網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

as far as Hounsl w Heath, taking Care not to arrive there sili it was dark ;, then driving a little out of the Road, pulls her down, and fattens a Rope about her. Neck, and round the Chaise, and so purcing the Horse on, dragged her in that Manner, about a Hundred Yards, and afterwards inhumanly, cut hérThroat, and there left her.

. He then fancied himself safe from any Fear of a Discovery, but to his great Sorrow and Terror, foon found otherwise : The poor Woman, who had a fecrer foreboding of Mischief, having told some of her Acquaintance, that she was to go into the Couns, . try with her Husband to a Service, and having never been seen afterwards, till the was found mangled upon the Heath: In short, it fully appearing by ma, ny concurring Circumft:nces, that he was the Mur. derer, he was delervedly condemned, but escaped Hanging, by 'dying in Nervgats, a little before the Day of Exccution.

• What was remarkable in this Afir, was, that before his Death, he not only confessed his Guilt, as to this Particular, but also that he had poisoned two Children he had by his Wife; and t is he had done with a view to his marrying another Woman, who lived in the same Family with him, after ham ving dispatched that poor Creature, had not the Jure fice of Heaven overtaken him. But this was not all : there was likewise great Reason to believe, chat his Wife had been privy to, and consenting to the Death of the Children, with Design to save Char. ges, the having been so far prevailed on hy her wicked Husband, as to take forcing Medicines, when pregnant, in order to procure an Abortion ; besides, it was almost impoflible the Children fhould be poisoned, and she not know it. This be ing the Case, it was no Wonder the Hand of Pro. vidence should pursue her, and should not only first permit that very Husband, to please whom he had

con

conlenged to such execrable Crimes, to be the In ftrument of irs Vengeance upon her, but then bring him also to condign Punishment on that very Account.

But, though we think the Interpofition of Hea: ven very visible on this Occasion, we cannot help being of Opinion (however others may differ from us) that it was rather more evident in the Calc of the ever-memorable Captain Porteaus. This unhappy Man, whom we cannot help believing guil. ty, nor only of one, but of many barbarous and premeditated Murders, and who was accordingly condemned for the same by the Laws of his Country, was nevertheless so strongly supported, and the Affair lo favourably reprele ited by some very great Perlo:18, (who were undo'sbredly unwilling to Jose so useful a Tool of Power) that the late ex. cellent Queen, who was then left Guardian of the Realm, in the Absence of her Royal Consort, and who, no doubt, would have been the laft Person Hiving to parronize or protect a deliberate Murderer, was prevailed on to grant him a Reprieve for fix Wecks. This being presumed to be in order to his being pardoned, an Association was, formed to prevent the Effects thereof and the Popu. lace taking upon themselves the Adminiftration of Justice, drew him out of Prison, and hanged him in the very Place where he had committed the aforesaid Murders., i

Now, our Reason for imagining the Hand of Providence concerned in the Execution of this Man, is, because the Royal Ear having been preposleffed in his Favour, no other Way remained of doing Justice upon him and notwithftanding at teatt forry or fifty Perfons were engaged in purring him to Death, and several Hundreds, if nor Thoufands, were present thereat ; nay, notwithstanding a considerable Reward, no less than Two Hundred

M4

Poundsy Pounds Sterl. (a Sum which will go as far in Scode land as two Thousand here) was offered for discovering and apprehending any of the Parties concerned, oot one could ever be found out; so inviolably did every one keep Secrely, and so generally were the whole People of Scotland perluaded, that he suffered no more than hc juftly de- , ferred.

Another remarkable Example of late Years, o the Inter position of Providence in the Punishment of the Breach of this Commardment, was in the Case of that' unhappy Genileman, Commander of a Man of War in King's Road at Bristol, who, Suffering the Defire of Revenge to prevail over natural Affeaion, so far gave Way to the Devil, as pre. medirately to contrive the Murder of his own Bro. ther, and cven was a Spe&ator thereof, without any Remorse or Relentings for ro horrid a Crime. And we think there is sufficient Reason to believe, the Hand of Heaven engaged therein, because there was not the least Probability, according to a!l Human Appearance, of his ever being brought to Justice for the same. The bloody Deed was commitred aboard his own Ship, where he had an absolute Power, and even in his own Cabbin, wherein any one who prefumed to enter without bis Permillion, was liable to be severely chastised.

