« PreviousContinue »
power of man to turn me out. If there be any truth in the Chris. tian religion, I hold the highest character it can confer on man ; a character not to be changed by any change of sentiment or conduct, the indelible character of Priesthood: and since the Holy Ghost, which I have received, would stand in bar of my hopes as a private gentleman to get a seat in the Holise of Commons, it is my honour, as well as my misfortune, that having been once a Priest, I am a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedeck.
In sober seriousness, Sir, your discourse yesterday evening afforded me unmingled satisfaction. It excited no sentiments but those of admiration of your great talents, and delight at your masterly eloquence. With the consciousness of such great powers, you owe to yourself and to society the duty of bursting forth from the trammels of the pitiful coteries of Reverend idiotcy, which would hold you in its own eternal palsy, and to become what nature has designed you--a clever man. Emerge, Sir, from the dark atmosphere with which you are surrounded, and shine upon the world. Let me entreat, let me beg and adjure you to attend the discussions of the Christian Evidence Society; 1 pledge to you a full bour's attention, respectful, grateful attention of an auditory as candid as truth itself; as open to conviction as the day; as generous as the light. Come as my brother and my friend, in the great cause of truth and righteousness; or come as my reprover and my foe, and suffer me not with inferior powers to lead into error and delusion those whom
transcendant eloquence could reclaim to reason and to God.
I am, with sincere 'respect for your person, and insincere respect for all titles connected with it, claiming no more for my own,
ROBERT TAYLOR. 17, Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn,
17th Feb. 1826.
On Tuesday the 21st Inst., two persons were executed; but this is a matter so common in London, that, unless it be some singular character, no interest is excited beyond the sphere of the friends
and acquaintances of the individuals. An exception has arisen this week, a novel scenè has been exhibited. One of the culprits, Edward Cockerill, on being first sent to Newgate, just before Christmas, was put into the same yard with Richard Hassel and his companions. Cockerill knew nothing of their principles or opinions before meeting them there; but he immediately began to pay attention to them, to read such books as he found there, and to receive instruction from his better informed fellow-prison
He soon got enlightened on the real value of religion, and, doubtless, could his life have been spared, would have become a good moral man. But his crime was of prior date to his instruction and was one of those which are seldom pardoned. The following particulars of his death and prior behaviour a recollected from the newspapers, and the leading features of the statement are alike in all. He declared from the time of his trial, that he would have nothing to do with the priests, nor allow them to have any thing to do with him, saying, that his mind was made up on the subject of religion. In this conclusion, he stood firm, as the following report evinces.
EXECUTION OF COCKERILL AND JONES.
EDWARD COCKERILL, aged 29, was tried and convicted at the last Session of forging and uttering as true various 51. notes of the Bath and Bristol Bank, to different tradespeople, especially amongst Jewellers, in the neighbourhood of Leicester Square. John Jones, aged 22, was convicted of burglary.
Monday afternoon the relatives of the unhappy culprits were permitted to take their final interview; the meeting between the young man Jones and his friends was truly affecting, but not so with Cockerill he received and parted with his wife and family with as much levity as if he had invited them to an entertainment.
Since the condemnation of Cockerill, the Ordinary of Newgate (Dr. Cotton) and Mr.Baker have endeavoured as much as they possibly could to bring him to their religious views; but he peremptorily rejected them and refused to listen to their spiritual advice, though heartily thanking them for their good intentions, and, smiling, said, " he feared nothing." The Governor, Mr. Woptner, was also unremitting in his exhortations to the unhappy man to receive the assistance of Mr. Cotton, but he was obdurate to all his intimations, and repeatedly said, if they studied his happines* they would no more importune him on the subject. He felt per fectly happy and resigned, and that was all he could wish for. In this state he remained up to the moment of the termination of his earthly exist
Cockerill's conduct was of a rare and singular description. After ing through the different passages of the prison towards the room where the prisoners are brought to the Sheriffs, you arrive at a yard immediately contiguous to it. In this yard was Cockerill walking about, smiling and talking with perfect ease and composure to Mr. Barrett the Clerk of the Papers in Newgate. The Sheriffs being in the room, in a few minutes,
Mr. Barrett intimated to bim, that the time was arrived when they must part. With an air of great politeness, Cockerill took him by the hand, repeatedly bowed, and with a niinble step, walked into room, went up to the Sheriffs and shook hands with them in the same manner, without displaying any feeling for his situation, or being impressed with the slightest degree of fear; but on the contrary, firmness and composure of mind, without any thing of the bravado. Had he been about to meet an honourable death, it would indeed have been said of him that he died a hero.
He afterwards approached Mr. Wontner, and, as well as we could hear, he requested to know if the ceremony of Mr. Cotton reading the Funeral Service could be dispensed with ; Mr. Wontner told him it could not.
Cockerill-Is there any necessity for him to go on to the gallows with me ?
Mr. Wontner said that the usual course on these melancholy occasions could not now be deviated from.
