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positions ; and it is so . plain in their writings, being premised, let me only make this inquiry that I never expect any priests or Jesuits and I have done : whether any in reason, jus in England will disprove it. (2.) That tice or charity, can against such evidence as the they were as much concerned to maintain justice of the nation counted clear, pregnant and their pretended innocency, how guilty so-convincing, believe those, who thought they ever they were indeed ; as they were for might very lawfully deceive us, when they were promoting their present horrid plot or their dying, and apprehended themselves most Catholic interest depending on it: and this is highly concerned to do it ? manifest by the last proposition. Now this
The following Particulars relating to the Conduct before Execution of
the preceding Convicts,, on account of the Popish Plot, were
published under the Title of An Account of the Behaviour of the Fourteen late Popish Male
factors whilst in Newgate. And their Discourses with the Ordinary, viz. Messrs. STALEY, COLEMAN, GROVE, IRELAND, PICKERING, GREEN, HILL, BERRY, WHITEBREAD, HARCOURT, FENWICK, Gawen, Turner, and Langhorn. Also a Confutation of their Appeals, Courage, and Cheerfulness, at Execution. By Samuel Smith, Ordinary of Newgate, and Minister
of the Gospel. “He who is first in his own cause, seems just; / received me with great willingness, and said,
but his neighbour coines, and searches He had great terror upon his conscience for him," Prov. xviii. 17.
the guilt of his many and great sins; yet utterly * It is not probable, that such who will per- he stood condemned. I told bim that the rea
denied the speaking of those words for which jure themselves, to calumniate Protestants, diest way to be free from those terrors, was to should be capable of giving any real testimonies for themselves."
make an ingenuous penitent acknowledgment;
and that for tongue-sins or secret heart-sins IT being desired of me by a worthy divine, formerly indulged, God might justly desert hiin that I should publish what I said to Staley, who to ensnare bimself by such treasonable words. was condemned for treasonable speeches: like- He said, He never had any thought of mischief wise my discourses with the other twelve Je- agaiust the king's person. I replied, that suitical and popish conspirators, before their words were the natural product of thoughts, being drawn out to their execution : I could and a frequent prologue to the most abominable not (though with some reluctancy at first) but actions. He persisted in denying, that he grant him his request; hoping that this narra- spoke any words tending to that sense; but tive may be of public use and benefit to all, when I told him, that his friend, who was into whose hands it shall come; to acquaint drinking with bim, could, or had deposed upon them with the truth of what I spake to them, wath, that he spoke those very words: He reby way of advice, to prepare them for their ap- plied, Nay, if my friend will swear so much, it proaching death ? and that I may give some is probable I might (in the heat and extravasatisfaction, to such as are apt to be ; staggered gancy of passion) utter them, though they in the belief of their abominable crimes, be- never were intended in my heart. He had cause they frequently avowed their iunocency. great remorse for the sinfulness of bis life, and Which satisfaction I shall perform in order as expressed some particulars which I shall not they suffered.
