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sinful and temporary gratifications which may fall to the lot of the sinner; for you have chosen that which is infinitely more safe, more. substantial, more satisfying; that which alone is unchangeable and eternal. Be prepared to forsake all for Christ; enlist all your affections in his cause; and be zealous for his glory. Entertain high thoughts of your heavenly privileges, and demean yourselves as becomes them. Whatever would tempt you to turn aside from your holy profession, re

ject it as your worst enemy, the snare of your soul, the destroyer that lies in wait for your perdition. Having chosen God as your inheri tance, cherish communion with him; forsake whatever would debar you of his favour, or hide from you the light of his countenance. Walk humbly with him; meditate upon his Divine perfections; seek to promote his glory; and dedicate yourself in soul and body to his most blessed service.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. WITHIN four-and-twenty hours after I had read, in the Review of the Confessions of a Gamester (Christian Observer for May), your appeal to the public on the subject of criminals suddenly converted, and led to the scaffold with assurances of eternal happiness, I met with a painful illustration of the bearing of your argument, in the case of a man lately executed at Reading; I believe, on the twenty-eighth of May. The report of his behaviour was inserted, according to the usual routine, among the provincial intelligence collected in one of the London newspapers, in these terms: EXECUTION OF W. GILES FOR FORGERY. The last awful penalty of our laws was executed on this unfortunate man on Monday, on the drop then for the first time used, on the west side of our county gaol. For some time past Giles has been very attentive to his religious duties, and appeared to be quite prepared for thegreat change' he was destined to undergo. On Monday he received the holy sacrament, with the most profound devotion and Christian resignation to his impend ing fate. The evening preceding his

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execution Giles spent in the greatest quiet, and slept soundly. He mentioned in the morning, on awaking, that he had dreamed of the awful scene which was shortly about to present itself, but talked of it with that calmness which indicated the most happy resignation. While in chapel, and after he had partaken of the sacrament, he was asked by one who was present, if he was happy, to which he answered, 'I wish you was as happy as I am; for I feel completely so." His approach to the place of execution was steady and firm; and the fortitude he had evinced ever since his hopeless. fate was made known to him never for a moment forsook him."-Berkshire Chronicle.

Here then we have another example of a felon canonized under the shade of the gallows! If we take the story as thus, it would seem, officially reported, and, in ignorance of all the other circumstances connected with the character and crime of the offender, we may regard it as a practical repetition of the last days of Orchard mentioned in your Review; and we have only perhaps to wait for the conclusion of the sum mer assizes, to read, alas! precisely the same tale told of numerous other "unfortunate"observe well

the epithet men who, in various parts of the kingdom, are about to pay the penalty of an ignominious death.

If such statements continue to be presented to the public, and to increase in the proportion which, of late years, has marked their progress, the impression upon the vulgar mind will be, that the broad way and the wide gate no longer lead to destruction; but are become, in effect, the highway of holiness, and the everlasting doors opening into paradise. It will no more be declared, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord;" but, Blessed they who die in their sins; victims indeed to human estimates of crime, but happy in the beatific visions of eternity.

I am indeed, as I trust, fully aware of the peril we incur, if we pass by the temptations and sins attached to higher gradations of society; and thus wander away from ourselves, in search of such vile and revolting wickedness as pollutes only criminals of a lower rank; since I know, too well, that systems of iniquity may be sustained by the scientific, the learned, and the fashionable, and even by divines immersed in their libraries, quite as ruinous to the soul as the courses of plebeian crime terminating on the scaffold. We may perish everlastingly not as forgers, traitors, murderers, and oppressors-but by a thousand modes of refined evil; established by the unwritten laws of a wicked world, in defiance of the pure and perfect code of the great Legislator of the Christian church; and we may be amenable to no tribunal, except to the one before which we must all give an account of the deeds done in the body.

But, however true this side of the statement may be, my immediate concern is with offenders of another class; and with the baneful consequences flowing from newspaper details. It is become a very serious question, Are we to be always exposed to the contagious influences of

thesedescriptions of canonizedfelons? Let us only notice, in the report from the Berkshire Chronicle, the attempt to represent the highly exalted point of preparation for eternity, reached by a criminal. Like Orchard, he is made, not into a penitent, trembling in a state of humiliation and bitter conviction of guilt, as he surveys the prospect of a compulsory and speedy dismission into the world of spirits, and before any sufficient evidence, in point of time, could be gathered of his sincerity; but, into a believer of an elevated character, and possessing what is equivalent, in the Apostle's language, to a spirit of adoption. All is more than well with him. He has gained a position. beyond the gradations of hopebeyond the realms of mere peace; he possesses perfect happiness.