The wretched man, again smiling, said, it was of no material consequence, and then moved to the table to be pinioned. When the officers were about to secure his wrists, he said, “ Don't bind me so that I can't open my hands, because I have a gift.” The officers complied, as well as they could, with his request, and after he had been properly bound, be retreated a few paces towards the form on which the culprits usually sit, but, on being desired to sit down by Mr. Wontner, he said, “No, thank you, Sir, I would much rather stand," which he did the whole of the time the unhappy Jones was undergoing the same ceremony, smiling at the dreadful proceedings. All being now ready, Mr. Cotton told Cockerill to permit Jones to walk first to the scaffold, Cockerill replied, “Very well, Sir, wherever you go I'll follow, of course.” The awful procession then moved on, Mr. Cotton attending upon Jones, and Cockerill unattended. On reaching the passage where the bell begins to toll, when the awful sound was heard, Cockerill looked towards the spot whence it came, and walked on. Mr. Cotton read the funeral service, which the wretched man also treated indifferently. On arriving at the lobby leading to the fatal scaffold, Jones walked up first, leaving Cockerill in the lobby. Mr. Baker then implored the unhappy man to peripit him to attend him on the drop in his dying moments. Cockerill, with energy, replied, “ Mr. Baker, I must beg you will not ask me again, I have refused you more than once; now do not ask me any more. I feel thankful for your kindness, and wish you and your family every happiness, but I will not allow you to go on to the gallows with me." Jones having had the rope adjusted about his neck, the signal was made for the attendance of Cockerili, and he walked steadily to the gate leading to the engine, when espying Harris, the turnkey, he said, “ Ah, Ilarris, how are you this morning ?" Harris shook him by the hand, and said, “I am very well, thank you.” Cockerill then turned round, and seeing Mr. Baker close at his heels, and thinking he was going on to the scaffold with him, said, “ Now, Mr. Baker, I Mr. Baker then withdrew from bim, and the misguided man walked up the steps and took his station under the beam, by the side of Jones. Before the rope was put round his neck, he turned to the populace and bowed two or three times, and then surrendered bimself into The bands of the executioners; and whilst one of them was adjusting the rope, be presented him with the “gift” he alluded to when being pinioned, which ve understand was a sovereign. Every thing being in readiness, the Rev. Mr. Cotton, after reading part of the Burial Service, gave the fatal signal, and the wretched men were launched into eternity.
Jones secmed to die instantly, but Cockerill struggled two or three minutes; and the executioners were obliged actually to hang to the culprit's legs for several minutes before life was entirely extinct.
The following lives were written by him on Sunday morning, on a form in the condemned pew, while the Ordinary was preaching :
No doctor will extract one tooth,
No strumpet exercise her trade ;
Without their labour's amply paid.
“ HUBBLE, BUBBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE,” OF THE
The Ministers of our Government are bewitched. They have made toils which have entangled themselves in such a manner as to bid defiance to extrication. In the midst of their boasted and anticipated prosperity, they find themselves slipped into, to them, the most calamitous adversity. Never before were men in such a political turmoil. Never men more fairly deserved to be laughed at by their opponents. They are in such a mess, that nothing but to revolutionize upon their own system can give them the least relief. Not a word is now said about sedition or blasphemy, this dilemma is one of their own creating, one of their own mistakes, a proof of their incapacity to be where they are.
This is not my particular sentiment; but is one now expressed by candid men of all parties, by their own late supporters. Even in the present Session of Parliament, the Ministers have unsaid and undone on one night, that which they had said and done the night before, All is subterfuge and shuffle with them. The debates of the House on the subject are only words to be laughed at. Never were any words more devoid of sense and interest. They decry paper-money, and yet feel that they cannot exist as Ministers without it. They want all their usual taxes upon reduced means to pay them; und press reductions every where but the right. Their political charity cannot begin at home. This article is a mere cracking of a joke upon them: the subject is not worth a statement of particulars. It is a matter which as a general matter is a fair excitement to laughter among all those who have suffered under the administration of such Ministers.
MR. RICHARD CARLILE, 135, FLEET STREET.
Glasgow, Feb. 20, 1826. I was exceedingly surprised at the appearance of an insidious letter against Suebago in the third Number of the present volume of the “ REPUBLICAN.” As the Editor of a periodical publication, you have certainly a right to insert or withhold whatever you may
proper. You may correct or even curtail communications made to you, and no one will have a right to complain, unless you thereby affect the meaning of the author. We, nevertheless, expect discretion in the exercise of this duty It is so difficult, however, that after all that can be done, it will be impossible to satisfy every one: and if R. T. C. E. S. could noi forbear with the last production of SueBAGO, I, and others, have no great liking to his. It is a piece of trash, indicative of ignorance and pride ; and, if he does not know the object of his displeasure, to be all that his inuendoes would lead us to suppose; --it is worse, it is full of disingenuous calumny. In the passage complained of, the writer of it seems to make an apology for troubling the fastidious reader with a detail of his calamities, and he does not, I presume, give that detail as a “ definition" of “ strong minds, but as in some measure applicable to those who will be most likely to pity him, and sympathize with his sufferings, provided they be not weak-minded enough to hate and despise him on account of his poverty, and the boldness of his reasoning. Is this a fault? And if it is, are there not “ deeming excellences" in his writings sufficient to atone for it a thousand times over? There is more merit in one sentence of SHEBAGO, even of the obnoxious essay, than there could be in a volume of such epistles as that of his hypercritical caviller There is an interesting charm, an eloquence, and an animating strength in his expression, which, to say nothing of admiration, shall always command my attention and respect. The excuse . of R. T. C. E. S. for writing to you is, that he wishes “ to assist you
correcting" (he has not told us what)" by timely summoning your attention to the peccant part” of something else, which he has not chosen to express. too, that, “ the language of vindictiveness and desperation is not that of reason or virtue.” May be so ; but it is unjust to charge Shebago with vindictiveness, and desperation is not always destitute of the qualities he specifies. Who can think of the hypocrisy--the fraudand the oppression of priests ; -- the horrors, the pillage, and the butcheries committed by Jews and Christians !--who can talk of the hellish schemes and cold-Llooded enormities of holy conspirators to effect the tearing of their unsuspecting