mention. I told him, if he expected any settle1. Mr. STALEY,
ment of true serenity in conscience, that he
must not seek it in adhering to the Romish The first person executed, was Mr. Staley, religion ; for false and loose principles can who spoke treasonable words against his ma- never produce solid and lasting comfort; then jesty, which expressly threatened to take away I undertook to convince him from the sacred his sacred life. I did frequently, after the scriptures, of the many absurdities which are sentence of death was past on the said Staley, maintained by Popish doctors, that it is a previsit him in order to prepare him for his execu- sumption not to doubt of salvation, and yet tion. In my first address to him, I told him, I that a person may merit it, which is utterly came not to insult over him, but out of con- inconsistent; for if any man doubt of his fu. Kjence to discharge the duty of my office : He ture happy estate, how can he merit it? and if he may merit it, what need he doubt, when When I came again, he complained, that by works of a self-righteousness, he can create his heart was not so thoroughly contrite for sin a title, or may lay claim to eternal life? I as he desired; that he was much perplexed judged it necessary, in order to the removing that he had no more assurance of a future his terror in conscience, to inform him aright; happy state. I stated the nature of true saving that although it were impossible to fulfil the faith, that it was an adherence to free grace of covenaot of works, or to attain any perfection God in Christ, for pardon and eternal life, in this life; yet there is a foundation of hope, joined with an obedient self-resignation; and for degenerate mankind as restored to the where this was wrought, the soul-state was safe, image of God by Christ; whose satisfaction to though assurance of God's love might be wantdivine justice, is of infinite value and virtue: ing. For this was not an essential privilege, so that Christ being the only mediator by re- absolutely necessary to salvation, but only a demption, it is blasphemy, and the highest peculiar favour given to strict walking chrissacrilege to constitute or invocate any saint tians; and that only at some set times, in great or angel as a mediator of intercession. For extremity and need of such hidden manna. this is equivalent to Christ's infinite satisfaction, That it was rather of the nature of a rational as grounding the right of his intercession, espe- short sensation, than the ground of settled cially considering, that mediatory intercession comfort; which is the result of an heroical is only the representing and pleading the merit strain of faith, to trust in God, when he seems of infinite satisfaction. Upon this, he express to reject and slay us; and that the Lord doth ed an assent to what I had affirmed, by bowing more esteem this resolute dependency, in the his head; and applying his hand to his breast, midst of seeming contradictions, than the most he said, Sir, go on. Then I unfolded the na- multiplied acts of external worship. Upon this ture and necessity of faith and repentance in he was somewhat more serene in his mind: and order to the justification of a sinner; how they I told him, that in praying and seeking the were the conditions of the covenant of grace, Lord more fervently, comfort would gradually so required of us, for pardon of sin, and eternal be obtained. life; as that they could not be extracted out of The next day he distrusted his heart, as to the power of free-will in man, but were the sole the truth of his faith and repentance, which I purchase of Christ's free love, who by bis spi- told him, was a good sign that he was in a rit, infusing the principle of faith and repent. hopeful way of making his peace with God. ance, doth regenerate, and actually reconcile That he musi wait in believing that he should a sinner to God; and so redeem, or set him obtain comfort promised to the penitent. He free from the slavery of his corrupt will, which desired me to pray with him, and for him; and he cannot shake off by any improvement to prepare to speak somewhat of the sufferings of natural reason, or moral resolutions. I of Christ, when I should next visit him. Acstated also the difference betwixt true saving cordingly, from that test, “ I am crucified with faith and repentance, from that which is false Christ," I treated of many parts of his bitter And that the office of faith, is not only to rely passion, and of his soul-agonies, inferring maron the mercy of God, and merits of Christ, but ter not only of comfort from thence, but also also to give back the whole man, in an hearty of instruction, for our imitation and conforresignation, to the conduct and government of mity. I left him afterward in a frame more Christ's word and spirit in all things. That willing and fit to die: and coming to him on saving repentance was not an act of mere at the very morning he was to suffer, he told me, trition, wbich only effects a legal conster- that “now he had more comfort, and an hope nation in conscience, from the apprehension of of his future happy state: yet renouncing all