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fairly tries to see clearly. Why monitor may all the while audibly did God give over some of old to whisper within their bosom, “The a reprobate mind? Because, that end of these things is death." “ when they knew God, they glori- But Orchard, like ten thousand fied him not as God, neither were other executed felons, became grathankful, but became vain in their dually more and more resigned to imaginations, and their foolish heart his fate. On what grounds? Did was darkened: they did not like to he adopt the confession of the cruciretain God in their knowledge." fied penitent, “ I indeed justly, for The author of the Confessions of I receive the due reward of my a Gamester could not honestly deeds;" or, were the physical terhave called the career of his hero rors of death removed by a gradual “ delusion." He might have charac- process, independent of the sighings terized his elaborate arrangements of a contrite heart, and unaided by at the gaming table, and on the a deep contrition, similar to that of turf; his efforts to form conjugal re- one who said, “ Against Thee, Thee lations solely on mercenary prin- only have I sinned, and done this ciples; his refusal to attend his evil in thy sight!” We are by no wife's dying bed, because he was means asserting that the unhappy found by the express messenger man whose case we have alluded to too deep in the orgies of play to be did not repent; but, as far as the disturbed ; all this, and a profligate record goes, we find a dubious and life of eighty years, might have undefined resignation to his fate been readily smoothed down by an the only substitute for repentance. extenuating phrase. But if it were Connected with this uncertainty it delusion, it was such as was arrived is painful to advert to the felon's at in the steady courses of delibe- four stanzas, as a kind of dying rate iniquity. Did not this gambler confession and creed. know all the while what he was ticularly at the last four lines, which doing? Was conscience always express not a trembling hope, but preserving an inviolable silence ? a distinct personal assurance of sal
As far as we remember, we vation. Do they not directly speak scarcely ever read the memoirs, of having boldness to enter into the either real or fictitious, of a repro- holiest ? We will not quarrel with bate—and fictions of the kind in the abstract theology of the hymn, question are generally accurate but only pause at the awful inquiry, copies of truth-without observing, who can safely use such a hymn?that the worst life had its flashes of We know who said, “I know whom remorse, its momentary convictions I have believed; and I am persuaded of guilt. And we believe that so that he is able to keep that which I far there can be no delusion; and have committed unto him against that Orchard might have been de- that day.” We know who asserted, ceived just as much as, and no more “ I have fought a good fight: hencethan, Fauntleroy and Thurtell. In forth there is laid up for me a crown the mean time, a million of readers of righteousness.” But if a convert peruse with avidity such accounts of fourteen days, weeks, or months, as the one we have copied ; and, be sincere, and, of course, if sinsuch among them as want the cere, allowed to have gained a staflattering unction applied to a a tion within the mystical church; disturbed conscience, when they yet, at the close of the longest are meditating the commisssion of period supposed, he is but a novice; crime, will find it ready prepared in and, in his immature state, has such examples as that before us; and surely no claim to adopt the high will pass on to sinful deeds, as to their anticipations of an advanced and moments, not of avoidable guilt, ripe believer. The infant in Christ but of venial delusion; though a cannot speak the language of the
aged confessor or martyr. He may pired at last without any expreslisp out the attainments, such as sions beyond those of hope. Some they are, of his spiritual childhood. also bave left the world in a state of He may look to the privileges of doubt or perturbation. It is much future days. But there is still a to be desired that such ministers of salvation to be worked out with fear religion as attend on condemned and trembling. There are, in pros- criminals, would look well to the pect, alternations of hope and alarm. depth of that repentance which He has to try his defensive and ought to constitute a penitent's offensive armour. There is in re
There is in re- claim-not indeed to forgiveness, ligion, as in other things, a beyin- for that, blessed be God, is wholly ning, a continuance liable to inter- free, through the mere mercy of our ruption, and an end. So taught the Creator, and the obedience unto imaginative but sagacious author of death of his incarnate Son on our the Pilgrim's Progress; and, in the behalf—but to the character of those course of that uninspired parable, who are forgiven. what lessons of practical wisdom The writer of the Gamester has gathered from his own experience, introduced a pious physician to the and digested in the long and gloomy death-bed of the wretched subject days of captivity, are developed. of his narrative; and has caused him His Christian did not exclaim, to deliver to the dying man offers Victory! victory! the moment he indeed of pardon, but with a distinct had entered in at the wicket-gate. understanding, at the same time,
Nay, he was well nigh overwhelmed that the acceptance of the offer • in the waters of Jordan ; and began would be attended with a cor
bis uninterrupted triumphs only responding humiliation and selfwhen he had gained the opposite abhorrence, not to be confounded bank, and was welcomed by minis- with the remorse and despair which tering spirits.
