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receive them who are qualified by holy desires for works of righteousness, without exacting from them those outward duties which the shortness of their lives hindered them from performing.

Nothing, therefore, remains, but that we apply, with all our speed, and with all our strength, to rectify our desires, and purify our thoughts: that we set God before us in all his goodness and terrors; that we consider him as the Father and the Judge of all the earth; as a Father desirous to save; as a Judge, who cannot pardon unrepented iniquity: that we fall down before him selfcondemned, and excite in our hearts an-intense detestation of those crimes which have provoked him; with vehement and steady resolutions, that if life were granted us, it should be spent hereafter in the practice of our duty *: that we pray the giver of grace to strengtheu and impress these holy thoughts, and to accept our repentance, though late and in its beginnings violent: that we improve every good motion by diligent prayer: and having declared and confirmed our faith by the holy communion, we deliver ourselves into his hands, in firm hope, that he who created and redeemed us will no suffer us to perish. Rom. v. viši. 32.

The condition, without which forgiveness is not to be obtained, is, that we forgive others. There is always a danger lest men fresh from a trial in which life has been lost, should remember with resentment and malignity the prosecutor, the witnesses, or the judges. It is, indeed, scarcely possible, that with all the prejudices of an interest so weighty, and so affecting, the convict should

* See 2 Cor. chap. v. verses 14, 15.

I would have this expression to be particularly attended towhile, as a dying man, and with all possible sincerity of soul, I aɗd, that if I could wish to declare my faith, I know not of any words in which I could do it so well, and so perfectly to my satisfaction, as iu the Communion service of our Church: and if I would wish to confirm that faith, I know not of any appointed method so thoroughly adapted to that end as participation in that communion itself.-See particularly in this service, the Exhortation, Confession, prayer beginning We do not prefume, &c Consecration and prayer after receiving, Lord and heavenly Father, &c.- -Convicts should diligently and repeat

edly read over this service before they communicate.



think otherwise than that he has been treated in some part of the process with unnecessary severity. In this opinion he is perhaps singular, and therefore probably mistaken. But there is no time for disquisition: we must try to find the shortest way to peace. It is easier to forgive than to reason right. He that has been injuriously or unnecessarily harrassed, has one opportunity more of proving his sincerity, by forgiving the wrong, and praying for his enemy.

It is the duty of a penitent to repair, so far as he has the power, the injury which he has done. What we can do, is commonly nothing more than to leave the world an example of contrition. On the dreadful day, when the sentence of the law has its full force, some will be found to have affected a shameless bravery, or negligent intrepidity. Such is not the proper behaviour of a convicted criminal. To rejoice in tortures is the privilege of a martyr; to meet death with intrepidity is the right ly of innocence, if in any human being innocence could be found. Of him whose life is short-ened by his crimes, the last duties are humility and selfabasement. We owe to God sincere repentance; we owe to man the appearance of repentance.-We ought not to propagate an opinion, that he who lived in wickedness can die with courage. If the serenity or gaiety with which some men have ended a life of guilt, were unfeigned, they can be imputed only to ignorance or stupidity; or, what is more horrid, to voluntary intoxication: if they were artificial and hypocritical, they were acts of deception, the useless and unprofitable crimes of pride unmortified, and obstinacy unsubdued.

There is yet another crime possible, and, as there is reason to believe, sometimes committed in the last moments, on the margin of eternity: men have died with a steadfast denial of crimes, of which it is very difficult to suppose them innocent. By what equivocation or reserve they may have reconciled their consciences to falsehood, if their consciences were at all consulted, it is impossible to know but if they thought that when they were to die, they paid their legal forfeit, and that the world had no farther demand upon them; that, therefore, they

might, by keeping their own secrets, try to leave behind them a disputable reputation; and that the falsehood was harmless, because none were injured :—they had very little considered the nature of society. One of the principal parts of national felicity arises from a wise and impartial administration of justice. Every man reposes upon the tribunal of his country, the stability of possession, and the serenity of life. He therefore who unjustly exposes the courts of judicature to suspicion either of partiality or error, not only does an injury to those who dispense the laws, but diminishes the public confidence in the laws themselves, and shakes the foundation of public tranquillity.

