Sir: Graham Hind’s June review sadly hides all I wrote in remembrance of that godly man, Augustus Toplady. Instead, he shows preference for John Wesley, disdain for the Gospel Magazine and disinterest in the great work of God done through the pre-Rebellion Reformed Church of England. Hind’s simplistic etymology is used as an excuse for his lack of attention to the subject matter.

     Rather than refute Toplady by praising Wesley, one must ask oneself which Christian stood nearest to Biblical, Reformed doctrine. Glossing over Wesley’s dishonesty against Calvinistic evangelists is an unhelpful argument from silence.

     Mr Hind’s prejudiced reading has missed my point concerning whether John, James or Julius Bate was ‘Uncle Jack’. My footnote points out the difficulties involved as the biographical details appear to fit neither. Mr Hind, boasting that this is ‘a small difficulty’, opts for John but submits neither biographical nor etymological evidence. He calls it ‘a small point’, but makes his mis-applied hunch his yardstick for discrediting my entire book. The James-Jack (Jacob-Giacomo-Jacme-Jakes-Jock-Jacques) theory best suites the Bates’ situation, but as I clearly indicated, the evidence is not conclusive. Brother Hind’s COD reference to Jack-John meaning ‘every man Jack’ is by association not derivation. ‘John’ was applied to ‘Jack’ because the English ‘John’ was as common as the French ‘Jacques’ not because ‘John’ was the etymological equivalent of ‘James’.

     Hind speaks disparagingly of the Gospel Magazine instead of thanking God for this aged but ever-virile witness. I have sought in my book to point out the magazine’s lasting value in teaching the doctrines of grace and experimental Christianity. The reviewer has sadly an axe to grind against Toplady and the magazine he edited. This explains but does not justify his lack of balance.

     Mr Hind misrepresents my comparison between the persecuted and martyrs of dissenting Anglicanism and Presbyterianism under Cromwell and those of the Restitution. Are names such as Hall, Usher, Ward, Featley, Balcanqual and Love unfamiliar to him? Many ‘godly Puritans’ suffered under and documented both persecutions, the second of which was a sad reaction to the first. Twice persecuted Baxter’s severe criticism of both Cromwell and the Restitution Parliament are extant.

     My book testifies to Toplady’s fine Christian witness and openness to lovers of the doctrines of grace whatever their denomination. These are points ignored by Mr. Hind. He pleads for a different Toplady biography. The facts plead for a more knowledgeable, accurate and balanced reviewer.