AN OFFICE FOR PRISONERS FOR Crimes, Together with Another for PRISONERS FOR Debt.

CONTAINING both Proper Directions, and Proper Prayers and Devotions.

For Each of their Needs and Circumstances.

By John Kettlewell, late a Presbyter of the CHURCH of England.

LONDON, Printed by A. and J. Churchill, at the Black Swan in Pater-Noster-Row, 1697.

AN Advertisement TO THE READER.

IT is thought necessary to assure the Publick, that the following Treatise is a ge­nuine Piece of that reverend Author, whose name it bears; 'twas left finisht under his own hand, and may serve as a fresh proof of that true Christian Zeal which inflamed his Mind, and extended his Concern, to the necessities of those miserable Wretches, who are confined to Prisons for CRIMES and Debt.

[Page] Such afflicting Circumstances, naturally incline Men to Consi­deration, the want whereof is for the most part the true cause of all their Misfortunes; but since it is as impossible to make that undone, that is once done, as it is to call back Time; the only remedy that is left for the returning Sinner, is to make all those Reparations to God and Man, which his particular case will admit off: Now to this Pur­pose he is here furnisht with va­riety of Directions both how to begin and compleat his Repen­tance, and with variety of Devo­tions to implore the assistance of that Grace, which is so necessary in order to his recovery.

There has been so little writ upon this important Subject, that I perswade my Self the Publica­tion of it; will be very grateful to all good Men, who rejoyce at any means that are used to [Page] rescue captives from the Slavery of Satan: Besides the accurate Management of the Argument, will recommend it to the Appro­bation of the most judicious.

Composures of Devotion, when perfect in their kind, I think may very well be ranked among some of the difficult performances in Divinity; since they require not only propriety and decency of Expression, but a mature Judg­ment; spiritualized Affections; and a most comprehensive know­ledge of all Christian Duties, to render them Compleat; that while the mind is stor'd with rules to make a sound Judgment, the will may be determined to the choice of what is just, and all the faculties wing'd to the swiftest prosecution of it.

How far this Devout Office an­swers that Character, must be left to the world to Judge, but the talent our Pious and Learned [Page] Author had that way is so well known, that I need say no more to satisfie the Reader, than to assure him this is of a piece with what he has already published in that kind.

God grant that it may Attain that End which he Aimed at in this and all his other Writings, which was the Service of his Blessed Master, and the Salva­tion of those Souls which were redeemed by his most precious Bloud; that they may both per­ceive and know those things which they ought to do, and may have Grace and Power faithfully to ful­fil the same, AMEN.




THE Case of Poor Priso­ners, both for Crimes, and also for Debt, is very la­mentable, and uncomfortable, with Relation to their Bodies; but more with Relation to their most Preci­ous Souls. And I think it a Good Piece of Charity to Direct them, how in their most Dangerous Cir­cumstances they may, however, set their Souls Safe, and also Provide for their Bodily Straights; making them as easy and advantageous to them, yea, and I add really as safe too, as their Case admits to make them.

[Page] But when such Helps are provi­ded for them, these miserable Per­sons are neither like to inquire af­ter them, nor be at any Charge to buy them for themselves. And therefore another Sort of Charity will still be wanting to their Releif, and that is, the Charity of some Pi­ous Persons to Distribute such Helps among Prisoners, and put them into their hands. And when Compassionate and Charitable Per­sons, do not Visit Prisons them­selves, methinks such of them as are of Ability, should not think much to send such Visitants and Companions as these among them.

I have Prepared this little Piece to be sent Abroad, both to Furnish them with Particular Directions, and also with Particular Prayers, for their several Needs and hard Circumstances. And I hope God will from Time to Time stir [...] of some or other of [...] and Charitable [Page] Servants in Several Counties, to send some of these Pieces (or others which they like bet­ter) to be Distributed some Due Time before the Assizes in their Neighbouring Prisons. By Gods Blessing they may Help to Save many Souls by this Means; at least they will greatly Benefit, and Recom­mend their own to his Mercy, who sets not so much by any Charity, as by that of Con­verting Sinners, from the Er­ror of their ways.


I. Special Directions, for Priso­ners for Crimes.

How to Behave and Employ them­selves, after Commitment, and before the Tryal.

I. AS soon as you are Commit­ted to the Prison, begin seriously to Consider, and Resolve within your Self, how to spend your Time there.

[Page 2] Do not once fancy, that you must lye shut out there from all Business, and Condemned to a State of Idleness. But set your Self with all your might, to mind the one thing necessary, viz. The Great Work of Repentance, and mak­ing your Peace with Almighty God: And know assuredly, that this will cut out Work enough for you, and of more Comfort and Profit to your Soul, than any other Employments which you have formerly been used to.

And do not think of leaving this most necessary and important Work for an after-Game, and that it will be time enough to fall to it after you have recei­ved Sentence of Condemnation. For this shews, that you do not yet think Repentance to be the Work of a Liv­ing, but only of a Condemn'd and Dy­ing Person, and that if you could have any Hopes to live on, you would Reserve your Self and are Resolved to Sin on. And when you come to it with this Mind, you are never like to do much Good in the way of Repentance; nor is it like to do much Good to you. Besides, the Review and Amendment of a whole Life, and making your Peace with God and Men after a long [Page 3] course of Provocations against both, if it be done as it should be, is a Work of more Time, and Difficulty, and Thoughtfulness, than you are aware of. And after Sentence is once passed up­on them, the wretched Criminals often times are either so Dejected with their Misfortunes, or so Distracted with Terrors, that their Minds are not Ca­pable, to be any thing near so compo­sed, Intent, and Thoughtful, as the Work of Repentance Requires; or to make half so much use as they should of that little Time which is left them. Not to put them in mind likewise, that Considerable parts even of that little Time will be snatched away from this Grand Business, to be taken up in Farewel Visits, some of Business, others of Love and Kindness, and in other Avocations and Interruptions, which both the Noisy and Incommodious State of Prisoners, and the Condition of Persons taking a Deliberate Leave of this World, must expect to meet with.

As soon therefore as you are shut up from others, fall to Converse with your Self, and Call your own Heart and Ways to Remembrance. And apply your Self [Page 4] with Seriousness to think of leaving this World, and of Giving a Strict Account to the Dreadful Judge of Hea­ven and Earth, of all the Good or E­vil which you did whilst you lived in it, and of the many Things which you need to amend, and have to do, to make your Peace with God, before you leave it.

First, fix your Thoughts on Heaven and Hell, and look upon them as most Real and Certain Things, and as States of utmost Joy or Greif, and of Endless Continuance. They who will not Believe that there is an Hell, shall surely feel it: And when, by feeling the most Exquisite Pains thereof, they come to be Convinced to their Cost that there is One; they shall be for ever incapable, either to bear it, or to get out of it. Who can abide the Rage­ing Torture of Fire and Flames, andIsa. 33. 14. Dwell with everlasting Burnings? Who can Endure to be perpetually gnawed, and pierced to the quick, with the Worm of Conscience, always accusing and tor­menting him, and eating through his Spi­rit? To lye down in a Bed of Sorrow, yea, and which he has madly Chosen, and ob­stinately Sought out for himself: Where there is nothing, but Anguish without [Page 5] abatement, and Horror without hope; and wherein there neither is, nor can be the least Glimps of the Divine Mer­cy, but inexorable Justice comes Armed with Power, to heap on such Plagues, as an Almighty God can inflict, and an immortal Sinner can suffer, for ever­more.

And assure your Self, that this will surely be the just Wages of the Crime for which you are made a Prisoner, and the unavoidable end of your mispent Life, unless you Employ that little space of Time, which you have yet remaining, to prevent the same, by true Repentance, and making of your Peace with God before you dye.

Being therefore without delay to Survey your past Life, and to Re­pent of all that needs Repen­tance.

Read over your Baptismal Vow in the Church-Catechism, upon the in­gagement and undertaking whereof, God admitted you to the Hopes of his Mercy and Eternal Life in Christ Je­sus; and attently bethink your self how you have kept it. And read over your Duty to God and to your Neighbour, and at every particular of each of [Page 6] them, propose to your self, and Consider how you have Performed the same. And this will shew you what Command­ments you have Broken, and what Sins you have to bewail and amend, that you may Recover Gods Favour, and Prevent the Torments of Eternal Fire.

And having thus Discover'd what your Sins and Offences are, which ex­pose you to Gods wrath, set your Self instantly to humble your Soul for them before him, that so you may be fit for his Mercy. With hearty Self-abase­ment, and Condemnation of your Self for the same, acknowledge before him, your own Baseness, and abomi­nable Unthankfulness, and Wretched Folly therein. And fix in your Heart the Firmest Purposes of Amendment thereof, as seeing assuredly, that there is no other way, either of shewing your Duty, your Love, or Thankfulness to God, or of saving your Self from Ever­lasting misery.

And having thus Considerately, and fully Purposed this Amendment with­in your Self, and that of all the several Sins which you find you have been Guilty of, Faithfully Promise him, that [Page 7] by his Help you will Amend them. And beg his Grace to fix you in this Purpose, and to Enable you, as occasion is offer'd, to perform it. And then humbly and earnestly beg his Pardon for all your Sins, for Jesus Christ's Sake. And every Day afterwards, as it comes, apply your Self with utmost Care and Diligence, to make Good your Work, and Perform these Promises, Consi­dering, that it is the honest keepers of Promises, who are to Claim the Bene­fits of them; and therefore in all the Opportunities you meet with afterwards, you must be strictly mindful according to your Promise to do better, in all those Points wherein you had done a­miss before.

And as for all Wrong and Damage, which you have done to any by your Transgressions, especially by this for which you are now a Prisoner; Resolve within your Self, to make them full Satisfaction if you are able; or else, to make them as much Satisfaction as you can, and to beg their Pardon, and their Prayers to God to Pardon you, for the Rest. And contrive how to do this, and have things in a readiness, that it may be done effectually and without [Page 8] delay, as soon as ever it may be Pru­dent and Convenient to do it; provi­ding at the same time against Casualties, that whatever happens to you, it may not be finally dropt and be undone. And give out such General Intimations be­fore, of your true Repentance and fixt Intentions, of doing justice accor­ding to your Ability, to all who have suffer'd by you, as may be safe for you, and something of Satisfaction to them, in the mean time. And look on this Reparation for Wrongs, as a thing that must take Place of any Provisions, which you would desire to make for your Self, or your Family, out of your worldly Goods; and that it is a necessary Course, to prevent Gods Future Wrath, and to Clear your Conscience.

