Barton W. Stone The TrinityBarton W. Stone, I shall state the doctrine of the trinity and give my reasons why I can not receive it.
Stone and Jesus proof that there is ONE GOD the Father and ONE LORD, the man Jesus Christ.
STATEMENTS OF APOSTOLIC CREED NOW USED BY CATHOLIC INSTEAD OF THE NICEAN.
In the Old Testament the man Jesus of Nazareth is not included: when God "breathed" or inspired a prophet it was the same Spirit OF Christ: Christ is Messiah and is not a "god" word. God is always Jehovah as the only TRUE Elohim: Elohim can be applied to everyone whom people consider their ruler.
BLESS the Lord, O my soul. O Lord (Jehovah self-exostemg)
my God (Elohim gods in general), thou art very great;
thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Ps 104:1
Psa. 104:3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters:
who maketh the clouds his chariot:
who walketh upon the wings of the wind: [spirit]
Psa. 104:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
But the Lord (Jehovah) is the true God (Elohim), he is the living God,
and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble,
and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Je 10:10
A fair reading of Genesis 1 is that "to begin with the elohim totally cast down the heavens and earth." This literally happened in Sumer where Moses begins his warning of people now abandoned back to captivity and death because of musical idolatry of the Egyptian trinity. However, Christ in Isaiah says that Jehovah did not make the mess. Jesus Jesus said parables or figures are to HIDE truth and said that God HIDES from the wise or sophists: speakers for hire, singers, instrument players.
Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods (several or elohim)
that have NOT made the heavens and the earth,
even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. Je 10:11
He hath made the earth by
his power, he hath established the world by
his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by
his discretion. Je 10:12
he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind (spirit) from
his storehouses. Je.10:13
For thus saith the
Lord that created the heavens;
God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it,
he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited:
I am the Lord; and there is none else. Is.45:18
Everything that God does is throgh His Thought, His Breath (spirit) and His Word (His Son). Everything that is created in the New spiritual world is said to have been now created by Jesus His Son
Barton W. Stone was not alone in rejecting the trinity in the sense of separate "persons or people." Does one call God in all of the many passages stupid for not being postmodern enough to say "Jehovah who is OUR elohim is THREE GODS"?Deut. 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is ONE [unus] LORD:
Deut. 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God
with all thine  heart,
and with all thy  soul,
and with all thy  might.
Deut. 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day,
shall be in thine heart:
Paul read the Law and Prophets and affirmed Moses because Jesus was A Prophet like Moses who was called a god or elohim
1Cor. 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols,
we know that an idol is nothing in the world,
and that there is none [oude] other God [theos] but one. heis.
Hesiod Theogony  but one eye only was set in the midst of their foreheads. And they were surnamed CyclopesThe fulness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus of Nazareth: that does not mean God with three heads but the DIVINE NATURE which dwells in all of God's Little Flock. Jesus was not a God Person because the One God the Father made Jesus TO BE Lord (ruler) and Christ (Messiah0
Unus one, a single.
NONE OTHER: oudeis not one, i.e. no one, none, nothing the more emphatic and literal sense, not even one, i.e. none whatever, belongs to the full form, oude heis,
Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,1Cor. 8:5 For though there be that are called gods,
that God [Theos] hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,
both Lord [Kurios] and Christ.
whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many,
and lords [kurioi] many,)
1Cor. 8:6 But to us there is but ONE God, the Father,
OF whom are all things, and we in him;
and one Lord [theos] Jesus Christ,
BY whom are all things, and we by him.
In the Wilderness CHRIST was the ROCK. Everything is created by God's anointeds. When Jesus was MADE TO BE both Lord and Christ He is called Jesus THE Christ. Christ is not a "god" word. Jesus was the visible FORM or IMAGE of God.
Barton W. Stone notes that when Elohim is used of Jehovah is, as noted above, to distinguish HIM from THEM:
The doctrine of a plurality of persons in the one God, is argued from the plural termination of the Hebrew word Elohim, translated God. As great stress is laid on this argument, I will particularly examine it. Here it will be necessary to introduce the rule in the Hebrew Grammar, by which we shall determine the point. "Pluralis pro singulari positus, denotat magnitudinem, et excellentiam"--which, literally translated, is, "A plural put for a singular denotes greatness and excellency."--Robertson's Heb. Gram., p. 240.
