Page images

The Execution of John JAMES, Nov. 26. 1661.

as related by his Friends.

riff, he told him down to deliver !! the Room

A Little before his going forth, feeing some A of his Friends come in who had particularly desired to accompany him to the Place of Execution, said, Here comes my Bride-Men, embracing them with much Joy. But, faid he, Must not the Sacrifice be bound? One answer'd, Tea, it must be bound with Cords : He rejoycing, said, lo he had heard.

Soon after the Keeper came into the Room, and calling him down to deliver him to the Sheriff, he told him he was a welcome Messenger, he had waited long for him; and so he came with Joy after the Keeper, from his Chamber into the Press-yard, where hearing the Noise of the Multitude without, said to a Friend, There would be by-and-by as many Hallelujahs, as Shoutings of the People without; and there they bound him about the Back with a new Cord, and so had him into the Street like a Sheep to the Slaughter; with a sweet {miling Countenance he came into the Street, where he was a Gazing-stock unto the Multitude, and so being placed upon the Sled, drawn by a Team of Horses, attended by the Sheriffs Men, and a Company of Foot-soldiers, was drawn along to Tyburn; the Way out of the Town being very foul, he was drawn thro' very much Water and Dirt, besides the very much flapping of the Horses that went besides him, yet for all this he was borne up with much Joy and Chearfulness, not at all dismayed or terrified.

Being come to the Place of Execution, he ask'd Mr.Sterling the Sheriff, whether he might not have liberty to speak to the People? He told him he might, if he would not speak seditiously, (or


Words to that purpose.) Then John James ad dressed himself to speak as followeth : The last SPEECH of John J AMES, at Tyburn.

First of all, that which I have to say before I go out of this World, is, to remove that which hath been thrown upon me by way of Aspersion, as if I were a Jesuite. * Here at this Place, at this Time, are some that knew me from my Childhood, and can clear me in this particular; and therefore I hall only say this to it, That I am an English-man, never was out of the Nation in all my Life; never had any Knowledge of any other Tongue but the English Tongue, therefore altogether uncapable of such Work and Employment as Jesuites are usually put upon, they being commonly Men of great Parts and Learning which I am not. I shall only speak this in respect of my Parentage and Education ; I came of a very mean Family; I may truly fay, as once Gideon did, My Family is the least in all Manalleh, and I am the leaft in the Family: And in truth I may justly say, my Family, the Family that I came of, it was a ve ry mean Family, the meanest among all the Families of the People of the Lord at that Day, as I knew of; and for my Parents, they were People fearing God, those that durst not for their Lives, I say, they were those that durft not for their Lives stain their Consciences in respect of Idolatry and Superstition that was up at that day.

I shall not need to speak any more to that, I came not here to boast of my Parentage; I de

ry mea of the people my Parent not for


* This Vindication was occafion'd by the coming of a Cour tier, ( and, as some said, one of the Bed-chamber ) two or three Nights before he suffer'd, to know if he was not a Fesuite, and if he had not been beyond the Seaso

tid judgme Title

Appointin Heb. 6: Re

clare I came of a mean Family, only my Parents were People fearing God, and did, to their utmost, endeavour what they could to bring me up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord; and I hope my Father at his Death had not ought to be charged with by way of Blame: And my Mother is yet alive, and attained to a good old Age, and I trust so the is. But I shall not trouble you more about this Matter; for I only speak this, to take off that which was cast upon me, wherein I judged the Name of God would have fuffer'd, had I not cleared myself. • The second thing that I shall fay, is, what I am in my Principles, what I am in respect of my Religion and Judgment, and I shall be brief as to that. I do own the Title of a Baptized Believer, I do own the Ordinances and Appointments of Jesus Christ, I do own all the Principles in Heb. 6. 1, 2. about the Doctrine of Faith towards God, and Repentance from dead Works, the Do&rine of Baptisms and laying on of Hands, the Refurre&tion of the Dead, and eternal Judgment. These are the Principles that I desire to own, and have in some weak measure been found walking in : I do not only own the Principles and Do&rines, declared in the fixth of the Hebrews, but I do own the Commandments of God, the Ten Commandments, as they are expressed in the 20th of Exodus. I do here, as before the Lord, testify, I durst nor, I durst not willingly break the least of those Commandments to save my Life ; I do declare that the rather, because I would inform Persons that I do own the Lord's holy Sabbath, the seventh Day of the Week to be the Lord's Sabbath; you know the Commandment, Remember that thou keep holy the Seventh Day. I fal forbear to speak any more to that,