guilt, and divine wrath : but true repentance opinion of worth in his own tears, prayers, and is evangelical, wrought deep in the heart by humiliation.” He was solicitous, if the execusound contrition for sin as sin, chiefly for of- tioner should deal with him according to the fending the holy God: so that it is the result of strictness of the sentence, lest feeling any pain an holy filial ingenuity, and is encouraged by (if cut down, and ripped up alive) he should the hope of mercy, attended with an hatred of curse, or use any unchristian words which ra. all sin, and a studious resolution to walk in all ther than to do, said he, I would bite my holy obedience. Here I told him, what an un- tongue in pieces; for I dread sin now, more sound dangerous opinion that was of the Ro- than death. I told him, that I hoped the manmish doctors, who maintain attrition only with ner of his execution would be mitigated; howthe receipt of the Eucharist, and the sacrament ever, that God would prevent sin in him at the of absolution at the very point of death to be a time of his suffering, because he was so anxious. sufficient passport for a comfortable exit out of as to distrust himself, and cautious to avoid all the world, or ticket to claim salvation : after unbecoming words or gestures. After some this, and some other discourse, he thanked me farther discourse, I prayed with him, and he for my advice, and said, he was much benefited, was much pleased with my attendance about supported, and comforted thereby: And desir- him; yet he spared me from going with hias to ed me, as frequently as I could, to renew my the place of execution for some reasons. I visits to bim; so I promised I would, and then cannot say how he declared himself there, beI prayed with him; and he was very inteative, cause I was not present: but upon my whole and much affected with what I prayed. obserration of his behaviour in prison, I do
charitably judge, he was a real penitentiary. I would clear your conscience and speak the It was doubtful to some, whether he died in truth, that you may die in peace : and I do the Roman or Protestant religion; because, exhort you, that you would beg of God great as I think, he did not at last declare himself repentance for your great sins. He replied, either way : yet this I am sure of, that if he " That he did understand bis duty." Yet I perbad solid and true comfort in dying, this could sisted, to exhort kim not to trust to the merits nut proceed from such a sandy' foundation as of any saint or angel, but wholly to go out of bis old popish principles, but only from self- himself, not grounding any confidence of his abhorrency in the sense of his great sinfulness, saivation on any prayers, tears, nor the deepest and the defectiveness of his best repentance humiliation of his own beart. That even carand obedience, that he might build his hope dinal Bellarmine said, when dying, “ It was on Christ, and his righteousness only, as the safest to rely wholly and solely on the allrock of eternal life.
sufficient merits of the blessed Jesus.” Mr. II. Mr. Coleman.
Grove replied, " That Thomas à Kempis had
said the same:" To which I replied, Do you I come now to Coleman, of whom I can say consider of it, and act accordingly for you very little, because he had an arrogant opinion must not hazard your soul's eternal welfare by of his own abilities; and out of an hope to be any presumptious mixing of your own good canonized for a saint, despised and rejected works with Christ's infinite satisfaction and any assistance from me, either by discourse or merits. For the Apostle St. Paul saith, “ Jf prayer. I offered him both on the next day justification be of works, it is altogether of after the sentence of death passed upon him; works; but if of free grace, it is altogether of but he returned me this answer (by the mes grace." senger I sent to him, to know if he would ad- So I took leave of Mr. Grove, desiring him nic me) “ That he had but a very short time to consider well of what I had said, praying to prepare himself for death, and would not be that the Lord would in much mercy look upon hindered in the loss of any part of it;" thanking his soul to pardon him, and fit him for his apme for my offer of visiting him, but desired me proaching death. Mr. Grove seemed to take to forbear. I put a fair construction on the in good part what was said to him. After message brought me at the first, thiuking be which, he was conducted down to the sledge. might be very busy at that time, about some
IV. Mr. IRELAND, extraordinary emergency, or indisposed to be visited; and therefore told the messenger, that
