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THE Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms were adopted, in 1729, by the General Synod of the undivided Presbyterian Church, as the "confession of their faith," excepting certain clauses relating to the civil magistrate.
In 1788, the General Synod amended the Confession of Faith in Chapters xx., xxiii., and xxxi., made "a small amendment" of the Larger Catechism, and adopted the amended Confession of Faith and the Catechisms, the Form of Government, the Book of Discipline, and the Directory for Worship, "as the standard of our doctrine, government, discipline, and worship."
Amendments of the Confession of Faith, since 1788, have been as follows: In 1886-87, by striking out from Chapter xxiv., Section 4, the clause forbidding marriage with a deceased wife's sister. In 1902-03, by adding Chapters xxxiv. and xxxv., and the Declaratory Statement as to Chapter iii. and Chapter x., Section 3; also by the alteration of Chapter xvi., Section 7. Chapter xxii, Section 3, and Chapter xxv., Section 6. The Book of Discipline was entirely reconstructed in 1884; and amendments and additions were inode, 1894-1907. The Form of Government and the Tirectory for Worship have been amended and added to in various Sections between the years 1805 and 1907.
The first Committee to "select and arrange the Proof Texts" was appointed by the General Assembly in 1792, and the proof texts were published in the edition of the Constitution issued in 1797. In 1888, a second Committee was appointed to revise the "Proof Texts," and to furnish proof texts for the Shorter Catechism. The work was approved by the General Assembly of 1894.
The Standards were also adopted as the basis of Reunion, as follows: in 1758 by the Synods of New York and Philadelphia, which separated in 1743; in 1869 by the "Old School" and the "New School" Churches, which separated in 1838; and in 1906 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., which separated in 1810.