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innocent of the offence imputed to them. This, as Bishop Blomfield remarks, is the greatest practical injustice which • occurs in the execution of our criminal law. Commitment • before trial, except in the case of graver offences, ought • surely never to be resorted to, where the appearance of the • accused to take his trial, can be secured in any other
way. Of the number convicted and sentenced, 13,461 were males, and 2686 females : of whom 1200 were 'sentenced to death, and 57 of these only were executed. Of the number executed, 10 were for burglary, 15 for robbery on the person, 2 for rape, and 10 for murder; 7 for horse stealing and 3 for sheep stealing; the remainder for larceny and other crimes. Of these, not more than a fourth would have suffered, had crimes of violence only been visited with capital punišhment.
The Charge of the Bishop of Lichfield abounds with admirable and truly episcopal advice to his clergy, on various doctrinal as well as practical topics, to which we cannot bere more distinctly advert. Our attention was attracted to it, on account of the bearing of the latter part upon the subject of this article. It is, indeed, most refreshing and delightful, to meet with a Charge occupied with such important matter of public and general interest, and breathing a spirit at once so philanthropic, so liberal, and so apostolic. We cordially recommend it to the perusal of our readers. The Bishop of Lichfield, we need scarcely add, is, as well as his Lordship of London, a vice-president of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline, an institution pre-eminently honourable to the character of our country.
Art. VI. Memoirs and Select Remains of the late Rev. John Cooke.
By George Redford, M.A. 8vo. pp. 623. Price 14s. Lon
don. 1828. WE
E confess that we did not open this volume with expect
ations very highly excited. Mr. Redford, we were quite certain, would not give his time to an unimportant subject, nor send forth an uninteresting or ill-edited book; but we had our misgivings lest even good writing and skilful management might be insufficient in the present case.
We knew but little, nor had we heard much of Mr. Cooke. Many years ago, we had occasionally heard him, and the impression produced had not been such as to remain very strongly fixed on our mind, nor to awaken a high admiration of his eloquence. The work in our hands has, however, convinced us, that we had formed an erroneous estimate, and that he was, morally and mentally, an extraordinary man; a close thinker, a diligent inquirer, an uncompromising Christian, an, exemplary minister, and an, effective preacher. A man may, it is true, be all this, and
yet, neither his life nor his posthumous papers be worth consigning to the custody of a substantial octavo; but, in the present instance, a sound discretion has decided on publication, and Mr. Redford, by a judicious selection of papers from a large mass of adversaria, and by the addition of a singularly interesting and well-composed biography, has compacted one of the most valuable works of the kind, that we have, for a long time past, been called upon to examine. The uncommon energy and determination of Mr. Cooke's character would, of course, sometimes place him in peculiar circumstances; and that character would be better exhibited by a statement of those circumstances, than by a whole chapter of description and dissertation. By this feeling, Mr. R. has evidently been guided; and while he has intermingled so much of discussion as migbt be fairly called for, it has been his main object, to bring out the great features of mind and of moral constitution in strong relief; and this he has effected, if we may be allowed to borrow the language of art, not by flourishes and crosshatchings, but by firm outline and vigorous, yet not overcharged colouring. The memoir before us contains a series of important and impressive facts, admirably told.
The Rev. John Cooke was born in London, December 16, 1760. His family was in good circumstances, and but for the profligacy of his father, there would have been a fair provision for the children: it arose, in fact, solely from the honourable feeling of the subject of this memoir, that a somewhat considerable landed property was not actually resumed by him, since it had been illegally alienated. Circumstances occurred during his infancy, which seem to have had a strong effect on a mind of uncommon intensity and tenacity. In his mother's last illness, and during the access of delirium, she assaulted him violently, and subsequently attempted her own life. Her death left him, in childhood, to the atrocious negligence of a debauched father, and to the careless oversight of an unprincipled hireling. An aunt paid him some attention, but even her imperfect kindness was often frustrated by the brutal folly and ferocity of the intoxicated father.
. During this period, he suffered great distress from the death of a playfellow, for whom he had contracted a strong affection. He says, « The strength of my affection for a playfellow named Crawford, who lived in the house opposite to my uncle's, occasioned thousands of tears, sighs, and pains, for years after I left London. He was ber tween five and six years of age, engaged in play with me and other boys. By some misapprehension of his conduci in taking up his top, VoL, XXX. N.S.
one boy knocked him down, and the others jumped upon him, and forced his breath from his body. At the age of twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty, I feel the pang-my heart aches, and my tears flow, as if I had just lost him."' p. 6.
At length, this state of things changed for the better. A kind farmer, who rented a small estate to which the afflicted child was heir, took him under his charge, and treated him with exquisite tenderness. With this worthy man he remained from the age of seven until he was eighteen; and then, under the influence of a restless state of feeling, not uncommon at that period of life, suffered himself to be enticed from his protection, by the insidious invitations of certain near relatives, who were anxious, by any means, however criminal, to become possessed of his slender patrimony. The scenes which followed, are well described, and the representation is fraught with fearful interest. A desperate attempt was made to en. tangle him in gross and degrading vice. Through this he was carried uninjured, by the force of his mind, and the voice of God heard in the warnings of conscience. He was then left to himself without occupation or prospect; and it is worthy of note, that this period of unwilling indolence, and of treacherous abandonment, was the season of that great and marvellous change which gave character to his future life.
For a time, he was agitated with deep convictions and strong emotions. But it is not in the nature of that which is violent, to be lasting. Time greatly modified his feelings and calmed his fears. In fact, for a short period, his convictions wore off, and it seemed likely that they would produce no permanent effect. But at this critical juncture, some acquaintance led him to a place, which he then thought little better than a madhouse—the Tabernacle in Moorfields. This was the momentous crisis which brought his mind to å stand, and fixed the seal upon his future character. The minister wlio was preaching on that occasion, was Mr. Kinsman of Plymouth; a man whose labours at that period were highly acceptable and useful in the metropolis. The sound of Gospel tidings was quite new. His ears tingled at the strange intelligence, but it was glad tidings,"—it suited his case in all its particulars, and it was proved to be true by the preacher from the Bible, and to his heart, by the Holy Spirit. His joy was great; he embraced the message, and felt alive from the dead. All things had been preparing him to accept the tidings. Old things had been passing away-old confidences old habits--pharisaical and worldly prospects had been failing-and now all things became new. It was a mysterious, but divine hand, which led him, by these short and rapid strides, to the knowledge of the Gospel. Nor was it less mysterious, that the human agent which invited and led hiin to the house of prayer, where he first found the Saviour, should have proved, like most of his other early connexions, a false friend. For this man first gained a place in his regard, and
then borrowed money of him which he never repaid. There is still remaining among Mr. C.'s papers, a note of hand for money lent to this individual, upon which is written in his own laconic, but ex. pressive way, “ This man first led me to the Tabernacle, and then cheated me of my money.
His uncle, the false friend who had deluded him with prospects never nieant to be realized, and who had been appropriating the property of his nephew, at length reached the legitimate termination of a riotous course,-a gaol, where he was siill supported by the generosity of the youth whom he had so foully injured. When, however, Mr. Cooke found that bis bounty was perverted to the worst purposes, to drunkenness and vile companionship, he withdrew it; and the result was, a deposition upon oath, that he was indebted to the uncle to an amount of 2001. Legal proceedings, it does not appear precisely of what kind, were adopted, but terminated in a complete exposure of the villanous scheme. Foiled in this, an attempt was made to fix upon him a charge of robbery; but, after failing in the endeavour to raise money by an appeal to his fears in private, the conspirators seem to have shrunk from the probable consequences of a public investigation. He now shook off the traminels of this mischievous relationship, and his babits of piety brought him into connexion with the Church of Christ. He became assistant in the school of the Rev. T. English, of Wooburn, Bucks; and after some time, engaged acceptably in preaching. His early education appears to have been good, so far as it went; but it had not qualified him for the easy mastery of the learned languages, in which he never attained such proficiency as to enable him to move with facility among their intricacies. For his present situation, and for great usefulness in the ministerial work, he was sufficiently accomplished. Concerning his progress in private devotion and in public engagements, we have from his own papers, what is justly termed by his Biographer, an interesting' document.
«“When I first perceived and felt Christ as my life and my light, I began a new course of action ; not by plan, and easy execution of it, but as a child begins his awkward attempt to walk. I felt that I must pray, and pray as I felt. I kneeled in my closet, and opened my mouth to God: but not having been on speaking terms with him, I could not 'order my speech by reason of darkness.' I uttered a few sentences, repeated them, and was exhausted. The verse of a hymn occurred to me, and I uttered it:
• Take my poor heart just as it is,
Set up therein thy throne;
These lines I repeated in every prayer for six months. My petitions increased in number, with my conviction and the sense of my wants. My praises advanced with the sensibility of my mercies. I soon increased my requests from four to six, and from six to twelve;
but my feelings always exceeded my expressions; and although God accepted my prayers, I was always dissatisfied with them. By reading the scriptures, hearing the word, observing the workings of my own heart, and hearing the prayers of good men, 1 learned my own deficiency, and found enlargement in my addresses to God in secret. The first time I was compelled to pray in a family, my spring was dry in three minutes. I wished to hide myself : but a minister present said, it was a good beginning, and that although I had more grace than gifts, my grace would increase my gifts, if I exercised what gifts I had.' I was called upon at the prayer-meetings, and always was short, until the duty became a delightful privilege to me, and very acceptable to my brethren. I was sent for to the distressed in mind and afflicted in body, and went on · from strength to strength.' Other members, perceiving the progress and acceptableness of my gifts, called on me to expound a few verses of the Scriptures. I yielded to their requests in my best manner, until report brought my minister to hear me at the shutter. One evening he came in, and I was confused. Never mind,' said he, if I have destroyed your self-complacency.' I was then called to preach in small congregations, and very soon in his pulpit. The broad seal of Heaven was annexed to my youthful testimony, in the conversion of six persons, who joined the church; this so endeared me to the church, that they followed me to every place. My peace flowed like a river, and my blessedness like the waves of the sea.' God was my life, and made me the life of the church. I discharged the duty of the deacons in visiting the sick, speaking in the villages, leading the singers, and enlivening the prayer-meetings. My duties were my element; I lived in the region of life and peace."
pp. 34, 35.
For the circumstances which attended his settlement at Maidenhead, we must refer to the memoir itself; as well as for much interesting matter and valuable illustration, connected with his ministry, his marriage, and with that series of afflictive providences which swept away successively wife and children, until he was left alone. Yet, he murmured not against Heaven's hand or will, but persevered in his work, and held on unto the end, trusting in Him who never left nor forsook his faithful servant.
At one period of his life, he became acquainted with the noted William Huntington, who had not at that time made himself so obnoxious as he afterwards became, to the sober and thinking part of the religious public; nor, perhaps, had Mr. Cooke then acquired that soundness of theological institution, wbich afterwards enabled him to combine a firm grasp of the doctrines of grace, with a distinct recognition of the full extent