Complete Confession with Scripture Proofs

Historical Setting
The Westminster Confession of Faith is one document of several commissioned by the English parliament during the English Civil War (1642-1649), in which armies raised by the parliament, in league with Scotland, battled forces loyal to the tyrannical King Charles I and his bishops. The Confession was commissioned from an assembly of 121 Puritan clergymen meeting in Westminster Abbey, called the Westminster Assembly, which was convened in 1643 for the purpose of drafting official documents for the reformation of the Church of England. This was done in fulfillment of a Solemn League and Covenant(1) made with the Scottish parliament and people in the same year, to the effect that the episcopal Anglican establishment, which for many years had harassed and persecuted the Presbyterian Scottish church, should be abolished even in England, and replaced with a Presbyterian establishment which would constantly adhere to Calvinistic standards of doctrine and worship. It was only under such terms that the Scots were willing to join the parliamentary forces in their war against the King.

Reception and Use in America
In the American colonies the Westminster Confession was widely adopted by both ecclesiastical and civil authorities, although with important reservations along the lines of the Savoy Declaration. In 1648 the delegates of the Congregational churches of New England gathered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and adopted as their common declaration of faith the Westminster Confession minus chapters 25, 30, and 31, for which chapters they substituted a separate document, prepared by them, called The Cambridge Platform of Church Discipline. After the publication of the Savoy Declaration in England, a synod of the same Congregational churches held in Boston, 1680, adopted and published the Savoy Declaration with the Cambridge Platform for a common Confession of Faith.

In 1729 the first organized synod of Presbyterians in America, meeting in Philadelphia, adopted the original Westminster Confession, with some reservations, as its official statement of doctrine, requiring every candidate for ordination to disclose any disagreement with the Confession, in which case the Presbytery must refuse him ordination if it finds him to be in disagreement with "essential and necessary articles." In 1788 the united Synod of Philadelphia and New York adopted a revision of the Confession which reflected the new political situation of the United States, in which there was to be no church establishment; the important changes were to chapter 20 § 4, chapter 23 § 3, and chapter 31 §§ 1-2. Most Presbyterian bodies which now exist in the United States have approved some form of the Confession of 1788, with relatively minor changes, as a touchstone for Reformed orthodoxy.

1 John 3:1(NKJV) Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
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