AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE, AND DEALINGS OF GOD WITH SILAS TOLD, Late PREACHER of the GOSPEL; WHEREIN IS SET FORTH The wonderful Display of DIVINE PROVIDENCE towards him when at SEA; His various SUFFERINGS abroad; TOGETHER WITH MANY Instances of the Sovereign Grace of GOD, in the Conversion of several MALEFACTORS under Sentence of Death, who were greatly blessed under his Ministry.


They that go down to the Sea in Ships, that do Business in great Waters; these see the Works of the Lord, and his Wonders in the Deep.

Psal. cvii. 23, 24.

And they that be wise shall shine as the Brightness of the Firma­ment; and they that turn many to Righteousness, as the Stars for ever and ever.

Dan. xii. 3.

LONDON: Printed and sold by GILBERT and PLUMMER (No. 13) Cree-Church-Lane, Leadenhall-Street; And by T. SCOLLICK, Bookseller, City-Road. 1786.


ALTHOUGH it is near seven years since the Author of this Pamphlet left this vale of tears, yet, when we peruse its contents, it may with some propriety be said, that although he be dead, he yet speaketh. His experience (with respect to trials and deliverances) was, in many instances, very singular, as will appear in the following pages. As it must be allowed, that great advantages have been derived from reading, and relating the dealings of God with his people (both in a way of providence and grace) I think our deceased friend's testimony should not be withheld from the Christian Reader. The practice, in different ages of the Church, has been to recite the experience of the people of God. Hence we read, that David, who had experienced many deliverances from his enemies (both in a temporal and spiritual manner) cries out, "O! come hither, all ye that fear the Lord, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul." We read also in the pro­phet Malachi, that "They who feared the Lord, spake oftentimes one to another; and a book of re­membrance [Page ii] was written." The apostle Paul also observes, that we should "Exhort and encourage one another so much the more, as we see the day approach­ing." Thus much is observed by way of apology for the publication of Mr. Told's life. Suffice it then o [...]ly to say, the Author was one of the Rev. Mr. Wesley's preachers, and that his outward con­duct corresponded with his profession. He was (for a number of years) eminent in visiting the unhappy prisoners, both in Newgate and other gaols, where his ministry was made very useful.—I was acquainted with Mr. Told some years before his death, and believe he was a man of integrity; therefore can with greater propriety recommend the following Pamphlet to the candid and Christian Reader.

July 27, 1786.


I WAS born at the Lime-kilns, near the hot-wells, in the city of Bristol, on the 3d day of April, 1711. My parents, both on the father and mother's side, were very creditable people. My grandfather Told, who was an eminent physician at London, lived in Bunhill-Row, and was possessed of a very plentiful estate in houses: My grandmother also enjoyed a very considerable fortune, at Torrington, in the west of Eng­land, worth about £600 per annum; but having a great dislike to London, and her husband's business fixing him there, caused so far a separation between them, that they and their posterity experienced very fatal consequences therefrom, as he took to him a house­keeper, who, as I was informed by my mother, when she found a fair opportunity, gave him what proved his end, and secured all his writings, and the title-deeds [Page 2] of the estate, together with all the ready-money, plate, jewels, &c. the family being absent from Lon­don! And although she could not hold the estate, &c. yet, for a great number of years, and even to this day, several people have lived rent free, for want of proper title-deeds to empower the heir to receive the same; to that when I first came to London, after faithfully serving my time to Capt. Moses Lilly, of Bristol, to the seas, they had commenced the building of a few houses in the front of Bunhill-Row, on the left-hand side going up out of Chiswell-Street; but hearing that one of Dr. Told's grandchildren was come to London, they proceeded no farther than covering them in, and in that condition they remained for the space of twenty years before they were finished, the tenants, all of them, still living rent free. I was frequently advised to make a claim to the estate; out for want of money to go to law, together with the loss of the writings, I utterly declined it; so that I had given up all hopes of ever being profited thereby: And as to my grandmother Told's estate, in the west, this never came within my knowledge.

I now come to the account of my father, who was a physician at Bristol, and in great esteem throughout that city; but being a great schemer, it proved his ruin, and the impoverishing of all his family, parti­cularly in one instance, of building a wet dock at the Lime-kilns, where I was born; he laid out thirty-three hundred pounds, and lost every penny by one Evans, for whom my father undertook the business, [Page 3] who failed, and went off: This laid my father under the necessity of going out doctor of a Guineaman, in the course of which voyage he died, and was buried at Kingston in Jamaica, leaving only six hundred pounds for the maintenance and education of five children. I would here observe, that during this voyage I was informed he cleared the sum of £800, which Capt. Celliwood wronged our family of.

My mother was born at Topsham, near Exeter, and was daughter to Capt. Thomas Suckabitch, otherwise Sucksbury, who commanded a ship upwards of forty years. Something remarkable is related of my mo­ther's pedigree, viz. In tracing them up to the farthest knowledge, it has been represented, that in the time of the Kings of the West Angles, his Majesty being out on a certain day hunting with his Nobles, discover­ed a male child in the wood, with no one near it but a large bitch, the maid having left the child with the bitch whilst she went a nutting in the woods. The King, who found the child sucking the bitch, carried it home, named it Suckabitch, and brought him up, giving him a large estate round the spot where he was found, which the succeeding generations have seve­rally enjoyed to this day, but altered the name to that of Sucksbury.

My uncle (Thomas Sucksbury) married the daughter of — Lloyd, Esq on St. James's Back, with above £100,000 fortune, but she being deformed, he went to sea again, being captain of a very large ship for many years. It was supposed the ship foundered in the Atlantic, as she was never heard of.

[Page 4]My brother Joseph, and sister Dulcy, with myself, were sent to nurse at King's-Wood, near Bristol, where we were taken the utmost care of by the most tender-hearted woman I ever met with. At this place we all con­tinued till I arrived at the age of eight years; my friends, at Bristol, then made interest for one of us two boys to be admitted into the hospital of Edward Col­son, Esq on St. Augustin's Back, near the Quay of Bristol; a school, I dare venture to say, that cannot be surpassed by any throughout Great-Britain for piety and Christian discipline, having a minister to attend twice a week regularly, for the instruction of one hun­dred boys in their duty towards God and man. Here, I think, it may not be improper to give an exact and impartial account of the character and piety of so wor­thy a benefactor; and also of the wisdom and good­ness of Almighty God in raising up so steady and useful a man to posterity. I shall trace this man of God from his birth: He was the son of Edward Col­son, a journeyman soap-boiler, whose wages did not exceed ten shillings per week, and had ten children then living, of whom Edward was the eldest, who, when he had arrived to an age fit to be put out an ap­prentice, his father bound him to a Virginia cap­tain, about the time that the colonists were transported to North-America, in order to inhabit those parts. This proved his first rise, as his behaviour, and hum­ble readiness to obey his superiors, moved many of the merchants, who first settled there, to make Edward, the cabin-boy, many presents, insomuch that, before [Page 5] his ship departed from America for England, he had acquired the sum of fifty pounds; and, being of an exceeding liberal disposition, on his arrival at Bristol, he hastened with the £50, and dispensed every farthing there­of to the prisoners at Newgate; and shortly after sailed again to Virginia, where he, through the kind pro­vidence of God, gathered, among his former friends, twice the money of the preceding voyage, and disposed of the whole after the same manner. Here I must discontinue the relation of his proceedings, knowing no more of them, 'till he arrived at the age of forty years, when, as I have been informed, he became a very eminent East-India merchant, prior to the in­corporation of the East-India company, and had forty sail of ships of his own, with immense riches flowing in upon him; yet, notwithstanding, he remained steady and uniform in his charitable disposition, di­stributing many thousand pounds to various charities in and about London, as also private gifts to many parts of the kingdom; and in the year 1708 he in­stituted a very magnificent school on St. Augustine's Back, Bristol, which, as I have been informed, cost him 11,000 pounds in the building, and endowed the same with between 17 and 1800 pounds per an­num, freehold for ever; likewise ten pounds for ap­prenticing every boy, and, for twelve years after his death, ten pounds to put them into business: He like­wise maintained religious oeconomy in the school, such as prayers three times a day, performed by one of [Page 6] the superior boys. He also caused to be erected a very grand free stone alms-house, with an elegant chapel situated in the front thereof, on St. Michael's-Hill, Bristol, for 24 old men, with a handsome allowance for every individual, and a clergyman to attend them weekly. He also founded a large free school in Tem­ple-Street, Bristol, which was set apart for the edu­cation and clothing of 40 boys; and likewise provided for ten old men in the city alms-house; nor do I recollect that I ever was in any church throughout the city, but that a memorandum of his donations to several useful charities is recorded of him. I have likewise been informed of his building, at his own expence, the whole church and town of All Saints, near the Tolsey, Bristol, together with those many public charities now extant in that city. It has been frequently reported, that his private charities far ex­ceeded those in public. I remember to have heard, in my youthful days, that one of his ships, trading to the East-Indies, had been missing for upwards of three years, and was included in the number of those that were destroyed at sea; but at length she arrived, richly laden. His principal clerk brought him the report of her arrival, and of the riches on board; to which he gave answer, that as she was totally given up for lost, he would by no means claim any right to her; there­fore ordered the ship and her merchandizes to be sold, and the produce thereof to be applied towards the relief of the needy, which directions were immedi­ately carried into execution.

[Page 7]Another singular instance of his tender consciousness for charity was; at the age of forty, when he enter­tained some thoughts of changing his condition, he paid his addresses to a lady; but being very timerous, lest he should be hindered in his pious and charitable designs, he was determined to make a Christian trial of her temper and disposition, and therefore one morning filled his pockets full of gold and silver, in order that if any object presented itself in the course of their tour over London-Bridge, he might satisfy his intentions. While they were walking near St. Agnes church, a woman in extreme misery, with twins in her lap, sat begging; and, as he and his intended lady were arm in arm, he beheld the wretched object, put his hand in his pocket, and took out a handful of gold and silver, casting it into the poor woman's lap. The lady, being greatly alarmed at such profuse generosity, coloured prodigiously; so that, when they were gone a little farther towards the Bridge foot, she turned to him, and said, Sir! do you know what you did a few minutes ago? Madam, replied Mr. Colson, I never let my right-hand know what my left-hand doth: He then took his leave of her, and for this reason never married to the day of his death, although he lived to the age of 83.

In the year 1721 he died at Mortlake, up the river Thames, having left many considerable legacies to charitable uses. Providentially I was in the [Page 8] school at the time of his death, when orders were given for all the children to learn by heart the 90th Psalm, to sing before the corpse as it entered the city. which was at Lawford's Gate, where we joined the hearse, and sang before it the space of five hours, amidst a most numerous and crouded audience: It is impossible to describe in what manner the houses and streets were [...]ined with all ranks of people; and al­though the rain de [...]cended in torrents, none paid any regard thereto; but the whole multitude seemed eagerly determined to see the last of so eminent a man! We came at last to All Saints church, where he was interred under the communion-table. The day of his birth, and also of his death, are commemorated to this day throughout the city of Bristol. His many donations to the poor are, by his executors, faithfully upheld still. Here I conclude the perpetua­tive memory of so good a man, which still remains invaluable to me!

I now proceed to give an historical account of my own life from my infancy, as far as it may be brought to my remembrance, which is from three years of age. I was then in petticoats, and, for a considerable le [...]gth of time, my sister Dulcybella and self wandered into t [...]e woods and field, fixing ourselves under the hedges, conversing about God and happiness; so that at times I have been transported in such a mea­sure with heavenly bliss, that whether in the body or [Page 9] out of the body, I could not tell; this happiness attended me for a few years.

One remarkable circumstance I would observe: When my sister and selfwere very young, we wandered out into King's-Wood, and lost ourselves in the woods, and were in the utmost consternation, lest we should be devoured by wild beasts; but quickly the kind pro­vidence of God permitted a large dog to come be­hind us; although no house was within a mile from the wood, yet the dog drove us clear out of the wood into our knowledge; what was remarkable, the dog never barked at us! And when in our knowledge, we looked around us to behold the dog, but he was not to be seen. Being heedless, and unapprehensive of any further danger, we wandered again into the woods, and were a second time bewildered, and in greater perplexity than before; when on a sudden, looking around us, we beheld the same dog making toward us, 'till he came directly up to us; and we being much terrified ran from him, 'till we got a second time into our knowledge; nor did the dog leave us till we were driven by him where we could not possibly run into any more labyrinths. I then turned about to look for the dog, but saw no more of him, although we were upon an open common; this was the Lord's doing, and it was marvellous in our eyes.

[Page 10]When I arrived at the age of between seven and eight years I was put into Mr. Colson's hospital, in the year 1719, and in the year 1725 was bound an apprentice to the seas to Capt. Moses Lilly, in the ship Prince of Wales, and sailed from Bristol for Cork and Jamaica in the month of July, 1725.

Here I may date my first sufferings: Being wonderfully wrought on by the Spirit of God, and totally ignorant of the maxims of the world, having been confined for six years in the hospital, free from all intercourse with mankind, this rendered the new sea life very disagreeable to me: Also my un­acquaintance with the various mysteries on ship board, made me very untoward in the duty I was en­gaged in. The first reception I met with on board, when the ship lay in King-road, was to this effect: The chief mate called for the cabin-boy, but he not being on board, he sent me to the cook to get him a plate of victuals, which I really imagined was meant for myself, and accordingly got a plate full, carried it down into the cabin, and, having a keen appetite, made a very comfortable dinner. When the chief mate had done his business, he sent for me, in order to bring his victuals: I told him, that I understood it was for myself, and that I had eat it up; upon which he knocked me down, and began cursing and damning me at a horrible rate. This language I was never ac­quainted with, therefore thought I should have broke my heart with grief; and having no friend, to whom [Page 11] I could apply for redress, I was forced to suffer all the repeated acts of barbarity that might follow, which continued for eleven years.

The first of those afflictions was that of sea sickness, which held me till our arrival at Jamaica. After lying at Kingston many months (not having any freight for England) the ship made a voyage down to the Bay of Campeachy, in the Spanish West-Indies, at which place she lay at anchor about 12 miles from the land, where, with her bottom beating the ground every swell of the sea, she was exceedingly damaged. When we had completed our cargo we sailed back for Jamaica, very short of all species of provision, ex­pecting to have a short passage; but, to our mortifi­cation, it was a passage of 14 weeks; and, after being out three weeks, we were put to short allowance, both of bread and water; one biscuit and two-thirds of a pint of water per day. This was what I never before experienced, and therefore it was the more grievous to be sustained; and had it not been for a heavy shower of rain, off the island of Cuba, we must have perished for want. Here we stopped up all the scuppers, and saved about six casks of water, by the use of the swabs which we dried the decks with, and which we rung into the casks; and although the water was very bitter, yet, providentially, our lives were pre­served thereby; for, we were reduced to half a pint of water a day, and that full of mud and mag­gots: yet were we three days before we arrived at Blue-Fields, the west end of Jamaica, without a single [Page 12] pint of water on board, and had been eleven weeks destitute of biscuit, pease, or flour; so that we had neither food to eat, nor water to drink.

When we came to an anchor in Blue-Fields-Bay we boisted out the long-boat, stowed her full of casks, and dispatched her for the fresh water, when one of our men fell flat upon his bel [...]y, and drank so immode­rately, that a few hours after he came on board he expired; and the next morning we sewed him up in a hammock and threw him overboard, when a large shark descended after him, and, we supposed, swal­lowed the whole body. As we were riding at anchor in Kingston Harbour, the capital of Jamaica, waiting for a freight to England, we at length got 105 hog­sheads of sugar on board; and on a Friday a very great noise was heard in the atmosphere, similar to that of splitting wood, and the element was very much disturbed; our chief mate was of opinion, that we should be visited by a hurricane that evening, which began about eight o'clock the same night, and held its vehemency, without intermission, till six o'clock the following evening. All language fails me to set forth the violence of this tempest, as nothing could stand before it! There were in the harbour of King­ston 76 sail of ships, many of which were very large; but all riding with three anchors a-head, and notwith­standing ours was a new ship, with three new cables and anchors, yet, about four o'clock in the morning, we parted all three cables at once, and turning broad­side to the wind, overset, and sunk as far as the ground [Page 13] would permit, and in that condition we were driven, with our gunnel to the bottom, down to the extremity of the harbour, which is about 12 miles. Though we were the first ship that drove from her anchors, yet all our masts stood; but this was not the situation of any vessel beside, for the whole fleet lost all their masts, yards and bowsprit, and not one vessel, large or small, but was driven, with astonishing rapidity, high and dry on the land. The same hurricane also drove a large snow, of 220 tons, above half a mile into the country, which broke and tore the cocoa-nut trees, some of them up by the roots; likewise a very heavy brigantine was cast upon the wharfs in the town, and a large sloop, of about 100 tons, lay with her keel across the brig's deck. In short, that part of the town nearest the water-side was sufficiently barricaded with the wrecks of ships and vessels; and as there were no tides of ebb and flood, consequently there was no possibility of getting them off; nor were there any, save one fine stately ship, which rode out that tempest: So that seventy-five sail of ships of war and merchantmen were inevitably destroyed in the tremendous Overthrow. One remarkable instance I would take notice of, viz. the ship Nicholson, Capt. Smiler, of London, quite a new and beautiful vessel, rode her bows out, sunk at her anchors, and all on board perished, except the cap­tain's son and four more, who were saved by get­ting into a small boat, called the Moses, that carried no more than one hogshead of sugar at a turn.

[Page 14]All the ships at Port-Royal shared the same fate with those at Kingston, except the Winchelsea man of war, and Kirkington, of Bristol, Capt. Pills, both of which cut away their masts, and were upon the brink of foundering even at the close of the hurri­cane, which was on Saturday evening, about six o'clock. Here I would briefly observe, how suddenly the storm ceased; it varied from east to west, and was for a few hours calm; after which it chopped round to its former point, and blowing with a vehe­mence impossible to be expressed, lasted near an hour, and was succeeded by a second calm. Two or three days after the reducement of these parts of the island, viz. Kingston and Port-Royal, and likewise of the dreadful consequences of the storm upon the fleet of ships; the drowned seamen were drove upon the shore for miles down the harbour, and were left to be de­voured by the crows and other wild fowl.

Immediately after the hurricane followed a pesti­lential sickness, which swept away thousands of the natives: Every morning I have observed between 30 and 40 corpses to be carried past my window; and, being very near death myself, I expected every day to approach with the messenger of my dissolution. From this illness I contracted an habitual fever and ague, which continued eleven months, so that I was wasted to a mere shadow, nor had I one person under heaven to take care of me, except a negro, who brought me every day a dose of jesuits-bark to the warehouse, where I was laid in a hammock. At length my master [Page 15] gave me up, and I wandered up and down the town, almost parched with the insufferable blaze of the sun, till I was resolved to lay me down and die, as I had neither money nor friend. Accordingly I fixed upon a dunghill on the east end of the town of Kingston, and being in so weak a condition, I pondered much upon Job's case, and considered mine similar to that of his. However, I was fully resigned to death, nor had I the slightest expectations of relief from any quarter; yet the kind providence of God was over me, and raised me up a friend in an entire stranger. A London cap­tain coming by, was struck with the sordid object, came up to me, and, in a very compassionate manner, asked me if I was sensible of any friend upon the island, of whom I could obtain relief. He likewise asked me to whom I belonged. I answered, to Captain Moses Lilly, and had been cast away in the late hur­ricane. This captain appeared to have some know­ledge of my master, and cursing him for a barbarous [...]llain, told me he would compel him to take proper care of me. In about a quarter of an hour after this my master arrived (whom I had not seen before for six weeks) and took me to a public house, kept by a Mrs. Hu [...]chinson, and there ordered me to be taken proper care of; this cost my master about 40s. per week: However, he soon quitted the island, and directed his course for England, leaving me behind at his sick quarters; and if it should please God to permit my recovery, I was commanded to take my passage for England in the Montserrat, Captain [Page 16] David Jones, a very fatherly tender-hearted man: This was the first alleviation of my misery. Now the captain sent his son on shore, in order to re­ceive me on board; when I came along-side, Captain Jones, standing on the ship's gunnel, addressed me after a very humane and compassionate manner, with expressions to the following effect: ‘Come, poor child, into the cabin, and you shall want nothing the ship affords; go, and my son shall prepare for you, in the first place, a bason of good egg flip, and any thing else that may be conducive to your relief—’ but I being still very bad with my fever and ague, could neither eat nor drink.

Captain Jones then began to explore his surgery-box, in order to touch my case with some proper medi­cines, if any were on board; but, to his disappoint­ment, they were all expended. Notwithstanding this, he sent for the boatswain into the cabin, and asked him, if he knew of any remedy for the intermitting fever. He told the captain, that he could not only produce a remedy, but that if I lived 50 years longer in the world, I should not be subject to it thereafter: This was in the year 1727, which is now 48 years out of the 50, and I do not remember to have experienced one fit of it since; and, altho' I had been afflicted with the ague eleven months, the boatswain cured me in less than five hours. Here I began immediately to recover my strength, and became more lively and active than ever I was in my life. Upon our sailing for Bristol, Capt. [Page 17] Jones being of a free, affable temper, in order to please the ship's company, steered his course to make the island of Bermudas, merely out of curiosity, as it appears to be very distantly situated from the West-Indian islands. Upon our arrival thereat, we scudded along shore from one end of the island to the other; nor did I perceive either hill or mountain upon the whole island, it being a fine level grassy land. After we lost sight of this island we made the best of our passage for England; but in the prosecution thereof something rather supernatural happened, and I suppose may not be credited by many of my readers. Be that as it may, my intentions are not to advance beyond the bounds of truth in relating the following circumstance, or in any other throughout this tract. —In the space of five weeks, after our departure from Bermudas, the captain ordered the man to keep a sharp look out at the fore-top-mast-head, as by our journal and calculation of the log-book we expected to be no great distance from Cape Clear, the west end of Ireland. Accordingly, one morning about seven o'clock, the centinel at the mast-head threw out the signal for land, about two points on the weather-bow; but as at that time the ship was running with the wind on the starboard-beam, the captain deemed it most adviseable to brace all sharp up, and lie as near the wind as we possibly could. The land soon became conspicuous to the naked eye from the deck, and we altered our course as the land edged round, but would not attempt to make any nearer approach towards it, [Page 18] than a full league. I frequently had my eye fixed upon the land, as had also the captain and all the ship's company, while we were at work clearing the decks, bending the cables, and making our­selves ready in all respects to adapt the ship for an­chorage; or to be prepared for running into an har­bour, in case of any strait or emergency. I do not remember ever to have seen any place apparently more fertile, or better cultivated; the fields seeming to be covered with verdure, and very beautiful; and as the surf of the sea almost convinced us that it was playing on the shore, we were beyond all doubt for the space of ten hours, that the ship had made a con­venient land-fall. Our captain therefore gave the man who first discovered it 10 gallons of rum and 20 pounds of sugar; but about six o'clock in the even­ing, as we were washing the decks, and the sun was shining clear from the westward, in less than a minute we lost all sight of the land, and nothing but the hori­zon, interspersed with a few pale clouds, was percepti­ble from the deck: This filled the ship's company with the utmost astonishment and confusion; nor did we make the coast of Ireland for several days after. Our captain and ship's company concluded that it was Old Brazille, which navigators affirm to have been destroyed by an earthquake between 5 and 600 years ago. At length we arrived at Bristol, and I was with my master, Capt. Moses Lilly, a few weeks, when he consigned me over to a Timothy Tucker, commander of the Royal George, bound for Guinea and the West-Indies; [Page 19] a greater villain, I firmly believe, never ex­isted, although at home he assumed the character and temper of a saint.

The first demonstration of his notorious conduct was given to the ship's company, in the en­forcement of a white woman out of her native coun­try, and selling her to the Black Prince of Bonny, on the African coast. The next proof of his villainy was the vile and blasphemous language wherewith he per­petually governed the seamen. Indeed, another exemplification of his horrid conduct was particularly noticed one Sunday morning; as I went down to the gun-room, in order to procure necessary provisions for the ship's company, the captain happened to find me at the bread cask, and declared that I was taking from thence considerably more than would be used; therefore, he immediately went to the cabin, and brought out with him his large horse-whip, and exer­cised it about my body in so unmerciful a manner, that, not only the cloaths on my back were cut to pieces, but every sailor on board declared they could see my bones, and that very visibly; yet this act of barbarism did not give him sufficient satisfaction, for he threw me all along the deck, and jumped many times upon the pit of my stomach, in order to endanger my life; and had not the people laid hold of my two legs, and thrown me under the windlass (after the manner they threw dead cats or dogs) he would have ended his despotic cruelty in murder. Repeated in­stances of this behaviour were committed by Capt. [Page 20] Tucker to the principal part of his seamen in the course of the voyage to Bonny. One day I accom­panied the king Arigo on shore for the benefit of my health (as the savage had almost put an end to my life) and continued there for the space of six weeks, and slept with the king's son, prince Arigo, during the same. At this place the black king had 600 con­cubines, thirty of whom dwelt in his house, and an elderly woman presided over the rest. One morning in particular I was suddenly seized with a racking pain in my head; I acquainted the queen, in Moorish, with the cause of my indisposition; she informed his black majesty therewith, who ordered me some "doctor," as they term it; and about half a dozen of his ladies took me into a back yard, and stripped me quite naked, even to my skin, sat me on a joint-stool, and gave me some yabba (or water) with a cloth to dry myself. I could not conceive what they purposed to do with me, as the elder lady invented divers stratagems to get me into a studious frame of mind; and when they perceived me quite fixed, looking at my feet, and I apprehending they were about to wash them with the hot water, suddenly the female monitor, or presi­dent, snatched the cloth from out of the water, and threw it directly in my face, which startled me to such a degree, that it effectually removed the pain in an instant: Here I penetrated their maxims in perform­ing the cure. However, in about half an hour's time my pain revisited my head with greater violence than before; and I informed the queen that Ishe was Oba­gona, [Page 21] or my head was very bad: She then told his majesty that my disorder was returned, who straightway collected his grandymen together, and they carried me to the summit of a certain hill (the acclivity whereof must be impossible for strangers to surmount) on the right-hand side of which was situated the king's palaver-house, or place erected for their heathenish worship; they took with them a dog, and about 100 roots, called yams. When I entered the house, I was struck with uncommon amazement at the sight of 40 or 50 black mens heads hanged round this palaver-house. Here I was inexpressibly terrified, as I had received a very pious and Christian education; so that their dia­bolical and gross proceedings created great horror upon my soul. At length they commenced the usual sacrifices to their gods; during which, one of the senior cha­racters, who signalized himself by a scimeter at his side, drew it, took the dog before-mentioned, laid it on the floor, and at one blow cut off its head. He then pulled the tongue out of its mouth, fastened it between its teeth, and instantly came and touched my forehead, cheeks, chin, and every joint, with the dog's tongue.

