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decide the question: Thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven [by the peculiar favours and gospelprivileges bestowed upon thee] shalt be brought down to hell For if the mighty works which have heen done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day.' (Matt. xi. 23.) Now, I ask, why were these mighty works' done in Capernaum ? Was it out of love-to bring Capernaum to repentance? Or, was it out of wrath-that it might be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Sodom thau Capernaum? There is no medium: Mr. Toplady must recant this part of the Bible, and of his book; or hè must answer one of these two questions in the affirmative. If he say (as we do) that these mighty works,' which might have converted Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom, were primarily wrought to bring Capernaum to repentance, he gives up Calvinism, which stands or falls with the doctrine of necessitating means used in order to bring about a necessary end. If he say (as Calvinism does) that these mighty works were primarily wrought to sink Capernaum into hell-into a deeper hell than Sodom, because the end always shews what the means were used for; he runs upon the point of his own objection; he pulls, upon his doctrines of grace, the very unmercifulness which he charges upon ours; and he shows, to every unprejudiced reader, that the difficulty arising from the Prescience of God, with which the Calvinists think to demolish the doctrine of General Grace, falis upon Calvinism with a double weight.-Mr. Toplady is sensible that God could never have appeared good and just, unless the wicked had been absolutely inexcusable; and that they could never have been inexcusable, if God had condemned them for burying a talent of grace which they never had: And therefore Mr. T. tries to overthrow this easy solution of the difficulty by saying:
ARG. LXII. (p. 88.)- -"Be it so," that the wicked e made inexcusable by a day of grace and temporary on, "yet, surely, God can never be thought,
knowingly to render a man more inexcusable, by taking such measures as will certainly load him with accumulated condemnation, out of mere love to that man ?"— We grantit; and therefore we assert that it is not out of mere love" that God puts us in a gracious state of probation, or temporary salvation; but out of Wisdom, Truth, and distributive Justice, as well as out of
Mercy and Love.
If God, therefore, were endued
we would give up the doctrine of Judicial Reprobation; with no other perfection than that of Merciful Love, for a God devoid of Distributive Justice could and would save all sinners in the Calvinian way, that is, with a salvation perfectly finished without any of their works. But then, he would neither judge them, nor for their works, as the scriptures say he will. bestow eternal salvation upon them by way of reward
Oh how much more reasonable and scriptural is it, to allow the doctrine of Free Grace, and Free Will, established in the Scripture Scales; and to maintain the Reprobation of Justice-an avoidable reprobation this, which is perpetually asserted in the gospel, and
will leave the
wicked entirely inexcusable, and God
hold such a
perfectly righteous :-How much better is it, I say, to Reprobation, which renders the wicked excusable and Reprobation, than to admit Calvinian pitiable, as being condemned for doing what Omnipotence necessitated them to do;-a Reprobation this, which stigmatizes Christ as a shuffler, for offering to all a salvation from which most are absolutely debarred;-a cruel Reprobation, which represents the Father of mercies as an unjust Sovereign, who takes
will unavoidably load myriads of un
born men with accumulated condemnation, out of Free Wrath to their unformed souls!
Should Mr. Toplady say, "That, according to the gospel which we preach, the wicked shall certainly be
therefore the difference between us is
but trifling after all; seeing the Calvinists assert, that some meti, namely those who are eternally reprobated by divine Sovereignty, shall certainly and unavoid
be damned; and the Anti- calvinists say, that some men, namely, those who are finally reprooated by divine Justice, shall be certainly though avoidably damned :" —I reply, that, frivolous as the difference between these two doctrines may appear to those, who judge according to the APPEARANCE of words, it is as capital as the difference between avoidable ruin and unavoidable destruction; between Justice and Injustice ;-between initial Election and finished Reprobation,-between saying that GOD is the first cause of the damnation of the wicked, and asserting that THEY are the first cause of their own damnation. In a word, it is as great, as the difference between the North and the Southbetween a gospel made up of Antinomian Free Grace and barbarian Free Wrath, and a gospel made up of scriptural Free Grace, and impartial, retributive Justice.
