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This commentary is not only doctrinally sound, but it is especially easy to read and understand, adding grace and knowledge to the reader. On verse one, he explains that "from the beginning" is the highest of beginnings, 'namely from the beginning of eternity - which, lacking a beginning, implies that He was before all beginnings. And because there cannot be two eternals, but one eternal, that is God; therefore, Christ also is eternal, God with the Father and Holy Ghost" In regard to propitiation, ' 'man may be a means of reconciliation without satisfaction for the wrong done. Now Christ did make satisfaction for our sins (Heb. 3:17); and to make satisfaction, He offered a satisfactory sacrifice for our sins (1 Pet. 2:24). Since He bore the sin and punishment due to it, it is as much as if we had done it." 'Christ has taken it upon him to reconcile God to us, so that his wrath is turned from us and favor restored" (Col. 1:21). Awe were once friends with God in Paradise, and fell from him and his favor; Christ has come and made up the breach and reconciled us again." 3:23: 'Why is faith so necessary? Faith makes our persons acceptable to God; faith purifies the heart; faith furnishes the heart with graces which make our prayers amiable. There are four graces requisite in prayer, and all are worked by faith: 1. Faith produces reverence to God. 2. Faith breeds in us humility. 3. Faith works fervency and earnestness of spirit. 4. Faith works in us a holy confidence that what we ask God He will undoubtedly grant.'' In Puritan style, Cotton gives the explanation, the doctrine, and the uses of the verse, together with its setting. The type is large, white space is plentiful, and the words are of simple construction. "I observed in the whole such a blessed marriage between piety and art, such a sweet condescension to the meanest capacities, such a spiritual handling of spiritual truths, and such clear discoveries of the state of nature and the state of grace, that (even if the work had not borne the name Cotton) I could not but conclude that the author was a workman that need not be ashamed." (Foreword by Roger Drake)
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