Wednesday, 20 February 2013

More Marriage Matters

Have a look at this short video and learn a little more about this massive moral issue that our UK government is seeking to bring through Parliament and become law.

The Sin of the World Taken Away

Jn 1:29.
The words of this verse were spoken by the Baptist. The Lamb of God, namely, the daily sacrifice, takes away the sin of the world, as the sacrifice did for all Israel.  In the Old Testament, the remedy was universally applicable to that particular people, Israel.  But here we have the true Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.  Ryle quotes Calvin approvingly when he remarks that the writer, John, “extends this favour indiscriminately to the whole human race, that the Jews might not think he had been sent for them alone.”[1]  The entire race is under divine condemnation, but the divine remedy is offered to all without exception on condition of faith, or as Calvin puts it here “by the guidance of faith.”
For him, John uses the singular number, referring to “the sin” and not “the sins” of the world.  Says Ryle,
“The expression seems to me purposely intended to show that what Christ took away, and bore on the cross, was not the sin of certain people only, but the whole accumulated mass of all the sins of all the children of Adam.[2]
Neither Ryle nor Calvin places any restriction on the meaning and implication of the text because Scripture does not.  Believing as they do that Scripture is clear on these important matters, the natural meaning of the words is good enough for them, and therefore followed.  To limit the author’s intent is to do injustice to his thought, and both Calvin and Ryle eschewed that vigorously. 
Ryle delves into the hidden purpose of God in the Cross when he mentions His intention for Christ in His death.  Clearly, it was to atone for the sins of all men, not a limited few (relatively speaking).  It was all-encompassing in its intent and limited only to the “whosoever believes,” in effect. 
Ryle’s limited understanding of things divine is confessed quite honestly when he states that he rests in the inscrutableness of the divine will and purpose when the world’s sin was laid on, borne by and atoned for in Christ.[3]  It is inclusive of “all the men and women in the world.”  Repudiating the idea of “universal salvation” as a “dangerous heresy,” and “utterly contrary to Scripture,” Ryle asserts that “the lost will not prove to be lost because Christ has done nothing for them.  He bore their sins, He carried their transgressions, He provided payment.”[4]  Since He has done all that for the world, no one having been provided out of the love of God for His creatures, can be said to die without an offered and available, willing and able Saviour.[5]  Their own stubborn refusal to trust Christ is the cause of their eternal lostness, not any pre-creation decree passed by God.  As Ryle preaches, “He set the prison door open to all, but the majority would not come out and be free.”[6] 
So, for Ryle, it is the act and attitude of unbelief that damns sinners, not any insufficiency on the atonement.  “Christ’s atonement is a benefit which is offered freely and honestly to all mankind. ... the true meaning [is] that the Lamb of God has made atonement sufficient for all though efficient unquestionably to none but believers.[7]
The Geneva Study Notes on Jn.1:29 stick closely to the text and emphasise the universality of the atonement without adding any limitations to it.  The Lamb of God is Christ and in His death He has made “satisfaction for the sin of the world.”  This word, αιρων, is in the present tense, and signifies a continuous act of “carrying away,” for the Lamb has this power to take away the sin of the world, both now and forever.
The Puritan Matthew Henry writes: “This is encouraging to our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin?”  Why not indeed?  The People’s New Testament views Jesus as the world’s Saviour.  Here “the world,” means “the world,” humanity, all mankind.  David Brown writes, “THE LAMB here, beyond all doubt, points to the death of Christ, and the sacrificial character of that death.”  He adds that the sin (singular) denotes “the collective burden laid upon the Lamb” as well as its “all-embracing efficacy.” It was not for Jews only – as the morning and evening sacrifices were, but in contrast it was for the whole world; it was “the sin of the world” that the Lamb of God carried away, not just that of one particular nation.  This was not an exclusive sacrifice, but one sufficient for the whole world.  Pastorally and evangelistically he continues,
Wherever there shall live a sinner throughout the wide world, sinking under that burden too heavy for him to bear, he shall find in this ‘Lamb of God’ a shoulder equal to the weight.[8]
A. T. Robertson makes the point that “He is the Lamb of God for the world, not just for Jews.”[9]  The juxtaposition of “the world” and “the Jews” suggests that in distinction to “the Jews,” which is a particular nation, “the world” is the κosmos in all its rich universality. 
