Skip to content

Bullinger on Unlimited Expiation and Unlimited Redemption

August 31, 2007

BULLINGER (1504–1575)


Second Helvetic Confession

1) “Jesus Christ Is the Only Savior of the World,” and the True Awaited Messiah. For we teach and believe that Jesus Christ our Lord is the unique and eternal Savior of the human race, and thus of the whole world, in whom by faith are saved all who before the law, under the law, and under the Gospel were saved, and however many will be saved at the end of the world. For the Lord himself says in the Gospel: He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber… I am the door of the sheep (John 10:1 and 7). And also in another place in the same Gospel he says: Abraham saw my day and was glad (ch. 8:56). The apostle Peter also says: There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. We therefore believe that we will be saved through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, as our fathers were (Acts 4:12; 10:43; 15:11). For Paul also says: All our fathers ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ (I Cor. 10:3 f.). And thus we read that John says: Christ was the Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), and John the Baptist testified that Christ is that Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Wherefore, we quite openly profess and preach that Jesus Christ is the sole Redeemer and Savior of the world, the King and High Priest, the true and awaited Messiah, that holy and blessed one whom all the types of the law and predictions of the prophets prefigured and promised; and that God appointed him beforehand and sent him to us, so that we are not now to look for any other. Now there only remains for all of us to give all glory to Christ, believe in him, rest in him alone, despising and rejecting all other aids in life. For however many seek salvation in any other than in Christ alone, have fallen from the grace of God and have rendered Christ null and void for themselves (Gal. 5:4). Bullinger, The Second Helvetic Confession – Chapter XI Of Jesus Christ, True God and Man, the Only Savior of the World

2) The Teaching of the Gospel Is Not New, but Most Ancient Doctrine. And although the teaching of the Gospel, compared with the teaching of the Pharisees concerning the law, seemed to be a new doctrine when first preached by Christ (which Jeremiah also prophesied concerning the New Testament), yet actually it not only was and still is an old doctrine (even if today it is called new by the Papists when compared with the teaching now received among them), but is the most ancient of all in the world. For God predestinated from eternity to save the world through Christ, and he has disclosed to the world through the Gospel this his predestination and eternal counsel (II Tim. 2:9f.). Hence it is evident that the religion and teaching of the Gospel among all who ever were, are and will be, is the most ancient of all. Wherefore we assert that all who say that the religion and teaching of the Gospel is a faith which has recently arisen, being scarcely thirty years old, err disgracefully and speak shamefully of the eternal counsel of God. To them applies the saying of Isaiah the prophet: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isa. 5:20). Bullinger, The Second Helvetic Confession – Chapter XIII Of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of the Promises, and of the Spirit and Letter.

3) Satisfactions. We also disapprove of those who think that by their own satisfactions they make amends for sins committed. For we teach that Christ alone by his death or passion is the satisfaction, propitiation or expiation of all sins (Isa., ch. 53; I Cor. 1:30). Yet as we have already said, we do not cease to urge the mortification of the flesh. We add, however, that this mortification is not to be proudly obtruded upon God as a satisfaction for sins, but is to be performed humbly, in keeping with the nature of the children of God, as a new obedience out of gratitude for the deliverance and full satisfaction obtained by the death and satisfaction of the Son of God. Bullinger, Second Helvetic Confession, Chapter XIV Of Repentance and the Conversion of Man

4) Imputed Righteousness. For Christ took upon himself and bore the sins of the world, and satisfied divine justice. Therefore, solely on account of Christ’s sufferings and resurrection God is propitious with respect to our sins and does not impute them to us, but imputes Christ’s righteousness to us as our own (II Cor. 5:19 ff.; Rom. 4:25), so that now we are not only cleansed and purged from sins or are holy, but also, granted the righteousness of Christ, and so absolved from sin, death and condemnation, are at last righteous and heirs of eternal life. Properly speaking, therefore, God alone justifies us, and justifies only on account of Christ, not imputing sins to us but imputing his righteousness to us. Bullinger, Second Helvetic Confession, Chapter XV Of the True Justification of the Faithful

5) The Church Has Always Existed and It Will Always Exist. But because God from the beginning would have men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2:4), it is altogether necessary that there always should have been, and should be now, and to the end of the world, a Church. Bullinger, The Second Helvetic Confession – Chapter XVII Of the Catholic and Holy Church of God, and of The One Only Head of The Church Bullinger, The Second Helvetic Confession – Chapter XVII Of the Catholic and Holy Church of God, and of The One Only Head of The Church

