Elisha Coles

The Second Forward-Addressed To The Christian Reader

By Thomas Goodwin


This excellent study sufficiently commends itself to those that are acquainted and exercised in true religion. It contains all that the believer’s souls will live on every day. It is a life-giving application of the truths of the Bible for every Christian. Here, children of the Most High will enjoy and exercise sweet communion with God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant. Here they will find better hopes and surer promises of the doctrines of grace.

I have known the Author for a very long time (about 28 years). He has a spirit that is greatly addicted to, and affected with, the savory knowledge of the truths delivered here. The Doctrines of grace have been written on widely in scholarly circles. Even though he has not had the use and help of foreign languages, yet I may compare him with that of Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:6; “He has been long nourished up in the words of faith and good doctrine.” Here he is so well versed in the Bible that he is able to cut the strongest sinews of their best objections and establish the truths in this book. Also, in order to establish the positive truth, he has backed and confirmed these doctrines by solid arguments and pertinent scriptures genuinely explained and opened. Even more so, he is so gifted in his writing that he opens up the loveliness of spiritual truths of election, and quickening cordials of the doctrines of grace that no Christian can be but comforted. He exhorts and directs the whole company and body of them on how to manage their faith between God and their own souls in pointing to election. He persuades them all to com­mit and give themselves wholly to God’s work in their salva­tion by explaining the way of election. In doing this, he has sprinkled through this book useful exhortations and applications of the doctrines he explains. He also mixes in application for practice with the rational discussions and the more difficult and controversial subjects. Other men have not done this, and to the detriment of the doctrine itself. These doctrines are the very lifeblood of the Christian. On these and other considerations, I heartily commend this study to the well-intentioned reader. I do not doubt that it will satisfy the weakest Chris­tians, as it has approved itself to several solid preachers. I certainly hope that this edition will do as much good to men’s souls as the former editions have done. The blessings of heaven go with it.

Thomas Goodwin, April 12, 1678

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