The king finding these resources to be ineffectual, proceeded further, and directed some of his people to sprinkle the dust with a quantity of palm wine, and to lead me through a trackless desert down to the ship, conceiving the wine (as there was no water to be had) might create a path to the sea shore. This answered, and prince Arigo, the king's son, hailed the ship, which lay at a small distance from land, and desired [Page 22] them to send the boat on shore, as Piccaninni Bacca­ [...]eau was yarre, yarre, that is, "was very sick:" Accordingly it was done, and when I came on board Tucker, with a grim countenance, and horrid expres­sions, asked me what ailed me. I replied, that I had a strong fever on me. Then, said he, I will soon cure you; so he went and brought his horse-whip, and, although I was extremely sick, he whipt me unmerci­fully! Yet, however, his medicine did not perform the c [...]re, but heightened my fever, so that I was nearly brought to the gates of death; yet God raised me up again. Upon our arrival at St. Thomay, or St. Tho­mas, the European woman, which Tucker brought out from England, died in a shocking manner, was sewed up in a hammock, and thrown overboard with a bag of ballast at her feet, in order to sink her; but in the course of a week afterwards the corpse of the woman was observed to float upon the water: I believe God had suffered this uncommon circumstance to happen in order to open the eyes of our wicked captain; but he had no dread or remorse in him.

I cannot but give one more instance of the barbarity of this captain during the voyage, and his gross manner of executing it (as a more bloody and inhuman action surely never was perpetrated by an Englishman, except himself.) This was upon one of our black slaves, who thro' a violent sickness was worn to a mere skeleton, and as he could not eat his allowance, the savage (Tucker) invented a scheme to compel the slave to eat, and laid to his charge that he was sulky: However, the poor [Page 23] creature could not, nor did he eat. Upon this the captain called for his black cabin boy, Robin, to bring him his horse-whip: He did so, and Tucker began lash­ing the poor sick man till, I firmly believe, from his neck to his ancles, there was nothing to be seen but bloody wounds. The poor creature made no kind of re­sistance, nor spoke one word: This provoked and highly incensed our blood-thirsty devil; so that he went still farther, and told him in Negroish, he would tickeravoo him. The poor slave answered, "Adomma," which signified, "So be it." By this time the captain's dinner was ready under the awning on the quarter-deck; he left the man in shocking agonies, bleeding and groaning on the forecastle; came to his dinner like a hog, and eat without fear or shame. After he had dined, he called for John Lad, and ordered him to get two ammunition pistols well loaded with ball; then called for Robin, the cabin-boy, to bring them forward, which when done, he left his table, and or­dered John Lad to follow him, which he accordingly did with one pistol in each hand. They both went forward on the main-deck; the poor object sat with his back against the larboard-gunnel of the ship. Then Tucker, with a malicious and virulent grin, pointing one of the pistols to him, told him it would kill him. The man replied as before, "Adomma." Upon this the captain applied the mouth of the pistol to the middle of his forehead, and fired. The man instantly clapped his hands to his head, one behind, and the other before, and stared the captain in the [Page 24] face, the blood gushing from his forehead like the tapping a cask, but he did not fall. Tucker then turn­ing to John Lad, with a blasphemous oath said, "This will not kill him;" and immediately clapped another to his ear, and fired that also; nor did he drop, even then! At last the captain ordered John Lad to fire another through his heart, which was done; he then dropt down dead. All the men slaves, in consequence of this uncommon murder, rose upon the ship's company, with full purpose to slay us all; but we nimbly betaking ourselves to the cannons, point­ed them through a bulk-head that parted the main and quarter deck; which, when they perceived, the greater part of them ran down between decks, and the remainder jumped overboard, and were all drowned, save one or two which, with the assistance of the Jolly boat, we rescued from the violence of the sea. At length we arrived at Barbadoes, when captain Tucker's notorious conduct was repressed in some measure, which was visibly perceived by his sending the slaves large quantities of rum and sugar. Yet, on his leaving that island, he renewed his former cruelties; but did not exercise them on me with that degree of severity which he had frequently used in the passage to Kingston.

In the course of eight weeks we arrived at Bristol, and my original master (Moses Lilly) received all my wages, but allowed me no pocket-money; and fit­ted me out very scantily for the next voyage.— Having no friend or relation in London, I was drawn in to perform a second voyage with Tucker (the bare [Page 25] idea of which almost broke my heart;) yet he treated me with less rigour than in the voyage before.

I have only two circumstances to remark in this voyage; the first was, when slaved and ready to sail for Bonny, we dropt down, and came to anchor a little without the Bar, and at about twelve o'clock at night an universal shriek was heard among the slaves between decks; and, being asked what ailed them, they, with wild confusion of mind, said, that Egbo, or the devil was among them. The next morning, when we came to open the hatches to admit the air into their loathsome dens, and for the purpose of dis­charging their tubs, to our great surprise, we found a number of them laying dead; upon hoisting up about 80 of them, we save [...] 39, and the rest, having irrecoverably lost their breath in the suffocation, the captain directed us to cast them overboard, which was instantly done, 40 in number.

A second circumstance, which happened on board our ship, and which I think myself compelable to relate, was the captain's inhuman cruelty to the ship's cook. The poor man had nothing but green-wood to make his furnace boil with, on which account it was impossible for him to get the food ready in time; therefore the captain habituated himself to certain practices, such as horse-whiping him, and stabbing a knife into his face, so that the poor man's life was grievously burthensome to him; indeed he oftentimes [Page 26] hinted to us that he would throw himself overboard, but we endeavoured to dissuade him from it; yet, one morning, about eight o'clock, poor John Bundy plunged himself into the sea without our knowledge; so that we diligently searched the ship for him, but he could not be found. We informed the captain of it, who answered with some degree of pleasure, that he saw a hat swimming a-stern, which he supposed was the b—d of a b—'s hat; yet, notwithstanding this heart-breaking usage, we providentially completed the voyage.

After this I was shipped on board the Scipio, Capt. Roach, who was much of a seaman, a pleasant tem­pered gentleman, and exceeding free and liberal with all his ship's company; but he having purchased a fine black girl for his own use, she, in the end, proved the cause of his death. One evening, as we lay at anchor in New Callabar, one Tom Ancrao came on board who talked very good English, and the facetious Capt. Roach having made a tub of punch on the quarter-deck, had the fidler and the ship's company dancing with him, but left me with Tom Ancora to purchase the slaves. When this was done, Tom desired me to give him a dram, which I did; he then desired me to let the bottle stand: I told him I must first obtain the captain's leave for so doing. I then went to Capt. Roach, who gave me leave. Tom, at this indulgence, filled a rummer with brandy, and clasping the black girl in his arms (as their custom is) they put both their mouths to the glass, and [Page 27] jointly drank thereout; but unfortunately for Capt. Roach, he came into the cabin and detected them in that atti­tude while drinking, which so provoked him, that he ran the end of his cane into Tom's mouth, broke the tumbler, and knocked out all his front teeth, although he had a fine set. The captain then ran to his state-room for one of his loaded pistols; but Tom, apprehensive of his danger, jumped over-board. It being dark, and the tide of ebb flowing strong, Tom's canoe dropt a-stern, took him up, and carried him on shore. Our captain was resolved to go on shore to close the breach that was made; but the ship's com­pany all earnestly strove to convince him of the imprudence of going to Tom Ancora's house; yet, if he was bent upon going, they intreated him not to eat or drink any thing. However, Capt. Roach was resolutely deaf to all their kind expostulations; he dressed himself in a scarlet plush suit, put his sword on, and went to Tom's house; but he being too subtle for the captain, carried it fair and easy, and seemed to be very friendly, but took care to give the captain a strong dose of poison, which in three days time operated so effectually upon him, that the fingers on both his hands were drawn into the palms, and all his toes were drawn under his feet; hence it evi­dently appeared to all the traders that Tom Ancora had poisoned Capt. Roach.

Next morning one Dick Ebrew and his son came on board, and desired to learn what kind of eatables he [Page 28] partook of, and whether it was hot or cold, while at Tom Ancora's house; saying, if he would simply tell them, it was not impossible for them to expel the poi­son, and save his life; these two men I have often ad­mired for their meek and loving spirit, exceedingly far beyond tens of thousands who call themselves Christians: However, all their reasoning with the captain, to convince him that he was poisoned, proved ineffectual, as he insisted upon it he was not; and again, the others as strenuously insisted upon it that he was. At length the benevolent father and his son parted with our captain in a plaintive condition (their eyes expressive of the same) as they had not the op­portunity of preserving his life; he being a man greatly esteemed amongst the natives for his courteous be­haviour.

Before I proceed any farther, I would relate the behaviour of our cooper and a black, whom we named Adam. When the ship was sailing over the Bar, Adam had planned the cutting off the ship's company, which, when perceived by the other slaves, they joined the mutiny, and on a sudden rose and seized the cook, and threw him into the furnace of boiling rice; they likewise attacked the boatswain, took from him his knife, and stabbed him in several parts of the body, and threw him over-board. Wells, the cooper, hearing the disturbance, came up out of the hold, upon which Adam also seized him; but the [Page 29] cooper said to him, "Adam, you no savee me, tossue you mini?" The English of which is, "Don't you know I often give you water?" Adam then said to him, "Tossue coopery," which is, "Get out of the way." The cooper then got over the quarter-deck bulk-head to the arms chest, took up a loaded pistol, and shot Adam through the head; the other slaves, at seeing their champion dead, ran all down between decks, were closely confined, and admirably well se­cured, to prevent a second massacre; and as the cap­tain lay dangerously ill, and only five men able to work the ship, we, with the greatest and most elaborate toil, reached the West-Indies in three weeks.— Upon the ship's arrival there, the owner of her made the cooper a present of £60 for his services on board her at the time of those assassinations. I would again observe, before I return to Capt. Roach, while we lay at Callabar, and just previous to our sailing, the captain sent me on shore armed, with two men, to what is called, "Enforcement of trade." Accord­ingly I went on shore, with a cutlass by my side, and in my hands two loaded pistols. When I arrived at the top of the hill, I heard an uncommon shrieking of women, and as I drew near a division of houses I saw what (through curiosity) I had long wished to see, namely, Egbo, a native, in a fine silk grass meshed net, so curiously made to fit him, that nothing but his hands and feet appeared; the net ended with a fringe, not unlike ruffles. This man is looked upon as both [Page 30] God and devil, and all stand in the most profound awe of him, from the highest to the lowest.

I stood still to see the sequel of his caprice, and ob­served that in his hand he had a green bough, where­with he was whipping the womens posteriors, as they went naked, and chasing them out of one house into another; and as they were exceedingly terrified, and considered it a heavy curse when Egbo struck them, therefore they fled from him as we would flee from hell flames. However, when he had satisfied himself by lashing the poor women, he came out through the middle of the court, and through the meshes of his net, I was discovered by him. Presently he advanced towards me, with full purpose to let me also feel the weight of his green bough; upon which I instantly drew my hanger, with a resolution to cut off his head. He then ran away, and I saw him no more. After­wards I was visited by some of the chief men in the town, saying, "Bacareau, you no fear Egbo?" I replied, "Not I, and that if he had offered to strike me I would have cut his head off." At which answer they could not help laughing heartily, and then re­tired.

I now return to continue the thread of my account of Capt. Roach, and the further particulars of my voyage to Jamaica. My reader may observe, that I lest the description of our proceedings upon Old Callabar, at our captain losing the use of his limbs; [Page 31] at length he found the poison to work fatally upon him, so that he was reduced to an inability of helping him­self. The whole burthen then fell on my hands, nor would he suffer any other to approach him. I con­ducted myself in the disagreeable function tolerably well, till we anchored under St. Thomas's fort, on a Portuguese island, lying about 300 miles to the west­ward of the Coast of Africa, where Capt. Roach directed me to sell the surplus of cargo, after purchasing the Guinea slaves, &c. I went accordingly on shore with the remaining part of the cargo to the Scrivan's house. The governor's principal clerk bartered with me for gold-dust, broken and damaged jewels, rings, &c. which amounted to the sum of £630: He put it into a very curiously-made bag, the better to enable me to keep it secure. I took the aforesaid sum in my right­hand, and as I was walking deliberately down to the Beach, swinging it backwards and forwards, a little black boy came behind me, snatched the bag of gold out of my hand, and fled out of sight before I could well look round me. Here I was left in the utmost consternation at so great a loss; but in a few minutes, to my unspeakable satisfaction, I perceived the Scrivan, from whom I had received the gold, hastening down upon the Beach with the bag in [...]is hand, who had met the boy flying up the town with it. He then gave me the bag and money, and said, "Sir, be more careful of your property for the fu­ture, especially when you are in a strange country." I was inconceivably thankful, and am ready to affirm, [Page 32] that this Portuguese was actuated with stronger princi­ples of honour (especially in this instance to a stranger) than thousands of my countrymen would have been to a native of their own country.

By this time our captain grew worse, and one day with his stool came several large clots of blood from him, one of which resembled a fowl's kidney, and the bulk was nearly equal to that of a pigeon's egg. When I informed the captain thereof, he lifted up his eyes and hands (I hope his heart too) to heaven, repeating these words, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." From this time he voided larger clots of blood, so that it was computed two or three and thirty pounds of blood had been discharged from him at various times. He strictly charged the surgeon to open him when dead, for the satisfaction of his wife. He soon after made his exit, and upon his body's dif­fection, the surgeon pointed out to us the mystery of the poison, and its operation; likewise the cause of his voiding such quantities of blood, which was in consequence of the veins across his stomach being cut by the poison into 500 pieces. He was then sewed up in his hammock, with a bag of ballast fastened to his feet, and committed to the great deep; and I firmly believe he had all his sufferings here.

Various occurrences happened in the ship during the captain's illness, but I shall particularly remark [Page 33] only the circumstance of one, which, I apprehend, was rather of an ominous nature. Every day, in the course of his weakness in body, he made repeated efforts to reach the cabin windows, in order to receive the cooling air, and at whatever times he looked in the water, a devil fish was regularly swimming at the stern of the ship; he did not appear to be a fish of prey, but his breadth from fin to fin was about 28 feet, and in length about seven or eight, with a wide tail, and two ivory horns in front. He followed the ship, to our best calculation, near 1800 miles; nor was it remembered by any of the ship's crew that a fish of that nature had made its appearance in the course of any of their voyages. Perpetual attempts to destroy or catch this monster was made, by the fastening a thick rope round the body of a dead negro, and casting him over-board, but it was ineffectual; the fish swam close under our stern, got his horns entangled in the rope, under-run it to the end, and then tossed his refused prey several yards above the water. When the captain died he forsook the ship, and we saw him no more.

Our chief-mate, James Seabons, on the death of Capt. Roach, undertook the command of the ship, and after a short passage of a few days she arrived at Jamaica. While we were lying at moorings, and tar­rying in the harbour for a freight, the ship was over­run with rats, and, by our judgment, there were thousands on board; this we deemed an ill omen, [Page 34] which indeed proved so in a short space of time. When the ship sailed from Jamaica, we had a difficult task to steer through the windward passage; but at length we weathered the east end of Jamaica, and directed a steady course between that and Hispaniola, and the east end of Cuba. About three o'clock in the after­noon, having a fair wind, by which the ship was scudding eleven or twelve miles an hour, we suddenly discovered a very large sloop close in shore, under Cape Nichela. Our captain, being a young mariner, took her to be a New York sloop, bound for Jamaica. We instantly hauled up our courses and lay too; but, as she swiftly bore down upon us, our captain shortly found his mistake, as she proved to be a Spanish Guarda la Cofta, or, what was more redoubtable, a Spanish pirate. The enemy's vessel was exceedingly large, full of guns and men: our captain was then very assiduous, and exerted, himself to the utmost, in the means of saving the ship, but the men would neither fight nor fly; so that the captain was con­strained to surrender the ship, cargo and men, to the disposal of the enemy.

When we were boarded, the Spanish sailors began to plunder us, stripping and taking all away, from the captain down to the cabin-boy; nor did they spare the cloaths on our backs, but in turn of them clothed us with their filthy ragged frocks and drawers. They killed all our poultry, and set us to picking them; put [Page 35] on the ship's large kettle, and boiled both fowls and ducks. They likewise took away all our compasses, save two that had been spoiled with the rain on the Coast of Africa. In short, they took away every use­ful article, and left us totally destitute of carpenter's, cooper's, and boatswain's tools. They then informed us, that, at eight o'clock the next morning, every one of us, without distinction, partiality or reserve, should be hanged, and that without ceremony, and had also the barbarity to present to us the place and the scaffold erected for that purpose, which was on the platform under Cape Nichola; and we had every reason to fear that they would have carried their designs into execution, had not the Providence of God interposed, by making me the instrument of our deliverance therefrom. The happy circumstance was this; I frequently kept the ship's accounts in the captain's absence, and was ordered to do so when he was re­moved on board the Spanish pirate. I then secured his gold watch, and deposited the same amongst the coals in the fore-peak, and brought our ship to an anchor close under the enemy's stern, where we re­mained all night.

When the enemy's under captain had discontinued his plundering, their principal, or Spanish com­mander, repaired on board the capture, and brought our master with him, in order to spend the evening together; and in the course of their conversation, the Spanish captain (to my extreme grief and disappoint­ment) [Page 36] asked captain Seaborn if he had such a thing as a watch on board? He replied, "Sir, I had a gold watch on board, and a silver one, but I am afraid they are lost in the plunder:" However, the captain wisely asked me if I knew whether it was stolen, or whether I had taken care of it myself; if I had, he said it would be the sure means of saving our lives. I told him that I had hid it in the fore-peak amongst the coals. I was then directed to go and bring it; but one of the Spanish common seamen, knowing for what I was sent thither, followed me down the fore­scuttle, and when I had pocketed the watch, he took up a billet of wood, struck me a blow on my left ear, which stunned me, and then took the watch from out of my pocket. Notwithstanding my insensibility I could take particular notice of the fellow, that if I survived the blow he might be apprehended. In about twenty minutes. I came to myself, went and informed our captain of what had happened, who asked me if I knew the man again [...]t I told him, he was leaning with his left-arm on the ship's gunnel: He then informed the Spanish captain of it, who went with me to the man, and demanded the watch. The dastardly fellow went on his knees, and surrendered it, and was after­wards, with all his plundering companions, by the command of their captain, dismissed from our ship, and sent on board their own. They all returned to their own vessel in launches; and after their captain had discoursed with ours about the space of 40 minutes, he returned on board his own ship likewise.

[Page 37]We still remained in a state of anxiety in respect to our destiny; but at eight o'clock the next morning a decision took place, by the Spanish captain hailing our ship, and desiring us to weigh anchor, and direct our immediate course for England. The un­common joy which this reprieve produced in the hearts of every sailor on board our ship, was infinitely beyond what I am able to describe in this narrative. Each of us danced, skipped and jumped about, from one end of the ship to the other, insomuch that several sailors were quite fatigued, and an utter stop was made to our necessary duty. But when this exstacy was sub­sided, and the ship's company more composed, we im­mediately hove a-head, weighed anchor with great pleasure, made sail with a favourable breeze, and, in the space of two hours, left the land seven leagues a­stern. My reader will remember, that the ship's company was threatened with execution the morning of the reprieve, therefore the irresistible joy we all experienced may be easily accounted for. However, greater misfortunes and cross providences were yet to come, for the third day after our escape from the pirate, by the officers observation and the ship's reckon­ing, we apprehended that the vessel was no great distance from Crooked Island; therefore a diligent lookout at the mast-head was ordered to be kept. Precisely at ten o'clock, P. M. the centinel called out to the man at the wheel, and begged him instantly to put the helm hard at lee, as there were 50 sail of [Page 38] ships on the lee-bow at no great distance. We were at that time scudding with the wind quarterly (all our steering-sails set) at the rate of 12 or 13 miles an hour. The ship quickly answered her helm, but having such a croud of sail upon her, and the mariners not being sufficiently active to haul them down at so short a notice, we found that, instead of shipping, we were surrounded with dreadful breakers on a reef of rocks, and so very steep withal, that when the ship's stern tended round, any person could have jumped off the ship's tafferel upon them. Having so exceeding swift a way through the water, she drew a little off from the rocks; yet, by reason of her missing stays, she fell off again, and the first blow she struck, a pro­jected part of a rock went through her bottom, and in a few minutes the whole ship was full of water. By the deep-sea line we found that her stern lay in 80 fathoms, and had she not been held fast by this rock, every one on board must inevitably have perished.

In the midst of those suffering seasons, we all ex­perimentally knew the merciful hand of Almighty God was over us; for if the ship had not struck on the spot where she providentially did, it would have been an utter impossibility for any one on board to have reached the land, as we afterwards found there was no passage through the reef, except that part whereon the vessel was wrecked. Seeing no prospect of ever securing the least part of her hull, we used all diligence at every possible opportunity to save part [Page 39] of her cargo. We speedily hoisted out our long-boat, and stowed several bags of bread therein, together with an old fore-sail, wherewith we intended to make a tent on shore; but the boat being exceedingly rot­ten, with many leaks in her bottom, and having no tools on board to stop them before we could reach the landing-place, to our mortification the boat sunk to the gunnel, and totally spoiled all our bread; yet, by the assistance of the Almighty, we all escaped to land with the fore-sail, with which, and the help of two long poles, we erected a small tent, for the purpose of keeping off the insufferable heat, and scorching influ­ence of the sun.

When the evening approached, the captain directed us to run the yawl backwards and forwards from the east to west parts of the island, in order to discover the town or inhabitants (if any) whereby to obtain some refreshment; but, after having spent eight hours in that hazardous excursion, we perceived that the island was totally uninhabited. Here another fresh scene of distress presented itself. As we could get no provision from the ship, we were deter­mined to search the island for both food and water; we did so, but without success; nor was the land pro­ductive of any animal or vegetable species, but an abundance of land crabs and shell fish. These evident marks of desolation and barrenness gave birth to vari­ous resources, in order to support life; and accordingly three or four of us were compelled by the captain to [Page 40] venture ourselves naked into the sea, and swim on board the ship (if possible) for the purpose of getting such water as was not spoilt; and, notwithstanding the wreck lay full two miles from the shore, yet we effected our purpose in a short time.

Having hoisted out three casks of fresh water, we left them to be driven on shore by the strength of a constant sea-breeze and the waves together, which, in the space of ten minutes, sent them so near the land, as to be rolled up the beach by our seamen on shore. My readers may be surprised at our swimming two miles upon a stretch; but let it be observed, that there were many small rocks lying between the shore and the ship, so that when we were almost wearied out, they served us for resting places; though, truly, we never quitted these rocks, but at the immediate hazard of our lives, seeing there were a multiplicity of sharks and alligators perpetually sporting throughout the Bay. I perfectly well remember to have seen three sharks divide a man's body in the harbour of St. Tomay, on the coast of Africa; the first seized one of his hind­quarters, and wrenched it off at the first shake; a second attacked the other hind-quarter, and took that away likewise; when a third furiously attacked the remainder of the body, and greedily devoured the whole thereof.

I was subject to many dreadful apprehensions in the performance of my exploits, least a circumstance of [Page 41] this kind should befal me likewise, but the Lord was my sure protector. After we had weathered three weeks in this deplorable situation, and exposed to the malignancy of the inclement atmosphere, the mos­chettos, like swarms of bees, discovered our persons, and pierced our flesh severely with their poisonous stings, inasmuch that we were all necessitated to bury ourselves in the sand, even our hands and faces (clear­ing only our mouths and nostrils at certain times, for the admittance of air and discharge of breath) or we should certainly have been stung to death.

Our captain then asked who would undertake to proceed with him towards the N. W. part of the island, as he conceived that would be the only means of find-a remedy. I readily complied with his proposal, and jumped into the boat, accompanied by four others and the captain; and upon our leaving the island we left those troublesome companions the insects. Here it may be well to observe the goodness of God in sending these insects to drive us out to sea. Our captain being inclined to run round the island, in order to make what discoveries he could, we sailed about 30 miles round to the S. W. where we found a fine bay. As the boat (having but a light breeze) imperceptibly advanced to the land, we discerned several Flemingo birds, and as they were a fowl of the first magnitude, we all imagined that they were some persons who in­habited the place; but when we arrived at the rocks we found our mistake, and were under the necessity [Page 42] of revisiting that truly disagreeable reef of rocks, whereon our ship was cast away.

Upon our approach to the shore several of our people, with over-joy, desired us to run out to sea, as there was a vessel in the Offing. The captain immediately steered through the Gut, and we happily met her about half a mile from the wreck of our ship. When we came near to the stranger, the seamen presented loaded blunderbusses at us, and told us to keep off, or they would certainly fire upon us. We begged to inform them that we were in great distress, our ship being lost on the reef of rocks, and that the remainder of our people were on shore in a tent. Their captain then, with some warmth, declared, if we did not keep our boat at a greater distance from their ship, he would discharge a six-pounder at us, and send both yawl and men to the bottom. He likewise asserted, that we were pirates, that our ship was not lost, but riding at an anchor; and that we had no authority to lay in those uninhabited parts of the world. We expostulated with the captain a considerable time, and at length he permitted us to repair on board.

