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Man's Own Book of Three Leaves
by Isaac Blackbeard.
Whitby: Printed By C. Webster On The Crag M,DCC,LXXXIII [1783]

Transcribed by Alan Pritchard alch.biblio@googlemail.com
http://www.cix.co.uk/~apritchard

Man's Own Book
of
Three Leaves

There is nothing more profitable for man in his toilsome travel and pilgrimage through this vale of misery of crosses, tribulations and various exercises, than to seek and find himself, and understand and know that he is not at home in this outward life; therefore, it is of absolute necessity, to learn to read in his own book, the book of all books, which man himself is.

This book contains three leaves, which are the mystery of the three worlds one in another. The first is the dark worlds, which is called Hell, or the kingdom of wrath and fierceness, manifested and known in the fall of the creature, which before was secret and hidden as the night is hidden in the day. The second is the light world, or kingdom of Heaven, in which all the intelligent creatures were created by God, the only good for the purpose of his own glory, and their everlasting happiness. The third is the outward visible world, wherein we now live, which is only a shadowy representation of the two inward worlds of darkness, and of light, good and evil, a mixture of both in and without man, who is the highest and noblest part of the outward creation, consisting in animals, vegetables, and minerals, in their wonderful varieties, and different qualities, as is found out and seen by the wise and expert searchers in nature, plainly and manifestly declaring the glory of God, and is the contents of whatever has been written or preached by man since the fall to this present time, and will be to the end of this transitory world.

Now intimately observe and consider, O! Man thou noble creature, thou Lord of the universe, what is contained in the three leaves of thy book, and when by divine illumination thou hast it opened and plainly discovered unto thee, thou will have books enough, where thou mayest read thyself, and find thyself to be an abridgement of the whole creation; for thou mayest experimentally know for a certain truth, self-evidently felt and witnessed, that the contents of the first leaf in thy book has four chapters or head sources, which contains selfishness, envy, pride, and wrath, and the one cannot be without the other, because they mutually beget and mutually torment one another; the original of which contrariety manifested, was first the fall of Lucifer and his Angels, who had one will and dependence on him, (as a tree and it's branches are one, when the tree falls, so does it's branches), so did this son of the morning fall, but who can describe this most horrible and deplorable from transcendent brightness and glory in Heaven, into blackness of darkness in Hell, now first manifested by the fall of the creature and his legions; here was the original and opening of the dark kingdom, which before was bidden in God, and was only a cause of life and sensibility hidden as the root of a tree in the earth, being a cause of its growth of branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits, or as the kindled fire of a candle is a cause of its lustrous light and shine: But when the lights is extinguished, the dark stinking stuff is manifested and known, so in those and many more low similes, a little may be seen of what happened to Lucifer, &c. But as was said above, who can describe it. 'If all the mountains were books, and all the trees Clerks, and all the Branches pens, and all the rivers ink, it could not be sufficiently described.'

This great fountain prince, through pride and domineering selfishness, despising the meek amiable light simplicity and humility of his heavenly father, who created him and his angels, he as a central fountain, and they as twigs drils or branches to manifest his glory and wonderful works, and they to multiply and increase the heavenly joy, (a similitude we have in the out-birth of the Sun and stars), But they contrary to their Father's will, raised themselves in self-exaltation, envy and wrath, and in the swiftness of a though with all then energy of eternal creatures, rising up in rebellion, extinguished their high light and love, (which before was their crown of glory)and there they found their darkness, torment, and everlasting despair.

