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John Davenant (1572–1641) on Calvin on the Extent of the Atonement

February 1, 2008


Calvin in many places gives his opinion in the same manner. On the same words, John iii. 16, God so loved the world, &c. he says, He hath put an universal mark, both that he might invite all men promiscuously to the participation of life, and that he might leave the unbelieving without excuse. For this is the meaning of the word WORLD. For although there is nothing found in the world worthy of the Divine favour, yet he shows himself to be propitious to the whole world; since he calls all without exception to believe in Christ. A little afterwards: It appears that Christ is set before all, but God opens the eyes of the elect alone to seek him in faith. And on Rom. v. 18, He makes grace common to all, because it is set before all. not because it actually extended to all. For although Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and through the goodness of God is offered to all indifferently, yet all do not apprehend him.

John Davenant, A Dissertation on the Death of Christ, 1832, 2:337.

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