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PRINCIPAL PASSAGES OF THE SCRIPTURES
WHICH RELATE TO THE
DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY.
By GEORGE W. BURNAP,
PASTOR OF THE FIRST INDEPENDENT CHURCH OF BALTIMORE.
JAMES MUNROE AND COMPANY.
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by
JAMES MUNROE and Company,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PRINTED BY THURSTON, TORRY, AND CO.,
THE object of the publication of the following lectures, is to give to individuals and families the means of explaining those passages of the Scriptures, which are most often quoted, to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. Such a book I believe to be wanted. There is no passage in the Bible, which expresses, or directly teaches this doctrine. X This is explicitly acknowledged by the Catholic Church, the most numerous, and perhaps the most learned branch of the Church Universal. The most intelligent Catholics put it, with several other doctrines of their Church, on the ground of tradition. The Protestants, who have derived this tradition from the Catholics, and whose principles forbid them to receive any thing upon the authority of tradition, have attempted to sustain it from the Scriptures. They do not say that there is any passage which expressly asserts it, but that there are many, from which it is legitimately inferred. It is the purpose of these lectures, to take up these passages, one by one, and show that this inference is not legitimate, that no such doctrine is taught in them, even by implication, that their true import has been mistaken.
It is always objected to Unitarians, that they sustain their doctrines on the ground of reason alone. This certainly amounts to the admission, that their doctrines are more consistent with reason than those to which they are opposed. This, to say the least, is a presumption in their favor. It is the object of these lectures to show that they have both reason and Scripture on their side. By the admission of all, the current language of the Bible teaches the strictest unity of God. Taking out a few passages, there is nothing else taught. So much is the Trinity a matter of inference, even from them, that it is said, and I believe justly, that there is not one of them, which has not been given up, as proving nothing to the point, by some one of the ablest defenders of the doctrine. Those texts admit, then, in the judgments of Trinitarians themselves, of another exposition, perfectly consistent with the Unitarian faith. It is the object of these lectures to show that this exposition is the true one, not by putting any forced construction upon language, but by taking into view all those considerations which go to show what the writer meant.
As it happens, almost all those passages, which are quoted to prove the Trinity, have something in them. which destroys the argument which is attempted to be drawn from them. The Unitarian perceives that it is not satisfactory, especially against the testimony of the great body of the Scriptures, but he is unable definitely to point out and develope the objection He knows better what