When we had so done, the captain, whose name was Cabel Bean, ran close in shore, embarked the re­mainder of our distressed companions by the assistance of their yawl, and, after having interrogated them respecting their catastrophe, he found that our relation was strictly true.

[Page 43]As we had many valuables on board, which we sup­posed had received no damage, the vessel (which was called the Patomack sloop) stood off and on till, with their boats and our yawl, we had saved goods to the amount of £1200, in anchors, cables, rigging, rum, pimento, cotton, &c. and as the vessel had nothing on board but ballast, it was more adapted to receive the spoilt goods; while we were thus employed, a large turtle boat, from Virginia, hove in sight; the master's name was Sims, a Molatta, he likewise lent us the assistance of his boat and crew in recovering the spoils of our cargo. After we had saved every thing within the reach of possibility, Sims, the Molatta, took three or four of us, with the two captains, round to the N. side of the island, in order to instruct us in the mystery of fish catching, so that we might in some degree alleviate our distresses, if we should at any future period fall into the like situation. Accordingly we sailed up a salt-water river, where were plenty of mullets, and a young chicken turtle; and as the water in this region was amazingly shallow, not more than two feet, we chased those fish backwards and forwards till we chased them out of breath, and withal, into about six inches water, which opportunity we nimbly embraced, in falling flat upon our breasts, and catching them with­out any tackle.

We secured the chicken turtle after the same man­ner, and hastened to Terra-firma, with a design to cook all our acquisitions; and notwithstanding we could [Page 44] get neither fire or candle, yet Mr. Sims produced a tinder-box, and striking fire to the tinder, applied a small piece thereof to some dry grass, gave it a few shakes into the air, till it was kindled into a substantial fire. We then barbaqued the young turtle, and boiled a mullet. Still we were at a loss to obtain freshwater, and asked Mr. Sims if he could procure us any. He only scratched and troubled the sand rather above high­water mark, and, to our astonishment, the fresh water sprung up. After we had regaled ourselves, captain Sims conveyed us from that region, in his turtle-boat, to the reef of rocks, whereon our ship was cast away. By this time the seamen of captain Bean's Potomack had well nigh equipped her, and tarried only for the return of their passengers.

When we were all on board, the liberal captain openly distributed all and every part of the proceeds of said cargo among the sailors belonging to the wreck, and then directed his course towards Boston, in New-England. About three weeks after our departure from the desolate island, early one morning, we dis­covered the Gay-Head of St. Matthias's vine yard, so called from its appearance in a variety of colours, with a reef of rocks, not more than half a mile a­stern of us. We came to anchor about eight o'clock in the evening, with fine pleasant weather; but at ten P. M. a tremendous storm arose, which caused the sea to roar dreadfully, and run mountains high.

[Page 45]Precisely at twelve o'clock, as I had the watch upon deck, a very heavy sea broke against our bow, which strained the ship exceedingly: I hastily ran to the companion hatchway to call another upon the guard, but suspecting the violent sea to have had a dangerous tendency on the ship, went immediately to the deep­sea lead, took and hove it over the stern, to judge whether she was riding safe at her anchors or not, but found the lead was under her bottom. I ran to the hatchway, called all hands, and informed them the vessel was adrift.

Captain Bean, of the sloop, said, in a very solemn manner, "Then the Lord have mercy on our souls, we are every one lost," and immediately the vessel came down with such vehemency upon the rocks, that when the waves returned, they were high even up to our gunnel above the water, the sea driving us upon them with such a power, that nothing but the omni­potence of God could have preserved us from the im­minent danger. The sea still continued with the utmost rapidity, and followed us like rolling moun­tains even to the beach, which dashed the sloop so violently upon and against the rocks, that we enter­tained no other ideas of the consequence, but that she would be broke in a thousand pieces. In this situation I pulled off my frock and drawers, which was all the Spaniards had left me, and all the covering I had in the world; the next wave that attacked us, washed [Page 46] them over-board, and left me completely destitute of clothing of any kind whatever; nor was it in the power of any person on board to afford me any kind of re­lief. However, when we were upon the deck, I pro­posed to three more on board that could swim tolerably well, to plunge ourselves over-board, and attempt to gain the shore, persuaded that, if this plan could be effected, a method might be taken to save the lives of those on board, who otherwise must have been drowned. Accordingly four of us cast ourselves over­board, and endeavoured to swim on shore; but in the attempt we were carried backwards out of our depths by a raging surf; nor could we get firm foot­ing on the sandy beach till the wave had spent itself. At length, after having our bodies dangerously hurt, and driven about by every succeeding wave, we got safe on shore, and hailed the others on board the wreck to send a rope on shore, in order to haul them one by one to land. They did so, and we rescued every poor distressed companion of ours from the re­morseless deep. After this, they unanimously consented to travel a little way into the country, and almost compelled me to go with them, naked as I was; but I very reluctantly declined it, owing to shame and confusion; and while the others were ransacking the island in quest of provision, &c. I was solitarily be­wailing my deplorable and hapless state between two small rocks, and almost starved with hunger and cold. At seven o'clock in the evening, it being dusk, one of [Page 47] our men came running towards me, and compelled me to go to a tavern with him, which was at the distance of seven miles. I asked him if he had brought me any thing to cover me. He replied, No; but that there was speedy help for it. I readily complied with his desires, but with much difficulty reached the tavern at midnight. The messenger went in, and informed the host of my case, who brought me out a pair of red breeches, which was all he had left after supplying the rest.

Ebenezer Allen, governor of the island, and who dwelt about six miles from the tavern, hearing of our distress, made all possible haste to relieve us; and when he arrived at the tavern (accompanied by his two eldest sons) he took captain Seaborn, his black servant, Joseph and myself, through partiality, and escorted us home to his own house. Between eleven and twelve at night we reached the governor's mansion. All of us ashamed to be seen, would fain have hid our­selves in any dark hole or corner, as it was a truly magnificent building, with wings on each side there­of; but, to our astonishment! we were received into the great parlour, where were sitting by the fire-side two fine portly ladies attending the spit, which was burthened with a heavy quarter of house lamb.

Observing a large mahogany table to be spread with a fine damask cloth, and every knife, fork and plate, to be laid in a genteel mode, I was apprehen­sive [Page 48] that it was intended for the entertainment of some persons of note and distinction; or, at least, for a family supper. In a short time-the joint was taken up and laid on the table, yet nobody sat down to eat; and as we were almost hid in one cor­ner of the room, the ladies turned round and said, "Poor men, why don't you come to supper?" I replied, "Madam, we had no idea that it was pre­pared for us!" The ladies then intreated us to eat without any kind of fear of them, assuring us that it was prepared for none others; and none of us having eaten any thing for near six-and-thirty hours before, we picked the bones of the whole quarter; to which we had plenty of rich good cyder to drink. After sup­per we went to bed, and enjoyed so prosound a sleep, that the next morning it was difficult for the old gen­tleman to awake us.

The following day I became a partaker of several second-hand garments, and as I was happily possessed of a little learning, it caused me to be more abund­antly caressed by the whole family, and therefore I "fared sumptuously every day." This unexpected change of circumstance and diet, I undoubtedly experi­enced in a very uncommon manner; but as I was strict­ly trained up a Churchman, and could not support the idea of a Dissenter (although, God knows, I had well nigh by this time dissented from all that was truly good) this proved a bar to my promotion, and my strong propensity to sail for England, to see my mo­ther, [Page 49] prevented my acceptance of the greatest offer I ever received in my life before; for when the day came that we were to quit the island, and to cross the Sound over to a town called Sandwich (on the Main Continent) the young esquire took me apart from my associates, and earnestly intreated me to tarry with them; saying, that if I would accede to their proposals, nothing should be lacking to render my situation equivalent with that of the family.

As there were very few white men on the island, I was fixed upon (if willing) to espouse one of the governor's daughters: I have been informed that the governor was immensely rich, having on the island two thousand head of cattle, and twenty thousand sheep, and every acre of land thereon belonging to himself. However, I could not be prevailed upon to accept the offer; therefore the governor furnished us with 40s. each, and gave us a pass over to the town of Sandwich.—Upon our arrival there, we waited on a Mr. Silas Bourn, justice of the peace, who treated us courteously, ordered us to sign our names to a cer­tain document, which he purposed to transmit over a large canal to the keeper of a tavern, whereby we could have every thing we wished for.

After taking our leave of justice Bourn, we set out for Plymouth, which, we were informed, was the first spot whereon the Americans landed when they first went over to inhabit those parts of the world. It ap­peared [Page 50] a low mean place, with only a small spired meeting-house, which they built, and covered in with shingles before they had raised one dwelling-house: Such was their zeal for the glory of God! We passed through this tract of land without a main road to guide us, till we came to a wood. The woods in this part of the world are no ways similar to those in England with briars and thorns; but are variegated with num­berless rows of tall pines, which naturally grow at a tolerable distance from one another, so that they bear a greater resemblance to a gentleman's park, and form a beautiful appearance. We continued travelling till it began to grow dark, and finding no house in our way since we left Plymouth, we concluded that we must pitch our tent in the woods all night. However, at about seven o'clock, we fell in with a small public-house. After we had supped, I craved the hospitality of an old Englishman in providing a bed for each of us; but he very roughly exprest his disapprobation thereof, seeing we were intire strangers.

As we were just about to commence our nocturnal journey, a poor woman ran up to us, and insisted upon our returning to her quarters, where we should be hospitably accommodated with every thing that was suitable to our situation for that night. This being the first of November, and the winter in that southern hemisphere being just set in, we were, whilst by the fire, almost burnt on one side, but nearly frozen on the other. As soon as day-light appeared we arose, [Page 51] took our leave of the old woman, after returning her many thanks, set out upon our journey, and at half past eleven, A. M. we all reached the beautiful town of Hanover. Here the buildings and structures (from one end thereof to the other) were truly magnificent and handsome. The inhabitants were really polite, wealthy, and of a beautiful com­plexion, mien and deportment.

At the north west part of the town was a very fine road, which extended itself to the sea shore. In the center of which road stands a stately church, very aptly situated for the purpose of travellers, who frequently have recourse thereto, and intermit their journey on Sabbath-Days. One Sunday, as my companions and self were crossing the church-yard, at the time of di­vine service, a well drest gentleman came out of the church, and said to us, "Gentlemen, we do not suffer any person in this country to travel on the Lord's-Day." We gave him to understand, that it was necessity which constrained us to walk that way, as we were all ship-wrecked on St. Martin's Vineyard, and were journeying to Boston. The gentleman was still dissatisfied, but quitted our company, and went into the church. When we had gone a little farther, a large white house proved the object of our attention; the door being wide open, we reasonably imagined it was not in an unguarded state, without servants or others; but as we all went into the kitchen, nobody appeared to be within, nor was there an individual either above [Page 52] or below. However, I advised my companions to tarry in the house until some person or other should arrive. They did so, and in a short time afterwards two ladies, richly drest, with a footman following them, came in through the kitchen, and notwithstand­ing they turned round and saw us (who in so dirty and disagreeable a garb and appearance, might have ter­rified them exceedingly) yet neither of them was observed to take any notice of us, nor did either of them ask us any questions, touching the cause of so great an intrusion.

About a quarter of an hour afterwards a footman entered the kitchen with the cloth, and a large two­quart silver tankard full of rich cyder; also a loaf and cheese, but we not knowing it was prepared for us, did not attempt to partake thereof. At length the ladies, coming into the kitchen, and viewing us in our former position, desired to know the reason of our malady, seeing we were not refreshing ourselves: Whereupon I urged the others to join with me in the acceptance of so hospitable a proposal. After this the ladies commenced a familiar enquiry into our situation. I gave them as particular an account of every recent vicissitude that befel us, as I was capable of, with a genuine relation of our being shipwrecked, and the [...]ole reasons of our travelling into that country. Like­wise begged they would excuse our impertinence, as they were already informed of the cause.

[Page 53]We then were emboldened to ask the ladies if they could furnish us with a lodging that evening. They replied, it was uncertain whether our wishes could be compleated there; but that if we proceeded somewhat farther, we should, doubtless, be entertained, and genteelly accommodated by their brother, a quaker, whose house was not more than the distance of seven miles. We thanked the ladies, and set forward, and at about eight o'clock arrived at their brother's house. Fatigued with our journey, we hastened into the par­lour, and delivered our message; whereupon a gentle­man quickly gave us to understand, by his free and liberal conduct, that he was the quaker referred to by the aforesaid ladies, who (total strangers as we were) used us with a degree of hospitality, impossible to be exceeded. Indeed, I could venture to say, that the accommodations we met with at this quaker's house (seeing they were imparted to us with such affectionate sympathy) greatly outweighed those we formerly ex­perienced.

After our banquet, the gentleman took us up into a fine spacious bedchamber, with desirable bedding, and very costly chints curtains. We enjoyed a sound night's rest, arose between seven and eight the next morning, and were entertained with a good breakfast; returned many thanks for his unrestrained friendship and liberality, and departed therefrom fully purposed to direct our course for Boston, which was not more than seven miles farther. Here all the land was strewed [Page 54] with plenty; their orchards were replete with apple-trees and pears. They had cyder presses in the center of their orchards, and great quantities of neat cyder, and any person might become a partaker thereof for the mere trouble of asking. We soon entered Boston, a commodious beautiful city, with 17 spired meetings, the Dissenting religion being then established in that part of the world. I resided here for the space of sour months, and lodged with captain Seaborn, at deacon Townsend's, deacon of the north meeting, by trade a blacksmith.

Nothing was wanting during our continuance there, but, on the contrary, affluence flowed in upon the in­habitants from all parts of the Continent. I need not give any description of Boston, as by this time the town, commerce, situation, &c. are almost univer­sally known to every kingdom of Europe. Here I shall only make a few observations, touching the na­ture and disposition of the inhabitants of that city. Their behaviour is altogether amiable, as peace­makers; and they are naturally blessed with humane inclinations, together with such strict order and oecono­my, as I never before observed; nor do I ever re­member to have heard one oath uttered, or the name of the Lord mentioned, save upon a religious occasion, during the four months I tarried at that place; nor is there one lewd house suffered in the whole town, or any Sabbath-breaking. It was a pleasure to buy and [...]ell among them, because I never found an individual [Page 55] throughout their fraternity guilty of extortion. Would to God I could say this of the inhabitants of Great-Britain!

Upon the arrival (at Boston) of all our seamen, they were strongly recommended by the natives to sue for the salvage of their goods and properties, which were fortunately saved out of the ship Scipio; but captain Clark refused to make us any satisfaction, as his vessel was wrecked by waiting to take us up. Upon this circumstance, a certain gentleman of that city, undertook our cause, and commenced an action against captain Clark in the Admiralty-court. The defendant stood the trial, which was maintained by judge Byfield, an elderly gentleman; and after a hearing of about half an hour, the judge addressed captain Clark, told him to look upon us as objects of distress, and asked him, if he thought we had not suf­fered sufficiently already. He therefore said, as they saved the cargo of their own vessel, I hereby decree, that they shall all, without any kind of restraint, re­ceive double salvage. Then, to our astonishment, captain Clark, though deemed by the inhabitants a covetous and avaricious character, answered the judge with a chearful accent, that it should be so; and that he would, moreover, render to each of us a present of ten pounds currency, exclusive of our respective sal­vage. Thus ended our law-suit, and we had a suffici­ency to fit us out with every necessary article for sea again.

[Page 56]I embraced the first opportunity for that purpose, and voluntarily shipped myself on board the Allen, captain Dennis, for Antigua, in the West-Indies. I got my discharge there, having a strong inclination to return to my native country. Accordingly I entered into an agreement with captain Skatt, then lying in the har­bour of St. John's (the principal commercial town of Antigua) but as we were tarrying there, in order to ob­tain a freig [...]t for England, there came on a very ter­rible hurricane; and although it was excessively vio­lent during its continuance, and drove us out of the harbour into the Offing, yet we providentially sustained but very little damage; and notwithstanding the ship was intirely unrigged (save a jury foremast) yet, by the assistance of that, and the immediate providence of God, we reached, in the space of eight days, the har­bour of St. John's again. When we had taken in part of our homeward-bound merchandize, the ship was, by virtue of a special document from the governor of said island, transmitted to the island of Montserrat, about ten leagues to leeward of Antigua; there, to procure the residue of our cargo, and finish the lading thereof.

This island chiefly consists of numerous lofty and barren mountains, with an unnavigable harbour, ren­dered so by a multiplicity of small sharp-pointed rocks, several whereof, at ebb-tide, are one, two, or more feet above the water. There is [...]ikewise a very mean and inconsiderable town, which maintains little or no [Page 57] correspondence with others in the adjacent islands: The name of this town is Basseterre, and it is situated in view of the islands of Nevis, St. Christopher, and Guardaloupe. Here another difficulty followed us, as we were necessitated to travel seven or eight miles over various rocks, and through many vallies, in order to get fire-wood, called Manchanell; which is one of the most beautiful trees probably in the known world, and bears an apple, the odours whereof are not unlike our English golden rennets, and of an equal form and size; but it is one of the rankest poisons, root, body, branches, leaves, and fruit. I remember when I first went to Jamaica, at a place called Littleworth, one of those kind of trees was planted, which grew full of fruit, and spread its branches and leaves as wide as our great walnut-trees in England. I simply knocked down one of the apples, and ignorant of the consequence, was going to eat it (as it was pleasing to the eye) when a black man, observing my heedless actions, ran with uncommon swiftness towards me, and in a cautious hurry, snatched it from my hand, giving me at the same time to understand, that if I had eaten it, all my teeth would have fallen out of my head, and that with­out any kind of remedy; and further, he told me, that if any person was to stand under that tree in a shower of rain, the drops issuing therefrom, and falling on any part of the skin, would take it clearly off. As our men were cutting those trees for fire-wood at Montserrat, they had their eyes closed and swelled in so dreadful a manner, that we were apprehensive they [Page 58] never could retrieve their natural sight; but, I think, they severally recovered in a very short time.

When the ship was compleatly ready for sailing we weighed our anchor, and sailed for Bristol, where we arrived after a seven weeks passage; and, after a peaceable retirement for a few weeks, I shipped myself with captain James Seaborn for a second voyage with him, in the ship Amoretta, for Old Callabar, on the Coast of Africa, and the island of Barbadoes, one of the Caribbe or West-Indian islands. Here I began to be prefered, being made gunner of the ship; and when we were slaved the ship sailed for Barbadoes; but was speedily ordered for South-Carolina, there to dis­pose of our slaves, which we did, to our satisfaction, in a few days, and were soon reladen; then, without any delay, steered our course with a strong though de­lightful gale to the Bristol channel. Nothing remarka­ble occurred in the course of this voyage. On coming to England I betook myself to Barnstaple in Devon, where dwelt a brother of mine, who kept a genteel shop there. I continued with him for several days, then repaired to Bristol again, accompanied by my brother, and from thence set off for London to visit my mother, whom I had not seen for ten years past. My family being in low circumstances, I was obliged to go again to sea, and the first trip was in a coasting sloop to Wisbeach, with a captain John Heath. When I returned, I shipped myself with captain Thomas [Page 59] Long, in the ship Ann and Judith, for Antigua. When I had made this voyage also, I covenanted with cap­tain Rogers for a voyage up the Mediterranean. His ship was Iaden with 280 quarters of corn, upon char­ter-party, to three delivering ports, viz. Marseilles, Genoa and Leghorn. In the course of this eastern voyage we sustained various hardships, which may particularly be attributed to the perverseness of our commander. We sailed from the Downs in the month of January, 1733, after riding out and weathering many vehement storms in that sea. The whole fleet sailed down Channel with very promising weather; but before we had made any progress in our intended voyage, the wind suddenly varied, and blew with such vehement rage, that the greater part of the fleet were scattered, and their sails blown and torn to atoms; there­fore such part thereof as could put back without danger returned to Spithead, while the others were dispersed abroad throughout the Channel, and driven over to the coast of France: But our captain, as before hinted, being an obstinate, though an experienced seaman, and the whole ship intirely his own, was determined to assume that unrestrained presumption, which other commanders more circumspectly declined. The consequence was, we were beating to windward for full five weeks inces­santly under reesed courses, the mountainous sea making continual breaches over the ship; nor did the cook, or any of the seamen, during that time, dress any provisions; neither had any of us the comfort of a dry thread upon our backs. One night in particular, the [Page 60] wind being at north-west, attacked us so violently, that the ship was laid hatches under water, and the fore-scuttle, where we came up, being unfortunately open, every repeated sea poured itself down into the hold like stoods, insomuch that the ship was sunk very near two streaks in the water. The captain was at the same time cursing, swearing and roaring, at the ship's company, like an infernal spirit; and had it not been through the dexterous alacrity and nimbleness of a John Stonehouse, one of our seamen, who ran up the weather main s [...]reads, and who secretly conveyed him­self under water to come at the lee-main-sheet, and let it go (which, as the main-sail was set, naturally pressed the ship down to leeward) we must inevitably have foundered, and all hands, without relief, have perished. When the main-sheet was let fly, the main-sail went all to shivers, like a clap of thunder: the fore-sail then were the ship round, and brought her starboard-side to the wind, which blew her upon an even keel. She lay for a long time like a log upon the waves, and having five feet water in her hold, we had immediate recourse to both pumps, and in about five hours cleared her, and proceeded on our voyage. But the obstinacy of the captain occasioned the loss of the cargo of whout, not one single bushel being saved out of the whole lading; and this considerable loss fell upon the configuors. As our first port of delivery was Marseilles, in the south of France, down in the gulph of Lyons, in the Streights of Gibraltar, we went thither, and offered to the consignees there the [Page 61] cargo; but they refused to accept thereof. This obliged us to carry it to Genoa, where it was likewise refused. From thence we steered up to Leghorn, and this being the last port of delivery, the freightor's correspondents were constrained to accept of it, good or bad, agreeable to charter. When our cargo was dis­charged, and our ship reladen, we departed for England. But before I proceed to our passage for England, I would take notice of some of those things which are worthy ob­servation in that part of Italy where we were stationed.

And first, I never remember to have seen a more splendid, magnificent, and fertile country in the course of my life than this was. Here the warmest of my juve­nile conceptions of foreign parts were in some measure realized; and as at the early period of my life I had en­tertained many pleasing ideas of those places where the apostles, with such holy zeal, propagated the Gospel in their travels, so I found a natural propensity to satisfy myself with a clear view of every remarkable thing throughout the limits of my restriction while on shore. In one part of Genoa I observed two very lofty pillars of marble, built upon so elevated a plan, as to be evidently perceptible from ships at the distance of 12 miles at sea. This is conjectured to be the gallons erected for Mord [...]cai the Jew, by the wicked contri­vance of Haman, and which proved fatal to Haman himself. Two things more I shall notice in Genoa. The first is the image of a man, at the back part of a gentleman's house, sculptured out of a solid rock, [Page 62] almost at the summit thereof, which appears to be precipitated therefrom, with his head foremost, his arms extended, and the hair of his head hanging pendant considerably below his body, and his whole frame fixed on his right foot, through which a spring was convey­ed, and ran throughout the body, so as to discharge drops of water from the tops of his fingers and hair. Here another surprising phoenomenon attracted my notice; at the top of a passage that led me to the rock, I perceived the exact representation of a stout and corpulent man, descending from the rock, which seemed to threaten me with impending danger, therefore I nimbly fled out of its way, least in its fall I should be crushed to pieces: However, the statue remained firm in that surprising attitude.

The next curiosity was a grand arched bridge, near a mile in length, with many spacious arches, and streets of houses (some of them four stories high) running under those arches. This bridge, as I have been informed, was constructed for the better conveni­ence of carriages passing from the city into the coun­try, for supplying the remoter natives with the neces­saries of life and commerce. The distance between every arch is sufficiently extensive to admit of twenty carriages abreast of each other. I likewise, in the course of my observations on this city, perceived that it was founded on a basis of seven hills, having a beautiful 'Change covered, and sky-lights fixed [Page 63] around, for the better conveniency of merchants to transact their negociations.

At Leghorn I saw nothing interesting, or of a grand appearance, except the four brazen men, who are placed in a conspicuous situation round a pedestal. This was erected in honour of the duke of Genoa, who gloriously defeated four notorious pirates that fre­quently disturbed the Mediterranean, viz. a father and his three sons; they were taken prisoners by the duke in a row galley, and their statues erected in brass around the pedestal, as a memorial; and on another spot was placed the image of the duke standing upright, with a truncheon in his hand, and casting an air of contempt upon the four captives, the space between these not ex­ceeding half a dozen yards. In this place there are nu­merous gallies of war, supported by common prostitutes and strumpets tolerated by government, who have a considerable part of the city allowed them, wherein they commit all manner of abominations. I do not ever re­member to have fallen in with a city or town, in which impurity predominates over the inhabitants in so li­centious a manner as in the city of Leghorn; nor is it possible for either sex to forsake or renounce that horrid course of life, even though they should be ever so desirous, or convinced of the sin thereof.

