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Page THE Introduction

$ A Division of the Whole into three Parts according to the

different Ufes and Ends of Creeds and Confessions 6

PA R T I. Containing

those Purposes of Confessions, which were of the most general and extensive Nature, and had a regard not elemento the Members of the particular Churches which framed First End propofed by Churches in publishing their Confessions, to give a fair and authentick Account of the Doctrine maintained by them; and clear the Misrepresentations made of them, and the Calumnies wherewith they were blackned

ibid. The Opinions of Adverfaries generally placed in a very unfair Light, which makes it more neceffary to publish authentick

Conteslions of their Faith

ibid, "his End of Creeds illustrated and applied to the State of the prinitive Christians

7, 8, 9 of the Proteftanë Churches at the Reformatios






This End of peculiar Advantage to the Church of Scotland, the

Principless Worlhip and Government whereof are, in a particular Manner, loaded with Calumnies and unfair Mitreprefer

Page The Occasion hereof accounted for, from the circumstances Things during the Civil War, when the Westminster Confession was composed

II, 12, 13 At the Restauration, and till the present Time Whence not only the more ignorant and angry, but Writers of

bercer Character, are very partial in their Accounts of what_re lates to this Church

14, B The Injustice of charging, the Notions of one or two particular

Members upon the whole Body. And the plain Equity of judging concerning their Sentiments ac

cording to their publick Confeilions, Catechifms, &c. 16. How inuch the Falhood of these Calumnies would appear by ci juft Consideration of our Confeflion, instanced with refpect to

our alledged Principles concerning both Civil and Ecclefiaftical Government

16, 17, 18 And the Doctrines of Predestination, Justification, &c.

19, 20 The Injustice of imputing to Persons fupposed Consequences of

their Opinions, which they deny The great Mischiefs of Anger, Impericusness, and Uncharitable

ness in managing Controversies A palpable Mistake of Sir Richard Steil noted, no Degree of Perle

cution in Scotland The Second Design of publishing Creeds, That Christian Societies

might in the mott fölenin Manner make Profession of the true Religion, and glory in it before the World This is the Duty of the Church

ibid. The Blellings of pure Religion bestowed on the Church of Scote

land in a distingui hing Manner, and preserved to her by a Train of extraordinary Providences

24, 25 That it is the Duty of a Church, in the more folemn and publiek

Manner, to own the Truth, when it is ridiculed and despised in the World, and deserted by other Churches

ibida This practised by the Church of Scotland

26 The uncommon Advances of the Reformation with respect to the

Worship and Government of the Church of Scotland, with Re. marks thereupon

26, 27, 28 A Conjecture concerning the Causes hereof, and of the different

Turn which the Reformation took in England, &c. 28, 29, 30 A Third Design of Confessions, to maintain Union and Fellow

Phip among the several Churches, which professed the true Res ligions and to contribute to their mutual Comfort and Edification;

30, 31 All the Churches of Christ are but one Body, whence arifeth the great Obligation to Love and Harmony Sinh }




The finful Nature, and dangerous Consequences of Division a? mong the Protestant Churches

Page 32, 33 The great Usefulness of Çonfellions to cure those Eyils, and to promote Peace and Union

33, 34 The Uncharitableness and Folly of fome High-Church Princi


ples 15

their full Strength

fional Paper


PART. II. Oncerning that End of Confessions which particularly respects establihed as a Standard of Orthodoxy, and must be subscribed by Ecclefiaftical Officers

35 A mort History of this controversy, and an Accoụnt of the Opis

njons of different Parties concerning the Authority of Confellions, their Lawfulness, Expediency, and Usefulness 35, 40 The Arguments against Confessions represented at one View in

40 Their Coptrariety to the Perfection and Perspicuity of the Scripture

ibid. And to the unalienable Liberties of a Christian

41 Their Popish Complexion and Tendency

ibid. A Pallage of Episcopius paraphrased, and a Quotation from the Occa

42 The abfolute Unfitness of Confessions to promote Truth and - Light

43 Their fatal Influence on the Temper and Affections of their Ad

ibid, The great Prejudice they are to practical Holiness

44 All which Obfervations are juftified and illustrated by the History of the Church in all Ages

ibid. The only way to remedy those Evils, with the Advantages of laying aside all such humane Tests

45 A Defence of the Equity, Usefulness and Excellency of Confellions, particularly of the Practice and Principles of the Church of

Scotland with respect to them What the Authority, and Use of Confessions with refpe& to Minihers, &c. are in the Church of Scotland, manifested by the Acts of Parliament relative thereto

46---49 And of Adembly

$0,"5! Several Methods might be taken to vindicate this Use of Confef: fions, with that followed in this Essay The general Principles upon which the Authority of Confeffione may be built, and any Church may juftly require an Affent to them from her Ministers

$2-- $6 From all which it appears. That the very Maxims of Liberty which our Adversaries glory in, are Props firm enough to support the


