627. In the present church, then, these three, faith, imputation, and Christ's merit, are one, and they may be called a triune; for if one of these three were taken away, the present theology would be reduced to nothing, since it depends on these three perceived as one, as a long chain on a fixed hook. So if either faith, or imputation, or Christ's merit were taken away, all the things said about justification, the forgiveness of sins, vivification, renewal, regeneration, sanctification, and about the gospel, freedom of choice, charity, and good works, and even life eternal, would become like desolate towns or like a temple in ruins, and faith itself, which stands at the head of all, would come to nothing, and thus the entire church would be a desert and a desolation. All this makes clear upon what a pillar the house of God at this day is made to rest: and if that pillar were torn down the house would be overthrown, like that in which the lords of the Philistines and people to the number of three thousand were amusing themselves, when Samson pulled down both of its pillars at once, and all within it were slain or died (Judges 16:29). This is said because it has been shown in what precedes, and will be shown still further in an appendix, that this faith is not Christian, because it is at variance with the Word, and that the imputation which it teaches is absurd, since Christ's merit cannot be imputed.