630. It may be added that the present day doctrine of imputation deprives man of all power arising from any freedom of choice in spiritual things, and does not even leave him enough to enable him to brush fire from his clothing and keep his body from harm, or to extinguish his blazing home with water and rescue his family; and yet the Word from beginning to end teaches that everyone must shun evils, because they are of the devil and from the devil, and must do good because it is of God and from God, and that he must do this of himself, the Lord working in him. Put the present doctrine of imputation condemns the power to do this as deadly to faith and consequently to salvation, lest something belonging to man might enter into the imputation, and thus into the merit of Christ; from the establishment of which doctrine has issued this satanic principle that man is absolutely impotent in spiritual matters; which is like saying, Walk, although you have no feet, not even one; Wash, though both your hands are cut off; or, Do good, but keep asleep; or, Feed yourself, even without a tongue. It is also like giving man a will that is not a will; in which case can he not say, "I have no more power than the pillar of salt into which Lot's wife was turned, or than Dagon the god of the Philistines had when the ark of God was taken into his house; I am afraid that my head like his might be torn off, and the palms of my hands thrown upon the threshold (1 Sam. 5:4); nor have I any more power than Beelzebub the god of Ekron who, as his name signifies, can only drive away flies?" That such impotence in spiritual things is believed in at the present day may be seen above (n. 464) from the extracts respecting freedom of choice.