In this Great Work, of posing, and purging of your Conscience, and per­fecting the Course of your Restituti­on and Repentance, and expressing your Heart thereupon to Almighty God, you will have great need of, and may receive much comfortable assistance and benefit, from Godly Directions, and Forms of Prayers fitted for this purpose. And if you are not otherwise provided therewith, your needs herein may be supplyed by [Page 9] a small Book, intituled A Companion for the Penitent, wherein is An Office for the Penitent to Carry on their Reconciliation with God: And a Tryal or Judgment of the Soul, to Discover the Safety of their Spi­ritual Estate, &c. lately Printed.

And during all the Time, which God shall spare you after your Com­mitment, to attend this Grand Business, make Pious Books your Companions, which you may Converse with as often, and as much as you please, and always with great Comfort and Advantage to your Self; And Discreet and Religious Friends likewise, if you have any such who will come at you. For their Dis­courses and Devout Breathings, will be like gentle Blowing on dying Embers, and help to kindle any sparks of Virtue and Goodness that lye Dormant in you. They will call forth your Penitential Relentings, and increase them, and bring you by use to take Comfort therein, and Direct you how to carry on the same. Especially if you have a Wise and Faithful Guide of Souls for your Friend, prize his Visits, and make the most of them, and prepare your Self still to receive both Direction and Warmth from his Lips. And be free [Page 10] in opening your Self to him, and in begging his Judgment and Direction, upon all the great Passages of your Life, and the present Conduct of your Re­pentance, how you are to order it so, as that you may be most sure of making your Peace with Almighty God. And be careful to receive his Directions with Thankfulness, and to follow them with Care.

And this way of spending your Time, in transacting and perfecting your Repentance and Peace with God, let me again beseech you to look upon, not only as an incident, to fall in now and then, but as your Work and Bu­siness in Prison. And be sure to keep your Self to it, as much as your Spirit will bear. Remembring, that you have a Great Work to do, and no Time to throw away. That if you fail or fall short therein, you are irreparably un­done for ever. And that there is Great Danger of your Failing, unless you shew such an early, a watchful, and incessant care, as I advise you to. That you have been desperately Foolish, as well as Wicked, in throwing away the former Days of your Life, and there­fore should now seek to redeem them, [Page 11] and to be double diligent in the good Husbanding and Religious Improve­ment of that small shred thereof which still remains.

Take not therefore more than needs of your Precious Time, especially not a­ny great Portions, from this most ne­cessary and salutary Employment, to at­tend unprofitable Visits, or to throw away in Idleness. But by no means spend any Portions thereof, in that Cure and Diversion of Cares, which alass! Is too often the Refuge of Impri­son'd Malefactors, viz. Wine, and Jollity and Prophane and Loose Conversation. Go no more into such Society, than you would into an Infected Room: But Shun it as you would do the Plague, or as you would do Persons who are throw­ing Fire-balls among Combustible Stuff, and spreading Endless Ruine.

And in this Course, wait for the Sessions or Assizes, and continue thus to Employ your Self till your Tryal comes.

How to Behave and Employ themselves, in order to, and at, their Tryal.

AND then in the next Place, as to what Concerns your Tryal, look up to God as your only Deliverer to bring you off there. All Tryals in Human Courts, are of uncertain Issue. Even the Innocent have Cause to Fear, and the Guilty much more. For there Men stand or fall, by the Understand­ing and Dispositions of Judges and Ju­ries. And their Hearts and Minds are in no Hand but Gods, who Turns and Governs them as he pleases. Their Verdicts and Sentences in Tryals, are influenced and determined, either in Favour of the Prisoners or Against them, according as some things are of­fer'd in Evidence, or others Omitted, which are apt most to affect them in their several ways of Reasoning and Believing, and sway most with them. And tho' these Particular Suggestions or Omissions in Evidence, whereon the [Page 13] Judgment thereof is like to turn, seem accidents to us, and were not foreseen nor dreamed of by the Prisoners; yet are they all Wise Orderings and Provi­dences in God, so that in the Verdict brought in thereupon, we have what he pleases.

If you do Escape therefore at all, lay down this beforehand within your self, and be both attent and fixt in the be­lief thereof, that it is he alone who must send you Deliverance. And if your Deliverance must come from thence, Direct your Eyes to him from whom your Help Comes, and place all your Confidence in his kind and watchful Providence: And when you trust to him for Deliverance, seek for it with earnest Prayers, and beg a longer Res­pite in this World if he pleases. But withal, seek this with Resignation to his Holy Will, humbly submiting to his Justice, if he think fit to bring you to Deserved Punishment for this Offence, for an Example to terrifie others; and Praying, that whatever Vengeance he Exacts for your Crimes here, he would by no means Extend his Wrath fur­ther, but for Christ Jesus's sake spare your Soul hereafter.

[Page 14] And thus you see, that the Religious Spending of your Time, which I have advised you to, is really the best way you can take to prepare for your Try­al, and to deliver you from the Sentence of Death here, as well as of Damnati­on hereafter. For if God, and his most undeserved Care and kind Provi­dence, must be your Deliverer; these Religious Exercises, which are the su­rest way to gain God, must be the su­rest ways of Deliverance, and they have most Hope to escape the Danger, who have done most and taken the best care to secure his Favour.

If you have any Matters to Order relating to this World, do them, as much as you are able, before your Trial comes on, and leave them not to be cared af­ter Sentence of Condemnation is past upon you. For all your Time after that, will have Care and Work enough of its own, and should therefore be kept as free from all other interrup­tions as it can.

When you are going to your Trial, go first to you Prayers, and put your Self into Gods Hands, and beg his As­sistance. Desire that his Grace and Ho­ly Spirit, may govern all your Carriage, [Page 15] and all your Answers there, and pre­pare your Heart to express your Self with Wisdom, and Uprightness, and the Hearts of Judges and Juries to re­ceive the same with Favour and Ten­derness. Remembring, that both the Preparations of the Heart in him who needs and asks Favour, and the Answer of the Tongue in those who are either to Grant or Deny it, is from the Lord. Prov. 16. 1.

When you are brought upon your Tryal, I think you may safely make the Legal Plea of not Guilty: For tho you are Guilty in reality, yet you are not Guilty in the Eye of the Law, till you are Legally found to be so. And when the Law asks you this, I conceive you may answer, not according to your Real, but your Legal Guiltiness, be­ing innocent in Legal Estimate till you are Convicted. For 'tis the Humanity and Equity of our Law, as I take it, not to require Criminals, Especially in Capital Cases, to Accuse themselves, which would be very unnatural, and ca­sting off all Tenderness and due Re­gard to Human Weakness. But what­ever they are in Truth, it allows them to put their Guilt upon the Proof, by [Page 16] Pleading not Guilty, that where they can not voluntary publish themselves, and glory in a Fact as Confessors, they may be Convicted thereof by due Proof as Criminals, and brought to suffer Pu­nishment for the same, as common Hu­manity allows punishments should be suffered, against their Wills. Yea, fur­ther to manifest its moderation and dis­position to Clemency in this Case, after they have thus put their Guiltiness upon the Proof, the Form and Voice of the Court is, to pray them a Good Delive­rance.

And having put your Self upon the Tryal of this Plea, you may say such things in your own Favour, as you can say truly. But seek not for Safety in Lyes, and Falsification of things against your own knowledge; denying what you know to be True to save your Self, or possitively Affirming what really you do not know, or perhaps know to be otherwise. Much less seek it in Mischeivous Lyes, to cast your Faults on others, and either bring In­nocent Men under Suspicion, and into Dangers, or make other Guilty Persons Guilty of more than really they are: For this is to give God fresh Provoca­tions, [Page 17] and back an old Sin by a new one, and to forsake him when you stand in the greatest need of him, which is the readiest way to forfeit both his Peace hereafter and his Preservation here, and utterly to lose both Him and your Self too.

Trust your Life therefore in his Hands, by keeping your Defence there­of within the Bounds of Truth and Justice: This is a Great Tryal of your Faith. But 'tis a Tryal which you have wickedly brought your self into. And under the same, it is necessary for you thus to approve your Faith, in his mercy and care of you. You have no Faith in him left, or none that he will accept of, if you forsake him and his ways in this difficult case, and fly to Sin to save your Self. But if you can trust wholly to his Providence and not at all to evil ways, and have Faith to contain your Self within your Duty under the hazard of your Life, this noble Faith will be a mighty Endear­ment, and of Great Account in his Eyes; nothing ever recommending poor Sin­ners more to God, than Faith doth, when it keeps them innocent and obe­dient in such hard Tryals.

[Page 18] And therefore set your Self resolute­ly to act this Great, and most concerning Part well, and to approve your Faith in him when it is Tryed. And look upon this trusting of your Self to him, to be the wisest way of saving your Life, as well as of preserving your Innocence. For if you are Preserved at all, as I say, you must owe your Preservation above all things to his watchful Care and kind Providence. And if you must receive your Life from his Hand, seek to him for it, and trust him with it; and by no means leave him, to seek out other unlawful Helps, which will be like to Deceive you in this World, and are certainly the way to Destroy you afterwards, in that which is to come.

And when you have heard your Ac­cusers, and have been heard to make as wise a Defence as you could make for your Self with Truth and Justice, lift up your Heart to God when you are taken from the Bar, and humbly and devoutly Commit the Event of all to him. And Pray that he will be pleased to Order it in Favour to you, waiting with Patience and Resig­nation of Spirit, to see how he will [Page 19] Dispose the Hearts of Judges and Juries to deal with you.