the offender actually felt. The It is distressing to a serious mind offer was rejected; but the phyto retire from such a picture of the sician's Christianity was a system Christian life, with all its vicissi. accurately adjusted, composed of tudes of pain and pleasure, and parts consistent, in their various then to gaze at what may be termed operations, with each other, and so the exhibition of many modern re- arranged and regulated as to proligionists, who appear to attain, per duce an unity of effect. He might saltum, a name and a place among have omitted all mention of rethe steady followers of Jesus Christ. demption by the cross of Christ, and The hymn which has called forth thus have lowered his patient to a these remarks is surely an illustra- yet deeper and darker abyss of detion of our meaning.
spair. He might have omitted all Neither is it in the obituaries of exhortations to godly sorrow, pointfelons, but of private, and, we will ed exclusively to Mount Calvary; allow, real Christians, that we fre- and elevated his patient with prequently observe with a certain mis- mature confidence. In either case, giving, the language, as if uttered there would have been moments of by rote, of exalted triumph. In delusion. But the religion of Jesus the case, it is true, of all believers, Christ is indivisible. We must take of whatever degree of faith, the last all or none. “ Repentance towards enemy is destroyed; but it does not God, and faith towards our Lord follow that they are all privileged with Jesus Christ,” are we two pillars a joyful assurance of the victory. upon which the temple stands. Its Many eminent Christians have lived architecture is uniform and symwell, and shone as bright examples metrical. Wherever human ignoto.the world, and to their less con- rance has endeavoured to distort its sistent brethren ; and yet have ex- fair proportions, the consequence 1827.] Review of the Confessions of a Gamester.
293 has been such as we have been at- The catastrophe of Dr. Dodd, in tempting to describe on the present 1777, furnishes a further striking occasion : men have been deceivers illustration of our positions. This of others, and of themselves. Hence person, in early life, was an associate has risen the Antinomian heresy, so of Bishop Horne, Jones of Nayland, dear to the hearts of those who and, we believe, of Mr. Romaine, and would gain both worlds at once. other religious persons of that age; Hence too, the error of the self- and it was hoped that he would righteous, who would make a con- have continued in fellowship with tract for eternal happiness, on the them and their connexions. But plea of their own personal merits ; be yielded to the seductions of the or, as dividing the honour of their world, became giddy with popular salvation with One who will justify, applause, sought and obtained adand teach, and rule, and glorify, mission within the circles of high without a rival. Such is the Prince life, gained preferment and royal faof the kings of the earth, who hath vour, and eventually was a stranger loved his people, and washed them among the companions of his better from their sins in his own blood. days. He was conscious of this Their Redeemer is mighty; and desertion, and, on one occasion we would remind ourselves, at the we quote from memory the anecclose of these remarks, that once dote in Jones's life of Horne, he exercised his might in saving meeting with a lady who belonged a crucified felon in his last hours; to the relinquished party, he asked and we fully believe, that no jot nor her, what his former associates tittle of his ability to save such a thought of him: she only answered, character has been lost. Has he “Demas hath forsaken us, having not a right to do what he will with loved this present world” - a reply his own? The first shall be last, which, at the moment, deeply affectand the last first. We have not the ed its object. Dr. Dodd, howleast fear of this doctrine; be- ever, pursued his career; and finalcause we equally believe that a ly endeavouring, and with success, felon now converted and saved will to defraud bis former pupil Lord give, or possess, evidences of sin- Chesterfield, for into his society cerity quite sufficient to meet the and confidence he had ventured, objections of men who cavil at the was convicted and executed. gratuitous mercy of God in Jesus All who have read this man's meChrist*. We have no kind of lancholy story, will recollect the anxiety as to the danger of exbibite extraordinary and, as many thought, ing, what some would call, an un- merciless determination of his late guarded Gospel. A Gospel which majesty, in refusing to hear the needs human protection never came universal prayer of the nation in his from God. If preachers deliver a behalf. They will also call to mind distorted scheme of doctrine, they the exertions of Dr. Johnson, and may have occasion to fortify their various other eminent men, in faown system ; but “ the foundation vour of the culprit. of God standeth sure, having this But we remember to have heard, seal, The Lord knoweth them that
many years ago, from a contempoare his; and, Let every one that rary of Dodd, that the king persenameth the name of Christ depart vered in his resolution, not merely from iniquity."
