« PreviousContinue »
Concerning this Edition of the ConFESSION of FAITH and CA
HE Confession of Faith and Catechisms, being
the publick Standard of the Do&trine embraced by the Church of Scotland, and both of greater
Authority and more universal Use with us, than any other humane Writings; it seemed a Difcredit to the Church and n Lofs to the Members of it, that the seven ral Editions of them are in so many Refpe&ts defective, and that the Publick should not be furnished with more beautiful and correct Copies of a Book, to which a general Esteem and Regard is so justly payed by us.
This moved several Gentlemen to bestow their Labours upon this Edition, and to employ all the Methods they could, to purge it from Errors which had crept into former Impressions, to dispose every thing in the most convenient Order, and render is at least tolerably perfe&t.
For For this End, the Copy which this Edition was printed from, was compared with the utmost Care with all the authentick Editions published by Authority. 'viz, The Confession of Faith, without the Scriptures, printed at London by Order of the House of Commons, Decemb. 7. 1646, for the Service of both Houses and the Afsembly of Divines.
The Confession of Faith with the Quotations of Scripture annexed, printed in London by Order of the Common's, April 29. 1647, for the Service of both Houses and the Affembly of Divines.
The Confeffion of Faith with the Quotations of Scripture upon the Margin, printed in Edinburgh by Order of the General Assembly, Aug. 9. 1647 for the Ule of the Assembly.
The larger and shorter Catechisms without the Quotations of Scripture, printed in Edinburgh by the Appointment of the Commission, Decemb. 23 1647. to be sent to Presbyteries, that, according to the Ordinance of the General Affembly, they may examine the fame.
The larger and shorter Catechisms with the Quotations of Scripture, printed in London by Ore der of the Commons, April 14. 1648, for the Service of both Houses and the Affembly of Divines.
The larger Cacechism with the Quotations of Scripture, printed in London, 1648.
The Confeffion of Faith and Catechisms in La. tin, with the Scriptures on the Margin, printed by John Field.
Of the Confeffion of Faith and Catechisms with the Scriptures at large, there were several Copies made Use of, particularly two London Impresions
a Quarto, one of which is well printed on a large ine Papier.
The Editors hereby discovered many Errors and Deo eets in former Impressions, which are amended in this, rarticularly the Text of the Confession and Catechisms is become much more correct.
Many Scriptures are found annexed to the Copies prined by publick Authority, which were afterwards omited and are now restored full and complete. Several Scriptures, upon the other Hand, had got into succeeding Impressions, which are not to be found in the authentiche Copies; whereby, beside other In conveniencies, People might be apt to charge upon the Asembly the Inaccuracy and Weakness of these irreptitious Proofs of the Doctrine of the Confession and Catechisms, which are thrown out of this Edition.
In the Copies printed by Authority for the Use of the Parliament and Afsemblies, the Proofs from Scripture are not to be found at Length, only the Chapter and Verse of the Book referred to are marked on the Margin, which expofed After-Editions to the easier Mistakes : And when once he who first annexed the full Papages of Scripture was guilty of a Miftake, it was neceffarly propagated among the following Impressions, where there was no Care taken to have Recourse unto the Originals, so that in all the Editions hitherto extant there are maby Scriptures wrong transcribed and differently from what bey would have been, had the genuine Copies been adered to. And sometimes one Pasage of Scripture is noted, and the Words of another is transcribed : which ve Errors of no small Consequence and create a great Deal of Confufion. An Infance or two, of many, may given. Cat. Q. 70. a. in stead of Rom. 5. 17, 18,
19. which is rightly quoted, 2 Cor. 5. 17, 18, 19. is transcribed. l. 105.c. Col. 3: s. is quoted, but Col. 2. 5. is transcribed. These Evils are all remedied in this Edition.
All the Papages of Scripture were diligently compared with the best Edition of the Bible, and exactly printed as they are there, which hath not a little contributed to the Correctness of this Impression.
In the former Editions, where two or three Der ses are » referred to, only the Wurds of one of them are sometimes annexed and the Reader is remitted to the Bible for the reft; which being troublesom to him, and in so far equivalent to the not printing the Scriptures at all, this Des fečt hath been generally supplied.
The annexed Scriptures are disposed in such a Manner that the Reader may much easier find the Proofs of any particular Proposition in the Confelsion or Catechisms, shan could be done by former Editions : Every different Letter of Proofs in this Impression beginning a new Line.
The Method, followed in former Editions, of printing those words in a different Character, where the Porce and Emphasis of the Scripture-Proof was supposed to ly, hath been omitted in this Edition : Because the determining such emphatical Expressions was not the Work of the Asembly, but of the Publishers fome Years after, who have frequently been guilty of palpable Mistakes; and by giving a different Character to these Words in which the Strength of the Argument did not really confift, they only entangled the Readers, and diverted them from apprehending the just Design of the Place of Scripture quoted, in stead of assisting them. And however fenfible the Publishers of this Edition are of the Defects of former Ones, they did not fancy that they
vould have been fecured from the like Mistakes : And therefore having no Authority for it; they thought it not proper to prefume to fix upon the moft emphatical Words of ite Places quoried; and believed that it would be more convenient, and less hazardous to print the whole PajFrages without any Distinction of Character.
The Eye of every Reader will convince him how far. this Edition is fæperior to others, for the Cleanness and Nearess of the Print. And 'tis hoped that the Paper is as fine as could be wished for ini a Booké which is of fo: universal Use, and is designed for the Advantage of all Ranks
, especially the common Peoplewhose Circumftan ces will not allow them to purchafe Books embellished with unneceffary Ornaments.
The Index isentirely view, was composed with the utmoff Care and Exactness, and 'tis hoped will be found much completer and better difposed than that of former
There remains only one Thing which it may be proper to inform the Publick: of, that the authentick Copies howing only the Chapter and Verife of the Book of the Holy Scripture referred to marked on the Margin; it appear's probable that even in them there may have hapa pened Some Mistakes, which either the Transcriber or Forf Printer mig tit have eafily fallen into: And tho" by the eafieft Rules of Criticism very probable Conjectures might have been made towards restoring the genuine Rean ding : jet the Publishers thought that the correcting them required a greater Authority than they podefledonly they Lay before the Readers an Instance or two of what might be done in this Kind.
Con. Ch. 5.9 3. 1. Job 34. 10. is in all the Com pies , but 'tis probable that Verse 10 hath been mistaken