6) Sacramental Eating of the Lord. Besides the higher spiritual eating there is also a sacramental eating of the body of the Lord by which not only spiritually and internally the believer truly participates in the true body and blood of the Lord, but also, by coming to the Table of the Lord, outwardly receives the visible sacrament of the body and blood of the Lord. To be sure, when the believer believed, he first received the life-giving food, and still enjoys it. But therefore, when he now receives the sacrament, he does not receive nothing. For he progresses in continuing to communicate in the body and blood of the Lord, and so his faith is kindled and grows more and more, and is refreshed by spiritual food. For while we live, faith is continually increased. And he who outwardly receives the sacrament by true faith, not only receives the sign, but also, as we said, enjoys the thing itself. Moreover, he obeys the Lord’s institution and commandment, and with a joyful mind gives thanks for his redemption and that of all mankind, and makes a faithful memorial to the Lord’s death, and gives a witness before the Church, of whose body he is a member. Assurance is also given to those who receive the sacrament that the body of the Lord was given and his blood shed, not only for men in general, but particularly for every faithful communicant, to whom it is food and drink unto eternal life. The Second Helvetic Confession – Chapter XXI Of the Holy Supper of the Lord.


Sins of the world:


1) Imagine therefore, that man is set before the judgement-seat of God, and that there he is pleaded guilty, and therefore sued to punishment or to the sentence of condemnation. Imagine also, that the Son of God makes intercession, and comes in as a mean, desiring that upon him may be laid the whole fault and punishment due unto us as men, that he by his death may cleanse them and take them away, setting us free from death, and giving us life everlasting. Imagine too, that God, the most high and just judge, receives the offer, and translates the punishment together with the fault from us unto the neck of his Son; making therewithal a statute, that whosoever believes that the Son of God suffered for the sins of the world, brake the power of death, and delivered us from damnation, should be cleaned from is sins, and made heir of life everlasting. Who therefore can be so dull of understanding but may perceive that mankind is justified by faith? Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 105.

2) Yet because there be some, and those not a few, which deny that Christ by his death hath taken from us sinners both fault and punishment, and that he became the only satisfaction of the whole world; I will therefore now allege certain other testimonies, and repeat somewhat of that that I have before recited, thereby to make it manifest, that Christ, the only satisfaction of the world, hath made satisfaction both for our fault and punishment… But how could he choose but remember our iniquities, if he ceased not to punish them? So then, this remains not to be doubted of, that Christ our Lord is the full propitiation, satisfaction, oblation, and sacrifice for the sins, I say, for the punishment and the fault, of all the world: yea, and that by himself alone; for in none other is any salvation: “neither is there any other name given unto men whereby they must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]. Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, pp., 108 and 110.

3) The causes, why this conception of the Son of God in the womb of the holy virgin is most pure, are these. He that is conceived in the womb of the virgin is God; but God is a consuming fire, which cannot take or suffer any uncleanness in itself. Another cause is this: God came to cleanse our uncleanness, that is, the uncleanness of us men. He himself verily ought to be exempt from all original spots, and in all points most holy, to the end that, being the only unspotted sacrifice offered up for the sins of all the world, he might clean take away the sins of the world. For that which is itself defiled cannot cleans the thing that is defiled; but rather the spot or filthiness does double his uncleanness by the coming to of that other unclean thing. Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 7, vol 1, p., 133.

4) In the third point of the article we do expressly declare the manner of his death; for we add: “He was crucified,” and died on the cross. But the death of the cross, as it was most reproachful, so also was it most bitter or sharp to be suffered; yet took he that kind of death upon him, that he might made satisfaction for the world, and fulfill that which from the beginning was prefigured, that he should be hanged on a tree. Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 7, vol 1, p., 135.

5) Our Lord therefore became man, by the sacrifice of himself to make satisfaction for us; on whom, as it were upon a goat for the sin-offering, when all the sins of whole world were gathered together and laid, he by his death took away and purged them all: so that now the only sacrifice of God has satisfied for the sins of the whole world. Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 7, vol 1, p., 136.

6) And because some cavalier might peradventure make this objection, and say, This kind of doctrine makes men sluggish and slow to amendment; for men under the pretence of God’s grace will not cease to sin: therefore John in his 2nd chapter answers their objection, and says: if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the atonement for our sins: and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of all the world [1 John 2:1,2]. Wherefore it is assuredly true, that by the death of Christ all sins are forgiven them that believe. Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 9, vol 1, p., 166.

7) And for because by law they could not sacrifice but in one place alone, there was a certain place appointed to the people, wherein, as in an holy shop, the priests should exercise their holy ministry in sacrificing to the Lord; and therefore now the very order and course of this argument doth require, that I say somewhat touching that holy place. The law, which forbad them to sacrifice any where but in that one place alone, unless it were by dispensation, is extant in the twelfth of Deuteronomy, and in the seventeenth chapter of Leviticus; and doth contain the mystery of Christ, who was offered up but once and in one place, to cleanse the sins of the world. Of whom I will speak somewhat more hereafter. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 5, vol 1, p., 143.

