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CAPTIVITY Improved to SPIRITUAL PURPOSES, Or Spiritual Directions, Given to PRISONERS Of all ſorts whether Debtors or Malefactors.

Principally deſigned for the uſe of thoſe who are Priſoners in thoſe Priſons which are under the Juriſdiction of the City of London, as Newgate, Ludgate, the Coun­ters, &c.

Though alſo applyable to others under the like circumſtances elſe where.

To which are annexed Directions to thoſe who have their Maintenance and Education at the publick charge, as in Chriſt-Church Hoſpital, or Cures, as in St. Bartholomew's and St. Thomas's, or reduce­ment to a more Thrifty courſe of Life, as in Bridewel, or have been happily reſtored to their former ſenſe, as in Bethleem, alias Bedlam.

London, P〈…〉d by I. Redmayne. 1675.


IT is an Act of Prudence in any man that deſigns any thing for publick View, to conſider, Firſt within him­ſelf, whether what he is to offer be uſeful in it ſelf; not better handled by other Authors, who have written upon the ſame Subject before, and whether what he writes be ſuitable to the profeſſion and em­ployment of the Author: And if theſe three circumſtances ever concurred in any diſcourſe that hath yet paſſed the Preſs, I think, I may ſafely ſay, they do in this that I am now to treat upon, for the ſub­ject cannot be denyed to be very uſeful, the main end of it being to improve cap­tivity to ſpiritual purpoſes, and to teach Priſoners how to behave themſelves under thoſe afflictions which are but for a moment; ſo as to make them inſtru­mental towards the attainment of an eternal weight of glory. They that have the enjoyment of their Liberty, have not ſo great need of ſuch directions as theſe men have: Their Liberty which is a great advantage in it ſelf, carries with it alſo many advantages for their improvement in ſpiritual things; they have the freedom of acceſs to their ſpiri­tual Guides, the choice of learned men, with whom they may if they pleaſe di­ſcourſe in the affairs and concerns of their ſouls, and which is an advantage beyond all theſe, the liberty of frequenting, as often as they pleaſe the publick Congrega­tions, where they have the offices of Re­ligion performed, not only every Chriſtian Sabbath, but in divers places of this City, every day; but ſuch conveniencies as theſe, are wanting to Priſoners under their conſinements, for in many parts of this Nation there are no conſtant Mini­ſters allotted to thoſe places, and though the care of this City have provided better here, aſſigning to every Priſon under their inſpection, a particular Preacher, yet impoſſible it is, that any one man ſhould divide himſelf to attend to all the parti­cular exigencies of every Priſoner, and therefore it is very neceſſary, that ſuch men ſhould be provided with ſuch a Coun­ſeller, whom they may adviſe with when they pleaſe, ſuch printed directions as they may read whenſoever they will. Now although this Subject may well be account­ed very uſeful upon the grounds now men­tioned, yet I find none that have treated upon the whole matter here offered by me, and few that have inſiſted upon any part of it, and thoſe few had been fewer, but that lately the neceſſities of Priſoners were in ſome meaſure provided for by the pious pains of one Mr. Flower the Worthy Rector of St. Margaret Lothbury, not long ſince offered to the Right Honourable the Court of Aldermen, and received by them with a kind approbation; but that diſ­courſe conſiſting either only or chiefly of Prayers and Ejaculations, may well be thought to have left room for another Writer, who purſueth the ſame general end, the good of Priſoners, by a different method, the providing for them ſuch di­rections, as are ſuitable to guide them in thoſe duties which are proper for their preſent conditions: And if the doing of this be agreeing to the profeſſion of any man living, it is to mine, who am at this time actually a Preacher, licenſed by the Reverend Father in God Lord Biſhop of London, and appointed by the Right Ho­nourable the Court of Aldermen, with the encouragement of a conſiderable Sa­lary to one of thoſe Priſons, for the uſe of which this diſcourſe is deſigned; and though I have enlarged my Meditations ſomething further, then my particular charge obligeth me to do, yet I hope, that what is a commendation in ordinary cha­rity, will be accounted no fault in that which is ſpiritual, that it is communica­tive: In the purſuing theſe ends I have choſen a ſtile ſuitable to the Subject I am treating on, not ſet off with Courtly ex­preſſions or Quaint Phraſes, but in plain words, ſuitable to the Truths I am to de­liver, and to the poor people I am to in­ſtruct: Nor have I only provided for the conſolation of thoſe with whom I have to do, as knowing, that men of ill lives, as too many of them are, may many times have more comfort adminiſtred to them, then they are fit for, or then is fit for them, but I have ſincerely endeavou­red to inſtruct them, not only in more pleaſing duties, but in thoſe alſo that are more ſevere, and have choſen rather to anger the ſore than skin it over; where I have thought corroſives to be more pro­per for my patients, than applications of a milder nature: This in general may ſuffice to have been ſaid concerning the general deſign of this Treatiſe; my par­ticular method ſhall be this: Firſt, to diſcourſe concerning the duties of thoſe that art Priſoners for Debt: Secondly, to proceed to thoſe that are Malefactours in a lower rank, whoſe penalty is, ſome pub­lick diſgrace or corporal puniſhment, or any infliction under that of Death. Third­ly, I ſhall endeavour to offer ſomething ſuitable to the condition of thoſe, who are actually under the ſentence of Death, and are under the conſtant exſpectation of the ſpeedy Execution of it upon themſelves. And all which I ſhall ſay under theſe heads, will be very proper to ſome one or other of thoſe that are under my particular charge and inſpection, and as to ſome of the fore­mentioned particulars, not improper to the conditions of thoſe that are Priſoners in Ludgate, the Fleet, the Counters, or other Priſons: But becauſe divers Ho­ſpitals alſo are under the care of that City which I ſerve, and by whoſe allowance my labours are encouraged, I ſhall ſubjoyn divers things which are uſeful to them, and give ſome directions ſuitable to thoſe that are educated at the publick expence, as in the Hoſpital of Chriſt-Church, or are healed of their wounds and other in­firmities, as in St. Bartholomew's, or are reſtored to their wits and ſenſes, ſo far forth, as the uſe of Phyſick and hu­mane means will contribute, with the bleſſing of God upon them, as in Bethleem, commonly called Bedlam, or are reduced from a loſe and extravagant, to a more diligent and thrifty life, as in Bridewel. And becauſe what man can ſay, will be unſucceſsful, unleſs the ſpirit of God ſet it home on mens hearts, I ſhall to every one of thoſe Chapters ſubjoyn ſuch prayers as are proper to the matter diſcourſed of in them: And, that what I ſhall ſay may be the more uſeful, and the more readily applied to the exigencies of thoſe for whom it is deſigned; I ſhall diſtribute my matter into ſeveral Chapters, ſuitable to thoſe ſeveral heads already propounded, that whoever ſhall think fit to make uſe of this Book, may eaſily find what is proper to his particular condition; and, if he ſo pleaſe, let the reſt alone; I ſhall begin with the condition of thoſe, who are Pri­ſoners for Debt.


Directions ſuitable to thoſe who are Pri­ſoners for Debt; which may be applyable to the condition of ſuch as are Priſoners in Lud­gate, the Fleet; or either of the Counters, or Newgate, as it is the County Priſon for Debt, &c.

THere are ſome who have made great boaſts of ſome excellent〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉or Univerſal Medicine for all ailings, but thoſe who have better conſidered things, find that it is more pru­dent to appropriate a particular Medicine to every particular diſeaſe, and withal to have regard to the temper and conſtitution of the Patient, with other circumſtances attending his condition, and as it is in our natural in­firmities, ſo alſo is it in our ſpiritual; gene­ral applications are ſeldom of any efficacy a­gainſt particular ſins, but he that would be a ſucceſsful Phyſitian of ſouls, ought to di­vide the word aright, and not only deliver general truths, but take care to bring them home as much as may be to every mans par­ticular caſe; and this courſe I ſhall obſerve in what I have to offer for the good of Pri­ſoners,2 where according to my propounded method, I begin with Debtors, and theſe, according to the cauſes of their troubles, may be ranked into two ſorts: Firſt, Some there are, a more innocent ſort of Debtors, who have not drawn their miſeries upon them­ſelves, but have fallen into them by the ſevere providence of God towards them, whether in loſſes at Sea, or the failing of their Credi­tors, whoſe ruine haſtens theirs alſo, or by other methods, better known to Trades-men, then Divines: Beſides theſe. Secondly, There are another ſort, who have fallen into want by luxury or ryot, extravagancy or ill Husbandry, and endevoured to get rid of it by Knavery, and Fraud, and unjuſt Compo­ſitions, rather chooſing to tire their Creditors by delaying arts, and a ſeeming patience un­der their confinement then to diſcharge them­ſelves of their Debts, by more honeſt and righteous ways; and as the caſes of theſe two are different, ſo the directions for them muſt be different likewiſe: To the former of theſe my directions, ſhall be: Firſt to own and ac­knowledge the Juſtice of Gods providence towards them, although as yet they cannot tell the particular reaſons of it: To men under theſe circumſtances Job may be a very ſuitable pattern, who under greater loſſes then moſt men uſually ſuffer, yet patiently ſaid, The3 Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away, Bleſſed be the name of the Lord, Job 1. 21. and as pro­per for them may be the example of Eli, who upon the receipt of very unwelcome news, very piouſly ſaid, It is the Lord, let him do what ſeemeth him good 1 Sam. 3. 18. and to theſe they may ſubjoyn a pattern far greater then either of theſe, that of our Lord and Sa­viour Jeſus Chriſt, who after he had prayed for the removal of that bitter Cup, yet qui­etly ſubmitted to the pleaſure of God in it, with that pious ejaculation, Not my will but thine be done, St. Luk. 22. 42. Too uſual it is for men to fret at ſecond cauſes, and to murmur at thoſe, who are but as inſtruments in Gods hand, but they that ſeek for the ground of their troubles no higher then this ſeek too low, for there is a providence above that ordereth all, a wiſdom above that directs all, and a hand generally unobſerved by moſt men that guides all things for the good of thoſe who love and fear him; and it is our ſpiritual prudence to look above theſe low­er cauſes, and obſerve that higher; thus did Ioſeph, who gratefully acknowledgeth the providence of God in the ſeverity of his Bre­thren, and their unkindneſs towards him, as for you, ſaith he, you thought evil againſt me, but God meant it for good, Gen. 50. 20. Thus did David, when Shimei curſed him, Abiſhai4 flyeth out in revenge againſt the Inſtrument, but David diſcerns the hand of God in it, Let him alone, let him curſe, for the Lord hath bidden him, 2 Sam. 16. 11. and if Priſoners for debt, deſign for themſelves any Chriſtian advantage by their afflictions, here they ought to begin the courſe of their ſpiritual im­provements, in diſcerning the all diſpoſing providence in his juſt permiſſion and wiſe or­dering of them for the good of thoſe who are exerciſed thereby.

Secondly, When Debtors have diſcerned the hand of God in their afflictions, it is their duty to exerciſe that patience which becomes Creatures under their corrections from a gra­tious Creator: It muſt be confeſſed, that it is very natural for men the more to repine at their ſufferings, by how much they think themſelves the leſs deſerving of them: What we deſerve, we think we ought quietly to ſuffer, but it adds to the fretfulneſs of our Spirits, when we conſider, that men leſs righteous then our ſelves, are yet more pro­ſperous then we are; this was that which troubled Jeremiah, more then any of the e­vils which we underwent, becauſe he ſaw the Way of the wicked to proſper, and them to be happy who dealt treacherouſly, Jerem. 12. 1. This much troubled the mind of Habbacack, that God ſeemed to connive at the wickedneſs5 of mankind, and to hold his tongue, when the wicked devoured the man that was more righte­ous then he, Hab. 1. 13. This troubled Job, who was the ſcorn of them that were at eaſe, and David that the wicked prevailed a­gainſt him: But when good men ſuffer under the preſſures of Impriſonment, or ſuch like afflictions, they may allay the diſquietneſs of their Spirits by ſuch conſiderations as theſe.