If you are Acquitted, give him the Praise thereof, and Receive it with utmost Devotion and Thank­fulness. But if you are brought in Guilty and Condemn'd, humbly Sub­mit your Self, and own the Justice of your Sentence: And give Glory to God, by justifying his Providence, which has recompenced your high Crimes with a deserved Vengeance; and by justifying his lawful Ministers, who bear the Sword in his Place, and use it at any time upon such Crimi­nals as you are, confessing freely that 'tis used now in your Case, for the Punishment and Terror of evil­doers.

How to Behave and Employ themselves after Sentence of Condemnation, and at the Time of Execution.

AND after you have received Sentence, set your Self to lose none of those precious moments of Time which are left you, but to make the Wisest and Carefullest Use thereof which you can, in preparing for Death. You are to Discharge this Great and last Part of Dying but Once, Oh! Therefore take care to do it well. You can rectify or amend nothing af­ter, Oh! Then labour as much as in you lies to make all sure, and set all straight before. Finish all your inten­ded Acts of Restitution, and Repeat anew all your former Acts of Repen­tance, and add Earnestness and Vi­gor to them, and Perfect what is De­fective therein, and send them up to God in continual Strains and Breathings of Devotion, either short and occasional [Page 21] Ejaculations, or more set and solemn Prayers. And to Consummate your Repentance, and to Comfort up your Spirit with the Pledges of Gods Love and Peace, take care before you dye to receive the Holy Communion, after you have endeavoured the best you can to fit your Self for it, and to Satisfy the Holy Man who Administers it to you, of your Fitness for the same. And if you can often have the Blessing of a Prudent and Pious Mini­sters Direction in that disconsolate time, prize it highly, and improve it diligently, and take such further ways for the Securing of your Peace and Quieting of your Conscience, as in his Discretion he shall Direct you to.

And when you are brought from Prison to Execution, own the justice of your Sentence: Profess your abhorence and true Repentance of the Crime which you Dye for, and of all your other Sins. Declare the Satisfaction you have made, or would make, were you able, to all you have wronged. Beg all Persons to forgive you, who have suffered by you in any kind, and all who have ever learnt any ill from [Page 22] your Acquaintance and Example. De­clare that you do from your Heart, forgive all Persons, and that you bear not the least ill will against any of your Prosecutors, or the Judges and Juries who were concerned in bringing you to Justice. And when you make this Protestation of Forgiveness and Good Will to them, be sure nothing fall from you, that may bring the Sincerity thereof into Question. And therefore take Diligent Care, not to shew uneasie Remembrance and Re­sentment, of the Evils or Injuries which you have suffer'd, but only of those which you your Self have done: And to keep your last Breath from being an hurtful Blast upon any Per­sons, and your Dying Words from casting out Darts and leaving a Sting in your Enemies, Remembring, that you are to leave the World and come to Execution, not as a wild Beast, fighting with your Foes, and pushing and goreing; but as a Lamb, meekly submitting, as your Blessed Saviour did, tho he had no Real Guilt but was perfectly Innocent, who suffered the worst things without aggravating them or being angry at them, and [Page 23] on the Cross spake nothing of his bitter Enemies, but to Excuse them, and Pray for them.

And having thus testifyed your Godly Sorrow for your Sins, desire all the By-standers to learn of you Repen­tance (tho by no means to delay it so long as you have done) and to be horri­bly afraid of the sad end of evil doers, and of the Vengeance of God, which is oft-times swift, but when 'tis most slow, will be sure at last, and utterly insuppor­table to all those, who will not take care in time to appease him by amend­ment of Life. Beg all that need it, to take warning by your punishment, that your most just and lamentable Death, may terrifie more from Continuing in their Sins, than the Example of your Evil Life had lead into Sin.

Likewise, if you can do Right to any Persons falsly accused, or wrong­fully suspected, fail not to Do it the best you can, before your Breath is stopt.

Profess also your Faith, whereinto you were Baptized, devoutly and au­dibly; repeating the Apostle's Creed, and declare the Religion, wherein you Dye; and lament the Dishonor, which you have brought upon them by your wic­kedness, [Page 24] and declare your earnest De­sires to Do some Right to them now by your Repentance.

And when by all these ways, you have expressed before them all, how truly pe­nitent you are for your Sins, then hum­bly profess your lowly Hope in Gods free Mercy and most Gracious Promi­ses, who for the Death and Merits sake of our most Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ is ready to pardon, even the Greatest Sinners, such as you are, upon their true Repentance.

After this, beg the Prayers of all the Beholders, and the Prayers of all Good People. And then fall to your own Pri­vate Devotions, praying earnestly for your self, and for them. Then Pray with the Minister, who stands ready to perform this last Office of Charity for Dying Men; and desire all present to help you by their affectionate and fer­vent concurrence therein.

Then take a kind and decent Leave of all the Company, and pray God to make them all the better by the Sadness of this Sight. Thank them all heartily for their Pity, and their Prayers, and Desire the Continuance thereof to assist you in your last Agonies. Then turn [Page 25] your self to take a fitting Farewell of your particular Friends or Relations, if any are there present, and after that commit your self to the Mercy of God through Jesus Christ, and with continu­ed and earnest Prayers and Ejaculations, wait till the Executioner or Minister of Justice stops your Breath.

To remember all these Points at the Place of Execution, may be thought hard for the Poor Prisoner. But he may have this little Book in his Eye, for his Remembrancer. And however he may express himself on as many of them, as he can think of; and then satisfy his own mind, that altho he has not done so much as he Desires, yet he has done the best he could do.

Brief Directions FOR PRISONERS FOR DEBT. II. Special Directions for Priso­ners for Debt.

WHEN you are made a Pri­soner for Debt, it first con­cerns you to consider how you came in Debt. And if you are made Poor and Disabled from paying your Debts, merely by the Hand of Providence, you deserve Pity from all, and Patience and Forgiveness from your [Page 28] Creditors. They loose nothing by you, that you have squander'd, but only what God has taken away. But if rigorous and unchristian Creditors will still be hard upon you, you must do them all the Justice you can, and when that is done, bear the Rest with Resignation, and conform your Will to the Will of God, who calls you hereby to the Pa­tience, Religious Trust, and Dependance of an hard Condition, remembring all the while to your comfort, that you have not sought this afflicted State to your self, but may receive it as a State of Gods chusing for you, who knows best what is fittest for us all, and as a Visitation of his sending.

But if you can charge your self with any great wickedness, and have high­ly offended God, to bring these Losses and Impoverishment upon you, as a Judgment; or if you have run your self in Debt, by riotous and luxurious Living, by the Expensiveness of Riot, Pride▪ Gaming, or by Idleness and Neg­lect of Business; then you must hum­ble your self, and be heartily sorry for these Sins, for which you suffer, and bear the confinement you have brought upon your self patiently, and set your [Page 29] self to learn Repentance thereby. And for working this Repentance, you may have recourse to the foregoing Dire­ctions about the same for the Prisoner for Crimes, Chap. 1.

But which way soever your Debt comes, when you are their Prisoner, be sure to deal candidly and openly with your Creditors. If you cannot fully sa­tisfy them, lay your condition truly be­fore them, and shew your self disposed to do Right to all as far as you can. Do not pretend ways of raising Money for them, which are not true; nor pro­mise payments, which you cannot per­form. 'Tis your Duty to be sincere and plain with them, and plain-dealing may mollifie and engage them; but it will be your Sin, and may double their Re­sentment, if you abuse and delude their expectation.

And let them be first served out of your Estate, so far as it will go; un­less in compassion to your needs, they are willing to allow you some part of it. But think not first of saving mainte­nance (whether they will allow of it or no) for your self, or for your Fa­mily, and then of letting them take what remains. For your Duty is first to [Page 30] be just to all Men, and not live your self, nor maintain your Dependants, upon other Mens Goods kept from them against their Wills; which is to live upon with-holding Right, and pervert­ing Justice.

Much less think of forcing them to abatements and scanty compositions, to reserve and raise a good Estate for your self, or for your Heirs, out of their Pur­ses Nor chuse to endure the tediousness and hardships of a Jayl for your Life, to supersede all Legal Remedy against your Heir, for your Debts, which he cannot be sued for a second time, after you have dyed a Prisoner for them. For this is paying very dear for doing wrong, and denying Men their own; and is certainly the way to carry off a very unrighteous and guilty Conscience with you, and to leave the Curse of ill Reserved Goods and of unpaid Debts, to your Heirs who survive you.

And seek not to Tricks, or any dis­honest Fetches and Misuse of the Law, to set aside Debts, or put them off and postpone them, instead of paying them. Nor spend any of your Money, in de­frauding, or hindring your Creditors of their just Right, which is all little e­nough, [Page 31] it may be too little, towards the honest Satisfaction of it.

And if by your Insolvency, any of your Creditors are brought against their wills to abate Part rather than lose all, look on that Part as respited not remitted, and pay it afterwards (if God enable you) in the Sum it self, or (if you cannot do that) be studious to make it up in Good Offices and Grate­ful Services, and for the rest have Re­course to God by Prayers in their be­half. And what after-Recompences you make them, do the same with Good-Will, chearfully, and diligent­ly; and thank them heartily for their Patience and Kindness, in being Content to want it so long as they have done, when you do at last pay them the sum it self, or, when you cannot do that, in accepting your services in lieu thereof.

And having first taken this upright care of your Creditors, and of their Payments, then look to your self, and provide the best you can for your own Maintenance. If you have any thing of your own left, after your Credi­tors are satisfied, live frugally and thankfully upon it. If you have not, [Page 32] then you are called to get your Lively­hood still as you need it, and in the way of Honest Industry look up to God to give you day by day your daily bread. If he has enabled you to seek this, by earning it for your self in any law­ful Labour or Business, look on that as the best way, and plie it with Dili­gence and Contentedness. But if thro disability, or the numerousness of your Family, or otherwise, you need to be helped out by Gifts of Charity, hum­ble your self to your state, and repre­sent your necessities modestly, and re­ceive an Alms with Thankfulness. First represent your wants to your near Re­lations, who are more especially bound to relieve the needs of their own House; 1 Tim. 5. 4, 8. and then to any other Charitable Per­sons, as your Case requires.

