Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT763 .B35 1655

(79) of the Scripture : But it feems the word Meriturn bath nothing in it, which fhould make it much more improper then c.914erces : for they are both Relatives : and they come both from cil4ereor. I muft intreat the judicious Reader not to miftale my end in all this, nor to fuppofe me to conclude contrary to my former Propofition. I Rand between two extreams, and therefore muft fpeak againft both. I onely hence conclude, that therefore we fhould not too much quarrell about the bare word,whenwe agree in fence : nor fhould we cenfure any for the bare ufe of the word Merit, as erring- in Da:trine, when it feems to him to be a. term warranted by Scripture : But yet where Scripture it felf ufeth a term improperly, we fhould in our difputes lay by fuch terms ufually, ifwehave more proper; and where ufe bath made a term dangerous to the fouls ofmen, it may be fit to forbear it, without neceffity, or explication. I have faid the more alfo of this, that it may appear to all impartial Readers,on what grounds, and with what Truth and Modefty Mr. E. and Mr. Cr. charge me with Error,and flat Popery ; becaufe that when I was fpeaking againft Merit, I yielded that improperly, and in a larger fence, as Promife is an Obligation,and the thing promifed is called Debt or Due, fo the performers of the Condition are called worthy, and their performance Merit, though properly it is all of Grace and not ofDebt. I appeal to any competent Judge,whether thefe men do not hereby make all the Fathers and Churches of Chrift to be Papifts, till about Iflebius his daies ; or at leaft for above l000. years after Chrift (and I think between that and , Luther: time, the do6trine ofMerits was not much decayed) ? Yea, Tome will doubt whether they make not Chrift and his Apoftles Papifts? and then no wonder if they make Luther, cgelanahon, and all the Proteftants that fubfcribed the Augutlane Confefsion, to be Papifts : yea, Rucer, Calvin, and many ofthe molt eminent Di- vines ofhis Judgement, who alfo fubfcribed, and offered to fub- fcribe the fame Confeffion. I had as live be a Papift with all thefe, as an Antinomian,calling my felf a Proteftant. And I think I have faid enough to manifeft that the Spirit of thefe twoBre- threns writings, is not fo like the Spirit of Chrift, that covereth his peoples failings, but never accufeth them for truth and duty, as to the Spirit ofthat profeffed Accufer of the Brethren, and enemy to the Truth. SECL