This and subsequent posts DV overtime on the blog will contain the notes which were handed out on each occasion.
Part Two - Chapter One
On October 12, 1643, in the aftermath of the signing of the Solemn League and Covenant between England and Scotland, the Westminster Assembly was added to with Scottish representatives and subsequently received a new directive from Parliament that the divines should forthwith:
In this study we are coming this evening to commence a consideration of the Confession itself.
Although the light of nature, and the works of creation; and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.
The W.C.F. begins with the subject of divine revelation. Before it proceeds to the doctrine of the Trinity or the decrees of God etc it sets down what orthodox Christianity accepts and believes concerning divine revelation.
This first section of chapter one safeguards the revelation of God from a twofold attack:
The creation reveals there is a God: Psalm 19:1,2 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. The goodness, wisdom and power of God are revealed by creation: Rom 1:19-21 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Atheism is a deliberate act of the human mind. Mankind is created with the ‘seed of religion’ in them. He is born a religious creature. The natural world supports this. However far back a person goes it does not provide a satisfactory explanation of the cause of their existence. A person’s ancestors were no more able to make themselves than they are. A person must look up to an Eternal Being, who had no beginning but had life in Himself from all eternity and who gives life and being to all other creatures.
The works of Providence with is regular and unerring motions of the heavenly bodies for so many thousand years, the never failing return of summer and winter, seed-time and harvest, day and night, and innumerable other wonders, clearly manifest the existence of a Supreme Being, who upholds and governs all things.
It is the fool who says in his heart there is no God, Psalm 14:1. In reality he cannot say there is no God but that there is no God for him which is somewhat different. This natural revelation leaves all mankind inexcusable, Rom 1:19,20.
 It is a testimony of the goodness of God towards all His creatures: Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
 As it shows men their duty, and convinces them of sin, in many points; so it has some degree of influence on mankind, at least by the fear of punishment, in restraining them from extreme degrees of wickedness, Rom. 2:14-16 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
 It excites men to seek after a clearer revelation of God, and prepares the way for their receiving the gospel of His grace, Acts 17:26, 27 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.
 It serves to vindicate the conduct of God as a righteous governor, in His severe dealing with obstinate sinners, both here and hereafter. This will leave them without excuse in the great day, when God shall judge the secrets of all hearts, Rom. 1:20,21, & 2:15,16. [quoted above]
 From the facts of history. All nations without exception who have existed without the light of the Word of God have been destitute of a knowledge of saving truth. These nations have subsequently descended into idolatry and heathenism. The heavenly bodies have been worshipped as a god along with about every creature on the earth.
 From the teaching of Scripture, 1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. The learned and knowledgeable Athenians were so ignorant of the true God that they dedicated an altar to the ‘unknown God’. Whatever knowledge there may be derived from nature about the Lord’s power and glory, what is not discoverable by natural revelation is the remedy for sin. It may show them their sin and misery but it was never designed to show them the plain and certain way of salvation.