Firſt, That that inequality which ſeems to be in the diſpenſations of God towards good and bad men, is only confined to this World, but that all things will be ſet right in the retributions of another: Righteous La­zarus in this life, may be brought to thoſe ſtraights as to want a piece of bread, but lit­tle reaſon hath he upon that account to fret at his own condition, or envy at that of Di­ves, ſeeing the time is coming, when he ſhall be comforted, the other tormented, St. Luk. 16. 25. Judgment indeed doth begin at the houſe of God, but that Judgment is mixed with mercy, but deſperate will the end of thoſe be that obey not the Goſpel, 1 St. Pet. 4. 17. All the evil things that good men receive, they re­ceive in this life, and when this life ends, they are at an end of their troubles, and happineſs commenceth that ſhall never end, and all the good things which the wicked men receive, they receive only in this World, and hereaf­ter6 they ſhall give a very dreadful account for all thoſe mercies that they have abuſed here; and therefore very little reaſon have they that are righteous, to murmur at thoſe afflictions which ſhall ſo ſoon end, or to envy to the wicked thoſe mercies, for which they muſt give ſo ſad a reckoning.

Secondly, When good men ſuffer under that Impriſonment which is the reſult rather of their misfortune then their〈◊〉, they have little reaſon to complain, as if they ſuf­fered more then they did deſerve, for how in­nocent ſoever we may be before men, there is no man but is guilty before God: He that puniſheth a man of upright intentions and juſt purpoſes, meerly becauſe he cannot pay the Debt which he hath contracted, and which he deſires, if he could, to ſatisfie, is cruel and unmerciful, and as he hath ſhown Iudg­ment without mercy, ſo there is a time coming wherein he ſhall want the mercy himſelf, which he denied to others, and as he hath ſhown no mercy to others, ſo in his Caſe alſo mercy ſhall rejoyce againſt Iudgment, St. Iam. 2. 13. But whatſoever may be ſaid of the proſecutor, God is not unjuſt, to puniſh thoſe that are ſinners againſt him, by the hands of thoſe that are more ſinful then themſelves, nay very frequent it is, for God to correct the ſins of thoſe that belong to him by the7 hands of thoſe that are more unrighteous than they: Thus the ſins of Iſrael are puniſhed by the Caldeans, of David by Saul, of Ioſeph by his wicked Brethren; and in theſe caſes, they that afflict ſhall bear their ſin, becauſe they have uſed ſeverity to thoſe that have not deſerved it at their hands, but thoſe that are afflicted have no reaſon to repine at the Ju­ſtice of God, as if he were unrighteous, to make uſe of wicked men as his Rod, and his Scourge, and the Inſtruments of his diſplea­ſure againſt them for their particular tranſ­greſſions committed againſt him.

Thirdly, Another conſideration to allay the impatience of ſuch mens ſpirits, may be this, that thoſe very miſeries which they groan under, are ſent by God with deſigns of love and mercy, the afflictions of their Bodies are ſent as Phyſick to their Souls, and the ſufferings of one as improvements of the other: To this import, are thoſe many aſſertions in Scripture, that all things work together for good to them that love God, Rom. 8. 28. That our light afflictions which are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4. 17. and while our outward man periſheth, our inward man is renewed day by day, ver. 16. of the ſame Chapter: And therefore it would be ſpiritual prudence to convert our mur­murings8 into ſpiritual cautions and holy di­ligence, how we may improve all our ſuf­ferings to ſo great and to ſo ſpiritual pur­poſes, which if we ſhould do, we ſhall have no reaſon to grieve that we have ſuffered ſo much, but much reaſon to rejoyce, that theſe our ſufferings have proved unto us ſo happy an opportunity of enhancing our Crown of glory.

Thirdly, A third duty which I ſhall direct ſuch Priſoners to, is to pray to God for an happy deliverance out of their troubles, but with the reſerve of a quiet ſubmiſſion unto his Will, if he ſhall ſee the continuance under their afflictions more fit for them: Both parts of this duty are recommended in the example of our Saviour before cited. When he was to dye, he prayed for the averting of that bitter Cup, but when he perceived that God had determined otherwiſe concerning it, he declares his deſire, to ſubmit rather to the Will of God than chooſe his own: Prayer is a proper remedy againſt all ſorts of afflictions: If any man be afflicted, let him pray, James. 5. 13. and as God hath made it our duty to pray, ſo he hath made it his particular ſtyle, that he is a God learning prayer

And if he be attentive to any prayers more than others, he is ſo to the prayers of the af­flicted:9 This is more than once aſſerted in the 102. Pſalm, He will regard the prayer of the deſtitute, and not deſpiſe their prayer, ver. 17. He hath looked down from the height of his Sanctuary, from Heaven did the Lord behold the Earth, to hear the groanings of the Priſoners, to looſe thoſe that are appointed to dye, ver. 19. 20. Our poverty is the time of our deſtitution from men, and though the rich hath many friends, the poor is forſaken of his Neighbours, but that which diſcom­mends us to men, moſt potently recom­mends us to God; who, in divers places of Scripture hath made it his moſt peculiar ſtile, that he is a Father to the Fatherleſs, a Hus­band to the Widow, & adjutor in opportuni­tatibus, a ready help in time of trouble, and therefore it is not only our duty that we ſhould, but our priviledge and advantage that we may caſt our care upon him who careth for us, 1 Pet. 5. 7. Among all theſe duties it is not only allowable but very commendable for thoſe that are Priſoners to endeavour their liberty by all juſt and prudent methods, ſuch as are, receiving ſuch ſupplies as they can get from their more wealthy friends, accepting of ſuch contributions as they may have from the charity of merciful and well minded men, the offering of ſuch compoſi­tions as the meanneſs of their circumſtances10 will enable them to make, and ſuch honeſt methods as theſe: For our endea­vours are very conſiſtent with Gods Provi­dence, and our diligence with his bleſſing, and ſo far is our dependence upon God from diſcouraging our induſtry, that it is rather proper to promote it, for God hears not the prayers of the Lazy, but ſends an anſwer to our Petitions in his bleſſing upon our Diligence: But above all things we muſt be careful that our ſtreights prove not our tem­ptations, that our trouble put us not upon any indirect courſes to deliver us from it, for he that thus endeavours to draw his foot out of the ſnare, doth but by fluttering in­tangle himſelf the faſter, and change not his trouble but his Proſecutour, and as man hath been his adverſary hitherto, ſo makes God to be ſo for the time to come, and diſcharges himſelf from the firſt rank of men, to whom I deſigned theſe directions, and hath placed himſelf into the ſecond, that of ungodly Debtors.

And ſo men may be upon a double ac­count, either Firſt with reference to the be­ginning of their troubles when they fall into theſe ſtreights, by their own profuſeneſs, or prodigality, or Luxury, or negligence, or ill huſbandry; or ſecondly with reference to the means that they uſe to extricate themſelves11 out of their troubles; as fraudulent compo­ſitions, or unrighteous arts, or unjuſt con­cealment of that eſtate with which they might pay their Debts, or any other ſuch ungodly Methods as theſe: The Directions ſuitable to ſuch as theſe may be.

Firſt, That they would not appropriate to themſelves any of thoſe promiſes which the Scripture give towards the ſupport of thoſe that are in an afflicted condition: For it is not afflict on that entitles to the particular Patronage of God, but either the cauſes oit when it is for righteouſneſs ſake, or ouChriſtian deportment under it, but ſetting aſide theſe two conſiderations, a man is ne­ver a whit the more a Child of God for being chaſtiſed, nor does any man entitle himſelf to thoſe promiſes that are made to mourners, by having drawn trouble upon himſelf by his own folly and extravagance, or injuſtice; or unrighteouſneſs, for there are afflictions that are not chaſtiſements but judgments, not the effects of God's fatherly correction, but of his juſt indignation. The Midianites were diſtreſſed, yet not a jot the more to be accounted God's people for it, Pharaoh ſe­verely ſcourged by God, yet not the more a Saint upon that account. Thoſe Nations that oppreſſed Iſrael had their time of being led into Captivity as well as others, and yet12 no Title to thoſe promiſes made to Captives. Good men ought to humble themſelves un­der thoſe Fatherly corrections, which the Wiſdom of God thinks fit to exerciſe them with: But evil men ſhould be awakened by thoſe judgments which are ſent to them for their obduracy in their ſins, and which fall upon them as the reſults of their ſinful fol­lies.

Secondly, When the Priſoner has diſcerned his ſins in their puniſhment, in the next place••t him endeavour to be troubled for them,nd to repent of them; and in his reſtraint mourn over the miſcarriages of his Liberty; and ſtudy to redreſs them: Sadneſs and pen­ſiveneſs of ſpirit is an uſual attendant of this condition, and happy is it when carnal grief is improved into ſpiritual ſorrow for ſin and tranſgreſſion. For Godly ſorrow worketh re­pentance not to be repented of, ſaith the A­poſtle, 2 Cor. 7. 10. But the ſorrow of the world worketh death: For our grief for our loſſes may ſtir up the impatience of our ſpi­rit againſt God, and the diſpenſations of his providence towards us: The deſperateneſs of our circumſtances may leſſen our hope and faith, and dependance, and Chriſtian re­lyance upon him, and the reflection upon the rigour, and ſeverity of our Proſecutors and Creditors may poſſibly Miniſter to the13 uſeleſs purpoſes of inward malice and ſecret revenge, and all this is productive of ſin, and ſin of guilt, and guilt of death: But when our ſorrow is directed againſt our ſin as the ſourſe of our trouble all this is pre­vented, and that grief which in others is the cauſe of ſin and death, is by this means made the happy occaſion of repentance and life: For he that looks upon his riot as the origi­nal of his poverty, and thoſe troubles which enſue upon it, will in likelyhood be for the time to come more in love with temperance: He that accuſes his ſloth as the ground of his evils, will at preſent commend in the ſe­cret approbation of his own conſcience that diligence which God hath made both his in­tereſt, and his duty, and hereafter practice it, when God by his enlargement ſhall give him the happy opportunity to do ſo: And if the Priſoner diſcover that the Curſe of God hath rotted his eſtate, and blaſted all his un­juſt deſigns, denied him thoſe riches, which he ſought as the reward of iniquity, and given him that poverty for the puniſhment of his ſin, which he endeavoured to avoid by the purſuit of it, he is in a fair way of returning to his duty, and ſuch a man in all probability will uſe his Liberty to better purpoſes when God in his good time ſhall reſtore him to it, and commit himſelf, and his Affairs to God14 in well doing; following God and his Provi­dence in the ways of juſtice and paths of righteouſneſs, caſting all his care upon God who careth for him, 1 Pet. 5. 7. I know, and have often with ſadneſs of ſpirit obſerved that quite contrary is the uſual practice of Priſoners: Their own folly hath perverted their way and they fret againſt God. Their ſloth and negligence, their exceſs and riot have brought them to poverty, and they re­pine at providence: They have diſappoint­ed, deceived and delayed the juſt expectati­ons of their creditors: and they accuſe their rancour and ſeverity, their cruelty and unmercifulneſs, and lay that blame upon them, which they ought to take upon them­ſelves: Theſe are the uſual miſcarriages of moſt Priſoners, and in ſome others there are greater than theſe: And that place which ſhould be the School of repentance is made to them the Nurſery of ſin; they knew what it was to want before they came thither, and there they learn to cheat; they lay under all the temptations to it before, and there they learn all the Arts of it, or perchance they came in Knaves, and go out Theives. Before they knew how to over-reach their Neigh­bours, now learn how to Rob them, be ore practiced all the unjuſt arts of the Shop; now learn thoſe of the Highway too, were15 very bad men when they came to Priſon, and grow worſe by their converſe with men as bad or worſe then themſelves; were unjuſt enough in their inclinations before, and a­mong men more skilful in the myſteries of iniquity than themſelves learn all the art and cunning of it: But ſeveral men have ſeveral inclinations, and there are ſome that grow worſer by their Impriſonments, but in other inſtances of ſin, they have time enough, and to ſpare lying upon their hands, and they ſpend it in Diceing and Carding, and all ſorts of Gaming, have ſorrow and ſadneſs lying upon their ſpirits, and endeavour to drown it by Tippling and Carowſing: Are of a ma­licious temper, and ſhew it in fretting againſt their Creditors, and praying for their ruine, or perhaps not only of a malicious ſpirit but profane too, and vent both the one and the other, in vile Oaths and horrid urſes, and deep imprecations againſt their adverſaries: And thoſe that they take to be the contrivers or promoters of their miſery: And thus af­fliction, which well improved is the beſt ſpiritual Phyſick in the World, proves often an occaſion of the greateſt ſin, but if we will not be wanting to our ſelves, we may ſoon find that a Priſon that deprives us of all other opportunities of thriving, wants not its conveniences, nay happy opportunities16 too. For the exerciſe of repentance in the ſeveral parts of it, and here as elſewhere may a man religiouſly and virtuouſly diſpoſed practice thoſe important duties of contrition for ſin, and confeſſion of it, and humiliati­on for it, and reformation of life, which if he cannot ſhew here conſtantly in ſome of thoſe outward actions which are the de­monſtrations of it to men, and for which he wants the opportunities, in that narrow Scene of action; yet he may always practiſe it in the inward acts of it, ſuch as Faith, and Pa­tience, dependance upon God, and reſigna­tion to his will in the ſincere purpoſes and reſolutions of outward, which before God the ſearcher of hearts are always accepted; and in divers external inſtances of duty as temperance, and ſobriety, and ſavoury diſ­courſe, or devout attendance upon theſe offi­ces of Religion, which according to the diſ­cipline of this well governed City, are per­formed in the Chappels belonging to thoſe places, with the ſame conſtancy as they are in the publick congregations; and by men frequently approved for their preaching in more publick auditories.

And none of theſe circumſtances which I now mentioned as being too too often occa­ſion of ſin, but may be made uſe of as aids to repentance: mens afflictions make them17 repine againſt God, but they may better teach them, to humble themſelves under his mighty hand that he may exalt them in due time; pro­fane men in their troubles fret againſt God and charge him fooliſhly, but would it not be more manlike in ſuch caſes to pray unto God? And to pour out their ſouls in ſup­plications to him, who hath delivered others and can deliver them in ſix troubles and in ſeven? The cares of the World and the love of riches heretofore choaked up the word, that it became unfruitful: But here they have very little of worldly buſineſs, and leſs of riches to diſturb them, and where mens affairs are deſperate in this world, one would think they ſhould think it not only their duty but their intereſt, to provide for the next, that they may not be undone both here and here­after.

Moſt wiſe men are ſenſible that their time is ſhort when compared with the work that they are to do, and the Eternity that they are to prepare for; that their days are as a ſha­dow, as a vapour, as a flower, that they paſs away as a Tale that is told: And it is a ſaying not more common than true, that time is precious; and if it be ſo precious, it is more valuable ſure than to be thrown away upon Cards, or Dice, or any other idle and fool­iſh diverſion that Courts their fooliſh, and18 Lazy humour; it is folly in the worldling to prefer his buſineſs, before his Religion, be­fore his Devotion, before his Duty, greater ſure in the Priſoner to prefer before theſe moſt valuable things any idle toy, or ſilly ſport, or impertinent diverſion, profane is the Worldling who will not ſerve his God as long as he hath any thing elſe to do, more profane is the Priſoner who will not ſerve God when he hath nothing in the World to do beſides; and they cannot find time to pray, when they can find time to curſe, and to ſwear, to game, and to drink, to tell idle ſtories, and employ themſelves in uſeleſs re­creations: But ſin is never without ſome excuſe, and thoſe that cannot be ſo ſenſeleſs as to complain that they want time, com­plain with more ſhew of reaſon, that they want Oratories to perform their Devotions in: They love the beauties of holineſs, they delight to meet God in his Temple, to praiſe him in the Congregations of his Saints. The houſe of God is the houſe of prayer, and in that houſe they deſire to pay their Vows: And it is not more their trouble that they can­not meet their friends in the World, that it is that they cannot go with other good men to joyn in prayers and praiſes, and other offices of Religion in his Church and Tem­ple: But it is the glory of this City, that19 this objection is in great meaſure taken a­way, in thoſe Priſons that are under their inſpection, the Governours of this City having extended their care both to the Souls and Bodies of their Priſoners: Having made their Chambers ſo convenient that they are inferiour to thoſe of moſt dwelling houſes, in nothing but this that they want the ad­vantages of Liberty, and their Chappels ſo decent that they come not much behind the Churches of divers Pariſhes among us.

But in other places where theſe Oratories are wanting, it is no excuſe for our omiſſion of our devotions, that we want a Church to perform them in: For God hath made nothing to be our duty to do, which his providence hath made impoſſible to be done: But where we want the uſual conveniences of the pub­lick, we may by the devout offices of Reli­gion conſecrate every place to be a kind of Temple to us.

No place ſo noiſome but there God is willing to dwell with a pious Soul, no con­finement ſo ſtreight but from thence God can hear our prayers: The ſtench of a Priſon does not fright away his preſence, nor ſtone walls intercept between him and our ſuppli­cations, St. Paul and Silas ſung Pſalms in Priſon, and St. Peter prayed there: Ieremiah ſent up his ſupplication from a Miry Pit,20 and Daniel from the Lions Den, David from the Cave, and Ionah from the Belly of the Whale. He found a Chappel in the Sea, and a Temple in the midſt of his Billows; and as he himſelf words it, he ſaid from thence he would look towards his holy Temple. In every place men ought to lift up holy hands, in every place men ought to pray, and from every place God can hear and anſwer their prayers: So that the exerciſes of repentance, and humiliation, and devotion, and piety, are proper for a Captive condition, and this condition is not wholly deſtitute of ſuitable aids and conveni­encies for this duty.

But then thirdly in theſe places alſo there are not wanting thoſe that are more unwil­ling than unable to pay their Debts, who could be as willing to ſerve God in praiſes, and devotions, and long prayers too, as the Phariſees were, but would be allowed in the mean time to devour Widows houſes, and to make their Heirs rich with what they rob the Fatherleſs of: They are willing to die in Debt, that their Sons may live in plenty: But though men ought to love their Chil­dren, yet ſure this is an unnatural love to be willing to be damned for them: To pur­chaſe them an Eſtate at the price of their Souls, and caſt away theſe by fraud and in­juſtice that their off-ſpring may flouriſh in21 Pride and Luxury; to burn in Hell, that they may thrive on Earth.

Unhappy circumſtances ſuch men put themſelves in, if they repent before they dye, they muſt reſtore their ill got, or which is much the ſame, their unjuſtly detain'd riches, and then their Children are undone in this world, but if they do not they themſelves are un­done in another world: The damnation of ſuch is juſt, but not ſo ſure the ſtriving of their poſterity: For the Curſe of God is in the houſe of the wicked, and the Children ſeldom enjoy long, what their Fathers ſoon got, by rapine and violence: But howſoever that falls out, the unjuſt man ſhall be ſure to find Gods vengeance following him if not in this, yet aſſuredly in another world: We muſt not overreach, nor defraud our Brethren in any matter, for God is the aſſured avenger of all ſuch: We may deceive men by our concealment of that Eſtate which ought to be lyable to pay our Debts, by conveying to the Son what ought to pay the obligations of the Fa­ther, and by many other fraudulent arts, and knaviſh compoſitions, but God is not mocked, Conſcience will not hereafter be ſtifled, and though we endeavour to Lull it a ſleep now, it will awake hereafter and torment us, and when we have our Liberty the checks of it will be more anxious, than the troubles of22 Impriſonment; or if it be ſeared here, it will be uneaſie enough hereafter: And the more drowned in ſecurity we are here the more affrighting will be our amazement here­after: If they will not now then they ſhall howl and weep; their riches ſhall corrupt, their Garments ſhall be Moth eaten, their Gold and Silver ſhall be Cankered; but the ruſt of them ſhall be a witneſs againſt them, and ſhall eat their Fleſh as it Were fire; by all their fraudu­lent compoſitions, and unrighteous convey­ances, and unjuſt detention of what is not their own, they have but heaped up treaſure againſt the laſt day, but a very ſad treaſure indeed: They have heaped up treaſure againſt the day of wrath, and the Revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

And now, it remains that I conclude this Chapter with ſome office of Devotion, not thereby to exclude the office of the Church which is very ſuitable not to publick only but alſo private Devotions, but though the general exigencies of Chriſtian votaries are provided for therein, yet it did not become the Fathers of our Church to deſcend ſo low as to all minute circumſtances of private Chriſtians, and therefore the moſt obedient ſons of the Church have not thought it any wainconſi­ſtent with their high eſteem for the Liturgy to compoſe new Prayers for ſome particular23 occaſions, as appears by the Printed labours in this kind, as of divers others, ſo particular­ly of the Right Reverend and Learned Biſhop Andrews, Biſhop Hall, Biſhop Taylour, and of the now living, and no leſs Learned, than conformable the Incomparable Doctor Patrick: From whom I have borrowed this enſuing Prayer, and becauſe I have charity to think that Priſoners may find company in ſo good an exerciſe I have here, and in other parts of the Book where I have tranſcribed ſuch patterns of Devotion from others, changed the Singular into the Plural, which Singular they may replace again, if they pleaſe when they pray ſolitary: or retain the Plural ſtill as Chriſtians do in the Lords pray­er, when they uſe it in their Cloſets, and with this Prayer of our Lord I have conclud­ed this, and think proper, to conclude with it our other Devotion.


A Prayer to be uſed by Priſoners for Debt, tranſcribed out of Dr. Pa­trick's Devout Chriſtian.

O GOD, who art preſent to us in in all places, and haſt regard to the ſighs and groans of the miſerable, who humbly implore thy pity and compaſſion towards them: Vouchſafe to look graciouſly upon us thy afflicted Servants in this place, which is moſt deſolate, and com­fortleſs, unleſs the light of thy counte­nance ſhine upon us: We confeſs that we have too much abuſed the Liberty which we formerly enjoyed, and not ſo carefully as we ought, improved thoſe happy oppor­tunities which were put into our hands: Many ways we are ſenſible, we have offended thy Divine Majeſty, for which we are heartily ſorry and acknowledg our ſelves infinitely indebted to thy goodneſs, that we are not plunged into the depth of miſery, to bewail our ſins in the bottom­leſs pit. We thank thee O Lord, with all our Souls, that we are not ſhut up into25 the place of utter darkneſs, and that we have any hopes to obtain the redemption which is in Chriſt Jeſus, in whoſe name we beſeech thee to pardon us and to ſan­ctifie the ſtreights wherein we lye, to the freeing of our Souls from the bond of all iniquity, and the reſtoring of us to the glorious Liberty of thy children: Help us ſeriouſly to follow the direction of thy providence in this reſtraint, and now that we are ſo much alone by our ſelves, to deſcend into our own hearts, to ſearch and try our ways, and unfeignedly to turn to thee our God: Enlarge our ſpirits more than ever, now that our bodies are con­fined, in fervent prayer for thy divine grace, and in chearful thanks givings for the innumerable benefits that we have received from thy divine bounty, and in tender pity and commiſeration of the ſad condition of all diſtreſſed people, and be pleaſed to touch the hearts of our Cre­ditours alſo with a ſenſe of our miſeries; incline them to accept of what we are able to pay, and make us willing to ſatisfie them to the utmoſt of our power. In the26 mean time beſtow us on the bleſſing of a con­tented ſpirit; help us patiently to endure the inconveniences of this place, and pre­ſerve us from the danger of thoſe tempta­tions which we meet with in it, eſpecially from ſeeking a remedy of our ſorrows in the pleaſures and intemperance of evil company, or any profane mirth whatſoever. Be thou our comfort O God, and our ex­ceeding joy and the full ſatisfaction of our Souls in all conditions, and when thou art pleaſed to deliver us from this place, and reſtore us again to our deſired freedom, O Lord make us ever mindful of the Vows wherein we are now forward to bind our ſelves: diſpoſe our hearts to be ſenſibly affected with thoſe mercies which we have formerly little regarded, that we may ne­ver forget to praiſe thee even for the be­nefit of a ſweeter air than now we enjoy, & to acknowledge thee in the night ſeaſon upon our beds, and to thank thee for the courſeſt food, and eſpecially that we may rejoyce to go again into the great congre­gation to praiſe thee with the moſt ar­dent love for all ſpiritual bleſſings in Chriſt27 Jeſus: Preſerve in us alſo a grateful re­membrance of the kindneſs of our friends and neighbours, eſpecially of thoſe perſons to whom we ſtand particularly indebted, when by their charity we ſhall be releaſed, and whatever loſs they ſuſtain by our po­verty, good Lord make it up abundantly to them and theirs out of thy rich grace and mercy, requite their love with plenty and proſperity in this world, and give them the reward of eternal life & glory in the world to come, through Chriſt Jeſus our Lord, in whoſe name and words we further pray.

