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fessed, perhaps all his sins, but that for which he was to be executed, and with many tears followed them in their forms of prayer. Several persons who had, I would hope, pious intentions, assured Johnson that he was converted, that all his sins were unquestionably pardoned, and that now he had nothing to do but sing hymns of assurance and triumph. He was exhorted again and again, to say that he was confident, and that he had no fear of death. To this poor prisoner of hope, were devoted all my attentions, because he confided in me, solicited my last advice; and because I thought it more important that he should be prepared for death, than that he should think or say, “ I have already attained.”
While his friends were insisting upon the song of Hallelujah, he frequently turned to me, and asked, “how shall I pray? What shall be my last prayer?" Having explained the nature of sin, and of Christ's satisfaction for transgression, the hope was expressed that he would die with the prayer of the publican in his heart. When the singing men gave a short intermission, I proposed the 51st psalm ;
“Shew pity Lord, O Lord forgive,
“ Let a repenting rebel live;" and the words scemed perfectly consonant to his feelings, A dying penitent will always prefer confession and petition to confident declarations of his own sincerity.
At the appointed hour, spectators withdrew from the cell ; the chains were taken off; the prisoners were arrayed in white garments and caps, trimmed with black; had their arms pinioned, and received the fatal rope about their necks. The father and friends of Johnson then approached him, and gave the last embrace. The family of the keeper also approached, with much tenderness, and bade them farewell. When the prisoners had descended to the yard, I designed to have left Johnson among his friends, who were particulariy desirous of walking with him, while the German brethren led Sinclair; but when the cart which contained the scaffold and the coffins appeared, the black man turned and inquired for me with anxiety. His entreaty that I would not leave him induced me to see the consummation of this dreadful
On the way to the gallows, he took my left arm, and the right arm of one of his coloured brethren. Behind us were many, wlio incessantly sung as we marched, with military cscort, but he seemed to regard songs as now inappropriate to his circumstances. Again and again he entreated me to tcach him how to pray; and when I dictated suitable expressions, he would repeat them with great fervour. He
had no heart for any thing, but the revelation of the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the petition, “ God be merciful to me a sinner.” This he repeated at almost every step. Under the gallows he was unwilling that I should leave him, and when he was ascending to be made fast, he said to me, « what shall I say? O tell me my last prayer again !" Again I said, “God be merciful to me a sinner." When every thing was ready, each of the criminals prayed in his own vernacular tongue. The German protested his innocence to the last. Johnson confessed; and shaking hands, while they looked up to heaven, they reciprocally greeted each other, saying, “God bless you : farewell.” In an instant after this, Johnson perceiving the cartman about to drive, exclaimed, “ stop! Stop! one minute longer ; let me pray one breath more! God be merciful to me a sinner;" when they were suspended together, and together were ushered into the presence of Jeho. vah. When Johnson uttered his last cry, almost every hearer, involuntary prayed for him. Would to God that we all could feel, that the time for prayer is precious! Would to God that all who exclaimed “God forgive him," would ask, as he did, « what shall we do to be saved ?".
If either of these unhappy men is now assured of his salvation, the assurance has come as soon as, under their circumstances, it could be expected: and if now he sings “ alleluia to the Lamb ; doubts have fled, fear is extinguished, faith is superseded, hope is absorbed in fruition," it is in the best time. To know the only true God and Jusus Christ, is eternal life ; but to be confidert that we savingly know them, is.. not absolutely essential. Yea, such confidence, if not founded on thorough scrutiny of religious experience, if not derived from a considerable course of consistent piety, is presumption, if not DAMNING DELUSION.
Saturday, January 26th. " Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works."
PAUL. Last evening a member of the Widow's Society made me promise, without delay, to visit the poor woman whom I saw on the 17th inst. It was my intention to have visited her before this time ; but many similar concerns might have created a longer delay, had I not been, in Paul's sense, provokeri to the work. She had decayed rapidly, and was assured of spcedy dissolution. Her imaginary goodness too had fcdi and what she long cherished, was now, in her opinion, pride,
pollution, misery, and death. Many pious instructions had she received from her female benefactors, and she appeared now to feel that she was a sinner, in perishing need of a Saviour. This was the time to preach good news, and I af. tempted, with more apparent success than formerly, to show her how a sinner might be just with God; but whether she believes to salvation must be left with the searcher of hearts.
Lord's day, Jan. 27. Last week five patients died in the Hospital, and while speaking there, this morning, in the pre. sence of eight or nine, who were too near the grave to arise, one died of an inflammation by a broken leg. When first the bone was fractured, in the line of his daily business, his wife could not endure the thoughts of parting with him : but her feeble attendance on him, surrounded by poverty and sickness, was insufficient, and he became delirious. He has left, I am informed, a worthy wife, with five small children; the youngest of which is not more than three weeks of age. Her name and number I have taken as a present to some one of the Widow's Society.
