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of riches, or ease, or health, or their portion, but who, conscious of worldly estimation, or pleasure ; their guilt and unworthiness, fear while they utterly neglect Him “in lest he should not be willing to whose presence there is fulness of make them partakers of so injoy, and at whose right hand there estimable a benefit. Perhaps, conare pleasures for evermore." Oh vinced by what has been said of the the guilt, the folly, the wretched unhappy condition of those who ness of such a choice! “ Where. forsake God, and the blessedness fore do ye spend money for that of those who truly return to Him, which is not bread, and your la- some of us may be secretly forming bour for that which satisfieth not? a resolution to dedicate ourselves Hearken diligently unto me, saith henceforth to his service; but may the Lord, and eat that which is doubt whether we are authorised to good, and let your soul delight it- adopt as our own the language of self in fatness. Incline your ear, the text, “ Thou art my portion, O and come unto me; hear, and your Lord.” But the best proof whether soul shall live.” Continue not in God will be our portion, is whether a state of alienation from God; we really wish Him so to be; whecleave not to a portion which is ther we choose Him above all other vain, and sinful, and unsatisfying objects; sincerely desiring on our while you possess it, and which, parts to live devoted to His glory. when the hour of death and the His promises of mercy are free and day of judgment arrive, will not universal: the application of them only forsake you, but leave you to depends upon our availing ourselves render a fearful account for the of them. It is not He who will not talents you have misapplied, the be reconciled to us; but we who commands of God which you have are unwilling to be reconciled to broken, the threatenings you have Him. Whosoever will, may come slighted, the merciful offers of par- and take of the water of life freely. don
you have neglected, and the Let us not then add to our other promises of eternal glory which you sins, a distrust of his mercy. If we have despised, Think what it will return to him, he will receive us ; if be to have beyond the grave no we pray to him, he will hear us; if portion but the wrath of an offended we trust in him, he will support us. God, and the bitter pains of eternal Choosing him for our portion, we death. “Upon the wicked he shall shall not be disappointed of the rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and benefits which he has taught us to a horrible tempest; this shall be the expect at his bands: he will pardon portion of their cup." Think what our sins; he will accept us with his it will be to hear the Judge of quick favour; he will vouchsafe to us his and dead declare, “ I know ye not; presence; he will put joy and depart from me, ye workers of ini- gladness into our hearts ; he will quity.” To live without God even be our guide in life, our solace in in the present world, is a truly death, and our unspeakable reward mournful and perilous lot; but what throughout eternity. must it be to be banished from his 3. But the subject under conpresence for ever, beyond the reachsideration leads us, in the last place, of hope, or repentance, or mitigation to address those who, having truly of suffering? Make then God your chosen God for their portion, and portion: “ choose ye this day whom humbly depending upon his proye will serve ;” and amidst all the mises of pardon and favour in Christ temptations to a wrong choice, may Jesus, can scripturally appropriate your stedfast resolution be, “ As for to themselves the language of the me, I will serve the Lord.”.
text. To such we would say, Re2. But, secondly, we must address joice in the choice you have made : those who wish to have God for seek no other portion : covet not the CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 307.
sinful and temporary gratifications ject it as your worst enemy, the which may fall to the lot of the snare of your soul, the destroyer sinner; for you have chosen that that lies in wait for your perdition. which is infinitely more safe, more Having chosen God as your inheri. substantial, more satisfying; that tance, cherish communion with him; which alone is unchangeable and forsake whatever would debar you eternal. Be prepared to forsake all of his favour, or hide from you the for Christ; enlist all your affections light of his countenance.' Walk in his cause; and be zealous for his humbly with him; meditate upon glory. Entertain high thoughts of his Divine perfections ; seek to proyour heavenly privileges, and de- mote his glory; and dedicate yourmean yourselves as becomes them. self in soul and body to his most Whatever would tempt you to turn blessed service. aside from your holy profession, re
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. execution Giles spent in the greatest
quiet, and slept soundly. He menWithin four - and - twenty hours tioned in the morning, on awaking, after I had read, in the Review of that he had dreamed of the awful the Confessions of a Gamester scene which was shortly about to (Christian Observer for May), your present itself, but talked of it with appeal to the public on the subject that calmness which indicated the of criminals suddenly converted, most happy resignation. While in and led to the scaffold with as- chapel, and after he had partaken surances of eternal happiness, I of the sacrament, he was asked by met with a painful illustration of one who was present, if he was the bearing of your argument, in happy, to which he answered, I the case of a man lately executed wish you was as happy as I am; for at Reading; I believe, on the I feel completely so.' His approach twenty-eighth of May. The report to the place of execution was steady of his behaviour was inserted, ac- and firm; and the fortitude he had cording to the usual routine, among evinced ever since his hopeless fate the provincial intelligence collected was made known to him never for in one of the London news pers, a moment forsook him."-Berkshire in these terms:-" EXECUTION OF Chronicle. W. GILES FOR FORGERY. The last Here then we have another exawful penalty of our laws was ample of a felon canonized under executed on this unfortunate man the shade of the gallows! If we take on Monday, on the drop then for the story as thus, it would seem, the first time used, on the west officially reported, and, in ignorance side of our county gaol. For some of all the other circumstances contime past Giles has been very nected with the character and crime attentive to his religious duties, and of the offender, we may regard it as appeared to be quite prepared for a practical repetition of the last days the great change' he was destined of Orchard mentioned in your Reto undergo. On Monday he re- view; and we have only perhaps to ceived the holy sacrament, with wait for the conclusion of the sumthe most profound devotion and mer assizes, to read, alas ! precisely Christian resignation to his impend- the same tale told of numerous ing fate. The evening preceding his other " unfortunate"-observe well
the epithet-men who, in various thesedescriptions of canonizedfelons? parts of the kingdom, are about to Let us only notice, in the report from pay the penalty of an ignominious the Berkshire Chronicle, the attempt death.