If men of this cast, and whose retrospected life is clouded by folly. and shame, are thus privileged to meet death, and thus enabled to make their calling and election sure, and all in the brief interval between their condemnation and execution, we may inquire, with some surprise and confusion. How are they to die, who, through many, many years have been followers of such as, through faith and patience, inherit the promises? One might imagine-strange and impious as the theory sounds-that the promises were now inherited without faith and without patience; and that, among the disorders and mutations of these latter days, must be numbered the transfer of blessings and privileges, once the exclusive possession of the servants of God, from those servants to the slaves of satan and the world.

That Giles" for some time past had been very attentive to his religious duties," cannot mean much beyond the fact, that, as far as he was seen of men,he regularlywent through the prescribed routine of prison devotion. Perhaps he was also observed to read and to pray in his cell. But did his advisers endeavour to discern whether this man had the

spirit of devotion? Under strong excitements men will exhibit surprising perseverance and fervour in physical acts of prayer; and seem to possess, for the time, extraordinary eloquence as to the language and human embellishments of religion; but with the occasion will, of course, cease the power. "A man's mind," said Dr. Johnson, "is wonderfully concentrated, when he knows that he is soon to be hanged;" -a sentiment highly characteristic of Johnson's sagacity, and apposite to our present inquiry. Sheltered by such authority, I may perhaps be forgiven for the suspicion, that there must be something hollow in the sudden ability of a bad man to "exercise himself unto godliness" to so large an extent as is frequent ly described by the biographers of felons. It is like the stripling David

but without the spirit effused upon David-wielding the sword of Goliath.


But Giles, according to the mechanical religion of our gaols, received the holy sacrament with the most profound devotion." Oh, sir, how is it possible, that any bystander, unless endued with the plenary power of discerning spirits, could so inspect the movements of this communicant's soul, as to know even that he was devout at all; still less, that his devotion was profound, and "most" profound! What more could have been said, had the reporter witnessed the attendance of saints and martyrs at the holy communion; but these are now equa lized, as to their eucharistic devotions, with converts-if converts they are-of a fortnight's standing; and thus are indiscriminately confounded the wise and the foolish, the holy and the reprobate! Such representations also tend fearfully to increase the delusion still prevalent throughout this Protestant country, in regarding the sacrament as an atonement for a wicked life; as a viaticum to supply all the refresh ments needed for the last dark and dreary journey into the invisible

world, and administered at a time when a man gives up sins which he is no longer capable of committing,

If Giles received the sacrament as an opiate to an uneasy conscience, no wonder that "the night previous to his execution he slept soundly;" and that his dream about the approaching event was all calmness and serene tranquillity. Every human calculation as to the excess of delusion induced upon the mind by false notions of the Gospel, and by reliance on the physical part of the rites of religion, is completely baffled. "I wish," said this felon, "that you were as happy as I am; for I feel completely so.' This was after he had partaken of the sacrament; and the rest of the story goes to establish his character for fortitude and fearlessness in the prospect of death.

It is indeed matter of speculation, at once curious and awful, to observe, in this instance, the anxiety of the narrator to raise the criminal's piety to the highest summit of excellence. He is not barely described as apparently prepared for death, but "quite" prepared. His devotion, as before remarked, is not merely profound, but "most" profound; and an equal depth of resignation to his "fate" is also discovered. He not only slept, but he slept "soundly." He spent his last evening not simply in quietness, but in the "greatest" quiet. He talked of his execution not with negative calmness, but with such feelings as indicated resignation the "most happy." His firmness "never" forsook him; no, "not for a moment." There seems to be, all through, a determination on the part of the reporter to make his subject a highly privileged, mature, and exalted Christian; liable to none of the apprehension, doubt, and fluctuations usually attendant on the spiritual life; but as one "born in a day" to all the immunities and rights of the kingdom of heaven.

You have exposed yourself, perhaps, to the imputation of cruelty

in commending the author of the Gamester, for not having smoothened the dying pillow of a reprobate with the comforts of the Gospel; and a writer like myself will share in the discredit, by commenting with such apparent severity on the death-scene of a second Orchard. But surely we ought to gather instruction for the living, without flattering the dead; and especially when the departed have carried, on their very front, evidence of having lived in a state of spiritual death.

I am not an entire stranger to the town where the recent execution took place; and I have heard some of its inhabitants, and others, speak of the names of Talbot, Cadogan, and of some of their clerical assist ants, with a veneration and gratitude due to the memory of the just; and I know from an infallible teacher, that "the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance." But the same instructor says, "the name of the wicked shall rot." What then shall we say to any eulogy which appears to be designed to embalm such a name? I say, appears; for I am very far from accusing the reporter for the Berkshire Chronicle, of having wilfully endeavoured to impose upon public credulity; or of wishing to encourage profligates to pursue their course, on the plea that all will be well with them when they are forced to die. My suspicion is, that the tale may have been narrated by some person who urged the criminal to repent, trusting that he would meet death with some hope of being saved at last; and that, anxious for an issue so desirable, he allowed himself to take the promising side, without seriously scrutinizing the evidences of the man's sincerity. What we wish, we are never very slow to expect; and expectation easily ripens into the semblance of belief. Then again, when felons are executed, they leave behind them relations and friends; and certain of these may be not destitute of religious feelings.