8) Therefore, when Christ was come, and with his death had finished all, then the veil that hung in the temple was rent from the top to the very ground: whereby all men might understand, that the way was opened into the sanctum sanctorum, that is, into the very heavens; and that satisfaction was made for all men in respect of the law. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 5, vol 1, p., 147-8.

9) For all the interpreters of the holy scriptures agree that the place was at Jerusalem, upon the mountain Moria, where Abraham once would have offered his on Isaac; and that in that appointed or fatal place the temple was erected; and that the hill Golgotha, or Calvary, was not far off, but in the very top of the mountain Moria, which was the place and the holy hill, wherein the holy gospel doth testify that Christ was offered for the sins of all the world; which was prefigured in a type of the ancient sacrifices and other ceremonies belonging to the temple. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 5, vol 1, p., 151.

10) Upon the ark we read that there was placed the mercy-seat, which was either the cover of the ark, or else a seat set upon the ark. By it was figured, as the apostles John and Paul interpret it, Christ our Lord, who is the throne of grace, and the propitiation for our sins; not only for ours, but also for the sins of all the world. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 5, vol 1, p., 154.

11) To those confessions was added the ceremony used with the scape-goat, and the sacrifice, which is at large set down in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. And so were the sins of the people cleansed: which was a type of the cleansing that should be through Christ; who being once offered, did with the only sacrifice of his body take away the sins of all the world. It did also contain the doctrine of true repentance. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 5, vol 1, p., 165-6.

12) There was also appointed, who they should be that should hold the passover; to wit, the whole circumcised congregation of Israel, being assembled by houses and families in so great companies as were sufficient to eat a lamb [Exod 12:43-49]. For as Christ is the saviour of us all, so all sinners (for we are all sinners) are the cause why Christ our Lord was offered upon the alter of the cross. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 181.

13) This was the manner of the sacrifice, or oblation, which they did commonly call a burnt-offering: the signification whereof was most cheerful and pleasant to them which were persuaded, that by burnt-offering was prefigured the very Son of God, to be incarnate of the unspotted virgin, and to be sacrificed once for the cleansing of all the sins of the whole world. For they in the glass of that sacrifice did behold the cross and the passion of the Lord, which took our sins upon himself, and being slain, did shed his blood for the remission of sins, offering himself wholly to God the Father in the fire of charity and heavenly zeal. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 189-90.

14) All which the apostle Paul expounding in the ninth to the Hebrews saith, that ‘Christ entered not into the tabernacle made with hands, but into the very heavens; not with the blood of a bullock, or a goat, but with his own blood, and found for us a perpetual cleansing and remission of sins.” For “he is our propitiation; not for our sins only, but also for the sins of all the world.” Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 196.

15) Now the goat did carry the sins into the desert, not that the sins should not be, but that they should not be any more imputed unto them. For in the church verily there is sin in the saints, but it is not imputed unto them. Sin is imputed to all them that are without the church, in the desolate wilderness. The convenient man, that should carry away the scape-goat, can be none other than Christ himself, who in the days of his flesh did observe the convenient time and fit occasion, repeating oftentimes that his our was not yet come; but at the last, when time convenient was come for him to die, he said that then his hour was come. And by dying he carried away conveniently the scape-goat, I mean, the sins of all the world. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 198.

16) The Lord does premise the Messiah which was prefigured by the priests, and especially by the high priest Jesus, Christ is the stone, upon which the eyes of all men are steadfastly fixed, as upon their only Saviour. He is digged, and cut, in his passion; and by suffering and dying once he purgeth the sins of all the earth.

Of this ceremony, and of this place of scripture, did Paul, the holy apostle of Christ, borrow his whole discourse almost in his epistle to the Hebrews, touching the sacrifice of Christ once offered for all the sins of the whole world: in which discourse he doth very often repeat out of the law the word “once,” and what with a certain emphatical certainty. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 199.

17) The only sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for all the world. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 200; marginal note.

18) For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it unto you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls: for the blood shall make an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, let no soul among you yea blood &c.” Lo, in these words a most evident reason is given why it was not lawful to eat blood; because blood was the most excellent and precious thing, as that which was ordained for the sanctification of mankind. For God gave blood to be as the price, wherewith the sins should be cleansed; to be, I say, the price of redemption, whereby men should be absolved of their sins. Blood is also the life, that is, the nourishment of life.