Mr. Ireland was executed on the same day I would attend on him on some other fit time with Mr. Grove, to whom I had not time to The officer told me, that Mr. Coleman would say more than these few words; viz. Sir, I do never admit me; and he inferred it from his man- earnesily beg of God to grant you mercy and ner of speaking that message which be sent by pardon for your great sins. Trust alone in the him; he observed his countenance and gestures righteousness and merits of Christ Jesus : comin the delivery of it. So I totally desisted. pose yourself in your passage, and fix your Yet when be was brought down from his heart upon the Lord, till you expire. Which chamber in the Press-yard-side, to go to the words Mr. Ireland seemed to take kindly from sledge, I stayed him a little, saying, Mr. Cole- me: and so we took leave of each otber. man, you did not think well of admitting me, Here I cannot forbear to give some account yet know, I have earnestly prayed that God of Mr. Ireland's perverting of a woman who would give you true and great repentance for was burnt in Smithfield for clipping his majesyour great crimes, stand not out in your deny- ty's coin. This seduction of the said woman ing of them. Some other words I used, to from the Protestant Religion, was before Mr. which he replied in short and quick tone, Ireland was apprehended for the late conspi“Thank you, thank you.” As I moved nearer racy. An officer in Newgate did assure me, with him towards the gate, he said, “Sir, I when Ireland was committed for the plot, that must beg your pardon." It being a strange word he was able to take his oath, that Ireland perto drop from him, I asked him for what? He verted that woman some time before; for he replied, “ That I did not admit you; but truly, well knew hiin upon a second review, but knew it was not in any contempt of your office; but him not to be a Papist or priest at first; for when you sent to me, I was under some per be was admitted to her as friend. Ireland's plexed thoughts; and for other considerations, stratagem in turning the woman to become a thought it not conveoient." Then I told him, Papist, was thus discovered. Early on the that I would pray for him as a dying man, morning on which she was executed, I asked which he took well, and so we parted.
her, what hope she had of a future happy state? III, Mr. Grove.
she huffed at me, telling me, “ I need not trou
ble myelf about her, for she was sure of her sala Mr. Grove tvas executed on Friday the 24th vation.” I wondered at her confidence, but of January, 1678. I spake to him in the cha- suspected not the grounds of her malapertness. pel these words (before he was carried down After I had exhorted and prayed with her at the stone-stairs unto the sledge :) Sir, I ear- the place of execution, and was taking my farenestly desire you, now that you are going to well of her; she entreated me to give her some appear at the tribunal of Christ, that you time to pray for herself, which she did : in her
prayer she mixed these words, “ Lord grant, At last, being convinced of her error, sbe that the offering up of my body to the flames was willing to retract it: but I told her, that may expiate the guilt of all my sins, and save what she did, she must do willingly, and from a my soul.” I told her, when she had finished sincere penitent frame of beart. She said, her prayer, that the foresaid expression smelt" She coold and would freely (out of conviction rank of Popery; and therefore asked what Re- of her duty) renounce all Romish opinions and ligion she came to die in? She replied," she practices;" which she did openly, with an auwas a Roman Catholic.” I asked her, how long dible voice; affirming, That she died a true she had been such? She said, “ that a good Protestant. So I took her by the hand, and minister had told her, that if she died in the prayed again with her, that God would pardon Protestant Religion, she was sure to be her former levity, and give her perseverance in damned." And that he proved it by this scrip- the true faith, which she had so solemnly reture, “ Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will imbraced. I build my church." So that, he assured her, This was the first discovery of proselyting that the religion of the Romish Bishop, who condenined malefactors' at Newgate: to prewas St. Peter's Successor, was the Rock there vent which seduction, captain Richardson, since meant; and so there was no salvation to those this came to bis knowledge, is very watchful, who are separatists from that church, and the and gives all his officers a charge to suffer none profession of it. I told her, that the priest had to come to coudemned persons, but only such deceived her. For the Rock was not St. Peter's whom they know to be Protestant-Divines; person, nor is verbal confession of Christ ; for and that always, an officer be present to hear if so, where was the rock, and, what became of what passes in discourse. the Church, when St. Peter so shamefully de
V. Mr. PICKERING. nied his Lord tlırice? But the only true Rock on which the Church is built, is the very person,