Now, according to this rule, Elohim, God, is put in the plural; because the word expresses dignity and majesty. For the same reason, the Lord said unto Moses, "See, I have made thee Elohim, a God unto Pharaoh"--Exod. 7, 1. No one supposes, that because Moses was called Elohim in the plural, there must have been a plurality of persons in him; but he  was so called because of his dignity and greatness. For the same reason Aaron called the molten calf he made Elohim--Exod. 32, 4, 8--wishing, by expressing it in the plural, to attach dignity and majesty to it, and by this means to excite reverence in the minds of its worshippers.
For the same reason, the Israelites called their idol Baal-berith, their Elohim, God--Judg. 9, 33.--And the Philistines called their idol Dagon, in the plural, Elohim, God--Judg. 16, 22, 24. Also the idol Ashteroth, Chemosh, Milcom, Baalzebub, Nisroch, &c. though each is in the singular; yet each is called Elohim, God, in the plural--1 Kings, 11, 32; 2 Kings, 1, 2, & 19, 37. No doubt that those idol worshippers expressed their particular idol in the plural, because of its supposed dignity, majesty and excellence.
This is true of Jesus of Nazareth Who displayed who all of the MAGESTY of the pagan "father, spirit (mother, self-fertilized) and infant son. " He will be called emmanuel as a SINGULAR Morphe or Image so no one can find
The trinity concept was a political battle: a turf battle. Whatever the nature of God the command is not to teach that which has not been written. While trinity was a speculation in order to destroy Arius, it became a tradition which had to be observed as a test of fellowship and defense from being executed. The early creeds spoke of the one Father and One Mediator Jesus Christ. They "believed in the Holy Spirit" but did not IT into a HIM.
Barton W. StoneThe Apostle's Creed does not included the terms defined by neo trinitarians. Theologians may depend on outdated information because not even Catholics use the modified Nicean Creed.
A short History, Ch IV: In the fall of I798, a call from the united congregations of Cane Ridge and Concord was presented me, through the Presbytery of Transylvania. I accepted, and a day not far ahead was appointed for adopt the Confession of Faith, as the system of doctrines taught in the Bible, I determined to give it a careful examination once more. This was to me almost the beginning of sorrows. I stumbled at the doctrine of Trinity as taught in the Confession; I labored to believe it, but could not conscientiously subscribe to it. Doubts, too, arose in my mind on the doctrines of election, reprobation and predestination, as there taught. I had before this time learned from my superiors the way of divesting those doctrines of their hard; repulsive features, and admitted them as true, yet unfathomable mysteries. Viewing them as such, I let them alone in my public discourses, and confined myself to the practical part of religion, and to subjects within my depth. But in reexamining these doctrines I found the covering put over them could not hide them from a discerning eye with close inspection. Indeed, I saw they were necessary to the system without any covering.
Barton W. Stone stated that The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. This is acknowledged by the celebrated Calvin, who calls the Trinity "a popish God, or idol, a mere human invention, a barbarous, insipid, and profane word." This was the common view of the American Restoration Movement. Because Rome knew that the trinity of gods could not be understood in light of clear Scripture, "she" called it a "mystery." Barton W. Stone from the charismatic wing of the restoration movement then identifies this trinity as "the mystery of Babylon" which began to work in the 4th century.
The Stone - Campbell Sectarians. Barton W. Stone came to agree with Alexander Campbell on all of the major issues which are distinct to the American Restoration Movement including baptism FOR the remission of sins. Therefore, it is not honest to invent the so- called Stone Campbell Movement which is admitted to being about a quarter of a century old. The fact is that non-instrumental churches of Christ have no significant connection to Barton W. Stone and espepcially repudiates experiential religion which led to the instrumental heresy. At the same time, no one can claim faithfulness to either Barton W. Stone or Alexander Campbell who accepts the idea of a trinity of three separated "persons" in the Godhead. No one can be a Stone Campbell disciple and still deliberately sow discord by adding music which did not exist in any of the denominations out of which the Campbells converted members: Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists.
Because Rome knew that the trinity of gods could not be understood in light of clear Scripture, "she" called it a "mystery." Stone then identifies this trinity as "the mystery of Babylon" which began to work in the 4th century. Because Paul is so careful to identify the Spirit and Christ (1 Cor 2), or the Spirit as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8) the teaching of the Spirit, like the teaching of grace, would have been easily misunderstood by those "just out of paganism" who identified with a group of gods.