The blood, therefore was a sign of the blood of Christ, that was to be shed upon the cross: by which, as by a most full and absolute atonement, the faithful are cleansed and thoroughly sanctified; and in which is the nourishment of the should to life everlasting: and as it was not lawful to eat the flesh of the sacrifice, whose blood was carried into the sanctum for sin, but to burn it without the hose; so it was unlawful to eat the blood, which was the cleansing of their sins. He therefore did eat blood, which attributed to his own strength or works the atonement which was made by the blood of Christ, esteeming his blood to be profane, and not attributing unto it the full satisfaction for all sins. Again, he did ascribe the benefit of our redemption to the only merit of Christ, and did esteem it of so great value as by right to be esteemed. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 215.

19) Moreover, that all sorts of sacrifices contained in the law are utterly abrogated, no man, I suppose, will once deny, which doth consider, that both the temple and the two altars, which all the holy instruments, are utterly overthrown and come to nothing. I told you that those sacrifices were remembrances of sins, and types or figures of the cleansing and atonement [*] that was to be made by Christ Jesus. Therefore when Christ was come and offered up for the sins of all the world, then verily did all the sacrifices of the ancient Jews come to their ending…

For Christ is only and alone instead of all sacrifices. For he was once offered up, and after that is offered no more: who by the once offering up of himself hath found eternal redemption; so that all, which he sanctified, are sanctified by none other oblation but that of Christ upon the cross for the sins of all the world, is the burnt offering of the catholic church: he is also the meat-offering, which feedeth us with his flesh offered upon the cross unto eternal life, if we receive and feed on him by faith. Moreover he is the drink offering of the church, which with his blood doth quench the thirst of the faithful unto life everlasting. He is the purging and daily sacrifice of the church’ because he is “the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world” [John 1:29]. His death and passion cleanseth all men from their sins, their errors, and iniquities.” Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 8, vol 1, p., 269 and 270. [*Footnote: Lat., expiation]

20) The other error is theirs which say, that Christ offered up his body, for original sin only, not for us and all our sins; and therefore that we must make satisfaction for our own sins. But the apostle Paul does in this place condemn both these opinions. And the holy evangelist John agreeing with Paul, doth say: “The blood of the Son of God doth cleanse us from all sin. For he is the propitiation for our sins; not for our only, but for the sins of all the world.” Therefore the merit of Christ his redemption doth extend itself to all the faithful of both testaments. Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 1, vol 2, pp., 42-43.

21) In the gospel after St. John the forerunner of the Lord doth cry out, saying: Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 2, vol 2, p., 65.

22) Moreover the blessed apostle and evangelist John doth no less truly than evidently testify, saying: “the blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God doth cleans us from all sin.” [1 John 1:7; 2 John 2:2.] And again: And he is the propitiation for our sins, not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 2, vol 2, p., 66.

23) And it followeth immediately: “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.” We do therefore conclude, that there is but one only satisfaction for the sins of all the world, to wit, Christ once offered up for us which are by faith made partakers of him. Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 2, vol 2, p., 93.

24) Yea, other have oftentimes objected against these indulgence-defenders this godly saying of the holy man, pope Leo, in his eighty-first epistle: “Although the death of many saints is precious in the sight of the Lord, yet the slaughter of no man subject to sin is the propitiation for the sins of the world.” Again, “The righteous have received not given, crowns of glory: and of the manful constancy of the martyrs are spring examples of patience, not the gifts of righteousness: for their deaths were singular; neither did any one by his ending pay the debt of another, since there is one Lord Jesus Christ, in whom they are all crucified, dead, buried and raised up again.” Thus much out of pope Leo. We have therefore by divine and human testimonies evidently proved, that the indulgences given to sinners by the merit or treasure of the martyrs’ blood are mere blasphemies against God and open injuries against his holy martyrs. Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 2, vol 2, p., 95. [Here Bullinger cites Leo approvingly. It would hardly be credible that either Leo believed that Christ died only for the sins of the elect, or that Bullinger would cite Leo here if he himself did not agree with Leo: for then it would be a case of disproving one untruth with another untruth.]

25) And it is not amiss in this place first of all to mark, that Christ is called a propitiation, or satisfaction, not for sinners or people of one or two ages, but for all sinners and all the faithful people throughout the whole world. One Christ therefore is sufficient for all: one intercessor with the Father is set forth unto all. Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 5, vol 2, p., 218-219.

