A SERMON, PREACHED AT THE EXECUTION OF ABIEL CONVERSE, Who was executed at Northampton for the Murder of her Infant Bastard Child, JULY 6th, 1788.



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AN Execution SERMON.

PROVERBS, viii.36.

But he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul: All they that hate me, love death.

THROUGH the exceeding deceitfulness of sin, wicked people are insensible of what they are doing against GOD, and the dreadful mischief they are bringing upon themselves. "Their foolish heart is darkened—they will not come to the light—they know not, neither will they understand—they walk on in darkness." It must give every one much pain who has come to himself, and has suitable feelings to­wards GOD and his law, to see multitudes of his fellow creatures around him living in their sins, and at ease in open rebellion against JEHOVAH, and ei­ther imagining that it is very easy for them, by and by, to move the divine compassion, by their cries and professions of sorrow; or flatter themselves that their wickedness is rather a calamity, than an evil infinitely hateful and odious to GOD; and renders them justly deserving of his eternal wrath. What is more difficult for any of us to do, than to make wicked people believe that they hate GOD—ere en­emies to him—are continually heaping up mischief [Page 6] upon themselves, and in effect love hell (for they love the way to it exceedingly) although HE that cannot lie, says in my text,—he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me, love death. Our text presents to view two observations, which merit our attention at this time.

1st. The great evil of sinners lies in their opposi­tion to GOD, and enmity against him.

2d. Sinners by their opposition to GOD, do ex­ceedingly wrong themselves.

1. The great evil of sinners lies in their oppo­sition to GOD, and enmity against him. This is very evident from the holy scriptures, and especially from the following texts. "Wherefore do the wick­ed contemn GOD—The carnal mind is enmity against GOD—If when we were enemies we were reconcil'd to GOD by the death of his son." It is further evident that the great evil of sinners lies in opposition to GOD, from the confession and declaration of true penitents recorded in the divine oracles, says Joseph, how shall I do this great evil and sin against GOD?—says the Psalmist, against thee, and thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil. And furthermore, on the account of the wicked being opposed to GOD, and unlike him, they are often called ungodly in the ho­ly word.

2. It is further evident that the evil of sinners lies in opposition to GOD, because sin is a violation of the divine law. All sins whatever that people commit, are a violation of GOD's law; therefore, a contempt of his authority, and wholly opposed to him. All sins against society, against rulers, parents, Masters, and guardians; yea all sins of thought, word and deed, are violations of GOD's holy law; therefore express opposition, and enmity against him.

3. That sinners are opposed to GOD, and hate him, is evident from plain facts.

[Page 7]1. It is evident that sinners hate GOD, because they will not believe what he says to them. "He speaks once, yea twice, but they regard him not." GOD speaks excellent and important things, very often to sinners, for a long season, but they will not believe a word he says. "He that believeth not GOD hath made him a liar." Now, what great evidence of dislike do we shew to a fellow creature, when we make him a liar? and how exceeding worthless, do we view him, whose word is not worth regarding? There­fore, what greater evidence of enmity, can we ex­hibit against GOD, than to pay no regard to what he says?

2. Another evidence of hating GOD, is, their being unwilling to have him do as he pleases.— They dislike what he does and are unwilling to trust him. GOD wills many things which sinners are displeased with. They had rather have the man­agement of all matters which respect them, than to have GOD manage them. They had rather trust themselves, than trust GOD. They have a better opinion of themselves, than they have of GOD; and think that they can manage affairs better than he does. Hence it is, that sinners are so often com­plaining as we read in the Proverbs of Solomon,— The foolishness of man perverteth his way, and his [...] fretteth against the Lord.

3. Another evidence of sinners hating GOD, is their being so exceeding averse to an acquaintance with him. They chuse to keep at a distance from GOD; and are not fond of his company. Their language is, (as we read in the lively oracles,) [...] from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. Wicked people are not fond of admitting thoughts of GOD, and his character. They are fond of ad­mitting vain, foolish, covetous, and unclean thoughts, [Page 8] they are fond of letting such thoughts dwell within them: but they will reject serious, godly, and reli­gious thoughts, and can't endure them. They are fond of knowing many things which are exceeding hurtful and dangerous to them; but are not fond of knowing GOD, JESUS CHRIST and the way to heav­en. They will not take proper pains to know these things. Thoughts of GOD, his ways, and doings are a burden to them; but they delight exceedingly in evil thoughts, and in evil companions.

4. Another evidence of sinners hating GOD, is their being averse to speaking in his praise. They can easily speak in praise of GOD's enemies; they can easily speak in favour of them that do wickedly: But, when they see the holy name of GOD pro­faned, and his honour trampled in the dust, they can't find it in their hearts to say any thing for him. They are willing to stand up for evil doers; but are not willing to stand up for GOD against evil do­ers. When persons are not disposed to say any thing in favour of a neighbour, or ever to take his part, although they see him despised and most shame­fully abused; it is an evidence that they are destitute of all true love for him, even so when people will say nothing in GOD's praise—will never take his part against evil doers, when he is awfully and dreadfully dishonoured—it is an evidence that they have no true love for him.

5. Another evidence of sinners hating GOD, is, their being so exceedingly averse to serving him, and doing that which is pleasing in his sight. The service of GOD, is such a burden to wicked people that they can't bear it. They [...]ll not pray to GOD —they can't endure this part of divine service—they can see no pleasure, or no profit in religious services. Hence, we read in the divine oracles—The wicked [Page 9] through the pride of his countenance will not seek after GOD. Who is the Lord that we should serve him? and what profit is it if we pray unto him?

Now, when a servant is exceedingly averse to the service of his master, can't bear it, and will not try to please him; this is an evidence that he hates him. Even so, when wicked people hate the service of GOD, hate to please him, and even delight in doing what is very displeasing to him; it is mani­fest that they have enmity against him.

6. Another evidence of sinners hating GOD, is, their holding fast their sins, and refusing to repent, and turn to him; although he gives them many calls and invitations, and uses blessed means with them to promote their eternal salvation. He tells them what a great evil sin is—that it is the troubler of the whole creation—that it brings temporal and eternal misery. He also tells them what sinners they are —that they have treasured up much sin, made them­selves exceedingly vile, and deserve to be eternally banished from his presence. Yet assures them, "that there is forgiveness, and plenteous redemption, if they will put away the evil of their doings from before his eyes—that he has la [...] help on one mighty to save, whose blood cleanses from all sin." He also assures them that they are wel­come to come to Christ by faith, and have pardon, peace and eternal life. He gives them repeated calls and warnings. He reasons with them—Wilt thou never be made clean, when shall it once be?— turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die? forsake the foolish and live, and go in the way of understanding.

The blessed Lord exerciseth great patience to­wards sinners, therefore says, behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come unto him and sup with him and he with me. Yet, "after all, they set at nought his coun­sels [Page 10] and will none of his reproofs." They have such a love for their lusts that they will not part with them. They chuse to hold communion and fellowship with GOD's enemies—they will nourish and support them—they will have their sins, let GOD do as he pleases. They make nothing of all the good which GOD holds up to their view: they set at nought his love, faithfulness and most tender compassions.— From such conduct as this it is very apparent that sinners hate GOD.

7. The enmity of sinners against GOD is manifest from their conduct towards the Lord JESUS CHRIST who is GOD, and was manifest in the flesh. The Lord JESUS is the illustious personage, who speaks in my text; and one whom sinners hated so much while upon earth, that they would not suffer him to live. They hated him to such a degree, that they prefered a murderer before him; and would not be easy till they had put him to the accursed death of the cross, between two thieves. But let it be fur­ther observed, that nothing can be so vile and base as the enmity of sinners against GOD, and JESUS CHRIST the express image of the Father's person: Therefore, he says to sinners, this cometh to pass that it might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated me without a cause.

