CONFESSION OF FAITH
WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES.
by ROBERT SHAW, D.D.,
WITH AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY,
REV. W. M. HETHERINGTON, LL.D.
BLACKIE AND SON:
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, LONDON, AND NEW YORK.
IN preparing the following Exposition of the Confession of Faith, framed by the Westminster Assembly of Divines, it has been the object of the author to state the truths embraced in each section, to explain the terms employed wherever it seemed necessary, and to illustrate and confirm the doctrines. To avoid swelling the volume to an undue size, the arguments have been stated with the utmost possible brevity; in the illustrations, conciseness, combined with perspicuity, has been studied, and numerous passages of Scripture, which elucidate the subjects treated of, have been merely referred to, without being quoted at large. It is hoped that the attentive reader will here find the substance of larger works compressed within a small space; that materials for reflection will be suggested; and that an examination of the texts of Scripture marked, will throw much light upon the points to which they refer. The Westminster Confession of Faith contains a simple exhibition of the truth, based upon the Word of God; but its several propositions are laid in opposition to the heresies and errors which had been disseminated in various ages. It has, therefore, been a prominent object of the author of the Exposition to point out the numerous errors against which the statements in the Confession are directed. The reader will thus find the deliverance of the Westminster of Divines upon the various errors by which the truth has been corrupted in former times, and will be guarded against modern errors, which are generally only a revival of those that had previously disturbed the Church, and that had been long ago refuted. To render the work more accessible for reference, a Table of Contents has been prefixed, and a copious Index added, which will show, at a glance, the various subjects discussed, and the manifold errors that have been noticed, in the course of the work. To have transcribed the proofs from Scripture annexed to each proposition by the Westminster Assembly of Divines, would have extended this volume to an inconvenient size, but the texts have been inserted after each section; and the additional labour of those who will take the trouble of turning to these proofs in their Bibles will be amply compensated. Their scriptural knowledge will be enlarged, and they will be satisfied that every truth set down in the Confession is “most agreeable to the Word of God.” Of this the author of the Exposition is so completely convinced, that he has not found it necessary to differ from the compilers of the Confession in any one point of doctrine. The language, in some cases, might admit of improvement; but “as to the truth of the matter,” he cordially concurs in the judgment of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1647, that it is “most orthodox, and grounded upon the Word of God.” And if the Confession, two hundred years ago, contained a faithful exhibition of the truth, it must do so still; for scriptural truth is, like its divine Author, “the same yesterday, today, and for ever.”
WHITBURN, May 12, 1845.
Chapter I. Of the Holy Scripture (112k)
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