Watch below as Dr. Joel R. Beeke introduces the history and legacy of Colquhoun and the significance of this book for the believer today.


The Law and the Gospel

In Treatise on the Law and the Gospel, 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.

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John Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748–1827) was ordained as minister of St. John’s in South Leith in 1781, where he served for forty-six years. He 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.



Understand the Book

Paul Smalley of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary presents a series of 15 concise yet detailed lectures below on The Law and the Gospel, discussing each chapter and its central themes, as well as important background on the life and times in which John Colquhoun ministered and wrote. Scroll to the right to access all 15 lectures, and be sure to download the accompanying Lecture Notes below for deeper study individually or with a group.

Lecture Notes

Dig deeper into Dr. Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley’s lectures on the Law and the Gospel with this free study guide.


John Colquhoun is little known in our own day, but this Scottish Presbyterian pastor has left a testimony to the life-giving gospel in this book that will echo for ages to come. Colquhoun expertly explains the moral law in its various administrations so that sinners know its demands, can flee to the gospel for life, and be informed how they can walk in a manner that draws on and reflects their union with Christ. Colquhoun’s work is a wonderful tonic for the soul, as he so clearly presents the demands of the law and the promises of the gospel that anyone who reads this book is bound to walk away with a greater appreciation for the gospel of Christ.

J. V. Fesko

Harriet Barbour Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Mississippi

Over time, a fine mixed wine becomes richer in its subtle interlacing of distinct scents and accents. The aging of Gospel wine from the 16th to 19th centuries through Calvin, Fisher, Boston, and Colquhoun traces a singular vintage, yet with distinguishing accents of law and grace. John Colquhoun, an expert sommelier of the Gospel of sovereign grace, in his A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel, offers the best vintage in this well-seasoned classic.

David Inks

Covenant URC, Fresno, CA