And whether you Live by Alms, or by taking Pains, bear always in your mind, that you are called to act the Part, and discharge the Duties, of a poor Estate: And let it be your daily study, to bring your mind to it, and to think only of having such accomoda­tions, as are fit for a Poor Man; not such as you had whilst you were in a wealthier condition.

Brief Directions FOR BOTH. III. General Directions for both.

BUT when Men are Prisoners, whether for Debt or for Crimes, they will be like to groan espe­cially where they are kept long in Pri­son, under the burden of Solitude, or Want, or both. They are shut up from their Friends and Acquaintance; and are much streightned for Conve­niences, or it may be for Necessaries. And for a Conclusion of these Advices, I shall give them some Brief Directions [Page 34] for their due Reception thereof, and for their Carriage and Improvement under each of these bitter Ingredients, and sorrowful Appendages of the State of poor Prisoners.

And first as for Solitude, that indeed is a punishment as coming to them a­gainst their wills, as their imprisonment is; but nothing is more fit to be their Choice, if they will make Repen­tance their Business. For he must re­tire from the World, who would fall in earnest to converse with God, and to look [...] himself. The greatest Saints fall to this at certain times, as the best means of evening their Accounts with God, and perfecting their Re­pentance. And all Men have Reason enough to wish for some such thing, before their Deaths! Especially if these dying Persons are but young Penitents. For when Men at first enter upon the great work of Repentance, 'tis ex­tremely advisable, and more than or­dinarily needful for them, to retire from the Noise, and Business, and Di­versions of the World, that they may have little else to do, but to attend it. And that they may keep out of the way, of their former evil courses, till they [Page 35] have unlearnt them; and of their cor­rupt Acquaintance and Companions, till they can withstand and deny their Sollicitations; and of those Temptati­ons of the World, which have ordina­rily been too hard for them hitherto, till they have considerately formed, and fixed and fortified their Holy Re­solutions to such a Degree, as may be able to overcome them.

Let the Prisoners therefore make Repentance their Work and Business in Prison, as I have advised them in the foregoing Directions, and then they may Thank their Prosecutors for the Bene­fit of their Solitude and Melancholly Retirement, and make it their own hear­ty desire and free choice. If they em­ploy it to converse with God, and to know and amend themselves, which they may do if they please, and will do if they are wise to do well for themselves, their Confinement will be as good to them in a Jayl, as it is to a Devoto in his Cell, and may be as wellcome to them when put upon them by others, as his is to him when he seeks it for himself. And thus, what God sends to punish your Sins, O, ye poor Priso­ners, by your wise use thereof, you [Page 36] will turn to cure them. And this alone will change that Confinement! Which may come upon you as a Curse, into the greatest blessing.

And to make that Confinement easy to you in the Practice, which this way will be so blessed and beneficial in the Effects, keep your Fancy from running out after the Noise, the Diver­sions, and busy Occupations and En­tertainments of the World. Discon­tent and roving Desires abroad, are the greatest sting in being shut up. But keep your Mind at home, and your Desires within bounds, and the want of those Liberties abroad which you Covet not, and which you daily see do hurt to others, and have formerly done very much to your self, will sit light upon you.

And Consider, that as you are here­by kept out of the Injoyment and Af­fairs; so are you likewise out of the Temptations, and, if you please, may be out of the Cares of this World. And ordinarily the Temptations of Liberty have more of Danger, and of the Cares of Trouble and Sorrow, than the Injoyments thereof can fairly recom­pence.

[Page 37] And if you are shut up from your Friends, you are shut up also from your Enemies. For a Prison is a Guard against all other Wrongs, and you are safe there in Stirrs and Tu­mults, in Publick and in Private Dan­gers. And though it be hard to be without the Company of those that Love us, yet is it no despicable Re­compence, if thereby we are secured from the Envious and Malicious, and from the further attempts of all that hate us. For ordinarily we are not to promise our Selves so great Effects from the kindness of our Friends, as we have reason to apprehend from the malice of our Enemies; Spite and En­vy being usually more industrious and watchful of opportunities to shew it self, and eager to do it to the full, than Love is.

Perhaps you Fancy, that now you are as one taken almost out of the World. But what if you be? You have seen Evil enough, and Done too much in it, to be fond of it; and this Recess from the World, affords you great advantages of making your Self ten thousand times more happy in another World. And if imprisonment [Page 38] is bidding adieu to the World, Consi­der, that this Time of your Commit­ment to Prison, is not the first Time of your Renouncing the World. For every Christian doth this, when he is Baptized. They all Profess to be as Persons out of this World, and to keep Hearts free and loose from it, and to live above it: And if People are really of this mind, it will not affect them much, wheresoever God calls them to make their abode in it.

You are restrained also to one Place, and must move but in a narrow Com­pass. But if by Gods blessing, you can have your Health, and be easy and quiet under this Confinement to one Place, may you not well be contented not to change whilst you are well, and whilst the will of God is so, rest satis­fied without trying new Places. And if it please God to send sickness, tho' you were at Home, sickness would tye you to your own House, or it may be to your Bed, which is a narrower Compass than a Prison is. 'Tis worse being Prisoner to a Disease than to the Keepers of Common Prisons. And Diseases, as the worst of Jaylors, bring their Prisoners into such a close [Page 39] Custody, as is much more irksome and afflictive, than any other is. For un­der others, you are shut up, indeed, but that is to sit at Ease and Rest. But under a Disease, you are shut up too, and likely closer confined, and that to have constant Pain and Sorrow with it.

But whatever Restraints you are under in Prison, as to your Body; yet remem­ber, that even there your Mind is Free. Your Thoughts may go abroad, and run over all the great Occurren­ces of your Life, and fetch in Mat­ter enough to busy your self withal, even all those things thro all your Life, which you should be sensible were done ill, and which you have yet space before you dye, to correct and make better, You have liberty to think as much as you please, of God, and of your Self, of the Joys of Heaven, and the Terrors of Hell, and the Vanity of this World, and of all things else, which may either direct or comfort you, and be of use either to your Soul or Body. Nay, the more your Body is restrained, and the less you have left to mind of other [...]hings, the more liberty you have for [Page 40] these thoughts. And therefore if spi­ritual things and employments are your design, instead of being a place of Incumbrance and Restraint, your Pri­son is a place of Leisure and Freedom. Take away the Name of Prison, as Ter­tullian advises, and Call it a Recess; and that is no Let, but the Greatest Opportunity and advantage to true Penitents, and Spiritually and Hea­venly minded Persons.

And then Secondly, as for the other embitterment of Want and Poverty; when God is pleased to send it too, be patient under it, and set your selves to gain as much as you can by it. And if you please, you may gain abundance more thereby in spiritual Exercises and Improvements, than your bearing all its temporal hardships and inconveniences will amount to.

When you are brought therefore to a poor Estate, be sure you take Care to be poor in Spirit, or to have no [...] [...] Thoughts or Desires as I hinted before, after the Fineries and Satisfactions o [...] this World, but what are suited to your Poverty. Do not let your Desire run, or your Fancy please it self with the Thoughts of what Table yo [...] [Page 41] kept, what Servants you retain'd, what Garments you wore, what Conveni­ences you had, or Respects you re­ceived once. But look now only for such things, as are fit for a Person in your present want, and poor estate, to desire and think of.

As a poor man then, be Content if you are reduced to a course and fru­gal Dyet, and a mean Habit, and an hard Bed. Be Content if you have nothing else but Necessaries, which God provides for all his Creatures, even the Beasts of the Field, and the Birds of the Air, Mat. 6. 26. who, as our Lord observes, have no Contrivance to lay up Stores for themselves. Nay, esteem and own your Self unworthy, even of these ne­cessary Provisions, and think it not e­nough to be contented with them, but be Thankful for them. And seek them without Solicitude, or Mistrusts of Pro­vidence: But after a chearful Care spent in the best ways you have to com­pass them, quietly rely on God; and trust him for them. Do what you can, to have them of your own; if that succeeds not, ask of them, who are like to Pity and Relieve you, and if one denies you, try others; but if [Page 42] that misses too, God will send it, and put it into the Hearts of those to give whom you do not ask, and send it to you, you know not how.

And in your Poverty, be sure you be Humble. Be willing and contented to be maintained what way God plea­ses. And if he brings your State to need an Alms, let not your Spirit be a­bove it. Think not your self too good, to receive, nor if need be modestly to ask it. And be Patient where you meet with Repulses, and Thankful for all that is given you, whether it be little or much; yea, even for good words and compassionate answers where you receive nothing else. And if un­der a poor estate, you can, by Gods Grace, arrive to this true Poverty of Spirit, you are a very Rich Poor Man; you are Poor in this World, but Rich in Faith and Good Works, as our Blessed Saviour Christ, and his Apostles, and earliest Saints for the most part were; and may comfortaby hope thro his Grace, to have your humble, holy, and obedient Poverty rewarded at last toge­ther with theirs, with unspeakable Ri­ches, Honour, and Happiness in his Heavenly Kingdom.

[Page 43] And having after this sort Received, and Improved, both your Poverty, and your Solitude, look upon them again, with a discerning and impartial Eye, and then tell me what Cause you have to Repine, or Complain of them. Judge of them, not by the Opinions which other Peo­ple pass, but by the good Use which you your Self make of them. They are certainly Good, exceeding Good to you, when you Receive and Im­prove them after this manner; and therefore are things, not only for you to bear, but to Bless God, and be Heartily Thankful unto Him for.


Scriptures for Prisoners for Crimes.

Psal. 51.
Ezek. 18. v. 10. to the end.
Ps. 25. v. 7. to v. 20.
Rom. 1. v. 28. to Chap. 2. v. 8.


THEY that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. Job. 4. 8.

[Page 45] His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the Cords of his Sins: Prov. 5. 22.

Bloody and Deceitful Men shall not live out half their days.

My Heart is sore painted with­in me, and the Terrors of Death, are fallen upon me.

Fearfulness and Trembling are come upon me, and Horror hath o­verwhelmed me. Psal. 55. 4, 5, 23:

What Glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your Faults, you shall take it patiently? 1 Pet. 2. 20.