And then is pleased the Almighty Father of all beings, to create this out world, and all the variety that is in it in six days, according to the six working properties of eternal nature, and man an image of himself according to the holy number three, father, son, and holy ghost united in one ness and glory in him, in great perfection and rectitude of will suitable to his paradisiacal state, a compleat abridgement of the whole creation about him, sufficiently powerful to withstand the malignant envy of the Devil to overwhelm him, for man being created in his place and stead, and to issue from himself a numerous offspring, in that same power of love as he himself was brought forth by his Creator, (hence arose the envy of the Devil against poor man), for all the properties of nature were in the temperature in him, which was his paradisiacal glory in the garden of Eden, he saw with a divine light, for it was with him, as new Jerusalem, that had no need of the Sun, or of the Moon to shine in it, for the glory of God doth enlighten it, and the lamb is the light thereof; this glory held the evil part of the creation captiv'd and swallowed up, which could not be manifested till man died to his paradisiacal life, then it is said his eyes were opened to another light, which plainly implies they were shut before, for he saw with divine eyes in a divine light, the glory of his God in the wonderful works of the outward creation, unstripped of its paradisiacal shine; but man, poor man, suffered himself to be deceived by the subtle sophistry and dark craft of the enemy of all good, and contrary to the will of his Creator, who forbad him to eat of the mortal tree of good and evil, (which was poison to his paradisiacal nature), for this was the command, eat not, for in the day thou eatest of the fruit of good and evil, thou shalt die the death, death to his perfect life in Paradise, death to his divine sight; here poor man eat of the mortal fruit, and turned from the will of his Creator, and fell from his happy state of glory, under the dominion of the spirit of this world, here his eyes were opened to see his own nakedness, and the nakedness of the out-world stript of its paradisiacal glory, and under the contrariety of shadowy good and real evil, care, distress, anxiety, tormoil, and discontent in a mortal body of flesh and blood, subjected to corruption and at last death, and his immortal part, the soul, horror, fear, dread, anguish, and distress; thus the enemy got an open gate of entrance into man, O! deplorable state in the fall, his paradisiacal body became as a beast; his immortal soul in the contrariety of the properties (which before were all in the temperature) as a Devil, shut up in the elements of selfishness, envy, prise, and wrath, forsaken by the Angels of light, and hooted at by the Angels of darkness, who said, O ho! We have got the game.

Here is the original of the first leaf of man's book opened in the fall, and what the four head sources has brought forth in the corrupt world, the histories thereof sufficiently testify from the fall downwards to this time; and as to this first leaf in man's book, the royal prophet David, who had great experience of the depravity of man's nature in the fall, declares, that he was conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity, and that there is none righteous, not one, they are all gone out of the way, an become abominable; and another of the prophets testifies, that the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things; also the apostle bears the same testimony in his own experience, that we are all by the corruption of our own nature, children of wrath, and he adds we are as well as others, with many more the like sad and deplorable accounts scattered up and down the sacred records of truth; and I myself have experimentally witnessed that it is the truth, and by the inshining of heavenly light and love, has made it manifest to me, and in the struggle for deliverance from it, has made me go mourning on my way with sighs and groans in spirit, for a Saviour to save me from my deprived self, and here I must look back to the original fall; what is the cause of these sighs and groans in spirit for a deliverance, I find I have the nature of the first Adam in the fall, which could not by all his endeavours deliver himself from his uneasy and restless situation, a remains was left in him of his heavenly seed, though obscured buried and shut up, and in this needful time, the wonderful love of his heavenly Father in pity and compassions to his undone creature, brake through the wrath, and said, the seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head; here man got a revival of the heavenly seed, to overcome by degrees the malignant depravity of nature, and the temptations of the enemy; from this seed of life I have the sensibility of my depravity, and by this seed of life I have the victory, though many times foiled and deceived by the enemy of my soul's happiness, and when I consider the various temptations, injections, and diabolical assaults from the Devil within myself, and without myself by his agents, that it has been to me a maricle of matchless love, hitherto to my poor soul, that I am preserved, and kept my head above water: O! what is man, that poor crawling worm man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou shou'dst so graciously visit him, when I feel my weakness, and the many infirmities I am encompassed with; I have cause to account myself one of the unworthiest of the children of men; and O! that all may be made sensible of it, by the stirrings of the seed of life, the second Adam, a quickening spirit the Lord of Heaven, a light shining in a dark place, a light beholding itself in the darkness of fallen nature, a light that all should take heed to, and those amongst the children of fallen Adam, that take heed to it, it stirs up a sensibility in the poor lost undone creatures, of the great anguish and famine they are fallen into: then, and not until then, are they come to themselves, with the lost prodigal (for we are all in this state, none excepted, by the fall) we are all wandered far from our heavenly Father's house, the paradisiacal Glory, into a cursed world under banishment, which has nothing to give us but husks, such as the swinish men of the spirit of this world feed on, and are in a sort of content with it, and which keeps them strangers to their native home, and where they are but awakened sensible, men find themselves poor pilgrims in a foreign land, longing and panting to be delivered from the depravity of their nature, compelled to seek to their ancient, loving, tender, compassionate Father, (who gave man being) who begets a desire to seek to him, and the infinite desire meets the small desire in the poor creature, as its likeness, which is seeing him a great way off, an embraces him, clothes him, and brings him to his house, and the angels rejoice with him, that the lost child is found again, and the dead made alive. O! that man would consider where he is, and take heed to that living, speaking, powerful seed of life, in his own bosom, which is man's redeemer from his fallen state, this seed has been propagated from man to man in his own principle downwards, and will be to the end of the world; witnessing for God through all the generations of men, and where it is taken heed to, gives repentance unto life, never to be repented of; and here poor destitute man, as he yields obedience to the discoveries of divine love in his heart and soul, comes in a measure experimentally to witness, and begins to reading the second leaf of his book, the transcendent wonders of redeeming goodness, and matchless love.

