Posted by: MTR | January 18, 2010

Joys unspeakable and full of glory!

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA; GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA; GOVERNOR OF DELAWARE

In the case Respublica v. John Roberts, John Roberts was sentenced to death after a jury found him guilty of treason. Chief Justice McKean then told him:  A. J. Dallas, Reports of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Courts of Pennsylvania (Phila¬delphia: P. Byrne, 1806), p. 39, Respublica v. John Roberts, Pa. Sup. Ct. 1778.

You will probably have but a short time to live. Before you launch into eternity, it behooves you to improve the time that may be allowed you in this world: it behooves you most seriously to reflect upon your past conduct; to repent of your evil deeds; to be incessant in prayers to the great and merciful God to forgive your manifold transgressions and sins; to teach you to rely upon the merit and passion of a dear Redeemer, and thereby to avoid those regions of sorrow – those doleful shades where peace and rest can never dwell, where even hope cannot enter. It behooves you to seek the [fellowship], advice, and prayers of pious and good men; to be [persistent] at the Throne of Grace, and to learn the way that leadeth to happiness. May you, reflecting upon these things, and pursuing the will of the great Father of light and life, be received into [the] company and society of angels and archangels and the spirits of just men made perfect; and may you be qualified to enter into the joys of Heaven – joys unspeakable and full of glory!

William B. Reed, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1847), Vol. II, pp. 36-37

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