Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

(74) -would loon confute me. So much agatnft the ufe of the term noei rit, and in explication and confirmationof the Negative Propo- fition. `Prop. 2,, Prop.z. Aff. Yet where I meet with any fober Oothodox Chri- ftian:, who ufe the wordMerit as applyed to mans Aaions towards God, moaning thereby no more then is meet though the term be un- fit , Iwill not accufe fuch of 'Popery, or other falfe dotlrine, nor alienate myfelffrom them, nor defame them to the world ; but will eletelt the pralifes of thole that fodo, My Reafons for this refolution are fuch, as Idare fay, all mo- derate, judicious Divines will allow, what ever furious, factious firebrands may imagine of them. Real; T. The Fathers, and the whole Church of Chrift, fo far as weare able to judgeby their writings, did ufe the word merit (the Latine Writers) or one of like fignification (as the Greek Writers did) for above a thoufandyears after Chrift, for ought I finde, without fo much as one contradicting voice. And what man that is a Chriftian clothnot fo much Reverence thofe ancientWor- thies, and the whole Church, as to deal tenderly and honorably with them for a word, when they agree with us in fence ? And what man that would feem to be a Proteftant, dare make all thefe Fathers, and the whole Primitive Church tobe Papifts ? that hath not a defign hereby to fet up Popery ? For were that true, what fober man wouldnot be ftrongly tempted to be a Papift Reaf,2. All our Proteftant Divines that,vindicate our Doctrine againft the Papifts, in this point (lb far as I can remember) do unanimouily endeavor to vindicate theFathers & firft Churches, fromDoctrinal Popery herein, and do interpret the term. Merit, as fignifying no more thenwe confefs : and fo are tender of the honour of the Fathers and Church. Reaf. 3. The firft Proteftant Princes, Churches and Divines; fromwhom the Reformed Churches had the name ofProteftants, in the t"fugoeflaneConfeffion (which then was, and ftill is taken for the fulleft teft of the Proteftant Doctrine among thofe Churches) do ordinarily ufe the word Merit. As, Artic.fideipnecip.,,v1rt.6. &roper igitur fentiendum eft nos confequi Remijfionem peccatorum & perfonam pronunciari juflain , id eft, Acceptari gratis propter Chriflum, per fidem. Neu yens placere etiam obedientiarn er- 441egrao &reptstari vandal); jo Won, & mercri prxmia, &- as