to represent the highly exalted point If such statements continue to of preparation for eternity, reached be presented to the public, and to by a criminal. Like Orchard, he is increase in the proportion which, of made, not into a penitent, trembling late years, has marked their pro- in a state of humiliation and bitter gress, the impression upon the vul- conviction of guilt, as he surveys gar mind will be, that the broad way the prospect of a compulsory and and the wide gate no longer lead to speedy dismission into the world of destruction; but are become, in spirits, and before any sufficient evieffect, the highway of holiness, and dence, in point of time, could be the everlasting doors opening into gathered of his sincerity; but, into paradise. It will no more be de- a believer of an elevated character, clared, “Blessed are the dead which and possessing what is equivalent, die in the Lord;" but, Blessed they in the Apostle's language, to a spirit who die in their sins; victims in- of adoption. All is more than well deed to human estimates of crime, with him. He has gained a position but happy in the beatific visions of beyond the gradations of hopeeternity.
beyond the realms of mere peace; I am indeed, as I trust, fully he possesses perfect happiness. aware of the peril we incur, if we If men of this cast, and whose pass by the temptations and sins retrospected life is clouded by folly attached to higher gradations of so- and shame, are thus privileged to ciety; and thus wander away from meet death, and thus enabled to ourselves, in search of such vile and make their calling and election sure, revolting wickedness as pollutes on- and all in the brief interval bely criminals of a lower rank; since tween their condemnation and I know, too well, that systems of execution, we may inquire, with iniquity may be sustained by the some surprise and confusion. How scientific, the learned, and the are they to die, who, through many, fashionable, and even by divines many years have been followers of immersed in their libraries, quite as such as, through faith and patience, ruinous to the soul as the courses inherit the promises? One might of plebeian crime terminating on imagine -- strange and impious as the scaffold. We may perish ever- the theory sounds -- that the prolastingly—not as forgers, traitors, mises were now inherited without murderers, and oppressors—but by faith and without patience; and a thousand modes of refined evil; that, among the disorders and established by the unwritten laws of mutations of these latter days, must a wicked world, in defiance of the be numbered the transfer of blesspure and perfect code of the great ings and privileges, once the excluLegislator of the Christian church; sive possession of the servants of and we may be amenable to no God, from those servants to the tribunal, except to the one before slaves of satan and the world. which we must all give an account
That Giles “ for some time past of the deeds done in the body. had been very attentive to his reli.
But, however true this side of the gious duties,” cannot mean much bestatement may be, my immediate yond the fact, that, as far as he was concern is with offenders of another seen of men,he regularlywent through class; and with the baneful con- the prescribed routine of prison de. sequences flowing from newspaper votion. Perhaps he was also obdetails. It is become a very serious served to read and to pray in his question, Are we to be always ex- cell. But did his advisers endeavour posed to the contagious influences of to discern whether this man had the
spirit of devotion? Under strong world, and administered at a time excitements men will exhibit sur. when a man gives up sins which he prising perseverance and fervour in is no longer capable of committing. physical acts of prayer; and seem If Giles received the sacrament to possess, for the time, extraordi- as an opiate to an uneasy conscience, nary eloquence as to the language no wonder that “the night previous and human embellishments of re- to his execution he slept soundly;" ligion; but with the occasion will, and that his dream about the apof course, cease the power. “A proaching event was all calmness man's mind,” said Dr. Johnson, “is and serene tranquillity. Every huwonderfully concentrated, when he man calculation as to the excess of knows that he is soon to be hanged;” delusion induced upon the mind -a sentiment highly characteristic by false notions of the Gospel, and of Johnson's sagacity, and apposite by reliance on the physical part of to our present inquiry. Sheltered the rites of religion, is completely by such authority, I may perhaps baffled. “I wish," said this felon, be forgiven for the suspicion, that “ that you were as happy as I am; there must be something hollow in for I feel completely so." This was the sudden ability of a bad man to after he had partaken of the sacra“ exercise himself unto godliness” ment; and the rest of the story goes to so large an extent as is frequent- to establish his character for fortily described by the biographers of tude and fearlessness in the prospect felons. It is like the stripling David of death.
but without the spirit effused It is indeed matter of speculaupon David-wielding the sword of tion, at once curious and awful, to Goliath.
