n.1.(Scholastic Theol.) Merit, acquired by works, which can claim reward on the score of general benevolence.
Such a worthiness of condignity, and proper merit of the heavenly glory, cannot be found in any the best, most perfect, and excellent of created beings.
- Bp. Bull.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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Complementary to his doctrine of "justification by faith alone" was Luther's rejection of any kind of merit, including what he called "'the fictitious distinction between merit of congruity and merit of condignity,"' whereby scholastics attempted to safeguard the total gratuity of salvation.