We wish, of course, to heal their lacerated minds with the persuasion that the criminal did not leave the world as he had lived. Many other reasons might be adduced, in extenuation of what is yet decidedly a most insidious form of flattery: and woe be to those apologists, who knowingly hide the guilt and impenitence of the reprobate, under fictitious accounts of death-bed happiness. "Tell me not," said Mr. Newton-and he was well known at Reading to the admirers and congregations of Talbot and Cadogan-" how a man died, but how he lived."

Attempts were made to canonize Dr. Dodd. "A friend of mine," said Dr. Johnson," came to me and told me, that a lady wished to have Dr. Dodd's picture in a bracelet, and asked me for a motto. I said, I could think of no better than Currat Lex". I was very willing to have him pardoned; that is, to have the sentence changed to transportation; but when he was once hanged, I did not wish he should be made a saint.”The truth was, that Johnson, diligently though he exerted himself to save Dr. Dodd from the execu tioner, saw through his depravity ; and wrote to a correspondent the very day after his execution,— "His moral character was very bad: I hope all is not true that is charged upon him." He also said,

Let the law take its course.


Dr. Dodd been pardoned," says a most acute writer," who shall say how many men of similar talents that cruel pardon might have fatally ensnared? Eloquent as he was, and exemplary as perhaps he would have been, an enlarged view of

his case authorises this inference, that the most undeviating rectitude, and the longest life of such a man, could not have conferred so great and so permanent a benefit on society, as that single sacri

fice, his death. On this memorable occasion Europe saw the greatest monarch she contained, acknowledging a sovereign, within his own dominions, greater than himself; a sovereign that triumphed not the supremacy of the laws."-Lacon, vol. i. only over his power, but over his pity,p. 241. 1823.

"Dr. Dodd would have given both his hands and both his legs to have lived." On another occasion Johnson related, that when some of Dodd's pious friends tried to console him, by saying that he was

of nursery divinity which enlightened our early years; and which may, and does, illuminate the path of the most established believer to the end of his pilgrimage :Just such is the Christian: his course he begins

going to leave a wretched world; Like the sun in a mist, when he mourns

"No, no," said he; "it has been a very agreeable world to me." Johnson added, "I respect Dodd for thus speaking the truth; for, to be sure, he had for several years enjoyed a life of great voluptuousness. This amply confirms the opinion you have given, in the Review of the Gamester, respecting Dr. Dodd's general character; and supports also your theory, that an act of atrocious criminality, when suddenly perpetrated, is not to be considered as a black spot on the robe of a vestal; but as an additional stain on vestments already discoloured, but the hue of which had not been previously discernable by every eye.

Since the above was written, your Number for June has reached my hands; containing the communication from S. B. (pp. 345-347.) I entirely concur with a wish indirectly expressed in his address, that prison chaplains would either prohibit, as far as may be in their power, the publication of pernicious fables; or, what would be far better, furnish, themselves, accurate statements. They might thence be induced to examine the present system of the religion of felons; and particularly in relation to the administration of the sacrament. If the present course be persevered in, the commemoration of the death of Christ in the eucharist will become nothing better than extreme unction under the forms of a Protestant church; in fact, the Antinomian comforts which a true penitent rejects with abhorrence, and the impenitent welcomes, as conferring forgiveness for sins which he confesses, but does not sincerely lament. I shall conclude by citing, in reference to the general subject, a fragment of that sound body

for his sins,

And melts into tears; then he breaks out and shines,

And travels his heavenly way: But when he comes nearer to finish his race,

Like a fine setting sun, he looks richer in


And gives a sure hope, at the end of his days,

Of rising in brighter array!

How different from such converts of their progress; dazzling indeed as glitter in the very earliest stage the vision of many, but causing a few to gaze upon their course, as meteor, and then-all is dark ! the momentary flashes of a



Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

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EVERY well-wisher to the cause of the abolition of slavery, must feel truly gratified on reading your very important remarks upon the question of bringing the subject forward in the pulpit, more espécially in those cities and towns which form the residence of slaveowners, and merchants connected with the West Indies. I would hope your faithful admonitions will both be received kindly, and acted upon. And as an encouragement to any clergyman well-disposed to the cause, and who sees the impropriety of being altogether silent on the peculiar sins of his hearers, I will copy a few extracts from a sermon preached at St. Peter's, Liverpool, nearly fifty years ago, by G. Gregory, F. A. S., author of "Essays, Historical, &c." His text is from Micah vi. 8. And in treating of justice he says, "I fear it is a melancholy fact, that not individuals only, but whole nations, and those the most enlightened which the present (or perhaps any) stage

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