Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Good Old Wine of Distinguishing Grace

A selection from a letter by the well-known hymn writer and preacher of the gospel, Augustus Toplady, to a Mr. Bottomley, who had sent him a paper that he had written expressing his acceptance of Calvinistic doctrine. Toplady encouraged him to continue to search the Scriptures and with the light given to him, to throw off the errors of Arminianism. The letter was written December 3, 1768.

I verily hope and believe that that most gracious Being who has led you thus far, will go on to translate you farther and farther into the light and liberty of his children. As I once took occasion to tell you, it is much the same with mistakes in matters of judgment, as it was with the two disciples in the dungeon of Philippi [Acts 16:26]: first the prison shakes and next the doors fly open. I am heartily glad that you are shaken as to the system you have long embraced and trust that it is preclusive to your deliverance from it…

Chiefly keep your eye fixed on the Scriptures and derive by humble, earnest, waiting prayer, all your light and knowledge thence. One thing I am very clear in, that if you reduce your ideas to the standard of Scripture, and make this the model of those, suffering the unerring word of revelation to have the casting vote, and turning your mind into the gospel mould, you must and will eventually throw the idol of Arminianism, in all its branches, to the moles and to the bats. You will no longer dwell with Mesech, nor have your habitation among the tents of Kedar. Having tasted the good old wine of distinguishing grace, you will no longer have any relish for the new scheme of grace without a plan, and of a random salvation; for you will both know and acknowledge that the old is better.

The Works of Augustus Toplady, Bookshelf Publications, reprint from the 1794 edition, pp. 832-33.


Predestined said...

This is a tonic to my soul. Toplady has proved to me an eminent pious theologian not only a profound hymn-writer.

Your labors are a blessing.
In His Distinguishing Grace,

Dean Olive said...

Thanks, Doros. Toplady is excellent. We sing a number of his hymns in our church and I am amazed at how much good theology he was able to pack into a hymn! We just sang the other Sunday, "From Whence This Fear and Unbelief." If you do not know this hymn, check it out. I am sure it is on the web somewhere. I made a few comments on the following verse after singing this hymn:

If Thou has my discharge procured,
and freely in my room endured
the whole of wrath divine;
Payment God cannot twice demand,
first at my bleeding Surety's hand,
and then again at mine.

His writings, letters, and hymns are excellent!