However, even at Nicea the Holy Spirit was written off as "[We believe] also in the Holy Spirit." The Father-Son with no "Spirit" person was explained:
Definition of word or age http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/nicene.htm
"When the Apostles' Creed was drawn up, the chief enemy was Gnosticism, which denied that Jesus was truly Man; and the emphases of the Apostles' Creed reflect a concern with repudiating this error. "
Church of England 1662 [plus Lutheran and others]
- 1. I believe in God the Father almighty, [Added 7th Century= creator of heaven and earth.
- 2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
- 3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
- 4. Under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died, and was buried.
- 5. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
- 6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- 7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
- 9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
- 10. the forgiveness of sins,
- 11. the resurrection of the body,
- 12. and the life everlasting.
- I believe in God the Father Almighty,
- Maker of heaven and earth:
John warned because Christ is not a "god" word.
- And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
- Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
1John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit OF God:
Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not
that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:
and this is that spirit of antichrist,
whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2John 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
When the Nicene Creed was drawn up, the chief enemy was Arianism, which denied that Jesus was fully God. Arius was a presbyter (elder) in Alexandria in Egypt, in the early 300's. He taught that the Father, in the beginning, created (or begot) the Son, and that the Son, in conjunction with the Father, then proceeded to create the world. The result of this was to make the Son a created being, and hence not God in any meaningful sense.
Roman Catholic Church Rite of Baptism 1974
1. Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
2. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
3. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Profession of faith at Mass
Since the 2002 edition, the Apostles' Creed is included in the Roman Missal with the indication, "Instead of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter time, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles' Creed, may be used." Previously the Nicene Creed was the only profession of faith that the Missal gave for use at Mass, except in Masses for children; but in some countries use of the Apostles' Creed was already permitted.
- when it was generally admitted that ousias (of the essence or substance) simply implied that the Son is of the Father indeed, but does not subsist as a part of the Father. To this interpretation of the sacred doctrine which declares that the Son is of the
Father, but is not a part of his substance, it seemed right to us to assent."Thus also the declaration that "the Son is consubstantial with the Father" having been discussed,
or in any way analogous to mortal creatures;
inasmuch as it is neither by division of substance,
nor by abscission nor by any change of the Father's substance and power.
"since the underived nature of the Father is inconsistent with all these things.
- That he is consubstantial with the Father then simply Father only who begat him; and that he is of no other substance or essence but OF the Father
When carefully read, none of the early documents give any support to those who see "God" as "three persons able to stand side-by-side or face-to-face to hold conferences to decide which separated Being is best equipped for which dispensation or task."
Another page notes that:
"Newman, an ardent trinitarian, did not hesitate to admit that trinitarian dogma does not come from the Bible but from the "mystery cults" of antiquity and from the "dispensation of paganism." The "secret tradition" of the mystery cults, wrote Newman, was "perpetuated" in the "early Councils," meaning that the "secret tradition" of paganism was used to solve the Arian Controversy by superimposing trinitarian dogma on Christianity.
The famous Nicene Creed, in other words, the foundation of Roman Catholicism and most Protestant denominations, including Messianic Judaism today, and the basis of later trinitarianism, is the very "secret doctrine" of the ancient "mystery cults" in disguise! (Quotes from Cardinal John Henry Newman, a famous Anglican turned Roman Catholic, entitled, The Arians of the Fourth Century. Source
Karen Armstrong, an ex nun (more at bottom of page) informs us that at that time theologians did not suddenly wake up and believe that God was composed of three persons in the sense of separate beings.
Rather, as the church sought to accommodate itself to Greek religion their "trinity" was an attempt to explain Monotheism which could not be explained to a triad-of-gods culture. In fact, early Christians were considered atheists because they didn't believe in more than one God.
Therefore, they sought to explain God in terms of a mystery but absolutely not in a corporeal or mortal sense.
However, as yesterday's myths become today's creeds, in the 19th century people accepted the "figure showing itself as the true god" as reality and began to teach that God was really a committee of three co-equal persons. This, of course, could not prevent the belief in three Gods: the Father of the "old Testament," the Son's dispensation of "Bible times" and today the dispensation of the Holy Spirit God. Paul Tillich marks the 19th century as the real departure even from early church "fathers" and that calling God three persons would have been considered heresy.