He now casts the first leaf behind him, and as he perseveres in obedience, having his own will more and more subjected to the divine will in resignation. The first leaf in man's book becomes more and more secret and hidden in the second, till it comes into a perfect union therewith, and in the mighty power of the prince of light, the captain of his salvation, can say, get thee behind me Satan, for now I see thy deception and subtle wiles to beguile me of my chiefest good, which I have now in view, and so advances step by step in the foot-steps of his beloved following [an unidentifiable letter after the 'f' has been overwritten by an 'o' and the 'g' added, both in handwriting in the text] him, in the regeneration, and read more and more himself, enclosed in the arms of the virgin wisdom, which satisfies him at all times from the breasts of her consolation, and ravisheth him always with her love, to go from strength to strength, through the whole process, born up by his beloved, and enabled to sound forth his praise and Glory, making melody in his heart to the Lord, who is worthy forever.

Now this second leaf in man's book as in the first, has four chapters or head sources; the first in the anger, as it is written thus in the scriptures, I am an angry jealous God, and a consuming fire, (but to whom) to those that hate me. Not that we are to think that any anger or wrath is in the pure deity; for the record of truth says of him, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all; and it is the same thing to say, that God is love, and in him is no wrath at all. And in another place he says, fury in [sic! Probably should be 'is'] not in me, and his wrath and anger upon the wicked, (which they kindle in themselves, by disobedience) is called in scripture, his strange work for the pure deity, is Good, the only Good, and nothing but love and goodness can come from him, for if wrath was in him, he would be at odds with himself, but he is One, a will to all goodness, the unity, and cannot be the author of any evil at all. He is all, and nature, and creature in his manifestation of infinite wisdom, in great and wonderful variety, created for his glory, according to the purpose of his will. But some may object, and say it is thus written in the scripture, that he is angry with the wicked every day, and that he pours out his wrath and indignation, and plagues upon the rebellious; but it is those that will not have him to rule over them with love, but hates it, and despises his lowliness, humility and great simplicity, and will go on in rebellion, kicking against the convictions of the love of God in their own hearts, which reproves them in order to gain their attention to it, but they will not. Again it is said in the scriptures, that the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven, against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, this must be meant from the outward Heaven, that is not pure in his sight, the Heaven that will be wrapt up like a scrowl, and put away with a great noise, there can be no wrath at all in the inward holy Heaven, but love and joy, and most delightful sensations among the angels and spirits of just men, made perfect, for wrath can come from no where, but where it is, and as man is called the little world, or microcosm, a part of the great world about him, and all that it contains in the Good and in the evil of it, for it is a mixture of both. It is left to the free and voluntary choice of his will to choose Good, the substantial Good, which alone subsists in God, (for the Good of the out world is but a shadow of this) and to eschew the evil. Now if man turns from the light and love of God, which strives in him to overcome, it's contrary, but if he goes on in darkness, doing that which is evil obstinately to the end, he falls into the Darkness and wrath of God, for he is in [added in handwriting] such: [colon added in handwriting] an angry wrathful God and a consuming fire, and as God is all, and manifest in all things and creatures, according to his love, or according to his wrath, as it is written of man with the perverse, thou wilt shew thyself perverse, and with the righteous thou wilt show thyself righteous, for such as the people are, such a God they also have.

Now the scriptures do not in the least contradict themselves, but is one harmonious truth to every enlightened soul, that with-opened spiritual eyes, see the ground and foundation of truth, as recorded in the sacred writings, which speak oftentimes, and in many places after the manner of men. Now it is clearly manifest by what has been said above, that their [sic!] is no wrath or anger manifest in the pure spotless immaculate deity against his creation, but the wrath or anger is in fallen nature and creature, broken off from their first state in God, which was very good.