Our Father which art in heaven, hal­lowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, and for­give us our treſpaſſes, as we forgive them that treſpaſs againſt us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever,




Inſtructions for ſuch Malefactours, as have committed ſuch crimes, the puniſhment whereof is ſome publick ſhame or corporal in­fliction, or any other puniſhment below that of death, Applyable in great meaſure to the condition of thoſe that are in Bridewel.

FRom Debtors I proceed in the next place, according to my promiſed method to Malefactors, and as ſoon as ever I ſet Pen to Paper upon this Subject, I find within my ſelf a reluctancy of Spirit to proceed any far­ther, as conſidering within my ſelf the ſmall probability I have of ſucceſs, from any thing that I ſhall write here, upon minds ſo har­dened againſt all good Counſel, but though men will be unmindful of their duty, the Miniſters of God ought not to be unmindful of theirs, but according to the charge given to Ezekiel when he was to Preach to that Rebellious Houſe, they ought to ſpeak the words of God unto them whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, ch. 2. v. 7. and it becomes them to remember that they are ſpi­ritual Watch-men, whoſe duty it is, to warn the wicked to turn from their way, which if29 they forbear to do, the blood of the wicked ſhall be required at the hand of the Prophet, but if they do as they ought, endeavour to turn the wicked from their way, and they turn not, they ſhall dye in their wickedneſs, but the watch­man hath delivered his own Soul. ch. 33. v. 6, 8, 9. The Grace of God is always ſufficient, and ſometimes effectual to the recalling of Publicans and ſinners: as St. Matthew and others, Whores and Harlots, as Magdalen, Idolaters, as Manaſeh, Perſecutors, and Blaſphemers, as St. Paul, and Thieves and Robbers, as Oneſimus, and the Thief upon the Tree; And it is poſſible with him, to whom nothing is impoſſible, to bleſs what I ſhall write to the Converſion of the moſt ob­durate ſinners, and peradventure he may give them repentance, which if he ſhould of his infinite grace, and goodneſs do, I ſhall re­joyce that I have been a poor inſtrument in his hand towards the turning of a ſinner from the Error of his way, and ſaving his ſoul alive. But if, which I fear, my poor labours in this kind ſhould want the deſired ſucceſs, I ſhall content my ſelf with the ſatisfaction of my conſcience in having endeavoured to ſtop the mouths of wickedneſs, and in having rendred them inexcuſable: Which I purpoſe to do in this enſuing diſcourſe. But becauſe all ſin­ners are not of the ſame ſide, nor have arriv­ed30 at the ſame degrees of wickedneſs, I ſhall begin with the lower ſorts of Malefa­ctors, and before I proceed to thoſe who have either deſerved by Law the Sentence of Death, or are under it, ſhall ſay ſomething to thoſe who have committed leſſer crimes, whoſe puniſhment is ſome ſhame or diſgrace, or Corporal infliction, whether of whipping, or working in the Houſe of Correction, or the Like.

And my firſt exhortation to theſe ſhall be, to take notice of theſe leſſer puniſhments, and thoſe ſins which are the cauſes of them, and to endeavour heartily to repent of them before they come to that height of wickedneſs which greater Malefactors have arrived to; For that direction is a very prudent one, not only in the diſeaſes of the Body, but of the Soul too.

Principiis obſta ſero Medicina paratur,
Cum mala per longas invaluere moras.

A Green wound is ſoon cured with any common Plaſter, and with ordinary care: but when by neglect it grows into a Gangreen, no cure for the member ſo affected, and ſcarce for the Body, but by cutting off a part ſo corrupted, for fear of diffuſing its venome into the whole. Young novice ſinners are31 often reclaimed without much difficulty; In them natural conſcience is quickly awak­ened, the ſenſe of ſhame eaſily revived, and the fear of Hell eaſily impreſſed upon their minds, but when men have broke through all theſe, hardened their hearts, ſtifled their conſciences, ſtrengthened their foreheads a­gainſt all ſhame, and their Souls againſt all fears of damnation, it is ſcarcely poſſible to reclaim them, and as hardly poſſible to ſecure the publick, from the miſchiefs they may re­ceive from their poyſonous example, but by cutting them off by the hand of Juſtice, as corrupt members uſe to be from the reſt of the Body, for fear of ſpreading their infection into it. And therefore before men are arriv­ed at this dreadful height of wickedneſs, it will be their wiſdom to watch againſt thoſe beginnings of wickedneſs which have already brought them to ſhame and diſgrace, and the Houſe of Correction, will probably bring them to the Gallows here, and unleſs the grace of God reclaim them, to Hell and damnation hereafter: To theſe if to any that exhortation is proper. Exhort one another dayly, while it is called to day, leſt any of you be hardened through the deceitfulneſs of ſin, Heb. 3. 1. It is poſſible thoſe that are con­cerned in this exhortation, may find the work hard when they firſt ſet upon it, their32 long contracted Habits of ſin are hard to be removed, the thoughts of God are uneaſie to their minds, it is difficult for them to return from a looſe to an Induſtrious courſe, from a riotous to a ſober way of life, from the folly of the wicked, to the wiſdom of the juſt; But the difficulty of the work, ought not to be a Plea for our deferring of it, but an Argument rather for ſetting about it, without delay; for what is hard at preſent, will be harder hereafter, when our ſinful inclinations by continuance have grown ſtronger, our con­ſcience more ſeared, the Spirit of God by conſtant reſiſtance leſs operative in us, and the Grace of God weakened and abated by contrary Habits of ſin; and therefore if we ever deſire to repent before we dye, (as the moſt obdurate ſinners will pretend they do,) the wiſeſt way is, to ſet about the work be­times, before a further continuance in a wick­ed courſe of life, make our reformation more difficult to us then at preſent it is. There is no man that is well in his wits, and conſi­ders what he does, that would be willing to fill up the meaſure of his ſin, to outſin the day of Grace, wholly to tire out the long ſuffering and forbearance of God, or to arrive at ſuch a degree of wickedneſs, from whence there is no hope of reclaim by the uſual methods of Gods Grace and mercy; And if men are afraid of33 arriving at ſuch a deſperate eſtate, the beſt Counſel that I can give them for the avoiding of it, is this; That they would ſeriouſly take notice of thoſe early diſcoveries of Gods in­dignation, and diſpleaſure againſt them: the footſteps of which they may in ſome meaſure ſee in their preſent puniſhments of ſhame, and diſgrace, and confinement, and drudge­ry; and may more clearly diſcern in the checks, and reproofs of their own conſcien­ces, unleſs they have hardened them againſt all ſuch apprehenſions by a conſtant cuſtom of ſinning, and this is the firſt advice that I think proper to give to this ſort of Malefa­ctors, that they would now endeavour to break off their ſins by a timely repentance, before they arrive at thoſe degrees of wick­edneſs whoſe puniſhment is that of death by the Laws of man, and a far worſe puniſhment, from the wrath of God revealed againſt them in the Scriptures.

My ſecond direction ſhall be that in order to this their reclaim, they would take occaſion from that degree of Puniſhment which at preſent they endure to reflect ſeriouſly upon thoſe ſeveral evils, and inconveniencies which by the juſt Judgment of God attend upon ſin even in this life. And for this meditation they may find abundance of matter ſupplyed34 by obſerving the circumſtances of their pre­ſent condition; They are in reſtraint and o­ther men enjoy their liberty, and ſo might they have done too, if they had uſed their liberty more ſoberly, they are expoſed to ſcorn and contempt, diſgrace and obloquy, while other men live in Credit and repute a­mong their neighbours; and thus they might have lived too, if they had ſought the praiſe of God and man by a Faithful continuance in well doing. They are employed at hard drudgery and ſevere Labour, under their fierce, and Aegyptian Task-maſters, while others follow their callings with mirth and cheerfulneſs, maintain their Families by a prudent, and moderate induſtry, take paines in an honeſt way, but are forced to take no more then the conveniency of their concerns engages them to: and what is the condition of other men might have been theirs if they had ſo pleaſed themſelves; but becauſe they refuſed an honeſt labour, they are brought now to this forced, and conſtrained drudg­ery: Surely no way is ſo fooliſh as the path of iniquity: and no Fool ſo unwiſe as the ſinner is. He loſes his ends by thoſe very methods whereby he purſues them, and runs upon miſchief by thoſe very ways by which he ſeeks to avoid it; the pride of his heart made him ungovernable, and in Bridewel he35 finds a ſevere check for his pride. He hated labour, and there he finds a drudgery more toilſome than any of thoſe labours that in­duſtrious men are uſually engaged in; he was of a gadding, and a vagrant humour, but there he hath a cloſe reſtraint; he loved ſloth and pleaſure, but there he wants both, and inſtead of them, meets with the Laſh, and the working-houſe to correct the riot, and lazineſs of his former converſation: It is poſſible that ſinners when they are under the ſmart, may murmur at God, and his provi­dence towards them in all this, but if they will but ſeriouſly conſider the tendency of things, they will have reaſon to acknowledge that what they call ſeverity, is the greateſt mercy imaginable; for it is much for our intereſt, that ſin ſhould be made uneaſie to us, that the Paths of it ſhould be hedged with Thorns, and that ſinners ſhould meet with rubbs and blocks in their way, for fear the pleaſure of ſin ſhould prove a bate to them, to tempt them to ſwallow the hook more glibly, and the more uninterruptedly to pur­ſue thoſe ways the end of which will be de­ſtruction, and perdition at that dreadful day of judgment, when the Lord Jeſus ſhall be re­vealed from Heaven with his mighty Angels: In flaming Fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Goſpel of our36 Lord Jeſus Chriſt, who ſhall be puniſhed with everlasting deſtruction from the preſence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. 2 Theſ. 1. 9. And this brings me to another directi­on ſuitable to the condition of thoſe that are concerned in the Meditations of this Chapter, and that is.