26) To be short, when we say and confess that Jesus Christ is the priest or bishop of the faithful people, we say that; that Christ is our chosen and appointed teacher and master, to govern and teach his universal church, to make intercession for us, and to plead all our suits faithfully before the Father in heaven; which is the only patron, mediator, and advocate of the faithful with God; who by the sacrifice of his body is the perpetual and only satisfaction, absolution, and justification of all sinners throughout the whole world

He never sacrificed in the temple at the holy altars either of incense or of burnt-offerings. He never used priestly garments, which were figurative; whereof I spoke when I expounded the ceremonial laws [Heb. 8]. Therefore, when he would sacrifice for the satisfaction of the sins of the whole world, he suffered without the gate, and offered himself a lively and a most holy sacrifice, according as in the shadows or types, prophecies and figures foreshewed in the law of Moses: whereof in like manner I have entreated in the discourse of ceremonial laws… And that only sacrifice is always effectual to make satisfaction for all the sins of all men in the whole world… Christians know that the sacrifice of Christ once offered is always effectual to make satisfaction for the sins of all men in the whole world, and of all men of all ages: but these men with often outcries say, that it is flat heresy not to confess that Christ is daily offered of sacrificing priests, consecrated to that purpose. Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 7, vol 2, pp., 285-286, 287, and 296. [His reference to these men is to Rome’s priests and to the Mass.]

27) Hitherto also belongeth that which the apostle, speaking of sacrifices unto the Hebrews, saith: “But in these sacrifices there is mention made of sins every year; for it is not possible the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” As often therefore as sacrifices, as heifers, goats, bulls and lambs, are called sanctifications, cleansings, or sins, the signs take the names of the things signified. For these were certain types and figures of the priest which was to come and of Christ, upon whom all our sins were laid: for he truly is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 6, vol 2, p, 282.

28) And the Lord did not institute the sacraments or sacrifices, that, being offered, they might give grace, or justify us; but to be a witness of the grace of God and that by them his people might be kept, and drawn into due order, from idols and heathenish worshippings, and led to Christ the high priest and only sacrifice (or oblation) for the whole world. Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 7, vol 2, p, 302.

29) And we make a distinction in sacrifice and oblation. For there is a sacrifice of expiation and there is a sacrifice of confession or praise. The sacrifice of expiation is offered to cleanse or purge sins, and also for satisfaction for sins. This cannot be accomplished without death and blood: as St Paul the apostle sheweth plainly in the ix. Chapter to the Hebrews. The sacrifice of Christ was such a sone (the figures of which were all the sacrifices of all the holy fathers of the old Testament0; who, being both priest and sacrifice, offered up himself once to God the Father, while he suffered upon the cross, and, shedding his most innocent blood, there gave up the ghost. The supper at this day is no such sacrifice, but a commemoration of the death or of the sacrifice once offered upon the cross. For neither ought or can Christ be sacrificed again, who, being once offered, is sufficient to cleans all the sins of all ages. Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 9, vol 2, p, 432.

30) Therefore he saith: “whoso eateth this bread, or drinketh of the Lord’s cup unworthily, the same shall be guilty of the Lord’s body and blood.” By which words verily he meaneth that the chief and most foul unworthiness of all other, to wit, unbelief. For he is guilty of the Lord’s body and blood, to whom the fault of the Lord’s death is imputed, that is to say, to whom Christ’s death becomes death, and not life: as it also happened unto them, who through unbelief and wickedness did crucify Christ; for unto them Christ’s blood seemed profane, as it had been the blood of some beast, murderer, or wicked person, as being worthily shed for his offences. And I pray you, what else doth he think than that Christ’s blood is profane, who believeth not that the same was shed for the sins of the world. Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 9, vol 2, p, 472.

31) I will not allege testimonies out of the law and the prophets, (although they exist in large abundance,) but only from the writings of the evangelists and apostles, which teach with one accord that unto them that believe sin are forgiven freely for Christ’s sake. The Baptist, our Lord’s forerunner, points the finger to the Lord Jesus Christ himself and cries: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” [John 1.] For the apostle John has said: “The blood of the Son of God cleanseth us from all sin. For he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:2.] Nay, the Lord Jesus himself testifies of these things, and says: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” [John iii.] Decades, appendix II, vol 2, p, 550.

32) And now, briefly to sum up what I have discovered of with you, reverend and most dear fellow-ministers and brethren. We have learnt by all that has been said, that God, when he is provoked by our sins, cannot otherwise be appeased than by our acknowledging every one of us, and which we have committed against God our Father; by humbling ourselves, and sorrowing before our God with all our heart; by our not yielding to despair on account of our sins, but believing without doubt that they are done away with entirely and forgiven us, not for our sake or merits, but for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, the Saviour of the whole world, upon whom he heavenly Father laid all the sins of the world, for which the Son of God made satisfaction upon the cross; finally, by continuing in supplication and prayer without ceasing, and serving the God, who hath redeemed us, and whose we are altogether, with true repentance and worthy fruits of repentance, with a stedfast hope, with a love unfeigned, with kindness, benevolence, righteousness, holiness, patience, and innocence. Decades appendix II, vol 2, p., 553-554.

