Augustus Toplady: Heretic

Here are some of the heterodox things spoken by Toplady:

Mr. Whitefield cannot but stand highest on the modern list of Christian ministers. England has had the honor of producing the greatest men in almost every walk of useful knowledge. At the head of these are, 1. Archbishop Bradwardin, the prince of divines. 2. Milton, the prince of poets. 3. Sir Isaac Newton, the prince of philosophers. 4. Whitefield, the prince of preachers…Mr. Whitefield expresses himself, verbatim, thus, to Mr. John Wesley:

‘As God was pleased to send me out first; and to enlighten me first; so I think he still continues to do it: my business seems to be chiefly in planting. If God send you to water, I praise his name.’ (l)

On the whole, he was the least imperfect character I ever knew; and yet, no person was ever more shockingly traduced and vilified, by those who either were unacquainted with him, or who hated him for his virtues, and for his attachment to the gospel of Christ. But the pen of faithful history, and the suffrages of unprejudiced posterity, will do justice to the memory of a man, of whom the present generation was not worthy.”

(l) See the collection of Mr. Whitefield’s Letters, in three volumes, octavo. Vol. i. Let. 214. p. 205.

(The Complete Works of Augustus Toplady, p. 494, Sprinkle Publications, 1987**)

**Printed verbatim from the first edition of his works, 1794.

Toplady speaks very highly of Whitefield, even referencing Hebrews 11:38. Toplady says all of this despite his knowledge of what Whitefield thought of the gospel of John Wesley and Wesley himself. Toplady counted Whitefield an eminent saint though Whitefield spoke peace to an enemy of God, and thus Toplady showed himself to be an enemy of God (cf. James 4:4 ; 2 John 9-11).

Toplady:

“Arminians will ask,

‘Where’s the use of preaching the doctrines of grace, even supposing them to be true? Since we may go to heaven without a clear knowledge of them.’

And a man may go to heaven with broken bones; yet it is better to go thither in a whole skin. A man may get to his journey’s end, though it rain and thunder all the way; yet it is more comfortable to travel in fair weather. You or I might make a better shift to live upon a scanty allowance of bread and water; yet, surely, an easy fortune, and a decent table are, in themselves, abundantly preferable to poverty and short commons. Who would wish to go upon thorns when his way may be strewed with roses?

Where is the difference between Arminianism and Epicurism? To suppose a fortuitous concourse of incidents is no less Atheistical than to suppose a fortuitous concourse of atoms.

I can compare some ranting Arminian preachers, who represent salvation as a matter of chance, and press men to help forward their own conversion, upon pain of damnation, to none so well as to auctioneers; who, with the hammer in their hands, are always bawling out, ‘Now is your time; now is your time: a-going, a-going, a-going.’

Such a method is equally inconsistent with the analogy of faith, and subversive of the majesty of the gospel. Shall I order a dead soul to awake, and raise itself to life? Let me rather address the living God, and say, ‘Awake, and put on thy strength, O arm of the Lord! Breathe on these slain, that they may live!’” (Toplady, p. 541)

Toplady demonstrates from this quote that those who preach and believe the false gospel (cf. Galatians 1:8-9) of Arminianism are not anathema, but will make it to heaven–albeit with a few “broken bones.”

Toplady commenting on the death of an Arminian by the name of John Goodwin:

“Whether John Goodwin went to heaven or not (which is a question too high for sublunary decision), certain it is as I have already observed, that not one inhabitant of the celestial city ever carried a single particle of Arminianism with him into the gates of that Jerusalem. Of every Arminian now living, whose name is in the book of life, it may be truly said, that if grace do not go so far as to make him a Calvinist on earth, glory [i.e. grace made perfect] will certainly stamp him a Calvinist, in the kingdom of God, at farthest” (Works of Toplady, p. 361).

Toplady believes that those who believe a false gospel will come to believe the true gospel in heaven. Of course, I am not equating true Christianity with Calvinism like Toplady appears to be doing, for true and genuine Calvinism is a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner, and many Calvinists like Augustus Toplady spoke spiritual peace to the haters of God when there was no peace (cf. Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11; 2 John 9-11).

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