R1360-38 Presbyterian Revision Of Faith

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The secretary of the Committee for the Revision of Faith for the Presbyterian Church, which met in New York on January 12th, received reports from nearly two hundred Presbyteries, as follows:—

Twenty-eight unreservedly approve the proposed amendment of the Confession. One hundred and twelve give assent, but ask that it be further amended. Fifteen request that the old Confession be held and that all effort to amend it be discontinued. Thirty-eight, are dissatisfied with the amended Confession and,


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believing that it cannot be sufficiently amended to please them, ask for an entirely new one, which shall be extremely simple and almost devoid of doctrine. These latter would like to be free if the others would let them; but are unwilling to lose their position in the denomination. Each party will doubtless sacrifice principle and stay in, no matter what sort of a Confession the others may exact from them—just as they have done for years past.

The Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, of the New York Presbytery, who, although a Presbyterian minister for over eight years, under vows to believe and to teach its doctrines, it will be remembered, declared that he had never so much as read the Confession of Faith, is one of the pronounced advocates for a totally new Confession. He recently stated himself as follows:—

“I don’t believe that the old Confession of Faith should be patched up or revised, but that it should be stowed away among the archives of the Church as a relic of mediaeval theology. To take its place an entirely new Confession should be formulated. The new one should be divested of all the non-essentials which have caused so much dispute. It should be a simple, direct statement of fundamentals of our belief, so worded that the commonest people could understand it. Instead of being 124 pages in length I would like to see it two pages long.

“After the old Westminster Confession is laid aside, I would not advocate its use for instruction in theological seminaries, but would lay it aside altogether.”


— February 1, 1892 —