The Puritans were convinced that the ability to think clearly was of the utmost importance. In our day, common sense is not very common and clear thinking is not very clear. This book will help discipline the mind and train the reader to discern proper thinking and argumentation in seeking the truth.
Who was Isaac Watts?was born in Southampton, England, on July 17, 1674. His father had served several prison terms because of his non-conformity. In 1702, Watts became pastor of Mark Lane Chapel, a large Congregational church in London. Although ill health forced his virtual retirement within a few years, the congregation insisted that he remain pastor as long as he lived. Watts never married, though he did propose to Elizabeth Singer, who rebuffed him with these words: “Mr. Watts, I only wish I could say that I admire the casket as I admire the jewel.” Watts wrote prodigiously, and was the author of over 750 hymns. On the day of Watts’ death, Matthew Arnold declared Watts’ “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” to be the finest hymn in the English language. Others include “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” and “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun.” Isaac Watts died on November 25, 1748 and was buried in the non-conformist burial ground at Bunhill Fields.
John Colquhoun (1748–1827) was a minister in the Church of Scotland whose sermons and writings reflect those of the Marrow brethren of the Secession church. Colquhoun’s writings are theologically astute and intensely practical. He wrote on the core doctrines of the gospel, particularly on experiential soteriology.
In this book, Colquhoun helps us understand the precise relationship between law and gospel. He also impresses us with the importance of knowing this relationship. Colquhoun especially excels in showing how important the law is as a believer’s rule of life without doing injury to the freeness and fullness of the gospel. By implication, he enables us to draw four practical conclusions: 1) the law shows us how to live, 2) the law as a rule of life combats both antinomianism and legalism, 3) the law shows us how to love, and 4) the law promotes true freedom.
1. The Law of God or the Moral Law in General
2. The Law of God as Promulgated to the Israelites from Mount Sinai
3. The Properties of the Moral Law
4. The Rules for Understanding Aright the Ten Commandments
5. The Gospel of Christ
6. The Uses of the Gospel, and of the Law in Subservience to It
7. The Difference between the Law and the Gospel
8. The Agreement between the Law and the Gospel
9. The Establishment of the Law by the Gospel
10. The Believer’s Privilege of Being Dead to the Law as a Covenant of Works
11. The High Obligations under Which Believers Lie
12. The Nature, Necessity, and Desert of Good Works
Quote from the Author:
“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.”—John Colquhoun