In 1643 the Parliament of England invited over a hundred religious leaders to meet together for the purpose of declaring the faith and organizing the churches of the realm. The Westminster Assembly, meeting in 1643 and 1644, prepared the Westminster Confession. Presbyterians were the dominant group at the Assembly, and the Westminster Confession has been received by English-speaking Presbyterians as their principle doctrinal statement.
After the establishment of the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, Congregationalists became stronger, and felt a need to declare their faith. In 1658 they gathered at the Savoy Palace in London. They took the Westminster Confession, made a few revisions, and added a statement on church government. Their revision of the Westminster Confession was called the Savoy Confession and the statement on church government was called the Savoy Declaration.
A synod of Congregational ministers of Massachusetts in 1680 adopted the Savoy Confession with a few minor alterations, as their statement of faith. In 1708 a meeting of the Congregational ministers of Connecticut adopted the Confession as it had been revised in 1680, and at the same time adopted a statement of church organization known as the Saybrook Platform.
The Westminster Confession, as revised by this process, had the greatest influence in Connecticut, because this was the official doctrinal statement of the county and colony-wide representative bodies created by the Saybrook Platform.
This text has been prepared from the text of the Westminster Confession as found on the internet at http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/index.html. It was then revised consistent with the text of the Savoy Confession, as published, with notes indicating variations in the texts of 1680 and 1708, in The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism, by Williston Walker (Charles Scribner’s sons, 1893, reprint, Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1960). Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, has been revised in the material taken from the internet.
Text of the Saybrook Version of the Westminster Confession
The Westminster Confession in its original "Presbyterian" version may be found in Living Theological Heritage, 2:554-573, and at the following web sites:
The Savoy Declaration may be found at:
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