The contents in the second leaf in man's book, are humility, meekness, patience and charity; these four capital virtues, all centers in Jesus Christ, or head united in the seed of the divine nature as one, and is sown in the light of life of every individual of the human offspring of every nation, language, tongue and people, all the world over; and where with it's strivings, it gets the consent and submission of the human will, which subjects it to the divine will, the great work of regeneration goes forward to perfection. In this seed, the paradisiacal principle is folded up, the human will being brought into obedience to it, it opens and expands itself under the sweet and warming influences of the sun of righteousness, with the enlivening vivifying gales and bedewings of the blessed spirit into flowers and fruits, and gains ground in a Progressive way over the wrathful nature in man, so that he is enabled more and more through the openings of this second leaf, or divine holy principle, to surmount over all the trials, tribulations, injections and temptatious [sic!] from the enemies of his soul's happiness; for now he sees by the openings of this seed of life, and by an internal light, where his true native home is; and as a stranger and pilgrim in this world, pants and sighs and longs after it with warm ardent desires, and rises more and more out of the fall and depravity of nature, till the dry hulk of the outward body falls away. Then the noble soul clothed with the inward body, the pure humanity of Christ his Saviour, is finally delivered from the vanity and untowardness of the outward body of sin and death, in which according to its depravity and corruption, no good thing dwells. And now has got safely home out of the reach of all evil, (where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest) into the holy pure paradise of God, and are established therein without the least possibility of every falling away; there forever to sing praises and Hallelujahs, in triumphant songs, celebrating the wonders of all redeeming love, in a never ending multiplicity of blissful wonders, in the unity of Father, Sons, and Holy Ghost, God all in all, always rising new, and changing, passing away and rising in ever new delights, fulfilling the joy of every life in the wrestling sport of love; no grudging one anothers happiness for higher or lower degrees, but all are full according to their different capacities of receiving; all endeavouring to rejoice on another in the infinite variety of colours of flowers, plants and fruits, shining with great lusture, and pleasing every sight and taste to the utmost degree of satisfaction, the creatures in their glorified state is capable of receiving. The outward world's varieties in the different parts of the creation, are but dead dark shadows in comparison to these, though they all speak the wonderful wisdom of the Creator in his works, but these are in full perfection, out of the inexhaustible fountain, which never can be drawn dry. From this fountain of everlasting goodness and bounty, the angels and the spirits of just men made perfect, forever draw their subsistence, ever receiving and giving forth new scenes of adorable delight, saying from the joy of their hearts, thou O! Father art worthy, who created us to praise and glorify thee with thy Son the lamb, who redeemed us from the earth and earthy things, and thou the blessed spirit, who clean'st us from all impurity, and fitted us for these mansions of glory, in the joint concurance [sic!] of Father, Son, and Spirit, one only good, we praise and glorify thee, for thou art worthy! worthy! worthy! to receive all honour, glory, might, majesty, and dominion; forever and ever, Amen.