: To dare force into the Room, or to lay hold on the Captain, was an Offence punishable with Death, and any one who endeavoured it, was in great Danger of losing his Life in the Attempt ; two Sailors with drawn Cutlasses standing always at the Door to prevent it : Nay, even the propofing lo to do was highly criminal, and might have subjected che Person to the same Penalty ; so that it was highly hazardous even so much as to mention ir, and without Help it could not be effected. Nohing therefore but the plainch Proof of lo bar

barous

barous a Fax, could have made any one run the Venture of so bold an A&tion ; and this was scarce practicable ço be got, since it was not to be ima. gined, shar, in a place where he was absolure Ma. Her, he would suffer any one to be present, besides the Ruffians who perpetrated the cruel Deed, and himself Providence, however, so ordered Macters, char, not withitanding all these Difficulties, che

Truch was brought to the Light, the cleareft Evi- dence, even ocular Demonstration obtained, and

not only the Captain himself apprehended, but his two Accomplices, who had been sepi alhore, in order to their getting away, were seized before they could make their Escape, and all three detervedly executed.

Neither were the Apprehension of James Hall for the Murder of his Master Mr. Penny, and of Ma. ther Hender fon for that of his Lady, Mrs. Dalryme ple, both of which bloody Deeds were committed by themselves alone, no one eile being privy thereto, less remarkable loftances of the Intera pofirion of Providence to punish the Breach of this Commandment, and bring such barbarous Offenders to Juftice, since both of these uo happy Wretches had fuffi ses it Time ro have made their Escapes : But the Jarter of them especially was so, in a more particular Manner, having been riveited, as it were, and chained down to the Place by the Hind of Heaven, fo chat he had no Power to ftir from thence till ne was secured. And ic is farther observable of this unfortunare Criminal, that, notwithftsad. ing he mide the belt Compensacion he was able for his h'inous Wickedness, by a free Conteffion of his Guilt, and a leeming unfeigned Repeotance, so that we charitably pre ume the best of his presens Stare, yet the Hell he concincally bore about with .him in his owo Bosom, in the Stings of a wounded

Conscience, was foiscolerable, that the moft grie. .yous Punithineat the Malice of Man could devise,

M 5

would

vould be more eligiole, and far less excruciating; the Agonies of the Mind lurpaffing infioitely any Pains that can be inf.cted on the Body

To conclude: No:bing surely can betrer them how little Hope there is of escaping Chafti emenė . for this Sin, and how odious it is in the Sight of GOD, chan what has been affirmed by several Au. thors worthy of Bel et, and not at all given to Su. perftirion, or womunith Credulity; namely, that he has sometimes wrought a Miracle, fuffering the Dead to appear again, a d even to bear Witness in Court for its Discovery, and bringing the Offenders (o Juftice. In effect, though we are very far ourselves froin regarding every idle Tale, and do not believe one Story in a hundred that is cold of Apparitions and Spectres, being firmly perswaded thai choie who depart in Peace are too happy to jeave their bleft Abode on every sim, le Errand, such as to scare Fools and old Women, or to amure the Vugr; and that those who gote contrry Way, are too ftri&tly kept by the De il (who is perhaps the only J ilor that can peisser be corsupied ,or deceive) lo he let loose by him on any idle Occafio ; pofw th!'ap ting this, we say, we wiil not be policive, thar on such Accounts as the Discovery of a horrid Murder, or preventing a fignal Act of Irjustice, chat Providen.e may noi suffor luch Things to h pien, as are otherwise contra'y roth Couf of Nature : At least, we are Ture fuih Calls as the detecling and pinilhing such Vila: ies, or the Pevention of injurious Frauds, and Concea me: is uf aured Trust, to the Ruin of helpless loi.oc nis; are more woi thy the Intervention of an Inighty, beneficent, infinitely juft, and mercitu. Beig, than any of hers for whicn Ghosts a d Spectres have been frequenpa ly foppoled to appear. Pass we on now to the Sem. venth Inju..ciion of the Divine Law.

CHAP

« 上一頁繼續 »