Sinners don't hate GOD, because he has injured them, or done them the least injustice, or given them the least provocation. But they hate him for the same reason that St. Paul's hearers hated him, viz. because he told them the truth. GOD tells sinners the truth which they can't endure, therefore they hate him. GOD abhors the wicked works of sinners and opposes them; and on this account they hate him. GOD can't bear with their "whorish heart which departs from him; and their eyes which go whoring [Page 11] after their idols;" therefore opposes them and threat­ens their destruction: on this account they hate him. GOD is an exceeding good master, full of love, wis­dom, justice and the most tender compassions: but sinners say that he is a hard master, and they will not have him to rule over them. The service of GOD is an exceeding good service; pleasant and reasonable; calculated to make us comfortable and happy in time, and to eternity. But wicked people hate and con­temn GOD, because he requires them to serve him. Upon the whole, it appears from the holy word, from sinners not believing GOD—disliking what he does —aversion to an acquaintance with him—not speak­ing in his praise—unwilling to serve him—not re­penting—and their cruel treatment of the LORD of GLORY, that they hate him, and that their great e­vil lies in opposition to him.

II. I am to shew that sinners by their opposition to GOD, do exceedingly wrong themselves. Sin and punishment are inseparably connected. Sin­ners by their enmity against GOD, and opposition to him, procure much mischief to themselves: for they greatly incense the divine wrath, and move the righteous GOVERNOUR of the world to visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. By the holy appointment of Him who al­ways does right, evil pursues sinners in this world, and without true repentance to all eternity▪

1. Sinners by their opposition to GOD, destroy the peace of their own minds, and procure to them­selves terrors. Sinners are haunted with a guilty conscience, which produces fear where no fear is.— They know in their consciences that they deserve punishment for their unreasonable opposition to the great and holy GOD; no wonder then, that they tra­vel in pain, and are like the troubled sea, whose wa­ters [Page 12] cast forth mire and dirt. Can a soul abide in sacred peace when defiled with fleshly lusts? Will a life of irreligion, and debauchery, produce solid peace and quietness of mind?—Will covetousness, pride, envy, malice, hatred, deceit, hypocrisy, and a whorish heart produce sweet peace, and con­solation of soul? We may as well expect to gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles, or that a foun­tain will send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter.

What injury then do sinners do to themselves by their opposition to GOD? What a life of bondage do they lead? how are they consumed with terrors.

2. Distressing pain, and bodily sickness, are the productions of sin. Sinners by the gratification of their lusts, and the works of the flesh, bring painful and dangerous diseases upon themselves. Hence we read in the lively oracles, that men are chastened with pain upon their beds; and the multitude of their bones with strong pain, till their flesh consumes away, and their bones stick out—and for this cause many are sickly and weakly among you, and many fallen asleep. How many by their unclean practices and intemperate living procure to themselves loath­some, and dangerous diseases, and wearisome days and nights; Both scripture, and observation teaches us, that a life filled up with God-provoking sins is not favourable to health and length of days.

[...]. Poverty and shame, are often the productions of a wicked life, or a life of rebellion against GOD. How many by riotous living, waste their substance and by unclean practises are brought to a morsel of bread and, by such a line of conduct how many plunge into shame and disgrace? How many by their fondness for evil companions, and the counsels [Page 13] of the wicked become exceeding poor and despicable in the world? Hence, saith Solomon, he that follow­eth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.— Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth in­struction—The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty. How many by a slothful, indolent and stupid way of living, are insnared and reduced to beggary? Many there are among mankind who do exceedingly debase themselves, by ungodly and wick­ed practices, and become despicable beyond all com­parison. Such persons make themselves brutish, yea, worse than brutish, for they fit themselves for sudden destruction.

4. Sinners by their rebellion against the LORD of HOSTS, procure to themselves sore, wasting and des­olating judgments of a public nature. GOD is pleas­ed in his holy providence, to bring the iniquities of sinners upon themselves, and to cut them off in their own wickedness. Wickedness often overthrows sin­ners in this world. The vengeance of Heaven of­ten pursues and overtakes the ungodly, in this world —takes from them their various comforts at one aw­ful stroke; and sweeps them away by a sudden death and dreadful overthrow. Witness the waters of No­ah—the slames of Sodom—Pharaoh and his hosts in the red Sea—the plagues of Egypt—the earth ex­panding her jaws, and swallowing up Korah and his accomplices—the fire from heaven which destroyed those who invaded the sacred function—the plague that went out from the LORD and destroyed fourteen thousand who murmured and fretted against the LORD and Moses—the destruction of the nations of Canaan—the destruction of Jerusalem—the Babylo­nian captivity—the destruction of the Jews by the Roman army—yea, the pestilence—the many famines wars and rumours of wars, and garments rolled in [Page 14] blood; which have been in every age, and in every place, sweeping mankind from the earth; are wit­nesses of the dreadful wrong and injury sinners bring upon themselves by their opposition to GOD.