Now let us look into the third leaf of man's book, and see what he is in this outward world and dominion into which he has fallen, more naked and bare, and destitute and helpless, and forlorn, then [sic!] the home born creatures of it. He is now born into the world stript of his paradisiacal clothing of the heavenly nature, for the animal nature got the predominance, and clothed him with mortal flesh and blood, and the celestial body was as it were shut up and half dead, which before the fall penetrated the outward, as the glowing fire (in a semile) penetrates the dark swart iron, that it seems all shining fire; but when the fire is extinguished, the dark iron is manifest. So man died to the celestial body, by eating of the mortal fruit; so came mortality to be manifest, which before was swallowed up of life of the celestial body, and man according to the inward and outward, was immortal, and capable to eat of the immortal fruit of the tree of life, which stood in the midst of the garden; for like was fit to receive its like. But when he died to the light and love of Heaven, manifest in the celestial body, the terrestrial was manifest in a dark opake body of corruption, formed so by the outward fiat, to evacuate the gross excrements of the elementary mortal food, which before, when the celestial divine body had the predominance, he had no need of, for he was capable to eat of the tree of life, and live forever. Now this is shut up to the mortal body and spirit of the outward world, and a cherub with a flaming sword was set and turned every way, to guard the tree of life from the now beastial man, for this corruptible flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven, nor corruption inherit incorruption; this cherub and flaming sword is now in the mortal man of this world, and in the immortal soul kindled in the fall. There is the fire of affliction, anxiety, contrary passions; the sword cuts us with heat and cold, sickness and diseases of various kinds, and at last cuts off the mortal body from the soul. And here let us well observe in this lifetime, the subtle workings of the natural man, with all his acquired wisdom to come at the tree of life. The flaming sword of the cherub turns every way of man's inventions and keeps him from it, for in this way he never can come at it nor partake of its fruit, let his wisdom and learning be never so subtle and penetreating [sic!] even as the vulter's [sic!] eye, it cannot look at it nor touch it, but by a new birth from above, and a total resignation to the divine will, the cherub gives way to nothing but this real change from the earthly image to the heavenly, from the outward to the inward, in a watchful circumspect, self-denying life. The cherub gives way to this change and to no inventions of men to come at the tree of life, in their own will, wit, or wisdom, but what is begotten of God has free access, in its internal retirements, to be refreshed strengthened and abilitated from the tree of life, to hold on its way with its face Sion-ward. The great and terrible fall of man from the inward Paradise, under the dominion and contrariety of the spirit of the outward world, is finely represented by our great Lord, the second Adam, after this manner, of a certain man that went down from Jerusalem, to Jerico [sic!], and fell among theives [sic!], who beat and wounded, and stript him, and left him half dead, and a certain priest and levite passed by on the hither side, but did not, nor could not help him out of his sad and dismal situation. In this forlorn and destitute condition, and in the needful time of being helped, the good Samaritan, ever merciful and compassionate to do man good, who is sensible of his wounds and nakedness, came and poured oil into his wounds, and bound them up, and clothed him, and carried him to the inn, where he was taken care of. O! the wonderful love of the Saviour of poor lost man, who is near at hand to help in the needful time both to heal and clothe, with his inflowing virtue, time after time, while we are in the inn of this world, in the pilgrims path out of death into life, and for our encouragement, says? Lo! I am with you always to the end of the world. Now in the above representation, it appears to me that Jerusalem is the paradisiacal state of man's perfection; and Jerico the corrupt dominion of the spirit of this world, which is justly called a vale of misery, where the man that is truly awakened to a sensibility of himself and where he is, feels experimentally in various ways and circumstances of life, that he is not at home here, but in a land of banishment, and wants the good Samaritan, a Saviour, a phisician to heal him of his wounds, bruises, and putrifying sores, being sensible they are from the top to the bottom of him. Here the beloved Saviour of lost wounded man, strengthens and protects and leads him along in his process from state to state, as man keeps in obedience, going forward in the strength of his redeemer, mortifying the deeds of the body, and dying the mystical death daily; he arises out of death in the resurrection of his Saviour, and goes forward as a conquerer [sic!] over sin, death, and the Devil. This is the first resurrection over which the second death has no power; thus he travels in his pilgrimage from the earthly image internally in the spirit, till the corrupt body the husk, be disolved [sic!] in the temporal death, which falls into the elements of which it is composed, and there is its end, but the virtual and subtle part of it, will have a resurrection which is the second, a similitude of which we have in a grain or feed sown into the earth, where the hulk is dissolved from it, and the spiritual part of it rises or grows up in a new body, and passes this transmutation, so the pure terrestial [sic!] body of man being divested of its corruption, and source of this world introduc'd by the fall is again united with the glorious celestial body as one, like unto the glorious body, of Christ as all is restored again which the first Adam lost, all by the virtue and power of the second Adam and God is all in all.