I had discourse with him before his execuoffices and merits of Christ, the son of God, tion; but he would not permit me to pray with who was the object of St. Peter's Confession. bim, only desired my prayers at home for him; She was attentive to what I said, and seemed which I promised bim, and be thanked me. I somewhat sensible of her being deceived. was present at his execution, because he was Saying, “ She was willing to be saved betwixt hanged after three other ordinary malefactors. us both.” But I told her, she must not halt be- When he caine out of the sledge into the cart, twixt two religions, so opposite to each other; he had a great flushing in his face; I appreand that it was very dangerous to die in the bended by his words and gesture, that be had Roman persuasion. She told me, "She could elevated his artificial courage; or rather sunk not renounce it, in as much as the said priest himself into a sullenness, loy taking cordial spihad obliged her by the blessed sacrament, that rits: for he was unconcerned at the approach she should never recant or depart from the of his own death, and no way affected with his Popish Religion, as the best and safest to die monstrous crime. With an impudent face, a in.” I convinced her with arguments to the lying tongue, and antic carriage, he denied contrary; yea, she herself was not credulous of what he was condemned for, and asserted his their absurd affirming of the transubstantiation innocency. He was reproved by the sheriffs, of the sacramental bread and wine, into the very for such'impudent lying; having had a fair borly and blood of Christ: for she said, “She trial, and found guilty of the whole indictment neither tasted any filesh or blood.” She also charged upon him: yet so seared are the condeclared, “That she had no good works of her sciences of these grand traitors, and enemies own, which she durst trust to, as meritorious of to all order, and well-established government, as heaven; but relied wholly and solely on Christ's well as the true and pure religion, that they Righteousness.” Whereupon I told her, she will hazard the eternal loss of their souls, as to denied the grand points of Popery; and there- a future happy slate, rather than declare any fore, was a Papist to get a pretended absolution remorse for their abominable designs and prac. or upon some design. But, fearing to die in tices. Yea, they stick not to justify themselves, che Řomish opinions, she asked me, “ If she as if perjury could change the beinous nature should not be perjured, if sbe renounced them, of treason, and wash it into a perfect innocencs. having taken the sacrament, to persist in them?" Sir Richard How told Pickering, that he I told her, that she must not cleave to an un
should have a considerable time to prepare for lawful wicked oath; but beg, repentance of his instant death, if he would improve it well, God, that she so easily suffered herself to be se. and not misspend it in extravagant, and false duced. I told her, that the Lord saith by the pretences. He likewise called unto him, to put prophet, " That an oath must be taken in him in mind of praying for himself; alledging, truth, righteousness, and judgment."
that it was reported, that he was a priest, thereNow, she did not, neither could swear in fore he ought to be able to pray, in expressions, truth, because it was to a false religion ; nor and with affections suitable to his preseot disin judgment, in wisdom and discretion, because tress: Yet Pickering neither warned the people, she swore rashly and inconsiderately: therefore, to take heed of an ill life, por confessed any sin this oath was void in its owo nature; and it to God, of which himself was guilty; but with could not bind her, the matter of it being a kind of rude smiling, denied himself to be a unlawful and wicked.
priest but only a religious brother, Sir Richard asked him, if he were ashamed of his religion, or with their fury. The narrative is in print, and that the people sbould hear hiin pray? For too tedious to relate. Therefore in sum, as to some of his fraternity, executed before, only Green's part, who acted in that bloody tragedy, muttered a few private Ave-maryes, or other it was proved upon oath, that be strangled sir Popish prayers, to themselves. Then Picker- Edmund; and farther acted, in conveying his ing repeated the Lord's-Prayer, and the Aposto- dead body to the place where it was afterwards lical-Creed ; and said no more as to any reli- found. Green being condemned to be hanged gious concernments. Then the ordinary, being for this barbarous murder, I proferred myself in the cart with him, exhorted him to express (as Ordinary) to visit, and fit him for his apbimself more fully and pathetically in prayer, preaching death. He accepted of it, and I suitable to the distress of a dying man, which went to him several days, to make him sensihe refused to do. Then I asked him, that I ble of so great a crime.' He stiffy denyed it, as might pray for him, because he might be un- also did Hill and Berry to the last. "I urged composed or indisposed himself: But he said, Green with various arguments, to adore the sothat he did not matter it; he had rather Ivereignty of divine providence, which had thus should let it alone. So after a strange, unbecom- wonderfully brought to light such a secret mysing, stupid, and sullen behaviour of himself, tery of iniquity, bardly to be parallelled, in any when he desired no longer time, his face was age. Yet Green was very obstinate, in standvailed, and he was turned off : be hung about ing out to deny, that he knew any thing of this half an hour, and then was cut down and quar- murder more or less, which I told him protered.
ceeded from some or all of these reasons folVI. Mr, GREEN.
lowing ; either because he bad taken an oath of
secrecy, or counted it no sin, but rather a meGreen was one of the murderers of sir Ed- ritorious act, to destroy such a grand heretic as mondbury Godfrey. He was born in Ireland of a sir Edmund was accounted. Or had receivprotestant father, (as himself said) but his mother ed a popish absolution from the guilt of that being a papist and his father dying, she com- murder, and so looked upon himself as innocent mitted the son to his uncle (her brother) for as the child unborn. Or would not confess education, in the popish religion. Green could that horrid crimne, to decline casting a great neither read nor write, yet his uncle had so reproach upon the popish party. Yet however, trained him up in the popish principles, that I did not cease for many days to exhort hiin he was a fitter subject (when grown up) for po- to unburthen his conscience of this particular pish priests to work upon, and make him an guilt. I aggravated in many particulars, the engine for their destructive practices. This beinousness of the sin of murder, especially of appeared by their inveigling of him into the this, committed with such perfidious and cruel borrid murder of the said sir Ediuund: Green circumstances. Yet no arguments prevailed had some tiine before been preferred to be cha- with bim to acknowledge it. pel-keeper at Somerset-house. Hereupon the I found him ignorant in the principles of the chief concrivers of that maurder, took their op- christian faith ; therefore I took the more pains portunity to draw him in, to be an actor in that to inform him of the danger of dying in the bloody tragedy. Green was very ready at Romish persuasion, which is grossly opposite, band for that purpose, and was the easier in- by the mixture of many absurd traditions, to duced thereunto, because sir Edmund being the saving fundamentals of christianity. He one of his majesty's justices of the peace, was said, that he did not believe many points of very active iu discovering and cominitting po- popery ; viz. The power of priestly absolution pish priests to custody : his life was laid wait nor the merits of good works to claim salvation for several times, not only for the reason afore- by: Nor that it was lawful to pray to any saint said, but chiefly because he had taken some orangel : And that no sin was venial in its own examinations upon oaib, concerning the late nature, though it were never so small. I much horrid popish conspiracy, which they thought wondered, that he should say, he believed not (if sir Edmund were killed) would be lost, or any of these popish points ; and yet, that he not so valid in their credibility. But in this should wear a crucifix at his girdle. I desired they were infatuated, for the murder of this him, not to put any religion in looking on it, worthy patriot confirmed the belief of the plot. nor in kissing of it. He said he put no confia The manner of contriving sir Edmund's death dence of salvation in it; only, It was a remem. was thus. As be passed by Somerset-house, brance of his blessed Saviour. I told him, he was importuned by some of the complices that Cbrist had left no such, nor any other mea in the murdering of him, to turn in at the gate, morials of himself, but only in the scriptures of under pretence that there was a fray within sacred truth, and in the sacramients : That it is the court; and that he being a justice of the the office of the holy spirit, to bring every truth peace, might (as he was bound) do a great good necessary for salvation, to our remembrance : office in appeasing the scuffle. Sir Edmund And that Christ, his offices and merits, were went, in not mistrusting their design on him: only to be believed in; and were sufficient to But these cruel enemies to the Protestant re- put us in mind of our duty, and to quicken holy ligion, had no sooner got him into the back affections in us. part of Somerset-bouse, but they jostled him I said moreover, That it was a more refined into a private room, and there set upon bim piece of idolatry, to conceive otherwise of God VOL. VII.