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so, you may find it in some of the books with a very littletrouble. Most of my works have a short p'ain, and easv explanation thereto. Rut for to suit vonr case, \ou must look to ilie title of these hooks, anft then you will find that the subjects and passages of the Scriptures which follow after have an allusion thereto: and again, all these books have been written bv myself, who hath been taught by the spirit of God from a child, and I am a man who. bath endured hardships and hath experienced manv trials and troubles in this life Therefore my worl<s are for the comfort and support of them who have endured the same, and it also holds forth an exhortation to sinners to turn to God, that they mav obtain nip rev through our blessed Lord and Saviour. Not bigoted in this work; not biassed here by any particular sex or party; or for self-interest; free from patriality, except there be a just cause or reason. I wish to bear part with all. I wish to follow on with all as far forth as they follow Christ and his Examples. Mere you have in this work the plain word of God, set forth in its truth apd reality, and at last my desire is to sum it up in this, and that is to say, I believe the right author of this work is God. Therefore let no one dare to despise it, for fear, lest God should dtspise you for so doing. But may it prove a blessing to all your souls through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Now the time which I have been about this work as near as I can tell, hath been about twelve or fifteen years But still I have not been all these years fully employed about this work, because I liRve been brought up to hard laborious work until this present time, and have been obliged to work hard for the support of myself and my family. But this work, that is, these books, have been written on wet days and on winter evenings, and on the Sabbath days, and in all the spare time that 1 could get, and this work hath been done in secret from the world, that is to say, no one knew of it but God and mvself. I have written it according as I was taught, by the Spirit of bis Grace, and now I cannot say that this work altogether hath not been more than 15 years about. Tor 1 have soon idea that the Spirit of the liv.ug God according to my experience was working within me, even from a Child, to the intent that 1 should accomplish this work and to bring it to pass. And mav it, by the Grace of God, prove a blessing to all your souls who read or hear it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
BOOK THE FIRST.
Cook's Counsel to his Sons, composed according to the Holy
Scriptures, of IVisdom and Instruction, adapted in a plain,
easy, and suitable way for the lowest capacity of
mind and understanding.
Dearly Beloved Children & Christian Friends.
For as ntuch as the Lord hath freely given me this treasure into the bosom of mv soul, therefore I hope and trust by his Heavenly Grace through Christ, that I shall be thankful and praise him withal for evermore. Amen. And as the spirit of Elijah, which was from the L«rd, did rest upon Eli«ha, even so O Lord mav thy Holy Spirit rest upon every soul that delightetli in reading, or in hearing these words which are written in this book, and in all the books which I have, by thy help written down, and according to your obedience and faith in Christ you may expect it to be, even so be it Lord Jesus. Amen.
Now my dear Children, I must soon go the way of all flesh, and I hope and t ust in my redeemer, that I shall laud safe at my Father's House, where the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are for ever at rest. Job. iii, 17. My little children, when you are children, you think as children, and do as children, but be sure to give hear to the words of your dear parents, and obey all their good commands, and as soon as you find the grace of God discovers itself in your soul, and reason takes possession there, theu be thou sure that thou do embrace it, for it is your first call of that Almighty Being which hath made you a living soul, and hath blest you and hath given you grace and reason to consider things aright, so that you may discern the truth and falsehood of things. And now by this time you may begin to wonder, and that with admiration, to behold the heaven and the earth and the contents of them, and when you begin to consider upon these•thinjj* you may be almost surprised, and say, O Father, what (to. the heaven and the earth contain. My son, this earth contains in her a vast variety of good, rich, and useful things; and there are so mauy so that I have not time to speak of them all, neither can I comprehend them all. But this I believt that God hath provided all these excellent things for the comfort, convenience, and use of his creature, man. And again, when we survey the surface of the earth are not we asionished to see the goodness of the Lord in the land ot the living, for here we see the fowls of the air and the fishes of the sea, and all these useful animals as cattle ©r beasts that feed upon the green pastures. My son, that Almighty, the wise and good being hath created all these things and provided them for us, and hath made them ch?an for our eating, and profitable a«d suitable for our use and service. Be ye sure my children and brethren to use all thetc things with mercy and kindness and discretion, for remember that God hath given them unto jou lor your use and service, and he hath put them under your care and keeping. Gen. ix,2. Therefore be merciful unto them, for ii member that a merciful man hath mercy upon his dumb beast. Prov. xii, 10. And if any of jou by your proud, wicked, cruel, and unmerciful lusts do abuse these dumb animals which God hath given you for your use and service, I sav if you abuse them and use them cruel and that unlawfully without any proper occasion, cause or reason, then it surely shall be a sin unto you, for he shall have judgment without mercy that hath shewed no mercy, and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. James ii, 13. And again, look and beho!d, my son, how that the Lord thy God hath stocked and furnished and supplied our wauts, and that by furnishing the earth with all kinds of precious fruits and plants, and seeds, and all for our use, service, and eating. 'J herefore, my sou, let us praise Him for all this, and say, O how sweet is thy loving kindness O Lord, therefore the children of men may put their trust under the shadow of thy wing. Again, my sou, see how the Heavens declaie the goodness of the Lord, and how the firmaments show forth his handy works; O behold the beauty of Heaven, the glory of the stars, and ornaments giving light in the high. places of the Lord, at the commandment of the holy one,. they will stand in their older and never faint in their watch.
