631. As to the first part of the doubleness of that imputation respecting man's salvation, namely, the arbitrary imputation of Christ's merit, and the imputation of salvation thereby, the dogmatists differ; some teaching that this imputation is absolute, from free power, and takes place with those whose external or internal form is well pleasing to God; others, that imputation takes place from foreknowledge, with those into whom grace is infused, and to whom this faith can be applied. Nevertheless, these two opinions aim at one mark, or are like two eyes that have one stone for their object, or two ears that have as their object one song. At first glance they seem to depart from each other, but in the end they unite and agree. For since man's complete impotence in things spiritual is taught by both, and everything belonging to man is excluded from faith, it follows that this grace which is receptive of faith, whether infused arbitrarily or from foreknowledge is the same as election; for if that which is called prevenient grace were universal, man's application of it from some power of his own would come in, and this is of course rejected as leprous. Consequently a man no more knows whether from grace that faith has been given him or not, than a stock or a stone, which is what he was when it was infused; for there is no possible sign to attest it when charity, piety, the pursuit of a new life, and the free ability to do either good or evil, are denied to man. The signs attesting that faith which are put forth are all ludicrous, closely resembling the auguries of the ancients from the flights of birds, the prognostications of astrologers by the stars, or of players by dice. Such things, and others still more ludicrous, are consequences of the doctrine of the Lord's imputed righteousness, which together with faith (which is called that righteousness), is communicated to the elect.