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The Necessity and Profitableness of Good Works Asserted


From a sermon by Ebenezer Erskine on Titus 3:8:


"This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God, might be careful to maintain good works: these things are good and profitable unto men."



Faith applies the promises of the new covenant, and fetches grace from thence, for obeying the precept of the law. So that faith, as it were, travels between the precept and the promise: it carries the man from the precept unto the promise, and from the promise to the precept. As for instance, when the law says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind;" faith runs to the promise, where God hath said, "I will circumcise their hearts to love me." When the law says," Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and make him thy dread;" faith, in that case, runs to the promise for the grace of fear, "I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." Does the law say, "Thou shalt know the Lord, and acknowledge him for thy God?" Well, faith looks to the promise, "I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord." Does the law oblige us to keep all his commandments? Faith runs to the promise, and applies it, "I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes."




Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754) and his brother Ralph were famous Presbyterian ministers in Scotland, and close friends of Thomas Boston. Their father was Henry Erskine, under whose preaching the youthful Thomas Boston came to Christ.



The Works of Ebenezer Erskine, Vol 1 (Free Presbyterian Publications, 2001), pp138-139.