Upon the whole, from the preceding answers it is evident, if I am not mistaken, that, though the grand Calvinian objection, taken from God's Foreknowledge, may, at first sight, puzzle the simple; yet it can bear neither the light of scripture, nor that of reason; and it recoils upon Calvinism, with all the force with which it is supposed to attack the Saving Grace which has appeared to all men.’
An Answer to the Charges of robbing the Trinity, and encouraging Deism, which Charges Mr. T. brings against the Doctrine of the Anti-Calvinists.
MR. T. thinks his cause so good, that he supposes himself able, not only to stand on the defensive; but also to attack the gospel which we preach. From his Babel therefore, (his strong tower of Confusion,) he makes a bold sally, and charges us thus:
ARG. LXIII. (p. 91.) Arminiauism robs the
Father of his Sovereignty.”—This is a mistake; Arminianism dares not attribute to Him the grim sovereignty of a Nero; but if it does not humbly allow him all the Sovereignty which scripture and reason ascribe to him, so far it is wrong, and so far we oppose Pelagian Arminianism as well as Manichean Calvinism.—It "robs the Father of his Decrees :"-This is a mistake: It reverences all his righteous, scriptural decrees; though it shudders at the thought of imputing to him unscriptural, Calvinian decrees, more wicked and abusrd than the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius. -It" robs the Father of his Providence :"-Another mistake! Our doctrine only refuses to make God the author of sin, and to lead men to the Pagan error of Fatalisın, or to the Manichean error of a two-principled god, who absolutely works all things in all men, as a showman works all things in his puppets; fixing his Necessary Virtue on the good, and Necessary Wickedness on the wicked, to the subversion of all the Divine Perfections, and to the entire overthrow of the second gospel axiom, of Christ's Tribunal, and of the Wisdom aud Justice, which the scriptures ascribe to God, as Judge of the whole earth.'
ARG. LXIV. (Ibid.)—" It [Arminianism] robs the Son of his efficacy as a Saviour."-Another mistake!
only dares not pour upon him the shame of being the Absolute Reprobater of myriads of unborn creatures, whose nature he assumed with a gracious design to be absolutely their temporary Saviour; promising to prove their eternal Saviour upon gospel-terms: And, accordingly, he saves all mankind with a temporary salvation; and those who obey him, with au eternal salvation. The EFFICACY of his blood is then complete, so far as he absolutely designed it should be.
ARG. LXV. (Ibid.)—" It [Arminianism] robs the Spirit of his efficacy as a Sanctifier."-By no means; for it maintains, that the Spirit, which is the grace and light of Christ, enlightens every man that comes into
the world,' and leads the worst of men to some temporary good, or at least restrains them from the com. mission of a thousand crimes. So far the Spirit's grace is efficacious in all; and, if it is not completely and eternally efficacious in those who harden their hearts, and by their wilful hardness treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath'-it is because the day of wrath,' for which the wicked were* secondarily made, is to be the day of the Righteous Judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds,' (Rom. ii. 5, 6;) and not the day of the unrighteous Judgment of Calvin, who (doctrinally) renders to every man according to a Finished Salvation in Christ, productive of Necessary Goodness; and according to a Finished Damnation in Adam, productive of Remediless Wickedness, and all its dreadful consequences.
ARG. LXVI. (p. 92.)-Mr. Toplady produces a long quotation from Mr. Sloss, which, being divested of the verbose dress in which error generally appears, amounts to this plain abridged argument: "If the doctrine of Calvinian Election be false, because all mankind are not the objects of that Election, and because all men have an equal right to the Divine favour; it follows, that Infidels are right when they say, that the Jewish and the Christian revelations are false: For all mankind are not elected to the favour of having the Old and New Testament; and therefore Arminianism encourages Infidelity."
This argument is good to convince Pelagian levellers that God is partial in the distribution of his talent, and that he indulges Jews and Christians with an holy peculiar Election and Calling, of which those who
* All angels and men were PRIMARILY made to enjoy an ⚫ accepted time,' and a temporary day of salvation.' Those angels and men, who know and improve their day of salvation, were SECONDARILY made for the day of remunerative love, and for a kindom prepared for them from the beginning of the world.' But those angels and men, who do not know and improve their day of salvation, were SECONDARILY made for the day of retributive wrath,' and for the fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'