Our Present Sardis

Time has been, when Arianism was more generally predominant throughout the Christian Church, than even Arminianism is at present. The whole world, says history, wondered, to see itself become Arian. It was Athanasius against all the world, and all the world against Athanasius. Hardly were the clouds of Arianism dispersed when the Pelagian darkness overspread a considerable part of the ecclesiastical horizon; and its influence has continued, more or less, to obscure the glory of the Christian faith, from that period to this. Yet is the eclipse far from total. We have a multitude of names, even in our present Sardis, who defile not either their doctrinal or their moral garments; and there is very good reason to believe, that their number, in this kingdom, both among clergy and laity is continually increasing. It is no novelty for the doctrines of grace to meet with opposition; and, indeed, few doctrines have been so much opposed as they. Swarms of fanatical sectarists were almost coeval with the Reformation itself. Such is the imperfect state of things below, that the most important advantages are connected with some inconveniences. The shining of truth like the shining of the sun, wakens insects into life, which, otherwise, would have no sensitive existence. Yet, better for a few insects to quicken, than for the sun not to shine” (Augustus Toplady; underlining mine).

This is not a promotion of Toplady as a true Christian. These comments bring to mind the damnable twin heresies of Arminianism and tolerant Calvinism.