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· stories of malefactors, as occasion- a mixture of the incongruous with

ally published by what are termed the awful, in asking these questions, evangelical ministers of religion, of that we should have avoided all alluvarious communions, and the ordi. sion to the subject, except that, as nary newspaper articles communi. public attention has been frequently cated from Newgate. Had the and recently attracted to the reliwriter of The Gamester entrusted gious ceremonies of our prisons, we the completion of his story to a re- beg to contribute something, on a, gular reporter for the periodical passing occasion, towards an inpress, we imagine that the latter quiry into the propriety of the pracwould too certainly have introduced tices once more offered to our nointo the chamber of the dying re- tice. Delusion in some form must probate, a clergyman ready to ad- certainly exist; and we wish, among minister the consolations of religion, other things, to know, whether it. and the solemn sacrament of the is the established routine for the eucharist. We would be told of chaplains of any gaol to administer, the devout behaviour of the reci. indiscriminately, the eucharist to pient during the ceremony, his re- all upder sentence of death; and signation, his last affecting inter- to thank God for their deliverance, view with his family, his pious er- by an executioner, from a wicked pressions; and we should probably world ? Several of our correspondbe favoured with extracts from a ents have already alluded to the letter written on the morning of his subject in our pages. . death to former companions, warn- We have mentioned the similarity ing them against their infatuation, between some well-meant and some and its consequences, and express Old-Bailey accounts of the last ing the satisfaction he felt himself days of notorious offenders. In in having seen his errors, and having both instances, it is, practically, the repented of them. The phrases in tale of a sudden conversion. A man italics, as the reader must be well is executed at the age of thirty-five, aware, may, alas! be ready stere, having consumed the last fifteen of otyped for most of the paragraphs his years in habits of fraud and which appear in articles of intelli- violence; and in the last fortnight gence on the day of an execution ? of life becoming, according to these

There is also ---and we state the statements, "a new creature.” This matter here, in order to preserve is the essence of an account which the connexion of events another will sometimes occupy two columns most singular circumstance brought of a newspaper, drawn up and to our consideration in Newgate prac, authenticated by Newgate chronitice; we mean the custom, while clers; and which, under certain leading felons to the gallows, of the technical forms of religious phraseOrdinary reading the burial service! ology, and prepared by a very difHow far be proceeds in it we are ferent class of writers, will appear not aware. It cannot be that he in the next number of some religious actually says, “We give thee hearty magazine. Yet the chronicler and thanks that it hath pleased thee to the magazine move in entirely opdeliver this our brother out of the posite divisions of the Christian miseries of this sinful world......be. world. The chronicler, on other seeching thee, that it may please occasions, would be the first to dethee, of thy gracious goodness, ride the doctrine of sudden convershortly to accomplish the number sion; and would write many a long of thine elect, and to hasten thy paragraph to expose the temerity kingdom ! "--Now if the service be and foolishness of a teacher who curtailed, what parts are omitted ? should countenance a system so If omitted, on what plea? who re, perilous. He might also search the gulates the omission? There is such journals of the primitive Methodists

for examples to his purpose; and reproachable character, and was record, with triumphant exultation, even instrumental, as an occasional the ultimate confessions of Whitfield preacher, in the Methodist conand Wesley, respecting the relapse nexion, of disseminating those imof many of their early converts. portant truths and precepts which, Yet where is the definable distinc- we lament to say, did not sufficiently tion between men transiently im- impress his own heart with the real pressed by the sermon of a field- duty be owed to God and to his preacher, and men who repent, fellow-men. In the moment of debelieve, and become happy, within lusion he committed the act which sight of the gallows ? These in. rendered him amenable to the puconsistent divines seem to be per- nishment he has undergone. Since fectly unconscious of their own the sentence of condemnation was practical adhesion to “the danger- passed upon him, he became graous delusions of sectarianism." dually more and more resigned to

