The Presbyterian Church in India adopting the following as its Confession of Faith, to be subscribed by ministers, licentiates, and elders, does not thereby reject any of the doctrinal standards of the parent churches, but, on the contrary, it commends them,--especially the Westminster Confession
of Faith, the Welsh Calvinistic Confession of Faith, and the Confession and Canons of the Synod of Dort--as worthy exponents of the Word of God, and as systems of doctrine to be taught in our Churches and seminaries.
Its tone is largely very conservative, and excessively dependent on the Westminster Confession
See also Westminster Confession
of Faith (1646), VI, IX.
V (5.025); The Westminster Confession
of Faith, Ch.
"If you were a Presbyterian, you would look things up in the Westminster Confession
and you knew what you were supposed to believe," says Marty.
He arrives at an affirmative answer to the question, Can the Church still confess that "by His singular care and providence" the text has been "kept pure in all ages" (Westminster Confession
of Faith 1.8)?
The author writes: "The Queen clearly has decided to continue disregarding her Coronation Oath, the Bill of Rights, Acts of Settlement, 39 Articles, Westminster Confession
, something she has increasingly done throughout her reign.
Dickinson opposed the synod of Philadelphia's decision to require ministers to subscribe to the Westminster Confession
but also defended the synod's handling of Samuel Hemphill, who refused to comply.
In general, there was no distinction made in the writings of the Reformers and the confessions between "fundamentals" and "nonfundamentals" or "essentials" and "nonessentials." The confessions of faith themselves have been described as "containing the summe and substance of the doctrine of the Reformed Churches." In precisely these terms did the Scottish Parliament ratify the Westminster Confession
of Faith in 1690.
In an age when Christian doctrine was becoming subject to precise definition in the decrees of the Council of Trent, in the Thirty-Nine Articles or in the Westminster Confession
, the development of alternative lay theologies, especially in areas where official doctrine was far from explicit, began to be curtailed.
Presbyterians in general and the Church of Scotland in particular were committed by the Westminster Confession
to the belief that the Pope was Antichrist - a proposition which originally had as much to do with the understanding of Church government as prophecy, but by the nineteenth century was predominantly interpreted in the latter context.
Gaskin, in trying to sort out Hume's religious views, needs to ask how two different sets of Hume's friends could propose him as a candidate for university posts when subscription to the Westminster Confession
, the leading of prayers in classes, church attendance and some presumption of orthodoxy were formally or informally recognized qualifications.