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These quotations will leave no doubt as to his view of the power of motives. On the more difficult question of the efficiency of the Divine will, in the case of human volitions, the conclusion will not be so clear. He hesitates but does not deny, when this view is stated in its broadest sense."From the declaration of our Lord: 'My Father worketh hitherto, and I work;' and from that assertion of the Apostle: 'In him we live, and are moved, and exist;' the archbishop [Bradwardin] infers: 1. 'that no thing whatever can put any other thing into motion, unless God himself, by his own proper influence, give motion to the thing so moved; 2. that no thing whatever can put any other thing into motion, without God's being the immediate mover of it; yea, 3. that whatsoever is put in motion by anything else, is more immediately moved by God himself, than by the instrument which sets it in motion, be that instrument what it will.' This is winding up matters to a very high standard. And yet, perhaps, the standard is no higher than philosophy itself can justify."1 Though Mr. Toplady seems to be dizzy for a moment when raised to this height; his own statements in reference to the power of motives, and the dependence of motives upon God as the source of their power, indicate a view not much below that of the archbishop. He maintained that the volitions were dependent on the ideas, the ideas on the sensations, the sensations upon " exterior beings (for all our sensations are but modes of motion), and every one of these exterior beings is dependent for existence, and for operation, on God Most High."2 Necessity, in his view, derives "its whole existence from the free will of God; and its whole effectuosity from his never-ceasing providence." 3 He does not distinguish between the rational determination of the will and fate; but held both to be true and the same with necessity. "And what is philosophical necessity, but predestinatio elicita, or God's determination drawn out into act? Necessity, i. e. fate or providence, is a straight line drawn from the point—God's decree." * The execution of God's decree is not the application of force to the will; for the Author of the decree gives man his freedom, and can easily present motives, so that man acts as if he was free, while yet 1 I. 192. 1 VI. 30. • VI. 43. 4 VI. 46. the "will of God is certain and unalterable and is the governess of ours."1 He notices, in connection with this subject, the opinion of the old philosophers, in a way which shows his admiration, if not his assent."If we distinguish accurately, this seems to have been the order in which the most judicious of the ancients considered the whole matter: first, God; then, his will; then fate, or the solemn ratification of his will by passing and establishing it into an unchangeable decree; then, creation; then, necessity, i. e. such an indissoluble concatenation of secondary causes and effects, as has a native tendency to secure the certainty of all events (sicut unda impelitur unda); then, providence, i. e. the omnipresent, omnivigilant, alldirecting superintendency of Divine wisdom and power, carrying the whole preconcerted scheme into actual execution by the subservient mediation of second causes, which are created for that end."1 dependent on God. Is man a debtor to God; or, God a debtor to man ?"1 On the subject of ability, the question of the debtor may be neglected; and if any claim of ability on the part of men can be made, which their dependence on God does not set aside, then the Arminians are allowed to have the advantage in the contest . If human dependence is such that men have, within the smallest range, the power of so acting that we may say, their choice and not their dependence on God was the cause of such action, that the action was of such a quality — then Calvinism is overthrown." However he intended this statement to be received, it exhibits the tenor of his belief. On the other hand he says, in reply to the objections of Mr. Wesley:"I believe and preach that they [the non-elect] will be condemned, not for doing what they can in a moral way, but for not doing what they can; for not believing the gospel report; and for not ordering their conversation according to it."2 "Would to God that the same creed was as generally held in the days that are now." "I doe confesse and beleve, that Adam, by his fall, lost from himself and all his posterity, all the freedome, choyce, and power of man's will to doe good; so that it cannot once think a good thought, etc., untill suche tyme as the same (i. e. the will) be regenerate by the Holy Ghoste."l If the " power of contrary choice" is made the test of human ability, the following remark will be considered a clear statement of our author's view."That which is not certainly future, is not certainly foreknowable. God does not foreknow afterknow (i. e. he is never sure of a thing's coming to pass), if it be in the power of his creatures to determine themselves to a contrary point of the compass."1
Almost any scheme of necessity may be adopted as consistent with merely the freedom which Mr. Toplady allows: he nowhere intimates that the freedom of spontaneity which has been noticed, is not sufficient for man's free agency. Passages have been already noticed which show that freedom is simply choice, or pleasure, or willingness, in action. If only a smile of satisfaction passes over the face of the man, when he sees what he is doing, he is free; let him be in any conceivable condition, as to motives or compulsion. In meeting objections to his views, Toplady denies any connection between morality and necessity. Things are good or bad of themselves, independently of their causes, "neither necessity nor non-necessity has anything to do with the morality of actions." 3"The modes of actions, called virtue and vice, do not cease to be moral, be those modes occasioned by what they may. Acts are, to all intents and purposes, as morally good or evil, if they flow from one source as from another. Light is light, darkness is darkness, flow they from the right hand or from the left."4 To the question, What influence can the means of grace have on human conduct, consistently with the scheme of necessity, this philosopher replies:1 V. S08.
