king's commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and at the general sessions of goal delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex at Justice-hall in the Old Baily, before the Right Honourable Sir Thomas Chitty, knt. Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Honourable Sir Thomas Dennison, knt. one of the Justices of His Majesty's court of Kings Bench ; the Honourable Sir Richard Lloyd, knt. one of the Barons of His Majesty's court of Exchequer ; Sir William Moreton, knt. Recorder of the City of London, and others of his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer for the said City and County, on Wednesday the 27th, Thursday the 28th, and Friday the 29th of February, 1760; in the 33d Year of His Majesty's reign, William Beckwith was capitally convicted for house-breaking and robbery; and John Guest and Thomas Smith for the like crimes.
And by virtue of His Majesty's commission of the peace, &c. holden for the City and County aforesaid, before the Right Honourable Sir Thomas Chitty, knt. Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir William Moreton, knt. Recorder , and others of His Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer for the said city on Wednesday the 16th, Thursday the 17th, and Friday the 18th of April 1760; Robert Tilling was capitally convicted for the crimes in his indictment laid. On Wednesday the 23d of April, the report of the said four malefactors
John Guest and Thomas Smith were indicted, for that they on the 2d of February, about the hour of five in the night of the same day, the dwelling house of William Howes did break and enter, and steal out from thence thirty pair of silver shoe buckles, value 16 l. six pair of knee-buckles, value 24. s. and four silver Stock-buckles, value 10 s. the goods of the said William.
To this indictment Smith pleaded guilty, and Guest was convicted on the evidence of William Howes, Joseph Goston, and one mrs. Montgomery, to whom part of the broken silver was sold. Smith was stopt and apprehended in Hounds-ditch offering some of the buckles to sale; and Guest was taken in Monmouth street, selling an Alapeen coat stolen from one mr. Lee; besides which, some of mr. Howes's Buckles, &c. being found upon him, he was taken before Justice Welch, and by him committed to goal.
After their conviction, their behaviour was apparently regular and becoming their unhappy situation, daily attending the duties of the chapel, being instructed there in those necessary things, which they had too lightly regarded all the former part of their lives; and having proper books given them to employ themselves during their consinement in their cells, which, as Guest could not read, Smith read to him.
Thomas Smith gave the following account of himself; that he was about 21 years of age; born at Layton-Buzzard in Bedfordshire; his father and mother were in the farming and labouring way; sent him to school where he learned to read and write moderately well, till being of a proper age to be put out apprentice , he was bound to George Edwards a Turner , in Swallow-street St. James's Westminster, to whom he served about five years; and then went off to sea , without his master's consent, being ill treated, and half starved, as he said, by a woman who lived with his master. He fail'd in the volunteer capt. Kent, in which he entered himself about Christmas was two years, was out a cruising 14 months, and returned in February, 1759. During that time though they took several prizes, particularly two French Turkeymen off the Barbary coast, between that and Sardinia, yet never any shares were divided among the crew. When his master heard of his return home, he went to seek and claim him aboard the privateer at Deptford, but he was gone ashore, and in two or three days returned to his master of his own accord, and wrought with him till the beginning of August last.
Masters of families should learn from the fate of this unhappy youth to revive and keep up good order and government in their houses, and especially teach them to remember their Creator in the days of their youth; and though there should be no family prayer or instruction duly dispensed to them as a family, which is become too rare among the lukewarm and nominal christians of this age, yet at least every one of each family should for their own safety and preservation read and pray in private as constantly as they receive or expect the renewed mercies of the day. This practice would preserve multitudes from sin, misery, and utter ruin. This lad owned that his master never made him repeat his catechism or prayers, nor instructed him at home, he added indeed, that he was no scholar; however he went to church on Sundays and took his' prentice with him.
While on board the privateer, he never saw either prayer book or bible, nor heard any mention of prayers, reading or instruction, during the whole 14 months he was aboard. They came ashore bare of clothes, money and every necessary; in a few months he sell into bad company both of men and women, who help'd to seduce him into this wicked course. Guest was one of them;
But Guest in his turn layed the blame on him. When Guest was first taken and carried before Justice Welch, he consessed, in hopes of being admitted an evidence, most, if not all, the robberies they had committed. Thus it is that these unhappy creatures, when entangled in the snares of wickedness accuse, and betray one another; and their emulation is, who shall be the greatest villain, and the first betrayer.
From this and many other considerations, they were all exhorted earnestly and frequently to truth and sincerity in their repentance; and to give proofs of it by a full confession of their crimes for the satisfaction of the injured, and clearing of the innocent, that the experience of their present sufferings, and the fear and certain expectation of future punishment, ought to move them to this. In consequence of which Smith delivered me the following paper in his own hand writing.
"I confess to Almighty God, that I have lived a very wicked life for some time past, and was brought into this wicked way by keeping of bad company, which brought me to this miserable condition as I am now in. I was concerned with Guest in several robberies, which has brought me to this unhappy end as I am now come to. As for that robbery in Fleetstreet of mr. Howes's, we had not so much as he swore to. Guest and I Thomas Smith, robbed one mr. Lee in Holbourn of a coat and two wastcoats, and Guest was stopt with the coat. A week before Christmas about ten o'clock at night, we robbed a house in Moore's yard, St. Martin's lane, and I was concerned with robbing of a jeweller's shop of three pair of Bristol stone buckles, a purple necklace, a cornelian seal, both set in gold, which we were indicted for: and was concerned in robbing a laundress of about twenty fine shirts and shifts near Grosvenor square; and in robing a millener's shop at Charing Cross of two ruffled shirts and other things; and another robbery in the Strand of about seven dozen of linen, and cotton and silk handkerchiefs together; and at a Haberdasher's in Charles street Soho square of about ten pair of stockings, and about a dozen of silk handkerchiefs, and in Westminster at a haberdasher's in King-street of about 20 pair of thread stockings; and in petty France Westminster of about twenty pair of ditto, and another robbery in Holbourn of a pair of stays and a man's hat, and at a haberdasher's shop in Lincoln's Inn fields of about ten pair of silk and thread stockings, and six pair of silk ditto, and other things which I cannot remember. And when that we could get at no place in town, we did use to go into the country a stealing of fowls, and any thing that I could get hold of. And one morning about eight o'clock, I robbed a shop at Chelsea of about as much linen, as was worth about ten peunds, and this is all that I can think of to the best of my remembrance from the time that Guest brought me into that way of life."