On κosmos, Zodhiates understands the noun to denote inter alia “the mass of people who are hostile or at least indifferent to the truth and the followers of Christ.”[10]  Naturally, this includes all mankind by nature, there not being one individual who does not fit this description.  It is this world of humanity that is dominated by the evil one, and which is further the object of God’s wrath and judgement, and also of His mercy.  All men are the objects of divine judgement individually and collectively.  The κosmos, here, equates to all men.  So the Lamb of God takes away the sin of all men.
Jesus was sacrificed for the world, that is, for the entire human family in all ages.  This is abundantly clear.  All are bought, but all do not acknowledge the purchase.[11]  This is supportive of Baxter’s soteriology and is that held by DML-J.  The latter preaches, “We know why he died.  There, on the cross, God was laying on him the iniquity of us all.  He is the ‘Lamb of God’ – as John the Baptist had said – ‘which taketh away the sin of the world’ Jn.1:29.’”[12]  (94).
Wesley concurs with the above, adding that the sins taken away are the sins of all mankind.[13]  Sin and the world are of equal extent, argues Wesley.  Even the elect prior to conversion are full of sin, so “sin and the world are (truly) of equal extent.”  However, for the sinner to receive the benefits of the redemption purchased by Christ, God requires of him faith in Jesus Christ and repentance that leads to life.[14]  “And without faith it is impossible to please God.”[15]
Gill’s exegesis (or is it eisegesis?), reminiscent of Owen’s, makes “the world” equal “the elect,” but on what grounds he does this are not given.  It is a purely gratuitous exercise, and dishonest, as Machen would say.  By the “sin of the world,” is not meant the sin, or sins of every individual person in the world, says Gill.[16]  So according to this exegesis “the sin of the world” does not mean “the sin of the world” after all.  Had John said this in 1:29, confusion in understanding basic English would not have occurred.  We would have been clear that John the Baptiser did not mean “the world” as we understand it. 
Leon Morris understands the Cross in its comprehensiveness.[17]  John is referring to the totality of the world’s sin, rather than to a number of individual acts. Individual acts are carried out by individuals; therefore, John is not referring to   individuals either.  His reference is to “the sin of the world” in its totality.  Christ’s death on the Cross is “completely adequate for the needs of all men.”[18]  Despite attempts to question the authenticity of this verse,[19] none of them have proved to be successful.  The verse stands, and teaches the sweet lesson of Who Christ is and what He came into the world to do. 
Listen to what Morris writes in his commentary on John’s Gospel:
...God loves the world (3:16). Christ speaks to the world the things He has heard from God (8:26).  The whole work of salvation which God accomplishes in Christ is directed to the world.  Thus He takes away the sin of the world (1:29).  He is the Saviour of the world (4:42).  He gives life to the world (6:33).  This is at cost for He gives His flesh for the life of the world (6:51).  Christ came especially to save the world, not to judge it (3:17; 12:47).[20] 
This commentator is very clear about what the attitude of God in Christ is to the world – He loves it and sent His Son to die for it.  What is mean here is not just the world in its ‘badness’ but also the world in its ‘bigness.’  This is universalism in its truest sense.  God has within His divine being an attitude of gracious and saving complacency towards the rebellious and lost world that He loves and has redeemed.  Morris brings this out when he writes, “The Jew was ready enough to think of God as loving Israel, but no passage appears to be cited in which any Jewish writer maintains that God loves the world.”[21]  This distinctively Christian idea is that “God’s love is wide enough to embrace all mankind.”[22]  This love proceeds from God’s nature as love.[23]   It is in the heart of God to show love to the unlovely, unlovable and unloving. 
So Morris demonstrates that what God has done in Christ has had an incalculable effect on the whole world – He took away its sin – or as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions have it in the plural, “the sins of the world.”
What then of the issue of wastage in regard to the Baptiser’s statement that “the Lamb of God ... takes away the sin of the world”?  If all men are not thereby saved by this “taking away” of sin, then Christ has failed.  It was a wasted effort, carried out in vain and for nothing.  Well, Ryle, for one, sees no strength in this objection.  He argues that we might as well say that because sin came into the world through Adam and marred God’s perfect creation, creation was in vain.  He marshals the argument that because we are dealing with the works of God and not the works of man, there will, of necessity, be many things we do not fully understand.  Man’s fallen mind will never be able to fathom the depths of divine knowledge and wisdom, let alone comprehend it.  How God can “take away the sin of the world” via His Lamb and yet not all men are saved by it, is a mysterious proposition that defies rational thought, and demands humility to accept.  We must learn humility in face of divine mysteries that have not been revealed to us.  Our tendency towards a scholastic approach to what are essentially metaphysical matters must be curbed if we are not to be diverted into a logic that is not biblically warranted.  That there is a sense in which God has accomplished what He says in His Word is accepted; but just how this has been done is beyond our ability to understand.  Ryle strongly repudiates universal salvation as “a dangerous heresy, and utterly contrary to Scripture,”[24] and believes that the vast majority of mankind will perish in their sins.  This is not because Christ had done nothing for them, but because they have not trusted in this freely offered Christ alone for salvation.  The remedy was provided and available to all, yet many refused to avail of it.  Their perdition cannot then be laid at the door of Christ, but at their own because of their refusal to trust in the God-provided Lamb.  All that had to be done for their salvation had been completed by Christ – bearing their sins, carrying their transgressions, and provided payment – the ransom price.  “But in the work of Christ in atonement I see no limitation,” says Ryle. “The atonement was made for all the world, though it is applied to and enjoyed by none but believers.”[25]  Hypothetically, all can be saved if only they trust in Christ’s atonement.  There is no evidence that its benefits will be enjoyed by the entire world.  “But Christ’s atonement is a benefit that is offered freely and honestly to all mankind.”[26]
Ryle could not be clearer; in Christ’s atonement there is a general reference to the entire world and a particular reference to believers only.  There is no need for limitation in reference to “the sin of the world,” he contends.  In this phrase he sees “the whole mass of mankind’s guilt” converging, something the Bible says Christ took away.  He uses the Lombardian sufficiency/efficiency maxim to strengthen his stated position.
Calvin’s exposition is confirmatory of this position.  He comments, 
And when [John] says ‘The sin of the world,’ he extends this favour indiscriminately to the whole human race, that the Jews might not think that He had been sent to them alone. ... as all men, without exception, are guilty of unrighteousness before God, they need to be reconciled to Him.[27]
Calvin equates those who are under divine wrath with those who need to be saved from wrath – all mankind.  What one man needs, all need.  He continues,
...our duty is to embrace the benefit that is offered to all, that each of us may be convinced that there is nothing to hinder him from obtaining reconciliation in Christ, provided that he comes to Him by the guidance of faith.[28]
Calvin’s contested position is clear – the whole human race has had its sin taken away by Christ, all men without exception.  This has been done by Christ in His death, but the actual mechanics of this have been kept within God’s eternal council.  The way by which the benefits of this ‘taking away’ is by faith in the Saviour, by embracing what has been offered to all.  Faith in Christ in central, not election and predestination.
Milne understands the term, “the sins of the world,” as describing the scope of the Lamb’s ministry.  “Without exception, every kind of sin and evil is covered.  There is no sin too heinous, no wickedness too terrible, no habitual failure too often repeated, that it cannot be ‘taken away’ by Christ, our heavenly Lamb.”[29]  Milne here uses the plural “sins” rather than the singular, “sin.”  He draws attention primarily to the nature and extensiveness of sin, and includes all kinds of sin – all good pastoral teaching.  It is important to know and to experience these truths if Christians are to have assurance of their interest in Christ and His interest in them.  But to stop there is to stop too far short.  Milne does not deal with those whose sins are being referred to, therefore sells us short in his exposition of this important soteriological text.  So not much help here.
William Hendriksen provides no help either, but rather takes us back into ultra-orthodoxy when he avers, “According to the Baptist it is the sin of the world (men from every tribe, and people, by nature lost in sin, cf.11:51, 52) which the Lamb is taking away, not merely the sin of a particular nation (e.g, the Jewish).”[30]  This completely misses the point the Baptist is making.  In any case, Hendriksen, despite his otherwise detailed explanations of contested understandings, does not provide even a hint of his grounds for making this statement on behalf of the Baptist.  Where “according to the Baptist” are his grounds and warrant for such an interpretation to be found?  Exegetically, Hendriksen is stretching his interpretation to breaking-point.  Rather than ‘blaming’ the Baptist for this spurious interpretation of Jn 1:29, he ought, with greater integrity, have pointed to the Westminster Confession of Faith where Christ is said to have died for the elect only.[31]  For Hendriksen, it is more important to be confessionally correct than to be biblically faithful.  The universal aspect of the Gospel and of Christ’s atoning work is ignored in order to satisfy confessional requirements.

[1]    Ryle, 1869/1987:63.
[2]    Ryle, 1869/1987:61.
[3]    Ryle, 1869/1987:62.
[4]    Ibid.
[5]    Heb.7:25.
[6]    Ryle, 1869/1987:62.
[7]    Ryle, 1869/1987:62.
[8]    Brown, 1864/1969:352.
[9]    A T Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament.
[10]    Zodhiates, 1992:882.
[11]    The Fourfold Gospel (n.d., n.p.).
[12]    DML-J selection #194.
[13]    Wesley’s Notes on the NT.
[14]    The Westminster Shorter Catechism no. 85 adds to these two requirements the following: “with the
         diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of
[15]    Heb.11:6.
[16]    Gill,
[17]    Morris, 1972:148.
[18]    Ibid.
[19]    Morris, 1972:149. 
[20]    Morris, 1972:128.
[21]    Morris, 1972:229.
[22]    Ibid.
[23]    1 Jn. 4:8, 16.
[24]    Ryle, 1869/1987:62.
[25]    Ibid.
[26]    Ibid.
[27]    Calvin as cited in Ryle, 1869/1987:63.  See also his commentary on this passage.
[28]    Ibid.
[29]    Milne, 1993:54.
[30]    Hendriksen, 1954:99.
[31]    WCF, Ch.VIII, sections I, VI, VIII.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A Ransom for Many

When Jesus says He came to give His life a ransom for many, what does He mean here?[1]  The 1550 Stephanus Greek Text says, και δουναι την ψυχην αυτου λυτρον αντι πολλων.  Αντι, when used of persons, denotes something that is done ‘for the sake of’ or ‘on behalf of.’[2]  Hendriksen states that it means ‘in the place of,’ and adds, without explanation, “Not in the place of all but many.”[3]  Λυτρον denotes “to loose,” as in the payment that is made for “redeeming captives, loosing them from their bonds and setting them at liberty.”[4]  Zodhiates explains that in this context, “it applies spiritually to the ransom paid by Christ for the delivering of men from the bondage of sin and death.”  This could be afforded a particularistic interpretation which many attribute to it, following Owen, but this is not the only viable interpretation that can be given for this passage.  From the spiritual perspective, who are in “captives” and who are in “bonds”?  All men.  All are the slaves of sin and are in bondage to iniquity.  A particularistic interpretation is not necessary, and is not followed by Calvin.

The word many (πολλν) 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.[5]

Jesus is talking here about a large number that no man can number.  Some may argue that it is a number therefore it is definite, and others that because it is a large number (many), it is as good as meaning ‘all,’ as Calvin so rightly teaches.[6]  For Calvin, there is no limit to the atonement except that it carries no benefits to those who do not believe.
Lane reverts to a high-view interpretation of this verse, and introduces the thought of substitution.[7]  When Jesus gave His life, Mark qualifies this by saying that is was “a ransom for the many.”  Neither the Westcott and Hort Greek text (1881) nor the Stephanus Greek text (1550) has the definite article so for Lane to add this is gratuitous and is to take unwarranted liberties with the text of Scripture.  The Greek text says simply “a ransom for many,” not “the many.”  What happens to Christ is “what would have happened to them,” he argues.  Continuing, Lane avers, “The many had forfeited their lives, and what Jesus gives in their place is his life.”[8]  Lane posits a definiteness in the relation between “the many” and the Christ.  But when Lane is questioned about who those are who have forfeited their lives, he could answer in one of two ways; he could say that “the many” equates with “the elect” (as Hendriksen, Owen, Gill, etc would argue); or he could same with Calvin that “the many” refers to all those who have forfeited their lives because of their sin, namely the whole of mankind.  He contends that “Jesus pays the price that sets men free” but he appears to understand ‘men’ as referring to definite individuals, rather than as a generic term that includes all humanity.  He posits an indissoluble link between Christ and the community of people He came to ransom, and concludes that “this corresponds perfectly with the main thought of Isa.53.”  Clearly Lane has not studied Calvin’s commentary and sermons on this pivotal OT passage and this explains why he departs from Calvin in his exposition.  DML-J would have parted company with Lane at this point, preferring, as he did, to expound Mk 10:45 in more Calvinist terms. 

[1]    Cf. Matt.20:28.  The 1599 Geneva Bible translates it: “for the ransom of many.”
[2]    Zodhiates, 1992:190.
[3]    Hendriksen, 1975:415.
[4]    Zodhiates, 1992:930.
[5]    Calvin, Comm. on Matt.20:28.
[6]    Comm. on Rom.5:15.
[7]    Lane, 1974:384.
[8]    Ibid.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Iniquity of us all.

This verse is quoted very frequently by DML-J in his evangelistic preaching.  What is the context of this verse and what does it mean?  The context is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah and this individual is identified with Christ in His death by Calvin in his sermons on this passage.[1]  The Geneva Bible notes state that the punishment of the iniquity of us all was laid on Him.  Hyper-Calvinist, Dr. John Gill, in his exposition of this phrase, states quite categorically, “he has laid on Christ, his own Son, the sins of all his elect ones.”  Continuing, he adds, “[God the Father] ... laid on Christ, and were bore by him, even all the sins of all God’s elect...”  Further, Gill teaches,
The words may be rendered, "he made to meet upon him the iniquity of us all"; the elect of God, as they live in every part of the world, their sins are represented as coming from all quarters, east, west, north, and south; and as meeting in Christ, as they did, when he suffered as their representative on the cross ...  
Gill in his interpretation is clearly limiting the teaching of this verse and restricting it to the elect only and universally, but unlike Calvin does not see it as applying to the whole world of men.  Yet, Gill quotes R. Cohana (favourably) when he says,
“ the ass bears burdens, and the garments of travellers, so the King Messiah will bear upon him the sins of the whole world; as it is said, "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”[2]  
This appears just a tad inconsistent with his stated position, yet he included it in his comment on this verse.
Gill’s interpretation contrasts with that of Calvin who preaches (in his sermon on Isa.53:4-6): “...took Him as being there in the place of all sinners.  So we see that Jesus Christ was laden with all our sins and iniquities...”[3]  Calvin’s oft-repeated phrase “the death and passion of Christ” is used to point to what He has done for all men, all sinners.  Indeed, Calvin preaches that Isaiah includes the word “all” to “exclude all exceptions.”[4]  “For our Lord Jesus has enough to satisfy us all...”[5]  Or again, “Let us then come boldly to our Lord Jesus Christ, and He will suffice for all...”[6]  Further, Calvin preaches, “for God was not satisfied with sending his Son once for all ... He will be sufficient to give us such a remedy that we can conclude that we are received and acknowledged by God as His own children, and that He will look upon us as righteous and perfect and instead of abominable before Him.”[7]  Calvin’s inclusivity with respect to Christ’s work of redemption is set out his exposition of Isa.53:6.  In fact, he contends that this entire passage (Isa.53) is exclusively about the death and passion of Christ. 
Linking this verse with 2 Cor.5:21, a (unnamed) commentator stated,
He was not merely a sin offering (which would destroy the antithesis to “righteousness”), but “sin for us”; sin itself vicariously; the representative of the aggregate sin of all mankind; not sins in the plural, for the “sin” of the world is one (Romans 5:16 Romans 5:17 );[8]
This is again in agreement with Calvin; the iniquity that was laid on Christ was that of all mankind, the normal meaning of the words used.
Puritan commentator, Matthew Henry, wrote on this verse:
For whom this atonement was to be made. It was the iniquity of us all that was laid on Christ; for in Christ there is a sufficiency of merit for the salvation of all, and a serious offer made of that salvation to all, which excludes none that do not exclude themselves. It intimates that this is the one only way of salvation. All that are justified are justified by having their sins laid on Jesus Christ, and, though they were ever so many, he is able to bear the weight of them all.
His exegesis is abundantly clear.  He does not qualify “of us all” but takes the words in their normal meaning.  Introducing the “sufficiency of merit in Christ for the salvation of all,” which includes “a serious offer made of that salvation to all,” an offer that “excludes none that do not exclude themselves,” Henry is true to the clear teaching of Scripture.  Because God laid on Christ the penalty of sin for us all, there is universal provision in the atonement made by the Saviour.
Wesley’s notes on the Old Testament give a similarly clear interpretation:
That which was due for all the sins of all mankind, which must needs be so heavy a load, that if he had not been God as well as man, he must have sunk under the burden.[9]
The Methodist preacher demonstrates his closeness to Calvin in his understanding of the universal terms used by Isaiah, and highlights the distance he was from Gill. 
When expounding the phrase “of us all,” Rawlinson explains the universality of the atonement in these terms:  “The redemption is as universal as the sin, at any rate, potentially.”  Christ on the cross made “a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice ... for the sins of the whole world.”[10]  The text of Scripture is taken in its natural, common-sense, meaning.  There is provision in the atonement for all, therefore none need die without an available and sufficient Saviour.  Calvin agrees: there is enough in Jesus Christ to satisfy us all.  “Let us then come boldly to our Lord Jesus Christ, and He will suffice for all.”[11]  Calvin’s “alls” display the inclusiveness of the atonement without limitation. 
Albert Barnes, commenting in this verse, states:
This language is that which naturally expresses the idea that he suffered for all people. It is universal in its nature, and naturally conveys the idea that there was no limitation in respect to the number of those for whom he died.[12]
Clearly, the universal aspect is to the fore in Barnes’ exegesis, and concurs with that of other careful exegetes, such as Calvin.  
Alec Motyer in his commentary on the prophecy of Isaiah writes,
We all and each expresses both common culpability and individual responsibility ... Over against the common herd, and matching the individual need, there stands him on whom our iniquity has been laid.  By the divine act, the Servant was the meeting point for the iniquity of us all.[13]
Motyer accepts the exposition that “each sin of every sinner would be like a separate wound in the heat of this man of sorrows.” Inclusivity is innate to what Isaiah says, and Motyer brings this out very clearly.  He continues,
The Servant is not ... one moved by personal compassion and voluntariness; he is the provision and plan of God, who himself superintends the priestly task (Lev.16:21) of transferring the guilt of the guilty to the head of the Servant, giving notice that this is indeed his considered and acceptable satisfaction for sin.[14]
The guilty are all those deemed to be so by the law of God, namely, every son of Adam.  The whole world is accountable to, guilty before, God,[15] so it was the whole world’s guilt that was transferred to the head of the Servant/Saviour.[16]
DML-J was with Calvin, Wesley, Barnes and Motyer on this point when he preached
In view of the fact that salvation is of God and therefore supernatural, although we cannot understand it, it holds out a hope for all. … There is literally hope for all.  ...It is God’s work, and because it is God’s work, it is possible for all and can be offered to all.  ...There is literally hope for all.”[17] 
Or again,
“It is God who sent his Son into the world, it is God who sent him to the cross, it is God who ‘laid on him the iniquities of us all,’ Isa.53:6.  It is God who has taken your sins and put them on him and punished them in him and is offering you a free pardon; it is God who has done it.”[18] 
 “Here is ‘the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world’ Jn.1:29.  Here is the one who has never sinned; here is one who is spotless; here is one who has never broken a commandment, never defied his father.  He has pleased his Father in all things and in all ways.  And, ‘God has laid on him the iniquity of us all’ Isa.53:6.”[19]
“He sent his only Son into this world ‘for the suffering of death … that he by the grace of God should, taste death for every man’ Heb.2:9.  God’s Son took our sins upon himself: ‘He hath laid on him the iniquity of us all’ Isa.53:6.’”[20]
From these four quotations from DML-J’s sermons, it is clear that his interpretation of Isa.53:6 followed Calvin, Wesley, Henry, Barnes, and Motyer rather than Gill, or even Owen for that matter.  Owen states, with reference to both Isa.53:6 and Jn 3:16, “God of his free grace, has prepared a way to redeem and save his elect.”[21]  Owen is interpretatively particularistic when dealing with the Bible’s own universalistic statements.[22]  But for the Doctor, hope is held out for all because it is offered to all without exception.  Because God has sent His Son to Calvary to have the sins of all punished in Him, a free pardon can now be offered to all.  If He, the pure and spotless One, had not taken the sins of all upon His Body on the Cross, and died for them, how then could a free and utterly sincere offer of salvation be made to them?  In His death, God’s Son, “tasted death for every man.”  Hyper Calvinists such as John Gill state, correctly, that ‘man’ is added by the translators to help to give the sense of the verse, and suggest that what should be added is son, or one of the brethren, not man.  The reason for this is not given which begs the question, why son or brethren, and not man?   
It was “the sin of the world” that God laid on Him, “the iniquity of us all.”  DML-J clearly did not subscribe to the restricted view of the atonement as espoused by Gill and Owen.  Such a view would have hampered his evangelistic preaching, leaving him with nothing to offer the lost.  The biblical view handed him something real to offer to real sinners – a real salvation which would become theirs on condition of faith in Christ. 
Davenant reinforces this important Gospel point in Isa.53:6 by reference to the Church Fathers, quoting them as saying, “The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the ransom of the whole world...”[23]  Quoting from David Paræus (in a judgement which he transmitted to the Synod of Dordt) the following words, “The cause and matter of the passion of Christ was the sense and sustaining of the anger of God excited against the sin, not of some men, but of the whole human race.”[24]
One looks in vain for any treatment of this verse in Smeaton when he refers to Isa 53.  He references vvs. 3, 7, 12, but makes no reference to 53:6.[25]
It is clear from these quotations that there is a division between those who embrace the scholastic doctrine of limited atonement and those who follow the Scriptures, taking them in their natural meaning.  It is also clear which interpretation DML-J prefers, and it is not that of Gill and Owen.

[1]   Parker, 1976.
[2]   Apud Galatin. de Cathol. Ver. I. 10. c. 6. p. 663, and Siphre in ib. l. 8. c. 20. p. 599.
[3]    Calvin, 1956:70.
[4]    Calvin, 1956:78.
[5]    Calvin, 1956:81.
[6]    Ibid.
[7]    Calvin, 1956:82.
[8]    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. (n.d., n.p.).  I have also retained the
         Formatting of the original quotation to keep the author’s emphases.
[9]    Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on Isa.53:6.
[10]    Rawlinson, 1906:296.
[11]    Calvin, 1956:81.  In his commentary on Isa.53:6, he writes, “Our sins overwhelm us: but they are laid
         on Christ, by whom we are unburdened. Therefore, when we were perishing, and, alienated from God,
         were hastening to hell, Christ took upon Himself the filthy depths (colluviem) of our sins, to rescue us
         from eternal destruction ...” (p.67).
[12]    Barnes commentary on Isaiah, p.???
[13]    Motyer, 1993:431.  Formatting preserved to bring out the author’s original emphases.
[14]    Ibid.
[15]    Rom.3:19.
[16]    Cf. 1 Jn 5:19 and Rom.3:19.
[17]    DML-J, selection #49. 
[18]    DML-J, selection #183.
[19]    DML-J, selection #188.
[20]    DML-J, selection #208.
[22]   I am reminded of Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, who said scornfully, "When I use a word ... it means
        just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."  Alice (in Wonderland) then asks "whether you
        can make words mean so many different things."  "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to
        be master— that's all."  He believed that he could impart meanings to words that suited his purpose.
[23]    Davenant, 1832/2006/33.
[24]    Davenant, 1832/2006:35. 
[25]    Smeaton, 1871/1991:81, cf. 497.