Samuel Rutherford: Are all members of the visible church truly converted?

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... If we are to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ, and if grace may be beside many and great sins, as we see in Asa, in Salomon who remained the children of God, under many out breakings, if the children of God may be the children of God, and yet some of them habitually proud, passionate, some of them worldly minded, some talkative and imprudently rash in zeal, some lustful, some slothful, some ambitious, yea and if Simon Magus his profession, though false, was esteemed sufficient, for to give him baptism, the Seal of the covenant, Acts 8. 9. Then it is not required that all the members of the visible church be such as positively we know (so far as human knowledge can reach) that they are converted, yea if this were true, then special commandments would be given, that as we are to examine and try our selves, 1 Cor. 11. 28. 2 Cor. 13. 5. And to try officers before they be admitted, 1 Tim. 3. 10. 1 Tim. 5 22. and to try the spirits of Prophets and their Doctrine, 1 John 4. 1. and, 1 Thess. 5. 21. Acts 17. 13. So would God in his Word give a charge, that we try, examine and judge carefully one another, and that every man labour to be satisfied in conscience anent the regeneration one of another. But such commandments we read not of. ...

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