2. John Guest being very ignorant, and quite illiterate, could not give me his confession in writing, but acknowledged he was a partner in some of the aforesaid facts with Smith; and that they were usually concerned together: said he was about 20 years of age, born in the parish of St. James's Westminster, his father was a labourer, and his mother sold fruit about the streets, but has been dead some years. He was put to school in his childhood, but never gave his mind to learning; but followed idle children and play; the first employment he took to of himself, being about the age of 12, was sifting of charcoal and small coal for mr. D - h a dealer in Charles street Westminster, with whom he worked one year at nine shillings a week and small beer. He then lived four or five years with mr. M - n a dealer in coals, who keeps carts and horses in Swallow street; when work failed there,
he looked out and went to mr. N - l - n a coal dealer in Durham yard, with whom he wrought about two years trouncing, i. e. loading and unloading of carts , and sometimes driving them; at which he continued till this charge appeared against him. Says he has been acquainted with Smith his fellow convict about 12 months, that at that distance of time, his master gave Smith his time, because he used to run away, then he went to live with an idle woman of ill fame, and used to call at the wharfe for Guest to go with him. The ruffled shirts mentioned in Smith's confession were taken out of a house in David street Grovenor square; and were pledged with an old woman in Wormwood street St. Giles; as they informed a chairman, who came to enquire after these shirts about a week after their conviction.
They both declared themselves ready to confess any fact they had been guilty of to satisfy any injured person who enquired.
3. William Beckwith, otherwise Beckington, otherwise Thomas Robinson carpenter was indicted, for that he, on the 25th of January, about the hour of eight in the night of the same day, the dwelling house of Ralph Griffiths, did break and enter; and four cotton bed curtains, value 5 l. eight cotton curtains, value 4 l. five blankets, value 5 s. one quilt, value 10 s. three looking glasses, value 3 l. one pair of brass arms, value 2 s. one stuff negligee, value 5 s. one pair of cloth breeches, value 5 s. one hat, value 5 s. one petticoat, value 1 s. one iron trevit, value 6 d. one pewter cullendar, one brass warming pan, and one iron fire shovel, the goods of the said Ralph, in the said dwelling house, did steal.
Beckwith on this first indictment was found guilty of the value of 39 s. as to the felony, but acquitted of the burglary, which saved his life on this trial by the mercy of a compassionate jury giving credit to his own confession made before the justice who committed him, and now acknowledged before the court. Notwithstanding it is very observable, this last confession is inconsistent with a former one, made by himself to John Read, beadle of Hackney, as he was taking him to goal in a coach, when he said there were no others concerned in breaking the house, but Reuben Dan and himself, which, if true, he must have been guilty of the burglary.
Beckwith was a second time indicted by the same names, for that he, in a certain lane, or open place, near the king's highway, on Aaron Gomez D'acosta did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one cloth coat, value 40 s. two handkerchiefs, value 1 s. and nine pence halfpenny in money numbered, his property, January 26th.
Notwithstanding the two handkerchiefs lost by mr. D'acosta the prosecutor and sworn to be his property were found in the custody of Dan and the prisoner, by Thomas Taylor the constable who searched Beckwith's house for the goods of mr. Griffiths, yet the jury willing to be on the safe side, acquitted the prisoner of this indictment, considering perhaps, that the prosecutor own'd he was so frighted when robb'd that he could not swear to the man. But still his evil genius pursued him and hunted him down to death, for,
He was a third time indicted by the same names for stealing one cloth coat, value 20 s. two pair of linen sheets, value 5 s. one silk handkerchief, value 2 s. three pewter dishes, value 3 s. twelve pewter plates, four pewter porringers, three linen handkerchiefs, one cambrick handkerchief, five linen napkins, one shagreen instrument case, five lancets, two pair of stone buttons, one pistol, one peruke, one hat, three linen shirts, three linen shifts, one linen table-cloth, and 5 l. in money; the money and goods of John More, in the dwelling house of the said John, January 19.
He denied this fact as he did the former, and continued so to do to his last breath,
notwithstanding the strength of evidence against him, as it appears at large in his printed trial. To confront his denial with a few remarkable circumstances may not be amiss. The prisoner and Reuben Dan who fled from justice lived in one house together, and kept a cook's shop , most of the goods charged in the indictment, were found in the prisoners apartment, and deposed to by the prosecutors.
He gave the following account of his birth, parentage, and life.
That he was the son of William Beckwith a carpenter of Hale in Norfolk near Swaffham about 20 miles on this side Norwich, was left an orphan about six years of age, both his parents dying within a week of each other; he was now about thirty eight years of age, has a wife to whom he was married last new year's day, had lived a yearly servant with several farmers, till he was about twenty years of age, in that time saved his wages, and gave about 8 l. 'prentice fee, to learn the business of a carpenter ; to which he served five years with one Richard Forby at Tettleshill in Norfolk; who the years after becoming a bankrupt, came up and settled at Shoreditch, where he died.
Bechwith wrough as a journeyman carpenter all over the county of Norfolk , with a fair character, as he asserts, the last place was Downham market, with John Templeman a carpenter for about three years, off and on. From thence last December was a year he came to London, and wrought journey work in Southamption street Bloomsbury, on the duke of Bedford's estate for about eighteen weeks, and then in little Queen-street, for mr. Williams, who keeps a saddle warehouse there. During this time, he lodged with one Hall a carpenter in liquorpond street, near Grays-inn lane, but now moved he knows not where; but heard he is gone for a soldier. After this he went to work at Hackney, with mr. Speed a master carpenter there about Easter last, and wrought at repairing squire Mordaunt's house at Hackney, where he wrought about fourteen weeks, with three of four workmen at a time; he still wrought for mr. Speed at home and at gentlemen's houses, till near last Christmas, then went to mr. Heard's with two other carpenters, viz. Garret and his son from Essex at Woodford bridge Epping Forest, where he wrought about three weeks, then returned to Hackney, and first began to lodge with Reuben Dan a carpenter , who wrought with mr. Speed, by which means he first came acquainted with him; but declares he never heard or knew any thing of his being a robber or housebreaker, or guilty of any other bad practice. Being asked whether this Reuben Dan be a Jew, he answered he is not a Jew, but an Englishman, and that he heard he is gone to Holland to avoid a prosecution for the burglaries, robberies, and felonies he is charged with, he farther declared, he never was guilty of any other fact, but so far as he acknowledged in the robbery of Mr. Griffith's house, as appeared, and he confessed on his trial, affirms he had but one crown for his day's work; but owns, he was to have had more, when they got change; but that he never had any more. Says he was placed in the lane next the street by them to watch if any one came, and to give them a call, which he says was all he had to do with them, or in any other bad affair before or since. In a week after he was taken up on suspicion by Read the beadle at the Green Dragon in Bishopsgate street, where Dan and Robinson were also to meet, but Read coming to the Green Dragon first, this Beckwith was seized before the two other came, else he must have had them all; that about a week or ten days after, on searching Dan's house, some goods of mr. Griffiths, such as a trivet and shovel, were found in Dan's custody, but Beckwith added, he was gone a week before. How the goods could be found in his custody which he had left behind him, and gone
off, needs explaining. He farther said that a hankerchief of goods were left in bis the prisoner's room, by Dan about two weeks before they were found; the prisoner was then finishing a chest of drawers to send home, and knew not what was in the handkerchief, nor never saw it opened till in court. Saw Dan put other things at a same time in his own closet which he supposes might be tools.
