Skip to content

The Delegates from Hesse on the Death of Christ

January 17, 2008

That those texts which declare that Christ died for all, “are commonly and not improperly understood” in a literal sense. Some of the middle men, and even some of the strongest advocates for a limited atonement, distinctly support this construction of the texts. The delegates from Hesse say, “About the first proposition [viz., that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, died for all and each of mankind], we would not contend with any man; since the sacred writings expressly say that Christ died for all (but never for each), and is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world.”

Edward D. Griffin, An Humble Attempt to Reconcile the Differences of Christians Respecting the Extent of the Atonement, (New York, Printed by Stephen Dodge, 1819), 371.

The delegates from Hesse say, “His passion and death were necessarily of infinite value, insomuch that all and each of mankind, provided only they cleave to Christ by a true faith, will, through or on account of his passion and death, be received into the grace and favor of God.” They add, “It was the counsel and decree of God the Father, that Christ by his passion and death should pay such a ransom.— Nor was it ever denied by the doctors of the reformed church.”

Edward D. Griffin, An Humble Attempt to Reconcile the Differences of Christians Respecting the Extent of the Atonement, (New York, Printed by Stephen Dodge, 1819), 372.

The theologians from Hesse presented the next set of Theses.1 The first third of their argument examined the second Remonstrant article itself. The Hessians noted that this article really contained three statements: that Christ died for all, that he merited reconciliation for all, and that only believers truly shared in that reconciliation. The Hessian delegates noted that the three statements would be acceptable if the first two referred solely to the sufficiency of the death of Christ. The Hessians doubted, however, that the Remonstrants intended their statements to refer to sufficiency, especially their second statement. The Hessians labelled the Remonstrants heterodox.

Godfrey, W.R. Tensions Within International Calvinism: The Debate on the Atonement at the Synod of Dort, 1618-1619. (Ph.D diss., Stanford University, 1974), 191.


[Editorial note: Again we see the transitional language seeking to synthesize various aspects of biblical truth. After the 1640s, the language of ‘meriting a sufficient reconciliation’ or of ‘Christ making a payment for all’ disappears. Again it should be noted that by citing and referring to the Hessian comments, this writer is not suggesting that in every way, they agreed with the sentiments set forth in this blog.]




1Acta Synodi, II. 113-120.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: