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The discourses here selected are such as appeared to me most suitable to the condition and circumstances of confinement. We have very few that are immediately addressed to prisoners. Dr. GLASS E's sermon is so well calculated for the instruction of offenders in solitary confinement, that I feel myself much indebted to him for the liberty which he has given me to introduce it into this collection, Mr. BREWSTER had the goodness to compose and publish a small volume of sermons for the use of prisons *. They are plain, affec
* See “Sermons for Prisons, to which are added Prayers for the Use of Prisoners in solitary Confinement,” and also, a small tract “On the Prevention of Crimes, and on the Advantages of solitary Imprisonment,” by John Brewster, A. M. Vicar of Greatham, and Lecturer of Stockton upon Tees. .
tionate, pathetic. He has my sincere thanks for the kind permission which he has given me to make use of them. I trust that he has not wholly relinquished the design which he had once formed of giving to the world another volume. The other sermons which I have selected, though not immediately addressed to criminals, treat upon subjects in which they are nearly interested. I have added The Convict's Address to his unhappy Brethren *. Here is evidently the hand of a master, urging the most powerful and appropriate topics, upon the most serious and solemn occasion. The unhappy man who delivered it, when he gave it for publication, prayed God that, in the hands of the minister, it might frequently and effectually administer to the comfort and instruction of the miserable.
In my researches after exhortations and instructions proper for offenders, I consulted
* See Boswell's Life of Johnson, vol. i. p. 522. octavo edition.
Rossell's Prisoner's Director, published in the year 1742, a multifarious work, but useful, as presenting much matter for selection. His Directions to Criminals of different descriptions are taken, as is also his Preface, but without acknowledgment, from a book entitled, Captivity improved to spiritual Purposes, published in 1675, by E. Cressey, ordinary of Newgate*. They were rèvised by an unfortunate divine during his imprisonment, and republished after his death ; but I do not think them striking or impressive. The sixth chapter containing directions against the influence of evil examples, is taken from A charitable Visit to the Prisons, a book which has much useful matter, published in the year 1725. I mention these books for the information of such as may be desirous to consult authors who have written upon this subject. Nowritings that I have seen are better calculated for the
* This Book is in Sion College Library.
edification of criminals than those of the pious and learned KETTLEWELL. He is justly praised by Nelson for accuracy in the management of his argument, and for his talent in devotional composition *. All his writings upon this subject are in the folio edition of his works and also in a small separate book, published in the
year 1697. I do not know that it wus ever reprinted : it certainly is not to be had in common. His Office and Prayers for Prisoners are in ROSSELL ; but not his Directions to Prisoners in various Situations : these are so judicious, so forcible, familiar, and affectionate, and so well-formed for practical use, that, in the hands of an attentive minister, and in a prison well governed, I think they would be powerful and efficacious.
Prayers for Malefactors are to be found
* The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge have published a very useful devotional book of Kettle. well's, entitled " A Companion for the Penitent.”.