Thursday, August 27, 2020

Calvinism and the Church of England

Bishop J.C. Ryle evaluates Toplady's advocacy of Calvinism thus: 

"I do not hesitate to say that Toplady's controversial works display extraordinary ability. For example, his, "Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England" is a treatise that displays a prodigious amount of research and reading. It is a book that no one could have written who had not studied much, thought much, and thoroughly investigated an enormous mass of theological literature. You see at once that the author has completely digested what he has read and is able to concentrate all his reading on every point which he handles. The best proof of the book's ability is the simple fact that down to the present day it has never been really answered. It has been reviled, sneered at, and held up to scorn. But abuse is not argument. The book remains to this hour unanswered, and that for the simplest of reasons, that it is unanswerable. It proves irrefragably, whether men like it or not, that Calvinism is the doctrine of the Church of England, and that all her leading divines, until Laud's time, were Calvinists. All this is done logically, clearly, and powerfully. No one, I venture to think, could read this book through, and not feel obliged to admit that the author was an able man (The Christian Leaders of England in the Eighteenth Century (various editions)."

Roger Salter: Cranmerism, Calvinism, and The Church of England