My Son, Give, I Pray thee, Glory to the Lord God of Isra­el, and make Confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done.

And Achan answered Joshua, and said, indeed I have sinned a­gainst the Lord God of Israel, and thus have I done. Josh. 7. 19, 20.

[Page 46] We indeed suffer justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds. Luke 23. 41.


Fools, because of their Trans­gression, and becuse of their Ini­quities, are afflicted.

Then they cry unto the Lord in their Trouble, and he delivereth them out of their Distresses. Psal. 107. 17, 19.

Oh! Let the sorrowful sighing of the Prisoner come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power; preserve thou those that are appointed to dye. Psal. 79. 11.

The Lord hath looked down from the height of his san­ctuary; from Heaven did he be­hold the earth.

To hear the groaning of the Pri­soner: To loose those that are ap­pointed to death. Psalm 102. 19, 20.


If our heart condemn us not; God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1 Jo. 3. 20.

The Law is not made for a Righteous man, but for the Law­less and Disobedient, for the Un­godly and for Sinners, for Un­holy and Prophane, for Murde­rers of Fathers, and Murderers of Mothers, for Man-Slayers.

For Whore-mongers, for them that Defile themselves with Man­kind, for Men-Stealers, for Ly­ars, for Perjured Persons, and if there be any other Thing, that is contrary to sound Doctrine. 1 Tim. 1. 9, 10.

Without are Sorcerers, and Whoremongers, and Murderers, and Idolaters, and whosoever Loveth and maketh a Lye. Rev. 22. 15.

[Page 48] Know ye not, that the Un­righteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Neither For­nicators, nor Adulterers, nor A­busers of themselves with Man­kind, nor Thieves, nor Drunkards, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.

Such were some of you: But ye are washed, but ye are san­ctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10, 11.

The Lord hath sent me to Pro­claim Liberty to the Captives, and the opening of the Prison to them that are bound. Isa. 61. 2.

They that be whole, have no need of the Physitian, but the sick. I came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repen­tance. Mar. 2. 17.

If the wicked restore the Pledge, give again that he had [Page 49] robbed, walk in the Statutes of Life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Ezek. 33. 15.

Zacheus stood, and said unto the Lord, behold! The half of my Goods I give to the Poor: And if I have taken any thing from any Man by False Accusa­tion, I restore him fourfold. Luk. 19. 8.

Father, I have Sinned against Heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son. Luke 15. 18, 19.

God be merciful, unto me a Sinner. Luke 18. 13.


I. A general Prayer for all Pri­soners, taken out of the Com­panion for the Persecuted. pag. 135.

O! Almighty and Ever­lasting God, thou seest the Streights and Sor­rows [Page 51] which I endure in this Place, and how unable I am to help my self, or to bring about my own Deliverance. But the less Hope and Support I have in my self, the more I look up unto thee, and place my Trust in thy Mercy. And when my own Care can avail the least, let thine, O! Thou blessed Hel­per of the Helpless, appear the most for me.

Give me a Body, O! My God, fit to bear the Inconveniences of this close Place, and Grace to be content therewith; whilst I lye up here, let me not want necessary Provisions, nor repine at the meaness thereof. Suit the Lowness of my Desires, to the hardship of my Circum­stances, & let the greatness of my Study and Care be [to do To in­demnify and con­tent my Crediter when fo [...] Debt. Justice] and shew temperance and selfdenials, [Page 52] not to please my self, or to gratify my own Carnal Ease and Appetites.

Whilst I am here kept a part from my former acquaintance, Grant, O! Lord, that I may carefully retire into my self, and call my own ways to remem­brance. And, Oh! That I may amend▪ whatsoever is amiss there, and set all so streight with thee, that I may delight to look into my own Heart, and to search out my own Spirit. Lord! Now thou hast left me nothing else to do, make me apply my self to the one thing necessary: To grow in Holy Re­verence and Devotion of Spirit, in the Study of dealing justly and fairly with all, who are a­ny way Concerned with me; in Humility and Mortified Af­fections, in Patience and Con­tentedness, Oh! Plant and fill [Page 53] my Soul with all Heavenly Vir­tues, and make bright all the cloudy and dark parts thereof, with the Rays of thy Divine Image. And then, O! My God, I shall see something of thee, as oft as I look into my self, and learn to be pleased with my own Company, though o­thers are kept from me.

And in whatsoever want I am of other Comforts, Grant, O! Father of Mercies, that both here and ever hereafter, I may have the Comfort of thy Pre­sence. When all else are taken from me, do not thou forsake me. Though I dwell in a dis­consolate Room, let thy Spirit dwell with me. Let thy Law at all times direct me, and let the Sense of thy Love Comfort me. And after thou hast graci­ously improved this Melancho­ly Restraint, to wean me from [Page 54] vain and carnal delights, to set my Soul free; in thy good time, O! My refuge and strength, deliver me out of this Prison, and set my Body too at liberty, for my dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

And for the more Particular Necessities OF Imprison'd Criminals, They may use these Pray­ers following:
A Particular Prayer FOR PRISONERS for CRIMES.

I. For deliverance from his Sins and Sorrows.

O! Blessed Lord, who art the comforter of all sad and sin-sick Souls, comfort me, I humbly intreat thee, in this height of my Fears and Sorrows. [Page 56] But first convert me, and then comfort me. I am over-laden with Sins, which overload me with Sorrows. And do thou, O God, rid me of my Sins, that I may get rid of my Sorrows. Nay, rid me of my Sins, tho, for my just Punishment in this World, thou leavest me under my Sor­rows. Whatever befal my Body, for just Punishment of my grei­vous▪ Or Crimes. Crime, for which I am here in Custody; let true Repentance set my Soul safe, and secure it of thy everlasting Mercy, for the Merits of thy dear Son, and of my sweetest Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Our Father, &c.

II. The Prisoners Confession of God's Justice in his sad Circum­stances.

I am come into this Prison, O! Most Holy and Righ­teous Lord, laden with Sins and Sorrows; and am here shut up for the Curse and Shame of an untimely end, which my Heinous Wickednesses have most justly deserved. I am [Page 58] terribly affraid of my earthly Judge, and of that heavy Sen­tence which my Crimes make me justly lyable to receive from him. But infinitely more af­fraid, of that far more heavy and eternal Doom, which I am lya­ble to receive for the same at thy Righteous Bar.

Now Fear and Trembling have seized upon me, Psal. 55. 5. and an horrible Dread hath overwhelmed me. Without, is the prospect of Death and Disgrace; and with­in,Psal. 38. 8. 10. is Guilt and Anguish. My Spirit is broken within me, and I am even at my wits end, Psal. u [...]. 1. and my Heart faileth me: And tho my Burden is Intollerable, yet O! Almighty Lord, I cannot say, but it is infinitely just. 'Tis a most reasonable, and righteous Return, for my daring Provo­cations of thy justice: And much more, for my vile Abuses of thy Mercy and Patience. I [Page 59] must needs acquit, and justify thee; and have none to accuse, but mine own Self, for all my present Fears and Misery.

I amProv. 11. 6. taken, O! just Lord, in mine own Naughtiness, and am only left to lye down in that Bed of Guilt and Sorrow, which I have been long a ma­king for my self. All my life, I have beenJob. 4. 8. Sowing wicked­ness, and am now brought to Reap the Fruit thereof. I haveJob. 15. 16. Drunk up iniquity like Water, and tho, to my mad and distempered Fancy, it seemed to yield a slight and short Pleasure, while it slid along the Palate; yet now I find it leaves an immoveable Bitterness, and is nothing but Gall and Wormwood, when it is got into the Belly. I have Drunk it up with Greediness, and fill'd up the measure of my sins, till I perceive now, a­las! [Page 60] That there is like to be no measure of my Sufferings, and I am in danger to be swal­lowed up, and utterly to sink under the Number and Weight of them.

Thus, Oh thou Righteous Avenger of all ungodly and incorrigible wretches, has thy Justice at last overtaken me. And altho thy vengeance is oft times slow; yet to my Grief, and thy Glory, I find 'tis sure, and, when it comes, insup­portable. I can in no wise bear my Load, tho I have not the least exception against the Reasonableness, and Justice of it. Only my Hope is in thy Mer­cy, which thou art wont to remember even when thou ta­kest upon thee to shew Judg­ment. And as thou art the Avenger of Sinners; so re­member, Gracious Lord, that thou art also the Saviour of [Page 61] them. Oh save me, the Chief­est, and most wretched of Sin­ners: And shew Favor unto me, not according to my Deserts, but according to thine own boundless Mercyes, for our dearest Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.

III. His Profession of Repentance under the same.

I have sinned, O Almighty Lord, and sinned Grie­vously, and have continued irreclaimable in the same for many years. But now, by the Alarm of mine own Dan­gers, and by the Help of thy Grace, I am made sensible of [Page 63] mine iniquities, and am made truly sorry for my sins. I sadly lament, all the wicked wast of my time and strength, and all my long and heinous Course of Ungodliness, and abuse of thy Patience, which has provoked thee to give me up to this great sin, for which I am now most deservedly made a Prisoner, and may be called to answer shortly with my Blood.

I am touched to the quick, and sorely afflicted, O! Righ­teous God, with the Trouble and Sorrow, which this Crime has brought upon my Self. But more with the Offence, which it has given thee; and the greatest Care I have upon me, is to have thee forgive me. Lord! I do from the bottom of my Heart, repent of all my Sins, but es­pecially of this greatHere you may name the sin. One. I am greivously Troubled for [Page 64] what is past, and am fully bent against falling any more into it for the Time to come, and am ready to take shame to my self for the same, I am vile in mine own eyes, and am content to be so in the eyes of other Persons. I am truly will­ing to make any submissions, where I have given just Offence, and, as far as I am able, to re­pair the wrong which I have done thereby. And Oh! That thou wouldest ever keep me most ready to do this fully and faithfully; and then direct me to do it prudently, and in such sort, as may not be more prejudicial than needs to my worldly safety.

