Merit? The Cross, of Course!

Every time we say, “for Thy name’s” sake, or for Christ’s sake, we are making use of another’s claim, another’s merit, and conceding or accepting the whole doctrine of imputed righteousness.

Every man is daily getting, in some way or other, what he personally has no title to. When a son gets an inheritance from his father, he gets what does not belong to him, and what could easily and legally be diverted from him. When one who is not a son gets an estate by will, he gets what he has no claim to, simply by a legal deed. Human jurisprudence recognizes these transferences as competent and proper, not fictitious or absurd. Man daily acts on these principles of getting what he has no right to, simply because a fellow-man wills it, and law acknowledges that will.

Why then should he speak of fictitious transferences in spiritual blessings, proceeding on precisely the same principle? why should he deny the law or process of the divine jurisprudence, by which forgiveness of sins is conferred on him according to the will of another, and secured to him by the claims of another? If earthly law deals thus with him in earthly things, why should not heavenly law deal thus with him in heavenly things?

All divine life, and all the precious fruits of it, pardon, peace, and holiness, spring from the cross…. Holiness as well as pardon is to be had from the blood of the cross…. All fancied sanctification which does not arise wholly from the blood of the cross is nothing better than Pharisaism….

If we would be holy, we must get to the cross, and dwell there; else, notwithstanding all our labor and diligence, and fasting, and praying, and good works, we shall be yet void of real sanctification, destitute of those humble, gracious tempers which accompany a clear view of the cross.

— John Berridge,  1716 − 1793), Anglican evangelical revivalist and hymnist

–BERRIDGE’S Letters.