Lay Down Your Crown

Be assured, that, if ever you are saved, you must ascribe that salvation entirely to the free grace of God. If, guilty and miserable as you are, you are not only accepted, but crowned, you must “lay down your crown,” with all humble acknowledgment, “before the throne.” (Rev. 4:10.)

“No flesh must glory in his presence; but he that glorieth must glory in the Lord; for of him are we in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:29,30,31) And you must be sensible you are in such a state, as, having none of these in yourself; to need them in another.

You must therefore be sensible that you are ignorant and guilty, polluted and enslaved; or, as our Lord expresses it, with regard to some who were under a Christian profession, that as a sinner “you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17) The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul


Doddridge’s Theology

Doddridge’s theology can be compared with that of his contemporary, John Gill, whom most scholars believe was a very “high” Calvinist. Doddridge was certainly far “higher” than Gill in his doctrine of election and reprobation but disagreed with Gill on eternal justification, modifying Gill’s view somewhat. He agreed fully, however, with Gill concerning the scope of the atonement as being limited savingly to the elect and that Christ’s death nevertheless provides, indirectly, some non-saving, universal benefits.

Doddridge was freer in his comments on Calvin than most Calvinists, telling his students, “Calvin has a multitude of judicious thoughts; but they are generally intermingled with a great many that are little to the purpose.” This criticism has hurt many Calvinistic commentators who feel that their hero has thus been removed from his pedestal. They retaliate unfairly by pointing out that Doddridge’s theology must have been shaky as a number of his pupils turned liberal. Doddridge maintained an open college and several charity schools for anyone seeking a general education, so he can hardly be blamed if some of those under his care did not honor the gospel. The truth is that anyone looking for metaphysical speculations, theological systems, and philosophical applications in Doddridge’s works will be utterly disappointed. Those who wish for a deeper interest in Christ and are prepared to accept an evangelical and experimental exposition of the good “old-time religion” cannot do better than read Doddridge’s works. {end quote}

Source: Philip Doddridge


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