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Catechism Minor Eccl. Tigurinus and the Extent of the Atonement

February 2, 2009

Kimedoncius:

Bullinger, Gualther, Musculus and others are cited, and the confessions of one or two Churches in Helvetia, out of whom these and like kinds of sayings are diligently drawn: to wit, that “Christ, as [Bulling. ser. 2. de Nativit Chri.] much as in him is a Saviour to all, and came to save all”: [The same upon 1 John 1.] “that he pleased God by sacrifice for all the sins of all times”: [Catech. minore. Eccl. Tigur.] “that his passion ought to satisfy for the sin of all men, and that the whole world is quickened by the same“: [Musc. in locis de remiss. p.q.2.] that the grace of remission of sins is appointed for all mortal men,” and such like.

Unto these, I answer, that how soever, and in what sense soever those writers uttered these and the like kind of speeches, it is certain that they were not of the adversaries opinion, that effectually and in very deed all, without exception of anyone, and without any difference of believers and unbelievers, are received into grace, and made partakers of remission of sins, righteousness and salvation of Christ.

Iacob Kimedoncius, Of The Redemption of Mankind (London: Imprinted by Felix Kingston for Hvmfrey Lownes, 1598), 141-142. [Some reformatting, some spelling modernized, marginal comments cited inline, underlining mine.]

[Notes: Kimedoncius “adversary” here is Huberus. Huberus was a Universalist advocating that all men will finally be saved. Huberus attempted to cite various orthodox Reformed and Lutheran theologians, and confessions, to sustain his argument. Kimedoncius’ intent is to demonstrate that Huberus has taken these men and documents out of context. What interests us here is the reference to Catech. minore. Eccl. Tigur. This was an early non-extant Swiss catechism.  This early Reformed Helvetian catechism advocated an unlimited expiation of Christ. Kimedoncius associates this catechism, theologically, with Bullinger, Musculus and Gualther, whose positions on the extent of the expiation are explicit.  Further, another early Helvetian confession was Bullinger’s Second Helvetic Confession, and it is it likely that this was the other confession Kimedoncius alludes to when he says “confessions of one or two Churches.”]

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