Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Must Be, A Necessity

A selection from a letter by Augusta Toplady to someone who had asked him some important theological questions. One question was whether God might have saved sinners in some other way than by the sacrifice of His Son. Toplady answered that question clearly and accurately in this letter written December 4, 1772.

As to the second question, “Whether sinners might not have been saved in some other way, than by the incarnation, righteousness, and death of Christ?” I make no scruple to give it as my judgment that there was no other possible way of salvation for the lost sons of Adam. If there had, Infinite Wisdom and Goodness would certainly have fixed upon it, in preference to the sorrows and agonies, the wounds and death of him who had done no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. His own prayer, If it be possible, let this cup (the cup of pain and death) pass from me, would most infallibly have been granted (for the Father heareth him always), and Christ could no more pray than he could bleed in vain, if any thing short of the oblation of himself could have obtained eternal redemption for the people of his love.

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things…? Was there not a must be, a necessity for it? Yes, there was. And, upon any other hypothesis, I see not how it could please the Father to bruise the sinless Messiah and put him to grief, without forfeiting every claim to justice, wisdom, and goodness.

The Works of Augustus Toplady, Bookshelf Publications, reprint from the 1794 edition, p. 835.

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