Thirdly, When theſe offenders have in their moſt retired thoughts conſidered the ſeveral inconveniencies which attend ſin, and ſinners in this life, it would be a very uſeful inſtance of ſpiritual wiſdom in them to carry their thoughts further to thoſe puniſhments which are due to it in the world to come: Suitable in this caſe is the counſel of our Sa­viour to the impotent man whom he found, and healed at the Pool of Betheſdah, ſin no more leſt a worſe thing come unto thee: S. John 5. 14. For although heavy are thoſe afflictions which they are under already, more heavy are thoſe which they may ſtill expect (unleſs the grace of God and a timely repentance prevent) both in this world and in the next, grievous it is for men to conſider that they are ſlighted by their friends, that their kin­dred and acquaintance forſake them, that they are accounted, (and that juſtly) the fith and off-ſcouring of the world, but more grievous is it for them to think that they are rejected of God, accounted by him as re­probate37 Silver, Veſſels in which there is no plea­ſure, Veſſels of diſhonour here, hereafter likely to be Veſſels of wrath and indignation: Now at preſent accurſed children, without Chriſt, aliens from the Commonwealth of Iſrael, ſtran­gers from the Covenants of promiſe, Without hope, without God in the world, hereafter like to be, of the number of thoſe Goats which ſhall be caſt to Chriſts left hand, thoſe tares whoſe end ſhall be to be burned, thoſe unpro­fitable Servants whoſe lot it ſhall be to be caſt into utter darkneſs, and whoſe dreadful ſen­tence that ſhall be, which our Saviour men­tions, St. Mat. 25. 41. Depart from me ye curſed into everlaſting fire prepared for the Devils and his Angels. Shame is burdenſome to an ingenious ſpirit, and God hath planted a keen, and quick ſenſe of it in our natures for this very purpoſe that it may be a check to ſin, and a preſent puniſhment to thoſe that do things deſerving ſhame; and how­ever mildly men, or women may be uſed when they come to Bridewel, yet a puniſh­ment it is, barely to be ſent thither, in that it brings a blot to their Name, and a ſtain to their reputation, and will be a note of in­famy upon them even after they are delive­red from that place: Now if ſhame be grie­vous, (as indeed it is,) there is another ſhame, and a more laſting one attends the38 wicked after they are delivered from this: For as the righteous ſhall go into everlaſting glory, ſo alſo the wicked ſhall go into a place of ſhame and everlaſting contempt, Dan. 12. 2. Here only our groſſer actions and ſuch are ſcandalous are expoſed; there our very ſecret thoughts; Here the greater miſcarriages of our lives, there the naughtineſs of our hearts; Here men only, and uſually but few are ſpe­ctators of our infamy and diſgrace, but there we ſhall be made in a worſe ſenſe, then that in which the Apoſtle ſpoke it, Aſpectacle to the world, and to Angels, and men. Even God himſelf, the God of mercy and all conſo­lations ſhall laugh then at their deſtructions: The Good Angels, who rejoyce in Heaven at the Converſion of one ſinner that repenteth, ſhall ſhout at the ruine of thoſe tranſgreſſours againſt their own ſouls, and the Devils who were their tempters to ſin here, ſhall be their tormentours for it there, and all mankind ſhall behold their ſhame, and none ſhall en­deavour to cover it, none ſhall pity it. But if the ſenſe of ſhame be but a weak argu­ment to thoſe that have caſt off all ſhame, let them conſider that that is a place of pain too: If fire be tormenting, there they ſhall con­verſe with everlaſting burnings, if the gnawing of a Viper in our bowels may be thought to be grievous, there their worm ſhall never dye,39 if the ſmart of the whip be tormenting, there it is ſaid that the wicked ſhall be delivered up to the tormentours, and their torment ſhall never end. I know there are diſperſed up and down in the Goſpel many more ſweet and raviſhing motives to repentance then theſe are; The Love of Chriſt ought to conſtrain us, the Grace of the Goſpel ought to invite us, the promi­ſes of it are with enough to encourage us to obedience, and men of ingenuous ſpirits, men who will act like men, will be drawn by theſe cords of Love, by theſe cords of a man, as the Prophet calls them, and they will follow God. But the ſame Goſpel hath more rough Arguments then theſe, for men of more rough tempers, and where we meet with obdurate ſinners, as knowing the terrours of the Lord, We ought to perſwade them, We ought to tell them; That vengeance is his, and he will repay it; That tribulation, and anguiſh, indig­nation and wrath ſhall be the Portion of every ſoul of man that worketh evil of the Jew firſt, and alſo of the Gentile. That God will con­ſume the wicked from the very beginning of re­venges, that his wrath will begin to burn againſt them here, and will reach againſt them ever­laſtingly hereafter: If the Preſent ſufferings of offenders raiſe up in them ſuch thoughts as theſe are, they have then a very uſe­ful effect upon them: The very end of Pu­niſhment40 is, that the wicked may ſee and hear, and feel, and be ſenſible of that hand of God that is ſtretched out againſt them, and do no more wickedly. And if this be the effect of ſuch puniſhments, as in this Chapter have been deſcribed, they have reaſon to rejoyce, That theſe chaſtiſe­ments which are not for the preſent Joyous, but grievous, have begun to bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteouſneſs, that theſe cor­rections which are in the Fleſh have any way contributed to the ſaving of the Spirit in the day of the Lord Jeſus, and that theſe afflictions which are but for a moment have begun to work in them that fear of God which is the beginning of wiſdom, that Godly ſorrow which is naturally productive of that repentance which is never to be repented of, and that reformati­on of life, which if perſevered in to the end, will entitle them to a far more exceeding weight of Glory. And when theſe motions begin to work in them, it is their duty, and it is their intereſt to pray to God for that Spirit that may further convince them, of ſin, and of righteouſneſs, and of Iudgment, and our Hea­venly Father hath promiſed that he will not de­ny his Spirit to them that ask it, and if they lack Wiſdom to direct them in that way, with which as yet they are very much unacquainted, Let them ask of God who giveth to all men Libe­rally,41 and upbraideth not, and it ſhall be given them. And becauſe that of themſelves as of themſelves they are, they are not ſufficient to think any thing that is good, much leſs to do it, and much leſs ſtill to preſerve in doing: Let them implore the Grace of God, which is ready at hand to all thoſe, that by Faith and Prayer, and ſincere endeavours ſeek after it: Let them ask and it ſhall be given, Let them ſeek and they ſhall find, Let them knock and God will open to them. Let them draw nigh to God in ſincere purpoſes of re­pentance, and he will draw nigh to them in his grace and mercy, and will enable them to cleanſe their hands though they have been ſinners, and to purify their hearts though they have been double minded, and to aſſiſt them in ſuch ſupplications as theſe I have here ſubjoyned this enſuing Prayer.



O LORD, our God we beſeech thee look down upon us poor and miſe­rable ſinners, who now groan under the weight of our ſins, and the puniſhment of them: We deſire to ſubmit to thy provi­dence in all things, and to ackowledg that thou art juſt and righteous in thoſe evils which thou ſendeſt upon us, and thou haſt but recompenced upon us the fruits of our doings, we have miſuſed our liber­ty, & thou haſt puniſhed us with thraldom: We have ſinned in pride and the haugh­tineſs of our hearts, and thou haſt brought us to ſhame and diſgrace: We have ſinned by riot and exceſs, by ſloth and wanton­neſs, and thou haſt exerciſed us with ſlavery and drudgery, and haſt made us to ſerve under Egyptian Task-maſters. We beſeech thee, O Lord, of thy mercy to teach us how to diſcern our ſin in our puniſhment, to learn repentance and o­bedience by the things that we ſuffer, and to humble〈…〉ſelves under thy mighty hand, that thou mayeſt deliver43 us in thy due time. However thou dealeſt with us now, caſt us not from thy preſence hereafter, howſoever thou ex­erciſes us with ſhame at preſent make us not then in our perdition to be a ſpectacle to the World, and to Angels and to Men: But let the ſenſe of thy wrath at preſent inſtruct us in thy fear, and with­draw us from the errour of our ways, that our Soul may be ſaved in the day of our Lord Jeſus. Give us thy ſpirit O God, further to convince us of ſin, and of righteouſneſs, and of judgment, and to guide our feet into the way ever­laſting; Give us thy wiſdom to direct our ſteps, and to lead us into thoſe paths which as yet we are very much acquainted with; Grant us thy grace to enable us to do thoſe things which thou requireſt of us. As thou haſt given us a heart to will what is good, ſo of thy good pleaſure give us ſtrength to do and to perſevere in well doing: And, whenſoever of thy goodneſs it ſhall pleaſe to deliver us from this mi­ſerable condition wherein we are, grant that we may return from the folly of the44 wicked to the wiſdom of the juſt. Let the time paſt of our Lives ſuffice us to have fulfilled the luſts of the fleſh, and for the time to come teach us to live more ſoberly, and righteouſly, and godly than hitherto we have done, that we may adorn the Goſpel as much by our repentance, as we have diſhonoured it by our looſeneſs, that we may break off our ſins by repentance, that we may work with our hands the thing that is good, that we may commit our ſelves to thee well-doing, that we may provide for the things that are honeſt in the ſight of God and men; that we may ſerve thee in this world, and be happy in ano­ther, and all this we beg of thee, and what elſe thou ſhall ſee needful for us in the name and mediation of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt: In whoſe name and words we further pray.

Our Father, &c.



Directions for thoſe that are tried and caſt for their lives, but have them ſpared, by the mercy of the King or the Bench.

FRom theſe that in Law are counted leſſer Malefactors, I proceed in the next place to thoſe that are greater, and have incurred the danger of death, and theſe are to be conſidered under two ſeveral, though near in time, yet in nature very different circum­ſtances before their Trial and after it; Be­fore their Trials we find them full of fears, and ſollicitudes, and careful thoughts: What the witneſſes will depoſe againſt them, what plea they themſelves may make againſt their depoſitions, what verdict the Jury is likely to bring, and what ſentence the Judge may pronounce upon them.

Now natural it is for men that are in trouble, to be affected with ſuch fears and ſollicitudes as theſe, and as it is natural, ſo if theſe cares riſe not to too inordinate a degree, it is allowable too in the permiſſi­ons of religion; Jacob was afraid of his bro­ther Eſau, and his fears made him ſeek to appeaſe him by a preſent, David was afraid46 of his Perſecutour King Saul, and his fears made him ſeek ſo many Subterfuges, our Sa­viour himſelf had ſome natural reluctancy a­gainſt that bitter Cup, and he prayed very earneſtly that it might paſs from him, and when St. Paul was accuſed by Tertullus and others he made very curious, and artificial defences for his life: And ſo may Priſoners too when they are Indicted very allowably make all juſt defences that their caſe will ad­mit, all ſuch Pleas for themſelves as their cauſe will bear, and all prudent arts, that their wit, not aided by lies and falſifications can direct them to: But while Priſoners are mindful of all thoſe methods of defence, which ſelf preſervation will put them upon as men, they ſhould not be neglectful of thoſe religious conſiderations which be­come them as Chriſtians: They ſhould with the ſame ſollicitude prepare for that great account at the laſt day, as they do for that at the Old Bayly, they ſhould remember that he that is to judge them hereafter is God, and not man; that there will be no need of witneſſes to depoſe againſt them, their own conſciences, which they ſtie now, will impartially teſtifie againſt them then, and ſupply the place both of witneſs and Jury too, by bringing in a righteous verdict againſt them, and making them as47 condemned of God, ſo alſo ſelf-condemned, in the ſecret convictions of their then a­wakened ſpirit. For the raiſing of ſuch thoughts as theſe are within their ſouls, let the Priſoners frequently conſider and medi­tate upon every word in that ſuitable Text of Scripture: 2 Cor. 5. 10. We muſt all appear before the judgment Seat of God, that every one may receive the things done in his body, whether they be good obad, Some young ſinners by the reaſon of the tenderneſs of their age are below the cognizance of ſuch Courts as theſe, and there are years, at which ſentence of death cannot be paſſed againſt an offender, but all muſt appear before that judg­ment Seat, both young and old. Some ſinners are ſo great as to aw Juſtice, and when a Tyrant holds the Scepter, and eſtabliſhes ini­quity by a Law, no Court is ſo high as to take cognizance of him, and to call him to account but none is great enough to deliver himſelf from the hand of God, for hijuſtice is armed with an infinite power, whereby to execute the awards of his wrath upon the moſt obdurate ſinners: Some ſins are ſo ſe­cret that the eye of man which ſees not the heart, can not diſcover them, and therefore the juſtice of man cannot puniſh them, but God ſearcheth the hearts, and tries the reins, and he will judge the ſecrets of men by Chriſt48 Jeſus. Men can only kill the body, but he can caſt Body and Soul into Hell-fire, they can inflict only temporal death, God eter­nal and everlaſting. Fire here may burn the body for a while, which puniſhment is ſome­times inflicted upon women for petty trea­ſon, but as that fire burns the body, ſo it conſumes it, and the fierceneſs of the flame, and the pains of the offender have both a ſpeedy concluſion, but that fire burns for ever, and the ſinner hath an everlaſting du­ration to endure thoſe flames in.

