Archive for the ‘Diversity at Dort’ Category

While at the Dort, Bishop Carleton, says Godfrey, stressed the efficacy of the death of Christ for the elect, “which emphasized the strict Calvinist position.”1 Carleton asserted this in contradistinction to Davenant and Ward. However, even with his apparent opposition, Carleton no less affirmed:

Christ therefore so dyed for all, that all and every one by the meanes of faith might obtaine remission of sins, and eternall life by vertue of that ransome paid once for all mankinde. But Christ so dyed for the elect, that by the merit of his death in speciall manner destinated unto them according to the eternall good pleasure of God, they might infallibly obtaine both faith and eternall life.

George Carleton, The Suffrage of the Divines of Great Britaine, Concerning the Five Articles Controverted in the Low Countries, (London: Robert Milbounre, 1629), 47-48.

When this work was published, it was signed by all the Englist delegates to Dort to signify their unity regarding the articles of Dort.

Credit to Marty for the find.

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1William Robert Godfrey, Tensions Within International Calvinism: The Debate on the Atonement at the Synod of Dort, 1618-1619 (Ph.D diss., Stanford University, 1974), 177.

19
Jun

The Delegates from Wetteraw on the Death of Christ

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism

The delegates from the Wetteraw say, “Christ is an expiation for the sins of the whole world, so far as relates to the worth and sufficiency of his ransom.” “When Christ is said to have died for all, this can be understood of the sufficiency of the merit, or the magnitude of the price.” They quote with approbation from one who says, that” the merit of Christ has an equal bearing on all as to its sufficiency, but not as to its efficacy. –The sufficiency and magnitude of the ransom of Christ, as relates to the reprobate, has a double end ; one in itself and the other by accident. The end in itself is, that God may testify that he is not delighted with the perdition of men, seeing he gave his only begotten Son, that every one who believes in him may not perish, but have eternal life. The end by accident is, that by means of its magnitude and sufficiency the reprobate may be without excuse.” And they add themselves, “For these perish, not by the fault of Christ, but by their own, since by their own unbelief they reject the benefits of Christ offered in the gospel.” “The reprobate are bound to believe this, that the merit of Christ is of so great worth that it is able to profit them also ; and it would indeed profit them, if they would believe the gospel and repent.”* [Footnote * Acts of Synod,” Part II. p. 125, 126, 128, 129.]

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), 362-367. See also: G Michael Thomas, The Extent of the Atonement, (Cumbernauld, Scotland: Paternoster, 1997), 139-140.

17
Jan

The Delegates from Hesse on the Death of Christ

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism

1) 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.

2) 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.

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

[Notes: 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.]

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1Acta Synodi, II. 113-120.

10
Jan

The Delegates from Gelderland on the Death of Christ

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism

Griffin:

The delegates from the synod of Gelders say, ” What is here asserted (that Christ died for all, and that none but believers are actually made partakers of remission), if it is spoken of adults, we believe it with the whole heart; for the Scripture inculcates this so often, and in such express terms, that no one, unless he is manifestly impious, can deny or call it a question.” 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.

Godfrey:

The Theses of Gelderland began with the Remonstrant statement on the Second Article.1 The delegates from Gelderland agreed with the Remonstrants that Christ died for all and that only those who believe are saved. They added, however, that Christ died for all either in the sense that he died for all kinds of men or in the sense that the intrinsic value of his death was sufficient for all men. They disagreed with the Remonstrant affirmation that Christ accomplished reconciliation for all. As proofs they offered brief citations from the Bible, quotations from St. Thomas Aquinas and Prosper. . . . W. Robert 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), 207-208.

[Notes: 1) The reference to adults is partly explained by Davenant:

Further, this universal grace of some kind being admitted, that which he adds, That God, thought his universal grace, by an invitation suitable and sufficient in itself, calls all men, to repentance, is refuted by the experience of time, and the contrary event of things. For if he speaks of repentance, which remission of sins and eternal life follows, that invitation or calling is not apt or sufficient in itself for such repentance, which does not send the penitent to Christ. But that which sends the penitent to the death of Christ for the expiation of the sins of men, is altogether unknown out of the Church, where the Gospel of Christ is not known. Therefore an invitation and calling apt and sufficient for saving repentance is not given to all men. Moreover, neither ought this opinion to be approved, That God by his universal grace grants to all men individually that they may be saved if they will. For first, it is foolish to assert, That infants, who are born the children of wrath, and die out of the church, can be saved if they will; since they have not the use of reason or free-will.

John Davenant, A Dissertation on the Death of Christ, as to its Extent and special Benefit,” (no place: no publisher, 1832), 567.

The point is, the phrase “Christ died for all” is applicable to adults, but not to children, for the proposition “Christ died for all, in case they do believe,” is not applicable to children. This is probably what lies behind the Gelders’ qualification. See also the Calamy-Palmer interaction in Minutes of the Westminster Assembley (Edmonton CA: Still Waters Revival Books, 1991), 152-153.

2) The reason the Gelders’ comment is posted here is for academic interest. This writer is not suggesting that in every way, the delegates from Gelders embraced every aspect of classic and moderate Calvinism, or agreed with Davenant and the Bremen delegates on every point.

3) The fact that the Gelderland delegates cite Prosper and Thomas would imply more strongly that they were affirming the classic position, rather than the revised version.]

[Credit to Marty.]

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1Acta Synodi…, III,127-139.

Hales:

Right Honourable and my very good Lord,

Upon Friday the 8th of January in the Evening, the Synod being met, Doctor Gomarus answered some parts of Scripture, laid host of by the Remonstrants, after the same manner as Dr Silvandus had one the Night before, the places by him discussed were for the most part the same which in the former Session had been handled. The order of discussing these arguments is by continued Discourse after the manner of Latin Sermons, or rather of Divinity Lectures, such as are read in our Schools. In one thing the discretion of both these Doctors was much approved. For both of them hold that extreme and rigid Tenent, which Beza and Perkins first of all acquainted the World with, yet notwithstanding they held impartial Course and never struck upon it.

John Hales, “Mr. Hales’s Letters from the Synod of Dort, To the Right Honourable Sir Dudley Carlton, Lord Embassador, &c,” in Golden Remains of the ever Memorable Mr. John Hales of Eaton College, (London: Printed by T.B for George Pawlet, at the Sign of the Bible in Chancery-Lane, 1688), 451-452.

[Credit to Marty.]