Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

no dread of death can disturb. If it were not for you and our dear babes, I could cheerfully quit à world which abounds with evil; but the infamy and misery whch my crimes have entailed upon you make me unhappy." " " But you know, my dear husband, we have an ample provision made for our support, and though some may frown, yet others will pity us, and we will cherish the hope of meeting you in a better world, where in each others' society we may enjoy uninterrupted felicity.” “I have thought,” he said, “of seeing my babes before I finally leave them, but my purpose is changed, as I now wish to keep my mind entirely disengaged from every circumstance which may tend to agitate it. You will, I have no doubt prove a kind and affectionate mother, but let me beseech you not to suffer your maternal affection to overcome the dictates of your enlightened judgment. Endeavour to make them happy, but never let them have too much money, as it is to that 1 attribute all my misfortunes. Train them up in the fear of God; teach them to reverence the Scriptures, and to keep holy the Sabbath-day; and when they know the fate of their unhappy father, employ it as a powerful argument to deter them from associating with men of depraved principles.”

We knelt down and prayed. It was a solemn service. Many tears were shed. We arose to part, but neither the pen nor the pencil, however directed by talent, an describe this affecting scene. They stood near each other for some time in profound silence, as they hoth knew that they should never meet again on earth, though neither of them had fortitude enough to allude to it. At length he said, “When, my dear, do you go into the country?” “To-morrow," she replied, attempting to suppress the sigh that heaved her grief-worn bosom, but she could not succeed-she burst into a flood of tears which gave her relief. They embraced each othertook another and another parting kiss-moved away, and again returned, for another--and yet another embrace; till, mutually strengthened by the power of the Almighty, they shook hands with an averted face-uttered the final farewell-turned round and embraced

each other once more—and separated in silence. 1. On the morning of the execution Mr. Phillips was

removed from his sleeping apartment a little before six o'clock into the large room, where he had the melancholy pleasure of seeing his old friend, Mr. Llewellin... He took him by the hand, and said, " My departure is at hand." And I hope, Sir," Mr. Llewellin replied, "you can add, I am ready to be offered up." "“I hope, Sir, I can; but it behoves me to speak with caution. You know what a sinner I have been; but as God can be just even while he saves the unrighteous, I do not despair.” After some further conversation we sang the fifty-first Psalm ; and when singing the last verse he closed his eyes, and sung with a plaintive melody of voice which surpassed any sounds I had ever heard.

:-* Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,

Whose hope, still hovering round thy word,
Would light on some sweet promise there,

Some sure support against despair.”
About half past seven the Ordinary of the prison
administered the sacrament, which he received with
deep solemnity of manner; and as soon as he arose the
sheriffs and their attendants entered the room, and pro-
ceeded to bind their victim. He stood firm; and
though, when first touched by the minister of death, his
face turned pale, yet it soon regained its fine healthful
complexion, and he appeared composed. When this
painful part of the ceremony was completed, the solemn
procession began to move through the avenues of the
gloomy mansion-the bell commenced tolling—and the
Ordinary read part of the burial service ;—“I am the
resurrection and the life, saith the Lord,” &c. He ascended
the scaffold, and looked round on the immense multitude,
that were assembled to see him expire, heaving an involun-
tary sigh. No voice was heard—no head was covered-no
countenance wore a smile. “1 die, Sir," he said, 'ad-
dressing me, '“ depending on the atonement of Jesus
Christ for eternal life; and I hope, that He who took the
crucified malefactor from the cross to paradise, will per-
mit me to ascend from this platform of ignominy into his
gracious presence. Every thing being adjusted, the
fatal bolt was drawn, and he was launched into eternity:
When he fell the multitude turned away from the sight,
to shed the tear of pity, and condemn the severity of
that law which makes no distinction, in its infliction of

punishment, between the man who defrauds another of his property, and the cold-blooded assassin who reeks his

dagger in the warm blood of his brother's life. 1. Thus terminated the career of John Phillips, in the thirty-third year of his age. . A young man of a fine and beautiful figure-endowed with a superior minddescended from respectable parents, who left him a large fortune-blest with an amiable and intelligent wife, and four lovely children—but, having been corrupted by the pernicious reading of the age, and seduced from the path of virtue by the wicked spirits who move about seeking whom they can destroy, he burst through every obligation to a virtuous and religious life, till at length the terrors of an untimely death fell upon him. What a warning does his history give to the young, to avoid the snares which are laid for their destruction! As these numbers may fall into the hands of some who have been enticed, by the persuasion and example of others, to scenes of gaiety and dissipation, let me beseech you to forsake their society-retrace your steps--and once more return to the order and purity of domestic life. If you venture to walk in a course of sin, you will advance in crime; and though, at the present hour, nothing may be further from your intention than violating those laws which may place your life in jeopardy, yet, when evil habits are formed, you may, like others, become so hardened in sin, as to treat with fearless levity the tremendous consequences to which you may, in an unguarded moment, expose yourself. Throw away the unhallowed volume which is imperceptibly working a moral death to all your religious principles and impressions ; tear yourself away from the alluring scene which is carrying on, unfelt, a process of moral corruption; and abandon the company of those who are the swift mes sengers of destruction ; lest the evil day should come upon you, when either poverty, or reproach, or imprisonment, or an untimely grave may be the just reward of your deeds.

Printed by MILNE and BANFIBLD, 75, Fleet street.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed]

“She was the mother of children to her husband, and they lived together in a comfortable way. The woman declared herself unwilling to sacrifice her own honour, and her husband's happiness; but the orders of the overseer were to be obeyed, and she was obliged to live with him.” Page 3.

London: P'RINTED FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, 10, STATIONERS'.

· COURT, AND AVE-MARIA LANE,

ON NEGRO SLAVERY.

PART II.

A Briton to compare the state of a West Indian slave with that of an English freeman, and to give the former the preference! It is to imply an utter insensibility of the native feelings and moral dignity of man, no less than of the rights of Englishmen!! I will not condescend to argue this ques. tion, as I might, on the ground of comparative feeding, and clothing, and lodging, and medical attendance. Are these the only claims? are these the chief privileges of a rational and immortal being? Is the consciousness of personal indepen. dence nothing ? Are self-possession and self-government nothing? Is it of no account, that our persons are inviolate by any private authority, and that the whip is placed only in the hands of the public executioner? Is it of no value, that we have the power of pursuing the occupation, and the habits of life which we prefer? that we have the prospect, or at least the hope, of improving our condition, and of rising, as we have seen others rise, from poverty and obscurity, to comfort, and opulence, and distinction ? Again; are all the charities of the heart, which arise out of the domestic relations, to be considered as nothing and I may add, all their security too, among men who are free agents, and not vendible chattels, liable continually to be torn from their dearest connections, and sent into a perpetual exile? Are husband and wife, parent and child, terms of no meaning ?" . Wilberforce.

Mr. Foster. "I do not hesitate to confess, Sir, that a state of slavery, is a state of personal degradation, and that those who are reduced to it must be exposed to various hardships and sufferings; but at the same time it is my decided opinion, that the descriptions which have been given us of the cruelties and atrocities committed in the West Indies are very much exaggerated. The slaves are sometimes whipped and imprisoned; but are not Englishmen? and if, on some occasions, they do not obtain that redress in a court of law to which impartial justice would consider them entitled, yet have we never condemned the laws of our own country, as not affording us that protection from insult, and even oppression, which we have sought for? But, Sir, is it fair to select solitary instances of cruelty and of crime, and hold them up to the public eye as specimens of the treatment to which all our slave population are exposed ?" .

« AnteriorContinuar »