“If a sinner, being justified, has all things at once that are necessary for salvation? And if personal holiness, and progress in holy obedience, is not necessary to a justified persons’s possession of glory, in case of his continuing in life after his justification?
…[F]or though the believer’s progress in holy obedience, by reason of the many stops interruptions, and assaults he frequently meets with from Satan, the world, and in-dwelling corruption, is far from being alike at all times, yet ‘the path of the just,’ though he frequently fall, will be ‘as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ Though he may, at time ‘become weary and faint in his mind,’ yet he shall he, by waiting on the Lord, ‘renew his strength, and mount up as with eagles’ wings,’ &c. But still the believer has all this in and from Christ: for whence can our progress in holiness come, but from the supply of his Spirit? Our walking in holy obedience, and every good motion of ours, must be in him, and from him, who is the Way and the Life, who is our head of influences, and the fountain of our strength, and who ‘works in us both to will and to do.’ ‘Abide in me,’ says he ‘and I in you. For without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered.’
But if the meaning of the query be, of such a necessity of holy obedience, in order to the possession of glory, as imports any kind of causality, we dare not answer in the affirmative; for we cannot look on personal holiness, or good works, as properly federal and conditional means of obtaining the possession of heaven, though we own they are necessary to make us meet for it.
These answers, contained in this and the preceding pages, (viz. of the manuscript given in,) are subscribed at Edinburgh, March 12th, 1722, by us,
James Hog, Carnock.
Thomas Boston, Etterick.
John Williamson, Inveresk.
James Kid, Queensferry.
Gabriel Wilson, Maxton.
Ebenezer Erskine, Portmoack.
Ralph Erskine, Dunfermline.
James Wardlaw, Dunfermline.
Henry Davidson, Galashiels.
James Bathgate, Orwel.
William Hunter, Lillieslead.
Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, ed. Thomas Boston (Scotland, UK: Christian Focus Publications, repr. 2009), 358, 376.
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