When the term of my liberty was elapsed, I repaired on board our ship, and in a few days we sailed for England. When we arrived off the Isle of Wight, a [Page 64] tender which lay in the Channel to press the homeward bound seamen (a proceeding derogatory to God and man) took our ship's crew, and after having been on board the tender rather upwards of a week, a division took place among the seamen; one part was sent on board the Lenox, of 70 guns, and the other part on board the Ipswich, of the same force. After lying at Spit­head ten months, under the weight of an arbitrary fel­low of a lieutenant, I was removed on board the Phoenix, captain Trivil Caley, who was the complete gentleman and Christian, and one whose conduct was guided by the tear of God. He frequently encouraged religious disci­pline on board; nor did he ever neglect to order his chaplain to attend his invalid seamen, at five o'clock in the morning, both at Portsmouth and Gosport, and would constantly visit every patient respectively, on his knees, at their bedsides, with all the devotion be­coming a Christian. Never was a commander so caressed by a ship's company as captain Caley, and his men were equally endeared to him. So intirely cautious was he before he spoke to any man on board, from the highest to the lowest, that he even drew the attention of strangers; for my part I could never look at him, but with uncommon satisfaction and delight: In short, his mildness, sapience and fortitude, greatly surpassed those characters I had ever admired before in my life! Happy, truly happy it proved for me, that I providentially fell in with so worthy a Christian; otherwise, what with the hell of uncommon curses and blasphemous oaths, accompanied by an habitual course [Page 65] of cruel and barbarous behaviour, on the parts of two lieutenants, I must have died under my burthen, as the idea of a man of war was ever perfectly distasteful to my inclination. At that time I was grievously op­pressed with the rheumatism: However, early one morning, God undertook my cause, and I began thus to reason with myself: The rheumatism! What is it? and it was strongly suggested to me in a manner not unlike a clear voice, "It is a violent cold." I then, with great astonishment, asked, what is most proper as a remedy for the cold? I was answered as before, "Spring water." The reason of this I could not comprehend; and asked again, Why spring water? The answer to me (clear as a strong voice) was, "Man was created out of the dust of the earth, and water springs out of the bowels of the earth, therefore it is the more adapted to his nature." At this I was satisfied, and straightway called for a man, whose name was Tom Lewis, who came immediately, and asked me what I wanted. I requested him to procure, from some part of the ship, five or six shirts, and air them sufficiently at the fire-side: I told him also to fill a large pitcher full of water, and bring it instantly to me, and I would drink till I could drink no more, as I believed the Lord had directed me to a cure, by taking a hearty draught of spring water. He endeavoured to dissuade me from so hasty an action, assuring me, that its operation would surely kill me in my then present condition: "Notwithstanding," added he, "if you are bent upon taking it, I will get it quickly." He did so, [Page 66] and compleated my desires. I then drank immediately of the spring water, laid myself down on the bed, and Tom covered me up very warm. After I had lain about the space of half an hour, with no appearance of the water's operation, I put my head under the cloaths, and breathed hard on the pit of my stomach; this produced a perspiration, and that in a profuse measure. I then desired my attendant to bring me half a dozen well-dried and warm slannels, in order to rub me from head to foot: He did this likewise, and continued his rubbing till I had made five shirts in a condition equal to the dipping of them in water. When I had put on my sixth dry shirt, I gave Thomas to understand, that I was totally exempt from every the least symptom of the rheumatism and pain; in­stantly jumped out of bed, dressed myself without his aid, and asked him what was for dinner below. He replied, "Salt-fish and potatoes;" and although I had not enjoyed one meal for eight or ten weeks before, yet I went down, and made as hearty a meal as I ever remember to have eat in my life, and then walked the distance of a mile on shore, by way of recreation. Here I considered that nothing was impossible to him who had all power in heaven and in earth. Two or three days after this I was pro­nounced "Able," and went on board the Lenox, the ship I formerly belonged to. My several indispositions began in the month of January, 1734, and accompa­nied me with direful pangs and sensations, till the latter end of April following.

[Page 67]On the Christmas-Eve, in the course of my liberty, I espoused Mary Verney, a very virtuous young wo­man, in the twenty-second year of her age. At that time I was in my twenty-third year. After remaining on board the ship for two months, orders were sent down to Sir John Norris, on board the Britannia, a first-rate of 100 guns, with the union flag at his main-top-mast-head; the Barflour, admiral Balchan, of 90 guns, and blue flag at the fore-top-mast-head; and the Lancaster, of So guns, admiral Haddock, with St. George's flag at his fore-top-mast-head, to­gether with twenty-five sail of the line, to sail imme­diately for Lisbon, in order to protect the king of Portugal's Brazilian fleet from the threats of the Spaniards. Here myself, with several others, were turned over from the Lenox on board the Grafton, of 70 guns, and sailed, in company with the fleet, for Lisbon, and arrived in the Tagus some time in the month of May, 1735, where we lay ten months at anchor, in which time the Brazil fleet arrived, and orders were sent from England for admiral Haddock's squadron to return thither. Previous to our departure from Lisbon the king of Portugal, with his brother; the black prince, came on board of all three admirals, whose ships were drest in various colours, consisting of all nations in the world, and making a very brilliant appearance. His Portuguese majesty allowed every man and boy in the fleet one pint of wine per day, with fresh provisions every day till the completion of our voyage.

[Page 68]We sailed for England in the beginning of January, 1736, and arrived off the rocks of Scilly the latter end of the same month, where our ship was well nigh lost, it being indispensably necessary for us to beat to windward under reefe [...] courses; but, thank God, we were preserved in this storm also, and arrived safe in Chatham river, where we were paid off, February 6, 1736. I then came directly to London, nor have I ever been to sea since. I could wish to make one re­mark here, which I have omitted in the course of my voyages. The coast of Africa is attended every day (especially on the leeward coast) with dreadful tornadoes of wind, thunder and lightning, the flashes of which for some time take away the sight. At one time in parti­cular, about eight degrees to the southward of the equi­noctial line, at one A. M. a violent tornado came down upon us, with loud claps of thunder, and fierce flashes of lightning: In the height of this storm also descended from the disturbed clouds something that bore the re­semblance of a squib darting out fire at one end, about one foot and a half in length, and the thickness of a man's wrist: It came down from the heavens with astonishing velocity, passed within a yard of my head, and penetrated the quarter-deck; but meeting with an obstruction of the air, made its way through the main hatchway, took a swift course over the larboard-quar­ter, and, when it burst, exploded with so loud a clap of thunder, that we could not expect two planks of the ship would have remained together. However, the ship [Page 69] weathered this storm also, but not without much da­mage, through the mighty force of the tornado.

I now entered into a new scene of life, and altho' I had been brought up to the sea, and had no friends to supply my necessities at home, yet I was resolved, thro' the help of the Almighty, to have recourse to any em­ployment, be it in never so menial a calling, rather than abide in the unsuitable state of life I formerly did. A life attended with all manner of sufferings and wick­edness in the highest degree, my case being rather different from other seamen; as God never left me without conviction, which constantly rendered my mind very unhappy, and I ever experienced grievous stings of conscience for the commission of any discoverable sin. Being now in a married state, and desirous to lead a regular and observant life, I habituated myself to the church-service; but finding the churchmen living as did other people, and having no Christian friend to converse with, I knew not what step to take, and therefore readily concluded, religion was a mere farce. At the same time, being subject to the weight of many temporal distresses, a fresh burthen came upon me; yet it pleased God to point me out, in a few months, a school at Staplefoot Tauney, near Passingford Bridge, in the county of Essex, erected by a lady Luther, who spared no pains in its building; and also bestowed many donations towards the support and maintenance thereof. My whole salary amounted to £14 per annum, ten pounds whereof was the neat [Page 70] salary from the school; two pounds from lady Luther, and the like sum from Mr. Moot, a wealthy farmer, with as many day-scholars as I could acquire for my own account. I soon raised a considerable school, and sent to London for my wife, and all my goods. The lady three days in the week invited me with the cu­rate of the parish to dine with her; and every other day, if I thought proper, to accompany the servants at their dinner in Knave's-Hall, as they termed it. I now began to be much delighted with my situation, and reserved no diligence to bring the children forward in their learning; indeed the success I met with, caused the school to be recommended throughout the country.

Here the curate of the parish frequently called upon me, and decoyed me to his lodgings, about three miles from the school, to join him in smoaking a pipe, drinking a bowl of punch, with the like carousals. I was also pressed upon to sing him a sea song, and was generally detained so very late at night, that I could scarcely find my way home; but this life did not an­swer my desires, and therefore, as the curate and myself were going from lady Luther's over the fields to my school, I took upon myself to quote some passages of Scripture, relating to our immoral proceedings. My guide, or pretended one, laughed heartily, and said, "Told, are you so great a blockhead as to believe the Scripture? It is nothing but a pack of false theology, the whole of it." This surprised me much, and from [Page 71] that period I separated myself from his company; and God, in his providence, disunited me from those dead and barren Christians, by the following simple circum­stance.

The wood I had bespoke for firing not coming in, as I expected, I acquainted farmer Mills, on the op­posite side of the church-yard, who gave me leave to send my boys into his field, where they might be able to collect a quantity sufficient for my use until the be­spoken fire-wood came in; and seeing it was on the farmer's own ground, I had no conceptions of any impropriety of conduct on my part; yet this, through the insinuative complaint of an old woman (who ever before exprest the sincerest regard for myself and wife) proved the cause of my removal out of the school and country. Sir Edward Smith, then lord of the manor, sent for lady Luther, and desired to know what kind of a schoolmaster she had brought into the country, and whether he ever taught his children their catechism. My lady informed me that Sir Edward greatly sur­prised her; but she answered him, that I bore the best characters, and had brought the children forward in their education in an extraordinary manner, and that I taught the children their catechism every Thursday. Sir Edward then asked, how I came to leave out the eighth commandment; therefore insisted upon my dis­mission from the school, and departure from the town immediately; nor would he hear the circumstance face to face, so that I was under the necessity of hiring a [Page 72] waggon to carry all my goods back to London; and was then at a loss what method to pursue for the main­tenance of my family; but in a short time a clerk's place offered at King's-Wharf, Beaufort's-Buildings, to a dealer in coals and timber. I remained there about four months, when my mistress leaving off busi­ness, I was necessarily discharged, and was left desti­tute of employment for some time; nor could I obtain any relief, or procure the least employ, from any quarter thereabouts, so was resolved to submit to any the meanest office to procure a subsistence, and accord­ingly engaged myself to a Mr. Medway, a bricklayer, in Watling-street, to keep his books, and at vacant opportunities to attend and wait on the labou [...]ers. Here I continued about six or seven years, and after­wards served Mr. John Pankeman, a bricklayer like­wise; but in the course of my services with him, God began a different providence with me, and one day, as labouring at my work in Old-Street Road, a young man, who was likewise a bricklayer, came and asked me if I could help him to business. I answered him rather roughly, which he received with great meek­ness; this struck me with surprise: I then called him back, and desired him to wait on a certain master bricklayer, at an appointed place the next morning, who, I was apt to believe, could find him employ­ment. He repaired thereto accordingly, and the gen­tleman, without asking him any questions, admitted him into his service. This young man was the instrument, in the hand of God, of leading me [Page 73] out of darkness into his marvellous light. Here my readers will permit me to enter upon my religious life, and therefore I think it prudent to revert back to my earliest days; and as I have already in the begin­ning set forth the manner and mystery of God's work­ing upon my soul, to the time of my admission into Edward Colson's Hospital, so I shall occasionally in­tersperse my changes of station in this life, as well as those of a spiritual nature.

When I first was admitted into school, between two extremes, that of parting with my tender-hearted nurse, and being driven into a new scene of life, I was brought under much distress of mind; yet I constantly found the Spirit of God working powerfully upon me; nor could I ever find peace or rest but when meditating on things divine. My thoughts, when at prayers in the school three times every day, were carried up into heaven, with the most solemn ardent desire; and when we assembled in the college church, which we regu­larly did every Sabbath-Day, the service there was to me a heaven upon earth. Here I drank deep into the bliss and happiness of the ever-blessed and adorable Jesus, and that without interruption, till I arrived at the age of ten years, by which time I had made some proficiency in learning, and was approved of by the minister, who came twice a week to instruct us in re­ligious principles; so that in a short time I was com­petent (by readily answering him any questions pro­pounded) [Page 74] to be intitled a monitor. I then began to read pious books, especially the Pilgrim's Progress. This set me on fire for God and heavenly bliss, and wrought in me the utmost horror of taking the Lord's name in vain, or of telling a lye; and as there were a few lads in the same order as myself, that were piously inclined, so we often read the Pilgrim's Pro­gress together. On a Lord's-Day in particular, being at the college church, the reverend Mr. Sutton preached a very alarming discourse upon the deep things of eter­nity, to a wanton crouded congregation. The fashion was then for the women to go naked-breasted; nor was there scarce a woman to be found in the college but appeared in the most indecent manner; yet the discourse in a great measure effected its design; neither do I ever remember to have seen any thing of that kind in Bristol afterwards. Many of our boys were deeply affected by the sermon, so that when we came home to school, several of us entered into an agree­ment to pinch the tongue of him that told a lye, or that mentioned the Lord's name in an irreverent way.

When I was about twelve years of age I was more profoundly acquainted with divine things, but not with myself as a sinner. Sitting one day in my order, and reading the Pilgrim's Progress, I suddenly laid down the book, leaned my right elbow on my right knee, with my hand supporting my head, and medi­tated [Page 75] in the most solemn thought, upon the awfulness of eternity: Suddenly I was struck with a hand on the top of my head, which affected my whole frame; the blow was immediately followed by a voice with these words, "Dark! dark! dark!" and although it alarmed me prodigiously, yet, upon the recovery from so sudden a motion, I found myself broad awake in a world of sin. Notwithstanding all my former happi­ness and bliss, I now found a dreadful difference, as nothing could give me satisfaction, either from person or things; not could I ever rest [...]atisfied about my salva­tion, as temptation from the world, the flesh and the devil, were ever besetting me.

One day, the boys being permitted to go to visit their friends, I obtained permission likewise, although I had no relation or friend in the city, my mother and two sisters residing in London, and my two elder bro­thers residing in the country. However, several of the boys accompanied me that afternoon to go to a river, called Broad-Stony, near the city, for the pur­pose of learning to swim; and, as I was strongly de­sirous of learning that art, several of the smaller boys, with myself, went into a pond adjoining to that river, which received the overflowing thereof. It being low water, I ventured rather beyond the others; but in attempting to swim, struck out of my depth, and was for some time struggling for life. My companions, who sat upon the bank on the other side the river, imagined I was taking my sport and pastime, by rea­son [Page 76] of my rising above water and diving under again; therefore had no conceptions that I was on the verge of being drowned, till they perceived that I gave a dart, sunk, and they could see me no more. At this they were all terribly affrighted, and in the utmost conster­nation, not knowing what to do; but descrying some haymakers at the farther end of the meadow, they ran with all possible haste, and informed them that a boy was drowned. Providentially there was a Dutch­man among the haymakers, who, upon hearing the sad news, threw down his hay-fork, ran to the river­side, enquired of the others where I was perceived to sink, and, upon as near an information as could possi­bly be given, he jumped in without pulling off any of his cloaths. He then searched and groped about for a considerable time, but I could not be found, as in the dart I had shot a great distance from the spot where the children perceived me to sink. I was now given up for lost; but as the Dutchman was swimming to the bank where a willow-bush grew out at the side, in order to haul himself out of the pond, he felt about with one of his legs just before he came to the bank, and as my head was covered in the mud, with my heels upright, so he providentially struck his foot against mine, and joyfully gave the signal that I was found. He went down, brought me up, and landed me on the bank; but not the least signs of life were discernible in me. The Dutchman held me with my heels up­wards for some minutes, and then concluded my life was irretrievably gone; yet it entered into his [Page 77] mind to try another method: Accordingly he swam across the river, and went a little way up the hill, where there was a small alehouse. He got from thence a quartern of brandy, and swam over the river back again into the meadow, holding up the brandy in one hand, and swimming with the other. My jaws were firmly set together, nor was there any motion or breath to be perceived; yet he put some brandy into his mouth, forced my jaws open, and blew repeatedly half a quartern of spirits down my throat: He also blew some up my nostrils, and into my ears, and in about three quarters of an hour my left-eye flew open, and I gave a loud shriek. They then carried me to Baptist-Mills, where, in about four hours, I recovered my senses, so as to have a faint knowledge of one or two of the boys: These were the immediate accounts of all transactions as they related them to me.

I was then conveyed home to the school, but with an excruciating pain, equal to the being out through in the middle of my body; nor did I enjoy an ex­emption therefrom for several years together; neither do I remember a single twelvemonth, for a dozen years successively, but that this pain produced two, three, or more fits of sickness every year, and many of them brought me near the grave. When I went to school, Mr. Samuel Gardner, the principal master of the hos­pital, having been informed of the circumstance, punished me severely, as a strict charge had been de­livered by him that none of us should go near the [Page 78] water, one of his scholars having been drowned some time ago, and who never recovered.

I hope my readers will suspend their judgment, in censuring what I am now about to relate, although it may appear rather incredible: I shall then, in the most simple and artless manner treat of what was as real to my sensations, as that I ever had an existence. The circumstance was this: Although I was deprived of my natural senses, and had no ideas of the things of t [...]s world, yet my spirit was permitted by God both to behold and experience that which, I believe, no one in the body ever did. My entrance into this blissful vision, as it [...]ared to me, was, that I rushingly emerged out of thick [...]a [...]ess into a most glorious city; the lustre of which a [...] f [...]r outshone the brilliancy of the noon-day [...]n, [...] the brightness thereof transcends the glimmer­ing ray [...] of the moon. This empyreal light shone with a [...]esplen [...]ent power on the city, and illuminated even the darkness, through which I seemed to urge my [...]y, and enforce my entrance into that beatifie state; [...]nd notwithstanding we cannot retain a stedfast eye upon the sun, when dazzling our eart [...]ly cities with its meridian splendors, yet I found no impe [...]iment to my sight in looking with a rapturous ardency on this h [...]ave [...]ly [...]me, the beams whereof darted from the [...]th-east, with a r [...]f [...]lgence beyond the highest con­ceptions. There was also some resemblance of a bot­tom, or f [...]oor, like unto glass, but neither the city or bottom were of any substance. The inhabitants were [Page 79] all in the form of men, arrayed in robes of the finest quality, from their necks down to their feet; yet they also appeared to me of no material substance. What particularly courted my attention was, that not one of these celestial bodies were under any degree of labour to walk, as they all glided swiftly along, as if carried by the wind. This was my own case, clothed in the finest of linen, and conveyed with the like celerity. No speech or language was needful there, as they were all one soul. The solemn, sacred joy, and uninter­rupted peace, I then possessed, all language fails me to point out: I had no imaginations of evil, or any temptations thereto, but was completely happy without mixture.

Another point of this vision I would just remark before I close the subject, that is, while those blessed spirits were performing their aerial course, one of them about 50 yards off, on my right-hand, turned round, and looked stedfastly at my raiment: We both sud­denly stopt, and the extacies which proceeded from his countenance, united us together as one. Oh! who can express the sweet, pleasant, and serene tranquility (then enjoyed! But, on a sudden, I lost all sense of this very desirable state, and clearly apprehended my being brought again into a sinful world; the coming into which was as through a devouring ocean of blood and fire. This was the sequel and conclusion of that awful dispensation of the righteous God to me, well knowing how he had disposed of me for many years [Page 80] past, that I might be made perfect through sufferings, and drink deep into this cup, and be baptized with his baptism. As to my external sufferings, they are prin­cipally set forth in the foregoing part of this nar­rative.

I have likewise already hinted at my being particu­larly convinced of sin, by reading the Pilgrim's Pro­gress, yet the Spirit of God never left me without conviction; nor do I remember ever to have fallen into any outward sin, but I reflected upon it with guilt and abhorrence; and being deeply affected with the conse­quence of [...] in a future judgment, I was also often terrified with awful dreams. When on my first passage to Jamaica I was grievously exercised in my mind, as not one of the mariners had the least concern for God, or the salvation of their own souls; but, on the contrary, appeared to be greedy of eternal death and damnation; and, as St. Paul intimates, "Evil communications corrupt good manners," so this, in process of time, though with much fear and trembling, not only cor­rupted my manners, but my morals also; and, being unacquainted with the devices of the devil, I stole into a reasoning spirit, doubting whether all those persons, who seemed happy in themselves, could be lost eter­nally or not, although they lived such horrid lives. The fatal enemy made a fresh attack upon my mind, and forced me still to doubt whether God would suffer any of the human species to be punished eternally for crimes committed in this their transitory span of life, [Page 81] although the word of God expressly declares it shall be so; those and similar temptations got considerable advantage of me.

When we arrived at Jamaica, the inhabitants, in every particular, corresponded with those reasonings; nor do I remember ever to have met with one man, or woman, who had the fear of God before their eyes in the town of Kingston, or Port-Royal, or even the form of godliness among them. They were much addicted to pro­phane cursing, swearing, whoredom, lying, and Sabbath-breaking, exercising the utmost cruelty on their unhappy negro slaves, which never appeared to be a burthen upon their untouched consciences, and as I have been a spectator to multiplied acts of cruelty, exercised by them, upon their poor miserable black drudges, I shall briefly relate one instance, which, for its notoriety and unheard of inhumanity, it would be unjust on my part to withhold from the attention of all lovers of clemency and Christian discipline, and from the world in gene­ral. As I went on shore at Ramsay's-Wharf for cer­tain sugars, at the east end of Kingston, a stout black man, about thirty-six years of age, was brought down to the crane, at the end of the wharf, by his master, and for the commission of some almost nameless error, was delivered up to be punished. The mode of exe­cuting this bloody punishment was as follows: The boatswain tied both wrists together with a strong cord, then hooked the crane between his wrists, and hoisted his body nearly a foot from the floor. The boatswain [Page 82] then took a whip, composed of cow's-skin, which, when dried hard and twisted lengthways, forms a kind of cork­screw, the outward edge thereof from end to end being extremely sharp. A negro man, in obedience to the boatswain's commands, and at a moment's notice, began the direful action, in presence of his vile master, accom­panied by two others of the same complexion, gazing upon the pitiable object with complaisancy and delight. After the executioner, with his piercing weapon, and with one hundred repeated lashes, had reduced his body from neck to ancles into one flagrant wound; and human nature was no longer able to support itself under the remorseless stroke, the poor man hung down his head, and received the remaining cuts like a stock or a stone, repeatedly, though faintly, uttering "Oh! me deady! me deady!" Nor did this move the accursed fiend (his master) till the poor tortured object appeared in his last gasps. He then desired the boatswain's mate to desist for a few moments, and approached the almost expiring slave; where, taking a more particular survey of his wounds from head to foot, and perceiving two or three inch spaces which had not been laid open, he instantly ran to the boatswain's mate, and compelled him to lash him there also, and make him all alike. When this was executed he was loosed, and as he had no strength to stand, so he lay as totally dead, while he was washed from head to foot in a tub of salt-beef pickle, placed on the wharf for that purpose. Here I was greatly astonished that the excruciating pains and acute smarts, produced by the pickle, did not put a [Page 83] speedy end to the remainder of his existence. The vile heathen (his master) tarried to behold this operation also, and afterwards walked off well satisfied. The effect this worked upon my mind (as I ever did, and humbly hope ever shall abhor the ap­pearance of cruelty, more especially when I behold such merciless acts thereof as I then did) heightened my indignation to such a degree, that I must acknow­ledge, had I been possessed of a knife, sword, or any other cutlery instrument, I should certainly have trans­fixed the body of so infernal a being. This deed was not executed in a corner, or done privily, but upon the open wharf, and in a nominal Christian Protestant country; but if the word "Christian" implies (which it unquestionably doth) one who has the mind that was in his heavenly Master, or that pursues his most holy example, then there can be no impropriety, or breach of charity, in pronouncing such wretches as those chil­dren of the devil, rather than the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. The Scripture impartially con­demns all such with this dreadful sentence, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire," unless they deeply repent before they are called out of this life. All this gross ignorance and horrid barbarity overspread the island of Jamaica in the year 1727, and I am spared to the year 1775; yet there are too many reasons to believe that the same, or nearly the same, spirit of cruelty still predominates over those our unfortunate fellow creatures, the greater part of whom are clan­destinely taken away from their native countries, utterly [Page 84] against the consent of their parents and themselves, and enforced, by devilish compulsion, into slavery and captivity to the latest moment of their lives, with their children, and childrens children after them, unto many generations, until God undertakes their wretched cause, and sets them at liberty. Here it may be retorted upon me, "Physician, heal thyself," as I had been in the slave trade for some years: I confess and acknow­ledge this charge, but my case was different, being at that time an apprentice, and unacquainted with the consequent evils of that horrid trade, I conducted my­self with the utmost circumspection, according to the best of my knowledge, in obedience to my master's interest: But when I arrived at Boston, those pious and Christian people reasoned the matter with me, and, notwithstanding my familiarity with the African trade, and the immediate prospect of being made a conspicuous character in that impious number of Guinea commanders; yet, through the all-wise Pro­vidence of God, I relinquished every point of tempo­ral interest and advantage; nor had I any the least inclinations, or weakest desires, of resuming them any more: Therefore I am under the highest obligations to the Almighty for so happy a deliverance from the snare of the devil, seeing that it is one of the most base practices under the sun; but had not the Lord's timely interposition manifested itself in rescuing me therefrom, I probably might (by promotion to the rank of captain) have proved as eminent a savage as the most notorious character among them. Surely [Page 85] an immediate curse from God attends upon this cruel trade, as few voyages are made to those parts in which the crews are not thinned by poison, suiside, ill usage, and every species of destruction; this I have remarked during the slavery under which I laboured when un­happily linked to that trade. And although I was frequently labouring under severe sicknesses myself, yet the merciful hand of God was ever over me, and followed me with daily convictions for sins, yet, having an evil precedent always before me, and the corruptions of my own evil nature incessantly prompting me to sin, I sometimes gave way thereto, against the light of conscience, knowing but very little of the corrupt fountain from whence those resistless currents of evil perpetually flowed; yet this was always a pain to my mind, and a complete obstacle against my having immediate recourse to private devotion. It likewise proved a barrier against my solemn deprecations for pardon of my past sins, and to guard against future temptations; but to my greater grief still, I found that, when the bank was broken, the breach was made wider; and being at that time between 17 and 18 years of age, and my carnal passions getting the dominion over me, I was oftentimes overcome with swea [...]ing, drunkenness and lewdness, as also divers other evils; therefore, what with my terrified con­science, and cross providences in temporals, my life became completely miserable; so that for about ten years I continued in that unsettled state, sinning and repenting; nor did the Lord suffer me to prosper, [Page 85] either in soul or body; yet I was never without fear of death, hell and judgment: This I considered a mercy far beyond my deserts.