because of the act of forgery; but
from having been personally ac• Frequently as the story of the peni- quainted with the forger's previous tent thief has been illustrated by practical conduct in many flagrant instances. divines, we beg to refer our readers to the When the king first heard of the instructive remarks on this subject, of Mr. Basil Woodd, in our Number for fraud on Lord Chesterfield, it hapApril, p. 202.
pened to be mentioned when the
queen was also present; to whom ciations of wrath against the hypohis majesty instantly turned and crite and impenitent. We are often said, “Why, this is the man who tempted to disjoin what is insepaembezzled your charity funds ;" rable; and either to write bitter the fact being, that Dodd, who things against ourselves, not tranwas one of the Royal Chaplains, had scribing the counterpart, or otherbeen trusted by the queen as a pri- wise to place an idle reliance on vate almoner. It was also then cheering portions of the Divine recollected, that he had offered word, without recurring to such anonymously a large sum of money condemnatory clauses as pronounce to a lady of some political influence, “indignation and wrath, tribulation if she would procure for him the and anguish," upon those who negliving of St. George's, Hanover lect, pervert, or abuse the pure and Square ; for which conduct in- undefiled religion of Jesus Christ. deed, on being discovered, he had We have so completely lost our. been dismissed from the office of selves in the moralities of our subking's chaplain. When therefore it ject that we have forgotten the is said, that Dr. Dodd was hanged narrative which suggested them to for forgery, this is literally true; our minds; and after so long a disbut it is not true, that this was an sertation we have not time or space insulated act of criminality, perpe- for an abridgment of the story, or trated by a man who, up to a mo- for much in the shape of citation ment of delusion, had lived a stain- from it. Nor perhaps is it necesless and honourable life-but by an sary: the work, whether fact or ficoffender, who having at length com- tion, or both blended, is, as we have mitted a deed cognizable by law stated, the personal narrative of a as worthy of death, was delivered to successful gamester, but whose the executioner, to pay the forfeit miserable success could neither of life, after many years of secret render his life happy nor his death depravity. We have recurred to tranquil. We copy the following the case of Dr. Dodd as confirma- account of his closing hours from tory of the view we have taken the addenda of the editor. The respecting the real cause of men's scene appears to be modelled upon being permitted to adventure into Dr. Young's Altamont; but the the snares of sin till they are fatally lessons it conveys, terrific as they entangled, and perish; and espe- are, are so important, not only to cially, if they have been previously gamesters and other open profliacquainted with religious principles. gates, but, in their measure, to all Blessed is the man that feareth who have been content to live "withalways !
out God in the world," that we need We would also remind the make no apology for extracting the thoughtful reader, that as there is passage. much cautionary instruction ad
" The doctor repeated his opinions ministered in the Scriptures to the very plainly, and urged the necessity of servants of God, so there may be admitting the visits of a pious and intellifound, on the other hand, encourage- sist him in the great work of preparing
gent clergyman, whose counsels might asing promises, relative to the protect
to meet his God. All these endeavours ing love and care of the good Shep- were ineffectual. He heard him with herd : He keepeth the feet of his more patience than he would have listened saints ;—and if a devout person feels to another person speaking the same things, a certain disquietude, and tendency spoke of the ministers of religion with a towards despondent unbelief, let hostile feeling, and continued to repeat his him not pass over the promises, as old assertion that he had lived, and though they were not equally parts would die without them. of the same revelation, which con
“The physician finding all his efforts
for this purpose ineffectual, and that his tains warnings, menaces, and denun- life was drawing hastily to a conclusion,
1827.] Review of the Confessions of a Gamester. explained to him the state to which he gun already, and will continue for everconceived him to be reduced, and the it is the worm that never dies, the fire reason upon which his opinion was that never can be quenched.' founded." pp. 224, 225.
