112. III. That the faith of imputation, or application of the justice or merit of Christ, inasmuch as such imputation or application is impossible, is an imaginary faith. That to everyone is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good, was demonstrated above (n. 110). Hence it is evident, that if by imputation is meant the application and thence the induction of the good of one into another, it is an imaginary thought. In the world, merits may be as it were transcribed by men, that is, benefits may be conferred on children for the sake of their parents, or on the friends of any adherent from favoritism; yet the good of merit cannot be inscribed on their souls, but only externally adjoined. The like cannot take place with men in respect to their spiritual life. This, as was shown above, must be implanted, and if not implanted by a life according to the above-mentioned precepts of the Lord, man remains in the evil in which he was born. Until this is done, no good can approach him, or if it does, it is instantly repelled, and rebounds like an elastic ball falling on a rock, or is absorbed like a diamond thrown into a swamp. An unreformed man is, as to his spirit, like a panther or an owl, and may be compared to a thorn or a nettle; but a regenerate man is like a sheep or a dove, and may be compared to an olive tree or a vine. Consider then, I pray, if thou art disposed, how can a man a panther be converted into a man a sheep, or an owl into a dove, or a thorn into an olive tree, or a nettle into a vine, by any imputation, if thereby is meant transcription? In order that conversion may take place, must not the ferocious nature of the panther and the owl, and the noxious properties of the thorn and the nettle, be first removed, and thus the truly human and inoffensive properties be implanted? How this is effected, the Lord also teaches in John (15:1-7).