Summe of the Foure Evangelists:

1) There they crucify him in the middle between two most wicked thieves, they part his garments as certain spoil, and setting all pity and courtesy aside, they mock him suffering most bitter torments, as though he had been deceived of his hope in God. But he, on so many so great reproaches and torments, continuing constantly in perfect faith and patience, and sacrificing himself most holily for the sins of the all the world, cryeth to God the father, unto whom also, at the last yielding up the ghost, he committed his most holy soul. Henrie Bullinger, The Summe of the Foure Euangelists Comprehending both the course of the history, and also several points of doctrine set forth in the same, pointing forth as it were with the hand, that JESUS CHRIST, the only perfect and sufficient Saviour of all the Faithful, (London: William Ponsonby at the sign of the Bishops head, 1582), Matthew 27:35-51. [Spelling modernised.] [This edition has no pagination.]

Unlimited redemption:

1) Wherefore our Lord Jesus Christ, being both God and man, was a fit Mediator for both parties. Which thing the apostle witnessing saith: “One God, and one Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself the price of redemption for all [1 Tim 2:5,6.] Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 7, vol 1, p., 131.

2) Secondarily, in this article is noted the time, and Pontius Pilate the judge under which whom the Lord died, and redeemed the world from sin, death the devil and hell. He suffered therefore in the monarchy of the Romans, under the emperor Tiberius when as now according to the prophecy of Jacob, father of Israel, they Jewish people obeyed foreign kings, because they were no more kings or captains of the stock of Judah to have rule over them: for he foretold, that the Messias should come. Decades, 1st Decade, Sermon 7, vol 1, p., 135.

3) For it is evident that the Israelites free departure out of Egypt was a type or figure of the delivery of the whole compass of the earth, and of all kingdoms of the world, which should be wrought by Christ our Lord, who hath now already set all the world free from the bondage of sin and hell. But if the meaning of the ceremony and sacrament of that bodily deliverance, I mean, the very passover. For what is he that knoweth not that the paschal lamb did in a figure represent Christ our Redeemer? Are Paul’s words unknown, who saith, “Christ our passover is offered up?” Have not all the apostles and John Baptist called our Lord “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world [John 1:29; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 5:6.]? The words of the prophet Esay also, in his fifty-second chapter, are apparently known; where he compareth the delivery of Israel out of Egypt with the redemption of all the world wrought by Christ from the slavery of sin. Decades, 2nd Decade, Sermon 2, vol 1, p., 219.

4) Whereupon we do necessarily gather, that only Christ is the mediator or intercessor with the Father. For principally Christ may se himself in the midst between God and men, because he only is partaker of both natures. The saints participate but only one; for they are men; but Christ is both God and man. Furthermore, he that is an intercessor must also be a reconciliator, or an atonement-maker. For the end, whereat he maketh intercession doth shoot at reconciliation. But Christ is the only reconciliator of men, therefore, also the only intercessor. For it belongeth to an intercessor to dissolve the cause of contention and discord, that is to say, to abolish and take away sin. But Christ alone, and no creature taketh away sin. It remaineth therefore that Christ is the only intercessor. Hithertoo do now pertain the testimonies of Scripture. Paul saith: “There is one God, and one reconciler (or mediator) of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself the price (or ransom) for the redemption of all [1 Tim 2.]. And although the apostle speak expressly of redemption, yet notwithstanding these words are placed in the midst between the disputation of the invocation upon God which is done by Christ, who is the only mediator of redemption and intercession. For he alone redeemed us, so doth he alone even now command us, being redeemed, unto the Father. Decades, Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 5, vol 2, p., 214-215.

5) And Damasus bishop of Rome saith: “If any shall say, that in suffering on the cross the Son of God and God suffered pain, and not the flesh with the soul which he put on in the form of a servant, which he took on him as the scripture saith, let him be accursed.” Therefore, whereas Paul saith, that “God hath purchased to himself a church with his own blood,” [Acts 20.] who is so mad to believe that the divine nature hath ever had blood? In the meanwhile who is such a dorhead* that he understandeth not, that the flesh which God took hath blood? And since that God accounteth not that as another’s, but his own which he took unto himself; we most truly say that God with his own blood redeemed the world. Decades, 4th Decade, Sermon 6, vol 2, pp., 268-269. [* Footnote: tam stupidus, Lat.; dor, a drone, Johnson.]

