Friday, March 14, 2014

Toplady on Conditional Redemption

“What think you of conditional redemption? ...We are gravely told by some, that ‘Christ did indeed die; but he did not die absolutely, nor purchase forgiveness and eternal life for us certainly: his death only puts us into a salvable state; making God placable, and pardon possible.’ The whole efficacy of his sufferings, according to these persons, depends on our being towardly and complying: which if we are, we then come in for a share in the subsidiary and supplementary merits of Christ; having first qualified ourselves for his aid, by a performance of certain conditions required on our part, and entitled ourselves to the favour and notice of God. According to this scheme (which is only the religion of nature spoiled;—spoiled by an injudicious mixture of nominal Christianity), the adorable Mediator, instead of having actually obtained eternal redemption for his people, and secured the blessings of grace and glory to those for whom he died; is represented as bequeathing to them only a few spiritual lottery-tickets, which may come up, blanks or prizes, just as the wheel of chalice and human caprice happens to turn. Our own righteousness and endeavours, must first make the scale of eternal life preponderate in our favour; and then, the merits of Christ are thrown in, to make up good weight. The Messiah's obedience and sufferings stand it seems, for mere ciphers; until our own freewill is so kind as to prefix the initial figure, and render them of value.—I tremble at the shocking consequences of a system, which (as one well observes) considers the whole mediation of Christ as no more than a pedestal, on which human worth may stand exalted: nay, (to use the language of another) which sinks the Son of God—how shall I speak it?—‘into a spiritual huckster, who, having purchased certain blessings of his Father, sells them out afterwards to men upon terms and conditions.’” - A Caveat Against Unsound Doctrines

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