Hugh Dickie and the 4th Article in the 23rd Chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith

bloody banner covenanter banner with proper colors

The dying Testimony of Cameronian Hugh Dickie of the Continuing Societies shows that there has been a very large disagreement on how Westminsterians have taken that article of the 23rd chapter concerning infidelity and difference in religion does not take away the magistrate’s power clause. And that the Cameronian position has been for a very long time that the common or modern understanding of that article of chapter 23 has been totally misconstrued and taken wrongly and that it is made use of for a completely different end. It should be taken completely different then how we have taken it today. I plan in the future to write a blog post on how it should be taken and how it has been taken historically through 3 various views since the Westminster Assembly.

The 4th article is not as simple as it may seem to be for many people.

Hugh Dickie, who died in 1728, decades before the Act, Declaration and Testimony of 1741 and the Act, Declaration and Testimony of 1761 wrote and Testified,

“I own the Confession of Faith, (saying nothing of that article of the 23d chapter, concerning infidility, and difference in religion, not taking away the magistrate’s power; but only that it is mis constructed and made use of for another end, than ever the honest and faithful ministers of Jesus Christ had before them, when they gave their approbation of the same,) also, I own the Catechisms Larger and Shorter, Sum of saving Knowledge, and Directory for Worship, &c.”

-Hugh Dickie.’ (A Collection of Dying Testimonies, 241-6.)

§A little background on Hugh Dickie

Hugh Dickie was one of the Society people who survived the killing times of the 1680s and when on to join the Continuing Society people who refused to accept the Revolution Settlement of church and state of 1689 to 1690. Dickie was a Cameronian dissenter who would only accept a covenanted settlement of church and state.


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