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Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. with some personal violence




T will be in the recollection of many of your readers, that in the month of September last, an awful instance of parricide, committed in the island of Jersey, was presented to the public. The circumstances of the case were as follows:-Philip Jolin, a young man, professedly working with his father as a blacksmith, but in reality given over to habits of extreme intemperance, had on the morning on which the crime was committed, as he confessed to one who attended upon him in prison, drunk such a quantity of spirits as to have become completely intoxicated. His parents had both of them lived in habits of drunkenness, and by their example the son had probably been drawn to the dreadful course which ended in his ignominious death. His mother had died eight months before this period. Going to his home on the day when he committed the crime, a home of which he himself said no person knew the wretchedness, he found no food prepared ; and he met with only the comfortless reception which might be expected under his own actual state, and the circumstances of his father's situation and character. He went into the garden and gathered a pear, about which a quarrel ensued with his father, attended CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 337.


son at first threatened his father; but, being further remonstrated with, he went out, and picked up a brick, which he broke in two pieces, and, returning, threw them at his father's head. These blows caused his death. Utterly unconscious of what he had done, young Jolin went away again, and slept for some time, till his fit of intoxication had passed; and then, when he was quietly returning to the scene of his crime, he was arrested and brought to prison.

The judges,

and two juries, in number together thirty-seven, after two long trials, carefully examining all the details of the case, pronounced his crime to be murder, and condemned him to death. He underwent his sentence on Saturday, Oct. 3.

There were many particulars in this case, in addition to the pecu. liarity of the crime, and indeed the rareness of any crime of such magnitude in the small district in which it occurred, that gave it great notoriety. One leading feature of it was the manifest alteration which took place in Jolin's mind during the period of his imprisonment. Upon this point there was a very remarkable agreement of opinion amongst all persons who had any acquaintance with the real circumstances of the case. Not only ministers, both of the Church and the Dissenters, but persons of other classes agreed in the reality of a


change; the nature of which, however, not so many persons could detect, as the effect of its operation. The public press in that island, speaks of an alteration" which took place in him, of his "confession in the most humble terms of his own sinfulness," of "his forcible admonitions to others to abstain from evil, and to practise the duties of religion and morality;" but of the great radical change of the heart which this case exhibited, the writers seem to have had no adequate conception. Jolin may, however, be cited not merely as a man convinced of his sin, reformed in character, and zealous in warning others, but as thoroughly converted in heart by the power of the Holy Ghost, led to acknowledge not only particular sins, especially that which led to his untimely end, but his general alienation of heart from God, and persuaded that all his repentance, all his good resolutions, could never expiate his past sins, but that, as he himself said, "Christ was his only hope; for He had paid his ransom, and He would receive him into glory."

I am myself, sir, one of those persons who have in general little confidence in a repentance which only springs up under the apprehension of death, whatever flights of sentiment, or depths of experience, may be exhibited. I have too often seen to demonstration in the backsliding of those who promised every thing in the time of sickness, how vain had been the best founded expectations. In the greater part of these cases, however, there is generally a want of completeness, which the experienced pastoral visitor is able to detect: too little of real contrition, or too much of profession and confidence. But in the case in question, I have not been able to restrain myself from joining in the conviction of one who was much with Jolin in his imprisonment, and who declared this instance came to him with the sort of power which he could have

supposed produced by witnessing the case of the thief on the cross. I shall not, therefore, hesitate in giving you a few of the particulars which I have been able to collect, and which will, I trust, be, interesting to a considerable body of your readers.

Jolin appears in early life to have been sent to school, although he said that such had been the irregularity of his father's house, and such the hindrances thrown in his way, that he had been more impeded, than encouraged by his parents, in any attempt to attend upon the public means of instruction. How tremendous was the responsibility of such a father and mother! culpable in their neglect, but awfully so in the influence of their example. And what a striking instance does the case of one parent present of retributive justice at the Divine hand! The father trained his child in habits of intoxication; and the son, in a fit of intoxication, hurried his father headlong to the bar of God's judgment. We are not able, often, so clearly to trace the Almighty hand made bare against the sinner as in this case; nor is it in the dispensation of rewards and punishments under which we are placed, that men should be recompensed in this life: still we know, that as a man sows he shall also reap, if not in this world, to bring him to repentance, yet surely, and how much more awfully! in that world where a place for repentance is no where found.

This young man, on occasions previous to his committal, had read the Bible; for he remarked to one of his attendants that when at sea, during his watch, he had done so; but he added, "I then read it as a sealed book. I had neither eyes given me to see, nor ears to hear, and this was a just judgment upon me for my sins." His mode of life had been altogether one of complete dissoluteness. He went to sea because he was too bad to remain on land, and he came to land again because he was wearied of

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