Toplady explaining Latimer

[This is not an endorsement of Latimer or Toplady as true Christians.]

I had posted what I thought was a clear and straightforward efficacious-blood-despising confession of Hugh Latimer.  Witness Latimer’s profanation of the propitiatory blood of Jesus Christ:

“For for what other cause did Christ come, but only to take away our sins by his passion, and so deliver us from the power of the devil? But these merit-mongers have so many good works, that they be able to sell them for money, and so to bring other men to heaven too by their good works: which, no doubt, is the greatest contempt of the passion of Christ that can be devised. For Christ only, and no man else, merited remission, justification, and eternal felicity for as many as will believe the same: they that will not believe it, shall not have it; for it is no more but, ‘Believe and have.’ For Christ shed as much blood for Judas, as he did for Peter: Peter believed it, and therefore he was saved; Judas would not believe, and therefore he was condemned; the fault being in him only, in nobody else. But to say, or to believe, that we should be saved by the law, this is a great dishonouring of Christ’s passion: for the law serveth to another purpose,— it bringeth us to the knowledge of our sins, and so to Christ: for when we be come through the law to the knowledge of our sins, when we perceive our filthiness, then we be ready to come to Christ, and fetch remission of our sins at his hands. But the papists fetch the remission of their sins, not in the passion of Christ, but in their own doings: they think to come to heaven by their own works; which is naught” (Hugh Latimer, Sermons). [Underlining mine–CD]

Is there even a remote possibility that Latimer’s statement, “For Christ shed as much blood for Judas, as he did for Peter” could be fairly and forthrightly explained, exegeted, or interpreted in an orthodox manner without doing violence to Latimer’s words?  OF COURSE NOT.  If Christ shed “as much blood for Judas, as he did for Peter,”then remission of sins is ultimately NOT found in the “passion of Christ, but in their own doings.” For according to Latimer the difference between remission and non-remission is NOT the efficacious blood-shedding of Jesus Christ, but the antichristian “belief” of the sinner.

Here is Augustus Toplady providing a context for his explanation of Latimer’s “blood shed for Judas” comment:

“His [Latimer’s–CD] frequently affirming, that Christ expiated the sins of ‘the whole world,’ does by no means clash with his doctrine in the above passages. Indeed, it is saying no more than the Scripture has repeatedly said before him. The point of enquiry is, what does that phrase, the whole world, import? Surely, not every person, without exception, who did, does, or shall exist; for, in that sense of the phrase, it seems impossible that Christ could die for all. Some, for instance, in our Lord’s time at least, were guilty of that sin which he himself has pronounced absolutely unpardonable: and would he die for the pardon of those, whose sin, he avers, shall never be pardoned? This would be like a man’s paying down an inestimable ransom for such as, he knows at the very time of his paying it, neither will nor can ever be set at liberty. Besides, what shall we say of those many final impenitents, whose departed souls had been in the place of torment, ages and ages before Christ was crucified at all? Full four thousand years had elapsed from the creation, ere the Messiah was even manifested in the flesh. And Scripture will not permit us to believe, that the whole of mankind, who died within that extensive period, were glorified in Heaven. Now, it would both impeach the wisdom, and affront the dignity of Christ, as well as infinitely depreciate the value of his sacrifice, to suppose, that he could possibly shed his blood on the cross, for those very souls which were, at that very time, suffering for their own sins in Hell. The tenet, therefore, of a redemption absolutely universal, will not stand the test either of Scripture, reason, or the analogy of faith.

Shall we, for example, affirm, that Christ died for the salvation of Judas? The fact seems to be impossible. ‘Tis plain that Judas slew himself, subsequently to the apprehension, but antecedently to the actual crucifixion of Christ (h). The soul of Judas, therefore, went to its own place of punishment, before Christ had offered himself in sacrifice to God. And I cannot, for my own part, see, with what propriety Christ could die to save a person from going to Hell, who was actually there already” (Augustus Toplady, Complete Works, p. 142).

In footnote (h) is Toplady’s interpretation of Latimer’s “blood shed for Judas” comment:

“(h) This observation throws light on that passage of Latimer, where he says, that Christ shed as much blood for Judas, as for Peter. Not that Christ actually died for Judas (whose death was prior to that of Christ himself); but that the mediator’s blood was as much sufficient (so infinite was its value) to have redeemed even Judas had it been shed for that purpose, as to have redeemed any other person. A sentiment, to which I subscribe, with heart and hand” (Augustus Toplady, Complete Works, p. 142).

Toplady wields the shoehorn of eisegesis, trying to force Latimer’s foot into Toplady’s shoe.  Latimer SAYS that Christ’s blood WAS shed for Judas.  But Toplady says that what Latimer ACTUALLY MEANS is Christ’s blood was NOT shed for Judas, but since it is infinitely valuable it was sufficient to have redeemed Judas HAD IT BEEN SHED FOR THAT PURPOSE.  But it wasn’t shed for that purpose according to Toplady — so why even posit that hypothetical contrary-to-fact nonsense?

Latimer is not an Arminian, but a certain kind of Calvinist who believes in a “god” who cannot or will not save everyone for whom he died.  Latimer’s idol is NOT a just God and a Savior (cf. Isaiah 45:20-21).

“God does not have any love toward the reprobate or any desire to save them, for God does not show love at the expense of His justice. The good things that God gives to them in this life lead only to their destruction, increasing their guilt for their thanklessness to God. Jesus Christ did not die for the reprobate in any sense, and they do not benefit in any sense from His death. Scripture, in speaking of God’s love for ‘all men’ and ‘the world’ is not speaking of all men without exception. Rather, these words refer to God’s love for all men without distinction – that is, regardless of their nationality or status. [Psa 2:4-5; 5:5-6; 11:5; 73:11-12; 92:7; Pro 3:32-33; 11:20; 12:2; 16:4-5; 17:15; Joh 3:16; 15:22; 17:9; Rom 9:13; 1Ti 2:4; 1Pe 2:8; 1Jo 2:2; 4:10]” (CCF, II.D.2.e.).