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Weight of that Authority which the Creeds of our Church pre tend to

Puge. 57 The general Principles of Nature agreeable to divine Revelation



An Answer to all the Objections which are brought against Confessions and Creeds

58 Objection I. taken from their tyrannical Nature and Tendency, the Invasion they make on the essential Freedoms of a Christian; and their Inconsistency with the noble Protestant Principle,That the Bible is the only Rule of Faith and Manners

ibid. This Objection answered; and the Weakness, Uncharitableness

and Mistakes of it shown
The Adversaries to. Confessions, at the Bottom, Enemies

to Li berty, and the Principles upon which the Opposition to Creeds is built, are really destructive of the Right of private Judgment, and a Freedom of Conscience; and in many respects tyranni: cal and arbitrary

64---66 The Enemies of Confessions as much influenced by the Sound of fome favourite Words of a Party, and as angry, uncharitable

and imperious, as the most zealous Patrons of Orthodoxy 66,67 The deposing of Minifters who depart from the publick

Standard and, as a Consequence hereof, the depriving them of their Scipends, no Perfecution, but perfectly consistent with the friclelt Maxims of Liberty

67----69 The Opinion of our Adversaries, as to this Cafe, justly chargeable with grieyous Perfecution

69, 70 This Cale further illustrated from two parallel Instances The fufpending of our good Opinion, and loling our Esteem and

Value for Perfons, upon their refusing to fubfcribe, or departa ing from the publick Confessions, not chargeable with the least Injustice, nor inconsistent with Charity, Forbearance, 6., 71,7% This Subject explained and illustrated, and what is advanced by the

Occafional Paper considered Especially with respea to grosser Errors and particularly Aris

anism. Objetion 11. taken from the Inconsistency of Confessions with

the absolute Sufficiency and Perfpicuity of the Scriptures; and the great Dishonour which is done to the Sacred Writings, by expressing our Faith in other Words than are therein con

tained The Practice of the Church of Scotland noways exposed to this Ob

jection The restricting Churches in the Confessions of Faith to the precise Words and Phrases of the Bible, and the denying

a Liberty to use Forms of humane Composure for this Purpose, is extremely unreafonable

78, 79 According to it the necessary Ends of Creeds can never be gained por the plain Commands of our Saviour obeyed

70, 71



77, 78


79, 80


This Opinion destructive of all Church-Communion Page 81, 82 The Liableness of our Confessions to the same Inconveniencies, considered

82 This Opinion of the Enemies to Creeds is extremely superstitious and Pharifaical

82----85 The Papifts much obliged to these pretended Afferters of Liberty

whofé Do&rines of opus operatum, and Prayers in an unknown Tongue, they seem to fall in with on this Occasion

85 No Unity of Faith according to this Opinion

85, 86 An Evasion of our Adversaries considered

86, 87 That the Words of the Bible may be subscribed where the Scripa This Principle inconsistent with Preaching, or any Exposition of

the Holy Scriptures, and destructive of the Office of the Mi_nistry.

87----89 The plain Contradictions which the Enemies to Creeds, particu

larly the Nonsubscribers at London are chargeable with 89 It follows from this Scheme, that a Confeffion of Faith could not be formed in the Words of any Translation of the Bible; and that no Christian, who did not understand Hebrew and Greek, could ever make a Profession of his Faith

890---91 Yea there could be no Confession even in Hebrew and Greek

91 This Opinion restricting Contesfions of Faith to Scripture-Terms,

destructive of negative Creeds, though sometimes necellary 91, 92 And of a Declaration of our Belief of Scripture-Consequences : With the grofs Abfurdities hereof

92---94 From all which appear the Unreasonableness, Absurdity and Dif

honour done to the Sacred Writings, by a Scheme which pretends to fo much Veneration and Regard for them

.94 Remarks on two Passages, one of the Occafional Paper, the other of the Reasons of the Nonsubscribers

949-25 That Confessions of human Composure of publick Authority in the Church, and consisting of other Words and Phrases than those of the Sacred Writings, are in all respects agreeable to the Honour and Dignity, the Sufficiency, and Peripicuity of the Bible. And the great Mifrepresentations and Mistakes of our Adversaries manifelted by several Arguments 96----104 The Injustice and Groundlesnefs of calumniating our Principles, as if they had the least Connection with, or Tendency towards thofe of the Church of Rome

104 Objetion II 1. taken from the bad Influence Creeds may

the Interests of Learning and Religion, and their Hindrance to new Discoveries and Advances in Knowledge 104, IOS The Infufficiency of this kind of Reasoning, and the fatal Confe„quences of it to all Religion and Goodners

105-18 That Religion and Learning can suffer no Lofs by this Authority of Confessions: And that valuable and substantial Di.coveries are likelier to be made according to our Principles, than by he Scheme of the Adversaries



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