James Buchanan was born in Scotland in 1804 ad ordained in 1927 in the Church of Scotland. In 1828 he commenced a very successful ministry at North Leith where he gained a great reputation as an earnest, eloquent, evangelical preacher. In 1845 he was appointed to the Chair of Apologetics at New College, and in 1847 he succeeded Chalmers as Professor of Systematic Theology. He retired in 1868 and died two years later.
He was a prolific and popular writer: his first book, Comfort in Affliction (1837), sold nearly 30,000 copies. His two most valuable works were The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit (1842) , an exposition which still merits study, and The Doctrine of Justification, the Cunningham Lectures for 1866, of which we give the substance in this book.