Now in the third leaf in man's book as in the first and second leaf, has four chapters or head sourses [sic!] or qualities: which are fire, air, water, and earth, a composition of which is the outward mortal body of man, in his present state in this outward world, and all the elementary creatures, animate or inanimate in the animal vegetable and mineral kingdoms, an out birth breathing from the two inward principles of darkness and light, evil and good mixed one with another. An accidental vapour coagulated or amas'd for a time a shadow or representation of the other two, for this had a begining [sic!] and will have an end, when the number to the manifestation of God's deeds of wonders shall be finished, and then the wonders and figures which have here been opened by man in this time, the virtual ideas according to evil and good, will stand each in their own principles, to the glory of their great Creator, after the dissolution of the gross corruptible part, and man the noblest part of the creation, so man has been so happy [in the printed text, the word 'if' has been inserted underneath the space between 'so' and 'happy'] as to have chosen the good part, and whose wills and desires have thirsted after it, and has attained the real and blessed substance, the pure and immaculate humanity of Christ, which the good part of the outworld shadowed, having in their various troubles and anxieties sowed the precious grain in tears, and been made to say, O! when will the time of refreshment come, when shall I be delivered from this body of sin and death, when, O! when shall I see my redeemer's face, without these involving clouds which vail [sic!] the glances of love from his bright countenance to my soul, O! that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest, fly away from this depraved self (which shackles my soul and keeps it down) and be at rest in the sweet tranquility [sic!] of my God. Here in the needful time, his tender mercy and regard to a poluted [sic!] unworthy creature, and les the mourning soul should fail before him, sometimes is pleased to break through a little with the glances of his love, peace and, rest. O! then it cheers the poor benighted traveller in the dismal gloom, and then it reaps in joy, faith, hope, and patience, increased to hold on its way, to wait patiently upon the Lord in still resignation; all the Lord's dispensations of love, bitter or sweet to it, which subjects the will more and more till it can in truth and sincerity say, not my will? but thy blessed will be done, for thou only knowest best what is best for me, This is a close and near work to break the human will of the earthly substance, and only possible to the Omnipotent power of God, to work this great and necessary change in the soul of man, from carnal to spiritual, and while in the body of flesh to have its conversation in Heaven opened in the spirit, and so is encouraged to travel forward in the heavenly way by the strength of love, till the hulk dissolve [sic!], and its soul finally delivered from the contrariety of the flesh, into the liberty of the spirits of just men made fully perfect in glory. This is the substance of the good Part; but they whose wills and desires are working in the evil part, in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and pride of life, all which branch themselves in many and various modes and forms among the children of men, over the whole face of the earth, and is as a deluge carrying downward to the chambers of death and darkness. Unhappy souls, that turn their Backs on the only remedy Omnipotent love could do for them, to recover, to redeem and gain man out of the fall, but poor blind and benighted men, suffering themselves to be led and guided as earbor'd [*see Notes] slaves to the prince of darkness, the God of this world, they still persevere in the evil part in obstinacy and rebellion kicking against the motions and convictions from the seed of life in their hearts, which would willingly arise and gain ground, but cannot because of the earthly heart, the carnal will and affections and desires, which stifles and keeps it buried under the rubbish of corrupt and depraved nature, the seed of life struggles in the heart and soul of man, to burn up the rubbish, and set itself at liberty, but O! the unbelief, hardness and obdurableness of the human heart is past my pen to describe, they content themselves to live strangers and aliens to the common wealth of Israel, being without hope, and without God in the world, dead to God and divine things, while alive in the spirit of this world, some amusing themselves with one thing and some with another, and wilfully perishes with the remedy in their own hearts, or in the free choice of their will, either to leave their poor helpless selves in the hands of redeeming love, or go on in gainsaying and disobedience of their own, who will none of his reproofs, nor suffer the king of glory to reign over them, whose wonderful love tasted death for every man, and whose true light lighteneth every man that comes into the world, and ardently thirsts with desires for their salvation with open arms upon the cross. Now my fellow mortals I entreat you, suffer one who desires the good and welfare of your immortal souls, whatever denomination you are of. My dear brethren and sisters all the world over, to stand still in your minds, and seriously to confider with yourselves, whether a good way or course, be better than a bad way or course; you cannot but own, that a good way is better than a bad one, for a good way leads to a good end, and a bad way leads you to a bad end, this life will soon terminate, and come to an end, it's very uncertain, we are going at all ages. Therefore observe the words of Moses, that highly favoured servant of the living God, seriously and weightily these words of his, and lay them to heart, for they were spoken with great affection and love to the children of Israel, at that day, and now in this day speaks to all, they have the very same weight now, as then. O! that men were wise that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end, O! be wise then now in your day of merciful visitation to your immortal souls salvation, and understand, the great value of an immortal soul, which is more worth then [sic!] the whole world, and let the close and home consideration of it abate the eager pursuit of the world and the things thereof, and by degrees wean the affections so of [sic!] it, as to have the eye of our minds and understandings opened to the vanity and uncertainty of all terrene things, in comparison to heavenly things that is permanent and fadeth not away, the things of this world fadeth away and perish with using. Therefore thou noble creature man, consider thou art Lord of the creation, keep the creation in its proper place underneath, only hanging to thee as a loose garment, and enjoy the blessing of thy God in it which he has given thee under the Sun, be a Lord over it, and let it be a servant to serve thy Creator to his glory and thy happiness, both here and hereafter, but if thou suffer it to be thy master, for it is very intruding, and bewitching, and will captivate thy noble mind, if thou be not carefully on thy watch, watch and be strong, or else thou debases thy nobility, and feeds upon husks, for the best things of this world can only supply man a little while with an animal enjoyment, and very uncertain, then it leaves him as he leaves it. Now if the spirit of this world be suffered so to intrude, as to get master over the noble mind, he will find it by woeful experience to be as a cruel task-master, which drives the poor creature first to one extreme, then to another, and another, seeking in this thing, and then in another thing for satisfaction and mitigation, but still finds discontent, and can never come at it in the things of this transitory world as has been experienced over and over by the wilfully deluded sons of Adam. But have found their way, as it were hedged up with thorns and could not over take their beloved, true content and satisfaction to their minds, and why? because the soul of man is immortal, the offspring of God, a true child of his heavenly nature, created on purpose to adore and glorify their heavenly Father. The first cause of all created beings both in Heaven and on earth, always willing their happiness, but if man seeks for happiness in any created thing but in God alone, he will be disappointed, for nothing can be our happiness and real content, but giving our souls to him, who gave our souls in a total resignation to his will, and being drawn more and more up into union with him, which is just, for in him we live, move, and have our being. In this union of the will of man to the will of his God, is his real satisfaction and content, this is attained by walking the way of the cross in a selfdenying [might be 'self-denying'; line break with hyphen occurs here] watchful circumspect life, through the wilderness of this world, to the heavenly Jerusalem our native home; we have very great encouragment [sic!] to come into this way and walk in it to our journey's end, why will we suffer ourselves to be rocked asleep as in a cradle, and bells and baubles hung about our cars by the spirit of this world to keep us asleep, it is a delusive sound, which makes us insensible where we are, but hear what the apostle says, awake thou that sleepest, arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee life. Arise and see with thy own eyes, and walk upon thy own legs, which the Lord is willing to give thee; spiritually meant: O! that I could be so happy in these few lines of direction, as to perswade [sic!] and gain the turning of the wills and desires of my fellow mortals, my dear brethren all the world over, under every name from things carnal and earthly to things heavenly and spiritual, and tho' many have resisted and gone on along while in disobedience to the reproofs of instruction in their own hearts, often doing despite to the spirit of grace, choosing the way that leadeth to destruction, stand still a little in thy mind, and consider how near thy end may be, and though thy sins, thy aggravated sins, may be as a scarlet die, yet thy Saviour, thy suffering dying Saviour, who came to seek and save that which was lost and dead in trespasses and sins, if thou look to him whom thou hast pierced in sincerity and truth, he will give thee repentance never to be repented of, and wash thee as white as snow, for the sweet sound of the name of Jesus, is mercy, goodness, compassion, and love, who was manifest in the flesh to destroy the works of the Devil in man, and save us from our sins and not in our sins, and no soul can be lost to eternal damnation, but such poor infatuated creatures, that wilfully and obstinately harden themselves through unbelief to the end of their days, that stops the ears to the charmer, charm he never so wisely. Now after I have written all this, dear reader, whoever thou art to call us home to our own hearts, to intimately read and seriously to confider our own book of three leaves, and learn to know ourselves, where we are and what we are, we are capable of high improvements while we travel this miry vale, if we listen and lay hold of the free gift of God to redeem us from evil, the work is all within, we need not mind the lo! here's or lo! there's of men, who run of themselves and are not sent of God, these shall not profit you at all? saith the Lord by his spirit of truth, I direct you to your own book, that is to know yourselves. This has been opened to me a little, by the blessed spirit of my Lord in my spirit, and in dear love, I offer them to your serious perusal and meditation in the spirit, and think not that I am any thing more then [sic!] all other men, for by nature I am a child of wrath as well as others, and nothing makes me to differ from the chief of sinners, but the free grace, love, and mercy of God to my poor soul, travelling this miry vale in care trouble, infirmities and temptations, within and without as well as all other men. But I do believe, and hope, that I shall be delivered from all these things, in God's due and appointed time, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.

