Turretin on marks of the true visible church (part 5)

I am not endorsing or promoting Francis Turretin as a true Christian when I quote from him.  But I think he puts forth interesting information (underlining mine).

“XVII. It is one thing to ascribe the marks of the church falsely to themselves and to boast of them; another to, possess them truly. That is of fact; this is of right. The false boasting of heretics claiming the marks for their assembly ought not to prejudice the certain persuasion of believers because we must judge of marks not from the dreams of the sick or the opinion of the proud, but from the truth of the thing. No more can it be said that our marks are not proper, but common because heretics (even schismatics) ascribe them to them­selves:

(1) than if one should say the covenant of God is common to the rescinded and cut off Jews with the Christians because they boast of it; or that the justice of a cause belongs as well to the plaintiff as to the defendant because both claim it.

(2) Ad hominem for the same reason, the marks of the Romanists will have to be rejected because not a few besides them ascribe them to themselves (as antiquity, unity, holiness of doctrine and other things of this kind).

(3) Nay, no marks of anything in the world can be granted which some impudent and mendacious sophist will not claim for himself. Who is ignorant that the Devil wishes to hold himself as God; that the prince of darkness transforms himself into an angel of light, Antichrist, to arrogate to himself the name of Christ; and the harlot, to conceal herself under the habit of a matron.

XVIII. It is one thing to know who are the elect singly; another to know where they are and in what assembly they may be found. Our marks do not go so far as to manifest the former to us, but only the latter (which is sufficient that we may ascertain to what assembly we ought to join ourselves). As in the state, it is not necessary to know distinctly and certainly who are true and faithful citizens, who obey the laws heartily; it is sufficient for us to know what is the republic in which such laws flourish” (Turretin).

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