Free: Colquhoun’s Treatise On Law And Gospel

Reformation Heritage Books is giving away a free copy of John Colquhoun’s A Treatise on Law and Gospel. Colquhoun (1748–1827) was a pastor in Leith, Scotland for 46 years. He was a defender of the theology of the Marrow Men (Thomas Boston, the Erskines, etc). The Marrow Men were defenders of a wonderful book from the 1640s, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, which came under attack in the 18th century by those who were influenced by Richard Baxter’s denial of the gospel of free grace.

In contrast to those who, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continue to say that to distinguish law and gospel is purely a Lutheran tradition, Colquhoun wrote:

The law and the gospel are the principal parts of divine revelation; or rather they are the center, sum, and substance of all the other parts of it. Every passage of sacred Scripture is either law or gospel, or is capable of being referred either to the one or to the other . . . If then a man cannot distinguish aright between the law and the gospel, he cannot rightly understand so much as a single article of divine truth. If he does not have spiritual and just apprehensions of the holy law, he cannot have spiritual and transforming discoveries of the glorious gospel; and, on the other hand, if his view of the gospel is erroneous, his notions of the law cannot be right.

In this he was standing with Luther, Calvin, Beza, Perkins, and the mainstream of the Reformation traditions. This is Reformation Theology 101.

You should read this book, and now you can do so for free by going here.

RHB is giving away both e-books and paperback copies of this treasure. They are also selling a hardcopy edition of this book.

  • The paperback can be ordered here.
  • The ebook can be ordered here.
  • The hardcover can be ordered here ($22.00).


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  1. It really is such a simple distinction. The law tells us what we ought to do, while the gospel tells us what God has done for our justification when we trust in the good news of the Saviour promised to Adam, Abraham, and David, through Christ who would fulfill all the demands of the law. The consummate example is God cutting a covenant with Abraham. While Abraham is in a helpless stupor, God takes on all the covenant responsibilities. God walks through the animal pieces alone to promise that He will do all the covenant requires and pay the penalty of death for breaking it. Abraham believes this and God credits it to him as righteousness. Consequently Abraham gratefully obeys, so that he is even to sacrifice his son at God’s command. Romans 4


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