5. Sinners by violating the law of GOD, and set­ing themselves against him: bring upon themselves the sword of the civil magistrate, which is ordained for their punishment. Hence we read in Rom. xiii. for he is the minister of GOD to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of GOD a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth e­vil. Many there are, who make themselves so in­tolerable to society by their crimes, that the Lord will not allow them to live in peace, and prosper in their wickedness: but commands the civil magistrate to be upon them with his sword, and execute the sentence of the law. Many there are who are great troublers of society, and the LORD has commanded the civil magistrate to trouble them. There are many whose conduct is so dangerous and intolera­ble, that the laws of GOD and man will not admit of their being at liberty, but require their immediate confinement in a dark and dreary prison; where alas! they have many days and nights of adversity. But this punishment is not in many cases sufficient. Jus­tice requires them to be conducted from the prison to the stake, the pillory and the gallows; and there, like brutes to receive corporal and ignominious pun­ishment. But this mode of punishment is too light for many, on the account of their attrocious crimes. The law of GOD and man, will not suffer them to live; but requires that they be immediately put to death. "He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed—and the murderer shall surely be put to death." If by all the mischief and distress which [Page 15] sinners bring upon themselves in this world, they might be brought to true repentance; have a new heart, and a new spirit given them, happy, unspeak­ably happy for them! for then like the thief upon the cross, they might go from the gallows, or place of execution, to be forever with CHRIST in the para­dise of GOD! Their troubles would be forever at an end, when they leave this world, and their state exceedingly blissful to all eternity! But alas! how many will not be content with all the dreadful mis­chief they bring upon themselves in this world, by their God-provoking sins; will not repent—will not reform—will not lay aside their enmity against GOD: but will keep their sins and die in them; therefore can have no better portion than an eternal confine­ment in the prison of hell. As they will not heark­en unto GOD, and cease from their rebellion against him—as they hate GOD, and will not have him to rule over them—as they are incorrigible, and will not come unto CHRIST and have life—they shall die in their iniquities; go to their own people in the re­gions of horror and keen despair—where the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever.— This is the second death, eternal death, and as sin­ners love the way to it, and will not have any other way—so death they must have; it is the fruit of their own way, and their own devices.


1. We learn from the subject, that sinners must experience a very great and important change, be­fore they can reasonably hope to go to Heaven.— They must forsake their evil ways▪ and their evil thoughts and cease from their most unreasonable en­mity against GOD. They must lay aside their relish for sin, and their unclean heart, which goes whoring after their idols. Yea, they must become new-creatures; [Page] for if any man be in CHRIST he is a new creature, all old things are done away and all things are be­come new." They must love what they before hat­ed, and hate what they before loved. They must hate sin with an implacable hatred, and love God su­premely for his holiness. They must esteem the service of GOD to be a most excellent service, and be pleased with his government. They must de­light exceedingly in his laws, because they are holy, just and good; and be willing to trust GOD; and leave all their concerns with him, both for time and for eternity. This is a great and important change indeed; which the scriptures hold up to our view, as necessary for every person, who would have any ra­tional hope of being admitted into the heavenly world when they die. "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven."

2. Seeing sin is so great an evil, and brings so much trouble upon mankind; what matter of grief and lamentation is it, that there is so much sin cleaving to us. No evil can be worse than sin, for it is the source of all misery and distress. If therefore we have reason to be grieved and sorry for any thing, it is, that we have so much of the evil of sin within us. Above all things in the world we should dread the evil of sin; and be more afraid of sinning than of suffering. When we consider that it is against GOD, and him alone that we have sinned, and done great evil; and how poisonous, shameful, destructive and dangerous an evil sin is; how can we refrain from many tears, and help being pained at our very hearts?

