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Biblical Notes and Queries: Pre-20thC Historiography on Calvin on the Extent of the Atonement

June 2, 2009

The Witness of Men…:

49. Calvin, who died AD. 1564, writes:–

“But if we respond not to the call, the supper shall not be lost, which was prepared for us, but God will furnish himself with other guests.” Harm. P., 188.

‘For although in the world nothing is found worthy of God, yet he shows himself propitious to the whole world, when without exception he calls all to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than the entrance into life.”–In John 3:15,16.

“For although Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered equally to all in the benignity of God, yet all do not lay hold of him.”–Ad Rom. 5:18.

“But the fuller and richer sense will be, that God was in Christ, then that by his intercession he reconciled the world to himself.”–Ad 2 Cor. 5:19.

“When therefore he wished the benefit of his death to be common, they do him injury who, by any opinion of their own, keep any man from the hope of salvation.”–Ad 1 Tim. 2:5.

‘This therefore is a marvelous love to the human race, that he wished all to be saved, and is prepared to gather into salvation those perishing of their own accord. And the order here is to be noted, that God is prepared to receive all to repentance, lest any one should perish.”–Ad 2 Pet. 3:9.

‘He is to be considered as an expiatory victim, by which God is pacified to the world.” Opusc. P., 872.

“And both are hear [in John 3:15, 16] distinctly delivered to us–viz, that faith in Christ is saving to all, and that Christ therefore brought life, because the celestial Father did not wish the human race, whom he loved, to perish.”–Ad John 3:15,16.

“He uses a note of universality both that he may invited all to a participation of life, and that he may cut off excuse from unbelievers. To the same pertains the term world, which he uses before.”–Idem.

“In wounding a weak conscience the price of the blood of Christ is dissipated.”–Ad Rom. 14:15.

“Not only let the general reflection come into the mind that the world was redeemed by the blood of Christ, but let each, for himself think that his own sins were expiated.”–Ad Mark 14:24.

“When John says ‘the sin of the world,’ he extends this favor [of sin being taken away by the Lamb of God] to the WHOLE HUMAN RACE.”–Ad John 1:29.

“Redemption was acquired by the blood of Christ; for, by the sacrifice of his death all the sins of the world were expiated.”–Ad Col. 1:14.

In his last “Will,” written a few days before his death, he most distinctly and unequivocally declared that “the blood of the Great Redeemer was shed for the sins of the WHOLE HUMAN RACE.” 278. [Italics original; content in brackets original.]

“The Atonement of Christ,” in Biblical Notes and Queries, (Edinburgh: George Adam Young & Co., 1869), 278. [Note: As far as I can determine, I see no named author for this article.]

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