The existence of a Confession of Faith is ever a standing defense against the danger of any Church lapsing unawares into heresy...It contains the calm and settled judgment of these profound divines on all previous heresies and subjects of controversy which had in any age or country agitated the Church.
This it does without expressly naming even one of these heresies,--the great Anti-Christian system alone excepted, --or entering into mere controversy. Each error is condemned, not by a direct statement and refutation of it, but by a clear, definite, and strong statement of the converse truth.
There was, in this mode of exhibiting the truth, singular wisdom combined with equally singular modesty. Everything of an irritating nature is suppressed, and the pure and simple truth alone displayed.
William Hetherington, quoted in David W. Hall, "The History of Westminster Assembly Commemorations," in Ligon Duncan (ed.), The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, p. 8-9