As he daily attended divine service, and such exhortations to repentance and confession as were necessary. Backwith often declared, what he told me before is true, and that he was no farther concerned; that he had a letter last Monday from the county of Norfolk, with his character attensted by many witnesses, which was to be laid before proper authority, in order to have him recommended to the mercy of his majesty.
When earnestly urged to confess his guilt, he replied that he can confess no more, unless I would have him own what he never did.
Downham Market, Feb. 25, 1760.
WILLIAM Beckenton, I am very much surprized to hear that you should keep such company as a bring you to this fatal place, which I am informed by Edmond Pager, for he tells us that you are in Clerkenwell Bridewell, which I am very sorry to hear, and if it be true, and you should want a character, your master will do you all the service he can, and bring with him a great many to speak in your behalf. So pray let us know by the first post, which is all present from your mistress, Mary Templeman.
In that letter, beside the different names he went by, and the crimes laid in the indictment; it is farther charged against him and Dan: that "the same night (in which they rob'd mr. D'acosta) they robb'd a poor carpenter, and shot him in his arm, Dan always clapt his pistol to their breast, and Beckington took them by the collar with a knife in his hand.
"That on Saturday night in 26th of January, they robbed in London fields near Hackney, mr. Harrison a staymaker in Brown's lane, Spittle fields of three guineas and his watch. All this we have traced our step by step. But, sir, you will find Beckwith a great deceiver: but if he don't acknowledge all this, he will die with a lie in his mouth." It is added, that, "on the 2d of January, they were seen at an auction of mrs. Nichols at Clapton, where a carpet and all her pewter were lost; that several sorts of goods were found in both their apartments, which were not yet own'd; that the reverend mr. Cornthwaite's house was robb'd the 15th of last September, but they could not guess who did it."
He made particular answers to these several charges, and said, that he never went by the name of Thomas Robinson but once by accident, at the desire of the said Tho. Robinson, he gave a receipt in his name in Mr. Handfield; denied that he was privy to the robbery of old More or ever knew him, or that of mr. Harrison the Staymaker, who, he said, had been with him since his condemnation, and they knew nothing of each other. That he only lodged in Dan's house, and paid 1 s. a week, but Robin son was his old acquaintance, out of the county of Norfolk. Denies he ever was in any robbery with Dan, or ever heard such a charge a
gainst himself before, as holding a knife to a man's breast. Denies he was at mrs. Nichols's auction; was asked the same question before justice Fielding, and denied it; and knows nothing of her pewter, heard nothing of any other goods found in his apartment, but what were left there by Dan, tied up in a hankerchief as before said.
He was frequently reminded of his duty to confess his crimes, and give satisfaction to the injured parties, but he still persisted that he was never concerned in more thanone fact.
Dreading the consequences of this obstinate denial of the robbery of old More for which he was cast, no pains were spared to make him sensible of his danger, he was told he could not be admitted to the holy communion, nor prepared for death, without a full and true confession of his guilt; and therefore was desired to examine his own heart deeply and seriously in private, and write down what he had to say. After a day or two he gave the following paper in his own hand writing:
"Let every fat stand upon its own bottom. I trust in God, maker of heaven and earth, and all mankind: God forgives sins; but man cannot forgive them, man can forgive one another. I forgive all men as I do expect to be forgiven from my Father above; even them that did swear falsly and take away my life wrongfully. Let them look to it in the next world, my hope is in God. I shall find joy and comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ, and they sorrow; they must answer for what they have done, and so must I; this is all my care I have to do, to make my peace with my Lord Jesus Christ, in this little time that I have upon earth, this is what I must do for the care of my own soul, and it shall be my study to perform it to my little knowledge I have blessed by the Lord, to give me the gift of his grace, this is my care only.
I was cast into prison for 5 s. and condemned falsly by false people."
N. B. The spelling was as false as some of the assertions, but is corrected in the printing.
With this I was so much dissatisfied and uneasy, that I could not administer the holy sacrament to him, which was therefore deferred for the present; and great pains were taken to shew him the reason and necessity of confession his crimes for the quiet of his own conscience, and obtaining of God's pardon; which was proved to him from scripture, the rules and directions of the church, and the sense of divines; but he affected rather to instruct his teacher, than to hearken and obey, and thus was I obliged to leave him, for the present.
After the death warrant was come, it was hoped he would be more humble and open to confess, but he persisted in the same assertions; and declared also that he knew nothing of the robbery of mr. Cornthwait's house, and was never concerned with Dan in any other fact than that of mr. Griffith's house, that he forgave all men, as he hoped to be forgiven, and stove heartily to make his peace with God.
About the same time John Guest and Thomas Smith, being each desired to reexamine themselves, and confess whatever crimes they could recollect, gave me the following farther confession. "We both acknowledge that we have been wicked and base sinners before God and man; we both acknowledge that our wickedness brought us to this untimely end, that we are come to in this world: and, we robbed a haberdesher's shop at Knight'sBridge, and committed several robberies about Fulham and Kensington, but we cannot remember the particulars, for it has been long since." Thus for Smith gave me in writing, which together with their serious, regular, and devout behaviour, in the duties of the chapel, shewed a deep sense of their guilt, and an humble earnest seeking for pardoning mercy and grace which, it is humbly hoped they both obtained; for
they farther assured me, they were ready to give a satisfactory answer to any injured person, who enquired of them, whether they had robbed them or not. Agreeable hereto, being strictly examined apart, each of them declared he knew nothing of the breaking into and robbing of a gentleman's house in Gough's Square Fleetstreet, about which, a letter was sent me; and they added that they had committed no robbery within the city beside that of mr. Howes.
Smith expressed his hope and belief that God had pardoned his manifold sins and wickedness, and will shew mercy to him; and that he endeavoured, as in duty bound, to make Guest sensible of all he read to him.
He added, that their prosecutor had swore to more silver than they took; but perhaps they might have deceived one another.
Robert Tilling was indicted, for that he on the 18th of February, about the hour of three in the night on the same day, the dwelling house of Samuel Lloyd, did break and enter, with intention, the goods, chattels, and money, of the said Samuel, to steal, take, and carry away. He was likewise charg'd with stealing and carrying away an iron key, a thirty-six (shilling piece of gold, a moidore, and ten guineas, the property of the said Samuel.
The prisoner pleaded guilty to that of the burglary and robbery, and spoke as follows.