My friend,' rejoined the doctor, the " " I beg and entreat of you to consider conclusions you draw, as respects youryourself as standing on the very brink of self, are hasty in the extreme; whilst there eternity: you must speedily enter on it; is life there is hope and mercy with God, diligently prepare for it.
that he may be feared: he may yet be til It is useless to talk of it,' he re. found; only seek him whilst
and joined bastily; I have despised and re- opportunity are yet afforded you. jected religion all my life; I ar
am averse to
** I cannot seek him, he replied; 'I it now, I cannot repent.”
neither love nor desire him; I have lived " I know of no other balm,' said the in hostility to him all my days, and if he is doctor, that can now yield you comfort willing to be reconciled to me I am not or support—there, and there alone, you ready; I cannot change my feelings and may derive strong consolation. It often propensities so quickly. Lengthen my occurs to me in the exercise of my po- days-give me space to conquer my fession, to attend the dying beds of those aversion to him, his people, and his ways; who are sinking into the grave under accu- these are all alike disagreeable to me, and mulated loads of misery; yet I have seen I cannot change sides and go over in an these deriving such consolation from the in- instant. -0 keep me alive for a few fluence of religion, that they have triumph- months, or we shall meet as enemies ! ed over all their burden of afflictions- Even now I feel his strong hand uponthey have scarcely been sensible of their О that he would destroy me!-His fear sufferings, so great has been the peace and terrifies me—and his mighty arm inflicts happiness they have experienced in the punishment greater than I can bear!' expectation of exchanging this mortal life “ His mental agitation became extreme, for a glorious immortality!'
and dreadfully shook his enfeebled frame. *"*°I cannot bear," he exclaimed, ' to He continued to reject, with awful energy hear of such things; they might have and perseverance, every solicitation to adbeen mine, but they are not. The people mit the visits of a clergyman, or to receive you speak of have served God in their religious instruction and consolation.” health and strength, when I despised and pp. 227–231. rejected him—they went to the home in "" I tell you, I do not repent. I canthe diligent search and expectation of not repent. Nay more, I have no sorrow which they had patiently lived all their for my sins ; restore me my health, and 1 days. I have never entertained God in shall pursue the same practices. I am all' my thoughts I have endeavoured to only terrified at the consequences: I am banish him thence; I cannot meet him as not penitent for my misdeeds.' my friend, I have all along been his ene- “And feeling the awful consequences my; I dare not meet him as my foe-and of sin,' interposed the other, 'will lead you yet I must do it.-Oh! how shall I con- to seek for deliverance from the cause as tend with One so much mightier than I? well as the effect. Consider how the proI cannot submit to One whom I have so mise is added to the invitation-Ask, and long and so heartily opposed. If you can ye shall receive.' keep my poor, tottering frame together «• True,' said he, "another proof, if an for a few months something might be additional one was yet wanting, to demondone; I might change my purposes.' strate that I have no concern in it. I have
« Alas!' replied the physician, 'these never asked God for any thing; what he are vain suggestions; a very few days must gave me, hegave me unasked, and I have emfinish your earthly course : let me prevail ployed all to oppose his will. He will hear upon you to employ them more profitably my prayers, and reject them with abhorthan in seeking to avoid what is inevitable. rence. My parents were kind, tender, and Mercy is yet to be found if you seek it with forgiving, but I wearied them out; and all your heart; God is nigh unto those what can I expect from God? Must not siwho call upon him faithfully; and though similar conduct procure a similar reward?' your time is very short, yet enough re- No,' resumed the physician, «God is mains to obtain pardon and peace if you far more kind and patient than any earthly seek it earnestly; but do not defer it- parent; more ready to hear than we are you cannot live through another week.'
to pray; and wont to give more than we « • Then,' he retorted in an agony, be- either desire or deserve.' fore the end of another week I shall be- “Ah,' he returned, that fixes another (and he paused)-yet why do I hesitate sting to rankle in my guilty concience. to speak the truth plainly, when the fact He gave me abundance-advantages supewill soon prove itself?-before the end of rior to most-more than I then desired, another week I shall be in hell ! I shall and, I now feel, more than I deserved. be ?-I am there now-for what is hell How have I employed all his benefits? but the truth seen too late? I now see To the injury of others; and now he turns and feel the truth I have so long despised the mischief upon my own head. A and trampled on, and that is hell-it is be- gamester's hand is against every man; and