In this treatment of the biblically doctrine of repentance the author distinguished between evangelical or true repentance and legal repentance. Though the latter may be produced by a fear of God's wrath and lead to reformation of life, it is an experience which falls short of salvation. Evangelical repentance, on the other hand, is the result of the Holy Spirit's work in regeneration, is inseparable from faith in Jesus Christ, and is evidenced by turning from all sin to God.
John Colquhoun, minister in the Church of Scotland at Leith, deals in turn with the sources, nature, necessity, fruits and evidences of evangelical repentance, how it differs from legal repentance, and how logically (although not in respect of time) it must be preceded by faith and justification. The author leaves his reader in no doubt that without such repentance there is no scriptural warrant to assume that a person is born again of the Spirit. He provides an excellent corrective to a superficial conception of conversion.