From my first being taken into custody, I intended to plead guilty; my lord, it has been reported since I have been taken up, that I was a methodist, and that several masters and mistresses had discharged such of their servants on my account.
I beg leave to acquaint the honourable court, that it was not the doctrines that the methodists teach, that caused me to commit this robbery.
I beg leave to trespass on your patience to speak a few words, as to the character of the young woman that I corresponded with.
Notwithstanding my conduct in other respects, my behaviour to her was unexceptionable; I believe her to be a pious, godly, young woman, and hope on censures will be cast on her upon my account. I have no more to say, but to beg your lordship's prayers, and those of the jury.
There were two other indictments against him for robberies on the highway.
This robbery for which the first indictment was laid, considered in itself, is attended with so much domestic treachery, ingratitude, and abuse of the veil of sanctity, that it need not, as it cannot well be aggravated; nor is it to be wondered, if a great clamour was raised; sometimes, lest the compassionate and forgiving temper of his master should not prosecute him, on which occasion, several false surmises were propagated to the disadvantage of that worthy gentleman: sometimes because he was called and professed himself a methodist; therefore to wipe off the reproach from them, doubtless his life must be spared, and commuted for perpetual banishment. But the event has proved all these thoughts to be groundless, or ineffectual; and that in the course of law, and administration of justice, there is no more respect of persuasions, than of persons. And however great and aggravated his iniquity was, the candid observer of his after behaviour will perhaps find cause to hope that it is covered.
He was committed to Newgate on or about Friday February the 29th, being the last day of sessions, charged with the robbery of mr. Lloyd his master (to whom he was coachman ) to the value of the sum not near so considerable as was really lost.
His case was utterly unknown to me except from news-papers and rumours, till March 4, when he desired to be brought to the chapel to speak with me; he came with a heavy aspect and down cast eyes,
said, "he was pierced to the very soul to think of the wounds he had given to religion; by professing it, and yet acting so contrary to it." Being ask'd what religion he profess'd, he answered, he was brought up to the established church, but used to be a hearer of mr. W - d, mr. J -s, mr. R - ne, and mr. M - n, for which purpose he went now and then to the Lock-Hospital; being farther ask'd if he ever went to the parish church, he answered that he did, occasionally, and heard his parish ministers.
The next question was what tempted him to so horrid a crime as he was charged with, for that as he had good wages in wealthy families, where plenty surrounded him, it was to me very amazing what could seduce him to think of such a course of wickedness. He readily answered, that it was done in order to gain the consent of a beloved woman to marry him; that he courted her, but the would not hear of him without a better foundation than that of a servant.
On this occasion some proper instruction and reproof was thrown in, relating to a distrust of the divine providence in either of the unhappy lovers, and a discontent or murmuring at their condition, in which many good and humble christians would think themselves highly favoured and blessed; he was then ask'd his age; he said about 23 years, and that his mistress was about the same. Take heed to your thoughts and purposes, young people, as well as to your ways. In order to win her favour, he told and gave out among his fellow servants, that he was worth 60 l. (some say he then mentioned 120 l.) which he had saved in services, he had been in for 10 years past. But this being a lie, he was farther given up to the tempter, and first took the highway in order to make up that sum, intending then to buy a coach and horses and be married.
During this conversation, he appeared in deep sorrow and great agony; owned he had sinned against great light, and conviction: that he had struggled hard with the temptation and to help him to conquer it had come on purpose to Newgate, to take a view of it, and even went to the gallows to raise horrors in his mind against the crime; but the beloved object was so strongly presented to him, that it got the better of all the horrors of a goal, and the place of execution.
On another occasion, he said he attended for the same reason to see the last men (before his committal) go out to execution, but neither did that effectually move him or change his heart. For, alas! there was nothing of the fear of God, or the power of his preventing grace in all these outward terrors.
March 5, Tilling being at prayers in the chapel, was sent for to be examined before the right honourable the lord mayor; he is said to have confessed, that the two robberies he committed on the highway were, on a horse and with a pistol of his masters; the latter he took out of a holster which hung in a closet, and was the same he had, when he robbed his master. The pistol, he said, was not loaded in any of these facts; that these three robberies were all he ever committed or intended to commit. It came out too that he had broke open the desk, and took the money out of a bowl dish, in his masters counting-house; that he therein saw a bank bill and notes amounting to a large sum, but did touch them left they should discover him; that after this he went up to his master's bedchamber, and waked him (with all those circumstances of disguise, threats and terror which attended
this horrid deed.) The reason he assign'd was, that he imagined his master had more cash in the house, which he thought to get at, by means of his key, which he obliged him to deliver, after he had taken the pocket money, from under his head, and cash from his desk before he was awaked.
At this examination, two request were made by him, or in his behalf, neither of which were absolutely refused or denied; but he was rather dissuaded, with great reason, good sense, and humanity by the chief magistrate, as highly improper, as they might prove to his own disadvantage, and the disgrace of others if granted: tho' in consequence and effect, an indulgence in the chief request was assumed, and a connivance freely permitted, as far as could be desired, even to the prisoner's manifest detriment in some respects.
The first request was, that mr. W - y of some of the gentlemen, whose preaching he had admired and followed, might attend him in the prison; and the second, that his beloved mistress might visit him at pleafure.
There being, perhaps, the two idols of his heart, was it not high time to begin to dethrone them?
The latter therefore being prudently restrained to one or two visits, his inordinate passion was in time subdued.
And as to the former, since the prisoner profess'd himself of the national community, and was then by way of reproach bendied from churchman to methodist, and from methodist to churchman, and so left at our door; and since a clergyman chosen to that office by the city magistracy, to which he is amenable, was bound in duty to attend him, what lawful or right reason can be assigned, why he should be superseded and overlooked in his office by other gentlemen professing to be of the same communion, yet independent of the magistracy, and unconnected with the minister in his office?
Notwithstanding all this, and many other assignable reason against it, a very angry paper was printed and dispersed in consequence of this supposed refusal, dated March 7, 1760, directed, To whomsoever it may concern. Of which it is hoped the writers, publishers, and dispersers, are by this time convince, that it is written in the warm, and dividing sprit of party and faction, with too little regard either to truth or self consistency, not even to decency, and the honour due to our superiors, much less with that sacred respect to that found branch of Catholic and National Church, of which the supposed authors profess themselves, and would be deemed most faithful ministers.
But to return to our prisoner; with regard to him, is there not a certain infelicity in halting between two opinions? it seems not to be the way, to attain either the character and reputation of sincerity with others; or a true, firm, and lasting peace of mind in ourselves.
