On the other hand, let us contemplate the state of the ease, as it must have existed, had there been any limitation in the sufficiency of tl)e atonement itself–had Christ so died for some men only, as that his death would have been incompetent to the salvation of all men. In that case there would have been an obvious difference in the conduct of God, as moral governor, in relation to individuals involved in the same condemnation. The sentiment opposed supposes that the original lapse of the species” was followed by no new and merciful dispensation,–by no “accepted time,” during which God will hear the supplication of all who implore mercy in the name of his Son,–and, at the expiration of which, will render to all, in his rectoral character, according to their reception or rejection of the salvation which had been exhibition to them;–but that, without the intervention of any such dispensation,–a dispensation which might afford an opportunity for a difference of final state being awarded according to the rules of moral government,–many are left to suffer the sentence of the law which all have broken, while others, guilty of the same crime, are pardoned.

Though we do not admit human authority in religion, it may be well to remember that the sentiments which I have expressed in reference to the sufficiency of the atonement, have been held by individuals whose praise is in all the churches. I refer to a few, beginning with Calvin himself; for it is his final opinion on this point which is to be regarded as his real opinion. In his Exposition of the holy Scriptures, written Subsequently to his Institutes, he says, with reference to Matt. xxvi. 28, “Sub multorum nomine non partem mundi tantum designat, sed totum humanum genus.” Again, on Rom. v. 18, Communem omnium gratiam facit, quia omnibus exposita est, non quod ad omnes extendatur re ipsa. Nam etsi passus est Christus pro peccatis totius mundi, atque omnibus indifferenter, Dei benignitate offeretur; non tamen omnes apprehendunt.” In his last will, also, drawn up by himself about a month before his death, he refers to the blood of Christ, and adds, that it was “effuso pro humani generis peccatis.”

George Payne, Lectures on Divine Sovereignty, Election, the Atonement, Justification, and Regeneration (London: James Dinnis, 62, Paternoster Row, 1838), 219-220. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]

[Notes: 1) I assume Payne actually meant Calvin on Matthew 20:28:

And to give his life a ransom for many.” Christ mentioned his death, as we have said, in order to withdraw his disciples from the foolish imagination of an earthly kingdom. But it is a just and appropriate statement of its power and results, when he declares that his life is the price of our redemption; whence it follows, that we obtain an undeserved reconciliation with God, the price of which is to be found nowhere else than in the death of Christ. Wherefore, this single word overturns all the idle talk of the Papists about their abominable satisfactions. Again, while Christ has purchased us by his death to be his property, this submission, of which he speaks, is so far from diminishing his boundless glory, that it greatly increases its splendor. The word “many” (pollon) is not put definitely for a fixed number, but for a large number; for he contrasts himself with all others. And in this sense it is used in Romans 5:15, where Paul does not speak of any part of men, but embraces the whole human race. John Calvin, Matthew 20:28.

2), Calvin on Romans 5:18:

He makes this favor common to all, because it is propounded to all, and not because it is in reality extended to all; for though Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered through God’s benignity indiscriminately to all, yet all do not receive him. John Calvin. Romans 5:18.

and 3), Calvin’s Last Will and Testament:

I farther testify and declare that, as a suppliant, I humbly implore of him to grant me to be so washed and purified by the blood of that sovereign Redeemer, shed for the sins of the human race, that I may be permitted to stand before his tribunal in the image of the Redeemer himself. I likewise declare, that according to the measure of grace and mercy which God has vouchsafed me, I have diligently made it my endeavor, both in my sermons, writings, and commentaries, purely and uncorruptly to preach his word, and faithfully to interpret his sacred Scriptures.]

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