3. Seeing sin is so great an evil, as it is against GOD, and brings so much mischief upon mankind; how thankful should we be to GOD, for r [...]aining grace; whereby we have been kept from many sins, which others have been guilty of, to thair great dam­age. [Page 17] It is not because others who have committed more open and shameful sins; and brought more trouble upon themselves, than we have; are worse by nature than we are: for undoubtedly we have the same corrupt and depraved natures as they have.— But our not doing as they have done is owing to that restraining grace granted us which has not been grant­ed them. It has been very justly withheld from them, and might have been very justly withheld from us; for who of us have not long since forfeited all right to it? How much scandalous and abominable wicked­ness should many of us have committed, had we not been helped by divine restraints? And how many troubles should we soon bring upon ourselves, if left to fall a prey to our own lusts? Let us then adore that almighty being who has kept us back from many dangerous sins: by means of education, religious in­structions, counsels and reprooss, gentle rebukes of providence, and the strivings of the holy spirit.

4. We learn that sinners, are the greatest fools that can be found in the whole creation. They are fools for seting themselves against GOD; for they can't prosper—can maintain no strength against him.— They are fools for treating GOD as they do, for they say the LORD does not see nor hear them. If they can sin out of the sight of man, they care not how many sins they commit; as if the great eternal was not worth regarding. But alas! his eye is continually upon them and knows all their secret abominations, even every thought and will make them known that he is the LORD. Not one of their sins can be forgotten, all shall be brought into judgment against them— and they can't escape—"There is no darkness nor shad­ow of death where the workers of iniquity can hide them­selves." What fools must they be who set themselves against the GOD of infinite power, majesty, worth [Page 18] and dignity, who can by one frown send them all to Hell! What fools are they, for rising up against him whose wrath they can't escape & can't endure, under which they must eternally sink! What fools for fighting against the most amiable and excellent being in the uin­verse—who most earnestly invites them to lay down the weapons of their rebellion, and come to him and possess all good things! What fools, to stand a mo­ment against a holy GOD, lest he tear them in pieces and there be none to deliver!

Sinners are guilty of the most egregious folly by wilfully bringing so much trouble upon themselves▪ their enmity is turn'd against themselves: and they don't at all regard their own interest. They will go on to bring mischief upon themselves, even while they are fairly and plainly warned of what is coming upon them. They will go on to trouble themselves by their sins, even while they are not only warned and besought by the ministers of CHRIST, and their dear friends, but even while they are warned and be­sought by the great JEHOVAH himself. They bring so many troubles upon themselves by their own wickedness; that they have a hell upon earth of their own making. But they don't chuse to stop here; for in addition to the hell which they procure to them­selves in this world, by their God-provoking sins— they go on seeking and preparing for that dreadful prison of hell, beyond the grave, where there is no rest, day nor night, forever and ever The folly and madness which sinners run into, are not parelleled in the whole creation.—I must closewith one or two addresses generally expected on such an occasion.

1st. To the Prisoner before us.

Unhappy woman. As time is just about to leave you, and eternity to receive you; what shall I say? Who is sufficient for the arduous talk of addressing you, upon this awful occasion? For the horrid wick­edness [Page 19] of murder, you are condemned to die, by the law of GOD and man. You are verily guilty concerning your infant child, in that you saw him, a helpless defenceless babe; who had neither injured you nor any of your fellow creatures: your own child, born of your own body, whom you had been wickedly in­strumental of bringing into the world; yet you hard­ened your heart against him, and determined that you would not exercise so much compassion towards him as the sea monsters, who draw out their breasts, and give suck to their young ones; but with violent hands you put him to death. Be astonished O earth at the wickedness of your heart! You have thought that this crime of murdering your child, was not so great as the murder of an adult person. But, let me tell you, that the murder you are guilty of, is attend­ed with more dreadful aggravations than common murder. In many if not most instances of murder, there is either some provocation, or injury received from the person murdered, or a prospect of consider­able gain, or there is no relation by kindred blood, or the person is capable of making some defence:— but in this murder of your's, there is none of these things to excuse you. You are guilty of a most horrid, monstrous, and unnatural crime.