Being daily visited, and his state of mind enquired into, he complained heavily of hardness of heart, and that he did not sleep well; in remedy of which he was encouraged to go on in the use of good means, constant fervent prayer, hearing, reading, &c. he said he did not much depend on Creature Helps. He was right, not to rest in them, but was told, there is a blessing promised to the use of appointed and regular means; warned not to prescribe to God, nor be impatient, that he is not yet more broken into contrition. But to persist and wait with patience in the due use of means, till it pleased God to work in him a true repentance. He replied, Satan tempted him to distrust, and that it is vain to pray.
Knowing this to be a suggestion of the tempter, he must of course resist and reject it.
To assist, direct and support the prisoners, the scriptures of teh day were often ex
plained and applied to them, particularly about this time March 7. In order to prepare them to be partakers in the merits of Christ's sufferings, and after his divine example to endure their own, which they so justly deserved with patience, St. luke, Ch. 18. v. 31, - 34. was opened and applied to them, 'tis hoped to their improvement.
Opportunities were also taken to set before them, the blessings of obedience, and the curses of disobedience, enforced by what they now felt and experienced; and to shew them to perfect agreement and harmony of the law and the gospel in this respect.
The duty and benefit also of unity, peace, and concord, were frequently recommended to this and all the prisoners, Nor is there reason to believe that any minister, who visited him, gave him any other turn, or prejudice against these duties.
But we cannot say the same of certain presumptuous, self-willed, and ignorant intruders, who ran before they are sent, and take upon them to be teachers and guides, without either competent knowledge or authority.
He was one day asked if he had been confirmed, or instructed in order to confirmation? and having answered in the negative, Short instructions for confirmation, were put into his hands, which he told me, he read over and they were bless'd to him, especially and supplement, explaining the true meaning of Regeneration, the new Birth, Justification, Sanctification, Works, Faith; and he earnestly wished he had embraced the opportunity of being confirmed, when at liberty.
On another occasion he told me, that he now thought he could never humble himself enough, that he would gladly lay himself down in the dust, and if possible go to the place of execution with his belly to the ground: and that he was resolved to plead guilty at his trial.
He farther owned, that he now believed he had been under a delusive spirit; said he was now heavily oppressed, and sunk with sorrow, by hearing that the news of his trouble, had reached his father and mother in Wiltshire. That it had such an effect on them, that they had not been to bed for several nights, nor spoke to any one for some days. Mean time he was visited by mr. W. who prayed with, directed, and comforted him.
About March 27, a small tract entitled An earnest address to the People call'd Methodists, was put into his hands, after reading of which, he said he believed it to be good and found doctrine.
About this time it was told me, that he had lived as coachman about two years, with capt. H - d and lady P - ce, at Hoxton, and then used to hear mr. W - y, as the family did, with which he lived; that he then went to live with squire L - d, and behaved so well, that he was much valued by his master, and when it was discovered, that this was the person who waked him, armed with a pistol and a large knife, it so surprized and distrubed him, that he did not easily or soon recover it.
Tilling continued regular and devout in attending divine service; and being ask'd, if he had a book preparative to the holy communion, said he had not; however on looking into his books, mr. W - y's hymns were found, with instruction out of Thomas a'Kempis and Dr. Brevint for the communion. Being taxed why he denied this, he said he did not know such instructions were there; yet they seemed soiled and often used by some hand. He farther said mr. W - y had not been to visit him; but own'd mr. W. had not only visited him here, but asked him some questions on the fatal subject at mr. B - n's his sweet heart's master, before he was apprehended, and also that mr. W - y and mr. R - ne, had talk'd to him on the same, at the request of mr. L - d. It was urged to him then you were aware your crimes were know, while you were yet at liberty on escape; he
owned he knew it three days before his committal, but had not power or resolution to fly and quit the beloved object, for whose fake he was drawn into these facts: he added, that he had thoughts of going to sea, in order to avoid her company and escape the temptation, while he was struggling with it; sometimes he thought to unbosom his temptations to a friend, by which the snare might be broken, but fatally he could not resolve on either till taken in the net. However, he now bless'd God that he was freed by being exercised under his present afflictions, from any undue love for that preson, more than for any other christian; he farther owned this had been a blest prison to him, that he found freedom in his soul, such as the world cannot give, nor take from him.
That the word of God was blessed to him in hearing it read, and explained to him; that he prayed for this blessing both before he went to chapel, and after his return from it, and God had graciously heard him; he added that mr. W. in his visits, which were but short, prayed for the same blessing on the means, and said he hoped he improved by them, to which Tilling answered he did. Thus he went on till April 23, at night it was told me the death warrant was come, and all the four convicts included in it.
Next morning going in to prayers, it was told me by one of the keepers, that mr. W. and one or two more were with Tilling, that he would not go to chapel this day, being forbid by one of those with him; upon which a messenger went into his apartment from me, desiring particularly that none might hinder him from coming to chapel; he came and attended with seeming resolution and composure, as the other three prisoners also did, without appearing dejected more than usual.
Being questioned who left the message for me that he should not go to chapel, he answered it was one O - n, a rope maker, who often came to visit and pray with him; for whom he made an apology, and and said it was a mistake, and done without his own knowledge or consent.
The proper psalms chosen for this morning service, were the 25, 51, and 88. and the lessons, Job 7, and Acts 21. Some portions of each being explained and applied to them. After which the exhortation to the holy sacrament, with prayers, &c. for preparation were used.
Tilling was then spoke to about giving an account of his crimes, by way of satisfaction to the public, &c. he answered he should leave an account of his life in writing to a friend; he was then reminded with decency, not to be ungrateful and improper in this last scene of his life; but instead of complying, he began to make an excuse or subterfuge, by saying that the sudden and unexpected coming of the death warrant, would prevent his writing so much as he intended, but he would conceal no crime, and promised he would let me see what he wrote; to which he was answered, that I depended on the performance, of his promise.
April 25, Friday morning, they were again visited, prayed with, and instructed with proper preparatives for their dreadful change; and in the afternoon, they were again visited for two hours, by a worthy divine, whose piety and charity, learning and found judgment, none would doubt of, were I at liberty to name him. His assistance was earnestly desired, and as kindly granted, on account of some difficulties and scruples I laboured under, about bringing two of them to a confession of their crimes, viz. Tilling as to robbing the mail, and Beckwith as to the robbery of Old More, for which he was cast; but neither of them could be persuaded to confess, though each of them denied these several crimes so evasively, saintly, and uncertainly, whenever urged to a confession,
that there is reason to apprehend they were both guilty, in which opinion I am not singular.
It is truly matter of horror and anguish to one who earnestly wisheth the salvation of sinners, and endeavours to promote it, when any cause of doubt remains about this last decisive point for eternity; since our best judgment of charity, and hopes of the divine mercy must be formed consistent with his tremendous justice, and his unerring word, "one jot or tittle of which cannot fail. Till heaven and earth pass; S. Matt. v. 18. and we know he hath said, He that covereth his sins, shall not proper: But whoso confesseth, and forsaketh them, shall have mercy." Prov. xxviii. 13. Besides other declarations to the same purpose, without number.
