“Profession [in the early church] was a very serious matter, and entailed very serious consequences. It often brought on a man persecution, loss of property, imprisonment, and even death. The consequence was that few persons ever made a Christian profession in the early Church unless they were thoroughly in earnest, truly converted, and really believers.
“In the days in which we live, ‘profession’ is a very different thing. Millions of people profess and call themselves Christians, whom the Apostle Paul would not have called Christians at all. Millions are annually baptized, and added to the rolls and registers of churches, who have little or no religion. Many of them live and die without ever attending a place of worship, and live very ungodly lives. All this is sorrowful and painful, but it is only too true.”