628. II. THE IMPUTATION THAT BELONGS TO THE FAITH OF THE PRESENT DAY IS A DOUBLE IMPUTATION. AN IMPUTATION OF CHRIST'S MERIT AND AN IMPUTATION OF SALVATION THEREBY.
Throughout the whole Christian church it is taught that justification and salvation thereby are effected by God the Father through the imputation of the merit of Christ His Son; that imputation takes place by grace when and where God wills, thus arbitrarily; and that those to whom Christ's merit is imputed are adopted into the number of children of God. And because the leaders of the church have not advanced a foot beyond that imputation or raised their minds above it, because of the established dogmas of God's arbitrary election, they have fallen into enormous and fanatical errors, and at length into that detestable error respecting predestination, and still further into the abominable error, that God pays no attention to the deeds of a man's life but only to the faith inscribed upon the interiors of his mind. Unless, therefore, the error respecting imputation is abolished, atheism will invade all Christendom; and then will reign over them.
The king of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon (Rev. 9:11),
"Abaddon" and "Apollyon" signifying the destroyer of the church by falsities, and "the abyss" the abode of those falsities (see the Apocalypse Revealed n. 421, 440, 442). From this it is clear that that falsity and the resultant falsities exist in an extended series, over which that destroyer reigns; for, as said above, the entire system of the present theology is dependent on this imputation, as a long chain on a fixed hook, and as man with all his members is dependent on the head. And because this imputation reigns everywhere, it is like what Isaiah says:
The Lord will cut off from Israel head, and tail; the honorable, he is the head; and the teacher of lies, he is the tail (9:14, 15).