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of !is creatures as he pleases to a crown of glory, lie may absolutely reprobate as many as Calvinism pleases to eterual sin and everlasting burnings. The absurdity of this conclusion will be discovered by the reader, if he look at it through the glass of the following illustrations. Mr. Toplady is not obliged, by any rule of justice, to give Mr. Wesley a hundred pounds, because he owes him no money; and therefore Mr. T. may give Mr. Wesley a hundred gratuitous stripes, without breaking any rule of justice. The king may without injustice gratuitously give a thousand pounds to one man, ten thousand to another, an hundred to a third, and nothing to a fourth ; and therefore the king may also, without injustice, gratuitously give an hundred stabs to one man, a thousand to another, and ten thousand to a third , or, he may necessitate them to offend, that he may hang and burn them with a show of justice.
ARGUMENT XIX. (P. 36.)—“ I defy any man to shew in what single respect the actual limitation of happiness itself is a jot more just and equitable (in a Being possessed of infinite power) than the decretive limitation of the persons who shall enjoy that happiness.”—The question is not whether God can justly limitate the happiness of man; or the number of the men, whom he will raise to such and such heights of happiness. This we never disputed ; on the contrary, we assert with our Lord, that when God gives degrees of happiness, as a Benefactor he may“ do what he pleases, with his own;' he may give five talents to one man, or to five thousand meil ;
and two talents to two men, or to two millions of men.-Wherein then does the fallacy of Mr. Toplady's argument consist? In this most irrational and unjust conclusion : God may, without injustice, " limit the happiness" of his human creatures, and the number of those, who shall enjoy such and such a degree of happie ness; and therefore, he may also without injustice absolutely reprobate as many of his unborn creatures as hepleases, and decree to protract their infernal torments to all eternity, after having first decreed their necessary in urdu ir fall into sin, and their necessary continuance in sin,
as necessary means, in order to their necessary end, which is eternal dumnation. Is not this an admirable Vindication of Calvin's Decrees ? Who does not see that the conclusion has no more to do with the premises, than the following argument: The Lord Chaucellor may, trithout injustice, present Mr. T. to a living of fifty pounds, or to one of two hundred pounds, o he may reprobate Mr. T. from all the crown livings; and therefore the Lord Chancellor may without injustice sue Mr. T. for fifty pounds, or two hundred pounds, whenever he pleases. What name shall we give to the Logic which deals in such arguments as these ?
ARGUMENT XX. (Page 37.) -" He (man) derives his esistence from God, and therefore [says Aiminianism] God is bound to make his existence happy.”-I would rather say, God is bound both by the rectitude of his uature, and by the promises of his gospel, not to reprobate any man to remediless sin and eternal misery, till he has actually deserved such a dreadful reprobation, at least by one thought, which he was not absolutely predestinated to think. But Calvinism says, that God abso. lutely reprobated a majority of men before they thought their first thought, or drew their first breath. If Mr. Toplady had stated the case in this plain manner, all his readers would have seen his doctrine of wrath without a reil, and would have shuddered at the sight.
ARGUMENT XXI. (ibid.) ----" If God owe i alvation to all his creatures as such, even the workers of iniquity will be saved, or God must cease to be just.”- never heard any Arminian say, that God owes salvation, that is, heavenly glory, to all his creatures as such: For theu all horses, being God's creatures as well as men, would be taken to heaven. But we maintain, that God will never mediately entail necessary, remediless sin upon any of his creatures, that he may infallibly punish them with eternal damnation. And we assert, if God had not graciously designed to replace all inankind in a state of initial salvation from sin and hell, according to the various dispensations of his redeeming grace, he would
have punished Adam's personal sin by a personal dan nation. Nor would he have suffered him to propagate his fallen race, unless the second Adam had extended the blessings of redemption so far as to save from eternal misery all who die in their infancy, and to put all who live long enough to act as moral agents, in a ca. pacity of avoiding hell by working out their own eternal salvation' in the day of their temporary salvation ;--a day this, which inconsistent Calvinists call " the day of grace.”
Mr. Toplady, after decrying our doctrine of grace, as leading to gross iniquity, indirectly owns,
that the conditionality of the promise of eternal salvation guards our gospel against the charge of Antinomianism,-a dreadful charge this, which falls so heavily on Calvinism. Conscious that he cannot defend his lawless, unconditional election to eternal life, and his wrathful, unconditioval reprobation to eternal death, without taking the conditionality of eternal salvation out of the way, he attempts to do it by the following dilemma :
ARGUMENT XXII. (Page 38.) “ Is salvation due to a man that does not perform those conditions ? If you say, Yes; you jump, hand over head, into what you yourself call Autinomianism.-If you say, that salvation is not due to a man, unless he do fulfil the conditions ; it will follow, that man's own performances are meritorious of salvation, and bring God himself into debt.”
