BT763 O9 1677

Its decialObjea farther cleared i 5 5 as we were before. Nor is the true fenfe of things at all illufirated , but rather darkened by fuch notions. If we may introduce Words into Religion no where of cl in the Scripture (as we may and mull if we defign to bring light, and communicate proper apprehenfions of the things contained unto the minds of men) yet are we not to take along with them arbitrary pre - conceived fentês, forged either among Lawyers, or in the Peripatetical School. The life of them in the moil approved Authors of the Language where- unto they do b-..-long, and their common vulgar acceptation among our felves, muti determine their fenfe and meaning. It is known what confufion in the minds of men, the Introdu- ¿lion of' words into Ecclefiaflical Doelrines, of whole figni- fication there hath not bee-n a certain determinate Rule agreed on, hath produced. So the word Merit was introduced by force of the Ancients, (as is plain from the defign of their Difcourfes where they ufe it) for impetration or acquifition quovis modo; by any means whatever. But there being no cogent Reafon to confine the Word unto that precife fignifi- cation, it hath given occafion to as great a Corruption as hath befallen C.hriffian Religion. We muti therefore make ufe of the bell means we have to underhand the meaning of this word, and what is intended by it, before we admit of its ufe in this cafe. Conditio in the bell Latine Writers is varioufly ufed ; an- fwering N,gaú,svois, T4 , á ta, á«íd, cwasn in the Greek: That is, Status, Fortuna, Dignitas, Caufa, PaClum initum. In which of their fignifications it is here to be underhood is not eafie to be determined. In common ufe among us, it fometimes de- notes the State and Quality of men, that is, x.4sacrs and «,eta, and fometimes a valuable conlideration of what is to be done that is, áiTtx or ovvOhn. But herein it is applied unto things in great variety ; fometimes the principal procuring purchafing caufe is fo expreffed. As the Condition whereon a man lends X 2 another