Biddison: Conditions Precedent & Conditions Subsequent

“Since the creation of contract law within the English common law there have been the bookends of “conditions precedent” and “conditions subsequent.” Practically speaking, all contracts include conditions precedent, i.e., those conditions without whose satisfaction the contract is never consummated and its benefits are never realized. Likewise, virtually all contracts, once agreed to, include conditions subsequent, i.e., those which must be subsequently satisfied in order for the contract to remain valid and in force. If the conditions subsequent are not satisfied, the party to whom the duty is owed may elect to terminate the contract. Thus, even secular contract law recognizes that satisfaction of the condition(s) that get one entrée into the relationship  is/are not sufficient to keep one in the relationship – one must also satisfy the conditions subsequent in order to remain in the relationship. As stated by John Davenant, “Good works are necessary to the salvation of the justified by a necessity of order, not causality; or more plainly, as the way appointed to eternal life, not as the meritorious cause of eternal life.” Certainly lends meaning to Jesus’ statement that “I am the way, etc..” – Mark Biddison