A survey of the Survey of that summe of church-discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker ... wherein the way of the churches of N. England is now re-examined ...
Rutherford, Samuel, 1600?-1661.

CHAP. XII.

How profession doth notifie conversion.

Mr. H. That profession which must notifie to the Church, that a person is a true believer, that must notifie that he hath*true grace. But the profession that M. R requireth, must notifie to the Church that he is a true believer, pag. 196. Faith giveth right to the seales; profession, to speake acuately, doth only notifie to the Church that the man hath right to the seales. So M. R.

Ans. What is in question to M. R. it is one thing to be a * Church-member, as infants and fixed hearers are; and another thing to be by profession, capable of both the seales: the latter are such determinate Church-members, or Church-members in speciall, but all members are not capable of both seales.

2. The profession that M. R. requireth doth notifie, M. R. said not, Faith must notifie to the Church that a person is a true believer, before he can be admitted a member of the Church by the Church. And that is the question now. Not what profession doth notifie simply; but what it must notifie to the Church be∣fore Page  53 the Church can lawfully admit them to be members. M. R. never said that; nor sayeth M. R. That not every profession, but that which is apparently true doth notifie so much, and that which is only savoury to the godly. 2. As also M. H. addeth to my words, the adjective, True, which is not in my words; yea I teach that the profession of Demas, Magus, doth not no∣tifie that they are true believers: And though visible profession should notifie true faith, it is not necessary that it must offer to judicious charity such overweighing evidences as the Church cannot lawfully admit Magus a member, but they must first positively judge him a reall convert; and the like Iohn must judge of all Iury whom he baptized. 3. Since M. H speaketh of admission to the seales in the plurall number, he must mean both the seales; Hence let this quaere be answered by our bre∣thren, whether they think that profession doth notifie to a cha∣ritable * judgement that all infants of Church-members, because born of Church-members, are reall converts. If so, birth must give conversion, and David must give to Absalom conversion by birth. 2. All infants so born must be regenerate; but expe∣rience and Scriptures teach that many so born turn Apostates, and prove sonnes of perdition. How our brethren shall free themselves of some baptismall regeneration, and of the apostacy of the justified and truly sanctified, let them consider, and the sound Reader judge; for our brethren tell us, it is not lawfull to put the seale upon a blank.