Tho' thou lookest upon me therefore, O! Almighty Lord, as a Sinner, yea, as one of the greatest of Sinners: Yet for Christ's sake, look upon me as a penitent Sinner. And [Page 65] tho' my sins are Great, my dearest Saviour shed his Blood for the greatest Sins; and thro the Merits of that Blood, true Repentance is accepted by thee, O! Merciful God, from the greatest Sinners. Oh! For his sake, spare thy sinful, but repent­ing Creature, and tho' Justice be exacted of me for my crimes here, yet admit me to some com­fortable and well-grounded hopes of thy Mercy for the same hereafter, thro' the Merits of my dearest Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Father, &c.

IV. Prayers for Learning Righ­teousness, and Improvement of remaining Moments of Life.


THY Rod, O! Blesse [...] Father, which is lifted u [...] in justice, to punish our Iniqu [...]ties; is used also by thy Grac [...] to cure them. Oh! Let this my most deserved Affliction teach m [...] [Page 67] Wisdom. Make my Goal, my school wherein I may learn Righ­teousness; and let my chains be preachers of Repentance. Now I feel the smart and punishment thereof, give me grace to be ful­ly sensible of the wretchedness and folly, of an ungodly and mispent Life. Let me loath the Sin, as well as the Sorrow; and be duly affected with the injurie and dishonor which I have thereby done to thee, as well as with the danger and distress which I have thereby brought upon my self; that my contri­tion being truly for my sins a­gainst thee, I may be duly qua­lified for thy most gracious Par­don of the same, thro the Me­rits of my blessed Lord and Savi­our Jesus Christ. Amen.


And Help me, O! Gracious God, carefully to improve all [Page 68] my remaining moments, and to employ all the time which I have now to Live, in minding the true work and business of Life. Habituate my heart to thy fear, to humility and pati­ence, temperance and self-deni­als, fasting and prayers. Teach me to prize and set a great va­lue upon all helps and oppor­tunities, of instruction and im­provements in the way of God­liness. To be desirous above all things of thy Grace; and of the Company of good People whose discourse and carriage may affect my heart therewith; and of their Prayers, since I am most unwor­thy thro the multitude of my heinous offences, to pray unto thee for my Self, or to pre­sent unto thee any Petitions from my polluted Lips.

Let not my corrupt Lusts, O! God, run at Liberty, whilst my body is under Guards and Cu­stody. [Page 69] And let me by no means resort to the company of des­perate Sinners, to keep off Remorse for my own Guilts; nor seek to drown the agonies of my Mind, in ex­cess of Wine, nor to divert them by vain Conversation. But what space thou shalt graciously spare me, Oh! That I may carefully employ, and lay out with utmost diligence, to make my peace with thee, and to pre­pare for eternity.

Lord! Help me to true Re­pentance, that with all my Heart I may return unto thee. Do thou help me, now I call unto thee. help me, O! God of mercy, for none else can help me. Help thou me, or I shall dye eternally. Make my Re­pentance true and acceptable in thy sight, that if I dye, I may depart in thy Peace; or, if by thy Grace, I be spared to live [Page 70] on still longer, I may return from all my former Errors to a Life of Holiness, and devote all the remainder of my Days to thy Glory, thro our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Father, &c.

V. Prayers for Acceptance of Repentance, tho late, and for the sincerity and integrity thereof.


THESE good thoughts of Mine, O! Most merci­ful God, I know are late Pur­poses [Page 71] in one drawing towards the end of his Days. And Pur­poses, of one affrighted with the near approach of Death; who whilst he was at ease and liberty, was wont most wretchedly to slight thy Calls, and to abuse thy Grace.

But O! Father, accept me, tho I return late into thy service; andMat. 20. 9. have tarryed till it is the last hour of the day. Accept me, tho it is the Rod that has given Repentance, and Affliction that has made me Wise. Be graci­ously pleased, O! Good Lord, with any thing, and at any time, that shall bring me back to thy Self. And despise not my Repentance, altho it is the Re­pentance of a Malefactor in a­gonies; more than thou didst despise that,Luk. 23 42, 43. of the Penitent Theif upon the Cross. But make me find that true Repentance is wellcome to thee at all times, [Page 72] and that in this world it is ne­ver too late to grow Wise, nor will ever be in vain to return with our whole heart to thy Service, thro Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.


And, Oh! Merciful God, by the Power of thy Grace, make my Repentance True, and my Return intire, that it may be ac­ceptable in thy sight thro' the Blood of my dearest Lord. What good Purposes I have begun, through Fear of this World; carry me on to perfect, by the considerations of the next world. Improve my Horror of Pain, in­to an Hatred of Sin; and my Sorrow for the Dangers, which I have brought upon my Self, into a Godly sense of the disho­nor which I have done to thee. Oh! Cut me not off from my Sins, till thou hast cured me of [Page 73] them, and finish'd the Work of Grace upon my poor Soul. That I may have all my Punishment in this Life, but Peace with thee, and Rest after Death, in the Joys of Paradice, for my dear Saviours sake, who died to save Sinners; yea, to save such capital offen­ders, as I am, and as suffer'd with him, when he hung upon the Cross between two Theeves, Amen. Our Father, &c.

VI. For Respite, and longer Time in this world; and against the day of Tryal.


LOrd! If it be thy good plea­sure, spare me a little long­er, and let me escape that un­timely end, which my Crimes have deserved. I would fain live on some time, to make proof of my good purposes; and having abused so much time to contract evil Habits, I should be most [Page 75] glad and thankful to have a little more, to wear them off again. Tho I have many worldly Rea­sons for this Respite; yet O! Great and Righteous Judge, I desire it not so much upon any other account, as of Redeeming my former years of Vice, and of growing more Perfect in thy ser­vice, and of being better fitted than alas! I am at present, to appear before thy Judgment Seat. Hear me, O! Lord, for thy mercys, and thy Dear Son and my only Sa­viour Jesus Christs sake, Amen.


Oh! Thou God of Patience and long-sufferance, shew thy accustomed Forbearance unto thy wretched Servant. Save me from that▪ Pit of Destructions, which I have Digged for my self; and from the sentence of Death, which I am▪ horribly affraid to hear from the mouth of my earthly Judge.

[Page 76] But let this deliverance be brought about, O! My God, only by the wise Ordering of thy good Providence, not by any Falshood of mine, or other unlawful Arts. I fear Death, O! Righteous God. But that which makes me most affraid of it, is, because I have sinned. And I Desire to fear sin­ing, more than dying.

O! Therefore, gracious Father, suffer me not to yeild to any new wickedness, tho it be to save my Life. Make me diligent, in all innocent ways, and means, for my Preservation, and direct me to the wisest. But let me re­sort to none that is ill, nor say or do any thing for my own Defence at my Tryal here, which will rise up against me, and be Matter of Accusation, when I come to be tryed again at thy dreadful Bar. And the less care I may seem capable hereby, to [Page 77] take of my self; the more do thou care for me, O! My God. And when my Cause comes to be heard, so order things by thy Mercy, that there may not be a full evidence produced against me; and that neither the Judge, nor Jury, may be disposed to stretch things to my Prejudice; that so thy Servant may escape.

But if in thy Justice, thou hast determined, to cut me off un­timely for this offence: Thy Blessed, and most Righteous Will be done. But then, graci­ous Lord, perfect my Repen­tance, before I go hence, and for the voice and merits of thy dear Sons most precious Blood, pardon my Sins. I am more concerned for thy Favor, than how to come off here. I am content to suffer, what thou pleasest in this world; so thou wilt let me go off in thy Peace, and admit me among the meanest [Page 78] of thy Servants in the world to come, for our Lord Jesus-Christs sake, Amen.

Our Father, &c.


LORD, Hear the Cry of the Prisoners, and Deli­ver thou those who are appointed unto death, Amen.

Here the cry of my wants for Mercy, not of my sins for Justice, Amen.

Help me, O! Lord, for I have none but thee to look unto: My defence lies not in my own Inno­cence, [Page 79] but only in thy meer Mer­cy and tender Providence, Amen.

EJACULATIONS After his TRYAL, if Acquitted.

LORD, thou redeemest me from the Grave, and this Acquittal of me, is as Life from the Dead. Blessed, yea, for ever blessed be thy most endearing Mercy, Amen.

Lord, the Life which here thou hast given me, I do most humbly and intirely give back, and devote to thee. Oh! Ac­cept me, and let me have nothing more to do with Sin and Va­nity, Amen.

Oh! Let me never forget this inestimable Mercy, nor fail to make the best use of this re­mainder of Life, which out of [Page 80] thine abundant Goodness, thou hast now lent me, Amen.

If Condemned.

LORD, I meekly receive this Sentence, as my just Punishment: I have the due re­ward of my Deeds.

But as my Sin brings this un­timely and shameful Death; Oh! Let my true Repentance, thro my dear Lord and Saviours Me­rits, secure the forgiveness of my Sins, and bring me to everlasting Life, Amen.

VII. Prayers after Sentence of Condemnation, or any time be­fore Execution, and at Execu­tion, only making the Changes as they are noted in the Mar­gin.

O! Almighty, and most righteous Judge, to thee it belongeth to take vengeance, and to me to suffer it. I must clear thy justice, and confess I have my deserts, and have none but my Self to blame for this heavy [At Exe­cution in­stead of Sentence, say and shameful Death, Sentence.]

[Page 82] But now, O! Lord, when the Sword of vengeance is un­sheathed, and is come to the stroke, do thou stand by me, and Comfort me. Deal not with me, as I have done with thee; but tho I have basely, and wretchedly forsaken thee all my Life; yet leave me not, I hum­bly intreat thee, inadd this at execution my last Hour.

[now for when at ex­ecution. When] the justice of man lays my Blood upon my own Head, let thy Mercy, O! Blessed Jesu, lay thy Blood upon it too, to expiate the guilt of mine. Let that purge me from all my sins, that altho I Dye Stained there­with here, I may appear without spot before the Tribunal of my Heavenly Father, Amen.