We may reasonably complain, on his fate; and in addition to the unthe other hand, of some narrators, remitting attention of the Rev. Mr. who ought to know better, when Chave, chaplain of the gaol, who they virtually echo back the state- daily visited him, he has been in ments delivered by chroniclers the constant habit of also having whom they themselves would also, religious advice given him by Mr. on other occasions, denounce as Burges, the Methodist minister children of ignorance, -and yet officiating in this city. During the forming a junction with this very whole of the melancholy preparaparty on the platform of the gibbet. tions, he was engaged in prayer, and We know very well, that each party on ascending the fatal ladder, and has meanings, expressions, infe- after the rope was adjusted round rences, cautions, and illustrations of his neck, he still continued to supits own: but we are only contend- plicate for mercy, apparently unconing that, in point of fact, each ar scious of every thing around him. rives at the same conclusion, and It was almost one o'clock when the tells the same tale : and here we drop fell, and his struggles were leave this portion of the discussion, not violent, though several seconds The writer of The Gamester, as we elapsed before life was totally excalculate, would support our re. tinct. His wife and family, consist monstrances

ing of four small children, and a It may be well, perhaps, to give a daughter by a former wife, have specimen of what has actually, and been constant in their visits to him; very recently, appeared in the news and yesterday his wife, daughter, papers, relative to the last days with his wife's aunt, took their last and deaths of criminals.--" John and sad farewell. Every interest Orchard," says the Exeter Alfred that could possibly be made was of April 16, was executed to-day exerted in his favour, and up to at the new drop of the Devon Coun- Friday last hopes were entertained ty Gaol. His case excited very that he would be reprieved; but on general attention, and, from his Thursday his brother had an aularge family and respectable con- dience with Mr. Peel, who informed nexions, produced a considerable him that his case had been duly degree of sympathy in the public considered; but the circumstances mind; so that motives of curiosity attending it were of a nature too attracted a vast assemblage of per aggravated to entitle bim to recomsons to witness the awful spectacle mendation for mercy. The followof his death ; and the more so, from ing lines, written by him, were sung the consideration that this unhappy by the congregation at the gaol victim to the laws of his country yesterday and to-day, at his request, had for many years borne an ir. he leading the choir.

“When guilt distracts my labouring breast, men think, who think at all, of a Justice enraged, and wrath, I flee

reporter who talks of a criminal Thy cross alone I seek for rest, And fix my hope, O Lord, in thee.

having committed an act of felony,

in the moment of delusion-and yet, Secured on Christ's eternal rock,

by his own account, under circumNo angry storms, no raging sea Can e'er my expectations shock,

tances of a nature too aggravated to My hope is fixed, O Lord, in thee. entitle him to recommendation for Oft when death's awiul gloomy vale,

mercy. All sin, it is true, is delusion;

and we are warned to exhort one Affrighted nature dreads to seeWhat thoughts would then my heart assail, another, lest any one be hardened Did I not hope, O Lord, in thee. through the deceitfulness of sin.

But the climax of an atrocious But I can never, never sink, My faith a wreck can never be ;

crime is not reached by a process Boldly I stand on Jordan's brink, properly called delusion.—Nemo

And sing my hope, O Lord, in thee.” repente fuit turpissimus, said a theoOf the subject of this account, or

logian of the pagan world, and so even of his crimes, we have not

far he was certainly orthodox; for the slightest knowledge, but have we cannot concede that, according merely copied the statement from a Divine government, any man is, as

to the general economy of the .

it were, so taken by surprise as to

be instantaneously degraded into a In the same print we noticed the fol- reprobate. Extreme cases we do lowing anecdote:

"Penitent.-At the last Salisbury not touch. When it is asserted, in Assizes, sentence of death was passed on the example before us, that the Raymond Read, for horse-stealing; and party had for many years borne an from that moment, up to the time of his irreproachable character, all that can reprieve, no one could be more devout, or apparently penitent; but immediately on

be meant is, that his exterior was oshearing that mercy had been obtained for tensibly respectable. But we know him, he returned the Bible and Prayer how easily the world is satisfied ; Book which had been lent him, saying and how negative may be the goodthat he had now no further occasion for them.'"-What an example is this of the

ness which passes current in sopopular irony so perpetually furnished by ciety. Many a person is irreproachthe periodical press on serious subjects! able in general estimation, who, Not one in a thousand loungers over a news- like the young ruler, goes away paper will read such a statement without thinking it an excellent jest. The circum- sorrowful from the requisitions of stance of its being headed A PENITENT be

the Gospel, because he has great speaks, and ensures, a laugh from every

possessions.

