Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

(70) hard to fee it in the nature of the thing, for the molt of them. And therefore leaving every one to judge of the Matter as they fee caufe, How far Man path any of thefe. things, by men called Meritorious? I fhall only fpeak to the very Word, according to my intent. And I fhall fpeakmy thoughts in thefe two conclufions following. I. I do think it unfit to ufe the termMerit of any fictions ofman, as to Gods ullercies or Rewards , and that Divines fhould agree to- gether to difufe it, and reject it, andexprefs their minds byfome fit- ter terms. My Reafons are thefe. I. Mans heart is proud enough with. out fuch Initigations : We have more need to contrive all the molt elife6tual convenient means, for the deftroying of this molt dangerous Mailer fin : and even to fit the very terms of our Do- &rine to this end, And though the matter that fome intend by the termMerit, have no tendency in it felfto our puffing up, and we muff not difclaim obedience, for fear ofbeing proudof it, yet the term cloth fo ftrongly favour of more then any fober Chriflian may arrogate tohimfelf, that I think it unfafe. .2. Or ifit fhould not be fo to the judicious, yet it is to the vul- gar, who will ufe the word in imitation of them, when they cannot imitate them in.the Caution and interpretation. 3. The holy Scripture ufeth this term fparingly (I mean the words of the fame fignification ) if at all ; which many learned men do queftion. And we have great reafon to ufe it as fpa- ringly. 4. In its molt proper fence, as it fignifieth that which is Not due ; which is to the benefit ofanother; which bath anyproportion to the. ReVard.d-c. Yea, or but any oneof thefe, it cannot be ufed by us but with arrogant prefumption, and fuch, as ifit be heartily done,is deftrudive to our Chriflianity, and inconliflent with flute- rity. It is not fit therefore ordinarily to ufe a phrafe, though im. properly. which is fo dangerous in the proper fignification. We know howwe fpeak it, but we know not how otherswill under! ftand and receive it. 5. Theeffate ofman fince his fall is fo depraved and miferable, that it befeems him to fpeak in anfwerable language. For the poor to fpeak proudly. a firmer to ufeArrogant terms,rs an unna. tural and unexcufableError. 6. It