14 Question. What is the Westminster Confession of Faith?
Answer. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a document which was drawn up by the Westminster Assembly of Divines in 1646.
15 Q. What is the importance of the Westminster Confession of Faith?
A. The Westminster Confession of Faith was accepted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1647 and the Scottish Parliament in 1649. It was the creed of the Free Church in 1843, and continued to be until the Declaratory Act was passed.
16 Q. What matters does the Confession deal with?
A. The Confession has 33 chapters on the Bible, God and the Trinity, God’s Decrees, Creation, Providence, the Fall of Man, the Covenant of Grace, the Mediator, Free Will, Effectual Calling, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Saving Faith, Repentance unto Life, Good Works, Perseverance of the Saints, Assurance of Grace and Salvation, the Law of God, Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience, Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day, Lawful Oaths and Vows, the Civil Magistrate, Marriage and Divorce, the Church, Communion of Saints, the Sacraments, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Church Censures, Synods and Councils, the State of Men after Death and the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Last Judgement.
17 Q. Is the teaching of the Confession in accordance with Scripture?
A. Yes. The Westminster Confession is an accurate summary of the Bible’s teaching and is established by Scripture references.
18 Q. Were the doctrines of the Confession believed by all the ministers, elders and deacons of the Free Church?
A. Yes, to begin with all office-bearers in the Free Church believed the doctrines of the Confession. All ministers, elders and deacons signed the Formula at their ordination and thus publicly professed to accept “the whole doctrine” of the Confession.
19 Q. Did all the office-bearers continue to accept the whole doctrine of the Confession?
A. No, latterly a majority of office-bearers in the Free Church began to deny some of the doctrines in the Confession.
20 Q. Was the Declaratory Act passed because office-bearers did not accept the Confession?
A. Yes, the Declaratory Act was passed in order to ease the consciences of men who had signed the Formula but no longer believed what they had signed.
21 Q. Was it wrong of the Free Church to pass the Declaratory Act?
A. Yes, it was wrong to pass the Declaratory Act for two reasons: (1) it entailed affirming false doctrines and giving up doctrines which were scriptural; (2) the office-bearers of the Free Church had all solemnly vowed before God that the whole doctrine of the Confession was the confession of their own faith.
22 Q. Was it wrong for office-bearers to subscribe to what they did not believe?
A. Yes, it is deceitful and dishonourable to make vows in which we claim to believe what in fact we do not believe.
 ‘Magistrate’ here means ‘ruler’.
 The Formula is a paper signed by all the office-bearers (ministers, elders, and deacons) at their ordination, see Appendix IV, Section IV on page 58.
 See Free Presbyterian Synod Resolution on Creed Subscription, Appendix III.2 on page 46.