My anxiety therefore on this important article, will be excused and favourably understood by his friends, who were apparently most zealous, among whom he had none who wished better to his soul's health and everlasting welfare; none that took more pains with and for him, or more ardently desired that hope and confidence might be well grounded, 'as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, entering into that within the vail;' which he expressed in a letter wrote, as appears by the date, the very night the death warrant came, in the following terms.
Dear SIR, Apr.23, 1760.
I Reoyce that I can tell you with gladness of heart, that the welcom more than welcom message is come, and my passport is find for my father's kindum and glory which reast I shall inherit on Mundy next reoyce o my soul and be exceed glad: beleeve and all things shall be well stand still and see his salvation of the Lord I am in heart your souls eternel well wisher till death. R.TILLING.
To mr. Outen,Present.
THERE was occasion to observe in the few words prefixt to his last exhortation and prayer already addressed to the publick. That "The editor did not take upon him to justify every expression in them, much less those which appear'd to favour of a considence unbecoming the humility and modesty of a condemn'd malefactor."
While there is such a thing as 'speaking peace, where there is no peace, and daubing with untempered mortar,' when it is remember'd that the language of a suffering redeemer, when he bare out sins, was far more humble than this of the guilty sinner for whom he died. 'My God my God, 'why hast thou forsaken me, &c. and speaking in the person of the sinner, he said, 'my sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up: yea there are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me. But Lord let it be thy good pleasure to deliver me, make haste O Lord to help me. Thy rebuke hath broken my heart. I am Full of heaviness'
Would not such language have better become that 'Sacrifice of a broken spirit,' that sacrifice 'of a broken and a contrite heart, which God hath promised not to despise? For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
when it is consider'd, that the person to whom he directed this letter, and seems to have chosen for his spiritual guide and confidant, in preference to any minister, is not the most enlightened guide, nor skilful casuist, nor the deepest discerner of spirits; that he was the very person who would have withheld and withdrawn him from the duties and ordinances of the chapel, which Tilling himself declared had been bless'd to him, and profess'd his resolution
to continue in them to the last: all this considered, there may perhaps be some reason to apprehend, that these exalted hopes and confidence therein outwardly expressed, were not inwardly so deep rooted, nor indeed so becoming him, in those circumstance, as his best friends could with.
Had this letter appeared to me before his death, I should have had some closer conversation with him, and said more to himself, upon it. But let the survivors remember, that "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1 Pet. v. 5. O cleanse thou me from my sacret faults: keep back thy servant also from presamptuous sins." Ps. xix. v. 12, 13.
But instead of giving his regular pastors the comfort of a free and fair opportunity to know his sentiments, and to instruct and direct him, he seemed to avoid our conversation, appearing alienated, distant and different towards us, especially the two last days, difficult to be brought even to join in the ordinances; and on the last sunday he would not be persuaded to appear in the chapel on any account. He was however indulged with a place in a closet, where he could hear.
But whatever questions were proposed to him concerning the secret crime he was suspected of, he studiously evaded, by referring us to an account he should leave in writing, to be delivered to me after his death, this when open'd contain'd as followeth.
Sir, I Wose born in the parish of Ashton Keoynes in the county of Wilts of honest parents who acording to their abiliteys gave me a tolabral eadecation and wose corfull to instruct me in my duty towards god and my neighbour I wose brougth up a member of the church of England which from my youth I wose corfull to atend to and payd my constant worship there till within these few years I went in and out amongst the of people called methadis but wose neever joynd to any one of their sociatey should the queastion be askd why I atended those peoples praching I answer because I believd they prachd the peure gospel of Jesus Christ which I confess I wose a stranger to before not with standing I thought myself a a cristen and membre of the church of England by baptisom and beeing admited to pertak of all her gracious meanes and benefits set forth and contained therein for the common salvation of man but how to atain the end I knew not, aney more than by a tendence upon them which I found by to to sadd expeariance that wose a covering to short and narrow for my nakd soul to stand befor gods bar in: and that I must cast away this patchd garment and com naked to Christ: no dutys no prayrs no tears no heart relenting frames no good deeds I had don would render me axeptable in the fight of god: no not all this rich treasure deare and valuable as it is to the formdlass professor of christenity to will not purchess the seamlas robe of Christ rightoutness there is but that one presous juell faith that will pass and that we have not. It is the free gift of god by which alone faith we are saved in Jeasus Christ and then all our good works I before namd are axcepted as they flow from an other principle nemly love and obeadence to the commands of him who have loved us and given his life a sacrifise for us &c sir I dropt this short hint if after I am dead you should make publick my crimes, as I hope you will not, unleass from this motive, to shew forth the riches of god free grace in Christ Jeasus, in plucking my fould as a brand out of the sier, who am cheese of siners, and vile of the vile of the fallen race of Adam, but I have obtain'd spashal mercy from the hands of a long suffring god by faith alone in Jesus Christ: I am saved, this is my foundation I have built on for my futer happeyness, and other foundation can no man lay; but I now proceed to give you sum short acount of my life. My natural
temper wose sulkiness, but seldem or eaver bore malice, or hould anger a moment. I wose of a very forgiveing temper, and loveing in heart, though my outward behaviour sealdom adored gods goodness to me in those graces which often caused me to be thought I beare malice, which wose the former bad sprit which I could not deliver myself from. As soon as I wose able I went to searvis, and was well beloved in most places I lived in. I delighted in doing my business well, but wose not of a blidging temper, because too much of the former sprit lurk'd in me. I wose honest in all I had committed to my trust, and my principles were eaver contrary to the comiting the actions I now sacrifised my life for; I laboured under more horrors than can be expressed in comiting them, but my affections and passons, and love for Mrs. -wose so strong, the being a little reserved at times, which used to distress my mind in such maner, that I was quite unsensable at times what I did, as she wose the first I eaver mad offer of marige to. The rest of my facts I commited I made known to my lord major, only I wose never concerned with any man in wrong or robry in all my life, and that at Islington wose and first, which wose the latter end of December, or the beginen of Jeanry 1760.
P. S. I should a been more particular in opening eavery point of my life, but that the death warrant come sooner than what I expected, which alone prevented, &c. &c.
As I cannot rightly understand this, nor reconcile it with his repeated professions to me, that he was, and continued to be a member of the church of England, that the ordinances thereof, even in the prison, were blessed to him; that is, as I must understand him, were blessed to the great end for which they were ordained, the peace and salvation of his soul; and as he continued partaking of them (though at last with some interruption and reluctance) to the day of his death, I must leave it to those who can, to reconcile the words and sentiments in this letter with these declarations and conduct.