In the month of July, 1740, Mr. Charles Casper Greaves, the young bricklayer, already spoken of in the foregoing account, was made the instrument of my introduction among the then much despised people, called Methodists; a people grievously contemned, by reason of the many evil reports raised against them; one of which was, That the false prophets referred to in Scripture were every Sunday, or at other select opportunities, in the center of their congregations. Another report was, the there were certain subter­raneous dens and caves, into which the men and women frequently resorted, there to commit all manner of abo­minations. Together with similar reports; all which I cordially believed, and communicated those sictiti­ous relations to my wife, her father and mother, so that we all conceived an utter detestation to these Methodists: But God's thoughts of them were not as our thoughts, therefore I was, through his Providence, pointed out to be the happy instrument of conversion both to my own and wife's family, which will more fully appear in the sequel hereof. But, previously re­turning to young Mr. Greaves, I hope to recount the many interesting passages of our intercourse during his employment in Golden-Lane, by a brewer, to whom I was also a clerk. I here descried something in the countenance and behaviour of this young man, [Page 87] very different to that I beheld in others, as well as myself. However, to my shame be it spoken, I treated him with ridicule and contempt, he being a Whitfieldlite, as it was termed; and to the nearest of my remembrance, I sometimes cursed and swore at him, and told him the whole fraternity of them was a mixture of false prophets, hypocrites and ple­beians; all which he bore with a calm magnanimity and unwearied patience; nor did he return me one evil word or look. His countenance appeared full of holy grief, which greatly condemned me, although I concealed it from him; and at twelve o'clock, being dinner time, he asked me where I dined. I answered him very roughly, "In the hay-loft." He then said, "I will go with you;" so we both ascended together, and as soon as we were seated on the trusses of hay, he took a Prayer-Book out of his pocket, and read a few verses out of the Psalms; he then turned round, and asked me what I thought of those words; and as I was fond of the Scriptures, I was the more confounded, well knowing they condemned me more abundantly than before. When he perceived my tongue was silent, he began rather too hastily upon me, and asked me to go with him that evening to hear the Reverend Mr. Wesley at the Foundry. I beg'd him, for God's sake, never to ask me a question of that kind any more, for I was determined never to go thither, and that if my wife ever came to the knowledge of such proceedings, she would never forgive me; seeing me so earnest, he considered it prudent to say no more; but in that in­stant [Page 88] God began to work powerfully upon my soul. Then the eye of my mind saw the Son of God sitting on his throne to judge the world, and a calm peace rested upon me, such as tongue cannot express. This happy change abode with me every moment of that afternoon, and I quickly, though imperceptibly, found my spirit much united to Mr. Greaves, and therefore related my experience to him. I then my­self proposed going with him to hear the Reverend Mr. Wesley, to which he acceded with great satis­faction, and accordingly we repaired to the Foundry, but were disappointed.

The next morning he took me up to Short's Gar­dens, to hear Mr. Wesley; but we were disappointed there likewise. However, we tarried to hear the ser­mon, yet the place was very unpleasant; but the preacher exceedingly more so, who proved to be Mr. Maxfield, a lay-preacher, with a thick-head, of curled hair, resembling a mop, and a clownish disagreeable voice, stammering out his words, as I ima­gined, without rhyme or reason. When he had con­cluded I went out in a pet, and asked Mr. Greaves for what reasons he brought me there, whether it was to hear a good sermon, or to be disgusted by the grumbling of a fellow who could not deliver half a dozen words of common sense.

This unkind speech, however, did not appear to affect him the least in the world; but, on the contrary, [Page 89] excited his compassion, and increased his pity towards me; so that he very mildly enquired of me the place of my residence, and gave me to understand, that, without any fear of disappointment, I might depend upon hearing the Reverend Mr. Wesley next Sunday morning at five o'clock. I answered him, more surly than ever I did before, but told him he might call at my apartments if he thought proper, and gave him directions accordingly; and, notwithstanding his place of abode was at Kensington, and that of mine on Church-Hill, near Black-Friars church, yet he was at my house precisely at four o'clock in the morning. I then went with him to the Foundry, and as we were passing through Cheapside, he commenced a Christian conversation, and asked me if I ever had an idea of what was become of all those who walked that street fourscore or an hundred years ago. This prepared my mind for hearing the word, and, as before ob­served, God had wrought graciously upon my soul, so I was the better prepared to receive instructions. When we entered the Foundry (as I had heard various unaccountable reports both of the place and people) I was much tempted to gaze about me, in order to make a few observations thereon; and finding it a ruinous place, with an old pantile covering, a few rough deal boards put together to constitute a temporary pulpit, and several other decayed timbers, which composed the whole structure, I began to think it answered the re­port given of it, as there were many rooms and cor­ners similar to those caverns related to me by my [Page 90] former irreligious acquaintances. In one of these recluse parts of the Foundry sat three or four old wo­men, one of whom appeared in the attitude of an unmoveable statue, with her apron over her face, nor was she uncovered during the whole time of divine service. The enemy of souls immediately suggested that she was an hypocrite. My friend, Mr. Greaves, stood close behind me, to prevent my going out, as I had done at Short's-Gardens, to which I was strongly tempted, and had it not been for the multitude of people assembled together, so early in the morning as between four and five o'clock, and the striking con­sideration of such profound seriousness, which evidently appeared in the countenance of almost every person there, I must certainly have given way to the temptation, and thereby have lost the greatest blessing I ever experienced before. I tarried there a full half hour before the service began, during which my mind was sorely disturbed with many strange notions, as I had been so strongly attached to the church of England. Exactly at five o'clock a general whisper was conveyed through the congregation, and "Here he comes! Here he comes!" was repeated with the utmost pleasure. I was filled with curiosity to see his person, which, when I beheld, I much despised. The enemy of souls, who is never unprepared to hinder the salvation of individuals, suggested, that he was some farmer's son, who, not able to support himself, was making a penny in this low and ignoble manner. He passed through the con­gregation into the temporary pulpit, and, having his [Page 91] robes on, I expected he would have begun with the Church service; but, to my astonishment, the intro­duction to his preaching was the singing an hymn, with which I was almost enraptured; but his extem­porary prayer was quite unpleasant, as I thought it savoured too much of the Dissenters mode of worship, which at that time my prejudice could not abide. After which he took his text in the 2d chapter, of the 1st epistle general of St. John, 12 and 13 ver. "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are for­given you, &c." The enemy struck a deadly blow at me, and in that moment suggested, that he was a Papist, as he dwelt so much on forgiveness of sins; and altho' I had read this portion of Scripture many times before, yet I never understood that we were to know our sins forgiven on earth; supposing that it referred only to those to whom the apostle was then writing, especially as I had never heard this doctrine preached in the Church. However, my prejudice quickly abated, thro' the excellent wisdom with which Mr. Wesley spoke: This clearly elucidated the subject, and proved the point. I then plainly saw I could never be saved without know­ing my sins were forgiven me; and in the midst of his sermon the Spirit of God sealed the truth of every word upon my heart. At the close of the discourse, however strange it may appear, a small still voice entered my left ear, with these words, "This is the truth!" and instantly I felt it in my heart; and for five and thirty years I have never once doubted of those truths and doctrines received amongst us, viz. "Of salvation by [Page 92] that faith productive of good works." My worthy friend, Mr. Greaves, observing my attention to the sermon, asked me how I liked Mr. Wesley. I replied, "As long as I live I will never part from him." Hitherto the Lord hath kept me, and I trust he ever will. With this first sermon my soul was on fire, assured that it was the truth; so that I was filled with zeal for the righteous cause, and for some years I ran, as it were through fire and water, to promote the Redeemer's kingdom, and that not without glorious success. Here I broke off at a stroke all my old ac­quaintance in iniquity, who mocked and derided me exceedingly; and one of my most intimate acquaint­ances said to me, "What! Told, are you commenced Whitfieldli [...]e? As sure as ever you was born, if you follow them, you are damned!" But the heavier my persecutions were, the more abundantly I rejoiced, and conceived such love and union to my ministers and companions in tribulation, that nought but death could make a separation.

I had now to encounter with my wife and family, with whom for many years I had lived peaceably and in quiet; but they perceiving different marks of an alteration in my mind and behaviour, suspected I had been among the Methodists. My wife, though a wor­thy, honest woman, yet an entire stranger to this new light, happened one day to exclaim very warmly, and said, "What the devil possesses you? I hope you have not been among the Methodists; I'll sacrifice [Page 93] my soul rather than you shall go among those mis­creants;" although I never before this heard an ill expression drop from her lips (Oh! how does the car­nal mind rage in the unconverted!) However, I gave her for answer, "If you are resolved to sacrifice your soul, I am resolved, God willing, to join them:" At which she said no more, nor ever opposed my going to the word.

After this happened a very unfortunate circumstance. One evening, as my wife was occasionally at her ac­customed chandler's shop (which in a circle of years had taken some hundreds of pounds of my wife's family, between whom and the proprietor, a spirit of unanimi­ty had invariably subsisted from the origin of their mutual acquaintance) she discovered a leg of pork roasting by the fire, and, being big with her fourth child, longed to eat of the joint. Mr. C. . . . . was ever free with our family in what my house afforded, therefore my wife naturally imagined a similar degree of freedom on her part would not be considered as an act of rudeness by Mr. C. . . . .—At this time, how­ever, he seemed unfamiliar; nor did he invite my wife to partake of his supper, as usuall Mrs. Told, being strictly modest, went home, and informed her mother of the illiberality of Mr. C. . . . . who went immediately to him, and related to him my wife's condition; upon which he raved, cursed, swore, and, with the hottest censure, replied, "What! can I not have a joint of meat, but she must long for it?" [Page 94] throwing out of his mouth, at the same time, the most sarcastic and repeated invectives. Her mother, struck with his behaviour, quickly informed me thereof. I then went to him myself, and offered him half a gui­nea for a plate-full of the pork, which he sharply refused. This broke off, for ever afterwards, our acquaintance; but I do not imagine that the disap­pointment would have effected my wife, had it not been principally owing to the weakness of her mother, who informed her of the man's cruel behaviour; which had so heavy an effect upon her, that the child became emaciated within her, insomuch that she was never de­livered, but lay eight months under the physician's charge, which was attended with a very great expence. At this time my salary was but low, having no more than ten shillings per week: Out of this three-pence was applied to the pay-table every Saturday evening; nine shillings I lodged in the hands of a friend for the sup­port of my wife, and the remaining nine-pence was the whole of my subsistence the following week.

In the year 1744, having been married seven years, my wife died, leaving only one child, a girl about two years of age. God now began to bless me in my temporals, and increased my outward circumstances. Soon after my wife' [...] death I was recommended to a Mr. Bembow, at New-Crane, Wapping, to serve him as a clerk, where I was greatly respected, through my diligence in business, and constant assiduity when em­ployed in a more infer [...]or calling. A few months [Page 95] of my services to Mr. Bembow were scarcely expired, before I was visited by a Mr. Hogg, one of the Rev. Mr. Wesley's stewards, who informed me, that the Rev. Mr. Wesley requested my undertaking to teach the charity-children at the Foundry-school; but I being fixed with Mr. Bembow refused it. A few days after Mr. Hogg returned, and, together with a repetition of his former message, he said that Mr. Wesley positively insisted upon it, making mention, that my calling thereunto was equally clear and evident with Mr. Wesley's calling to the ministry. I then believed it was my duty to comply with his desires, and therefore informed Mr. Bembow of the intended separation. Both Mr. Bembow and his wife intreated me to continue my services towards them, telling me, at the same time, that no money should part us; for that they never had acquired an assistant who executed their commands with such attention, and promoted their interest with such assiduity and pains, as I con­stantly did; but, as I considered it the immediate in­terposition of God, and dared not, for conscience sake, to reject the undertaking, I then thought proper to continue steadfastly inexorable to all their intrea­ties, though it was the occasion of much grief on both sides.

The day after our disunion I was established in the Foundry-school, and, in the space of a few weeks, collected threescore boys and six girls▪ but the society, though many in number, yet poor withal, could not [Page 96] grant me more than ten shillings per week. This, however, was sufficient for me, as they hospitably boarded and clothed my daughter. Being conscious of my indispensable duty in this important undertak­ing, and having the children under my care from five in the morning till five in the evening, both winter and summer, sparing no diligence to make them com­plete in the rudiments of their education, I at length, with the assistance of an usher and four monitors, brought near 40 of them into writing and arithmetic. I continued in the school seven years and three months, and discharged 275 boys, most of them to capital trades.

In the year 1744, and as near as I can well remem­ber, in the month of June, I attended the children one morning at the five o'clock preaching; when the Rev. Mr. Wesley took his text out of the 25th chapter of St. Matthew, the 41st, 42d, 43d, and 44th verses, and I having laboured under sore convictions for a considerable time, was almost distracted in my mind, when he read these words, "I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not;" and as I was sensible of my negligence, in never visiting the prisoners during the course of my life, so therefore I was filled with an horror of mind beyond expression. I then began to reason with myself, that I had obeyed the other in­junctions, but not this one; therefore I could not be saved, as I never had a mere knowledge of either pri­sons or keepers; and to increase my then prevailing [Page 97] wretchedness, it was suggested to me that I should be eternally miserable if I did not speedily visit them. This threw me, well nigh, into a state of despondency and hopelessness, as I was totally unacquainted with the measures requisite to be pursued for that purpose. However, the good and gracious God, two or three days after, sent a messenger to me in the school, who informed me of ten malefactors that were under sen­tence of death, and would be glad of any of our friends who could make it convenient to go and pray with them. The messenger, whose name was Sarah Peters, gave me to understand, that they were all much awakened, and that one of them (John Lancaster) was converted, and full of the love of God. In con­sequence of this reviving information, I committed my school (without an hour's delay) to the superin­tendency of my trusty usher, Mr. Marr, and went with Sarah Peters to Newgate, where we had admit­tance into the cell wherein they were confined.

In the first place, I desired Lancaster to call them altogether into his cell, and then began to inquire into the state of their souls. I addressed Mr. Lancaster first, as he appeared to be all alive to God. He told me he had no doubt but that God, for Christ's sake, had forgiven him all his sins; and, although (as he observed) he was very young, yet he had lived a very wicked life, and acknowledged, that three others, with himself, were the persons who robbed the Foundry one morning of all the brass candlesticks; but he knew [Page 98] that shortly he would be with Jesus in Paradise. He added, "This morning, about five o'clock, the Sun of Righteousness arose in my dark cell, and I am now so full of God and heaven, that I am like a barrel of new wine ready to burst for vent. Oh! for words to express what I now feel!" He then dropt on his knees, and earnestly supplicated the Lord Jesus to endue the Reverends John and Charles Wesley with such a profu­sion of his blessed countenance, that when his glorious wisdom calls them hence, they might come to the grave as ripe shocks of corn to the ground, fitted for their master's pleasure. I then spoke to the rest, six of whom seemed clear of their acceptance in the Beloved.

While I was speaking to these, one Roberts, a car­man, who lived in Whitecross-Street, entered the cell, looking at me with a sullen shyness, and, with a countenance speaking the very spirit of the old serpent dwelling in him. This immediately struck me, and I endeavoured to speak to him with all the comfortable words, and use the most pacific exhortati­ons, I was capable of, inviting him to come to the Lord Jesus as a poor, helpless, lost, and undone sinner, that Jesus was the only sinner's Friend; told him, that the King of heaven laid down his life for the chief of sinners, and that he certainly died for him: I there­fore quoted (for example) David, Mary Magdalen, Peter, and the thief on the cross. Now, while I was thus speaking to him, I perceived his countenance to [Page 99] change into a pleasing smile, and his uncultivated savage behaviour, happily transformed into a child-like deportment. Now God instantly made the lyon to lie down with the kid; so the turbulent man became meek, and continued thus till his last moments.

The report having been made, and the dead-war­rant coming down, eight of the ten were ordered for execution; the other two were respited: Nor did either of those two appear to have any the least regard or concern for their deathless souls; therefore, I trust, they were spared for a good purpose, that they might have time for repentance and amendment of life.

The day arrived, whereon the other eight malefactors were to die. Sarah Peters and myself were early at the cell, in order to render them all the spiritual service that was within our power. The keeper having re­ceived directions on the over-night to lock them all up in one cell, that they might pour out their souls together in fervent solemn prayer to Almighty God, they paid very circumspect attention thereto, and a happy night it proved to each of them; so that when they were led down from their cell, they appeared like giants refreshed with wine; nor was the fear of death apparent in any of their countenances. We then went up to the chapel, when my companion and myself conversed with them in the press-yard room. Upon being called out to have their irons taken off, Lan­caster [Page 100] was the first: While they were disburthening his legs thereof, the sheriff being present, Lancaster looked up to heaven with a pleasant smile, and said, "Glory be to God for the first moment of my entrance into this place; for before I came hither my heart was as hard as my cell wall, and my soul was as black as hell; but, Oh! I am now washed, clearly washed, from all my sins, and by one o'clock shall be with Jesus in Paradise;" and, with many strong and forci­ble expressions, he exhorted the innumerable spectators to flee from the wrath to come. This caused the sheriff to shed tears, and ask Mr. Lancaster if he was really in earnest, being so greatly affected with his lively and animated spirit. As their irons were taken off, they were remanded back to the press-yard room; but by some accident they were a long time getting off the last man's fetters. When they were gotten off, Lancaster, beholding him at a short distance, clap­ped his hands together, and joyfully proclaimed, "Here comes another of our little flock." A gen­tleman present said (with an apparent sympathizing spirit) "I think it is too great a flock upon such an occasion!" Lancaster, with the greatest fluency of speech, and with an aspiring voice, said, "Oh! no, it is not too great a flock for the Shepherd Jesus; there is room enough in heaven for us all." When he exhorted the populace to forsake their sins, he particularly en­deavoured to press on them to come to the Throne of Grace immediately, and without fear, assuring them, [Page 101] that they would find him a gracious and merciful God, to forgive them as he had forgiven him. At length they were ordered into the cart, and I was prevailed upon to go with them. When we were in the cart, I addressed myself to each of these separately. The first person was Mr. Atkins, the son of a glazier, in the city, a youth of 19 years of age. I said to him, "My dear, are you afraid to die?" He replied, "No, Sir, really, I am not." I then asked him, "Wherefore he was not afraid to die?" He again answered me, "Because I have laid my soul at the feet of Jesus, therefore I am not afraid to die." I then spoke to Mr. Gardner, a journeyman carpenter, about the age of 50, who made a very comfortable report of what the Lord had done for his soul, through the free remission of all his past sins, and that he found the true peace of God reigning in his heart. The last person to whom I spoke was one Thompson, a very illiterate young man; but he, agreeable to the others, entertained no fear of death; assuring me also, that he was perfectly happy in his Saviour, and continued so till his last moments. This was the first time of my visiting the malefactors at Newgate, and of my attendance upon them to the place of execution; and then it was not without much shame and fear, because I clearly perceived the greater part of the populace considered me as one of the suf­ferers. When we came to the fatal tree, Lancaster lifted up his eyes thereto, and said, "Blessed be God," then prayed extemporary in a very excellent manner, and the others behaved with great discretion. [Page 102] John Lancaster had no friend who could procure for his body a proper interment; so that, when they had hung the usual space of time, and were cut down, the surgeon's mob secured the body of Lancaster, and carried it over to Paddington. There was a very crouded concourse, among whom were numberless gin and gingerbread vendors, accompanied by pick-pockets and whores, of almost every denomination in London; in short, the whole scene resembled a principal fair, rather than an awful execution. Now when the mob was nearly dispersed, and there remained only a few bystanders, with an old woman who sold gin, a remarkable occurrence took place, and operated to the following effect:

A company of eight sailors, with truncheons in their hands, having come to see the execution, looked up to the gallows with an angry countenance, the bodies having been cut down some minutes previous to their arrival. The old woman, before named, who sold gin, observing these tars to grow violent, by reason of their disappointment, mildly accosted them, and said, "Gentlemen, I suppose you want the man that the surgeons have got." "Ay," replied the sailors, "where is he?" The poor affrighted woman gave them to understand, that the surgeons crew had carried him over to Paddington, and she pointed out to them the direct road thereto. They hastened away, and as they entered the town, enquiry was made by them where the surgeons mob was to be discovered; and [Page 103] receiving the information they wanted, they went and demanded the body of John Lancaster. When the sailors had obtained the body, two of them cast it on their shoulders, and carried him round by Islington; they being tired out with its pressure, two others laid themselves under the weight of the body, and carried it from thence to Shoreditch; then two more carried it from Shoreditch to Coverley's-fields; at length, after they were all rendered completely weary, and unable to carry it any farther, the sequel of their project, and their ultimate contrivance to rid themselves of the body was, an unanimous consent to lay it on the step of the first door they came to. They did so, and then went their way. This gave birth to a great riot in the neighbourhood, which brought an old wo­man, who lived in the house, down stairs. When she saw the corpse lay at the step of the door, she proclaim­ed, with an agitated spirit, "Lord, here is my son, John Lancaster!" This being spread abroad, came to the knowledge of the Methodists, who made a col­lection, and got him a shroud and a good strong coffin. I was soon informed of this event, which was peculiarly singular, as the seamen had no knowledge of the body, nor to whom he belonged when living. My second wife went with me to see him, previous to the burial; but neither of us could perceive the least alteration in his visage, or features, or any appearance of violence on any part of his body. A pleasant smile appeared in his countenance, and he lay as in a sweet sleep.

[Page 104]From the time of this introduction among the priso­ners, I preached frequently to the selons and debtors in Newgate. Of the latter I joined about 36 in a regular society; nor would they suffer any individual to live in any outward sin, as they never neglected to inform me of every such instance on my following visitation. At that time I had so lively a zeal for the cause of re­ligion, from my first hearing the Gospel, that I spared no pains or labour to do all the good that was then in my power, through the assistance of God, both to the bodies and souls of sinners, embracing every oppor­tunity, both in respect to hearing and speaking; so that in process of time I preached in every prison, as well as many workhouses in and about London; and frequently travelled to almost every town within 12 miles around this metropolis; nor did I ever doubt, but that God as surely called me to that office of ad­ministering his Holy Word to the unhappy malefactors, as St. Paul was called to the ministry.

I still continued in the Foundry-school, and by my second marriage to the widow of captain Robert Grif­fith, who had five children living, my family was much increased in temporal circumstances for the space of a few years, and my soul was exceedingly delighted; but when I began to confine myself to certain regula­tions, such as rising at four o'clock every morning, going to the five o'clock preaching, diligently attend­ing the church-service, and strictly observing all the other ordinances of God, I was then clearly convinced [Page 105] of my unbelief, of my lost estate, and of the carnal mind, which is at enmity with God. No tongue can express the bitterness of soul I then laboured under, both day and night, and that for a long time having "no rest in my flesh by reason of my sin;" and although my place of abode joined the Foundry, yet, when I have left the school, to go either to breakfast or dinner, my agony of mind has been so dreadfully heavy, that I have even forgot to eat my bread, and have oftentimes wandered into Hoxton-Fields, there to pour out my misery before God. Frequently after I had dismissed my scholars in the evening, I have, rather than go to my own apartments, taken a solitary walk into the fields till nine, ten and eleven o'clock, roaring for the very disquietude of my soul; and notwithstanding I never could accuse myself of inattention to any ordi­nance, fasting and praying, and fitting up both early and late, yet my unbelief prevailed, till I became completely miserable. In this situation I continued about three years, so that I "chose strangling rather than life;" nor could I, with all my hearing and self-denial, overcome this damning sin of unbelief. Never was I possessed of so irritable a disposition, and at the time when people told me I could believe if I would, gladly would I have given worlds to believe, were they in my power; but "such power belongeth to God alone," and glory be to him, he displayed that power in my deliverance. The manner of my rescue, as it appeared to me, in a manifest reality, I shall simply and sin­cerely relate. Taking one morning my melancholy [Page 106] walk, after five o'clock preaching, in the deepest di­stress of mind, and as I was passing Ratcliff-Row, leading to the Shepherd and Shepherdess (a walk I had taken before times out of number) I perceived a cow coming towards me. I really wished in my heart I was that beast, as I considered it ten thousand times happier than myself. The next thing that passed me was a dog; I heartily wished I could metamorphose my body and mind into that of the dog's. Afterwards I observed a man taking his course a few yards off; I then thought that man would afford me the greatest happiness I ever before experienced, if he would put an end to so wretched a life. In these miserable and distracted moments I had no conception of a delive­rance so very near, especially as the enemy of my soul had just previously suggested to me, that if I lived 500 years longer in the world I should never receive a transformation of spirit by the grace of God; all which I believed. However, I continued walking, by a slow gradation, till I came to a lonesome part of a field, by the Shepherd and Shepherdess, which I ima­gined was better calculated for retirement than any other spot thereabouts. When I had secluded myself therein, being alone, on a sudden, in the twinkling of an eye, "a hand struck me a weighty blow on the top of my head," which in some measure affected my senses; but I instantly found myself crying with a loud voice, "Praise God, praise God," and, looking up, I beheld the ethereal universe, replete with the glory of God; and that glory of such substance and palpa­bility, [Page 107] I thought I could have laid hold of it with my hand. This attended me for the space of a minute; but was succeeded by an uncommon thick darkness, through which a black dart, as if it was shot from the hill near Islington, pierced its way, and, with wonderful swiftness, entered my heart. I did not feel any pain thereby; but it was followed with these words, "This is one of your old delusions." Although I was stag­gered at this for a few moments, yet I was quickly enabled to look up to heaven, and to beseech God in fervent prayer, that I might more fully know whether this was the remission of my sins, or not, as at the first I felt unspeakable peace, which far outweighed all my former misery; and as I looked up, the heavens were unclosed about a mile in length, as it appeared to my mortal eyes, and tapered away to a point at each end. The center of this awful and sacred avenue was about twelve feet wide, wherein I saw the Lord Jesus stand­ing in the form of a man, holding both his inestimably precious hands upright, and from the palms thereof the blood streaming down; floods of tears gushed from my eyes, and trickled down my cheeks. I said, "Lord, it is enough!" nor have I once doubted since, but that I was freely justified at that time.