I am sensible that persons in your situation, need a more skilfull hand than I am to deal with them; yet as you are one of the precious souls committed to my charge, and desired that I should speak to you upon this occasion; I must be allowed to speak the truth to you, and act the part of an honest dying man, who must give an account to the JUDGE of quick and dead as well as you. Therefore when I plainly set your sins before you, believe, that I mean not to reproach you, but seek your eternal good.— My earnest desire is now in this last important hour [Page 20] that you may be truly sensible of your sins, brought to true repentance, and through the merits of CHRIST obtain forgiveness. You must consider that by na­ture you are a sinner prone to iniquity, and, that your life has been exceedingly wicked. You have cast off fear, and have restrained prayer before GOD—You have set at nought his counsels, and would none of his reproofs. You have been exceedingly fond of profane, wicked company, and rejected GOD. You have been fond of entertaining GOD's enemies, but would not enter­tain him. You have hardened your heart againnst the LORD JESUS, who has given you repeated calls and warnings; urged you by the calls of the gospel, ministers, friends, and providences; to turn from your evil ways and not die. Although you have been frequently called, and urged, yet you would not come unto CHRIST that you might have life. Re­bellion against GOD, has been the delight of your soul. What abominable uncleanness and whoredom, have you been guilty of? and to hide this awful wicked­ness, what horrid lies have you told in denying re­peatedly that you was in a state of pregnancy, just before the birth of your child? But the horrid wickedness of whoredom and lying, were not suffi­cient for you; to these you have added the crying sin of murder repeatedly. You must consider that in all your wickedness you have hated GOD, and been fighting against Him. GOD has been good to you, told you the truth, and bestowed numberless blessings upon you. In the day of your distress, has repeat­edly helped you, and used blessed means with you to reclaim you from sin, and deliver you from the wrath to come. But you cared for none of his mer­cies, hated him without a cause, and would not have [...] to rule over you. You have set GOD at nought because he is good, and always done that which is [Page 21] right towards you. O then unless you now repent, are deeply humbled for your sins, and fly to the LORD JESUS by faith; what will you do when GOD ariseth up, and when he visiteth what will you answer? Can your hands be strong or your heart endure when GOD shall deal with you? Very great sinners may repent and turn to GOD, and he will have mercy on them. As great sinners as you have had a true sense of their sins, been deeply humbled before God, cryed to him with a broken heart, and obtained forgiveness. GOD is ready to hear prayer. The sacrifices of a broken heart he will not despise. There is forgiveness and plenteous redemption, for those who will repent and give themselves to the LORD JESUS. Your sins are not too great to be forgiven. Although you have lived in dreadful wickedness, yet the door of mercy is not shut against you: for GOD now calls upon you to come to him that you may have life. O then let not a moment be lost. Lay aside your enmity against GOD immediately—be reconciled to him—fight against him no longer—lift your soul to him in humble pen­itent groans. The Lord will hear from [...], and through the infinite merits of the glorious RE­DEEMER who died on the accursed tree; you may have an entrance administered to you in the kingdom of Glory. The Lord Jesus came into the world to save sin­ners—He suffered the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God. If then, you believe in him, give yourself to him humbly, penitently and sincerely, you shall not perish but have everlasting life. Love the Lord JESUS CHRIST in sincerity, and you need not fear. We read of a woman in the gospel, notoriously wicked and vile; who came to our Lord with a humble heart; weeping and mourning for her sins; and washed his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. The Lord had mercy on [Page 22] her, and granted pardon. She became a new creature, loved the Lord much and hated sin exceedingly. Some of the wick­ed Jews, who crucified the LORD of Glory, were brought to repentance, became the real friends of GOD, and were forgiven. The thief upon the cross became a new creature in his last mo­ments, and the Lord said to him, this day shalt thou be with me in paradise. If you can now find yourself reconciled to GOD's character, are pleased with his perfections, and are not afraid to trust in him; you shall be forever happy with him. May the GOD of infinite mercy and grace interpose for you; and give you repentance and remission of sins, and an inheritance among the saints in light. Leaving you in the hands of GOD, who will do you no injustice;—I must bid you a long and mourn­ful farewell.

A few words to this great assembly, shall conclude the discourse.