His treasures may one who looks no further than amuse- not, indeed, be silver and gold, but ment. Others may be awakened to the inquiry, whether the victims of the law,

things quite as dear to him, such as who now die so happily, and, as their the love of fame or of money ; or biographers would persuade us, so secure indulgence in any other occult and from the terrors of eternity, would not in insidious passion, which may be many cases, dismiss their confessors and ministerial attendants, as soon as they instances where the visits of a private were released from the dread of an execu. tion; and thus, John Orchard might have Christian to a sick person have been repelcrossed over to the party of Raymond led by the plea-Ok, sir, it's quile needless, for Read. A heathen poet said

my brother was yesterday made up for death;

that is, he received the eucharist from a "Oderunt peccare mali, formidine pænæ;' minister of religion who did not scruple and in Christian countries, not only the same to be a party to the delusion. The repulse preventive of crime exists, but, we might at once indicates in what manner the ce. add, bad men believe in the prospect of an remony is valued by the ignorant, and ignominious death: let the executioner also the necessity of a mild firmness in retire, and they believe no longer.-Weare refusing to administer the sacrament inreminded at this point of the embarrass- discriminately on the part of a pastor, ment and distress often occasioned to pious whose senses are exercised to discern good clergymen, when requested to administer and evil. Be nol thou partaker of other a death-bed sacrament. We have known men's sins. Keep thyself pure.

always undermining his spiritual before ; we only have now first
prosperity, though unseen by human discovered it. He that despiseth
eye. Had the Exeter Alfred de- small things, shall fall by little
livered a detailed and faithful ac- and little.” It is the same with
count of Orchard, telling of the persons occupying the lower, or
individual all that he knew of him- lowest, walks of religion ; and thus,
self, it is very possible that we individuals who pursue the ruinous
should have had confessions on the path which, after numerous wind-
part of the felon, of his having ings, terminates on a scaffold, may
arrived at a capital crime at last, have measured many a league on,
whether it was forgery, violation, their downward path, before their
murder, or treason--for we are progress has been perceived by
quite ignorant on this point - as an human vision.
overt act of sin, the first properly We feel the solemn importance
discernible by his fellow-creatures, of adverting to these things, in
but the result of concealed habits order to disabuse inexperienced
of guilt, such as he had contrived readers of the notion, that men sin
to hide from every witness, except as by a kind of irresistible impulse,
from God and himself. It appears as though they were stimulated on-
that he had once been a teacher of ward by unfair and rude violence,
others. Perhaps he mistook a know- and such as would destroy their
ledge of religion for the possession moral responsibility. If this were
of it; or he might have been dazzled really the case, temptation would
by some degree of popularity into not appear in the form of allure-
a persuasion of his own sincerity. ment, but of compulsion; and there
Or he was, to a certain extent, would probably be no way of escape,
successful, and assumed that he that the tempted might be able to
really valued the boon he commu- bear it. But we are dealt with, in
nicated to others. But, was he this relation, as creatures who may,
conscientious in private prayer-in indeed have to struggle hard with
the study of the Scriptures in the enemy, but with one who may
vigilance against the intrusions of be subdued. “ Resist the devil,
animal appetite-in trying to keep and he will flee from you." Take
himself unspotted from the world— the instance of Judas: an observant
in maintaining family religion-in reader of his history will mark the
pastoral fidelity, and simple ad- traitor's approaches to his ultimate
herence to the doctrines of the crime, and will also mark our Lord's
cross of Christ--and in so exercis. consciousness of the false disciple's
ing himself unto godliness, as to character. There were the betrayer's
be a living sermon of the truths he affected compassion for the poor
delivered from the pulpit? If the his hardihood at the paschal supper,
reply to these inquiries be conveyed when his treachery was propheti-
in the form of a suspicious, hesi- cally disclosed and other circum-
tating, half-consent ; or if there be stances, indicative of something
a dubious and qualifying negative, hollow and suspicious—altogether a
uttered with embarrassment and proof that his sin was premeditated,
blushes, we have a solution of this and only the overt act of a man
man's delusion. It was no surprise, whose heart had long been estran-
but the bitter fruit of a course of ged from his Master. Yet his cha-
hypocrisy. He sowed to the flesh, racter and project were a profound
and of the flesh reaped corruption secret to his brethren. When Jesus
and death. “We are surprised,” declared the presence of a traitor,
said Mr. Newton, in his table talk the rest of the disciples wondered
with his biographer, “ at the fall of whom he spake. But to the divine
of a famous professor ; but, in the prescience of his Lord he was already
sight of God, the man was gone fallen. In the eyes of how many
CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 305.

