Prove All Things
Statement of Faith
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Observations from Westminster and Her Sisters

Westminster and Her Sisters:

A Complete Collation and Comparison of Three English Confessions of Faith:

Westminster (Presbyterian–1646),
Savoy (Congregational–1658),
Second London (Baptist–1677);

With Their American Cousins:

Saybrook (Congregational–1708 etc.),
Philadelphia (Baptist–1742),
Philadelphia-New York (Presbyterian–1788 etc.)

by Harvey Bluedorn

Some of the observations made in this careful comparison of confessions:

• Savoy made many major deletions from Westminster.
(The significant deletions include entire chapters 30:1-5 and 31:1-4; entire sections 7.6; 15:2-3, 6; 20/21.4; 22/23.6; 23/24.3; 24/25.5-6; 25/26.2-4; 26/27.3; portions of sections 7.5; 18.2; 21/22.5; 22/23.7; 24/25.4; 27/28.1; 28/29.1; 29/30.8.)

• Savoy also made many major additions to Westminster.
(The significant additions include an entire chapter 20:1-4; entire sections 15.1-2; 23/24.3; 25/26.2,5 (plus a 30 article addendum, a third of which was later incorporated into 2nd London 26:4-15); portions of sections 1.10/11; 2.2,3; 6.1,3; 7.5; 8.1, 4; 9.1; 10.4; 11.1,3; 14.3; 15.1,4-5/3-5; 17.3; 18.2; 19.1-3; 20/21.1; 21/22.3, 7; 25.5,6/26.3,4; 26/27.1-2)

• 2nd London incorporated much of the revisions of Savoy.
(The only notable exceptions are found in 7.5; 23/24.3; 25/26.5.)

• Occasionally, 2nd London reverted back to the original wording of Westminster.
(See especially 2nd London 6.1; 18.2; 26.2,3/27.2).

• In many places, 2nd London deleted the text of both Westminster and Savoy.
(The most notable deletions are 3.5,7; 6.6; 7.2-4; 22/23.1-5; 23/24.4; 24/25.2; 27/28.1-5; 29/30.3-4.)

• Almost all of what is new in 2nd London is actually word-for-word inserted from the 1646 edition of 1st London.
(The following articles are inserted from 1st London: (essentially in whole) II, XIII-XIV; (in part) I, III-V, VIII-IX, XII-XIV, XXII-XXIV, XXIX, XXXVIII-XL, XLVIII, L, Appendix XVIII.)

• Very little of 2nd London is actually new.
(The only notable new additions are found in 6:1; 7:3; 22:5; 26:10. The addition to 26:4 and the ten additional articles 26:5-9,11-15 were almost verbatim from an Addendum to Savoy.)

• The proof texts in 2nd London were also carefully edited and extensively refined.

• The Westminster has about 10,800 words.

• The Savoy dropped about 2,000 words from Westminster, retained about 8,800 words or about 80% of Westminster, and added about 4,700 words of its own (including about 2,100 words in its addendum on church order).

• The 2nd London dropped about 1,800 words which Savoy had added (including about two thirds of its addendum on church order), and dropped another 1,200 words from Westminster which Savoy had retained, added 80 words back from Westminster which Savoy had dropped, and added about 2,100 words of its own, more than a third of which was verbatim from 1st London. So in the end, 2nd London retained about 7,600 words or about 70% of the original Westminster, retained about 2,900 words or about 60% of Savoy’s additions, and added about 800 words from 1st London, which leaves only about 1,300 words which were new to 2nd London – although some of that was actually rephrased from 1st London.

Please note: Publication of this material does not constitute an endorsement of any particular doctrine or system of doctrine expressed in any of these confessions. Though there is much profitable material contained in these confessions, they are nevertheless the product of weak and fallible men and necessarily reflect their individual and collective faults. These confessions serve us faithfully only where they point us to the infallible authority of Scripture.

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