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rhetorical expressions in which they are involved. It is sometimes amusing to notice how readily anything is made an illustration of some doctrine or habit of the Arminians. He thinks "the grace in the believer's heart, according to the Arminians is like a text of Scripture written on a pane of glass, demolished by the first hand that flings a stone at it." He thinks, according to the Arminians, in conversion " God does little or nothing for men, but to give them a pull by the elbow to awake them from sleep." The Arminians seem to him to "make the Thirty-nine Articles like the newlyinvented elastic garters." Arminian preachers, who "press men to help forward their own conversion, upon pain of damnation," make him think of nothing so much as "auctioneers, who, with the hammer in their hand, are always bawling out, 'Now is your time! now is your time! a-going! a-going! a-going!'" "Let me," he adds, "rather address the living God, and say, Awake and put on thy strength, O arm of the Lord, and breathe upon these slain that they may live." Though he is somewhat copious in arguments of this kind, yet it is not difficult to discover what was his main reliance for effectual opposition to the heresies of the day. Divine Government. The fundamental principle with which Toplady settles every question, is the government of God. He looked upon the Arminian view of human freedom as inconsistent with the Divine administration. As he was entirely satisfied of the reality of the latter, of course he rejected the former. He believed all things to be directed by the counsel of God. All things are certain and necessary, not contingent and accidental; he constantly assumes that contingent and accidental mean the same thing; that no contingent event can be certain. Whatever he might allow to second causes, still he held the will of God to be the efficient cause of each particular thing. The assertions of this fact are more abundant in reference to the salvation of men, but may be found in connection with other subjects. "The absolute will of God is the original spring and efficient cause of his people's salvation."1 "Whatsoever comes to pass, comes to pass by virtue of this absolute omnipotent will of God, which is the primary and supreme cause of all things."2 "We find every matter resolved, ultimately, into the mere sovereign pleasure of God, as the spring and occasion of whatsoever is done in heaven and earth." 3 Toplady does not mean, by the will of God, a purpose or decree simply; for he says, " God's will is nothing else than God himself willing."4 The same efficiency here noticed is recognized in the lives of good men."God's preservation is the good man's perseverance. He will keep the feet of his saints. Arminianism represents God's Spirit as if he acted like the guard of a stage-coach, who sees the passengers safe out of town for a few miles ; and then, making his bow, turns back and leaves them to pursue the rest of their journey by themselves. But divine grace does not thus leave God's travellers. It accompanies them to their journey's end and without end."6
The question will arise, If God's will is the real cause of all events, so that "whatsoever comes to pass, comes to pass necessarily," and whatever is contingent (i. e. unexpected or seemingly accidental), is so only "with respect to second causes and us men;" 6 Why is it that God's plainly expressed will is so often defeated? To answer this, we must remember that "God's will of precept may, in some instances, appear to thwart his will of determination.""Although the will of God, considered in itself, is simply one and the same; yet, in condescension to the present capacities of men, the Divine will is very properly distinguished into secret and revealed. Thus it was his revealed will that Pharaoh should let the Israelites go; that Abraham should sacrifice his son; that Peter should not deny Christ: but, as was proved by the event, it was his secret will that Pharaoh should not let Israel go; that Abraham should not sacrifice Isaac; and that Peter should deny his Lord."7 It must not be inferred from this, that God's will is ever contrary to itself. The secret will of God is, in reality, his 1 V. 209. • III. 190.