0 how curious is the moon which ruleth in the night season. O how wise is lie that hath made her, it is said that he marie the wonu also, to serve in her season, tor a declaration of limes and a sign o) the world. From the moon is the sign of feasts, a light that decreaseth in hei perfection; the month is called after her name, she iucreaselh wonderfully m her changing, being instrument of the armies above, shining in the hrmancnts of heaven. O the heavens are tilled with th>, glow, O Lord. O how beautiful and glorious is the sun, which giveth us light and heat, and see how she causeth the bud to push or come forth, and behold that by her heat how she warmeth the sweet showers of rain, so. that all plants and seeds spring lorth out of the earth, which show unto u« a beautiful aspect of support and comfort. And all these things, ni\ son, show forth the goodness and tender mercy of our God, and speaking of the sun we hear and see how that by her warmth she causeth the beautiful birds and the fowls of the air to sing with harmonious notes, and they do praise their maker in the warm spring season' and again, in a temporal sense, th sun in her course and powerful seasons reviveth or re freshet 1) and causeth all the v. hole creation to rejoice iu a variety of ways together, and many their he in this world, it is said, that do worship the sun. But, my son, worship not the sun, neither the moon, nor the stars, nor auy other thing which is created under heaven, Lxod. xx. Hut worship the Lord thy God wliicli hath made thee a living soul, and it is he that hath made and created all these excelhnt things aforesaid for our support, use, comfort, and employment that we may serve him withal, and above ail, for he is our God and Saviour, if we love and serve him and shall he for evermore. But notwithstanding, my son, if jou consider aright, you will hint yourself to be a falhn cieature, and that \ou have a de. praved and a corrupt and a sinlul nature, that is oftentimes ready to lead jou astray from that blessed being which hath provided for us all those excellent things, and when you look upon the beautiful flowers of the field, do you not think that they appear more pure am! clean and innocent than yourself; yes, they do, and when i have looked upon the sweet bud and blossom, anil have seen how biautilut and pure, and sweet, and clean they are, 1 have said to my foul, O that thou was as sweet, and as cleau, and as pure, and as innocent, iu the sight of thy maker as these swttt blossoms are in my sight. O methinks how happy then should [ be, for surely they denote that he is pure, and! holy, and lovely, that hath made them to bud and to blossom, and to grow. But yet thv maker hath esteemed thee above them all, and hath given them to thee as a perfume, and for thy comfort, and support, and enjoyment, and amusement; and yet thou are by nature a thousand times more vile in thy nature than they. But my soul, was this always the case of man from the beginning, surely not. For at the beginning when the soul of man came forth from the pure hand of his maker, he was as pure, and as clean, and as innocent, and as sweet, and as lovely, as anv of the sweet blossoms which we behold on the face of the earth. But why is the cause we are become so vile and so wicked, aud so impure now? Why, my son, it is an enemy which is called the devil, that hath been the cause of this in one sense, and man's disobedience in another. Now, when the bud and blossom of man begins to appear and to open itself in the world, then the devil by a subtile and cunning device, gained admittance t» enter upon the sweet bud and blossom of his soul, and so stinged it with a deadly poison; for he left his deadly poison, which is sin; for the sting of death is sin. I say then the devil left this sling of death in the very essence of his soul, so that the hud and blossom, which is the soul of man, is become corrupt and ▼ile in the sight of his maker. And now, instead of its bringing forth good seed or fruit, it brings forth corrupt seed and fruit; and instead of his bringing forth good grapes, he brings forth wild grapes. Isaiah. v. 2. Therefore the whole offspring of Adam is fallen from the pure and lovely image of his maker, therefore if we say that we bave no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 Epistle of John, i. 8. For it is said that there is no man that sinueth not. I Kings, viii, 46. And who can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sins. Piov. xx, 9. For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and siimeth not. Eccl. vii, 20. For the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it but the Lord. Jer. xvii, 9. .Man was ouce like the sweet apple-tree, when it is in sweet bloom in the orchard; but now he is become vile, and as mean as the nettle that groweth on the backside of the barn and ''.Lie hovel. Yea, man iu his first state was mote clean and