Works Of Rev. Augustus Toplady -- By: George Nye Boardman
BSac 13:52 (Oct 1856) p. 808
Works Of Rev. Augustus Toplady
Among the writers who undertake the defence of any of the Christian doctrines, none has a better claim to be heard than the pastor; and none should be more readily pardoned in case of intemperate zeal. We naturally suppose that he has found the truths he would vindicate effective in his public and private ministrations.
Augustus Toplady had possession of the vicarship of Broad Henbury, in Devonshire, from 1768 till his death in 1778. He was called to preach the gospel, as he thought, in evil times. Those of his works which were written for publication, were intended to check the progress of Arminianism and to defend the church of England from the charge of being Arminian in doctrine.
It was his love of the church that first called him out, in the year 1769, in a letter to Dr. Nowell. He says: “To vindicate the best of visible churches from the false charge of Arminianism, fastened on her by you, and to prove that the principles commonly (although perhaps not properly) termed Calvinistic, are plainly and repeatedly delivered in
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the authentic declarations of her belief, were the reasons which chiefly induced me to resolve on the present undertaking.”1
The earnestness with which he addresses himself to his labor will be seen in a remark to Dr. N. in the letter: — “You have been fighting against those very truths which, when you received ordination, you, on your knees, was solemnly commissioned to defend.” To this he adds, as pertinent to the present argument, the expostulation of the great Dr. South: “To be impugned from without, and betrayed from within, is certainly the worst condition that either church or state can fall into; and the best of churches, the church of England, has had experience of both.” 2
Besides the letter just noticed, Mr. Toplady published, in 1774, the “Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England.” His treatise is a condensed statement of the views of the eminent reformers and martyrs of the English church, from the time of Edward VI. to the Commonwealth. After establishing his position by abundant and superfluous evidence, he concludes with a “Humble Address to the Episcopal Bench,” in which he says:
“Your Lordships lament the visible encroachments of Popery, — Arminianism is at once its root, its sunshine, and its vital sap. — Your Lordships see with concern the extending progress of infidelity; — Arminianism has opened the hatches to this pernicious inundation.” You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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