6) Last of all, the estate of Christ and the church is shadowed out by the similitude of marriage between the husband and the wife; for Christ is called the husband of the church, and the church is called the spouse of Christ… And in the prophets this allegory is very common. In a certain place is feigned a damsel, despised and polluted, to lie in her filthiness; and a certain nobleman cometh by, who, plucking her out of the mire, and making her clean from her filthiness, and also sumptuously apparelling her, close her unto his wife. And albeit the allegory declareth that the heavenly benefit which God shewed unto his people, being in bondage in Egypt, by the wonderful deliverance and adopting them into his peculiar people; who, notwithstanding, seeth not, that all mankind from his first original is defiled with sin and wickedness, and sticketh fast in the mire of hell? Who knoweth not, that the Son of God came down from heaven, and washed all mankind in his blood; and having purged her, hath joined to himself a glorious church, having nether spot nor wrinkle, nor any which thing. Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 2, vol 2, p., 90.

7) Now since sacraments have the like reason, we may apply these things to our sacraments. Christ therefore, the anointed of the Lord, after had by guiltless and undeserved death redeemed the world from the power of Satan, and being now ready to ascend into heaven to the Father, he called his disciples about him, and said: Go into all the whole world, and preach the gospel to all creatures; he that shall believe and be baptized, &c.” Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 7, vol 2 pp, 321-322.

8) And circumcision was a sign of the blessed seed which was to come; I mean, of the Messias himself, wichh by the shedding of his blood, should bestow his blessings upon the whole world. Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 8, vol 2, p, 353.

9) For the Lord repeateth this saying: “Do this in remembrance of me.” But that holy rite or holy action, being joined with the word or with the preaching of Christ’s death and the redemption of mankind, how marvellously doth it renew from time to time that benefit, and suffereth it not to be forgotten. Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 9, vol 2, p, 469.

Redemption of mankind:

1) We said also, that the Lord instituted the supper, that thereby he might keep his death in memory, so that it should never be blotted out with oblivion. For Christ’s death is the summary of all God’s benefits. He would have us therefore to keep in memory the benefit of his incarnation, passion, redemption, and of his love. And although the remembrance of a thing that is past be celebrated, to wit, of his death, yet the same belongeth greatly unto us, and quickeneth us. Neither must we think that this is the least end ; for there is none so diligently expressed as this is. For the Lord repeateth this saying: “Do this in remembrance of me.” But that holy rite or holy action, being joined with the word or with the preaching of Christ’s death and the redemption of mankind, how marvellously doth it renew from time to time that benefit, and suffereth it not to be forgotten! Decades, 5th Decade, Sermon 9, vol 2, p, 468.

Redeemer of the world:

1) To doctrine he joined divers miracles and benefits, whereby he declared, that he himself was that light of the world, and t h e mighty And, to the intent and bountiful Redeemer of the world. Decades, 1th Decade, Sermon 1, vol 1, p, 52.

God reconciled to the world:

1) And then the heavenly father calleth forth also after that the heaven opened and the holy Ghost was lighted upon the head of Christ in the visible likeness of an heavenly dove, he saith, as it were, pointing forth the finger toward Christ, and also adding thereunto in a most clear voice, This is my dearly beloved Son, yea and so thoroughly beloved, that for his sake only, I am now thoroughly pleased and reconciled to the world, wherewith for the sins I was most grievously offended. Henrie Bullinger, The Summe of the Foure Euangelists, (London: William Ponsonby at the sign of the Bishops head, 1582), Matthew 3:16-17. [Spelling modernied.]

New Covenant with the Human Race:

1) And therefore, when God’s mind was to declare the favour and good-will that he bare to mankind, and to make us men partakers wholly of himself and his goodness, by pouring himself out upon us, to our great good and profit, it pleased him to make a league or covenant with mankind. Now he did not first begin the league with Abraham, but did renew to him the covenant that he had made a great while before. Now he did first of all make it with Adam, the first father of us all, immediately upon his transgression, when he him, silly wretch, into his favour again, and promised his only-begotten Son, in whom he would be reconciled to the world, and through whom he would wholly bestow himself upon us, by making us partakers of all his good and heavenly blessings, and by binding himself in faith and due obedience. This ancient league, made first with Adam, he did afterward renew to Noah, and after that again with the blessed patriarch Abraham. And again, after the space of four hundred years, it was renewed under Moses at the mount Sinai, where the conditions of the league were at large written in the two tables, and many ceremonies added thereunto. But most excellently of all, most clearly and evidently, did our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ himself shew forth that league; who wiping away all the ceremonies, types, figures and shadows, brought in instead of them the very truth, and did most absolutely fulfill and finish the old league, bringing all the principles of our salvation and true godliness into a brief summary, which, for the renewing and fulfilling of all things, and for the abrogation of the old ceremonies, he called the new league or testament. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, pp., 169-170.

