Calvinism gets its name from John Calvin. One of the tenets of Calvinism is "Limited Atonement", the idea that Christ died for the elect, not for all mankind. However, this does not appear to be what Calvin taught. I'm reading "Death by Love" and in one of the chapters it talks about this and provides several quotes from Calvin on the subject (see below.)
In his commentary on Galatians 5:12 Calvin said:
It is the will of God that we should seek the salvation of all men without exception, as Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world.
In his commentary on Colossians 1:14 Calvin said:
By the sacrifice of his death all the sins of the world have been expiated.
In his commentary on Romans 5:18 Calvin said:
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.
Calvin also said:
The word "many" is often as good as equivalent to "all." And in fact our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says: "God so loved the world, that he spared his only son . . ." Our Lord Jesus suffered for all and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation in him. Unbelievers who turn away from Him and who deprive themselves of Him by their malice are today doubly culpable, for how will they excuse their ingratitude in not receiving the blessing in which they could share by faith.
In his commentary on Hebrews Calvin said:
To bear the sins means to free those who have sinned from their guilt by his satisfaction. He says "many" meaning "all," as in Romans 5:15. it is of course certain that not all enjoy the fruits of Christ's death, but this happens because their unbelief hinders them.
Calvin also said:
By His mediation God is satisfied and appeased, for He bore all the wickedness of all the sins of the world.
How do Calvinists account for Calvin's own position on atonement, which appears to be at odds with the position of Calvinism?