Afternoon. After speaking in one room, I visited another in the Almshouse, which is full of sick persons. Their misery makes me sick at heart; especially when I consider that in nine cases out of ten, premature sickness comes in consequence of making a god of animal appetite, One man, however, of middle age, whose countenance indicates past intemperance, was greatly moved by the word of God. His attention has been increasing for some weeks. O may God bless my poor labours to the salvation of his trembling soul
Evening. The widow whom I visited yesterday is gone. Her departure I did not imagine to be so very near. Thanks to Mrs. J. E—C—, who urged my last attentions to the dying fellow-sinner! To reciprocate her kindness, I presented the card of the lately bereaved mother of five babes, which she accepted with an assurance of affording the most immediate relief within her power.
Thursday Evening, January 3 ist. When I first saw blind Sally, I went at the request of an Elder in the Dutch Church, to converse with her upon the concerns of her soul. She was greatly troubled, by reason of spiritual darkness; and was the first person who besought me to preach in the Almshouse. Many weeks she sat under the preaching of the word, before she found consolation
from faith. At length the child, long before brought to the birth, was brought forth into God's marvellous light. Not long since she was admitted to the full communion of the Reformed Dutch Church. When under examination before the consistory, she was asked why she loved Christ? and immediately replied, “ we love him because he first loved us."
Blind George was very attentive to the word to-night. His motions clearly indicate when he is pleased or displeased with a discourse ; for all sermons are not alike to him, nor is the last sermon always the best. He has already committed several hymns to memory since I gave him a book, and now requested that I would select some new ones for him to learn. This was a pieasing request; and after I had folded down a few leaves to guide his feeling, half a dozen other hymn books were handed me for the same purpose. An old woman observed to me, when she presented hers, “ all we blind persons take great pleasure in learning, as well as George.” New applications were made by old and young, for similar books, with which, on account of my inability to gratify their wishes, I was almost as much troubled as pleased.
It was gratifying to see another aged blind woman, very attentive, who, formerly, when a gentleman, Mr. B. who -accompanied me, said in her hearing, “ perhaps many of these persons are noore blind in spirit than in their bodily organs," discovered considerable resentment, and leaving the room exclaimed,“ perhaps we are not so blind, neither!" Soon after this I took occasion to say much in a public discourse, in her hearing, from the question of the spiritually blind Jews, “ are we blind also ?" Since that time I have often seen the tears trickle down from her aged eyelids, (which, having no eyeballs to cover, could certainly not be devoted to a better use,) at the sound of that Gospel, which offers sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, soundness to the lame, and life to the dead. When singing a hymn, which commences with these lines,
“ God moves in a mysterious way
“ His wonders to perform ;" I was surrounded by eight or ien boys, of about nine years of age, who tuned their little musical organs to the words, with all their might. The sight of their ragged garments and brilliant eyes, accompanied by the remembrance, that some of them are orphans, some fatherless, some motherless, and others not acknowledged by any earthly parent, was calculated to excite melancholy feelings. Some of them,
however, I said to myself, since they a'c instructed at the benevolent Free School, may in some future day rise to use. fulness, influence, and even affluence, for many have arisen from indigence to honour, and have become the ornaments of society. In such a frame of mind, it was more than vocal music which I heard, when they sung;
“ Behind a frowning providence
“ Unfolding ev'ry hour;
“ But ewest will be the flow'r,"
March 20th, A. D. 1811. Miss L**** is numbered with the dead. She was restored to reason, and continued sane for a few days; but, from deli. cacy of constitution, resigned her life into the hands of God. She was so extremely weak and low, that few were permitted to visit the unfortunate victim of tragical farce.
April 5th, 1811. This morning the superintendent of the Hospital called, with a request that I would visit one of the patients. I went to the bed-side of the unfortunate female ; found her in tears, and left her in tears. And would to God, that my fellow-citizens, who certainly are not devoid of commisseration, might turg their attention on a MAGDALEN ASYLUM, when I assure them, that the tale I relate is no less true than affecting'.
Four years ago, a certain dame, of this city, whose name might be given, would it answer any valuable purpose, visited the town of E-n, in the state of New York, in the character, and as the vulgar would think, in the ature of a fashionable lady. By appearances and professions she imposed on the simple. She found a poor, ignorant widow, who had many children, whom it was difficult for her to sup. port; and among them a daughter of twelve years, who was, in the estimation of a harridan, adapted to procure the spenda ing-money of the licentious in the middle grade of sensualists. The girl was masculine, and igncrant. The mother
It affords the editors peculiar pleasure to state, that since this extract mas written, a “ Magdalen Society has been formed, which is soon to go into operation, for the relief of such outcasts as may be allured back from open sensuality to the paths of virtue,