Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Merit; desert.
- n. In scholastic theology, specifically, the merit of human actions considered as constituting a ground for a claim of reward.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Scholastic Theol.) Merit, acquired by works, which can claim reward on the score of general benevolence.
“They ascribe unto them a condignity of the heavenly reward, making it of works, and so not of grace; with many other defiling imaginations.”
“Tr.  In the original, “Immo etiam ex condigno,” “And that, too, of condignity.” —”
“Secondly, That the reward be not absolutely of grace, but that respect he had therein unto works; which makes it so far to be of debt, not out of an internal condignity, which would not have been under the law of creation, but out of some congruity with respect unto the promise of God, verse 4.”
“Hereon they dispute about the merit and satisfactoriness of those works, with their condignity of the reward of eternal life.”
“He makes no mention of any merit, either of congruity or condignity.”
“God unto justification; either a condition it is, or a disposition unto it, or has a congruity in deserving the grace of justification, or a downright merit of condignity thereof: for all these are but various expressions of the same thing, according unto the variety of the conceptions of the minds of men about it.”
“But, even then, the explanation of the schoolmen ought to have been added, "that God will do this, not from (the merit of) condignity, but from (that of) congruity; and not because the act of man merits any such thing, but because it is befitting the great mercy and beneficence of God.”
“There cannot be condignity if a meritorious work is considered as it is in its own substance, and as the outcome of a man's own free will, since there is then extreme inequality.”
“The Scotists hold that the entire condignity of the good work rests exclusively on the gratuitous promise of God and His free acceptance, without which even the most heroic act is devoid of merit, and with which even mere naturally good works may become meritorious.”
“We therefore say that the condignity between merit and reward owes its origin to a twofold source: to the intrinsic value of the good work and to the free acceptance and gratuitous promise of God (cf. James, i, 12).”
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