This judgment and the conſequences of it they ſhould often meditate upon; and no time more proper than this, wherein they are to paſs to that temporal judgment which bears ſome faint reſemblance with the E­ternal.

Now it is a proper time for them to ſet their ſouls in order before God, to endea­vour to make their peace with him, by ear­neſt prayer to ſeek his pardon and forgive­neſs, and whether they live or die, they will find the ſpiritual benefit of ſuch thoughts as theſe are, if the latter be their dreadful Lot, they have by this means begun their prepara­tion for death; but if through the mercy of God, the former be their more pleaſing por­tion, they may aſſure themſelves, that ſuch men as are prepared to dye, are by that means much more fit to live.


And now that I have brought the Priſoners to the Old Bayly, it will not be long before they know their ſeveral Dooms. Some have the Sentence of Death pronounced upon them, Some are caſt for their Lives, but by the mer­cy of the Bench, are ſet aſide for Tranſpor­tation, or for Clergy, or are left to the mercy of the King: For the firſt of theſe the enſuing Chapter is deſigned, to the others I now Ad­dreſs my ſelf, and firſt to thoſe who are for Tranſportation who are uſually the moſt in Number,

And here a very ſlender obſervation may ſoon ſuggeſt to us, that the condition of con­victs after their Tranſportation beyond theſe as differs little from that of thoſe that are in Bridewell, unleſs in the duration of their e­vils. For when they are ſet down upon the place of their Baniſhment, they are delivered to a ſeven-years bondage, ingaged in hard la­bours, expoſed to great drudgeries, and treat­ed with very much ſcorn, and contempt, and inſolence; and uſually the reaſon why this mercy is ſhewed to them for the ſparing of their lives, is becauſe they are reputed to be but young Malefactors, having never before been legally convicted of ſuch crimes, as are puniſhable by death, and therefore before they proceed to the remainder of this Chapter, I deſire them to read what they find in the for­mer50 Chapter concerning the breaking off their ſins, by repentance, and improving their pre­ſent afflictions of ſhame, and ſlavery to ſpiri­tual purpoſes: And to theſe directions I ſhall add theſe that follow.

Firſt, That they would be perſwaded to obſerve the mixture of Judgment and mercy which is very apparent in their preſent condi­tion, mercy in that their lives are ſpared, and Judgment in that they are to ſpend the remain­der of their lives in ſo much hardſhip and mi­ſery, and then to turn the expoſtulation of the Apoſtle, Rom. 2. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. into an exhortation to themſelves, and that they would not deſpiſe the riches of Gods goodneſs, and for­bearance, and long ſuffering, which ought to lead them to repentance, neither treaſure up to themſelves wrath againſt the day of wrath, and the Revelation of the righteous Judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing, ſeek for Glory and Honour and immortality eternal life, but to them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteouſneſs, indignation, and wrath, tri­bulation, and anguiſh upon every ſoul of man that doth evil, of the Jew firſt, and alſo of the Gentile. Thoſe that are thus Tranſported, they have Captivity for their puniſhment, and in that Captivity, they may diſcern ſomething51 of the ſeverity of God towards them, but not greater ſeverity then God hath heretofore ſhewed towards ſinners, and in the ſame kind of puniſhment too, that of ſlavery. Ma­naſſeh ſinned againſt God, and his puniſhment was, he was taken Captive by the Captains of the Kings of Aſſyria, and as ſuch bound in Chains, and carried to Babylon. Zedekiah ſinned againſt God, and for his ſin, he was expoſed, firſt to the ſcorn of Nebuchadnezzar in his bondage, and then in his cruelty, in the loſs of his eyes, and what was dearer to him then his eyes his Children: And it is no more then what was threatned by Moſes, to rebel­lious Iſrael, Deut. 28. 68. Ye ſhall be ſould to your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man ſhall buy you, that is, when they ſhould commit iniquity with greedineſs, their ſins would make them ſo vile in the eyes of God, that he would ſell them into the hands of their enemies, for Slaves and Drudges, and their enemies ſhould count them ſo vile too, that they could not think them worth the buy­ing: So that that bondage which God inflicted ſometimes upon Kings and Princes, nay fre­quently upon his own People too, when they ſinned againſt him, and departed from him by their tranſgreſſions, ought not to be repined againſt by Malefactors, as it were too ſevere a puniſhment upon them by the hand of God,52 for their tranſgreſſion, but contrari wiſe they ought to be thankful to the mercy of God, that he hath ſpared their Lives, and thereby given a ſpace for repentance, which if they conſider it aright, is a mercy of very great value, and of ſo great value, that their grati­tude for life, ought to overballance thoſe murmurings, which they uſually entertain up­on account of the ſufferings of it; of this o­pinion was Jeremiah, when he and his Nati­on were under the like circumſtances, in Ca­ptivity in a ſtrange Country, Wherefore, ſays he, ſhould a living man complain, a man for the Puniſhment of his ſin? Lament. 3. 39. in which ſentence there are almoſt as many Arguments as words, and every one of thoſe Arguments ſuitable to the Subject now in hand, God is the Creator of all things, man his Creature, why therefore ſhould man complain when he is afflicted? The clay againſt the Potter, the workmanſhip againſt the maker, man that is but duſt and aſhes, againſt God the Lord of all; his Soverainty will bear him out, if he diſpoſes of his Creatures, as he in his wiſdom thinks moſt fit, therefore they ought not to complain, eſpecially when they conſider, that they are ſinful men, and that their afflictions are but the puniſhment of their ſins. No great wonder if upright Job complain that he is affli­cted more then the ſcorners, Jeremiah, then53 thoſe that deal treacherouſly, holy Daniel and righteous Shadrack, Meſhack, and Abedne­go, then their accuſers, and tormentors, but unjuſt it is that ſinners complain, under their juſt and deſerved puniſhment, when they reap but the very fruit of their doings; More it would become them to acknowledge that God is juſt and righteous in all that he does, and in all the corrections which he does in­flict, and that he has puniſhed them leſs then their iniquties deſerve, and then inuſtice he might have done, if he had been extream to mark what is done amiſs, and therefore that they ought to be humbled, and accept of the Puniſhment of their iniquities, and bear the indignation of the Lord becauſe they have ſinned againſt him. Eſpecially conſidering that he hath given them a Portion among thoſe that are living, God had not been unrighteous, if he had taken away the ſinner in the midſt of his ſins, and then as the Tree fell, ſo it wouldly, as death left them, ſo Judgment would find them, and as they died in the Commiſſion of ſin, ſo they would riſe hereafter to the infli­ctions of wrath, but God hath been merciful in that, he hath given them a life, though a life very full of miſery to repent in, a ſpace, though that ſpace ſurrounded with many afflictions to make their peace with God. This Goodneſs of God ought to lead them to54 repentance, in order to which end let them.

Secondly, Live under a conſtant ſenſe of Gods omnipreſence, and that whereſoever they go, and into whatſoever parts of the World they are ſent by Baniſhment Gods eye follows them. He fills the Heaven and the earth, and the Heaven of Heavens cannot con­tain him, his greatneſs is unſearchable, ſo that there is no flying from his preſence, nor can any man hide himſelf in ſecret places that God ſhould not ſee him. They may fly their Coun­try, but they cannot fly from the preſence of God, if in a ſtrange Land they retain the ſins of England, thither the Vengeance of God can follow them, there the Juſtice of God can find them out, prove their Plague and their ſcourge there as well as here, but if in a forreign Country, they repent of their ſins committed here, Gods Grace is as near to them there as here, his mercy is over all his works, and his goodneſs reaches to the utmoſt corners of the earth. And though their Fa­thers ſee them not, and their Friends know not their condition, yet God is as preſent to them there as here, and is ready to receive the Prayer of the Captive, the petition of the ſtran­ger, the ſupplication of the Baniſhed, and to grant his pardon to the pooreſt, moſt afflicted Penitents.


At the Seſſions ſome are found not guilty by their Jury, or obtain the benefit of their Clergy, or the gracious pardon of the King: which if they conſider it aright, is a mercy very highly valuable, and as it is the happineſs of theſe men that they have their Lives and Li­berties, ſo it is their diſadvantage, that their Liberty is attended with the diſgrace of having once held up their hand, and how to improve this diſhonour to ſpiritual advan­tage, they have been taught in the forecited Chapter, and together with thoſe directions let them take theſe directions that follow.

Firſt, Now that they are free from the Tribunal of man that they would endeavour to ſet all accounts right between them and God: For very poſſible it may be that an offender may be either free, or guilty to a leſſer degree in theſe counts below, but perfectly guilty in that court above: Here ſome things are accounted felonies, ſome petty larcenies, ſome deſerve only by the law a brand in the hand, ſome the laſh and pub­lick whippings, but thoſe are violations of the Eighth Commandment, and both of them place men in the Number of thoſe Thieves of whom St. Paul hath ſaid expreſly, that they ſhall not enter into the Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6. 10. He that ſhall kill a man in his heat and paſſion, is counted here not guilty56 of Murder but Manflaughter, but both theſe are violations of the ſixth Commandment, and both make us liable to the judgment to come: Nay more, that very paſſion which we make the alleviation of our crimes here is counted Murder in the the ſight of God. For ſo our Saviour expreſly aſſerts, Math. 5. 21. 22. Ye have heard that it was ſaid by them of old time; Thou ſhalt not kill, and whoſoe­ver is angry with his Brother without a cauſe ſhall be in danger of the judgment; and whoſo­ever ſhall ſay unto his Brother, Racha, ſhall be in danger of the Councel, but whoſoever ſhall ſay thou fool, ſhall be in danger of Hell­fire: Where we ſee different degrees of cauſeleſs anger, have different degrees of pu­niſhment, but all of them are violations of that Commandment, Thou ſhalt do no mur­der, and all puniſhable more or leſs in the judgment to come. And as for thoſe that are acquitted here, let them examine whe­ther they are clear before God, and if of that crime, whether of others, as great per­chance, and as crying, in the account of God: And to them, who eſcape with life and liber­ty, as well as to others, is appliable that of our Saviour, unleſs ye repent ye ſhall all likewiſe periſh.

My ſecond exhortation to ſuch is that for the time to come they would endeavour to57 live without offence in the ſight of God and man: New mercies require new acknow­ledgments, and we have no way of ſhewing our gratitude to God but by doing things that are pleaſing in his ſight: God hath granted them life; let them improve it to his honour, they have had the pardon of the King, let them ſeek forgiveneſs of God alſo, they have dishonoured themſelves and their profeſſion, let them endeavour to adorn the Goſpel for the time to come, by a more ſpotleſs converſation; Let them heartily repent of all their publick and private crimes a­gainſt God and againſt men, that when they come to dye, they may be fitter to dye, than they were when they were Tried for their Lives, and for this among other things, let them pray in this or ſuch like addreſs to God.



O LORD our God we acknowledge before thee our manifold tranſ­greſſions, the ſins of our hearts, the ſins of our Lips, the ſins of our Lives, our unclean thoughts, our filthy diſcourſes, all our unrighteous actions, we are here Priſoners in one place, but very diffe­rent is the Lot, which thy Providence hath aſſigned to us, ſuch of us, O Lord whoſe days thou haſt meaſured out to the oppreſſour, give us grace to repent of thoſe ſins, which have cauſed this pu­niſhment, and the leſs mercy we find with men, the more let us find with God: As many of us as have found thy mercy in our Lives and Liberties give us grace, to be ſenſible of thy mercies, and to live cloſer with our God, who hath delivered our feet from falling, and our ſoul from the ſnare, and our life from the Grave. Let the ſhame59 we endure make us truly ſenſible of thoſe ſins that have cauſed it, and however we have had diſgrace here, let us not be confounded when we ſtand in judg­ment: make us mindful of thy eternal judgment, and prepare us for it, that when we come to die we may be fitter to die, and fitter to give an account to God, Lead us O Lord by thy councel, guide us by thy grace, give repentance, and pardon here, and bring us to thy glory hereafter, through our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt. In whoſe, &c.



