Rare John Cotton First EditionJohn Cotton. A Brief Exposition with Practical Observations Upon the Whole Book of Canticles. London: Ralph Smith, 1655.
First edition. Octavo. 238 pages.
Nineteenth-century full leather with five raised bands and gilt stamping. Light rubbing with minor chipping to top of spine; front board detached. Pages toned with occasional tears and water stains, and one crudely-repaired tear at page 225 affecting some text. A very good copy of this scarce edition.
John Cotton, 1584-1652, was a noted Puritan minister in England who fled to America when summoned to appear before the High Court of Commission in 1632 to answer for his Puritanism and criticism of the hierarchy of the Church of England. In America, he and John Winthrop were the leading figures of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and Cotton was chiefly responsible for the exile of Anne Hutchinson, during the Antinomian crisis, and for the expulsion of Roger Williams. He was one of the molders of the Congregational Church, and his arguments in such treatises as The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (1644), The Way of the Churches of Christ in New England (1645), and The Way of the Congregational Churches Cleared (1648) were influential in his day. His Milk for Babes (1646) was a well-known catechism for children. His daughter was the wife of Increase Mather and the mother of Cotton Mather.
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