observe, in this instance, the anxiety But Giles, according to the me- of the narrator to raise the criminal's chanical religion of our gaols, “re- piety to the highest summit of exceived the holy sacrament with the cellence. He is not barely described most profound devotion." Oh, sir, as apparently prepared for death, how is it possible, that any by- but “ quite" prepared. His devostander, unless endued with the tion, as before remarked, is not plenary power of discerning spirits, merely profound, but “most” procould so inspect the movements of found; and an equal depth of re. this communicant's soul, as to know signation to his “ fate” is also even that he was devout at all; still discovered. He not only slept, but less, that his devotion was profound, he slept “ soundly." He spent his and most" profound ! What more last evening not simply in quietcould have been said, had the re- ness, but in the “greatest" quiet. porter witnessed the attendance of He talked of his execution not with saints and martyrs at the holy com- negative calmness, but with such munion ; but these are now equa- feelings as indicated resignation lized, as to their eucharistic devo- the “ most happy.” His firmness tions, with converts--if converts 6 never" forsook him; no, “not for they are-of a fortnight's standing; a moment." There seems to be, and thus are indiscriminately con- all through, a determination on the founded the wise and the foolish, part of the reporter to make bis the holy and 'the reprobate! Such subject a highly privileged, mature, representations also tend fearfully to and exalted Christian; liable to none increase the delusion still prevalent of the apprehension, doubt, and throughout this Protestant country, Auctuations usually attendant on in regarding the sacrament as an the spiritual life; but as one “born atonement for a wicked life; as a in a day" to all the immunities and viaticum to supply all the refresh. rights of the kingdom of heaven. ments needed for the last dark and You have exposed yourself, perdreary journey into the invisible haps, to the imputation of cruelty
in commending the author of the We wish, of course, to heal their Gamester, for not having smoothen- lacerated minds with the persuasion ed the dying pillow of a reprobate that the criminal did not leave the with the comforts of the Gospel; world as he had lived. Many other and a writer like myself will share reasons might be adduced, in ex. in the discredit, by commenting tenuation of what is yet decidedly with such apparent severity on the a most insidious form of flattery : death-scene of a second Orchard. and woe be to those apologists, But surely we ought to gather in- who knowingly hide the guilt and struction for the living, without impenitence of the reprobate, under flattering the dead; and especially fictitious accounts of death-bed hapwhen the departed have carried, on piness. “ Tell me not,” said Mr. their very front, evidence of having Newton-and he was well known lived in a state of spiritual death. at Reading to the admirers and
I am not an entire stranger to the congregations of Talbot and Cadotown where the recent execution gan—" how a man died, but how took place; and I have heard some he lived." of its inhabitants, and others, speak Attempts were made to canonize of the names of Talbot, Cadogan, Dr. Dodd. “ A friend of mine," and of some of their clerical assist. said Dr. Johnson, “ came to me ants, with a veneration and grati- and told me, that a lady wished to tude due to the memory of the have Dr. Dodd's picture in a bracejust; and I know from an infallible let, and asked me for a motto. I teacher, that “the righteous shall said, I could think of no better be had in everlasting remem
than Currat Lex*. I was very brance." But the same instructor willing to have him pardoned ; that says, “ the name of the wicked is, to have the sentence changed shall rot.” What then shall we say to transportation ; but when he to any eulogy which appears to be was once hanged, I did not wish designed to embalm such a name ? he should be made a saint.". I say, appears ;. for I am very far The truth was, that Johnson, dilifrom accusing the reporter for the gently though he exerted himself Berkshire Chronicle, of having wil. to save Dr. Dodd from the execú. fully endeavoured to impose upon tioner, saw through his depravity; public credulity; or of wishing to and wrote to a correspondent the encourage profligates to pursue their very day after his execution, course, on the plea that all will be
“ His moral character was very well with them when they are forced bad: I hope all is not true that is to die. My suspicion is, that the tale charged upon him.” He also said, may have been narrated by some person who urged the criminal to * Let the law take its course. repent, trusting that he would Dr. Dodd been pardoned,” says a most
acute writer, “ who shall say how many meet death with some hope of
men of similar talents that cruel pardon being saved at last ; and that, might have fatally ensnared? Eloquent anxious for an issue so desirable, as he was, and exemplary as perhaps he allowed himself to take the pro- his case authorises this inference, that
he would have been, an enlarged view of mising side, without seriously scru- the most undeviating rectitude, and the tinizing the evidences of the man's longest life of such a man, could not have sincerity. What we wish, we are conferred so great and so permanent never very slow to expect; and
a benefit on society, as that single sacriexpectation easily ripens into the fice, his death. On this memorable oc
casion Europe saw the greatest monarch semblance of belief. Then again, she contained, acknowledging a sovereign, when felons are executed, they within his own dominions, greater than leave behind them relations and himself; a sovereign that triumphed not friends; and certain of these may be the supremacy of the laws.”—Lacon, vol. i.
only over his power, but over his pity, not destitute of religious feelings. p. 241. 1823.