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at Jerusalem did Judas probably stitute hours, and days, and months

an irreproachable cha- of the deceitfulness of sin; but of racter, perhaps among the disciples that species which is not imposed themselves.

upon us; but allowed to operate We will farther illustrate our without strenuous endeavours, on views of this serious question, by our part, to oppose its intrusions. an easily supposable case ; similar The uneducated people of this to what frequently occurs in the enlightened country, and some even annals of domestic delinquency in of their superiors, find another, and our own times. The house steward an extraordinary, apology for sin, of a nobleman, high in his lord's in the plea of their having been confidence, is suddenly arrested and fated to defraud and destroy. The conveyed to prison, on a charge of polytheism of the ancient world, forgery; and it is an imitation of which subjected even the gods his patron's signature. The family themselves to the mystic influence - and he has held a succession of fate, the fatalism of the mosque, of situations in the household for and the defence of sin as now detwenty years—is thrown into grief scribed in our own island, illustrate and consternation; while the rest the identity of human ignorance of the domestics, and the inhabi- and superstition; as well as the tants of the village where the man- universal efforts of fallen creatures sion is situated, are confounded as to release their consciences from by the shock of an earthquake. the burden of guilt, by transferring Then come universal expressions of it to some unknown agent. The surprise from the surrounding dis- rustic thief will palliate his robtrict, since the accused party has beries, by pleading this same fate borne a most excellent character” as at once the cause and the exduring his whole service; and the cuse for his dishonesty. And when general impression is, that some certain divines account for the ininfernal agent of over-powering crease of crime, by the diffusion of might has suddenly made him the Antinomianism, we are perfectly passive victim of his malice. But, able to assure them, that there is as the period of the assizes draws no need to call in the aid of such on, there also steal out numerous allies. Our villagers and our maexpressions of suspicion, that the nufacturers are already in possessteward's domestic treason was only sion of opiates to quiet the pangs one crime among many. It then of conscience; and they are too comes out, that, of late years, he adequate to their intended effect. had clandestinely formed connex- He who would reform mankind ions which portended no good. He has to define to them the disbecame a speculator in abortive tinction between voluntary and inschemes ; and his savings were lost. voluntary submission to the devices But an appetite was created for of the tempter. We always know fresh experiments; and as his own enough, did we faithfully obey the funds were exhausted, there was inclinations of the monitor within a necessity for resorting to those of our bosoms, to pause at the first another and so the links of fraud suggestions of evil - enough to were rivetted together, till all were avoid the evil, if perceptible and at length burst asunder. Yet the tangible. When it is shewn indisman's heart was perhaps not so tinctly, and takes a shadowy and seared, but that he intended to re- uncertain form, the case may be store the money, when his last pro- otherwise ; but, without wandering ject had succeeded. This theory, into metaphysical subtleties, we however, was never realized. He must insist again, that sin is never had his moments of delusion, and so entirely delusive as to darken they were numerous enough to con- the mental vision of any man who

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