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Page 32, 33

The finful Nature, and dangerous Confequences of Divifion among the Proteftant Churches The great Ufefulness of Confeffions to cure thofe Evils, and to promote Peace and Union

33, 34

The Uncharitableness and Folly of fome High-Church Principles


·34, 34

Oncerning that End of Confeffions which particularly respects the Rulers and Paftors of the Church, when Creeds are eftablished as a Standard of Orthodoxy, and must be fubfcribed by Ecclefiaftical Officers 35 A fhort Hiftory of this Controverfy, and an Account of the Opinions of different Parties concerning the Authority of Confeflions, their Lawfulness, Expediency, and Usefulness

35, 40

The Arguments against Confessions reprefented at one View in their full Strength


Their Contrariety to the Perfection and Perfpicuity of the Scrip


And to the unalienable Liberties of a Christian
Their Popifh Complexion and Tendency




A Paffage of Epifcopius paraphrafed, and a Quotation from the Occafional Paper


The abfolute Unfitnefs of Confeffions to promote Truth and



Their fatal Influence on the Temper and Affections of their Ad


ibid. 44

The great Prejudice they are to practical Holiness All which Obfervations are juftified and illuftrated by the Hiftory of the Church in all Ages

ibid. The only Way to remedy thofe Evils, with the Advantages of laying afide all fuch humane Tests


A Defence of the Equity, Ufefulnefs and Excellency of Confeffions, particularly of the Practice and Principles of the Church of Scotland with respect to them


What the Authority and Ufe of Confeffions with refpect to Minifters, &c. are in the Church of Scotland, manifested by the A&ts of Parliament relative thereto

And of Affembly


50, SE

51 52

Several Methods might be taken to vindicate this Ufe of Confeffions, with that followed in this Effay The general Principles upon which the Authority of Confeffions may be built; and any Church may juftly require an Affent to them from her Ministers From all which it appears, That the very Maxims of Liberty which our Adverfaries glory in, are Props firm enough to fupport the

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

Page 57 The general Principles of Nature agreeable to divine Revelation



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An Anfwer to all the Objections which are brought against Con feffions and Creeds Objection I. taken from their tyrannical Nature and Tendency, the Invafion they make on the effential Freedoms of a Chriftian and their Inconfiftency with the noble Proteftant Principle,That the Bible is the only Rule of Faith and Manners This Objection anfwered, and the Weakness, Uncharitableness and Miftakes of it shown The Adverfaries to Confeffions, at the Bottom, Enemies to Liberty, and the Principles upon which the Oppofition to Creeds is built, are really deftructive of the Right of private Judgment, and a Freedom of Confcience; and in many respects tyrannical and arbitrary The Enemies of Confeffions as much influenced by the Sound of fome favourite Words of a Party, and as angry, uncharitable and imperious, as the moft zealous Patrons of Orthodoxy 66, 67 The depofing of Minifters who depart from the publick Standard; and, as a Confequence hereof, the depriving them of their Stipends, no Perfecution, but perfectly confiftent with the ftrictest Maxims of Liberty



The Opinion of our Adverfaries, as to this Cafe, juftly chargeable with grievous Perfecution

69, 70

70, 71

This Cafe further illuftrated from two parallel Inftances
The fufpending of our good Opinion, and lofing our Efteem and
Value for Perfons, upon their refufing to fubfcribe, or depart-
ing from the publick Confeffions, not chargeable with the leaft
Injuftice, nor inconfiftent with Charity, Forbearance, &c. 71, 72
This Subject explained and illuftrated, and what is advanced by the
Occafional Paper confidered

72----75 Efpecially with refpect to groffer Errors and particularly Arianism.


Objection II. taken from the Inconfiftency of Confeffions with the abfolute Sufficiency and Perfpicuity of the Scriptures; and the great Dishonour which is done to the Sacred Writings, by expreffing our Faith in other Words than are therein contained' 77, 78 The Practice of the Church of Scotland noways exposed to this Ob78 jection The reftricting Churches in the Confeffions of Faith to the precife Words and Phrafes of the Bible, and the denying a Liberty toufe Forms of humane Compofure for this Purpofe, is extremely 78, 79 unreafonable According to it the neceffary Ends of Creeds can never be gained Hor the plain Commands of our Saviour obeyed

79, 80


This Opinion deftructive of all Church-Communion Page 81, 82 The Liableness of our Confeffions to the fame Inconveniencies, confidered


This Opinion of the Enemies to Creeds is extremely fuperftitious and Pharifaical


The Papifts much obliged to thefe pretended Afferters of Liberty whole Doctrines of opus operatum, and Prayers in an unknown Tongue they feem to fall in with on this Occafion

