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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

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

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21

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

Principles, Wortrip and Government whereof are, in a particular Manner, loaded with Calumnies and unfair Misreprefen tations

Page 11 The Occasion hereof accounted for, from the Circumstances of Things during the Civil War, when the Westminster Confession was composed

II, 12, 13 At the Restauration, and cill the present Time

14 Whence not only the more ignorant and angry, but Writers of

better Character, are very partial in their Accounts of what se lates to this Church

114, 15 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 Confetfions, Catechisms, &c.
How inuch the Falhood of these Calumnies would appear by a

just Consideration of our Confeffion, instanced with respect to our alledged Principles concerning both Civil and Ecclefiaftical Government

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

19, 20 The Ljuftice of imputing to Persons supposed Confèquences of

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

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

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

might in the molt folenn Manner make Profession of the true Religion, and glory in it before the World

23 This is the Duty of the Church

ibid. The blellings of pure Religion bestowed on the Church of Scope

land in a diftingui ling Manner, and preserved to her by a Train of extraordinary Providences That it is the Duty of a Church, in the more folemn and publick

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

ibid, 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 Caufes 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

ship among the several Churches, which professed the true ReJigions and to contribute to their mutual Comfort and Edificaition ;

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

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24, 25

The linful Nature, and dangerous Consequences of Division af mong the Protestant Churches

Page 32, 33 The great Usefulness of Çonfessions to cure those Evils, and to promote Peace and Union

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

34, 33

ture

42

fional Paper Light mirers

43

PART II.
Concerning that End of Confessions which particularly

respects eftablished as a Standard of Orthodoxy, and must be fubfcribed by Ecclefiaftical Officers

35 A short History of this controversy, and an Account of the Opi

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 their full Strength

40 Theis Contrariety to the Perfection and Perspicuity of the Scrip

ibid. And to the unalienable Liberties of a Christian

41 Their Popish Complexion and Tendency

ibid. A Paffage of Episcopius paraphrased, and a Quotation from the OccaThe abfolute Unfitness of Confessions to promote Truth and Their facal Influence on the Temper and Affe&tions 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 fuch humane Tests

45 A Defence of the Equity, Ufefulness and Excellency of Confesi

Øns, particularly of the Practice and Principles of the Church of Scotland with respect to them What the Authority and Ule of Confessions with respect to MiniEfters

, &c. are in the Church of Scotland, manifested by the Acts of Parliament relative thereto

46---49

$0,55 Several Methods might be taken to vindicate this Use of Confet fions, with that followed in this Essay

SI, 52 The general Principles upon which the Authority of Confeflions may be built, and any Church may justly require an Affent to them from her Ministers

52-56 From all which it appears. That the very Maxims of Liberty which our Adverfaries glory in, acc Props firm enough to support the

Weight

And of Affembly

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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

ibid,

$9---63

67----69

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 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

72----75

7---77

77, 78

78

79, 80

This

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

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

82----85 The Papists much obliged to these pretended Afferters of Liberty whose Doctrines 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 Scriptures are not in the least afsented to

86 This Principle inconsistent with Preaching, or any Exposition of

the Holy Scriptures, and destructive of the Office of the Ministry

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 Confession 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

89----91 Yea there could be no Confession even in Hebrew and Greek

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

destructive of negative Creeds, though sometimes necessary 91, 92 And of a Declaration of our Belief of Scripture-Consequences : With the gross Absurdities hereof

92---294 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 Nonfubfcribers

945-96 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 Perfpicuity of the Bible. And the great Misrepresentations and Mistakes of Adversaries manifelted by several Arguments 96----104 The Injustice and Groundlesness of calumniating our Principles, as if they had the least Connection with, or Tendency towards those of the Church of Rome

104 Objeftion 11 1. taken from the bad Influence Creeds may have on

the Interests of Learning and Religion, and their Hindrance to new Discoveries and Advances in Knowledge 104, 105 The Insufficiency of this kind of Reasoning, and the fatal Confequences of it to all Religion and Goodnet's

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 Adverfaries

108---153

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