Sunday, December 26, 2010
Forty-seven under sentence of death
Sun 26 Dec 1784: I preached the condemned criminals sermon in Newgate. Forty-seven were under sentence of death. While they were coming in, there was something very awful in the clink of their chains. But no sound was heard, either from them or the crowded audience, after the text was named: ‘There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repententh, more than over ninety and nine just persons, that need not repentance.’ The power of the Lord was eminently present, and most of the prisoners were in tears. A few days after, twenty of them died at once, five of whom died in peace. I could not but greatly approve of the spirit and behaviour of Mr. Villette, the Ordinary. And I rejoiced to hear that it was the same on all similar occasions.