The doctrine of UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION is the constant theme of the Church of England. Calvin himself shall here corroborate this testimony of her rejoicing; and Cranmer shall be shown to have been pleased with, and even to have almost literally adopted, the corroboration. Prefixed to the New Testament in French,1 published in 1535, is a preface by Calvin; in which he thus speaks of the coming and office of the Messiah:
Ille, tot retro saeculis exoptatissimus; atque idem ilia orania cumulate praestitit, quse erant ad OMNIUM redemptionem necessaria. Neque vero intra unum Israelem tantum illud beneficium stetit, cum potius ad UNIVERSUM HUMANUM GENUS usque porrigendum esset: Quia per unum Christum UNIVERSUM HUMA.NUM GENUS reconciliandum erat Deo, uti his Novi Foederis tabuhs continetur et amplissime demonstratur.
Ad istam haereditatem (regni paterni scilicet) vocamur OMNES SINE PERSONARUM ACCEPTATIONE, Masculi, Famines, Summi, Infimi, Heri, Servi, Magistri, Discipuli, Doctores, Idiotce, Judcei, Graeci, Galli, Romani. NEMO HINC EXCLUDITUR, qui modo Christum., qualis offertur a Patre in salutem omnium, admittat, et admissum complectatur.
These opinions of Calvin in 1535, Dr. Winchester2 has judiciously observed, might, upon reflection, have taught him more moderation towards those, who differed from his later system. Let us now hear Cranmer fifteen years after him.3
Almighty God, without respect of person, accepteth the oblation and sacrifice of priest and lay person, of kyng and subject, of maister and servaunt) of man and woman, of yonge and olde, yea of English, French, Scot, Greek, Latine, Jewe, and Gentile; of every man according to his faithful and obedient heart unto him, and that through the sacrifice propitiatory of Jesu Christ.”
Henry John Todd, Original Sin, Free-Will, Grace, Regeneration, Justification, Faith, Good Works, and Universal Redemption as Maintained in Certain Declarations of our Reformers (London: Printed for F.C and J. Rivington, 1818), xlvi-xlviii. [Spelling original; some reformatting; footnote values modernise; and footnote content original.] [Note: Todd appears to be a somewhat hostile non-Calvinist.]
[Credit to Tony for the find.]
1The whole Bible was also published in French, in the translation of which Calvin is said to have had a considerable share. It is known by the names of the Olivetan and of the Protestants Bible.
2Dissert, on the 17th Art. p. 16.
3Defence of the True and Catholike Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, &c. made by the most revereude father in God, Thomas, archbyshop of Canterbury, &c. 1550. fol. 1 14,