Sweet Jesu! Thou disdai­nedst not to Cast an eye upon theLuk. 23. 43. Penitent Thief on the Cross. [Page 83] Oh! Despise not me,who am now to for when I at execution. [when I] suffer in like case, as he did; and I hope truly repent me of my sins, and fix all my Hopes in thee under my distress, as he did in his. Thou once hungest upon a Tree thy self, for the sins of others. Oh! By the Blood of thy Cross, Save me, who [at execu­tion say a [...] now. stand justly condemned] to suffer the same for mine own sins. Save me, O! Lord, a great & wretched, but a penitent contrite Sinner. In thy merits, Do I trust,Luk 23. 46 Into thy merciful Hands do I commend my Spirit. I Believe, that thou, O! Lamb of God, art1. Tim. 1. 15. the Saviour of sin­ners: Oh! Save me, who am Chief among Sinners, and rescue my trembling and departing Soul from eternal Misery. I Freely, and from my Heart, for­give all mine Enemies; Oh! Do thou, in the abundant Riches of thy Mercy, forgive me. Accept [Page 84] of such recompence, as I am able to make to those, who have sufferd by me, and make up the wrongs, which I have done to any, and which now I am no longer able to repair. Supply all that to them, and their Fa­milies, by thy mercy, which they have lost by my wickedness, that they may neither be temp­ted nor burden'd by the loss, nor I tormented by the punishment accruing thereby.

Give me strength, O! Al­mighty and most merciful Lord, underAdd these at execut. my last Agonies. Help me, to bear all patiently, and to resign my self holy to thy Mercy. Let the example of my Fall, be a warning to others, that the prevention of their Crimes may make some reparation for the greivous Scandal, which I have given by mine. And tho I tast thy Justice in my ignominious Death, yet, O! Gracious Fa­ther, [Page 85] let me find the sweetness of thy mercy after it, for my dearest Lord and Saviour Jesus Christs sake, Amen.


Lord, save me, for I flee un­to thee for safety. Save me, or else I perish everlastingly. Save me a wretched Sinner, O! Je­su, thou Saviour of Sinners. I have been a lost Sinner, but thouLuke 19. 10. Camest to seek and save that which was lost. And after all my woful and wretched course of Sins, my own most deserved afflictions, and thy most undeserved Grace, I hope have brought me now at last to true Repentance; and thou hast Or­der'dLuk. 24. 47. Repentance and remission of Sins, to be Preach'd to all Sinners. Oh! Save me a peni­tent Sinner, and as thou didst withLuk. 23. 43. The Theif upon the Cross, [Page 86] receive and comfort me in this may last Hour, Amen.

Our Father, &c.

EJACULATIONS For him at the time of Execution.

INTO thy Hands, O! Lord, I commend my Spirit, Amen.

I return thee a Spirit, alass! loaded with Sins: But wash'd I humbly hope with the tears and sorrows of true Repentance.

Lord graciously accept my Repentance, and pardon my Sins, for the Merits of that most Precious Blood, which was shed to wash away the sins of all tru­ly and penitent Sinners, Amen.

VIII. A Thanksgiving for delive­rance out of Prison, whither they had been justly committed for capital Crimes.


O! Almighty Lord, who art the blessed Author of all Life & Happiness, with a most thankful Heart, I humbly adore and praise thy Mercy, which hath now lent me my life anew, and rescued me out of the jaws of Death. My Sins, had set a snare for my own Life, and I [Page 88] had digged a pit for mine own Soul. Yea, my ungodly ways, had most heinously injured thee, at the same time they threaten'd to destroy my self: And yet, neither my own madness in seeking misery; nor the resent­ment of the greivous wrongs thereby done to thee, could put by thy Love, O! Father of Mercies, and God of all Com­forts, from shewing mercy un­to me. I called out to thee, and was holpen; I put my Trust in thee, and was not confounded. I sought thee earnestly, and thou wast found of me. The snare is broken, and I am delivered. The Pit is cover'd, and to the glory of thy free Mercy, and tende [...] Care of me, I have happily es­caped: For which all praise an [...] thanks be ever ascribed to the [...] thro Jesus Christ my Lord. Ame [...]


And Lord, keep, the memo­ry of this surpassing Mercy al­ways fresh upon my Spirit, and let me ever be praising thee for the same, with joyful Lips. Never suffer me to forget the vows, which I made in my distress; but let my whole life be one acceptable Sacrifice to thee my Redeemer, and make all my actions to shew forth thy Praise. When I was in Trouble, O! Blessed Lord, it was not so much out of the love of Life, as out of the love of innocence, that I desire to be Respited. Oh! Grant me Grace now to employ my Life, as I then designed to do and to make good now, what I did then pretend. Fix me un­alterable in all the ways of God­liness, which I have begun. Pre­serve me from Repeating any of my former wickednesses, especi­ally this Great one, which was [Page 90] so like to bring down vengeance on my Head for all the Rest.

Tho I am cleared thereof be­fore men, yet I know, O! Righ­teous Lord, that I shall ever stand Guilty of it before thee, unless I shew true amendment of the same, and make Resti­tution for all the wrongs done to any thereby, in the best sort I can. Oh! Keep me ever ready to do that fully, whatever it cost me; and carefully to slip no opportunities of doing the same. And make me so watch­ful, to spend all the remainder of my Days, in all holy and Thankful obedience, that I may not only have the Purposes and Promises of Repentance, which, alas! was a great part of what I had to shew before, but the Proofs thereof to produce, and to comfort my heart withal on any new Alarm. And then▪ O! Gracious God, when thou [Page 91] shalt bring me to fear Death a second Time, thy blessed will be done, and by thy Grace I shall be able, and in condition to bid it welcome, thro the merits of my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.


Once more Blessed, yea, for ever Blessed be thy Great and Glorious Name, O! Almighty Father, for bringing me into this Distress, as well as for bringing me out of it. I reverence thy Justice, for bringing it upon me. But at the same time, I most thankfully own thy Mercy, which, when all other ways sailed, would order this to re­duce me to thy Self, and to make me break off my wicked Courses.

And ever deal with me, O! blessed Lord and Saviour, in this manner. Distress my Body, [Page 92] when thou seest that is necessary to save my Soul. My Flesh is very desirous of ease; but my Heart, O! My God, thro the help of thy Grace, is more desirous of Innocence: And whatever else I am given up to feel, let me not lie har­den'd and past feeling in my Sins. Spare not the Rod of Discipline towards me, when thou seest there is need thereof to make me wise; and let me pass, tho it be thro present Misery, if that alone can keep me in the way to thine eternal Mercy. Which Grant, O! Almighty, and most Gracious Lord, that I may here comfortably hope for, and at last injoy, for our Blessed Savi­our and Redeemer Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.

Our Father, &c.


I. Scriptures for Prisoners for Debt.

Psal. 142.
Lev. 19. v. 11. to v. 16.
Luk. 12. v. 22. to v. 32.
Psal. 130.
Deut. 24. v. 10. to v. 16.
Chap. 15. v. 7. to v. 12.


THE Lord executeth judg­ment for the oppressed, the Lord looseth the Prisoners. Psal. 146. 7.

[Page 94] I have sent forth thy Prisoners out of the Pit, wherein is no Wa­ter.

Turn ye to the strong hold, ye Prisoners of hope. Zech. 9. 11, 12.

I give thee for a Covenant to the People, that thou mayest say to the Prisoners, go forth; to them that are in darkness, shew your selves. Isa. 49. 8, 9.

The Lord heareth the Poor, and despiseth not his Prisoners. Psal. 69. 33.

He satisfieth the longing Soul, and filleth the hungry Soul with goodness.

Such as sit in darkness, and the shadow of Death, being bound in Affliction and Iron.

Because they rebelled against the Words of God, and contemned the Councel of the most High.

Therefore he brought down their Heart with Labour, they fell, and there was none to help.

Then they cryed unto the Lord [Page 95] in their Trouble; and he saved them out of their Distresses.

He brought them out of Dark­ness, and the shadow of Death, and brake their Bands in sunder. Psal. 107. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.


The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again. Psal. 37. 21.

Defraud not one another in any matter. 1. Thes. 4. 6.

For he that doth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no Respect of Persons. Col. 3. 25.

Render to all their dues. Owe no man any thing, but to Love one another. Rom. 13. 7, 8.

Have Patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Mat. 18. 26.


Forgive us our Debts, as we Forgive our debters. Mat. 6. 12.

A servant was brought unto his [Page 96] Lord, who ought him ten Thou­sand Talents.

And for as much as he had not to pay, he desired Forbearance: And the Lord was moved with Compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the Debt.

But the same Servant went out to his fellow servant, which ought him an hundred Pence. And he would Grant him no Forbearance, but laid Hands on him, and cast him into Prison till he should pay the Debt.

Then his Lord called him, and said unto him Oh! thou wicked Servant, I forgave thee all that Debt, because thou desiredst me:

Shouldest not thou also have had Compassion on thy fellow-Ser­vant, even as I had Pity on thee?

And his Lord was wrath, and delivered him to the Tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

[Page 97] So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your Hearts forgive not every one his Brother their Trespasses. Mat. 18. 24, to 36.

To whom much is forgiven, the same loveth much. Luk. 7. 47.


Hath not God chosen the Poor of this World, rich in Faith, and Heirs of the Kingdom, which he hath promised to them that Love him? Jam. 2. 5.

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Hea­ven. Mat. 5. 3.

I am instructed, both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need. Phil. 4. 12.

As having nothing, and yet pos­sessing all things. 2 Cor. 6. 10.

Glory be to the Father, &c.


I. The General Prayers for Priso­ners, which the Prisoner for Debt,

may find for his use in the foregoing OFFICE. And For the more particular necessities of imprison'd Deb­ters, these Prayers following may be made use of.

II. Particular Prayers for Priso­ners for Debt.

I. The indebted Prisoners Prayer, for clearing the store of his Sins.

O! Almighty and most Righ­teous Lord, my worst [Page 99] Debts are my Sins, which are many and greivous, and which are all to be accounted for to thy Justice. AndPs. 130. 3. who may abide, shouldest thou be extreme to mark what we do amiss? Much less could I abide, who have done amiss extremely, and have [This, when the Debts are Contracted by our own Faults, in Luxury or Mispence. But if thro innocent Misfortune, and mere Hand of Provi­dence; instead of, brought not only, &c. say, De­served, not only to be made a Prisoner for the same, in this uncomfor­table Place, but to be committed among the lost Angels, to Chains of everlasting Darkness, till the Terrible Judg­ment of the great Day. brought, not only the fear of thy future Wrath, but my pre­sent restraint and sor­rows upon mine own Head, by my own evil Doings.]