Again, further, in respect of my Principle (as that for which I judge I am here this day to suf


fer) That I do own the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, (to wit) the vifible Kingdom of Jesus Chrift here on Earth, and I do desire to declare it humbly and in the Fear of the Lord, That JESUS * CHRIST the Son of God is King of all the Nations in

the World, according to that in Rev. 11. 15. upon the founding of the seventh Trumpet there was a great Voice in Heaven, The Kingdoms of this World are become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Chrift; and He shall reign for ever and ever. There needs no more to be said, tho' many more Scriptures might be brought to prove that it is so. It cannot be a spiritual Kingdom, the Text cannot be allegorical; for the Text saith expresly, The Kingdoms of This World, &c. - I shall endeavour not to tire you with many Words; I do not come here ( the Lord knows) to sow Sedition, I have it not upon my Heart, it hath not been my Practice, tho this be the pretended Cause of bringing me hither; but the Lord knows, before whom I stand, and with whom I fall shortly be, that whatever I am accused of, as to Matter of fact, I am free from it; I desire you may hear it, and take notice of it, the Things charged upon me are notoriously false, I speak it as my last Words, the Lord that knows all Hearts, and one Day will call all Men to an Account, knows I speak true, both in respect of the Manner of the thing charg'd upon me, and in respect of the Matter, notwithstanding that several Witnesses took the Boldness to swear it in Court. I do in the fear of the Lord also tell you, that I bless the Lord I have not the least hard Thought of them that swore against me, I have not the least hard Thought upon that account, nor the least rising of Spirit against either Judge, Jury, or Witnesses, or any other, the Lord

knows it, but have sought their Pardon upon my i bended Knees, and I hope further shall do it, if


God permit. I have one Word to say to the Peoil ple of God, and that is this; I would entreal you not to think ever the worfe of the Ways of God, because you fee such a poor Worm as I brought hither to suffer upon that Account, let not the assembling of your selves together be any way a burden to you; know that Word, Forsake not the asembling of your selves together, as the mamer of some is, but be instructing one another so much the more as you see the Day approaching, Heb. 10. 25. and let not any of the Ways of God, any of the Ordinances of God, any of the Commandments of God be ever the worse in your Eyes, because a poor Worm that has professed them, and has in fome poor measure tasted in them of the Love of God, is brought hither, do not think the Words and Commandments of God are the worse for that ; and I would entreat you that you would stick close to them, whatever Dispensation may be at the Door, which no Man here knows one or other: But I say, whatever the Ways and Dif pensations of God may be, tho’you may exped to suffer more and more, yet know that was the Way that our Lord did go, the Captain of our Salvation was made perfect through Sufferings; and the Apostles and holy Christians of old counted it great Joy, they accounted it great Joy to be filling up the Measure of Christ's Sufferings that are behind. And now, my dear Friends, for Jesus Christ's sake, be exhorted in the Fear of God, not only to stick to those Ordinances and Commandments of God, wherein you are enlightned, but take that good Word of God, in i Chron.28.8. it was David's Advice to Solomon, the Words are, Solomon my Son, keep and seek for all, &c. do not content your selves with what you do already know, but endeavour, in the Fear of the Lord, to be seeking after more. I would further charge every


not onlyors of God, wd of God, in Words are,

« PreviousContinue »