will; while that which is revealed has reference to the various circumstances of men. "The hidden will is peremptory and absolute." Whatever God wills, cannot fail of accomplishment. "This made Austin say, Evil men do many things contrary to God's revealed will; but so great is his wisdom, and so inviolable his truth, that he directs all things into those channels which he foreknew."1 But with the secret will we are not concerned; while the revealed is intended for our guidance."The brief of the matter is this: secret things belong to God, and those that are revealed belong to us; therefore when we meet with a plain precept, we should endeavor to obey it, without tarrying to inquire into God's hidden purpose." * The will of God, as here presented, is not to be looked upon as limiting itself in order to leave some things for human agency. God does all things himself; his will is the motive power which causes all things in heaven and earth. In one place Toplady happened to illustrate a matter by Wolsey's expression: "The king and I;" which suggests to him the following as a note:"Speaks not Arminianism the same audacious language? Does not the doctrine of free-will, as commonly understood and received, represent man as God's coadjutor, and even as a coefficient with his Maker? Let this stand as a sample: 'Thou art courted by Father, Son, and Spirit, thy fellow laborers for thy good. To glad all heaven, assert, rescue, ennoble, and, with bliss eternal, crown thyself; for, without thee, in the constituted order of things, Heaven is unable to do it.' I appeal to every reader whether Wolsey's mode of expression was not innocent and humble, when compared with Arminian phraseology of God and I."3
In another place he calls that the "grand error of the heart (for it is a heart error as well as a head error; deeply rooted in our corrupt nature, as well as perniciously pleasing to unassisted reason), which misrepresents justification as at all suspended on causes or conditions of human performance."4 Nor are we to confine this controlling power, which God exercises, to the matter of conversion alone. God always
secretly moves the wills of men. He does not impose a sensible compulsion, "yet man acts, from the first to the last moment of his life in absolute subserviency (though he, perhaps, does not know it nor design it) to the purposes and decrees of God concerning him." God's people endeavor to do his will; but the unregenerate "resemble men rowing in a boat, who make toward the very place on which they turn their backs."1 The views of Toplady, on the subject now under consideration, will be farther illustrated as we proceed to other topics. — It might seem proper to notice, after the general subject of the Divine government, the particular manifestations of it in the decrees of God; but Toplady has said but little of decrees in general. His sentiments will be sufficiently understood, except on Election and Reprobation, which will be noticed hereafter, if we examine his remark on that doctrine on which he most relied for the proof of decrees, viz. Foreknowledge. Our author finds a little difficulty in the term foreknowledge. "When I speak of foreknowledge, as an attribute essential to Deity, I speak, as St. Paul says, after the manner of men. The simple term knowledge would be more intrinsically proper; but then it would not so readily aid the conceptions of ordinary persons."a Ideas of time are not to be connected with God: "there is no past nor future to him. All is present and unsuccessive." The same difficulty led, probably, to the following statements, of rather dubious consistency, in which the works and the attributes of God are considered relatively to each other. Which of the attributes has the precedence in calling forth acts of Divine power? There seems to be, in the following statement, a desire to remove the notion of time from the influence of motives on the Divine mind: "God's foreknowledge, taken abstractedly, is not the sole cause of beings and events ; but his will and foreknowledge taken together. Hence we find (Acts 2: 23)
that his determinate counsel and foreknowledge act in concert (but the idea of succession returns as soon as we forget it was banished), "the latter resulting from and being founded on the former." l The priority which is allowed in the last clause is again affirmed: "there are four links, which all the art of man can never separate, and which proceed in the following order, — Decree, Foreknowledge, Prophecy, Necessity."2 Again: "a point of the utmost importance" is contained in this conclusion: "the knowledge of God is a cause of the things known, and not vice versa. Human knowledge is founded on its respective objects; but all the objects of the Divine knowledge are founded on the Divine knowledge itself."8 "If the Deity received any degree of intelligence from the beings he has made, he would cease to be a pure act; he would be passive in that reception. Whence it would follow, that he must be susceptible of change."4 These remarks, which are of the "utmost importance," are from his summary of the reasoning of Bradwardin, his favorite theologian, whom he calls the English Austin.6 He informs us afterwards that Bradwardin be1 V. 197. a VI. 59. 8 I. 196. * I. 195. 6 I. 186. "It [Bradwardin's work 'Dc Causa Dei'] captivated the very muses; for Chaucer, the father of English poetry, who flourished a few years after the archbishop's decease, puts him in the same rank with St . Austin, in those lines so pleasingly remarkable for their antique simplicity of style:"But what God afore wote, must needs bee, After the opinion of certain clerkis. Witness of him that any clerke is That in schole is great altercation In this matter, and great disputation, And hath been of an hundred thousand men. But I nc cannot boult it to the bren As can the holy doctour Saincte Austin, Or Boece, or the bishop Bradwardin." Chaucer's lines have, perhaps, at present, little else besides their rust to recommend them. But Sir H. Savile's version of them into Latin, is highly elegant and classical: Non cvenirc non potest, quicquid Deus Fracscinit: ita fert crebra doctorum cohors. Hie litcratum quern libct testem voco, Quantis utrinque fluctibus lis haec scholas Trivit, teritquc: pene inextricabili Ingenia nodo centics millc implicans. Excutere nudas haec adusque furfures (Quod ab Augustino praestitum, et Boethio, Ac Bradwardino epuoopo) non sum potis.