Condignity and Congruity

Condignity and Congruity (meritum de condigno and de congruo), "terms used by the schoolmen to express their peculiar opinions relative to human merit and deserving. The Scotists maintain that it is possible for man in his natural state so to live as to deserve the grace of God, by which he may be enabled to obtain salvation; this natural fitness (congruitas) for grace being such as to oblige the Deity to grant it. Such is the merit of congruity. The Thomists, on the other hand, contend that man, by the divine assistance, is capable of so living as to merit eternal life, to be worthy (condignus) of it in the sight of God. In this hypothesis, the question of previous preparation for the grace which enables him to be worthy is not introduced. This is the merit of condignity." The 13th article of the Church of England is directed against these opinions, and 'maintains that the grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit can alone produce the fitness required in Christians; and that so far are any works not springing of faith in Christ from being pleasing to God, that they have the nature of sin.

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