Now, as I had been greatly harrassed when in my wretched state with the doctrine of election, I prayed the Lord to explain to me, whether the blood of Jesus Christ was sufficient to save all the world, or not, and immediately some articulate voice asked me the fol­lowing [Page 108] question: "How did you find yourself an hour ago?" I then recollected that I was in a wretched and lost state. The voice again suggested, "All the world is but as one man, and one man as all the world." The meaning of these words were as clear to my intellectual sensations, as the sun performing its diurnal course; therefore one drop of the blood of Christ was not only sufficient to save the whole world, but ten thousand worlds of sinners, if there were so many. This I believed as an unquestionable assertion of verity; nor, since this, do I ever remember to have experienced the slightest temptation to the doctrine of predestination, whereof I cannot, by any means, con­sider myself a defender.

Seeing that nothing remarkable has occurred in my spiritual or temporal affairs, from the year 1745 to 1775, I shall now confine myself to give a farther ac­count of my elaborate researches into the situation of the prisoners at Newgate, and into the state of their souls; but I purpose not to enter into a minute history of each, but of such only as were the most remarkable characters among them, in the course of my several visitations.

I believe it may be upwards of twenty-one years since I first attended the prisoners in Newgate, and there chiefly on the debtors side; though sometimes I conversed in public among the felons, and the Lord is [Page 109] witness to the horrible scene, and the dreadful emblem of the infernal pit, which was therein pourtrayed, con­sisting of swearing, cursing, speaking blasphemies, and foul conversation, and that continually. The un­fortunate persons confined in that prison found it the nearest resemblance to the picture of hell of any under the canopy of heaven. However, having a constant pressure upon my mind to stand up for God in the midst of them, and to defend his cause against those mighty sinners, while heedlessly proceeding in this destructive path, I therefore prayed to God for wisdom and forti­tude in the attempt of that disagreeable task to flesh and blood. I confess I did so many times with fear and trembling, yet I can conscientiously announce to the world, I ever found the Lord overcoming all my apprehensive dreads, and confounding the adversary. Indeed, for a few years, I could not fully perceive my call to attend the malefactors, meeting with so many and various repulses from the keepers and ordinary, as also from the prisoners themselves; but notwithstand­ing this opposition, I was the more vehemently pressed on in spirit to burst through all; so that, by the aid of him who has all power in heaven and earth, I be­came (in the name of God) daringly resolute in that point, and would conform myself to no denial. The ordinary (Mr. Taylor) constantly on Sunday mornings stationed himself a few doors from Newgate, for the space of two hours or more, to obstruct my entrance, in forbidding all the turnkeys respectively to give me admittance; yet the God of all compassion to those [Page 110] souls for whom Christ died, frequently made an en­trance for me, so that I had an opportunity of preach­ing every Sunday morning on the debtors-side, to the number of 40 prisoners, who behaved with much seriousness and attention; after which I proposed to them the uniting themselves together in the nature of a society, and acquainted them also with the manner and restrictive proceedings of Mr. Wesley throughout his several congregations. I read and left with them the rules of our society, particularly desiring them to consider seriously whether they deemed it proper to confine themselves to such regulations or not. Upon my succeeding visit I understood, that, through the circumspection of two or three prisoners, who were men of good understanding, and of a liberal educa­tion, that had highly approved of my proposals, an unity had taken place among 30 or more. For a considerable time afterwards they payed regular atten­tion to preaching, and to the meeting of the young society, behaving themselves suitable to what might be reasonably expected from persons in a situation like theirs. If any offence was given to the society in my absence, a report of the person or persons, by whom such offence had been occasioned, was never withheld from my notice. This desirable oeconomy continued for a considerable time, when a great tumult was made by the ordinary, who ever afterwards shut me out from those parts of the prison: It may here be ob­served, there were many intermediate workings of [Page 111] God's blessed spirit among the felons; but more emi­nently among the condemned malefactors.

I hope now to give a short account of God's re­markable working upon the souls of Mr. Holmes and five others, four of whom were most rancorous and un­forgiving Roman Catholicks. The case of Mr. Holmes nearly corresponded with that of John Lancaster, already treated of in the foregoing relations. This man was excellently useful to the others of his fellow sufferers; and likewise greatly so to the spectators. Having no opposition, I joyfully embraced the opportunity of visiting these six malefactors, and soon gained my point over the two Protestants and three of the Papists, who, by force of my arguments, rejected further ad­vice from the priest, and closed in with salvation by faith alone.

Here I endeavoured to take such methods of con­ducting myself towards these men, as I had usually done with the former happy departed souls; and as I had an open door into the cells, which ever proved the most beneficial to the then confined prisoners, I went from cell to cell, being locked in with every individual for a longer or shorter time, according to the situation and state of mind of each prisoner, and was permitted by the turnkey to retire without any emolument whatever: Herein the hand of the Almighty was quite evident. Finding Mr. Holmes more lively [Page 112] and active than any of the rest, he answered a very useful purpose; having a clear sense of forgiveness himself, he zealously exerted himself in the means of bringing the rest of his fellow-sufferers to a true sense of the necessity of being born again; and truly the Lord prospered his endeavours, so that at every re­peated visit, I made to them (which was very frequent) I found the rest of the malefactors either under stronger convictions, or just ready to step into the pool. For my own part, the advice I gave them was principally to make them the more deeply sensible of their lost estate, while I was very cautious of daubing them with untempered morter; and hence I always per­ceived their conversions were more solid, real, and permanent; so that what they had received was truly shewn in their conduct. A few days before their death, I came more particularly home to the point, and ex­hibited to both Protestants and Papists how absolutely impossible it was for happiness to be obtained, either in time or eternity, without the clear knowledge of God being reconciled to them through the death and passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, together with a sense of their redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of their sins. None of them appeared to be clear in this point, except Holmes; all the rest still lay at the pool-side.

Here I was struck with the conduct of one of the young Roman Catholicks, who, notwithstanding all that I could [Page 113] force into his mind, would not be reconciled to his prosecutor, declaring that he would maintain that ob­stinate resolution to his last moments! I told him, if he retained and cherished that dangerous resolution, the Word of God lay flat against him, quoting this passage of Scripture, "If ye from your heart forgive not every one his brother's trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." This greatly alarmed his mind, so that he became more teachable. The night before their execution, I desired the inner keeper, or turnkey, of their respective cells, to give them the opportunity of assembling together in one cell, to the end they might all pass their last hours in unitedly pouring out their souls in servent and mighty prayer before God: This was granted agree­able to my desires. I also requested one of the priso­ners, who had been confined for some years, to attend them diligently, and read to them. He did so, and they accordingly began their exercise from out of the Prayer Book; but, after spending two hours in that lifeless frame, and finding their spirits to be in no wise animated thereby, one of the malefactors was moved, and said, "Come, let us pray extempore, and who knows but God will open our mouths." They all gladly consented thereto, and the Lord in his mercy did (in compassion to their infirmities) not only open their mouths, but their hearts too, and that in an unusual manner, manifesting himself unto them, as he does not unto the world; so that they wrestled with [Page 114] God in such great fervor of spirit, from nine till twelve o'clock, that each of them was in a profuse bath of sweat. Then they laid themselves down to rest from twelve till two, when every one of them again joined themselves in eager prayer; nor did they desist from their happy exercise till the time arrived, when they were summoned to chapel I went that morning before day-light, and availed myself of the joyful opportunity of getting admittance just before they were let down. As they entered the press-yard, I saw the happy con­sequence of their last acts of devotion and solemnity. No tongue or pen is able faintly to represent the solemn joy and peace which appeared in each coun­tenance; but particularly in the young Roman Catho­licks, whom I could not prevail upon to forgive his prosecutor: To him I chiefly addressed myself, saying, "My dear man, how do you find yourself?" He re­plied, with a pleasant voice, and a heavenly counte­nance, "Find myself! why, truly Sir, my soul is so filled with light, love and peace, that I am the same as if I had nothing beside within me!" In this rap­turous spirit he continued to his latter moments. After chapel, Holmes, with the others, came down, and had their irons struck off. He spoke to all about him of the unspeakable love of God to him; and assured them that he knew God, for Christ's sake, had forgiven him all his sins: His words were so very powerful, that he drew abun­dance of tears from the spectators. After they were haltered, they were put into three carts, and sent for execution. I went with Holmes in the first, spending [Page 115] our way to the most advantage. Upon our arrival at the tree, Holmes first stood up, and, lifting his eyes to heaven, said, "Lord, didst not thou die for sinners? thou didst die for me!" Then turning round to the multitude, he prayed extempore so very excellently, that it caused hundreds to be in tears round the gal­lows. When prayers were finished by the ordinary, all of them, agreeable to my request, went off the stage of mortality, first turning round, and putting their faces to each other, their hands being tied, crying out, as in the voice of one man, "Lord Jesus receive our spirits."

During the spaces of time which intervened between the several executions, I frequently preached and ex­horted among the felons and debtors in Newgate, and constantly visited the sick in all parts of the prison, which I have sufficient reason to believe was blessed, in a great measure, to many of their souls; as, in conse­quence of those means, numbers were prepared to receive the glad tidings of salvation when under sen­tence of death.

Some years ago, Messrs. Morgan, Whalley, Brett, and Dupree, with two more, being then under sentence of death, were ordered for execution, in the late king's reign; and notwithstanding they were all con­spicuous characters in life, yet the highest interest the nation could afford was ineffectual to obtain an ex­emption [Page 116] from justice, especially as their fatal delin­quency was the fruit of an intoxicated project.

The circumstance was thus: They all conjunctly agreed upon a party of pleasure, at the election of a certain member for Chelmsford, Essex; but after they had glutted themselves with an immoderate regale­ment, they u [...]animously consented to divert them­selves by going out upon the roads, and there en­deavour to effect a robbery on the first individual that might present himself in their way. In the course of these their unrestrained proceedings, a certain farmer chanced to pass them, who was attacked by these un­happy men, and robbed of all his money. After this the farmer, having met with assistance, pursued them all into Chelmsford, where they were every one se­cured, and were removed by a habeas the next day to London; they took their trials, were cast, received sentence of death, and ordered, as before mentioned, for execution. Mr. Brett was the son of an eminent divine in Dublin! Mr. Whalley a gentleman of a con­siderable fortune, and was possessed of three country seats of his own! Mr. Dapree was also the complete gentleman! and Mr. Morgan an officer on board one of his Majesty's ships of war! The last of these was frequently visited by lady Elizabeth Hamilton (the duke of Hamilton's daughter) both before and after sentence. I have seldom failed to be present with them at their several interviews in Newgate, and thereby [Page 117] understood, that if this lamentable affair had not taken place, the connubials of Mr. Morgan and lady Betty were to have been solemnized in a very short time.

This lady, like the importunate widow set forth in the Gospel, went daily to his Majesty, as did also others who had great influence, at her request, and pleaded with his Majesty for the life of Mr. Morgan; but, at the first, his Majesty considering it a point of injustice, as well as partiality, would by no means at­tend to her plaintive petitions. Another consideration was, that they were all persons of dignity and fortune, and could not plead necessity to palliate the enormity of those robberies, as many unhappy sufferers could, therefore his Majesty said, his subjects were not to be put in bodily fear, and suffer the loss of their property, merely through a capricious, wanton whim: However, the morning prior to the execution lady Betty Hamilton appeared before his Majesty, and fell upon her knees, (I suppose in tears too.) "My lady," said his Majesty, "there is no end to your importunity; I will spare his life, upon condition that he be not acquainted therewith till he arrives at the place of execution." These documents were with the utmost precision attend­ed to; and accordingly Mr. Brett, Mr. Whalley, and Mr. Dupree, were tied up to the gallows; the other cart with Mr. Morgan, and two other gentlemen, fol­lowed; but the sheriff, upon ordering the coach to [Page 118] stop, produced the respite sent to Mr. Morgan from his Majesty. 'Tis hard to express the sudden alarm this made among the numerous multitude; and when I turned round and saw one of the prisoners out of the cart, with his halter loose, falling to the ground, he having fainted away at the sudden news, I was in­stantly seized with a great terror, as I thought it was a rescue rather than a reprieve; but when I beheld Mr. Morgan put into a coach, and perceiving that lady Betty Hamilton was seated therein, in order to receive him, my fear was at an end, and truly I was very well pleased on the occasion.

As soon as the coach, with Mr. Morgan and the lady, had drove off for Newgate, a venerable gentle­man, who carried the appearance of a courtier, walked up to the first cart, and, addressing himself to Mr. Dupree in a very Christian manner, begged him to look stedfastly to God, in whose presence he would shortly appear, and hoped, the mercy his companion received would have no bad effect upon him. Mr. Dupree, with the most unimaginable calmness and composure of mind, said, "Sir, I thank God that he is thus reprieved; it does not by any means affect me:" This gave the gentleman much satisfaction. Now when prayers were ended, I addressed each of them in the most awful and striking words I was capable of, and which, I have great reason to believe, were not to little purpose, as they all appeared intirely [Page 119] resigned to their fate. Mr. Brett, the clergyman's son, displayed the conduct of a gentleman and scholar: In a mild spirit, he earnestly craved the sincere prayers of the multitude; and likewise, in his last piece of exhortation, he conjured them all to take warning by the untimely end of the three objects of their present attention. When they were turned off, and the mob nearly dispersed, I hastened back to Newgate, and there seriously conversed with Mr. Morgan, who, in consequence of the unexpected change, was scarcely recovered.

In the course of our reciprocal conversation he told me his mind, a few minutes previous to and at the arrival of his reprieve, was in so happy a state, that he could not immediately tell whether life or death was best; yet, when about six weeks were elapsed, it evidently appeared, by Mr. Morgan's transactions, that his Majesty's gracious act of lenity was clearly worn off his remembrance; for one day, as I chanced to pay him a visit (whereof he was not previously ap­prised) I detected him in playing at cards with and against a Mr. Barrett, who was confined upon the sup­position of defrauding his creditors. This man was apparently totally destitute of the fear or knowledge of God, and was also very prejudicial in his behaviour to the souls of poor condemned prisoners, ever at­tempting to divert their minds from their attention to that which was truly good; likewise setting at nought, [Page 120] and exposing to censure and ridicule, those who inces­santly laboured for their eternal benefit; but the Lord over-ruled him. I then laid before Mr. Morgan the dangerous folly of such proceedings, and added, "if such conduct as that (viz. playing at cards) is of­tentimes, through point of conscience, abolished by men of common sense, how much more then ought such empty and soul-destroying amusement to be despised by one who had so recently been rescued from death by his Majesty's great clemency in so conspicuous a man­ner as he himself had! I therefore intreated him to lay the cards aside, and never attempt to resume such folly any more. By virtue of this remonstrance he became very complaisant, and, as an obsequious child, conforms his behaviour to the wishes of his parents, just so Mr. Morgan renounced the diversion to which his mind was so strongly inured; and, in a moment's time, he marked the line of his conduct with an hum­ble attention to all my sympathising reproofs.

The before-mentioned Mr. Barrett, finding I had taken the attention of Mr. Morgan from off his evil allure­ments, began to abuse me very much, and also boasted that it was not in the power of all the world to hurt him; that he defied all the judges to bring him in as a culprit upon trial; but, however, shortly after, his creditors, having a strong suspicion that he had some effects concealed in a chest, wherewith he was furnish­ed in Newgate, obtained a judicial order to search it, [Page 121] and found (as they had been informed) to the amount of £5000 in bank notes, cut in halves. Soon after this his trial came on, and he was deemed guilty by the judges. He was condemned with Mr. Samuel Lee, a fine young gentleman, for forgery, and they were both accordingly ordered for execution; Mr. Barrett, on the Tuesday, in Smithfield; Mr. Lee, on the Wednes­day, at Tyburn. Mr. Barrett refused my company, and the service I might have been to him; therefore I cannot give my readers any account of him, as touch­ing his behaviour during his latter moments; yet Mr. Lee, the morning before his execution, was very attentive to instruction, and just before he was turned off the stage of life, put a letter into my hand, which I opened, and was deeply affected with the contents thereof: It began thus, "Oh, eternity! eternity! eternity! who can fathom the depths of eternity?" The whole body of the letter expressed the devoutest sentiments of his inmost soul. His behaviour on the passage [...]o and at the place of execution was altogether serious; nor did he leave room to doubt of his eternal salvation.

I shall next speak of what I heard and knew of Mary Edmonson, who was executed on Kennington-Common, upon the supposition of murdering her aunt at Rotherhithe. This unfortunate young woman was under close consi [...]ement a great length of time. The day of her removal arrived; she was then conveyed [Page 122] to Kingston, there to stand trial before judge Denni­son, who some time before tried a Mr. Coleman, a brewer's clerk, for the supposed personal abuse of a young woman; and, although the opponents of Mr. Coleman laboured to persuade this young woman that Coleman was the person who treated her in that scan­dalous manner, yet, when they were in each others presence, she declared he was not the man. His ene­mies still pressed upon this young woman to change her opinion, assuring her that he was the offender; and as further interrogatories were put to her, respect­ing the circumstances which had been alledged, she gave a contradictory answer, which seemed to imply that he was the man; so the poor guileless prisoner was thereby put into immediate confinement, and there secured till his trial came on, when he was condemned, and executed. About three years after this Mr. Cole­man's innocence was brought to light, and that as evident as the noon-day sun, the carman who drove him to the place of execution having been proved to be the man, and that by his own confession; he was therefore tried, condemned and executed, and one Mr. Delagourd, who was found perjured in Coleman's case, was sentenced to stand in the pillory opposite St. George's church in the Borough. Afterwards he, with two others, who were concerned in the taking away Mr. Coleman's life, were transported.

I return now to Mary Edmonson, who, as before observed, was tried by judge Dennison upon mere cir­cumstances, [Page 123] as no positive evidence against her could be produced. However, I understood that the prisoner suffered very severe and rigorous treatment from the judge, because she insisted upon her innocence and integrity, the judge still laying the murder to her charge, calling her a notorious vile wretch, assuring her that she would be d—d if she denied the fact, a [...] matters were so evident, particularly seeing that her apron and cap were found covered with blood in the copper-hole; yet, as she was condemned on circum­stances only, and as I attended her to the place of ex­ecution, I have every reason to believe she was con­demned innocent of the charge.

Now as I was often prevented embracing the oppor­tunities of visiting this woman while in confine­ment, so therefore I entertained no ideas, or even the least intentions, of seeing her suffer; but as I was occasionally passing through the Borough, I chanced to call on one Mr. Skinner, a cheesemonger in that street, who earnestly intreated me to attend the unfortunate Mary Edmonson, that being the morning appointed for her execution. As he was a man very piously in­clined, and one who seemed deeply affected about the future state of her soul, I therefore complied with his intreaties, although I was extremely fatigued by my long journey; and as he further observed, that the unhapy woman had been brutally dealt with in the course of her imprisonment, and also greatly hindered [Page 124] in making her peace with God, I immediately (con­sidering it a point of my duty) set out for Kennington-Common, yet with very slight hopes of coming to the speech of her before she entered into her unchange­able state: but the Lord has his way in the whirl­wind. Some minutes, previous to my arrival at the Peacock, near the Common whereon she was to suffer, Thomas Tollis, the executioner, espied me in the midst of the mighty concourse, and, filled with joy and tears, hurried through the croud, and said, "Mr. Told, I thank God you are come; pray follow me, and I will lead you to the room wherein she will shortly be confined; and, for God's sake, speak as closely to her as you can." I followed him into the room, and, af­ter having tarried about the space of half an hour, I heard a violent shout of "Here she comes!" I then had recourse to the window which looked into the road, and there perceived that the turbulent mob were univer­sally combined in giving her a shocking reception with extended mouths, throwing out the most vile, terrible, and blasphemous curses and oaths, impossible to be pen'd or set forth! nay, too horrible for reflection to dwell on! When the prisoner was brought into the room, she stood with her back against the wainscot; but appeared perfectly resigned to the will of God. I then addressed myself to her, saying, "My dear, for God's sake, for Christ's sake, and for the sake of your own precious soul, do not die with a lie in your mouth! You are, in a few moments, to appear in the presence [Page 125] of an Holy God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. O consider what an eternity of misery must be, and this will be the certain portion of all who die in their sins; therefore, if you are guilty, openly confess it; or if you were in any wise concerned in the murder, you are not clear before God, if you do not publicly acknowledge your guilt." She heard me with much meekness and simplicity; but answered, That she had already advanced the truth, and hoped she might persevere in the same spirit to her last moment Mr. Hammett, who was then chief keeper of the New-Prison, Borough, by order of the sheriff, dismissed every person from out of the room; and said to me, "Mr. Told, I am sensible of the business upon which you came hither; but must beg you will quit the room, as no person is permitted to attend her without obtaining the sheriff's consent for that purpose;" but, upon Mr. Hammett's following me out, he intimated that the sheriff would grant me permission to attend her in the cart to the place of ex­ecution, if I deemed it prudent to ask him.

The period of her departure for the gallows having arrived, I solicited the sheriff to bestow his approba­tion of my visiting her as soon as possible. He then asked me "if I was a clergyman?" I replied, "No, Sir." "Are you a dissenting minister?" I answer­ed, "No." "What are you then?" I informed him, that I was one who preached the Gospel, and [Page 126] could wish to be the means of bringing the prisoner to a confession. The sheriff at that bid me lay hold of his horse's bridle, and told me I should accompany her to the place of execution; yet he did not urge me to rush into that dangerous attempt immediately, seeing the rioters were so fiercely exasperated against her. It was observed to me by the sheriff, that a very great satisfaction would be given to the nation in general, if I could be instrumental in bringing her to a confession. Now, as we were proceeding on the road, the sheriff's horse being close to the cart, I looked at her from under the horse's bridle, and said, "My dear, look to Jesus." This salutary advice quickened her spirit, insomuch that, although she did not look about her before, yet she then turned herself round to me, and joyfully answered, "Sir, I bless God, I can look to Jesus to my comfort." This produced a pleasant smile in her countenance, which when the sons of vio­lence perceived, they d—d her in a shameless manner; this was accompanied with a vengeful shout, "See how bold she is! See how the L—h laughs!" At length we came to the tree, where many officers were stationed on horseback, besides numbers more on foot furnished with constables slaves. When the cart was back­ed under the gallows, a very big and corpulent man (as I was in the midst of the hubbub) trod on my left foot with such fury and weight, that I really thought he had taken it quite off: However, the sheriff soon cleared the way, and formed an arrangement of con­stables [Page 127] round the cart, then directed some of them to put me thereinto, in order that I might be of all the service to the malefactor which laid in my power; the sheriff himself standing behind the cart, the better to avail himself of my discourse with her. When she was tied up, I began to address her nearly with the same words as I did at the Peacock, pressing upon her (at the same time) an acknowledgement of the per­petration, in the most solemn manner I was capable of; but she declared her innocence in presence of the sheriff. I then interrogated her thus, "Did you not commit the fact? Had you no concern therein? Was you not interested in the murder?" She answered, "I am as clear of the whole affair, as I was the day my mother brought me into the world." The sheriff, on hearing these words, shed plenty of tears, and said, "Good God! it is a second Coleman's case!" The circumstance likewise brought tears from many persons who heard her. When I was getting out of the cart, the executioner put the handkerchief over her eyes; but she quickly moved it away, and, addressing her­self to the multitude, begged them to pray that God would bring to light, when she was departed, the cause of the assassination, saying, that she had no doubt that the prayers of such persons would be heard, as she repeated her innocence, solemnly declaring, that she was as ignorant of the crime for which she was going to suffer, as at the day of her birth; and added also, "I do not lay any thing to the charge of my Maker, he has [Page 128] an undoubted right to take me out of this world as seemeth him good; and, although I am clear of this murder, yet I have sinned against him in many grievous instances; but, I bless God, he hath forgiven me all my sins." Her kinsman then came up into the cart, and would fain have saluted her; but she mildly turned her face aside, strongly suspecting him to be the assassin, having frequent [...]y challenged him there­with at Kingston: This, I believe, will shortly appear to the satisfaction of my readers, that he was the very man, and the sole cause of Mary's untimely end; but first I purpose to finish with Mary.

After her kinsman was gone out of the cart the exe­cutioner, a second time, was putting the handkerchief over her face, which she again turned aside, looking at the sheriff, and lamenting thus with meekness, "I think it cruel that none is suffered to pray by me." The sheriff then desired me, for God's sake, to go a second time into the cart, and renew my prayers with her, which, when finished, Mary began to pray ex­tempore, and in a most excellent manner; when she had concluded her prayer, the executioner performed his part, and, being turned off, her body dropt against my right shoulder; nor did she once struggle or move, but was as still as if she had hung three hours. Upon her trial it was represented, that she cut all her fingers across on both hands for a deception, in order to lay the murder upon some other person; [Page 129] but, in her defence upon trial, she declared that her fingers were not cut by a knife; but, being alarmed, when she entered the house, at seeing four men, one of whom was in a white frock; and also seeing her aunt lay weltering in her own blood, she, in conse­quence thereof, made somewhat of a startling motion, which, when the felons perceived, they all ran out of doors. Mary necessarily following them close, caught the door with both her hands, and called out, "Murder;" but, by their pulling the door very hard, her eight fingers were thereby jammed almost off. When she was executed, I noticed her fingers, went immediately and took a door, with which I jammed my fingers also, and found them to be marked exactly like hers.