2 VI. 20.
"These are not useless with regard to the elect, for they are the necessary means of bringing them to the knowledge of the truth. Nor are these vain with regard to the reprobate ; for precept, reproof, and exhortation may, if duly attended to, be a means of making them careful to adjust their moral, external conduct according to the rules of decency, justice, and regularity; and thereby prevent much inconvenience to themselves and injury to society. And as for prayer, it is the duty of all, without exception. Every created being is, as such, dependent on the Creator for all things; and if dependent, ought to have recourse to him, both in the way of supplication and thanksgiving."1 The propriety of preaching must certainly be consistent with the doctrine of necessity; for it is proved, in a chapter devoted to that single purpose, that Christ himself was an absolute necessitarian ;2 and Christ and his apostles "preached to sinners, and enforced their ministry with proper rebukes, invitations, and exhortations, as occasion required." 8
Whatever plausible objections might be raised against the doctrine of necessity, this author relied on the doctrine of the foreknowledge of God as settling this question beyond all dispute. He dislikes the term foreknowledge, since it introduces time into the knowledge of God, with whom all duration is a "philosophical now." God's knowledge is but the understanding of what he is himself doing, and is as much the guide of the decree or will of God, as his will is the cause of his knowledge. "Let me just hint that if all things, without exception and without succession, are eternally present as an indivisible point to the uncreated view, necessity comes in with a full tide." * The little that our theologian has written on human ability, may be properly appended to this subject. He seems to have entertained an excessive desire to reduce his theological views to the simplest forms. For this purpose the power and government of God were the universal principles. He fancied that these principles could be made a test of theological disputes among Christian sects. He says : "All disputes between us and the Arminians may be reduced to these two questions: Is God dependent on man; or, is man 1 V. 277.
The general tendency of the writings before us, is quite different, however, from that of the passage just noticed. Probably the view which he would most readily have given out as his own, is that contained in a reply to the following question:"'But could they [the reprobate] ever repent, believe, and obey?' I am not afraid to answer, with the word of God, that repentance, faith, and sanctification are God's own gifts, which he is not bound to bestow on any man, and might have withheld from all men. Where these graces are given, rectitude and happiness follow; where they are not given, sin and misery continue to reign. The unregenerate commit evil with desire, freedom, and consent, in consequence of that original depravation which God (for unfathomable reasons) was pleased to permit, and which nothing but his own grace can effectually supersede."3
If this should not be thought to be answering rather with a commentary on the word of God, we may quote, as expressing his opinion, a passage from a creed prepared by John Clement, in the year 1556, of which Toplady says:1 IV. 278.
The effect of the atonement, according to this writer, is to make men righteous. They are not so sanctified that they constantly do right; their actions are not all holy; but those who receive the benefit of the atonement are, in the judgment of God, righteous, having the merit of those who have kept the law in all points. This is his understanding of the term justification, which is not merely negative, but positive, "and exalts us to a higher state of felicity than mere pardon would do."8 In justifying us, God must both pardon our sins and reward us as if we had been always obedient. But how can God pardon the guilty? It is by punishing another, who is innocent, in their stead. "The sword of vengeance having been already sheathed in the sinless human nature of Jehovah's Equal," " Divine justice has nothing to allege, has no penalty to inflict" on such as "trust in the cross of Christ."4 In addition to pardon, there is a positive reward. Justification (i. e. God's acceptance of men as perfect fulfillers of the law) entitles to the kingdom of heaven, all those to whom Christ's righteousness is imputed, and who are pronounced just in consequence of that imputed righteousness.1
1 II. 98. * VI. CO. 8 III. 180. * Ibid. » Sec III. 180, 181.