Augustus Toplady on Calvinism in the Church of England

If Heylyn may he credited, Laud had formed a design, so far back as the year 1600, of endeavouring to pervert the church of England from her Calvinistic doctrines. A very extraordinary object for so raw a youth, as he, at that time, was! or, as Heylyn himself expresses it, “a desperate attempt, for a single man, unseconded, and not well-befriended, to oppose himself against an army, to strive against so strong a stream, and cross the current of the times!” He was then about twenty-five years of age; a young master of arts; no more than Fellow of St. John’s college, Oxford; not many years emancipated from school; in deacon’s orders only; his finances very moderate; without any ecclesiastical preferment; and with hardly a friend in the University, to countenance him amidst that torrent of general and public odium, which his haughty behaviour and his Papistical bias had drawn upon him from every side; for a man, under those circumstances, and in so early a part of life, to project a scheme of such consequence and difficulty, as the divorcing of the established Church from her own essential principles, exhibits an instance of wild self-sufficiency, and of audacious restlessness, scarcely to be exceeded in the whole compass of history.

An interesting work written on the subject title. Read the whole thing here.

I found the chapter on the English Martyrs most interesting. And one thing you will notice is the fact that these writers (of their century and generation) cared not about beautifying a sentence for the sake of beauty, but chose their words carefully in order to make their thoughts clear. I find that remarkable for our current generation. The standard of reading and writing has gone down the drains in so many areas.

I see it in the education system, and I see it also in the workplace (industry). Misreading and poor comprehension are now commonly seen due to a lack of emphasis on these necessary skills of reading and writing. The Puritans have much to teach us on these things. No padding. No wastage in words. 

But in the age of simplification and not able to track the main thoughts of a conversation, what can be done? Can we wait by raising the standard of the people as a whole? Can this generation actually persevere to improve their linguistics (in terms of communication, not mere utterances) before they fall into a state of ignorance?

I have no idea. But I know that it falls back to the state of the people’s heart. You can have the most advanced technology and equipments, but if the person is lazy, all you’ve got is a lazy person with the latest technology and equipments.

Such is the state that we’re in.

And that’s sad too.

Maybe that is why many people despise the Puritans; they are mirror to us that shows all the things that we will never be able to be… especially in the areas that count.


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