On punishment and wrath:

1) Paul in his second chapter to the Ephesians saith: “We were by nature the sons of wrath, even as other.” In which words he pronounceth that all men are damned. For all those that are damned, are worthy of eternal death, and all such with whom God hath good cause to be offended, he calleth the sons of wrath, after the proper phrase of the Hebrew speech. For the wrath of God doth signify the punishment which is by the just judgement of God laid upon us men. And he is called the child of death, which is adjudged or appointed to be killed. So also is the son of perdition, &c. Now mark, that he calleth us all the sons of wrath, that is, the subjects of pain and damnation, even by nature, in birth, from our mother’s womb. But whatsoever is naturally in all men, that is original: therefore original sin maketh us th sons of wrath; that is, we are all from our original corruption made subject to death and utter damnation. This place of Paul for the proof of this argument is worthy to be remembered. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 10, p., 396.

2) To this belongeth also, that God does as well afflict the good as the bad; touching which I spake at large in the third sermon of this third Decade. Now here therefore some there are which demand, why God doth with divers punishments persecute those sins which he hath already forgiven to men? For he forgave Adam his sin, and yet he laid on him both death and innumerable calamities of this life beside. To David we read that the prophet Nathan said, “The Lord hath taken thy sin away:” and yet immediately after the same prophet addeth: ‘The sword shall not depart from thy house.” To this we answer simply, that these plagues, which are laid on us before the remission of sins, are then punishments due to our sins; but that after the remission of our sins they are conflicts and exercises, wherewith the faithful do not make satisfaction for their sins, which are already remitted by grace in the death of the Son of God; but wherewith they are humbled and kept in their duty, having an occasion given of the greater glory.

And here I will not stick to recite unto you, dearly beloved, St Augustine’s judgement touch this matter in his second book De Peccatorum Meritis et Remissione, chap. 33, and 34, where he saith: “Things, the guilt whereof God is absolveth or remitteth, to the end that after this life they should do no harm, and yet he suffereth them to abide unto conflict of faith that by them men may be instructed and exercised, profiting in the conflict of righteousness,” &c. And present after: “Bore forgiveness, they are the punishments of sinners; but after remission, they are the conflicts and exercises of just men.” Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 10, p., 430.

3) Now as concerning the punishments of the wicked, (if the most just God do in this world touch them with any,) let u know that they be the arguments of God’s just judgement, who in this world beginneth to punish them temporally, and in the world to come doth not cease to plague them everlastingly. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 10, p., 432.

Of general interest:

1) But whereas in touching, and in other places, it is said that the uncleanness shall abide till evening; that is an evident prophecy of Christ, to wit, that the Messiah should come at the evening, that is, in the end of the world, to purge the sins of all the earth. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 6, vol 1, p., 216.

2) Christ by his coming into the world hath sanctified all the earth: for there are in every nation of the world some ins and heirs of God and his kingdom. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 8, vol 1, p., 299.

3) This pope Boniface doth to his false promise and unpure place annex the remission of sins. Now I doubt whether this blasphemous antichrist[*] could do any thing more horrible, and more against the honour of the Saviour. For therein is defiled the glory of the only-begotten Son of God, who is the only health [Lat. Saviour] of all the world.

Therein is defiled the salvation of many thousands for which Christ died upon the cross. And therein is also defiled the glory of christian faith, by which alone we are made partakers of eternal salvation. This ungracious and wicked pope was he of whom that the common proverb runneth: “He entered like a wolf, he reigned like a lion, and died like a dog. Decades, 3rd Decade, Sermon 8, vol 1, p., 267. [*Footnote: ‘Blasphemous antichrist,’ not in the original.]



7 Comments leave one →
  1. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    July 2, 2008 2:22 pm

    I have updated the Bullinger file. See the new entry from his Common Places, and entry #2, under his Summe of the Foure Evangelists.

  2. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    July 28, 2008 8:02 am

    I have updated the Bullinger file. Search for the two entries under Looke from Adam. More are to come.

  3. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    July 30, 2008 2:52 pm

    Another update on the Bullinger file, see entry #1 under Sermons Vpon the Apocalipse (30 July 08).

  4. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    August 8, 2008 12:02 pm

    I have updated the Bullinger file. See entry #1 under Mankind Redeemed.

  5. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    August 15, 2008 6:46 am

    The Bullinger file is updated. See entry #1 under sub-header “Christ died for all”; and entry #1 under sub-header Looke from Adam.

    For this latter addition I have included extra material which demonstrates that in Bullinger’s thinking unlimited expiation is exactly compatible with proper vicarious penal substitution.

  6. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    September 4, 2008 10:01 am

    I have updated the Bullinger file. See entry #2 under the sub-header “Redemption of mankind.” This quotation suggests that, like Calvin, Bullinger understood the phrase “the many” as all mankind.

  7. CalvinandCalvinism permalink*
    September 11, 2008 12:06 pm

    I have updated the Bullinger file. See entry #1, under the sub-header: A moste sure and strong defence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: