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Elnathan Parr (1577-1622) on the Sufficiency and Efficiency of Christ’s Death

February 13, 2009


Qu. What is the Church?

Answ. By Church, I meant the Holy Catholic church, which is the whole company of them which are from everlasting predestined to Eternal Life, and which in time, are called by the word, and sanctified by the blood and Spirit of Jesus, and this is but one; part whereof is Triumphant in Heaven, and part Militant on Earth [Eph. 5:25., &c., 1 Cor. 12:12-13.]

Expli. As in our usual Creed we are taught to believe the Holy Catholic Church to be the Company of the Saints, which have Communion or Fellowship in the grace of Remission of sins, and the Resurrection to eternal life; So it is manifest, that such only are the Catholic Church, and that such graces are proper and peculiar unto them; As the Scriptures do every where restrain these benefits of Believers only, and to the Church; To Believers, Joh. 3:16, and 5:24, and 6:40, 47; Act. 10:43; Joh. 12:46; Rom. 3:22; Gal. 3:22. To the Church, Mat. 1:21; Joh. 10:15, and 15:13, and 17:9, 19. Now whereas in diverse places, the Scripture speaks with a general note, “That Christ died for all,” and “that God so loved the world,” and such like; Such places must be understood, some of the sufficiency of Christ’s death for all, not of the Efficacy, which is only to believers; Some a precept universal, whereby all are commanded to believe; Some of the public Ministry of the Word, whereby grace is offered to all; some collectively, to signify the benefit of Redemption extends itself to Gentiles as well as to Jews; or distributively, signifying that some of all nations, Conditions, Ages, Sexes, have that benefit; not that all singulars, are made partakers thereof. So then, not the world, that is, not ever many and woman in the world, have interest in the blessing of Christ, but only the elect of God [Rom. 11:7.].

Elnathan Parr, The Grounds of Divinity, 6th edition (Printed by Edward Griffin, and William Hunt, 1651), 49-50.

PARR, Elnathan, B.D.An eminent divine in the reign of King James I. Educated at King’s College, Cambridge. Became Rector of Palgrave, Suffolk. His Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans is a useful work, “equally remarkable,” sауs Dr. Williams, “for soundness of sentiment, familiarity of illustration, and want of taste in styte and composition.”

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