Conſiderations ſuited to the condition of Malefactors as are actually under the ſen­tence of condemnation for death.

WHat hath been already written in this diſcourſe is deſigned, to prevent, if poſſible, mens wretched arrival at the height of wickedneſs, and by ſuch conſiderations, as the nature of the ſubject would ſuggeſt, to ſtop their carier in wickedneſs, before they proceed from leſſer crimes to thoſe that are Capital: But there always was and al­ways will be a generationf men that are re­probates to every good work, that have their conſciences ſeared with a hot Iron, that turn a deaf ear againſt all good Counſel, and harden their hearts againſt all good advice, and as for theſe ſeeing milder Methods will do no good upon them, neceſſity enforces to practice thoſe that are more ſevere. God ſays, nay which is more, ſwears that he does not delight in the death of a ſinner, but that he ſhould turn from his wicked way and live, but yet it is con­ſiſtent both with his Juſtice and mercy, to make death the Portion of ſuch as by their wickedneſs purſue it, and to make Perdition61 the inheritance of thoſe that by the obſtinacy, and perverſeneſs of their way unavoidably run upon it; And the ſame method is very conſiſtent with the rules of Juſtice, and mer­cy among men; Nay very often it is, that ſeverity upon offenders is mercy to the inno­cent, and compaſſion to the wicked, is cru­elty to the juſt, for the ſlackening of Juſtice, encreaſes the number of Malefactors, and if ſevere laws were not made, and executed a­gainſt Malefactors honeſt men would not be ſafe, but the Nation would be ſoon overrun with Robbers and Murderers, and all ſorts of evil doers, for as Solomon obſerved long ago. Becauſe Sentence againſt an evil work is not executed ſpeedily; therefore it is that the heart of the Sons of men is thoroughly ſet in them to do evil, Eccl. 8. 11. Righteous therefore and juſt it is, that the wages of ſin ſhould be death, death eternal by the Law of God, and death temporal by the Laws of God and man, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord: But to what acts of Faith and repentance to direct the Malefactor, that he may lay hold of that eternal life, will require much Spiritual skill, and prudence. The Right Reverend Biſhop Taylour, and the Learned Doctor Hammond, and ſome others have written diverſe things very accurately towards the Leſſening of that eſteem which62 ſome men have of the efficacy of a death-bed repentance: If I ſhould here lay down their opinions in expreſs terms, as they have deli­vered them, in all probability I ſhould drive thoſe whom I now write to, into utter de­ſpair, but if I ſhould endeavour to aſſert and maintain the contrary, thoſe ſurriving Malefa­ctors, into whoſe hands this Book ſhall come, would in all likelyhood make uſe of it, as a further encouragement to delay their repen­tance to the hour of death: Seeing therefore it is hard to Miniſter to the comfort of ſome, without giving occaſion to the Preſumption of others, I think it not ſafe to handle that point in a Treatiſe, which will be read both by the condemned and reprieved; But judge it more prudent to leave the Conduct of the ſouls of dying men in that particular, to thoſe Miniſters that ſhall viſit them near the approaches of their death: For the ſupply of which in ſuch caſes I ſuppoſe there is ſome proviſion made in all places of this Nation, but in this City very plentifully: They have a particular Miniſter allotted to them, whoſe duty it is wholly to attend this affair, to his aſſiſt­ance there are allotted by the order of the Honourable the Court of Aldermen, and upon the motion of the Right Worſhipful the preſent Sheriffs, the Miniſters of Ludgate, and both the Counters, and Diverſe other63 Miniſters of this City out of their Pious com­paſſion towards them, very frequently con­tribute their ſpiritual aids, who may pri­vately Miniſter to them ſuch comfort as their condition is capable of without danger of oc­caſioning preſumption and ſpiritual ſecurity to other Malefactors, who at ſuch times are not within hearing: But ſuch other conſi­derations as I may ſafely let down without this danger, I ſhall here inſert.

Firſt, The condemned Malefactor ought humbly to confeſs his ſins, and this when ac­companied with other requiſites of repen­tance has a promiſe of pardon.

So we have it expreſſed by the beloved Diſ­ciple, St. John. 1. 9. If we confeſs our ſins, he is Faithful, and juſt to forgive us our ſins, and to cleanſe us from all unrighteouſneſs. So in Hoſea 14. 2. Take to you words, that is of confeſſion, and ſupplication, and turn to the Lord your God, ſay unto him, take away all iniquity, and receive us graciouſly, ſo will we render the Calves of our lips: For this pardon upon a true and ſincere confeſſion, Solomon depends by Faith in his Prayer at the Dedication of the Temple, 2 Chronicles 6. 36, 37, 39. If they ſin againſt thee, (for there is no man that ſinneth not) and thou be angry with them, and they turn and pray unto thee, and ſay we have ſinned, we have done a­miſs,64 we have dealt wickedly, then hear thou from the Heavens even from thy dwelling place, their Prayer, and their ſupplication, and for­give thy People which have ſinned againſt thee: and that Faith that Solomon had in this Prayer of his, was founded upon that promiſe which we find in Lev. 26. 40. 42. If they confeſs their iniquity, and the iniquity of their Fathers, with the treſpaſs that they have treſpaſſed againſt me, and that alſo they have walked contrary un­to me: Then will I remember my Covenant. That is, his Covenant of mercy and forgive­neſs. And ſuitably to the Faith of Soloman, and the promiſe of God David found it, Pſalm 32. 5. I acknowledged my ſin unto thee. ſays he there, and my iniquity have I not hid, I ſaid, I will confeſs my tranſgreſſions unto the Lord, and thou forgaveſt the iniquity of my ſin. And where the ſin againſt God is complicated with injuſtice towards men, (as in condem­ned Malefactors it always is,) there it is re­quiſite that the ſinner confeſs to men, and ſhew his Zeal againſt unrighteouſneſs by diſ­covering the combinations of wickedneſs that he hath been acquainted with; for it is hard­ly conceivable, that they thoroughly repent of their unrighteouſneſs, who at their death deſire it ſhould go unobſerved, and unreform­ed and unpuniſhed in others.

Secondly, Theſe confeſſions where they are65 accepted with God are always accompanied with a deep ſorrow, and contrition of Spirit for thoſe ſins that we acknowledge: otherwiſe they are Hypocritical, but together with this they are often a ſacrifice acceptable to God: Pſal. 51. 16, 17. For thou deſireſt not Sacri­fice, elſe would I give it thee: thou delightest not in burnt offerings, the Sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite Spirit, a broken and a contrite Heart, ô God thou wilt not deſpiſe: And ſo to the ſame effect we find it in the Pro­phet Iſaiah, ch. 57. v. 15. For thus ſaith the high and the Holy one that inhabiteth eterni­ty, whoſe name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him alſo that is of a pure and contrite Spirit, to revive the Spirit of the humble, to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Thirdly, To that repentance that will find pardon, there ought to be joyned a forſaking of ſin: and we are to explain the place before cited, 1 St. John 1. 9. by that other place from whence it ſeems to be taken. Prov. 28. 13. He that covereth his ſins, ſhall not proſper, but who­ſo confeſſeth and forſaketh them ſhall have mercy. And by this the Scripture every where deſ­cribes ſaving repentance, calling it a turning from our evil ways, returning from the folly of the wicked to the wiſdom of the righteous, clean­ſing our hands, and purifying our hands with66 many other expreſſions importing a thorough reformation of the whole man in life, and heart and lip; many parts of which becauſe they are always wanting in the late converſion of old Tranſgreſſours, the above mentioned Divines have very much doubted of the effi­cacy of ſuch a death-bed repentance to the great intents of mercy and pardon; and if it be ſaid ſincere intentions are often accepted by God, inſtead of performances, it is poſſible it may be as difficult to diſtinguiſh between the integrity & Hypocriſie of mens purpoſes, as between the truth and falſeneſs of their con­verſion, and therefore it is more prudent to leave the deciſion of ſuch queſtions to the O­ral ſolution of ſuch Divines as ſhall either out of Duty, or Chriſtian Charity viſit them then to deliver it in Printed rules, where it may be read by thoſe who have more need to be preſſed to a ſpeedy Converſion, then be perſwaded of the efficacy of a late repentance.

Fourthly, After ſuch acts of confeſſion, and contrition, and repentance, as the con­dition of the Malefactors is capable of, let them caſt themſelves upon God, by a holy Faith and reliance, mixed with fear and trembling, both theſe conjoyned are and neither of theſe ſingle is ſuitable to the condition of theſe condemned ſinners. They ought to have a Faith in the mercy of God,67 as ſufficient to pardon the greateſt ſinners that return, according to the terms of the Goſpel, for elſe it were in vain to pray to God if we thought him wholly inexorable: but this Faith of theirs ought to be joyned with a holy trembling, for fear, leſt their repentance ſhould not be ſuch as God will accept, and leſt their preparations ſhould not be according to the Preparation of the Sanctuary, or elſe their Faith may ſoon degenerate into preſum­ption. Where the firſt is wanting, men run into deſpair: This ſeems to be the ſin of Cain, who ſaid, (as it is in the marginal interpre­tation of our Bibles, and ſuitable enough to the ſignification of the Hebrew verb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉there uſed) My iniquity is greater then that it may be forgiven. This ſeems to be the ſin of Judas, he knew he had ſinned, and he re­pented of it in ſome degree, and as an inſtance of it made reſtitution of the price of blood, but had not recourſe by faith and Goſpel repen­tance to that blood of atonement, and therefore died as a ſad inſtance, and dreadful example of horrid diſpair, and indeed no ſin, (except that one unpardonable one againſt the Holy Ghoſt,) is exempted from forgiveneſs upon a true repentance: And to take away doubt in this the Scripture hath particularly mentioned the greateſt ſorts as actually forgiven to ſin­cere Penitents. As particularly, The Blaſ­phemies68 of Saul, the Fornications of Magda­len, the extortions of Zaccheus, the Mur­der and uncleanneſs of David, the drunken­neſs and inceſt of Noah, and the Robberies of the Thief upon the Croſs. But as there may be an error on this hand, ſo there may be, and poſſibly is more frequently on the other hand toc: in relying too confidently upon the pardoning mercy of God in Chriſt, without thoſe Goſpel preparations of heart which will ſit us to receive it. And this ſeems to be the ſin of thoſe very confident, but very much miſtaken fiduciaries, mentioned and reproved by our Saviour. Mat. 7. 21, 22, 23. Not every one that ſaith unto me Lord, Lord, ſhall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father which is in Hea­ven, Many will ſay unto me, in that day Lord have we not Propheſied in thy name? and in thy name caſt out Devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I pro­feſs unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity. And if they would guide themſelves between preſumption and deſpair, it will behave them to take the Ad­vice of St. Peter, to Simon Magus, ſo Acts 8. 22. Repent therefore of this thy wickedneſs, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. He ſaith not, and ſo certainly it ſhall be, this poſſibly might be69 too confident a preſumption to depend upon: but if perhaps, that an humble hope may be allowed to ſeek after. The carriage of Benha­had to King Ahab may well become them, The Kings of Iſrael are merciful Kings, ſays he, and ſo they The God of Iſrael is a mer­ciful God, this they may with fulneſs of Faith believe, and peradventure he will ſave us, this they may with an humble hope de­ſire; And to accommodate a little to this purpoſe that expreſſion of Queen Eſther, They may go into the preſence of God, by humble ſupplication and prayer, and ſay, if we periſh, we will periſh praying un­to God, we will periſh imploring his Grace, we will Periſh rolling our ſelves upon his mercy in Chriſt Jeſus, and it is poſſible God may be more merciful to us, then we are apt to think he will, when we reflect upon the great defect of our death bed repentance; The reſt I ſhall refer to the Conduct of their ſpiritual guides, of which number I am bound in duty to be one, and ſhall requeſt them often to read theſe ſeven Pſalms, 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143. Paraphraſed into Prayers by Biſhop Taylour which I have provided for them at my own charge, A ſmall Treatiſe called, The Penitent ſinner, provided for them by the care of the Court of Alder­men,70 and theſe two Prayers, the one taken out of Doctor Patricks Devout Chriſtian, the other from Biſhop Taylour, and with a ſmall alteration accommodated to their con­dition.