For my own part, I confess, with the deepest compunction, the crime which has brought me to this place; and admit the justice of my sentence, while I am sinking under its severity. And I earnestly exhort you, my fellow prisoners, to acknowledge the offences which have been already proved; and to bequeath to our country that confidence in public justice, without which there can be neither peace nor safety.

As few men suffer for their first offences, and most convicts are conscious of more crimes than have been brought within judicial cognizance, it is necessary to enquire how far confession ought to be extended? Peace of mind, or desire of insturction, may sometimes demand, that to the minister whose council is requested, a long course of evil life should be discovered:-but of this every man must determine for himself. To the public, every man before he departs from life, is obliged to confess those acts which have brought, or may bring unjust suspicion upon others, and to convey such information, as may enable those who have suffered losses to obtain restitution.

Whatever good remains in our power, we must diligently perform--We must prevent, to the utmost of our power, all the evil consequences of our crimes.-We must forgive all who have injured us. -We must, by fervency of prayer, and constancy in meditation, endeavour to repress all worldly passions, and generate in our minds that love of goodness, and hatred of sin, which

may fit us for the society of heavenly minds.-And, finally, we must commend and entrust our souls to HIM who died for the sins of men; with earnest wishes and humble hopes, that he will admit us with the labourers who entered the vineyard at the last hour, and associate us with the thief whom he pardoned on the cross!

To this great end, you will not refuse to unite with me, on bended knees, and with humble hearts, in fervent prayer to the throne of grace! May the Father of mercy hear our supplications, and have compassion upon us!

"O Almighty Lord God, the righteous JUDGE of all the earth, who in thy providential justice dost frequently inflict severe vengeance upon sinners in this life, that thou mayest by their sad examples effectually deter others from committing the like heinous offences, and that they themselves, truly repenting of their faults, may escape the condemnation of hell-look down in mercy upon us, thy sorrowful servants, whom thou hast suffered to become the unhappy objects of offended justice in this world!

"Give us a thorough sense of all those evil thoughts, words, and works, which have so provoked thy patience that thou hast been pleased to permit this public and shameful judgment to fall upon us; and grant us such a portion of grace and godly sincerity, that we may heartily confess, and unfeignedly repent of every breach of those most holy laws and ordinances, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.

"Let no root of bitterness and malice, no habitual and deadly sin, either of omission or commission, remain undisturbed in our hearts! But enable us to make our repentance universal, without the least flattering or deceitful reserve, that so we may clear our consciences before we close our eyes.

"And now that thou hast brought us within the view of our long home, and made us sensible that the time of our dissolution draweth near; endue us, we humbly pray thee. O gracious Father, with such Christian foriitude, that neither the terrors of thy present dispensa

tion, nor the remembrance of our former sins, may have power to sink our spirits into a despondency of thy everlasting mercies in the adorable Son of thy love.

"Wean our thoughts and affections, good Lord, from all the vain and delusive enjoyments of this transitory world; that we may not only, with patient resignation, submit to the appointed stroke of death, but that our faith and hope may be so elevated, that we may conceive a longing desire to be dissolved from these our earthly tabernacles, and to be with Christ, which is far better than all the happiness we can wish for besides !

“And in due sense of our own extraordinary want of forgiveness at thy hands, and of our utter unworthiness of the very least of all thy favours, of the meanest crumbs which fall from thy table-Oh! blessed Lord Jesus! make us so truly and universally charitable, that in an undissembled 'compliance with thy own awful command, and most endearing example, we may both freely forgive, and cordially pray for our most inveterate enemies, persecutors, and slanderers !-Forgive them, O Lord, we beseech thee-turn their hearts, and fill them with thy love!

"Thus may we humbly trust our sorrowful prayers and tears will be acceptable in thy sight. Thus shall we be qualified, through Christ, to exchange this dismal bodily confinement [and these uneasy fetters] for the glorious liberty of the sons of God.-And thus shall our legal doom upon earth be changed into a comfortable declaration of mercy in the highest heavens: and all through thy most precious and all sufficient merits, O blessed Saviour of mankind !-who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest ever, One God, world without end. AMEN.


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