In reference to reading the Bible, he says, sermon Oct. 4, 1778, ‘It hath been computed that the whole Bible may, in ordinary cases, be read through, in every family, in about the space of one year—as a part of the morning and evening sacrifice—and that without any hindrance to ordinary worldly business, where persons know aright how to improve and redeem time.’ In this same sermon (Oct. 4, 1778）—exposition No. 51, and last, of gospel of John—he pronounces the following valedictory: ‘I have now, with an upright intention, gone through a course of plain, practical expositions, on the four Evangelists.1 God is my witness, I have not willingly kept back anything, which might be profitable to you. How far God may grant me further opportunity to proceed, is known only to him, in whose hand my health and breath is, and whose are all my ways. While we live, may I and you all, Live unto the Lord; and make his word our daily study and practice.’ Another sermon, in 1778, by Mr. Cooke, was on the Continental Thanksgiving, December 30. Text, Psal. 34: 3. ‘The call of the King of Kings, by the inspired Psalmist in our text, is a sufficient warrant to our Honorable Continental Congress to call upon these United States of America to unite this day, in our humble and grateful acknowledgments, &c. These guardians of our Civil and Religious rights, &c., against a potent and cruel Adversary, have great cause this day to exalt the Lord's name together.’ A late general thanksgiving is mentioned. ‘Thousands and ten thousands are joined this day by common interest and affection (and at this time ) in rendering thanks.’ The whole discourse waxes intensely patriotic. ‘War with its destructive and bloody attendants is one of the greatest calamities which befall mankind. The part of the aggressors is one of the greatest crimes.’ The Thirteen American States and their union are remarked upon. A recital of a few of the transactions of the war is made, for instance:1. First, the merciful providence of God appears, inspiriting the militia through this State, to arm and discipline themselves for defence, before the enemy openly began this bloody war; and while the government, then over us, discountenanced all our military preparations. 2. Secondly, Divine Providence appeared in behalf of America, in suffering the enemy to make their furious attack upon this State, who, though great sufferers, were most prepared to withstand their bloody designs. 3. In the repulse the enemy received in their cruel attack upon us, which kept them back from further attempts, till neighboring States came to our assistance. 4. Fourthly, the hand of our God appears in suffering the enemy to exercise their wanton rage against each of these States, so that our common distresses have excited our sympathy and strengthened our
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1 See 1771, for the first of Matthew, and 1772 and following years for the rest of the gospels.
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