Confessions and Catechisms
Please find below a list of confessions and catechisms - of particular interest is the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is the Free Church of Scotland's sub-ordinate standard:
The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD)
The Canons of the Council of Orange (529 AD)
The Anathemas of the Second Council of Constantinople (553 AD)
Athanasian Creed (thought to be early sixth century AD)
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses - 1517
The Geneva Book Of Order 1556
The Scottish Confession of Faith 1560
Heidelberg Catechism 1563
The Book of Discipline 1587
The Belgic Confession of Faith 1619
Canons of Dort 1619
The Solemn League and Covenant 1643
The Westminster Confession of Faith 1647
The Shorter Catechism 1647
The Larger Catechism 1647
The Directory for Family Worship 1647
The Form of Presbyterial Church Government 1647
The Cambridge Platform 1648
Sum of Saving Knowledge 1650
The Savoy Platform 1658
Queensferry Paper 1680
Lanark Declaration 1681
The Heads of Agreement 1691
- We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles’ creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.
- We believe that there is one God - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)
- The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.
- That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.
- That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born - a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.
- That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness - our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.
- And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.
- We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places - one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.
- Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.
- We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.
- We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.
- We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord’s supper.
- We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment.