Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

render attractive. The dreadful murder of Mr. Weare, in Hertfordshire, has excited so strong a sensation throughout the country, has filled so many newspapers, and has been the subject of so much conversation, that an account of it would scarcely be new to any of our readers. So much indeed has been said, that the prisoners appear to be already convicted, and condemned, in the public mind, even before the day of trial has come on.--As to the particulars of the fact, we shall only state, in few words, the newspaper accounts of it.

« On Friday, October 24th. a murder was committed at a place about six miles from Watford, in Hertfordshire, which, from its horrible circumstances, has' pnt the whole county in a state of the most painful agitation. There is every reason to think that the perpetrators of it, will be discovered, and prove the truth of the poets words'

-Murder though it hath no tongue, “ Doth speak with most miraculous organ.” It appears that a Mr. Philip Smith, on passing the road on the Friday night, heard the report of a pistol, which seemed to proceed from Gills Hill Lane; soon after this, be heard a person groaning. The same night, a man named Freeman, saw a gig, in which were two men, driving towards the lane, at a very rapid pace, the horse appearing very much out of wind. On the following morning, some labourers saw two men in the same lane, apparently searching for something under the hedge. One of these labourers found a pistol and a knife, both bloody. Two men were presently taken into custody on suspicion, their names were John Thurtell, and Joseph Hunt. Soon afterwards, a Mr. Probert, who occupied a cottage near the lane was taken. It appears

that Hunt and Thurtell were in the habit of visiting Probert at his cottage, and that they were there on the very night of the murder, and on the following day. Mrs. Probert, and her sister Miss

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Noyes, are also in custody, and the public is in
anxious suspence to know the result of the trial at
the Winter assizes, on the 4th of December. From
the confession of Hant, it appeared, that the body
had been thrown into a pond close by Probert's cot,
tage, and that it had been afterwards removed to
another pond, in which second pond search was
accordingly made, and the body was actually found.
Hunt declares that John Thurtle committed the
murder; whether this be true or not, must remain
to be proved at the trial."
.. Now, we have not given this account from any
expectation that it was likely to be agreeable to our
readers, but for the sake of leading them to those
considerations which must so forcibly rise up in the
minds of all persons who will give themselves time
1o reflect upon it.

It is not against the crime of murder alone that this account leads us to watch, for the very mention of the word murder, seems to strike us at once with such horror, that we can hardly feel as if it were possible for us even to be led to so dreadful a crime. But there is one circumstance which no one who reads the daily newspapers can help remarking, that, whenever any great crime is committed, and the circumstances inquired into, the profligate habits of the criminals, their general way of living, the company they keep, the places they frequent, the manner of spending their time, the general turn of their conversation, and the usual state of their minds, all seem to shew such an union and connection of wickedness and crime, as to fill the mind of every thinking man with the most awful and serious 'reflections. When a man has po principle of religion within him, none of the guiding of God's good Spirit, he is left to his own wicked inclinations; and one sin is added to another, till every crime, to which a man is tempted, is perpetrated without hesitation or fear.

Now, in such men, there has generally been a total neglect of religious education, and of all religious observances. Frequently this part of education has been neglected by their parents, from being themselves wholly uninfluenced by the religion of Christ, or if not so, at least of not being duly sensible that this is the one thing which, of all others, most deserves their care. But if these persons, in their youth, have had the advantage of Christian instruction, they have neglected and despised it, so that it has no power over them, and they are, in truth, as though they had it not; they bave never gone on in habits of Christian worship, and have joined in no society with religious and good people. These then, are the great things of which we ought to see the immense necessity ? an early CHRISTIAN BDUCATION, and the society of DÉVOUT CHRISTIANS.

It appears that the unhappy man, who lost bis life, was in the habit of GAMBLING, and that he frequented many of the wretched gaming houses in London, and that the men who are committed on suspicion of the murder, were likewise gamblers, and that they were all acquainted with each other!! The covetous thirst for



possesses the gamester, leads to every crime. Gambling is itself a horrible desire to live by the misery of others !! One man's success arises from the misfortunes of another, and this is a state in which no good man could, for a moment, wish to live. Then, if a man loses, such are the desperate ventures to which he is led; such are the vile passions which are stirred up in his mind, and such the misery which torments him, that he is generally led to a miserable attempt to drown his cares in debauchery and drunkenness, if not to the more horrible resource of self-destruction. And this is not done all at once; gambling is á vice which comes on by degrees! When a man begins by playing for a trifle, he little knows how his mind gets filled with a desire of more, till, at last, he knows not how, or where, to stop. Stop thén AT THE BEGINNING, never

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

gamble at all! I never see even a set of boys, tossing up their half-pence in the streets, without thinking that this may be the first step to their ruin! and, when I observe a pack of cards in a servants hall, or a kitchen, I seem to see the same beginning of wretchedness and sorrow!

Then, think of the language which these men use! Fierce and violent threats, horrible oaths and curses, filthy and profane jests and songs,-all these are in constant use among them, and accompany them, whether they are mixing together in their miserable society, or actually perpetrating their dreadful crimes. When such is the language of such men, how ought every other sort of man to see that it does not belong to him, and to see that the difference of the language of a Christian man be strongly and decidedly marked.

There is one habit which generally belongs to a good man,-a habit, I mean, of staying at home, and seeking his own happiness in bis own family. Now, none of the criminals whose wretched habits thé daily papers acquaint us with, ever have this habit. They are always out; every thing is to be done at the alehouse. When once a man has got the habit of going to the alehouse, all that is good is commonly at an end with him. If a man has any good about him, the conversation he meets with there will presently destroy it all. · It is a grievous thing that houses should exist, where men meet to contrive the ruin of others,—and where they generally find their own. In London, and its neighbourhood, the state of the public houses is truly appalling. It is needless to attempt to prove this; let any one look at the facts which have come out in the enquiry into Mr. Weare's murder, and he will see the sort of things that are going on in these ale-houses !-And, not long since, when a robbery was committed at Clapham, and a poor lady murdered, one of the robbers bad, some evenings before, asked a friend to go to the alehouse, where, he said, they should easily find somebody to help them. Now, these public-houses were intended for the public accommodation, and might be so, and ought to be so. The laws for their regu. lations are good and sufficient; but how grievously is the execution of them neglected ! Let every young man think a very long time before he trusts himself into an ALE-HOUSE!

We could fill a volume with the reflections which naturally arise from this subject; but we must restrain ourselves. Let us think how dreadfully all sins are connected together, and let this thought lead us to make it our earnest desire to fly from all sin, and to fly from its very first approaches. And let us seek for God's heavenly spirit to guide and keep us, that we may be led to all that is right, and that we may be kept from all that is wrong! That help is sufficient for us, and that alone can avail. Let us look to the instructions of our holy religion, the Christian's guide, - and let us watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation, earnestly seeking to walk in every good way, and trusting to the gracious promises of our Lord himself to support us, as long as we are aiming at those things which be commands. V.

TO CORRESPONDENTS. We have received the Communications of T. B. P., V, W. I., A Widow, J. S. K. Devon, J. P., L. F., M., N. L. H., M. N., and A. W.

In page 505 of our last Number, the Printer omitted a line of division to separate the books on the Bartlett's Build. ings list from the rest. This should have been after Mrs. Trimmer's works.

In mentioning the list of the “Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge,” in page 523, we were referring to the permanent list of the Society. If, we had, at the time, recolJected the temporary anti-infidel list, we should not have made the remark which M. N. alludes to. We made it, however, hesitatingly, not having the list at hand at the moment.

How often good and sensible men differ, as to the means of accomplishing the same objcct! How completely opposite the opinions of M. N. and A. W.

« AnteriorContinuar »