In 'Evangelical Repentance," Puritan author John Colquhoun traces the grace of repentance to the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, showing how it flows out of a true, spiritual sight and sense of sin. This gracious repentance is a turning of the whole man from all that is sinful and hateful to God. 'The sincere penitent', Colquhoun writes, 'forsakes all iniquity from right principles, by right motives, in a right manner, and to a right end.' Colquhoun shows the reasons why evangelical repentance is absolutely necessary, and carefully distinguishes it from mere legal repentance and all counterfeit and superficial remorse for sin. The latter he states is an abomination to God since it does not flow from a heart regenerated by grace and purified by faith. The fruits and evidences of real repentance, such as Paul outlines in 2 Corinthians 7, are discussed. Colquhoun then goes on to elaborate the priority of that justifying faith which secures forgiveness and comes before the exercise of evangelical repentance. The influence of the Marrow theology, and especially of Thomas Boston, is highly evident here. Colquhoun's work, in line with the writings of the Marrowmen, breathes the warmth of the glorious gospel and, whilst it is most solemn in its denunciation of all sin, it is full of evangelical consolation to believers seeking a greater assurance of their knowledge of Christ. In addition to defining the meaning of true repentance, Colquhoun demonstrates how this blessed exercise of soul may be obtained. Since Christ is exalted to give repentance, we are to trust in him for it as well as for pardoning grace. We are to choose God in Christ as our covenant-God and portion. We must be frequent and earnest in prayer for the grace of repentance. Furthermore, we must endeavor to see sin in its hatefulness, especially the sin of our nature. The contemplation of the death of Christ is essential if we would see the awfulness of sin and what it deserves, and we should meditate much on death and judgment to come. Without a doubt, the topic handled so judiciously and profitably in this book by John Colquhoun is of the highest importance to every Christian, and an excellent addition to any library.
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About the Author
Colquhoun, John (1748 - 1827), CofS minister and author. Born in the parish of Luss (Dunbartonshire), Colquhoun attributed his conversion to the answer to the Shorter Catechism's question, 'What is effectual calling?' Referred by a teacher to Thomas Boston's* Fourfold State, he began an acquaintance with Boston's writings which continued throughout his life. He studied at the University of Glasgow, was ordained to the New Church (St John's), South Leith, in 1781 and remained there until his death. He was a popular and influential evangelical preacher, whose sermons and writings reflect in great measure those of the Marrow brethren. In advising the many students of divinity who frequented his ministry, he declined to recommend The Marrow of Modern Divinity, as the General Assembly had condemned it. But Boston's notes to the Marrow were not so condemned, and these he warmly recommended. Colquhoun's works, all intensely practical, were widely influential: A Treatise of Spiritual Comfort (E, 1813; 1822); A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel (E, 1816; 1819); A Treatise on the Covenant of Grace (E, 1818); A Catechism for the Instruction and Direction of Young Communicants (E, 1821; 1838); A Treatise on the Covenant of Works (E, 1821); A View of Saving Faith (E, 1824); A Collection of the Promises of the Gospel (E, 1825); A View of Evangelical Repentance(E, 1825); Sermons, chiefly on Doctrinal Subjects [RAM: See here for details on the forthcoming republication of these sermons] (E, 1836), includes a brief memoir.