And now for a conclusion, I would remark from what has been written in this small tract, that through the course of this world (which man is fallen into) from the begining [sic!] to the end of time: the eye of God sees through all, and his all-wise providence directs all to the best ends in love, through all the periods of the church, and is a scene of love and good will to men, refining, purging, putrifying [sic!] and working thorough [sic!] ways to draw and gain man to himself, and man to regain that happiness in him, which he has lost. God is the center [sic!] of happiness, the great source of all goodness this refining all powerful work neither men nor devils can hinder, as it is written by truth itself, and left us in the sacred records, thus, my WORD shall go forth and not return void, but shall acomplish [sic!] that which I please, now through this life time, all men descended from Adam the stock of the human tree, has all free will, from the free will of God who created angels and men for a purpose of his own glory. And when man fell, and walked in the imaginations of their own hearts lust, the God of love said, behold I have set before thee life and death, good, and evil, fire and water, therefore choose life, he gave man power to choose life, but if he choose death, destruction, is upon his own head, and God is just and equal in all his ways to man. Now evil and good men, in the continuance of this world are agents for the prince of darkness, and for the prince of light, each in their own principle, of their own free and voluntary choice, and what man has sown in the seed time of this life, from the mystery of the mind, the mystery will give up at the general harvest where all things will be laid open, and man will clearly see the real work of his heart and soul, for every work will be brought into judgement with every secret thing whether it be good or evil, and many wicked works are acted under the veil by the wicked in this world, but that will be laid open, for we have a just being to deal with, who will render a reward to every man according to their works. Thus man will he judged out of his own book and what is written therein, or, what principle is found predominant in him, there is his home, and that in its eternity; for the eternal fire will try every man's work of what sort it is, and make a just and equal SEPERATION, between the sheep on the right hand, and the goats on the left, the right hand is the principle of LIGHT, LIFE, and LOVE; the left hand is the principle of DARKNESS, DEATH, and WRATH, and will thus pronounce the just and errevocable [sic!] sentence, on the seperated [sic!] on either hand. First on the righteous, the great impartial judge will say, come ye blesscd of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and ye gave me meat, thirsty and ye gave me drink, naked and ye clothed me, sick and in prison and ye visited me: then shall they answer? Lord when saw we the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and in prison, and ministered unto thee, the Lord answered them, and said? forasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me, and to the wicked on the left hand, he said? depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, for I was hungry and ye gave me no meat, thirsty and ye gave me no drink, naked and ye clothed me not, sick and in prison and ye visited me not; then they will also answer, when saw we the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and in prison, and did not minister unto thee, the answer in [the 'n' has been handwritten over an unidentifiable printed character] as much, as ye have not done it to my brethren, ye have not done it unto me. Then are the righteous received into the joy of their Lord; and the wicked into everlasting punishment with the Devil and his angels. Thus the great scene is closed, and the end found the beginning.