We answer, 1. To shew the tares of Calvinism, Mr. Toplady raises an artificial night by confounding the sparing salvation of the Father—the atoning salvation of the Son—the convincing, converting, and perfecting salvation of the Spirit. Yea, he confounds actual salvation from a thousand temporal evils—temporary salvation from death and hell-initial salvation from the guilt and power of sin-present salvation into the blessings of Christianity, Judaism, Heathenism-continued salvation into these blessings-eternal salvation from death and hell and eternal salvation into glory and heaven :-He confounds, I say, all these degrees of
Io salvation, which is as absurd as if he confounded all
degrees of life—the life of an embryo—of a sucking child—of a school-boy-of a youth-of a man-of a departed saint-avd of an angel. When he has thus shufiled his cards, and played the dangerous game of confusion, what wonder is it, if he wins it and makes his inattentive readers believe, that what can be afli rmed with truth of salvation into heavenly glory, must be true also, when it is affirmed of salvation from everlasting burnings; and that because God does not owe Hearen and Angelical Honours to unborn Children, he may justly reprobate them to Hell and to Satanical, Remediless Wickedness as the way to it.
2. Distinguishing what Mr. Toplady confounds, we do not scruple to maintain, that, though God is not bound to give existence, much less heavenly glory, to any creature ; yet all his creatures, who never personally offended him, have a right to expect at his hands salvation from everlasting fire, till they have deserved his Eternal and Absolute Reprobation by committing some personal and avoidable offence. Hence it is, that all mankind are born in a state of inferior salvation : For they are all born out of eternal fire; and to be out of hell is a considerable degree of salvasion, unless we are suffered to live unavoidably to deserve everlasting burnings, which is the case of all Calvin's imaginary reprobates.
3. Mr. Toplady “throws out a barrel for the amusement of the whale, to keep him in play, and make him lose sight of the ship”--the fire-ship. For, in order to make us lose sight of Absolute Reprobation, Remediless Wickedness, and Everlasting Fire, which (if Calvinism be true) is the unavoidable lot of the greatest part of mankind even in their mother's womb; he throws out this ambiguous expression,
" salvation due;" just as if there were no medium between “ salvation due,” and Calvinian reprobation due ! Whereas it is crident, that there is the medium of non-creation, or that of destruction in a state of seminal existence !
4. The flaw of Mr. Toplady's argument will appear
iy its proper magnitude, if we look at it through the following illustration. A whole regiment is led to the left by the colonel, whom the general wanted to turn to the right. The colonel, who is personally in the fault, is pardoned ; and five hundred of the soldiers, who, by the overbearing influence of their colonel's disobedience, were necessitated to move to the left, are appointed to be hanged for uot going to the right. The general sends to Geneva for a Tertullus, who vicdicates the JUSTICE of the execution by the following speech : “ Preferment is not due to obedient soldiers, much less to soldiers who have necessarily disobeyed orders; and therefore your gracious general acts consistently with JUSTICE, in appointing these five hundred soldiers to be hanged, for, as there is no medium between not promoting soldiers, and hanging them, he might justly have hanged the whole regiment. He is not bound, by any law, to give any soldier a captain's commission ; and therefore he is perfectly just, when be sends these military reprobates to the gallows." Some of the auditors clap Tertullus' argument: P. O. cries out, that it is “most masterly ;' but a few of the soldiers are not quite convinced, and begin to question whether the holy service of the mild Saviour of the world, is not preferable to the Antinomian service of the Absolute Reprobater of countless myriads of unborn infants.
5. The other flaw of Mr. Toplady's dilemma consists in supposing, that gospel-worthiness is incompatible with the gospel : Whereas, all the doctrines of Justice, which make one half of the gospel, stand or fall with the doctrines of Evangelical Worthiness. We will shout it on the walls of mystic Geneva : They that follow Christ shall ' walk with him in white,' rather than they that follow antichrist; ‘for they are [more] worthy.--Watch and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape, and to stand rewardable before the Son of man.—Whatever ye do, do it hear. tily, as to the Lord, &c., knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance.' For he