But O! Gracious Lord, I am sensible of my wickedness, and am truly Contrite and Sor­ry for my Sins. And altho this sense of my Sin and Folly, comes too late to prevent this my un­comfortable Restraint, and world­ly Misery: Yet 'tis not too late, [Page 100] to move thy pardoning Mercy. Oh! For Christ's sake, strike off these Scores, that they may neither sink my Soul, nor terrify my Conscience. [In Case of [...] contracted by meer Hand of Provi­dence, omit this within the Hooks. Par­ticularly, O! Gracious Father, strike off the Score of all those Sins, and expensive Vices; and of all my unlawful, or unwise and self-will'd Projects; and of all my impoverishing Neglects, or Mis­managements; which have drawn all these streights and hardships upon my self, and have brought all this dammage and trouble to my Creditors.] Cleanse me of all the guilt of these Sins, Good Lord, that my Soul may not hereafter be made a Prisoner, or arraigned again for the same, at thy dreadful Bar. And when once thou hast blotted out thine account against me, I shall the better bear to have mine earthly Creditors exact theirs; and pa­tiently endure their Rigors, in hopes of thy free Mercy and For­giveness, [Page 101] thro the merits and satisfaction of my Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Our Father, &c.

II. A Prayer for Mercy from his Creditors.

O! Father of Mercies, move the Hearts of all, who have sent me hither, and who have it in their Power to set me Free, to have pity on me. Touch their Humanity and good Nature, with a compassio­nate feeling of what I suffer. Let a sight of my necessity, pierce their Souls and move their Com­passion; yea, moreover, make their consciences Sensible, O! Lord, how for their own Souls sake, they are [Page 102] indispensably obliged to show Charity towards such Debters, as are sincerely willing and de­sirous to pay them what they owe them, but cannot do it. Shew them, that all sinners are Debters; and that they are thy Debters, as well as I am theirs; and that for infinitely greater sums than mine is. Yea, and that they are no more able to pay thee, O! God, than I am able to pay them.

Oh! then, that their own Ne­cessity may make them wary, and prompt them to shew Mer­cy. That they may have patience with me, till I can raise as much as I am able, towards the dis­charge of their Debt; and mer­cifully forgive the rest, when I can raise no more. Oh! That they may not be rigorous, in exacting the Hundred Pence, which I am not able to pay them; because then thouMat. 18. 28, &c. de­clarest, that thou likewise wilt [Page 103] exact the many thousand of Ta­lents, which they are as unable to pay thee. And that thus, by mutually shewing Mercy, we may all be prepared to receive it at thy hands, for thy dear Son, our most blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.

Our Father; &c.

III. Prayers for an Heart, to be Honest to his Creditors.


O! Almighty Lord, whoPs. 45. 7. & Ps. 11. 7. lovest Righteousness, but hatest Iniquity; let me not take up with a Prison, as an [Page 104] Art of Defrauding; nor chuse to rest thus uncomfortably con­fined in mine own Person, to leave the guilt and curse of ill gotten Goods, and of unpaid Debts, to my Family. Make me willing, O! God, to do justice to all who are any way concerned with me, to the utmost of that worldly estate, which I have to dispose of: And ready to give every man what I owe him, tho' I keep nothing to my self, but am left thereby to live upon thy good Providence. If want must be my share, Oh! Let me want the Conveniences, or even the necessaries of Life, rather than the innocence thereof. And grant good Lord, that the place of my wanting, may be here in this world, where my wants will soon have an end; not hereafter in the next world, where they will know no end, for Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.


Enable me, O! Blessed Lord, if thou pleasest, by thy good Providence, and put me again into a Condition, fully to dis­charge and clear my Accounts with all my Creditors. Let none of them, O! My God, be lo­sers in the end by me. But bless me in my ways, that I may have enough wherewithal to sa­tisfy all their just Demands, and give me an Heart to pay it out accordingly, and that with thankfulness for their Forbea­rance, and without unnecessary delays. And dispose them to have patience with me, till this can be done. And suffer not me in the least to abuse that Patience; but make me apply my self diligently, to raise it for them, as fast as I can, and honestly to pay it to them as fast as I can raise it for them.

[Page 106] But if I am not able to pay them all that I owe them, grant them the Heart to forgive me what I cannot pay. And since what is thus given to me, is given to the Poor; look up­on it, O! Lord, asProv. 19. 17. lent to thee, and be thou their pay-Ma­ster. As they very charitably consider my Necessities, do thou carefully prevent theirs: And whatsoever they abate to me of my Scores, do thou make up a­bundantly to them and theirs by thy good Providence.

And after they have forgiven me, tho I am no longer answer­able to them in Law, yet make me ever sensible, O! God, that I still owe the same to them in Equity. And give me always the heart to repay, whatsoever they Acquit, if ever thou shalt put me in a Capacity, either by proper Payments, or by grateful Offices, so to do. And [Page 107] by living always in this inward readiness and preparation of Mind, to do them all exact justice; tho' I can never fully clear my Debts, yet by thy Grace I shall clear my Consci­ence, and be fit, not only for their Charity, but also for thine eternal Mercy, thro the merits and mediation of my blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

IV. A Thanksgiving for a Priso­ner for Debt, on his Release from Prison.


O! Father of Mercies, and God of all Consolations, [Page 108] Psal. 79. 11. the sighings of the Prisoners have come before thee, and thou hast graciously heard my Pray­er, and set my feet at Liberty. To thee, O! Blessed Lord, do I owe this comfortable Freedom, which I have now obtained; and to thy Boundless and un­deserved Mercy, will I ever thankfully ascribe it. And, Oh! That in all my Life, and thro the whole course of my Con­versation, I may ever remem­ber, that I am thy Freeman. O! That I may always adore and praise thy Goodness, for my Deliverance, and walk so humbly, and thankfully, and o­bediently towards thee, as may shew that I am never unmind­ful, that thou gracious God, hast given me my Liberty, and that I am ever to improve and spend it to thy Glory, thro Je­sus Christ my Lord, Amen.


And Lord, let me never lose those good Thoughts and Pur­poses, nor forget those Vows, which I made to thee when I was in Trouble. Give me a mind suited in all things to my Circumstances, and Grace to deny my self, and to study to the utmost of my Ability to do justice to all my Creditors. Never suffer me, to forget their kindness in my Release, nor to give them any just Cause to Repent of it: Nor do thou ever forget it, O! Merciful God, but remember it always for their good. Keep me thankfully Sensible of all the kindness of my Friends and Neighbours, of all who did me any good Of­fices, who shew'd me Counte­nance, or supplyed my Ne­cessity, in the days of my Ad­versity. Oh! Do thou make [Page 110] each of them that Requital, which I ought to do; and keep me al­ways willing and ready to re­quite them, after the best man­ner I can; and, when I am a­ble to do no more, to pray ear­nestly to thee, that thou would­est make up for me whatever returns of kindness I fall short in.

Remember also, I humbly intreat thee, O! Most merci­ful Father, all those poor Pri­soners, who are still under their uncomfortable Restraints, and in thy good Time, do the same for them, which in thy Mercy thou hast now done for me. Oh! ThatHeb. 4. 15. having felt the same in my self, I may ever have a most compassionate Sence, and tender Feeling of their Afflicti­ons, and may joyfully embrace all opportunities of recommend­ing them to the pity of others, especially of those Persons, [Page 111] from whose Charity they are to hope for their Release, but a­bove all, O! Blessed God, of Recommending them to thine everlasting Mercy; which Grant, that both they, and I, and all thy faithful People, may ever earnestly Seek, and succesfully Find, for the sake of our only Saviour and Redee­mer, Jesus Christ, AMEN.


THE CONTENTS. OF THE Office for Prisoners for Crimes.

I. Directions for Prisoners for CRIMES.
  • Chap. I. HOW to Behave and Em­ploy themselves, after Commitment, and before the Tryal. page 1
  • Chap. II. How to Behave and Employ themselves, in order, to and at, their Tryal p. 12
  • Chap. III. How to Behave and Employ themselves after Sentence of Gondemnati­on, and at the Time of Execution. p. 20
  • II. Special Directions for Prisoners for Debt. p. 27
  • III. General Directions for Both. p. 33
  • [Page 113] Scriptures for Prisoners for Crimes. p. 44
  • I. A general Prayer for all Prisoners, taken out of the Companion for the Persecu­ted.
Particular Prayers for Prisoners for CRIMES.
  • I. For deliverance from their Sins and Sor­rows. p. 55
  • II. The Prisoners Confession of God's Ju­stice in his sad Circumstances. p. 57
  • III. His Profession of Repentance under the same. p. 62
  • IV. Prayers for Learning Righteousness, and Improvement of remaining Moments of Life. p. 66
  • V. Prayers for Acceptance of Repentance, tho late, and for the sincerity and inte­grity thereof. p. 70
  • VI. For Respite, and longer Time in this world; and against the day of Tryal. p. 74
  • Ejaculations at his TRYAL. p. 78
  • Ejaculations after his Tryal if Acquitted. p. 79
  • If CONDEMNED. p. 80
  • VII. Prayers after Sentence of Condemna­tion, or any time before Execution, and [Page 114] at Execution, only making the Changes as they are noted in the Margin. p. 81
  • Ejaculations for him at the time of Exe­cution. p. 86
  • VIII. A Thanksgiving for deliverance out of Prison, whither they had been justly committed for capital Crimes. p. 87
  • Scriptures for Prisoners for Debt. p. 93
Particular Prayers for Priso­ners for DEBT.
  • I. The indebted Prisoners Prayers, for clear­ing the Score of his Sins. p. 98
  • II. A Prayer for Mercy from his Creditors. p. 101
  • III. Prayers for an Heart to be Honest to his Creditors. p. 103
  • IV. A Thanksgiving for a Prisoner for Debt, on his Release from Prison. p. 107
The End.

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