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His whole family, moreover, had been separated from their relations by their extremely bad character. They were disgusted at the shameful scenes of drunkenness exhibited in his father's house. It is not easy to conceive a state of lower degradation than this young man had reached, as he himself confessed. No one, he said, could tell the misery of this state as he experienced it. What situation could indeed more completely have tended to brutalize the mind, to deaden every feeling of conscience, to place a man long habituated to it in a state without hope, as it was without God in the world? The nature of the crime for which Jolin was committed to prison, was such as to increase the general horror towards him. This was exhibited by the crowd, in the streets, on the occasion of his trial; so that it seemed to be of him, as is expressed in the emphatic language of the Prophet, "None eye pitied him, to have compassion upon him; but he was cast out, to the lothing of his person." Yet out of this state it pleased God to call him. It is true there were mitigating circumstances in his case which he might very naturally have urged to extenuate the enormity of his offence; as the exceeding badness of his education, the continual discord of his father's family, and the state of intoxication in which he was when he unintentionally committed the crime: but these points were scarcely alluded to by him in his private conversations, so completely was the conviction established in his mind that he had fallen into sin by the wilfulness of his own heart; that he had destroyed himself, and that to a greater depth of transgression he could scarcely have reached.
After Jolin had been lodged in gaol, he was visited by a very respectable relative, Mr. Pinel, a member of the Methodist church. He made this visit, as he himself testified, without the hope of any spiritual benefit. He, however,
desired to relieve his temporal necessities, and to afford him all the comfort in his power. He found the poor culprit in a most pitiable state. Overwhelmed and stunned by his situation, he was lying on a heap of straw, and appeared like one who had no hope to look to in this world or the next. Mr. Pinel said to him, "Young man, I think both your body and your soul are in great danger." Jolin did not answer, but sobbed excessively. He then procured for him a bed, and some comfortable clothing, and put into his hands a French Testament. Soon after, as there was at that time no chaplain regularly appointed to the gaol, Jolin was visited by the curate of the parish, M. Folle. After some days M. Folle's great occupation in his ministry made him transfer this important and interesting charge to the Rev. W. C. Hall, a young clergyman residing in the island, who took the more immediate care of him, watched over, and instructed, and finally attended him through the dark valley of the shadow of death, till he reached, as I doubt not, the portal of the heavenly abode. Meanwhile the Testament was not neglected by Jolin. He had read it nearly through; but apparently without understanding the nature of the message which it was designed to convey. His mind, however, was no doubt gradually preparing by the Holy Spirit to receive the instruction which He was about fully to impart to it. On the 22d of September, about ten days before his execution, Jolin was visited by Mr. Hall and another clergyman. He was then sitting in his bed, and looking as wretched as might be expected under the cir cumstances in which he was placed; as Mr. Pinel had stated, "without hope for this world or the next." They immediately entered upon the object of their visit, and spoke to him of the nature of his offence; of the sin of murder, as condemned by the law of God, and aggravated
in his case, because committed against a parent; of its sentence in the judgment of men, and its heinousness in the sight of God. They pointed out to him, that, awful as is man's sentence against this crime, how little consideration was due to this in comparison with the condemnation which the law of God pronounced; and that this condemnation had passed upon him, and that the execution of its sentence of eternal death would be inflicted if he did not repent, and seek help and pardon through Jesus Christ. All this was manifest, for it was written in the word of God that murderers should have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. xxi. 8); that drunkards should not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. vi. 10): and this condemnation it was also pointed out, not only extended to these crimes, but to that of the general alienation of the heart from God; it was the portion of all sinners; "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. vi. 23.) One point appeared particularly to produce the deepest sensation of pain in this young man's mind: this was the representation of the conduct of God towards him in reference to his father; that whilst that unhappy man had been cut off and sent almost without warning, with all his sins rife upon him, before the Judge who will deal with every man according to his works, he, the mur derer, had been spared, and brought into a prison, where he had opportunity given him to reflect upon his state, to seek for pardon, and where the promise of salvation was open to him if he would turn and seek it. The cry of "Oh my father, my poor father!" mingled with his sobs on that occasion. Although Jolin's crime was so palpable, and he confessed it in the clearest man. ner, yet it was committed so unconsciously to himself, and he had seen no traces of it except in what others told him, that the whole seemed like a dream; and the deed itself
with its appalling circumstances, were not likely to fasten themselves on his mind as if it had been premeditated, or as if he had been in full possession of his understanding, or as if he, which he himself wished, had seen his father's murdered corpse. However, this circumstance afterwards appeared to turn out to his advantage. It prevented him from fixing his thoughts exclusively on a particular sin; and he was thus less hindered in seeing the sinfulness of all his nature and habits, and learning that lesson which it is often so difficult to comprehend, that we are not less condemned by the law of God for all our sins, and our alienation from him, than for any one or more great offences which we may have committed. Not that this state of mind in Jolin prevented him from coming to the deepest sense of his own particular offence; for as he learned more thoroughly to understand the nature of sin in general, his feeling for his own crime more deeply penetrated in his mind. One other subject seemed to produce in him the paroxysm which the mention of his father had done: this was the sin of intemperance, which had, as I have before remarked, been the immediate cause of his crime. Mr. Hall, thinking that he might be suffering from the cold, fixed as he was in a large stone-chamber, of which the window was usually open, guarded him against seeking to mi tigate his discomfort by drinking. At the mention of this, he went off again into expressions of horror at such a possibility in his tremendous circumstances, and of determination that, should he ever have the opportunity, he would never again be guilty of this offence. Yet, as Mr. Hall observes, were his resolutions expressed as if he were smarting under the penalty of his crime; not as if conscious of his own inability to keep the engagement which he was entering into. spoke as a man strong in his own strength, and as yet unacquainted with the perfect weakness of that
determination which is not taken in dependence upon the power of God. On the point of again falling into the sins of which he had repented, three distinct states were noticed in Jolin's case before his execution. At first, as at this visit, he was fully confident that if he were once more to be set at liberty he should never again become intoxicated. Afterwards, when he came to discover the exceeding weakness of his nature, he dreaded the possibility of his life being accorded to him, lest he should again fall into temptation. And lastly, he learned to believe, that, having cast himself entirely upon Divine grace, and therefore, using those means of watchfulness and prayer which the word of God prescribes, he needed not fear, if he were called again to life, the temptation of drinking, or, if brought to the scaffold, the trials of that afflicting scene. That the blessing of God attended upon the last state of mind, is proved by the courage, nay, the humble cheerfulness, with which he met his melancholy end. On the occasion of this visit, the fifty-first Psalm was pointed out to him. It was in the Prayer-book version, as there was no Bible at hand. This Psalm, so remarkably calculated to meet the experience of a man feel ing deeply his sins, and more particularly of one implicated as he was in such a variety of vice, struck his attention very deeply; and the more so when the next day it was read to him in the Bible translation, and its chief points expounded to him. He learned a great portion of this Psalm by heart: it was nearly the last portion of Scripture that he repeated; and it became one of the subjects of his meditation during the long nights in which he was shut up alone. The next day, the twenty-third, two or three passages of Scripture were introduced to his notice; besides which the more particular view of the general nature of sin which had before been explained was reviewed, and considered in
some of its different bearings. He was taught, that sin is the defilement of the whole heart; that the other sins of his life, and even the sins of his youth, brought him just as much into condemnation before a holy God as his great crime; that eternal death was the wages of every transgression of the Divine law; and that real repentance unto life required not only a feeling of sorrow for one sin, but for every sin, yea, for sin itself, as an offence against the Almighty. The promises of God to the chief of sinners were then pointed out to him from Isa. i. 18, İv. 6, 7. The former of these passages remained fixed in his memory, and was a continual source of consolation to his mind. He now began to feel that his sins were as scarlet, and to desire earnestly to be pardoned. Two other passages were at that time referred to, and a good deal dwelt upon. The first of these was John iii. 14-17, and its application to the history of the serpent in the wilderness, Num. xxi. 5-9. From this passage it was pointed out to him, that, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so was the Son of Man lifted up; and as the Israelites were commanded to look at the serpent for their cure, so we are commanded to believe in the power of Jesus Christ's atoning blood: and moreover, as this people, if they had rather chosen to trust to other remedies, or had refused to look at the brazen serpent, or had spent their time in mourning over their maladies instead of doing as they were commanded, would never have been healed; so the sinner has no other remedy but Jesus Christ. If he will not come to him, he cannot have life; and it is not enough to think upon his sins, and to mourn over their malignity, if he does not draw near to Christ, and cast himself at his feet as a poor helpless sinner. One other important lesson was also gathered from this subject;-; namely, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld
the serpent of brass he lived;" and in like manner, "Whosoever believeth on Jesus Christ shall not perish, but have eternal life." Jolin was thus instructed in the mode of pardon before God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and in the efficacy of this remedy, the universality of it to all that believe, and the nature of faith, the means by which it can alone be appropriated. The last passage referred to was the history of the scape goat, contained in Lev. xvi. In this history we find that Aaron, whilst the people afflicted their souls (ver. 29), laid both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confessed on him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, putting them upon the head of the goat, and that the goat bore away with him all their iniquities into a land not inhabited. The illustration and the application of this subject to Jolin's own case were then pointed out. He was told that the people's afflicting their soul" denoted the state in which every sinner must present himself before God; for it is the broken and the contrite heart which God will not despise: the "confession of sin" on the head of the goat pointed out the first and necessary duty of the returning penitent; for "if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin :" the laying the sins upon the head of the goat exhibited the act of faith by which the condemnation of the sinner is transferred to his atoning sacrifice; and the leading away the goat into the wilderness, the full, perfect, and eternal pardon promised in the Gospel, of every sin to every repenting sinner.
These lessons Jolin seemed to understand, and to apply to his own case. Of this he soon gave abundant proof. The Bible was then marked, and its emphatic words particularly pointed out, so that easy reference might be made to
the important doctrines which had been brought to light. Although Jolin was not a person of uncommon capacity, and although these passages of Scripture seemed to be new to him, yet he apprehended them in a manner which gave just indication that his heart was under the Divine teaching. It is said, Isaiah liv. 13, "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord." This state of Divine teachableness now seemed to have been produced in this poor young man. The power of God had made his heart willing, Ps. cx. 3; and he came very soon to understand the doctrine by which he might be saved. When the will of man is not disposed to submit to God, then every doctrine of the Gospel presents difficulties; one point is unreasonable, another is impossible, a third is useless; but when the mind is taught of God, it is astonishing how soon all these difficulties vanish. The doctrines of the Gospel which seem the most hard to understand and to receive, are at once comprehended. It is like a change from darkness to light; and those very lessons of the sinfulness of our own heart, of the neces sary dependance upon Christ, of the nature of faith, of the pleasantness of the pursuits of religion, of the delight attendant upon dwelling with God, are at once received and adopted, and the whole system of Christianity is discovered to be one exactly suited to a sinner's own state. The new view which he gains of religion comes to him as a discovery; and the Bible seems as if it were a revelation to himself. He begins to wonder that others cannot understand it also; forgetting how little time since he himself was in the same state of darkness. But the willingness of heart which is necessary to a right reception of religion, we are every where in Scripture taught, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. "It cometh not of blood," that is, by descent; "nor of the will of the flesh," that is, by our own natural inclination; “nor
of the will of man," that is, by the teaching of others; "but of God." "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." We see then how necessary it is that, if any man lack wisdom, he should ask it of God; and so much the more, as God himself declares, Luke xi. 13, his willingness to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him.
The 24th was the day of Jolin's last trial, at the close of which he was found guilty; and the friends who visited him judged that, after such anxious exertions and suffering, his mind would not be in a state to admit the quiet intercourse which they had desired to have with him. But he had asked them to come and see him, and they accordingly went after the trial. They had expected at all events to find him, on this occasion, in some degree disturbed and agitated in mind; but it was altogether otherwise. The irons to which he was sentenced were put on him in their presence, when they entered the prison. To this, as the consequence of his condemnation, he submitted almost without notice. Indeed, the trial and the condemnation itself seem to have made as little impression upon him as the irons which were put upon him; for it was only by minute and repeated inquiry as to the proceedings of the day that his friendly visitors could get him to give any account of them. His mind seemed absorbed in something else; and what this was, afterwards appeared. His conduct, during his trial, had been remarked by many of his judges as entirely becoming his awful situa tion. Indeed, his whole frame of mind was now beginning to shew that a new principle was at work in it, and that the great work of regeneration was taking place. In the early part of his confinement, and indeed very recently, he had wished, as he might naturally, for his escape; and his cry to his advocate
had been, "Save me from the gallows;" but at this period, the desire that his life might be spared seemed to be taken away from him in a most astonishing degree. It was not so with the very zealous and able advocate to whom his cause had been committed, and who very properly continued to the end to urge every plea, and to encourage his client to every effort, by which his punishment might be remitted, or even delayed. His friends too were most kindly anxious on this point; and they even attempted to prove him insane, that they might effect their purpose. Jolin might therefore act by their impulse in his favour, as well as from the instinct which he could not but naturally feel. But to those who visited him about this period, he never once alluded to a desire to escape; but on the contrary, seemed almost always to refer to his sentence without apparent emotion; and towards the end, he appeared to long for, and to be earnest for, its completion. This state of mind was no doubt to be attributed to two causes; in part, to a complete acquaintance with the state of his own case, and that his sentence was sealed by his judges; but much more to his new state of religious feeling; by means of which the importance of every other possession, in comparison with the grand discovery which he had now made, had wonderfully diminished. A friend had given him the second chapter of the Ephesians for his consideration, that he might gain still further views of his state of guilt and defilement, and that he might more clearly trace both the power of Divine grace by which the sinner is quickened, and the bright prospect placed before those who have returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of the soul. The conversation of this day led to the subjects contained in this chapter; and more particularly to the impossibility of man's pardon, but by the free grace of God, procured for us by the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. In