In this letter he seemed determined to quarrell with his mother church: But whether the fault lay in himself or the church he doth not seem to make out so clear. And in vindication of our common spiritual mother led St. Paul be heard, 2 Cor. 4. iii, iv. - If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. I could never learn, that the people whose preaching he says he attended, in preference to it, have found out any other gospel, than that which is daily read, explained, and preached in our church. But this I refer at present to the managers of this unlucky and most disagreable controversy.
As to what he says, that "he was never joined to any of their societies," he declared to me, that "he had communicated with them;" which I understood was, "to be joined with them:" But he also declared that he was never confirmed by the bishop; and therefore probably never was instructed and prepared for it, nor received the holy communion in the church till the last day of his life; nor till then did he ever feel the divine power and influence of the christian religion as dispensed therein: And therefore if there must be a distinction between a churchman and a methodist (which may the peace of God put an end to) he was by his own account rather a methodist.
'Tis well known the discovery of Tilling's robbery of his master, which brought out the other two, was traced out by two hand bills, dropt in his master's counting house, of the shop where he had bought the sticking plaister for a mask; that particular providence which protects the good and detects the wicked, made these the means of detection him, by the sagacity of a worthy magistrate and his master. His first confession was drawn from him by some serious
friends of Mr. L - d, to whom he told where he had buried the money; and there it was found, wrapped in a handkerchief, and restored to the owner. This much he was content to do, and resolved to plead guilty, till he began to waver, when he came to be tutored by some fellow prisoners and casuists in Newgate; and then it was reported to his master that he had imbibed the unwholesome doctrines of that place; that as he must suffer for his crime it was a sufficient satisfaction, and he was a fool for making any restitution. But with all due respect to the standing maxims of Newgate, this is a degree of repentance below that of the traitor Judas, who before he hanged himself, slung down the thirty pieces for which he had betrayed his master. But Tilling's persisting in his first and best resolution, to plead guilty, and make some restitution, proves that he got the better of this capital temptation. He was not equally guarded against some lesser indiscretions, into which he might be misled by some frequent visitors of his own class: By one of whom he sent a letter to his master claiming his box and papers in an indecent stile. These, it seems had been seized, and partly examined by the chief magistrate, and then referred to his master for further examination, he thereforejudged he could not property re-deliver them to the prisoner, without an order from the authority who intrused him with it, considering farther the improper manner and terms in which it was demanded. For this Tilling's messenger is said to have insulted the worthy gentleman in a very indecent and insolent manner.
The design of searching his papers and letters, was to try if the robbery of the mail could be discovered by them: but there were only found some idle love-letters, fitter to be suppressed than offend the eye of the publick.
He was often warn'd against the intruding officiousness of one or two ignorant busy people, who were justly thought to be of no service to him, either in his spiritual or temporal interest, alienating his affections and duty from persons most capable and desirous to assist him in both. His kind and forgiving master, declared he would not let him want; and had he been a frugal manager of what he had in his own possession, or power, when committed to Newgate, it would have been a full support for him 'till the time of his decease, being near 30 l. for the space of 9 or 10 weeks; and yet one of these intruders, pretends to be twelve guineas out of pocket by visiting him, and supplying his necessities, and on this pretence, is making a collection.
The appearance for and against his having robbed the mail stand thus. The post boy's description of the horse, the saddle, and the person, and his dress, answer to him; together with the place where the bag was found, between his stables and the tabernacle; the main argument against it is taken from his seeing a bank note in his master's desk, and leaving it lest it should detect him; besides his denying that he had any accomplice, makes it appear more improbable. However it appears to be the opinion of the post-officers from their ceasing to advertise since he was apprehended, that he was the robber of the mail.
He confessed the robbery of mr. H - d, and mr. G - d, which was in January last, in the evening on Blackheath, opposite to sir Gregory Page's; from the former he took nine guineas and a half and his watch, though Tilling owned but two guineas and half, and from the latter his money and watch; he was mounted on a chestnut, horse, bald-faced, stopped the one horse chaise, and bid them deliver, he added, No trifling, gentlemen; for that he was in distress, having a wife and several children; he held a long pistol toward them, but his hand trembled so, that the gentlemen apprehended it would go off; the gentleman could not immedi
ately stop his chaise horse, being hot and unmanaged, till he desired Tilling to keep at a little distance. These gentlemen had their watches restored to them in court, the day he received sentence; at which time it was observed, he trembled very much.
Being asked what he had to say, why sentence of death should not be past upon him, he said,
"I recommend myself to the mercy of God and this court, and acknowledge my crime is grievous, both in the fight of God and man, for which I willingly give my life a sacrifice to the Lord. I am willing to receive the sentence due to my crimes, and hope the young people in this court will take warning by me, in seeing the dreadful consequence and effects of telling a lye. I desire the prayers of this honourable court."
This lye has been before explained to be the telling his beloved, and fellow servants, he was worth a certain sum, which he was not; and then taking these bad courses to make it appear true.
His behaviour in other respects was devout, regular, and exemplary.
On the Morning of EXECUTION.
BETWEEN five and six, some loud knocking was heard at my door, which on looking out, I found to be two or three gentlemen, who wanted to see Tilling. At his own earnest request, they were admitted to him about six, and spend near an hour in the prison. One of the gentlemen, (to the honour of his tender compassion and forgiving sprit, be it mention'd) was so nearly touched and so much overcome by the sight of the criminal, that he could scarce be supported, had thought to have stayed and attended prayers with the convicts, but could not bear it. Going in a little before seven, the four prisoners were found on their knees in the hall at prayer. But on notice given them, they quickly went up with me to the chapel, join'd in the morning prayer, proper psalms, viz. Ps. xxii, 40, 54. and heard a lesson out of St. John's gospel, ch. 19. all which were briefly explained and applied to the convicts. They also joined in the litany, the communion service, and receiving of the holy sacrament; it is hoped to the increase of their faith, patience, and consolation, as each of them declared and testified: one of them, particularly Thomas Smith, said very calmly, that he was quite easy and resigned, and felt light in his heart, and what is very remarkable, that "he longed earnestly for the hour of his departure, more than he had ever desired any thing in his life." Not one of these three had shewn or expressed any anxiety about a respite for some time before their day, but especially not since the appearance of the death warrant. But I cannot say the same of the fourth, viz. Tilling, for it is known that great interest was made with the greatest personages to save his life; by presenting of petitions to his majesty to the last, for the event of which, he the prisoner was far from being unconcerned and unmoved, which gave him the appearance of less composure, calmness, patience and resignation, than was observable in the three other prisoners.
The administration being ended with an earnest and affectionate word of exhortation, they went down, had their irons knocked off, were tied with cords, and put into the carts, Robert Tilling and Beckwith in the first, and Smith and Guest in the second cart, about nine; and it was some time after ten, before they were brought to the place of execution, where being tied up, they were prayed with, &c.
about the space of half an hour, and also questioned again if what they had before declared to me concerning their crimes, was the truth? each answered it was. Whether they had any thing to add, they answered, no. Robert Tilling being reminded of his promise to deliver me an account of himself and his crimes in writing, told me there was a letter in his pocket directed to me, and I might take it, which I did, and to prevent any imputation of misrepresenting, have before given in his own words.
BEloved friends! O! now look and learn by one who has forgot his God. Temptations prevailed over me; I have fallen by my iniquities, and transgressed the law of my Maker. But thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift! O! that you would attend to one who is now within a hand's breadth of death. My dear brethre, I could weep over you with a stood of tears, as our Lord wept over Jerusalem, "Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die, O house of Israel!" I with from my soul that you knew the day of your visitation, for the grand enemy is like a roaring lion, going about seeking every opportunity to devour. There is forgiveness with God, that he may be feared. There is forgiveness for me, one of the chief of sinners. O! the riches of grace, that ever I should be a partaker of that special mercy from a forgiving God: that I should share in that love from before the foundation of the world. The Lord Jesus Christ loves poor sinners: he was contented to take upon him our human nature, in order to go through a life of sorrow and sufferings, that we might have life in him. Behold how he loved you, when you were at your cards and dice. When corruption prevailed, and you followed the evil imaginations of your own hearts, has he not said to some here, when wallowing in their blood - live! Cannot some say, behold how he loved me! how he bare my transgressions and sins! When I hardened my neck against him, then the compassionate Redeemer had mercy on me; the dear Imanuel died that ignominious death, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. May we not say with great propriety, behold how he loved us! Here is consolation for the worst of sinners: the Lord Jesus Christ will not neglect the work of his hands. Where he has set his image he will never depart. This ought to be matter of consolation to backsliding sinners in their return to God. Let them return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy, for he will abundantly pardon; he is a God pardoning iniquity, transgressions and sins; may each of us usher in this with a note of attention. Behold how Christ has loved us! When the Blessed Jesus saw us going down to the pit, Father, said he, deliver them. I have found a ransom for your souls; God has taken us out of the hands of him who let us captives all our lives. I would not advise you to take the steps I have taken, but flee ye to the blessed Jesus in prayer and supplication; I do not invite you to come to Tyburn, not that I would recall my visitation; no, I thank God for this my affliction, he has chosen me in the furnace of afflictions, whereby I humbly hope he has refined me, and now my beloved, the will of the Lord be done. Now he is about removing me from among the children of men here, I shall be lifted up unto the everlasting hills, where I shall be freed from sin and sorrow. No corruption, no unbelief, shall trouble me more there, where the wicked shall cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. May this be the happy lot of every soul here, I pray God Almighty to grant.
The Lord keep you young people; the Lord have mercy on your souls, and save you from temptation; keep you in an hour
of temptation. Pray you servants love and obey your masters; be diligent in your business, and not idle, and be servent in spirit, serving the Lord. If you work for Christ you shall have a good reward; for when he comes his reward is with him, and his work is before him. Oh! consider this, the Lord Jesus Christ shall come in the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him; then shall this my vile corruptible body be raised, and transformed into the likeness of his glorious body.
Oh! my dear brethren, the Lord Jesus Christ grant you may never follow my steps; the Lord deliver you from in-dwelling lusts, that was against the soul, from corruptions, and from self above all others; Oh! may the Blessed Jesus keep you to the end of your lives. Pray that the Lord would learn you a lesson of instruction from the last Words of a dying mortal; happy will it be with you, if your hearts are listed up to Christ in your dying day.
My dear fellow-sufferers you are going out of a world of sorrow and sin, out of a howling wilderness, full of pits and snares; here is nothing but trouble here.
The Lord suffers his children here, whom he loveth, to be exercised, and to fall into many difficulties, which he will manage in mercy to their souls; now you have an instance of his everlasting love, whom he loves, he loves to the end. Wherever his love is fixed he will surely bring that soul to glory. If they backslide from him; if one judgment will not reclaim them, he will send another; he will purge them that he may bring them forth bearing fruit. Oh! that the blessed Jesus may send a word of conviction to your hearts, that it may bring forth fruits to everlasting life. God grant this may be a word of use to your souls, that we together may join in praises to the Lamb for ever and ever, Amen.
Now my dear brethren join in prayer to God with me:
The last Prayer.
O Most merciful Father, we by dreadful, and sorrowful experience find, that the wages of sin in death, but we thank thee for that thou hast given good hopes through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that where sin has abounded unto death, grace has reigned through righteousness unto eternal Life.
Wilt thou in mercy give us a fresh application of the blood of Christ to cleanse our souls from sin. Oh! that the precious Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, would manifest of his pardoning love to our fouls, and not let the fun go down in wrath upon us. Most merciful Father, we have all sinned against thee; we have all turned into crooked paths; we have rejucted thy counsel; we have despised the ordinances of the gospel; we have hardened our necks against thee; we have declared by our practice we would not have Christ to reign over us. Oh! look upon the face of thine anointed, and look upon us poor miserable, wretched, and undone sinners in him. Most gracious Father, if it is thy will, may the dear Lord Jesus be precious to our souls. May we see and know him to altogether lovely, and to our souls the chiefest among ten thousands. O Father of mercies, thou that exercised thy power in converting the thief upon the cross, look upon us thy unworthy creatures. O blessed Jesus remember us now in thy kingdom. Oh! let our prayers and our praises come up before thee; oh! leave us not, nor forsake us in our last moments; oh! list up the light of thy countenance upon us, bless us, and cause thy face to shine upon us, that as the glorious sun is now enlightening the earth; oh! may the precious Son of righteousness arise with healing under his wings, break forth into our souls, and enlighten
our hearts, and give us joy and peace in believing.
Oh! blessed Father of Spirits, accept of praises for thy goodness to us, and grant that our never-dying souls may come up before thee, to praise thy name. Lord hasten the day; cut short thy work in righteousness; make us partakers of thy eleventhy-hour mercies. Grant, dearest Father, that when our souls leave this earth we may be received into thy kingdom, and made pillars in thy temple, to go no more out.
Lord forgive our prosecutors, and grant thy love may stream through all the veins of their hearts. We entreat all in the name, and for the sake, of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ (into whose hands we commit our souls and frail bodies.) To him be glory and praise though an endless eternity. Amen.
Before Tilling said this exhortation and prayer, they had been earnestly recommended to the mercy of God; and after a hearty farewell taken of them, the cart being withdrawn, they were consigned to eternity.