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85,86 86, 87

No Unity of Faith according to this Opinion An Evafion of our Adverfaries confidered That the Words of the Bible may be fubfcribed where the Scriptures are not in the leaft affented to 86 This Principle inconfiftent with Preaching, or any Expofition of the Holy Scriptures, and destructive of the Office of the Mimistry 87----89 The plain Contradictions which the Enemies to Creeds, particu larly the Nonfubfcribers 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 Tranflation of the Bible; and that no Chriftian, who did not underftand Hebrew and Greek, could ever make a Profeffion of his Faith 89----91




Yea there could be no Confeffion even in Hebrew and Greek This Opinion reftricting Confeffions of Faith to Scripture-Terms, deftructive of negative Creeds, though fometimes neceffary 91, 92 And of a Declaration of our Belief of Scripture-Confequences: With the grofs Abfurdities hereof From all which appear the Unreafonablenefs, Abfurdity and Dif honour done to the Sacred Writings, by a Scheme which pre tends to fo much Veneration and Regard for them Remarks on two Paffages, one of the ccafional Paper, the other of the Reasons of the Nonfubfcribers 94----96 That Confeffions of human Compofure of publick Authority in the Church, and confifting of other Words and Phrafes than thofe of the Sacred Writings, are in all refpects agreeable to the Honour and Dignity, the Sufficiency and Perfpicuity of the Bible. And the great Mifreprefentations and Mistakes of our Adverfaries manifefted by feveral Arguments 96----104 The Injuftice and Groundlefnefs of calumniating our Principles, as if they had the leaft Connection with, or Tendency towards thofe of the Church of Rome


Objection III. taken from the bad Influencé Creeds may have on the Interefts of Learning and Religion, and their Hindrance to new Difcoveries and Advances in Knowledge 104, 105 The Infufficiency of this Kind of Reafoning, and the fatal Confequences of it to all Religion and Goodness That Religion and Learning can fuffer no Lofs by this Authority of Confeffions: And that valuable and fubftantial Difcoveries are likelier to be made according to our Principles, than by the Scheme of the Adverfaries


108---113 The

The Weakness of this Objection further evidenced Page 113-114

Objection IV. taken from the mifchievous Confequences of fuch publick Standards of Orthodoxy, with refpect to the Peace and Happinels of Mankind, and the Divifions, Animofities, &e. which, it is alledged, they are the Occafion of

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This Objection ftrikes only against the Abufe of Creeds, but is of no Force against Confeffions duly regulated ibid. And thefe Evils are really owing to the unfanctified Paffions of Mankind, and not to their Opinions either for or againft Confeffions 116, 117 Therefore the Authority of Confeffions in our Church, noways prejudicial to any of the Virtues of Christianity


117 Several Confiderations which evidence the Importance of this Queftion, invigorate our Zeal in behalf of Confeffions, and heighten our Value and Efteem for them The near Connection which this Queftion concerning Confeffions of Faith hath with the Doctrines of Chriftianity, and the great Influence Creeds have on the Interefts of Religion, are Things of much Importance 118, 119 A pathetick Exhortation to Conftancy in the Principles of Religi on, and to a vigorous Zeal and steady Adherence to the Faith of the Gofpel: With Remarks fuited to the prefent Times 119--124 The great Importance and Neceffity of a Belief of the Principles of Religion applied to the prefent Purpose 125, 126 The Unreafonableness and fatal Confequences of a Church's receiving any Minifters among them who maintain not the Purity of Faith, and refufe to fubfcribe the publick Standard, 126, 127 None fo violent Oppofers of Confeffions as the declared Enemies of revealed Religion, with Remarks upon it 127, 128 The happy Effects which the Authority of Creeds in the Church of Scotland hath had upon Truth, Peace and Holinefs 128, 129 Some Things particularly with respect to the Westminster Confer fion 129, 139


Containing thofe Ends of Confeffions which have a Relation

all the Members of the Church


The Firft End, To provide the People with a fhort and useful Summary of the Doctrines of Religion

130, 131

The Excellency of the Westminster Confeffion and Catechifms in this



The Second End, To maintain the Purity of Faith, and prevent the fp eiding of Errors among the People, explained and illu




Remarks on a Book lately published, The Marrow of modern Divinity Page 135-138


The Third End, To tranfmit the Truth to Pofterity, and animate their Zcal and Stedfaftnefs in the Profeffion of it This applied to the State of the Church of Scotland, with a particular Respect to the National Covenant


The Laft End of Confeffions, To be fubfervient to the Hiftory of the Church

140, 141

An Objection, arifing from the alledged Ufe of our Confeffion in the Adminiftration of Baptifm, anfwered 141---143 The Claufe in the 4th Section of the 23d Chapter of our ConfelGon, Infidelity or Difference in Religion doth not make void the MagiBrate's just and legal Authority, mer free the People from their due Obediense to him, confidered 143, 144

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