A Prayer for condemned Malefactors written by Dr. Patrick in his Devout Chriſtian.

O MOST holy and righteous judge of the whole world, give us ſinful and miſerable wretches, leave to pro­ſtrate our ſelves before the throne of thy Grace, and to implore that mercy which we have formerly deſpiſed or abuſed. We are not worthy we confeſs to lift up our eyes towards heaven; and it becomes us in the greateſt dejection of ſpirit to ſigh and groan under the Load of our ſins: which have been ſo great and many, ſo bold, ſo preſumptuous and ſhameles, that when with an awakened mind we reflect upon them; we are ready to ſink into Hell, and utterly deſpair of any mercy. O God how have we hated in­ſtruction,71 and our heart deſpiſed re­proof? And have not obeyed the voice of our teachers, nor inclined our ear to them that admoniſhed us: How ſwift have our feet been to run into evil! and how backward and averſe have we been to any thing that is good! O the injuries that we have done our neighbours; the abuſe of our ſelves and thy good creatures! the prophane contempt or neglect of thee and the duties of thy worſhip and ſervice. **Here let them reckon up the blaſ­phemies, debauche­ries and violences that they have been guilty of.The remembrance of all this is dreadful, the bur­den is intolerable.

How ſhall we appear before thee at whoſe re­buke the mountains quake, ſince we cannot think of our appearance before an earthly judge without ſhame and affrightment of ſpirit? O Lord work in us a greater dread of thee with a great­er ſhame and confuſion of face, now that we are in thy preſence: For which end repreſent unto us eſſectually the wicked­neſs, the baſeneſs and vileneſs of our e­vil doings; as well as the guilt and juſt72 deſert of thee? O that we could hate and abhor them more than death, which we expect ſhortly to ſuffer for them: Be­ſtow on us that ingenuous and godly ſor­row which worketh repentance, and un­feigned purpoſes of amendment of life: If thou through thy great mercy and un­expected providence ſhouldeſt grant en­largement of it. Theſe purpoſes come too late indeed, we may juſtly think to find acceptance with thee; and therefore, not without great fear and trembling, and a great ſenſe of our undeſerving, we look up unto thee, acknowledging thy in­finite goodneſs, if thou wilt vouchſafe but the ſmalleſt hope of mercy.

Mercy, mercy, Good Lord caſt us not quite out of thy ſight, for Jeſus ſake who gave himſelf for us to redeem us from all iniquity. It is the beginning of ſome mercy, and an earneſt, we hope of more that thou haſt made us ſenſible of our of­fences: Help us to manifeſt our ſincerity by making free and open confeſſion of our crimes, and taking the ſhame of them before others, and by acknowledgment73 that we are unworthy to live, and by earneſt admoniſhments to all to be warn­ed by our example, and to ceaſe betimes, to do evil and learn to do well. O that we could glorifie thee O God, a little in our latter end after this manner: And till we come to receive our deſerved pu­niſhment, help us to ſpend our time in bewailing our ſins, in humbling our ſelves before thee for them, in ſetting our hearts againſt them in ſtudying and ad­miring with the greateſt affection the holy life of our Lord Jeſus; in calling other offenders to repentance, and ex­horting them thereby to give thee glory. Deny us not we beſeech thee the grace thus to employ our ſelves; that we may have ſome taſt of thy mercy; and the fear of death may be abated by ſome hope that when our ſoul ſhall be parted from the body, it may be received into everla­ſting manſions, through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord: In whoſe name and words, &c.


A Prayer for Penitents by Biſhop Tay­lour.

SON of David, Bleſſed Redeemer, Lamb of God, that takeſt away the ſins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Jeſu, be a Jeſus unto us, thou that ſparedſt thy ſervant Peter, that denied thee thrice, thou that didſt caſt ſeven Devils out of Mary Magdalene, and for­gaveſt the woman taken in adultery, and didſt bear the convert Thief from the Croſs, to the joys of Paradiſe, have mer­cy upon us alſo; for although we have amaſſed together more ſins, than all theſe in conjunction, yet not their ſins nor ours, nor the ſins of all the world can equal thy glorious mercy, which is as in­finite, and eternal as thy ſelf. We ac­knowledge, O Lord, that we are vile, but yet redeemed with thy precious blood; we are blind, but thou art the light of the75 world; we are weak, but thou art our ſtrong Rock; we have been dead in tre­ſpaſſes and ſins, but thou art our reſurre­ction and our life. Thou, O Lord, loveſt to ſhew mercy, and the expreſſions of thy mercy, the nearer they come to infinite, the more proportionable they are to thy eſsence, and like thy ſelf. Behold then, O Lord, fit objects for thy pity: Our ſins are ſo great and many, that to forgive us, will be an act of glorious mercy, and all the praiſes which did accrue to thy name, by the forgiveneſs of David, and Manaſſes, and St. Paul, and the adulte­reſs, and the Thief, and the Publican, will be multiplied to thy honour, in the for­giveneſs of us ſo vile, ſo unworthy wretch­es, that we have nothing to ſay for our ſelves, but that the greatneſs of our mi­ſeries are fit objects for thy miraculous and infinite mercy. Deſpiſe us not, O Lord, for we are thy creatures, deſpiſe us not for thou didſt die for us, caſt us not away in thine anger, for thou cameſt to ſeek us, and to ſave us. Prepare us for76 death, and take away the bitterneſs of it, Pardon our ſins, and purge us from them, firſt of thy Grace make us fit for the inheritance of the Saints in Light, and then bring us to it for the ſake of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt. In whoſe name, &c.



Inſtructions ſuited to the Condition of thoſe who have their Education in the Hoſpital of Chriſt Church.

HItherto I have diſcourſed ſuch things as I thought proper for the Inſtruction of Priſoners, and among thoſe the worſt of them Malefactors, and if I had conſulted the order of Dignity, I ſhould have placed theſe laſt, but I purpoſed in this diſcourſe to purſue the rules, not of honour, but of Chriſtian Charity, and therefore have allotted the great­eſt ſhare of my directions to thoſe that moſt need it, the greateſt offenders, herein follow­ing the example of my Saviour, who beſtow­ed a great part of his time and pains upon Pu­blicans, and ſinners, and came with a deſign, not to call the righteous but ſinners to repen­tance. I proceed now to ſuch as may be ſup­poſed to be of a more teachable temper, more ſucceptive of inſtruction, and have more op­portunities for it, as living under a ſtrict Diſ­cipline, and under the happy opportunities of a very advantagious education in the Hoſpi­tal, and School of Chriſt Church. And here before I proceed any farther, it will not78 be improper thankfully to take notice of the goodneſs of God towards this City, in that he hath from time to time raiſed up ſo many generous Spirits among us, and enclined them to ſuch noble inſtances of Chriſtian Charity: For there is ſcarſe any neceſſity that humane nature is lyable to; but here Proviſion is made for the relief of it; If men be infirm in their ſenſes, and diſturbed in their brains, there is proviſion for them in the Hoſpital of Bethlehem; If weak and infirm in their Limbs, or wounded, in St. Bartholomews; and if Children be Fatherleſs, or (which is the next degree of miſery to it) diſcended of ſuch Pa­rents as have not where withal to bring them up, they are cloathed and fed, and Educated in Chriſt-Church, an Hoſpital erected by King Edward the ſixth, a Proteſtant Prince to the confutation of that Vulgar calumny then, and ſtill common among the Papiſts, that men of our Religion have renounced not only the merit, but alſo the practice of good works: and as this Hoſpital is of Royal extraction, ſo is it of Honourable Government. The Go­vernours of it, being always ſome of the moſt Eminent Senators and Commonours of Lon­don, and in the Houſe they have all things neceſſary for the feeding, and cloathing, and lodging, and inſtructing of thoſe Children, Male, or Female, that are under79 their care, and therefore to thoſe that are here Educated.

My firſt Direction ſhall be to be thankful to God, who hath ſo plentifully provided for them: There is a gracious promiſe in the Pſalmiſt, When my Father and Mother forſake me, the Lord taketh me up; Pſal. 27. 10, and again to the ſame import. Pſalm 146. 9. the Lord careth for the ſtrangers, he helpeth the Fatherleſs. And again Pſal. 147. He feedeth the young Ravens when they call upon him, the obſervation is common (out of Plin. 10. 12. and Ariſto. Hiſt. Animal. 6. 6. ) that of all other Birds, the Ravens are obſerved ſooneſt to forſake their young ones, and therefore by an argument à majori ad minus. If God ſo ſufficiently provide for the young Ravens when the dams forſake them, much more will he provide for us, who ſtampt with his Image, are much more valuable then many Ravens, when our Parents either through want cannot, or through unnaturalneſs will not maintain us. Of this providence of God towards ſuch helpleſs Children, there are di­verſe inſtances in profane ſtories, that famous one of Cyrus expoſed by his own relations, and by a wonderful providence nouriſhed by ſtrangers. Of Romulus and Remus deſerted by their Parents, and nurſed by a Wolf, and har­boured by a Shepherd; Or if the credit of80 theſe relations be as ſuſpected, as the Faith­fulneſs of their firſt reports. There are in­ſtances in ſacred writ, to prove his Faithful­neſs to the abovementioned promiſe, and that when Parents have forſaken Children, he hath taken them up. When Iſhmaels Mother de­ſpairing of his life, had forſaken him, and laid him gaſping, (his laſt for ought ſhe knew, or could do to help it,) in the Wilderneſs; the Lord took him up: He opened a new Spring of Water, and opened her eyes to ſee it, and ſo the Child was preſerved, Gen. 21. 19. When Moſes his Parents alſo had forſa­ken him, (for they durſt not ſtand by him any longer) and laid him down among the ruſhy flags, the Lord took him up: He pro­vided him of a Saviour the Kings own Daugh­ter, and of a Nurſe the Childs own Mother, and ſo he was preſerved too? But to the Children here maintained, I need not multiply inſtances of this nature, they themſelves are ſtanding monuments of the goodneſs of God in that kind. They are Lodged in thoſe Cham­bers, that their Parents never hired, cloathed with thoſe Garments, they never provided, fed with that meat they never paid for, and ſupplyed with all things neceſſary by the care of thoſe good Patrons which the Providence of God hath raiſed up for them. And now that God hath ſo largly bleſſed them. Let me81 teach them the duty of gratitude to him out of the Book of Pſalms, which they ſo often ſing at their meals, and ſo often read by the injun­ction of their inſtructors. They may every one of them ſay with David. Pſalm 16. 5, 6. The Lord is the Portion of my Inheritage, and of my Cup, he maintains my Lot, the lines are fallen unto me in pleaſant places, yea, I have a goodly Heritage. And therefore let them ſay with David alſo, v. 7. I will bleſs the Lord who hath given me Counſel, by the inſtruction of my teachers, and maintenance by the boun­ty of my patrons. My reins alſo ſhall inſtruct me in the night ſeaſon. They may again ſay, all in general, and each in particular, in the words of the ſame King David. Pſalm 116. 5, 6, 8. Gratious is the Lord and righteous, yea our God is merciful. The Lord preſerv­eth the ſimple, I was brought low, through the poverty of my Parents, and he helped me. Re­turn to thy reſt, O my ſoul, for the Lord hath dealt plentifully with thee. For the Lord hath delivered my ſoul from death, and from want, which is almoſt as bitter as death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from fallings. And as their mercies are proportionable to his, ſo let their thankfulneſs be proportionable to his alſo, which they may appoſitely expreſs in his words, v 12, 13, 14. What ſhall I render unto the Lord, for all his benefits towards me? 82I will take the cup of ſalvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, now in the preſence of all his people: Even thoſe