I now return to the kinsman of Mary Edmonson, who, upon the death of his aunt (as Mary and he were cousins) was intitled to £100, left him by way of legacy, and likewise to Mary £200. The kins­man having received his, bought himself out of the army, as before he had been a foot soldier. Some time after the execution of his kinswoman, he, with another man, hired a post-chaise in the Borough, to go on a party of pleasure to Croydon-Fair: Upon their return in the evening, Mary Edmonson's kins­man said to his friend in the chaise, as passing Ken­nington gallows, "There is the place where my kins­woman (Mary Edmonson) was hung wrongfully!" [Page 130] The other (struck by the assertion) said, "Wrong­fully! How do you know she was hung wrongfully?" "Because" replied the kinsman, "I should have gone in her room." His companion, after a short conver­sation, and among other questions, asked him where was the place of his abode? He answered, "In Hedge-Lane, Charing-Cross." Now, when they had put up the chaise, the supposed friend of Mary's kinsman went that moment to justice Hammond, in the Borough, who, being informed of what had passed, granted a warrant to apprehend him. He was accord­ingly apprehended, and committed to Newgate, where, at his request, I visited him. He then desired me to render him all the spiritual assistance I was able; but my instructions were lost in the instructions which he received at Newgate from his fellow criminals, having speedily learnt how to act, and also the art of denying the confession he had made to his companion in the chaise. Notwithstanding he was removed by a habeas from Newgate to Kingston in Surry, and when the assizes commenced, he was tried before judge Denni­son, who tried his kinswoman, Mary Edmonson; but, as he so artfully denied the charge, the judge frankly acquitted him: However, he soon went on the high­way, and committed a robbery, and was taken, for which he was tried, cast, and condemned; but, I have been informed, judge Dennison, to prevent c [...]amours, got him a reprieve for transportation; so that I have never heard of the villain since, which is now many years ago.

[Page 131]I shall next give an account of Mr. Harris, who was reported to be the flying highwayman. During his confinement, after sentence, he was both stupid and hardened, inattentive to instruction from the ordinary or myself. The morning of his execution, when he came out of his cell, he behaved as a man deprived of his senses; but, upon his entering the chapel, he be­came violent; so that the Rev. Mr. Rowe was terribly affrighted, and thereupon ran for his life: However, I went to him, and, endeavouring to create a calm­ness in his temper, I solemnly set before him the awful eternity he was just going to enter into; yet all the counsel I gave him was as water spilt on the ground; nor was the least glimpse of repentance to be seen in his countenance, or behaviour. The others that were sentenced to suffer with him, by direction of the sheriffs, were ordered into the cart; yet the same dull­ness and stupidity of mind was not removed from Mr. Harris; nor did he give the least attention to what was spoke concerning him, until we had passed a little beyond Hatton-Garden: I then pressed upon him to be silent and still for the space of ten minutes, during which to be very cautious of speaking a single word; but to be fully observant in keeping the eye of his mind steadfastly fixed upon the ever-blessed and adora­ble Jesus, and to beseech of him the forgiveness of all his sins. Hanging back his head on the copse of the cart, he shut his eyes, and was profoundly silent for the said space of ten minutes, when, upon raising [Page 132] himself up, the tears pouring down his cheeks, he clapped his hands together, and said, "Now I know the Lord Jesus has forgiven me all my sins, and I have nothing to do but to die." He then burst into an extem­pore prayer, that the assembled populace might more distinctly hear him on both sides, and continued happy to his last moments; but solemnly denied the charge of his being the flying highwayman, as he never leaped a turnpike-gate in his life; though it was acknowledged by him that he had committed several highway robberies in his life-time.

The next person, of whom I shall give a particular account, was one Anderson, a poor abject labouring man, whose character, before the following unfortu­nate affair happened, was unimpeachable, touching his industry, sobriety, and honesty. This poor man had a wife far gone with child, and a daughter about seven years old; but was totally destitute of money, cloaths, and a spot where to lay their heads, having been by one of their rigid creditors dispossessed of the mean habitation they formerly held, and necessitated to lay on the floor in such persons apartments, as the good­ness of God had actuated with principles of humanity.

One morning Mr. Anderson, having been a long time without employment, said to his wife, "My dear, I have a strong inclination to go down upon the Quays, it may be the Lord will provide for me a loaf of bread, [Page 133] or some employment, whereby we may sustain our­selves a little longer, or else we shall perish with hunger. He accordingly went out, and that speedily; but as the many attempts he had hitherto made were intirely fruitless, and finding that all resources had failed, a temptation entered into his mind to commence robber. In order to raise himself and family from that deepest state of penury and distress, he gave way to the temptation, and accordingly turned back, and went into Hoxton-Fields, where casually meeting two washerwo­men, who were bringing home their clean linen, he, without bidding them stop, said to one, "Mistress, I want money." She replied, "I have only two-pence." Then, said he, "Give me that." After this exaction of two-pence, he addressed the other, saying, "You have got money, I know you have." The woman answered, "I have but four-pence." He exacted that likewise, and, insensible of what might fol­low, scarce knowing what he did, he walked before them into town. When they arrived in Old-Street, the two women charged him with a constable, and both de­clared that he stopped them in Hoxton-Fields, and formally robbed them of their money. He was, by reason of this information, committed to prison, tried, and cast at the Old-Bailey for death, with several others, who lay a considerable time under sentence be­fore the report was made to his Majesty. In the inte­rim poor Mrs. Anderson, though big with her third [Page 134] child, made frequent visits to her husband, and, thro' the considerate intervention of some beneficent friends, she was enabled to supply him with sufficient food, the prison allowance not being more than one pennyworth of bread per day. During the many years I attended the prisoners, it is scarce within my remembrance to have seen an instance of such meek, loving, and ten­der spirits, conjugally subsiding, as that which appeared so admirably conspicuous in the countenance and de­portment of this poor man and his wife; indeed, they were naturally inclined to few words; but the woman, frequently seating herself by her husband's side, and there throwing her arms around his neck, they would shed mutual and sympathetic floods of tears, to miti­gate the great anguish which, at their several inter­views, regularly overwhelmed their united hearts: But it is impossible to do justice to their exquisite sensibility and tender affection. When I called all the prisoners into the p [...]ess-yard room, they behaved with the deepest attention; nor do I remember to have made them one visit, but I ever found their souls to be greatly profited by m [...] exhortations. I may further observe, this was the case with all the others then under confinement, in some measure.

Mr. Anderson, some time before the death warrant came down, was both convinced of sin, and also clearly sensible of the remission of his sins. The morning of his execution having arrived, I attended him a little [Page 135] past six o'clock, and, upon his being let down from his cell, found him to be exceedingly happy in his mind, telling me he had no doubt of his salvation, and that he should shortly be with Jesus, whom his soul loved; and added, "This is the happiest day I ever saw in my life; Oh! who can express the joy and peace I now feel: If I could have all the world I would not wish to live another day!" Notwithstanding the minister, churchwardens and overseers, with several others of St. Luke's parish, presented various petitions to his Majesty on his behalf, and though he had received an honourable character from the captain of the man of war, whereto he formerly belonged, and from which he wa [...] re [...]larly discharged, yet, when his case was under the consideration of the Privy-Council, by a wrong in­formation which they received, that he was the Anderson, who was an audacious highwayman at that time on the roads, he was included in the dead warrant.

Now as I was going in the cart with him to the place of execution, well knowing the miserable situation of his wi [...]e, I enq [...]ired of him where she was to be found; to which he a [...]swered, "I can give you no kind of in­telligence where, seeing she has no place of abode; but says on the floor in some poor person's dwelling­house, movin [...] from [...] the is compelled by necessity; therefore I am uncertain where she may be found or heard of." I th [...]n s [...]d him where there might be a probability of discovering her residence. [Page 136] He told me in Lamb-Alley, Bishopsgate-Street. Now finding that the Lord had strengthened my wishes to assist her, I spent therefore three days in grovelling through almost every dirty alley in that neighbourhood; and, after having almost resigned every hope of coming to the knowledge of her then place of abode, I at the last received information of her, whereby it was ascer­tained that she dwelt in Holywell-Lane. I went there accordingly, and found her in a melancholy situation, sitting with a poor old woman; when, looking into the room, I saw no other furniture than a piece of an old rug, whereon they both laid themselves to sleep; the room also was, I verily believe, more nauseous than the cells of Newgate. When I had spoken a few words, I gave Mrs. Anderson strict directions to call at my house, in Christopher's-Alley. She came, but not without much fear, imagining I had somewhat to say against her. As I was engaged in other employ­ment when she came to my house, my wife happened to converse with her, and as Mrs. Told always had a very tender heart towards the poor, she put two shil­lings into the poor woman's hand, bidding her come in and take a dinner. In the course of their conver­sation, my wife observed to Mrs. Anderson that I only wanted to do her all the good that was in my power. The next night I was appointed to preach at our chapel in Old-Gravel-Lane, where, in my discourse, I re­presented to the congregation the unfortunate case of Mr. Anderson, who died for six pence, being the first [Page 137] crime, if criminal, which I think not, were circum­stances considered. I also set forth the afflicted and deplorable situation of his wife. Now, although the congregation that evening was but small, and those chiefly poor people, yet they contributed to her relief six and twenty shillings; and, by laying her case before others, I got as much as clothed her decently. As she continued with me I perceived she began to grow near her time; I therefore asked her if she could give me an account of the parish she properly belonged to, telling her I would get a petition signed by Doctor Wathen, one of the governors of the London lying-in-hospital, to provide some kind of an asylum for her reception; but the poor woman, not having any knowledge of her husband's parish, I was on that ac­count obliged to commit her as one of the casual poor on the parish of Shoreditch, Doctor Wathen informing me she could not be admitted into the London lying-in-hospital without a security from the parish, to receive the child in case of her death. I waited on the prin­cipal church-warden; but, he being absent, I repaired to the dwelling-house of the other, who ridiculed and abused me in a most scandalous manner indeed, altho' I had already represented to him the lamentable state of Mrs. Anderson, assuring him that her life would be lost for want of attention, being left intirely destitute of money or clothing. The savage replied, "I sup­pose it is some woman you have got with child, and you want to father it upon the parish:" For this I paid [Page 138] him a compliment, and told him, "I lived but a few doors from him, that my character was well known, and that if he cho [...]e to inquire thereinto, he would, in my opinion, find himself mistaken." He then said, in a surly manner, "Then I suppose it is some hang'd man's widow or other." I quickly took my leave of him, assuring him, that I should seek no further relief from one who [...]e unhandsome behaviour rendered him inco [...]petent to give any. I hastened then immediately to a gentle­man of mine own correspondence, who maintained a close acquaintance with the upper church-warden, and informed him of the unkind, and also ungenteel be­haviour of the other, with the distressed situation o [...] poor Mrs. Anderson. Now the upper church-warden, who seemed to be of a most excellent polite and benevolent spirit, and desired my friend to send her to his apart­ments the next morning by eight o'clock. She waited on him accordingly, and made herself known. He ordered her in, and gave her a good breakfast, while he signed her petition: When he had so done, he ordered her to carry it to the under church-warden to sign it also, at whose peril it would be to refuse her, seeing the upper church-warden had previously signed it. As soon as her petition was signed, she attended at the hospital in Aldersgate-Street, and was accordingly admitted, where in a few days she was delivered of a fine girl. When her month was clapsed, my wife received her into our own house, with the child, and she continued there for many months, performing her daily business [Page 139] industriously, with all the sobriety and cleanliness ima­ginable; nay with much more than could be expected or desired from a woman in her misery of mind. This exertion of her ability was manifested by way of a requital of our former kindnesses. Some time after her child died, and as my wife was able to transact her daily occasions without Mrs. Anderson's immediate assistance, I did, at Mrs. Told's request, procure a housekeeper's place for her, where she gave great satisfaction, and soon became a creditable, respected woman. I also bound her daughter an apprentice to a weaver, and have never seen her since but twice, which is some years ago.

Some time after Mr. Anderson's execution, I at­tended Mr. Powell, who was cast for forgery: He was much of the gentleman, as well as a very personable man. The only observation I have to make on his behaviour is, that during his confinement, seriousness and devotion were truly conspicuous in him. He never feared to instruct his brethren under his unhappy situation; so that, by his upright walking in the fear of God, a solemn awe was laid on the minds of those his fellow sufferers. When the day appointed for exe­cution arrived, the sheriff indulged him with a coach, and bade me get therein, that I might dispense my spiritual labour to his invaluable soul. I accordingly exerted myself to the utmost in giving him this kind of help; and afterwards went to the other malefactors, [Page 140] who were conveyed in carts, and there attended them also, imparting similar passages of scriptural assistance to them. Mr. Powell's mind was staid upon God in so steadfast a manner, that after we had sung an hymn, and concluded our prayers, he closed his eyes, and earnestly intreated me to decline my discourse with him, in order that he might be the better enabled to medi­tate on God and an awful eternity. At the place of execution they all behaved with that penitence and so­lemnity, naturally expected of men going into an un­changeable state, therefore, I humbly hope, they are all lodged in Immanuel's breast.

In the next place I shall speak of a Mr. Gibson, an a [...] [...]y, who was sentenced to death for forgery. He w [...] an emin [...]nt character in his profession, portly and handsome in his person. In respect to religious prin­ciples he had been very wavering and irresolute, ever learning, but never coming to the perfect knowledge of the truth; sometimes he inclined to the Romish church, at other times he would conform to the esta­blished church of England; then he would go to the Methodists; and sometimes he held with the Dissenters of various denominations; but I soon became ac­quainted with his motives for this kind of doctrine hunting, viz. that it arose from pecuniary views, and lucrative desires; this I learnt by his own acknow­ledgement. He frequently attended my exhortations with the rest under sentence, always expressing much [Page 141] satisfaction thereby: I also made him repeated visits to his own room, on the master's side, where he always readily received me, and that with expressions of great pleasure.

Upon his trial his cause had been referred to the twelve judges. After 15 months confinement he dis­patched his wife to one of the judges to know if a determination of his cause was nearly on the carpet. The judge answered, "If Mr. Gibson is in so great a hurry to know this, you may acquaint him, that his cause has been, after mature consideration and weight, finally determined, and he will not find it altogether satisfactory." His wife went back without loss of time, and acquainted him with the information given her by the judge; yet he still possessed a kind of inattentive carelessness: However, the ensuing sessions he was sum­moned to the bar, there to plead to his sentence, in presence of four judges on the bench. Permission was granted him to make his own defence, and, as I was present during the whole time, it was a matter of astonishment on my part [...]o hear his learned and rhe­torical arguments; also the many disputable points of law referred to from various books and acts of parlia­ment: Indeed, I really believe it was the universal opinion of the assembly that he would be immediately cleared, as none of the judges were able to confute him. At length judge Parrot rose from his seat, and, addressing Mr. Gibson with a lofty air, told him (and [Page 142] beg'd he would take notice) that his crime had been well considered by the twelve judges, and that they had unanimously considered him guilty, a [...]g, "My brethren here present maintain the sa [...] opinions." Mr. Gibson, on hearing this, turned as [...] as death, and was scarcely able to stand. He was [...] commit­ted to his cell, and closely confined the [...] where he soon shook off the R [...]man Catholick [...], and by turns a [...]l [...]ed t [...] [...] different f [...]c [...]s who often visited him. Here I may venture to observe, his atten­tion to my exhor [...]ations was ser [...]s and constant, although [...]e was a [...]most incessantly busied with other gentlemen, who attended him in his cell, drawing up some writing [...] other to thos [...] whom he or they thought most exp [...]ient, in order to obtain a respite or a pardon from his Majesty. When the report came down that Mr. Gibson was included in the dead war­rant, he was shockingly alarmed, and began to be more in earnest, inquiring of me, in an agony of spi­rit, what he must do to be saved. I applied th [...]se passages of Scripture at first which were the most awakening to his conscience, and I believe they were not utterly in vain: When I perceived his soul was in extreme anguish and bitterness, then, and not till then, I pointed him to the Lamb of God, who was ever waiting to be gracious to every returning prodi­gal: I also applied those healing portions of God's most Holy Word, which were most conducive to his present and eternal happiness. The awful day came [Page 143] whereon he was appointed to die; nor did I perceive any mark or token of a change in his soul. On going to the place of execution his mind was greatly agita­ted, as life is precious and eternity awful beyond conception, especially when both are so very near; yet no one could be more diligent in making serious in­quiries of what might be most beneficial to his im­mortal spirit. When we arrived at the fatal spot, he turned to me (being greatly terrified) and said, "Oh! Mr. Told, I beseech you give me all the assistance you possibly can," which, through the enlivening guidance of Almighty God, I was enabled to do, and in consequence whereof, he appeared to be much more composed and resigned to his fate. I hope our Lord and Saviour was propitious to his never-dying soul. I endeavoured to be equally serviceable to all the rest, who were apparently in a better state to leave this world than Mr. Gibson.

I shall now speak of a few of the cutters among the weavers; three of them I shall mention in particular, viz. Doyle, Valine, and Messman. The night Mess­man was brought to Newgate, in order to be settered, he discovered me at some distance, and, approaching me, he said, "Mr. Told, I know you very well," and added, crying, "I am afraid I shall suffer, there­fore hoped I would attend him both before and after his trial, and give him all the instruction I was capable of." I accordingly imparted to him such pieces of instruction as he seemed to stand in the most need of; [Page 144] and, although he was a man of an undaunted spirit, handsome, and of a tolerable good understanding, yet he was soon brought into subjection to the Father of spirits; and every visit I afterwards paid him, he gave fresh evidence of deeper conviction of sin, a clearer knowledge of himself, his deep fall from God, and his lost state. His conversion was very singular, being quickly changed from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and satan unto God, which was evidently perceived by all around him. Before I conclude with Mr. Messman, and his calm and peaceable exit, I judge it no wise improper, but rather necessary, to render an exact account of Doyle and Valine, who were executed on Bethnal-Green, by the decree of government, and in the sheriffalty of aldermen Town­send and Sawbridge.

I have but two remarks to make concerning them, nor can I represent any thing considerable respecting their attention to things of eternity. It is true a few favourable circumstances were manifested in their behaviour; and, at Mr. Doyle's request, I wrote two or three petitions to his Majesty, and twice obtained a respite; but, unfortunately for them, an order after­wards appeared to send them away for execution. Here I endeavoured to persuade Mrs. Doyle to carry another petition; but she replied, with ridiculous un­concern, "There is no occasion for it, I am very clear he will not die." By what I gathered after this, the [Page 145] woman's meaning was, he would assuredly be rescued by the weavers upon their arrival at Bethnal-Green; and, without doubt, these were the secret intentions of the riotous mob, as was realized by a watch word which, on a sudden, was diffused all over the Green! Stones then began to fly from every quarter. Now, as I was with the officiating ordinary in a coach, a mes­senger was dispatched from the sheriff, giving my companion in the coach to understand, that no time for prayers or devotion would be allotted them, neither would there be any occasion for either of us; that as soon as the gibbet, which was in the cart with them, was come to the place appointed, they were to be la [...]nched off immediately. Mr. Valine, greatly ter­fied, begged heartily that one prayer might be offered up to God for them; but that not being granted, they were turned off in the utmost hurry and confusion.

Mr. Messman, and others of the cutters, were shortly after executed at Tyburn; but Messman, apprehensive that the combination of weavers purposed a rescue, and he b [...]ing very happy in his soul, addressed him­self, when in the cart, to the spectators, saying, with a strong voice, "Gentlemen, I humbly intreat you to keep as much silence as is possible; we could wish to go to our everlasting home in peace and quietness, being happy enough to leave this world without the least de­sire of living any longer herein;" nor did we endure any tumult any part of the way, or at the place of ex­cution. [Page 146] Their behaviour was all seriousness and devotion, for which I have strong hopes that they are at rest from sin and sorrow, and become partakers of everlasting glory.

I shall next give a brief account of Mr. Bolland, a sheriff's officer, who had frequently attended the male­factors at Tyburn; he was condemned for forging an endorsement on the back of a promissory note: His character was also, in many other instances, sadly stain­ed, so that the consideration of the latter, added to the former offence, together with an observation made by one of the judges on the frequency thereof in the mercantile world, proved the transaction too weighty to keep him upon sufficient grounds for self vindication; otherwise (as I had been informed) the mere forgery itself would not have been altogether heavy enough to bring him, by impartial justice, to so awful a situation.

When Bolland first found that his life was closely pursued, he immediately refunded the money; yet his prosecutors would by no means deliver up the note: He then informed me that his prosecutors exacted of him a second payment of the money, and finding his life still in danger, he paid that also, upon their giving him an indemnification under their hands, obliging themselves to cancel the endorsement; and, as he was persuaded they would act with principles of honour, [Page 147] he therefore paid no further attention to their proceed­ings; however they refused at last to efface the in­dorsement.

His trial came on, and he was cast, and then com­mitted to his cell, where he lay a long time, but gave very little attention to his spiritual concerns. His poor wife took every opportunity to make all the interest she possibly could. When the dead­warrant came down, and Mr. Bolland included therein, he was so engaged in writing petitions, &c. that he could not, neither would he, set apart a few moments for the endeavours to secure his soul, which gave me great uneasiness. I frequently told him, how dreadfully dangerous it was to be so anxious concern­ing his body, while his soul was intirely neglected: He made many promises, but performed very few of them. A day or two previous to his execution, his wife waited on their Majesties at the play-house, where she gave a petition into each of their hands. His Majesty, in consequence of the petition, sent for the recorder, and told him that he had a great inclination to spare Bolland's life. The recorder replied to his Majesty, that if he spared his life, whose character was truly infamous and baneful, he would spare as great a villain as any in the nation. It must be ob­served, I speak this only from the information which I received.

[Page 148]On the morning of his execution I went early to the cell, and laboured very much with Mr. Bolland, who betrayed a violent agitation of mind. When we had entered the chapel he exhibited the most serious atten­tion, and was well pleased to hear instruction. As he had very little knowledge of the way to eternal life, so he was the more intent upon, and earnest in search­ing after, those passages of Scripture, which might furnish him with any hopes of being saved. The or­dinary, myself, and other spiritual friends, used our utmost endeavours to assist him in that road to eternal life. When he was in the cart, going to the place of execution, he scarcely ceased a single minute in asking me what he must do to be saved; and, at the crisis of his dissolution, he repeated the same. I can only leave him to a merciful Redeemer, hoping he is safely lodged in the arms of his Love.

The next, of whom I would speak, was a young gentleman, Mr. Slocomb, who was executed for de­frauding his father of £300 in the stock of the South-Sea-House; much of the gentleman and scholar was evident in the behaviour of this youth. Upon his father's coming up to London to receive his interest-money, he was informed that his son brought his draft for £300, which money he received, and the sum debited to his father's account. Mr. Slocomb, senior, declared he never gave his son any such draft, and therefore insisted upon the receipt of his whole in­terest. [Page 149] The gentlemen at the office perceiving the young man's life in danger, acquainted his father of the circumstances; telling him also, if he would not abide the loss, they must be under the necessity of apprehending his son, who would most assuredly suffer death. The father would by no means suffer the loss, accordingly the youth was apprehended. He was afterwards brought upon his trial, where he was condemned, and received sentence of death: The lump of adamant (his father) then retired to his own country, nor would he after that, see or hear from his son; neither did he once write to him, or give him any kind of advice, or remit him any degree of relief, not­withstanding he lay a long time under sentence, be­fore he was ordered for execution. Something re­markably amiable I perceived in his conduct, viz. In the first place, an intire resignation to the will of God, which kept down every murmuring thought, and in­tirely prevented his making any complaint against the severity of his father, who deviated so cruelly from paternal duty.

And secondly, in his behaviour during his confine­ment; this also was admirable, he being filled with perfect seriousness and devotion, occasion'd (I may ven­ture to say) by the close attention he duly gave to my instruction and repeated exhortations. In short, he never neglected to attend on the means of grace at every opportunity. Mr. Powell, a fine young gentle­man, [Page 150] who was sentenced at the same time for forgery, became a companion of Mr. Slocomb's; they con­stantly conversed together about the awful things of eternity, and were both truly instructive to other ma­lefactors. They were both much lamented by all who knew them, even the most distant of their acquaint­ance. As their whole demeanour was grounded on the basis of godliness, they, on the awful hour, mutually exhibited so excellent a measure of that happy spirit, that I am firmly persuaded in my mind, those, who closely examined their conduct when on the brink of eternity, could entertain no doubt of their eternal ac­ceptance with God.

The next account which I shall give, is that of Mary Pyner, who was sentenced to death for setting fire to her master's house. At the same time three or four men were cast for death, with whom Mary endeavoured to contract a very wanton intercourse; but they ap­peared to be on their important guard every moment of their confinement, behaving with much penitence and contrition of spirit; therefore the enemy of their souls could not inject his fatal poison into the minds of those, by the means of Mary's ungovernable folly. I strove to make this young woman the greatest and first object of my visit; but experienced various repulses from her­self, as well as others; I was grieved to behold this heed­lessness in her conduct, especially as the dead-warrant had just arrived, wherein she was included. However, at [Page 151] length, I took her aside into the press-yard-room, and said to her, "Mary, how is it that you in particular, above all the other malefactors, are so regardless about your precious and immortal soul? Do not you very well know that God's all-seeing eye penetrates your rude behaviour towards the men? Are you not afraid of going to hell, seeing you are in a short time to ap­pear before the great Jehovah, against whom you are now sinning with an high hand? Are you determined to destroy your own soul, your everlasting happiness, and your All; What, are you in love with eternal per­dition, and God's wrath, that you so madly pursue it? And do you long to be involved in the bottomless pit, and the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which will never be quenched? Oh! remember, if you die in your present condition, you will die eternally under the wrath of an offended Saviour; and all these miseries, attended with greater plagues, will be your portion for ever!" Mary lent a particular and calm attention to what I said concerning her, and replied, "Mr. Told, I have had some knowledge of you, having many times heard you preach at West-Street chapel." At this I was greatly astonished, and asked her what could be her reasons, when she had heard the Gospel preached, to be guilty of so heinous a crime as setting fire to her master's house, and afterwards to rob him of his property. She answered, the devil was too powerful for her in the temptation. Now I perceived that a change in her countenance and behaviour com­menced [Page 152] from that moment; nor did I hear one unbe­coming expression, or observe an indiscreet action, to her last moment; and, as her time was short in this transitory world, I was the more intent on her future happiness.

