At 9 a.m. on July 1, 1643, the Westminster Assembly convened in the Henry VII Chapel at the Westminster Abbey. Dr. William Twisse was appointed Prolocutor, 130 divines were named as members (40 constituting a quorum), and 30 members of Parliament appointed as “lay-assessors.” Together with both Houses of Parliament the divines heard a sermon by Dr. Twisse.
Over the course of its labors the Assembly produced a Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms, along with a Form of Church Government and Directory for Public Worship. The Confession of Faith and Catechisms (with American revisions) continue to serve as the doctrinal standards of the OPC. Recent studies on the Westminster Assembly and its work include contributions by two Orthodox Presbyterians, J. V. Fesko of Westminster Seminary California and Chad Van Dixhoorn of Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C. Last month Fesko published The Theology of the Westminster Standards: Historical Context and Theological Insights with Crossway Books. Van Dixhoorn edited the five-volume Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643–1653 with Oxford University Press in 2012. Forthcoming from Banner of Truth is his Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith.