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Mr. Lovegood. -As soon as Mr. Lovely, Henry, and I were conducted into the cell by the gaoler and under sheriff, I gave each of them my hand, called them my fellow-sinners, and begged them to pray for mercy; they both of them accepted it, and wept plentifully, while Sam Blood, as usual, retired to a corner of the cell with his priest.
C. Whittingham, College House, Chiswick.
wound under a sense of the evil of sin, which none but Christ can heal.
Hen. Sir, you spoke with so much affection and tenderness, that it was enough to draw tears out of a flint ; for all the poor prisoners, and especially the gaoler's wife, were so overcome, that there was nothing but sighing and sobbing throughout the room, while you were enforcing Christ's ability, to save to the uttermost. And as to Mr. Lovely, dear creature- [Here Henry could scarcely proceed.]
Wor. Mr. Henry, if you can't continue the story, let Mr. Lovegood try and tell the rest of it.
Loveg. Sir, I next drew a parable for these poor criminals :- I asked them, that if a hope could exist, that some kind friend, unknown, unsolicited by them, should out of the mere good will of his affectionate mind, have taken up their ruined cause, and sought their pardon, and obtained it, would they not love such a friend ? Frolic immediately cried—“Love him ! how could they do otherwise !" Then, said I, remember the grace
and mercy of God our Saviour, who came down from his Father's glory, purchased our pardon at the expence of his most precious blood, when we were sinking into ruin, and sentenced to everlasting death ; ought you not to love such a friend as this, and to commit your ruined souls into such a dear Redeemer's hands? Poor Frolic immediately addressed young Sparkish :-" Though it is now too late to expect such a friend on earth, yet may two such most miserable sinners, find out a friend in Christ, or else within less than three hours longer, we shall be ruined souls to all eternity !" I then looked at them both and said, What then are you both sure that your lives cannot be saved ? and that no such friend has interfered to obtain a pardon for you, however desperate your state may appear? Immediately they caught my eye, and cried, “What, is it possible ! can there be a hope!” The eager and affectionate Mr. Lovely cried, “Oh! tell them-tell them there is a hope !"
Mrs. Wor. Oh! what an affecting scene this must have been !
Loveg. Madam, it was impossible that any thing could have been more affecting : they were both so overcome with such astonishment and surprise, that they fell down upon their knees, as though they had been iron. Immediately we took the opportunity to kneel down with them, and prayed that their spared lives, though deservedly forfeited, yet now mercifully spared, might be dedicated to God's future praise and glory.
Mrs. Wor. Oh! how delightful that dear man, Mr. Lovely, must have been in their sight! by whose kind interposition, their lives were spared, especially at that very moment when they had given up all for lost.
Lovey. After prayer, madam, the Sheriff shewed them the respite, and I pointed them to Mr. Lovely, and said, There stands that most tender-hearted, though unknown friend of yours, by whose merciful solicitations your lives are spared, just as you were going to be led as victims of justice to the place of execution. Their eyes were immediately fixed upon him : they stood for a while motionless, like statues, till tears of gratitude began to run down their cheeks, intermixed with several broken expressions, arising from the most grateful sensations of their hearts; while dear Mr. Lovely was quite as much affected as the prisoners themselves. Just then Mrs. Sparkish knocked at the door, and would rather abruptly enter the room, that she might congratulate her son on this, not less merciful, than unexpected event. She flew directly to him, embraced him, and cried, “O my child !" they wept together for a considerable time. In short, we were all so affected, that immediately a very impressive silence took place.
Wor. No wonder that you were all so exceedingly overcome.--How could you proceed ?
Loveg. Sir, at length I mustered together all the spirits I had left, and gave them a short exhortation on the evil tendency of a corrupted heart, and its horrid effects, unrestrained by grace: cautioning them, lest the same vicious principle should, after a while, prompt them to a similar practice to their eternal ruin, both of body and soul.
After this the keeper requested of me, that I would give an address to the rest of the prisoners, and while I was about to offer up another prayer, the under sheriff, with great civility, said, “Sir, I am sorry to interrupt you, but according to my office, it is necessary that I should be punctual to the time.” And directly the executioner was ordered to proceed. Sam Blood, at that tíme, was walking about with his priest, perfectly inattentive to all that passed with us, muttering their prayers, and crossing themselves after their superstitious customs; even while we were at prayer, they would behavewith equal inattention and disrespect. And when the sheriff came to address the priest, telling him that the time was now come, he said, “Sir, Mr. Blood is now perfectly prepared for death, according to the rules of the Catholic Church ;" and while the executioner was taking the cord to bind his arms and hands together, the under sheriff caught the opportunity to say to him, " that he hoped he confessed that his sentence was just;" he abruptly answered, “I have confessed all I shall confess, to the priest, and that is enough ;” and when he further said, “I hope you are a true penitent for all your past offences !" his answer was, “I have done penance, according to the rules of the only true church, and am determined to die in that faith. If I had turned heretic, I suppose I should have been pardoned as well as the rest."