The night prior to her execution, I importunately besought her to spend every moment in wrestling mightily with God for pardon, through his dearly be­loved Son, that, for his sake, all her sins might be blot­ted out as a cloud, and her manifold transgressions as a thick cloud; to which she answered, "God being my helper, I am determined not to close my eyes the whole night." Similar advice I gave to all the rest of the malefactors, one of whom espoused the like re­solution. I then desired the inner keepers to lock them all up in one cell, that they might pour out their joint supplications to the awful and tremendous Judge of quick and dead, in whose presence they must all una­voidably appear in a few fleeting moments! This was readily granted, so they accordingly devoted that night to an inexpressible advantage, by praying, sing­ing hymns, and rejoicing, the Lord God himself being evidently in the midst of them. When I re­turned to them the next morning, and after having received this soul-reviving information, I begged the keepers to unlock the cells, and lead them down into the press-yard. The first that came out was Mary Pyner. I was struck with joy and delight when I [Page 153] beheld the happy change in her countenance. As she came out of the cell door, which led into the press-yard, she appeared to be filled with the peace and love of God, when, clapping her hands together with pleasant energy, she gave a triumphant shout with these words, "This night God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven me all my sins; I know that I have passed from death unto life, and by twelve o'clock I shall be with my Redeemer in the world of glory." When the service and Sacrament was concluded, they all came down from chapel, and were ordered into the press-yard-room, where I continued praying for, and exhorting them all nearly the space of forty minutes, when directions were given to bring them out, and place them in two carts. Mary Pyner, accompanied by two other malefactors and myself, went in the first cart. While we were on our passage to the place of execution, I frequently exhorted them to keep the eye of their mind stedfastly looking up to Jesus, using many repetitions of some passages of Scripture, which I considered best adapted to their awful situation. Here I am strongly persuaded my labour was not in vain, particularly so in the soul of Mary, who abided in the happy spirit of faith, singing, praising, and giving glory to God without intermission, from the moment I addressed them till they arrived at the tree. Mary then accosted one of her companions in suffering, who cried vehemently, and in great anguish of soul, saying, "Lord Jesus forgive me my sins! God be merciful to [Page 154] me a sinner;" and she said to him, "Do you believe Jesus Christ died for you?" He replied, truly I do." Then said Mary, "There is no room left for a doubt of your salvation." This produced a glorious revival of his spirit, which continued with him till his last breath.

When the cart was put under the gallows, Mary was the first that bore the rope: As soon as this was done, she turned round to an innumerable assembly of people on both sides, saying, "Good people, I doubt not that many of you are greatly affected at beholding so young a creature as I am brought to this unhappy and shameful end; but, Oh! I am as happy as I can bear to be, having full assurance that I sha [...]l live with him who died for me, and there commence an everlast­ing banquet of greater happiness at his right-hand, in the region of endless Pa adise." She then began to strengthen her fellow-sufferers, beseeching them not to doubt of the readiness of God to save them. I rejoiced, in hope that they all received that great salvation, purchased by the blood of the everlasting covenant. When duty was closed, they were all turned off, crying for mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

I shall now give a plain simple relation of the un­fortunate Mrs Brownrigg, in order to furnish my readers with a view of her disquietudes, and her shocking situation during her imprisonment. The Rt. [Page 155] Hon. the Lord-Mayor having been pleased to favor me with an order to Mr. Akerman (the keeper of Newgate) for granting me permission to attend her while confined therein, for the cruel and wilful mur­der of her apprentice girl, Mary Clifford, Septem­ber 4th, 1767.

I went there accordingly, on the evening subsequent to the above direction, and was conducted to the room where Mrs. Brownrigg was sitting on her bedside, ac­companied by a poor woman. I addressed her in the most awful and striking manner I was capable of, and withal told her, that I came by order of the Lord-Mayor, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore observed, if she would accept of my services as a spiritual visitor, I should consider it as my duty to speak my mind on this occasion, as fully and closely as possible, especially as I had heard very dreadful ac­counts of her conduct. She replied, "Mr. Told, I am very glad to see you, and shall not esteem you my friend, if you do not deal with plainness towards me, and speak as home and close as you can. Happy was I to hear her speak thus, and said to her, "Mrs Brown­rigg, you are in an awful situation before man, but more especially before the Almighty God; your most secret sins are within his immediate view, so that you can hide nothing from his all-seeing eye: Your character also, in the eye of the world, is rendered loathed and horrible, as you are charged with crimes of the deepest [Page 156] dye, to many of which I can scarcely allow any degree of credibility: However, matters appear too evident in regard to the fact for which you are convicted." I likewise told her, "I very much feared she had but little mercy upon her late fellow creature; that she had cruelly used the deceased repeatedly, and for some length of time!" Her answer was, "I acknow­ledge this accusation, so far as to have given the girl repeated corrections, but no farther; my intentions being directly opposite to any kind of violence." I then observed to her, that I did not believe she was stimu­lated by so fierce a spirit of anger, as to be driven to the immediate perpetration of murder; but I added also, "What were your ideas of the dreadful consequences, which must issue, from such shocking acts of cruelty, too shocking to nature?" She replied, "Sir, if I had any consideration of the danger thereof, I could not have done the deed; the devil reigned with a fatal mastery over me" I then told her, the Word of God expressly declares, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;" therefore I had no doubt that her life would go for the life of the poor child. She replied, "I have no doubt of it neither." Here I began to address her with a more pointed con­versation, and said to her, "If you are thus conscious of your guilt, there is no time to lose; immediately then lay your dreadful case before God, under a deep sense of the sin you have committed, and not for that only, but for all and every of your actual sins, from [Page 157] the earliest period of your life to the present moment, or you can have no just hopes of mercy at the hand of God, through the merits of a crucified Redeemer, as we are confidently assured he came into the world to save us from our sins, not in them:" Therefore I continued to insist upon it, unless she humbled herself under the mighty hand of God by a heart-felt repen­tance, and an open acknowledgement of those flagrant crimes she had been guilty of, no favor could be af­forded to her unhappy soul by the hand of God in the day of judgement, nor would she consequently have peace of mind while on earth. "This," said Mrs. Brownrigg, "I firmly believe." I then further ad­ded, "that I did not come to extort any confession from her, and beg'd she would confess nothing to me;" but I observed to her, "You will, in a few days, be brought upon your trial, when you will not only be in the presence of the judge and jury, but also in the more immediate presence of the all-seeing God; and witnesses will be called for to give evidence against you; then more especially will be the time when it behoves you to speak the truth; and I charge you therefore, at the peril of your soul, not to advance any thing against the dictates of your own conscience, in covering your crimes, the guilt of which you know before God you are not exempt from; but I pray you adhere firmly to the truth, should death be the conse­quence." She replied, "I intend it." I again ad­vised her to reject, as much as possibly she could, the [Page 158] suggestions of the enemy, in covering her crimes; but to be frankly ingenuous in the acknowledgement there­of before proper magistrates: I then closed my first visit with prayer, after having given her, agreeable to her solicitations, all the spiritual assistance within the limits of my capacity. When finished, I parted with her, and the next day (being Sunday) I visited her again, about twelve o'clock, asking her how she found herself, as I perceived her spirits to be greatly depressed. She replied, "Mr. Told, since you was with me yesterday, I have deeply weighed your kind instructions, which has occasioned great uneasiness and distress in my mind; and notwithstanding I was some­what easy and composed at certain periods before, I am, alas! quite otherwise now, for I am horribly afraid, my grievous sins have been set in array before me! and I am dreadfully intimidated and fearful, lest God should never shew me his mercy!" I told her, I was happier with this report, and much more satisfied with her present state, than at my former visit, as I then perceived some hopes of her unhappy state, as her condition was, because her conscience was now convinced of her crime. I applied at this time many threatening, as well as healing, passages of Scripture to her conscience, which she very willingly, and with much thankfulness, received. I concluded this visit also with prayer, and then parted. Upon my third visit (which was on Monday) I found her in a very bad and dangerous spirit: Here I exerted my every [Page 159] faculty, in order to settle her mind, and strengthen her confidence in God; but, to my sorrowful disap­pointment, I observed the enemy had so buffetted her soul, that she strongly endeavoured to conceal her guilt, telling me, with bitterness of spirit, she never intended murder; and that she was assured, the rigid, partial jury, who sat upon the body of the deceased, would, through their envonomed prejudice, treat her with a degree of rigour and severity much heavier than her deserts; this she spake with much warmth.

I then told her this perverseness of spirit, also her present temper and disposition of mind, would prove exceedingly hurtful to her precious, never-dying soul, and that it betrayed in her an absolute blindness and hard­ness of heart; so that no signs of repentance appeared, or the least concern for such repeated acts of violence: I likewise gave her to understand, that I considered it a grand point of my duty to defend the characters of those gentlemen who were on the coroner's inquest; adding, "Can you (Mrs. Brownrigg) entertain a thought that those gentlemen, who are under an oath, and in no wise interested in giving false evidence against you, would endeavour to take away your life, without substantial reasons and good grounds in their evidence?" I insisted upon her laying aside all such vain pretences, which were the mere artifices of the devil, to destroy her soul; telling her withal, if she would stand open to conviction, and behave in her [Page 160] short moments as became one who was thus confined to a few hours only for the working out her salvation with fear and trembling, probably God would shew her favour at the last, and the blood of Jesus Christ, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, would wash away the stain of that blood she had so cruelly and unrestrainedly shed: I likewise pointed out to her, the loving spirit of a dying Saviour, who, when he was expiring on the accursed tree for man's redemption, prayed with his last breath, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." His prayer was heard, and answered. When Peter was preaching to a great number of them, they were cut to the heart, and cried out, in an agony of spirit, "Men and brethren, what must we do to be saved?" Peter answered them, "Repent every one of you, and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all those that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call:" Therefore," I observed, "if the mercy of God extended itself to the very murderers of his only begotten Son, there can be no doubt that it will reach your poor guilty conscience also! If you, like them, are pricked at the heart, and cry earnestly to God for mercy through the Son of his Love, you likewise shall obtain the remission of your sins, and your name shall be written in the Lamb's book of life. Then [Page 161] you shall sing the new song to God and the Lamb, who hath redeemed us with his blood, and saves the vilest and chief of sinners." These, with many simi­lar exhortations, having been given her, she began to recover her former composedness of spirit, never more attempting to justify herself, or even to extenu­ate her guilt. I terminated this visit with fervency of prayer also, and had not an opportunity of seeing her again until the day prior to the awful day of her exit.

On the 13th of September, being the Lord's-Day, I came to Newgate about twelve o'clock, and met her as she was coming down stairs from the chapel. The keepers informed me of the strict orders they had re­ceived to lock her up immediately in her cell, and desired me to be particularly vigilant in my remarks on her behaviour. Mrs. Brownrigg then went into her cell, and I followed her thereinto, and, at her request, the turnkey and woman who attended her were both dismissed. The cell doors were then locked and bolted upon us, when she began to express the extreme anguish of her soul, saying, "Mr. Told, God for ever bless you, sit down by me." When we were seated, she began to wring her hands in vehement agitation of spirit, praying most earnestly that God, for Christ's sake, would have mercy upon her poor guilty soul, expressing herself, with floods of tears, to this effect, "O Lord Jesus! wash away the guilt of the blood [Page 162] which I have shed, in thy most precious blood! O Lord, I am the vilest and chief of sinners; be gracious, be merciful to me, O heavenly Jesus, for none such a sinner as myself ever existed! O save, save and deliver from eternal burnings, my poor, guilty, wretched, and hell-deserving soul! Oh! Lord, what must I do to be saved? Gracious God, what must I do? Now, heavenly Jesus, cleanse thou my stains, or I am undone for ever!" Thus she continued for some minutes, and then turned to me, and said, "Mr. Told, what must I do? My soul is in bitterness and heavy distress." She added also, "I wrestled all the last night with God in prayer, except the space of an hour, during which I soundly slept, and had very many comfortable visits from the Lord. During my interval of sleep I dreamed a dream, in which I beheld a man coming towards me with a glass of wine in his hand, who bade me drink it; I took particular notice of the wine that it was red, so that when I awoke I was much re­freshed; but all my comforts are gone again, there­fore I am now more distressed than ever."

I replied, "Mrs. Brownrigg, I am afraid you do not sufficiently permit the spirit of God to convince you of the enormity of the crime for which you are condemned. Are you condemned in your own con­science? Do you judge yourself, that you may not be judged of God? Condemn yourself, that you may not be condemned in the day of judgment, when the secrets of [Page 163] all hearts will be open to God, angels and men? Do you call to remembrance the sins of your whole life? And are you fully convinced that you deserve to be punished eternally for your impiety and transgression?" She replied, "I do." Then," said I, "if it be so, you are not far from the kingdom of God." Wringing her hands, in an agony of spirit, she said, "Oh! that I may know this. Oh! that I may be assured of this. Great God! enable me to depend on this." She continued to use several repetitions hereof. I then asked her whether she was never tempted to destroy herself. She answered, "Mr. Told, I am glad you have asked me this question, and I will answer it without reserve." Beginning the relation she said, "When I was first taken at Wandsworth, the consta­ble compelled my landlady to search my pockets, to know whether I had a knife, or any other instrument, whereby I might have committed the shocking act of suicide. I was searched accordingly, and although I had a knife secreted, yet it was not found. This threw me into a violent temptation, so that I cut a little hole, about the bigness of a silver groat, in the peek of these my stays," shewing me the place. "Herein," continued she, "I put the knife; it being a clasped one, I conveyed it round my hip through the covering of my stays." She then presented to me the very place where it lay undiscovered during her confinement in the Poultry compter. After that she added, "Now, as I have advanced thus far, I [Page 164] should be to blame were I to be so very disingenuous as to conceal the rest, therefore I shall acknowledge to you, Mr. Told, that many times I used to consider where, and on what part of my body it would be the most expedient to stab myself, that by so doing I might effect the business at once; yet the Lord, in his infi­nite mercy, led me safe through this temptation.

I then asked her if she had ever seriously considered the consequence of so rash an attempt, and what would have become of her soul if she had died in an act of self-murder, seeing it would be utterly impossible for her to be saved, not having time for repentance? She answered, "I never was inclined to think on, or con­sider, any thing of that nature; for the consideration of that shame, ignominy and reproach, that are al­ways consequent on Tyburn executions, suppressed every other serious and calm idea whereon my con­templations should have rationally dwelt." I told her I had a few questions more to ask her, and beg'd she would return me the plain, simple truth, so that her veracity might be unsullied and spotless. She replied, "Mr. Told, I can open my heart to you, like as to myself; ask what you judge proper, and I will, by openness and simplicity, endeavour to afford you satisfaction." I then informed her, it was cur­rently reported, and well nigh in every one's mouth, that, in the course of her practice in midwifry, she had been guilty of destroying several children in the [Page 165] birth, and feeding her swine with them. I added, "Is this true, or not?" She replied, "I was asked the same question some time ago by an eminent physi­cian; but truly, Mr. Told, I never had any misfortune during the time of my practice, except with three, and I now desire you to take down, in writing, the names of those three gentlewomen I then laid, and they will give you a satisfactory account, viz. whether the fault lay at my door or not, as they were all three brought into the world putrified. "I have had," said she, "as good success in general as most women in my calling, and was equally esteemed by my employers; neither were they ever so wonderfully astonished as at the time this unfortunate affair came to light." The names of the three gentlewomen, who had the dead children, were Mrs Gore, at Camberwell; Mrs. Flude, at the workhouse, in Grub-Street; and Mrs. —, at the Bell-Inn, Holborn.

The second question I asked her, arose from an in­formation I had received touching her secret transacti­ons with seventeen apprentice girls, whom she had at several times acquired from various parishes in and about London, as it was said, that when she was requested to give an account of them, she could produce but three. I demanded, "Is this true, or not?" To which she an­swered, "I never in my life had more than three ap­prentices, viz. the deceased, the evidence, and one that is gone back to the Foundling-Hospital.

[Page 166]Thirdly, I asked her, if she could say, in the presence of Almighty God, that she never practised any of those cruelties before. Her answer to this was, "I never did." I asked her again, what could induce her to commit so dreadful an act of barbarity now. She said, "I can give you very substantial reasons for so doing." "Pray," said I, "what may they be?" She replied, "About ten years ago, when I had six small children about me, I walked closely in the ways of God, never being able to accuse myself of negligence, or inattention, rising at five o'clock in the morning, and being at Bow Church-yard, in Cheap [...]le, at six o'clock prayers: Then, Mr. Told, I was very happy in my God, who manifested himself to me, so that I walked stedfastly in the light of his blessed countenance for a considerable time: But, Oh! unhappily for me, I grew slack in my duty, forsook my God, and he forsook me; so that I fell into the spirit of pride and anger, then, by degrees, into the crime for which I am to die! I can give you, Mr. Told, no other reason; but I beg you will help my distressed soul all that you can." I replied, "I hum­bly hope God will be your helper, protector, and de­fender." As I still hoped that she had not committed the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, I trusted there was yet room for mercy; therefore I pressed upon her to understand, that Christ himself declared, that every other sin, of what nature or kind soever, shall be forgiven unto men, upon tree repentance and deep [Page 167] humiliation, under a sense of guilt before God. Here I strongly exhorted her to come to the throne of grace, and to trust fully in the blood of the everlasting cove­nant; and that God, for Christ's sake would, upon no consideration, reject, or cast out those who came to him through the Son of his Love; but would blot out all their iniquities as a cloud, and their transgressions as a thick cloud; and that God was in Christ recon­ciling the world unto himself. I also told her, that the Lord Jesus, even while he hung upon the accursed tree, bore all and every one of our sins on his own body, saying, "It is finished," having made a full sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world, and for her's, and mine in particular. I also beg'd her to observe, that we were not damned so much for particular or weighty crimes committed, but for not believing in our inmost souls the great truths of the Gospel, which speaks in this manner, "God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.

Again, I informed her, that when the Lord Jesus sent forth his twelve disciples, he gave them this com­mand, "Go ye into all the world, preach the Gospel to every creature." "By the Gospel you are to un­derstand," said I, "the glad tidings of salvation, through a crucified Redeemer; whosoever therefore believes, and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that [Page 168] believeth not shall be damned." "My dear woman," added I, "venture your All in time and eternity on this great Saviour of the world, and then, though your sins should be as scarlet, God will make them white as snow, and, although they be as crimson, they shall be as wool: You see then that God's thoughts towards us are not as our thoughts towards him and one another. See then that you lay fast hold on this hope of eternal life set before you; and, though you will assuredly to­morrow, before this time, pay the debt of your natural life, for the life you have destroyed; yet be of good com­fort, the Son of God hath given body for body, and soul for soul, that we may be made partakers of eternal life, and be for ever where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary spirits are at rest." Thus I continued to press the doctrines of salvation by faith with weight upon her conscience, and found my labour was not in vain in the Lord. She then began to be much com­forted, telling me before we parted, she found she could now trust body and soul in the hands of her dear unerring Saviour. Her countenance was much altered, and that languid gloom, which rested upon her at our first entrance into the cell, I easily perceived to termi­nate in pleasant serenity. Composure of mind, and resignation of spirit, was expressed strongly in all her looks. I then went to prayer, and parted with her for this time, commending her into the hands of a merciful Redeemer.

[Page 169]Monday the 14th instant, being the day of her exe­cution, I repaired to Newgate about a quarter past six o'clock in the morning, where I found Mrs. Brownrigg with the Rev. Mr. Moor, the ordinary, in the press­yard-room. We went immediately up to chapel, en­deavouring to comfort her in the best manner we could, and found her spirit fully prepared to receive instructi­on, her mind greatly composed, and her heart filled with prayer. When we came to chapel, we tarried some time before prayers began, in the course of which interim the turnkey had introduced Mr. Brownrigg and their son. They addressed each other in a very striking manner; then the ordinary prayed extempore with them, after which we sang an hymn; he then exhorted, and prayed again; when he had done, he desired me to pray: I did so, and we sang another hymn, very applicable to the dying malefactors case. Now when we were ready to communicate, the others were ad­mitted up to chapel, among whom were three clergy­men, who joined us in the sacred supper of our Lord; and truly a blessed time it was, especially with the malefactor, her husband and son; at the close of which solemnity, it was considered prudent to dismiss every person from the chapel, in order to give them the fairer opportunity of taking their last farewell of one another; so we all retired accordingly, but I had not reached the bottom of the steps before the keeper beckoned to me, saying, Mrs. Brownrigg desired to speak a few words with me. I speedily returned to her; upon [Page 170] which she said, "Mr. Told, we want you to employ a little more of your time with us; pray give my husband and son a word of advice." I did so, agreeable to her desires, and imparted (I may venture to say) no small share of instruction, for which they all returned me many thanks. I then addressed myself to Mrs. Brown­rigg, as she was in the spirit of prayer. While I was speaking to her, the son fell down on both his knees, and, bursting into a flood of tears, with his head against his mother's side, said, "I beseech you, my dear mother, lay both your hands upon my head, and bless me." She replied, "I hope God will bless my dear son." Almost frantic, he added, "My dear mother, put both your hands upon my head, and bless me your­self." His mother then put both her hands upon his head, saying, "My blessing be upon thee, my dear child." The husband then fell down on both his knees on the other side, saying, "The Lord bless you; God be with you, my dear wife," being scarce able to speak for weeping; he assured her that all the care that was possible should be taken of her offspring, that they might be trained up to serve God. They then parted, when the keeper and myself led her down stairs (as she was, through extreme debility, unable to walk alone) and carried her into the press-yard­room. The sheriff not having arrived, we caught another opportunity of being useful to her, applying our short time to the most advantage. A clergyman, belonging to St. Paul's, was likewise of excellent ser­vice, [Page 171] giving her, without any narrowness of heart, good and wholesome advice; the Lord reward him seven-fold in his own bosom. The time came, when Mrs. Brownrigg was ordered into the cart, when the Rev. Mr James and myself stationed ourselves by each side of her, Mr. James on the right-hand, and myself on the left. When we had fixed ourselves, I perceived the whole powers of darkness were ready to give her a reception. Beckoning to the multitude, I desired them to pray for her, at which they were rather silent, until the cart began to move. Then they triumphed over her with three huzzas; this was followed by a com­bination of hellish curses. When we had passed thro' the gate, carts were placed on each side of the street, filled principally with women. Here I may say, with the greatest truth, nothing could have equalled them, but the damned spirits let loose from the infernal pit; and, to be brief, this was the spirit of the wicked multitude intirely to the place of execution; and, not­withstanding her crime was horrible, yet God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, supported her mind; see­ing her time was short, so that she never made one complaint of such treatment; neither did she drop one murmuring expression from her lips in any part of her passage. I repeatedly asked her, if the dreadful tu­mult did not draw the attention of her mind from off the Lord Jesus. She replied, "Not in the least, I bless God.' Then some of the common cries, from the thoughtless concourse, accompanied with dreadful [Page 172] imprecations, were, pull her hat off, pull off her hat, that we may see the b—'s face: However, I with­stood this cutting clamour all the way, till we came to the place of execution, and that for two reasons; first, I was conscious it would too much expose her to the censure of the inexorable mob, and, which was abundantly worse, it would discompose her mind, and hinder her meditating with God; the second conside­ration was, that, as the incensed mob thought it not enough to rejoice over her by common rage and de­famatory abuse, but were altogether cruel to cast stones, dirt, &c. therefore, if I, through endeavouring to pacify them by virtue of a friendly address, should, on the contrary, excite their madness and exaspera­tion, they would not only disturb her mind, but en­danger her life before the law had executed its office. I must observe here, I never, in the course of my life, beheld so much the absolute necessity, which all minis­ters of the Gospel, of every denomination amongst us, lay under, in plucking those brands out of the jaws of eternal death and destruction, or a dreadful account will be one day given by such preachers. When we came to the place of execution, the outcries of the mob were not so violent; yet, notwithstanding, when she was tied up to the fatal tree, and exposed to God, angels and men, (an awful spectacle) little or no compassion was drawn from the hearts of the populace, for the behaviour of thousands was such, as, I am per­suaded, no part of the habitable world would be guilty [Page 173] of, except the inhabitants of Great-Britain. Imme­diately after the executioner had tied her up, I disco­vered an horrible dread in her countenance: Fearing that some violent temptation had assaulted her, I beg'd to know the cause of her being so distressed. She said, "Mr. Told, I have many times passed by this place, and always experienced, when near this spot of ground, a dreadful horror seized me, for fear that one day or other I should come to be hanged. This," said she, "enters afresh upon my mind, and greatly terrifies me!" I said, "Your mind all the way was very composed, and repeatedly you told me, you could put your full trust and confidence in your blessed Redeemer, and that you had no doubt but that you should be happy with him; don't you find it so still?" She replied, "I still retain my confidence, but this power­fully occurs to my mind of what I frequently imagined whenever I past this piece of ground, and therefore I am terrified exceedingly." I then told her, it was by no means a point of her business, or duty, to pay any attention to that; but her whole intire duty and attention was to look stedfastly to the Lord Jesus, and that would be sufficient to subdue every other opposi­tion, and enable her to resign her spirit into the hands of Almighty God. Some time before she was turned off, the Rev. Mr. Moor came into the cart, spake to her, and prayed with her. We sang two hymns, and continued to exhort her for three-quarters of an hour. She was very devout, crying vehemently for mercy. [Page 174] Just as the cart was ready to draw off, the ministers all having gone out, I turned to her, and advised her, in her last moment, to keep her mind stedfastly fixed upon Christ. She said, "I hope I shall." The cart then drew off, and, I humbly trust, God has received her departed spirit. Amen.

Thus, Christian Reader, concludes the narrative of the life of Mr. Silas Told, written by himself some time before his departure from this vale of tears, after having passed through a troublesome and laborious life with great fortitude and patience; being continually anxious for the good of his fellow creatures, particu­larly the condemned malefactors in the several prisons in and about the metropolis; striving ardently, by all the means in his power, to promote their everlasting welfare; submitting meekly, for Christ's sake, to the ill treatment which he too often experienced, not only from prisoners and keepers, &c. but even to reproach and censure from those, who ought rather to have encouraged and applauded him. After having done all the good in his power, he chearfully resigned his soul into the hands of his Heavenly Father, in Decem­ber, 1779, in the 68th year of his age, and hath, no doubt, received this blessed welcome, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."


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