What a melancholy scene is now opened before you. You plainly see, that sin brings distress, and that wickedness over­throweth the sinner. Let me entreat you all to take warning by the awful spectacle presented before you. Be afraid of sin, and a life of ungodliness. If you do that which is evil you may well be afraid; for the ruler beareth not the sword in vain;—for he is the minister of GOD, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. It is dangerous to venture upon those sins, which are called not so great as others: for sins are all linked together like a chain, which leads to temporal and eternal dis­tress. Take warning from what is presented before you this day▪ to avoid the sin of uncleanness. We see from plain facts [...] sin is very dangerous, and God-provoking. 'Twas [...] led the poor prisoner before us, to murder, and now she must die. She is not alone, for many others have been ruin­ed by this kind of wickedness. Many awful instances we have of late of persons being led on to death by the sin of unclean­ness and whoredom. Not long since a woman was executed in this town for murder, which was brought on by whoredom.— Within about a week after the unhappy prisoner before us commit­ed the sin of murder; in the same town, an unclean and whorish woman was led on by this abominable wickedness, to murder herself: deliberately, designedly, without hope of any mercy▪ and without desiring the good wishes or prayers of any friend whatever. Some unclean persons may feel secure and uncon­cerned, because they never had any thoughts of committing murder:—but let me tell such persons; that those who have un­done themselves by going from uncleanness to murder; were once in the depth of security, being under no fearful apprehen­sions of committing murder:—yet they plunged into this wick­edness and perished. The truth is, a holy GOD is so angry [Page 23] with unclean person; that he gives them up to their own lusts [...] mankind do when left to themselves▪ Let not therefore unclean persons feel secure and unconcerned; for such are provoking a holy GOD to give them up to work out their own destruction. Be afraid of the detestable wickedness of whoredom;—for the feet of such go down to death, and their steps take hold on hell. As you ought all to be afraid this; so you should abhor every practice which leads and exposes to it. The practice of young people of both sexes keeping company together, with no view of entering into a family [...]te, and liv­ing like rational creatures, I think it a detestable practice: It is carried on in many instances no doubt, to gratify lust: and the best that can be said of it, is, that it greatly exposes to unclean­ness. Let all parents take warning from the example before them; and see, that they are faithful in holding up light and truth before their children, and that they cease not to warn them from every evil practice. How much are all parents con­cerned to set good examples before their children, and adminis­ter to them the most useful instructions? Parents should inure their children to subjection, and obedience, and endeavour to instil into their minds, an abhorrence of every evil practice.— How many children are undone for the want of good examples, good government and instructions from their parents? Who can describe the feelings which you who are parents would have▪ if a child of yours was in the melancholy situation of the prison­er now before us? O then, let parents spare no proper and law­ful pains, to secure the temporal and eternal peace & rest of those committed to their care. Let all young persons, and especially young women take warning from the present spectacle; and see that they don't consent when sinners entice them. Enter not [...] to the path of the wicked, go not in the way of evil persons, avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it and pass away. Let us all remem­ber, that we must die as certain as the prisoner, and go to judgment as well as she; and all meet at GOD's tribunal▪ [...] we die impenitently, there will be no escaping [...] sentence— Depart ye cursed into ever [...]ing [...]ire prepared for the devil and his angels. O Then prove thankfully, and wisely the [...] of grace granted to you, but denied to the unhap­py prisoner. Let us all remember that we need an interest in the pardoning mercy of GOD, as well as the prisoner. By na­ture we all the [...]me vile creatures as she—and it may be that GOD▪ who knows our hearts, and ways, knows, that many of [...] more vile no guilty than she, who now must fall by the hand of justice. [...]en if we have any bowels of compassion, and our hearts no ha [...]er than a rock; and destitute of all suita­ble feelings towards GOD and man: let us lift up our souls to [Page 25] him who hears prayer, and pour out our [...];— humbly begging that in his great mercy, he wo [...]ld pour [...] into the heart of the prisoner. That great and [...] we profess to worship, can easily give her a new heart and spirit, and make her exceedingly glad with his countenance. May the GOD of all grace and consolation, give us a spirit of grace and supplication for ourselves and for her: and in his great compassions, hear, for give, and prepare us all for the solemn hour of death, hastening upon us: that we may die in the LORD and be admitted to eternal rest with the Saints in light. AMEN.


IN the Title Page—instead of July 6th, 1788, read July 17th, 1788.

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