A. 1. ‘”The Calvinists and the Synodists deny Christ’s very Office, as he is the Savior of the World, and the second Adam, the Redeemer of Mankind, and the mediator between God and man. And all this they confine to a small part of the world.

…B, Calvin says, in Rom. 5:18. [Communem omnium gratium facit, quia omnibus exposita est: Non quod ad omnes extendatur reipsa: Nam & si passus est Christus pro peccatus totius mundi atq; omnibus Indifferenter Dei benignitate offetur, non tamen omnes apprehendunt].3

And in 1 Cor. 8:11. [Dictum moemorabile quo docemur equam (Chara) esse debeat nombis fratum salus; nec omnium modo, sed singulorum, quando pro unoquoq; fusus est sanguis Christi.]4

And in 2 Pet. 2:1 [Non immerito dicuntur Christum abnegare à quo redempi sunt,—-].5

And in 1 Joh. 2:2, he says, That qui dicunt [Christum sufficienter pro toto mundo passum ess, sed pro electis tantum efficaciter,] say true, and what which commonly obtains in the Schools, though he otherwise expounds that Text.6

Richard Baxter, Catholick Theologie, (London: Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons at the Princess Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1675), 2:51. [Some reformatting; footnotes mine; and underlining mine.] [Note: For more Calvin on this subject go here.]


1Bracketed insert mine.

2Bracketed insert mine.

3Calvin: 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.

4Calvin: There is, however, still greater force in what follows–that even those that are ignorant or weak have been redeemed with the blood of Christ; for nothing were more unseemly than this, that while Christ did not hesitate to die, in order that the weak might not perish, we, on the other hand, reckon as nothing the salvation of those who have been redeemed with so great a price. A memorable saying, by which we are taught how precious the salvation of our brethren ought to be in our esteem, and not merely that of all, but of each individual in particular, inasmuch as the blood of Christ was poured out for each individual… For if the soul of every one that is weak is the price of Christ’s blood, that man, who, for the sake of a very small portion of meat, hurries back again to death the brother who has been redeemed by Christ, shows how contemptible the blood of Christ is in his view. John Calvin, 1 Corinthians 8:11 & 12.

5Calvin: Though Christ may be denied in various ways, yet Peter, as I think, refers here to what is expressed by Jude, that is, when the grace of God is turned into lasciviousness; for Christ redeemed us, that he might have a people separated from all the pollutions of the world, and devoted to holiness ,and innocency. They, then, who throw off the bridle, and give themselves up to all kinds of licentiousness, are not unjustly said to deny Christ by whom they have been redeemed. John Calvin, 2 Peter 2:1.

6Calvin: Here a question may be raised, how have the sins of the whole world been expiated? I pass by the dotages of the fanatics, who under this pretense extend salvation to all the reprobate, and therefore to Satan himself. Such a monstrous thing deserves no refutation. They who seek to avoid this absurdity, have said that Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect. This solution has commonly prevailed in the schools. Though then I allow that what has been said is true, yet I deny that it is suitable to this passage; for the design of John was no other than to make this benefit common to the whole Church. Then under the word all or whole, he does not include the reprobate, but designates those who should believe as well as those who were then scattered through various parts of the world. For then is really made evident, as it is meet, the grace of Christ, when it is declared to be the only true salvation of the world. John Calvin, 1 John 2:2.

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2 comments so far


David, I don’t know if you’ve posted this before, but I appreciate this excerpt from Baxter’s writing:

When God telleth us as plain as can be spoken, that Christ died for and tasted death for every man, men will deny it, and to that end subvert the plain sense of the words, merely because they cannot see how this can stand with Christ’s damning men, and with his special Love to his chosen. It is not hard to see the fair and harmonious consistency: But what if you cannot see how two plain Truths of the Gospel should agree? Will you therefore deny one of them when both are plain? Is not that in high pride to prefer your own understandings before the wisdom of the Spirit of God, who indicted the Scriptures? Should not a humble man rather say, doubtless both are true though I cannot reconcile them. So others will deny these plain truths, because they think that [All that Christ died for are certainly Justified and Saved: For whomsoever he died and satisfied Justice for, them he procured Faith to Believe in him: God cannot justly punish those whom Christ hath satisfied for, etc.] But doth the Scripture speak all these or any of these opinions of theirs, as plainly as it saith that Christ died for all and every man? Doth it say, as plainly any where that he died not for all? Doth it any where except any one man, and say Christ died not for him? Doth it say any where that he died only for his Sheep, or his Elect, and exclude the Non-Elect? There is no such word in all the Bible; Should not then the certain truths and the plain texts be the Standard to the uncertain points, and obscure texts? [Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind, pages 282-283].

May 1st, 2010 at 7:07 am

Hey Barry,

That’s a good quotation from Baxter. I do not have that. I don’t know if Tony does.

I was reading a small piece on Saturday, by an author who actually says in some sense Christ died for all, that “world” in John 3:16 was a ‘doubtful expression.’ Ive seen stuff like that in Owen.

I am amazed that some men felt themselves pushed into such a corner where something like John 3:16 could become a “doubtful expression.” What happened to the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture?

Baxter in the above comment is very correct. Scripture is clear in its universal terms, and nowhere is there any actual or implied negation of those universal terms.

I am glad to see that you are reading Baxter. Even though one may not agree with all his constructions and claims, his analysis and critique of limited expiation is powerful and insightful.


May 3rd, 2010 at 7:53 am

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