FINIS.


NOTES

1. I have transcribed the text exactly as written. In those cases where modern spelling is different to that in the text, I have indicated this by [sic!] just in case someone thinks I have made a mistake in transcription! I have also used a comment in [] where there have been manuscript corrections in the text, or where it seems that the wrong word has been used. Any annotations can be found by searching for the character '['

2. Not being an expert in 18th century language, the word 'earbor'd' puzzled me. It would seem to be the mark of a slave. A search in a9.com came up with the following: .
The absolute predestination of all things, by Samuel Trott -Signs of the Times Feb. 24, 1833. "Being an earbored servant, he will desire to be found faithful"
And in Nathaniel West. The Thousand Year Reign of Christ: The Classic Work on Millennium (Kregel, 1993, originally published 1899)
""... Nor could the clock of destiny strike an hour more opportune, or appropriate, than this, for ransomed Israel's return from earbored servitude to Gentile Nagids, the repossession of their land, forgiveness of their debts, and remission of their sins. Of ..."

and from a message I received from a cixen:

"Without knowing the context, it's difficult ... but the OED doesn't give a definition as such in any case. Under "ear" it just list numerous composites, and under "ear-bore" it says "see bore v" Under that "bore" entry it says "Phr. name="1"to bore (any one's) ears (in allusion to Exod. xxi. 6): to consign to perpetual slavery. Obs." and Applied in sense 'to insist upon a hearing', 'to force one to listen'; possibly with reference to Psalm xl. 6 in the Heb and some examples are given: 1535 Coverdale Ex. xxi. 6 Let his master bore [Wyclif 1382 thrail, 1388 perse] him thorow the eare with a botkin.] 1641 Milton Ch. Govt. ii. (1851) 176 By their corrupt and servile doctrines boring our eares to an everlasting slavery. 1692 South 12 Serm. (1697) I. 13 Can any man, that would be faithful to his Reason, yield his Ear to be bored through by his domineering appetites"

Exodus xxi, 6 reads "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever"