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such distresses, as I now feel, in administ consolations which I now want. I will not extenuate my offence, than by declaring, u circumstances make probable, that I did no be finally fraudulent. Nor will it become portion my punishment, by alleging that m have been not much less than my guilt. I from reputation, which ought to have mar' tious; and from a fortune which ought to me content. I am sunk at once into poverty my name and my crime fill the ballads in 1 the sport of the thoughtless, and the triur wicked.
It may seem strange that, remembering • jately been, I should still wish to continue
But contempt of death, how speciously soe mingle with Heathen virtues, has nothing Christian penitence. Many motives impel earnestly for life. I feel the natural horror death, and the universal dread of untimely
I am desirous of recompensing the injury I ha · the clergy, to the world, and to religion ; ar
the scándal of my crime by the example of 1 ance, But, above all, I wish to die with thou composed, and calmer preparation. The g prison, the anxiety of a trial, and the inevit şitudes of passion, leave the mind little dispo holy exercises of prayer and self-examination a liitle time bc denied me, in which I may, tation and contrition, be prepared to stand at , nal of Omnipotence, and support the presen
Judge, who shall distribute to all accordin works, who will receive to pardon the repenti and from whom tlic merciful shall obtain mer
For these reasons, amidst shame and mise wish to live, and most humbly intreat, that recommended by your Lordship to the cler bis Majesty.
in the deres; a sinblessed Satake away of us, part ifice. times, but despair.est that we that thereepentance; every man 3 call, howtempted to inrepaired,
remember 'required; of Him to leficient in Him who
neous opimerits lull are indeed
on which rs, but to who denied in by weep ...
al regulaible transhat,' then,
grave betrembling, vation. Let ithout desat which we
or neglected by us, we had never appeared in this place. A little time for recollection and amendment is yet allowed us by the mercy of the law. Of this little time 'let no particle be lost. Let us fill our remaining life with all the duties which our present condition allows us to practise. Let us make one earnest effort for salvation ! And Oh! heavenly Father, who desireth not the death of a sinner, grant that this effort may not be in vain !
To teach others what they must do to be saved, has long been my employment and profession. You see with what confusion and dishonour I now stand before you-no more in the pulpit of instruction, but on this humble seat with yourselves. -You are not to consider me now as a man authorised to form the manners, or direct the conscience, and speaking with the authority of a pastor to his flock: I am here guilty, like yourselves, of a capital
offence: and sentenced, like yourselves, to a public and · shameful death. My profession, which has given me stronger convictions of my duty than most of you can be supposed to have attained, and has extended my views to the consequences of wickedness farther than your observation is likely to have reached, has loaded my sin with peculiar aggravations; and I entreat you to join your prayers with mine, that my sorrow may be proportionate to my guilt !
I am now, like you, enquiring, what I must do to be saved ? and stand here to communicate to you what that enquiry suggests. Hear me with attention, my fellow prisoners; and in your melancholy hours of retirement, consider well what I offer to you from the sincerity of my good will, and from the deepest conviction of a penitent heart.
Salvation is promised to us Christians, on the terms of Faith, Obedience, and Repentance. I shall therefore endeavour to show how, in the short interval between this moment and death, we may exert faith, perform obedience, and exercise repentance, in a manner which our heavenly Father may, in his infinite mercy, vouchsafe to accept.,
* 1. Faith is the foundation of all Christian virtue. It · is that without which it is impossible to please God. I shall
therefore therefore consider, first, How faith is to be particularly exerted by us in our present state ?
Faith is a full and undoubting confidence in the des clarations made by God in the holy Scriptures; a sincere reception of the doctrines taught by our blessed Saviour, with a firm assurance that he died to take away the sins of the world, and that we have, each of us, part in the boundless benefits of the universal sacrifice.
To this faith we must have recourse at all times, but particularly if we find ourselves tempted to despair.If thoughts arise in our minds, which suggest that we have sinned beyond the hope of pardon, and that therefore it is vain to seek for reconciliation by repentance; we must remember that God willeth that every man should be saved, and that those who obey his call, however late, should not be rejected. If we are tempted to think that the injuries we have done are unrepaired, . and, therefore, repentance is vain ; let us remember, that the reparation which is impossible is not required; that sincerely to will, is to do, in the sight of Him to. whom all hearts are open; and that what is deficient ini our endeavour, is supplied by the merits of Him who i died to redeem us.
Yet let us likewise be careful, lest an erroneous opi. nion of the all-sufficiency of our Saviour's merits lull , us into carelessness and security. His merits are indeed, all-sufficient! but he has prescribed the terms on which they are to operate. He died to save sinners, but to save only those sinners that repent, Peter, who denied him, was forgiven, but he obtained his pardon by weep . ing bitterly. They who have lived in perpetual regula- ,,! rityof duty, and are free from any gross or visible transgression, are yet but unprofitable servants. What,' then, are we, whose crimes are hastening us to the grave before our time? --Let us work with fear and trembling, but still let us endeavour to work out our salvation. Let. us hope without presumption; let us fear without desperation; and let our faith animate us to that which we were to consider,
Secondly, “ Sincere Obedience to the laws of God.” Our obedience, for the short time yet remaining, is re
strained to a narrow circle. These duties, which are called social and relative, are for the most part out of our power. We can contribute very little to the gencral happiness of mankind, while on those whom kindred and friendship have allied to us, we have brought disgrace and sorrow. We can only benefit the public by an example of contrition, and fortify our friends against temptation by warning and admonition, med
The obedience left us now to practice is “ submission to the will of God, and calm acquiescence in his wisdoin and his justice.” We must not allow ourselves to repine at those miscries which have followed our offences, but . suffer, with silent humility and resigned patience, the punishment which we deserve; remembering that, ace cording to the Apostle's decision, no praise is due to , them who bear with patience to be buffetted for their faults.
When we consider the wickedness of our past lives, and the danger of having been summoned to the final judgment without preparation, we shall, I hope, gradually arise so much above the conceptions of human nature, as to return thanks to God for what once seemed the most dreadful of all evils-our detection and conviction ! -We shrink back, hy immediate and instinctive terror from the public eye, turned as it is upon us with indignation and contempt. Imprisonment is afflictive, and ignominious death is fearful! But let us compare our condition with that which our actions might reasonably have incurred. The robber might have died in the act of violence, by lawful resistance. The inan of fraud might have sunk into the grave, while he was enjoying the gain of his artifice: and where then had been our hope? We have now leisure for
thought; we have opportunities for instruction, and, · whatever we suffer from offended laws, may yet recon- '
cile ourselves to God, who, if we sincerely seek him, : will assuredly be found. ;.
But how are we to seek the Lord? By the way which ... he himself hath appointed; by humble, fervent, and frequent prayer. Some hours of worship are appointed us; let us duly observe them, Somnc assistance to our devo- . .
tion, ........ .