Barton W. Stone understood that even post-John Calvin, the Reformed group for which he preached had adopted the ancient mystery which had been turned into a reality which his "brethren" treated as more Biblical than the Bible. However, the trinity -- like images or idols in the church as "aids" of worship -- was not proposed as a physical reality.
You may or may not agree with Stone. However, his view is one of several which rejected the purely Catholic trinity of three beings. He seems to drift into explanations with which we might disagree but he is speaking within the context of his Presbyterian "brethren."
Quotations from Address to the Christian Churches, Works of Elder B. W. Stone Vol. 1, 2nd Edition, James Mathes.
45 On Stone's Trinitarian views see Winfred Ernest Garrison and Alfred T. DeGroot, The Disciples of Christ A History, St. Louis: Christian Board of
Publication, 1948, pp. 118ff. Joseph Badger was the first Connexion leader to visit the Stoneites, going to Kentucky in 1825 (Holland, p.266). The Eastern
Christians knew little about the Stone people before that time. In 1834 David Millard made a trip to the West, and from his letters it is obvious that the two
groups were by no means merged (Christian Palladium, June 16, 1834).
That there is but one living and true God, is a plain doctrine of revelation. "We know that an Idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called Gods, whether in Heaven or in earth (as there be Gods many and Lords many). But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and  we by him." 1 Cor. viii: 4-6. Also Deut. vi: 4. Mark xii: 29, etc.
---The Father OF Whom
One Living Lord God
--- Lord Jesus Christ BY Whom
Or God is understood under the figures of Father, Son and Spirit
One Living Lord God
This doctrine is also contained in the creeds of every sect of Christians with whom I am acquainted. "There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, without body, parts or passions." Conf. Fth. chap. 2, sec. 1st. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts. Meth. Dis. chap. 1, sec. 2.
"If then all agree, that there is but one only living and true God;
........... all must agree that there are not two or three such Gods.
If all agree that this one only God is an infinite spirit without parts;
........... all must agree that this infinite spirit is not a compound of two or three spirits, beings, or Gods.
........... These things are abundantly evident, concerning which there can be no dispute."The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. This is acknowledged by the celebrated Calvin, who calls the Trinity "a popish God, or idol, a mere human invention, a barbarous, insipid, and profane word; and he utterly condemns that prayer in the litany--
O holy, glorious, and blessed Trinity, &c. as unknown to the prophets and apostles, and grounded upon no testimony of God's holy word." Admon. 1st. ad Polonos--Cardale's true Doct.--The language, like the man, I confess is too severe.
The doctrine of Trinity has long been a subject of endless controversy among theologists. I have thought the contest a war of words, while the combatants believed the same thing; seeing they all maintain the Divine unity. On this doctrine many things are said, which are dark, unintelligible, unscriptural, and too mysterious for comprehension. Many of these expressions we have rejected; and for this reason we are  charged with denying the doctrine itself.
I shall state the doctrine, as generally stated and defended by our brethren, who oppose us, and give my reasons why I can not receive it.
"It is commonly stated, that there are three persons in one God, of one substance, power and eternity.
........... To me it is evident that they, who maintain this proposition, do not--cannot believe,
........... that these three persons are three distinct spirits, beings or Gods,
........... each possessed of the personal properties of intelligence, will and power;
........... for this would not only contradict the scriptures,
........... ........... but also those sections of their creeds just quoted,
........... ........... which declare that there is but one only living and true God, without parts.
"They must understand the term persons in God, not in the proper and common sense of the word person;
but in such a qualified sense as to exclude the notion of three distinct spirits or beings.
What this qualified sense should be, has long puzzled divines; and in no proposition are they more divided. The cause of this perplexity is obvious,
........... because no idea of it is to be found in revelation, nor reason.
"Revelation no where declares that there are three persons of the same substance in the one only God; and it is universally acknowledged to be above reason.--
Imagination has been set afloat, taking different courses in different men, and wandering through the unknown fields of eternity, infinity and incomprehensibility.
Their labors have been great; but after all their vast excursions, they have ended in mystery.
"That God is an uncompounded, eternal, infinite and unchangeable being, no Christian will deny in positive terms;
yet this plain, fundamental doctrine has been so darkened by human inventions, that the minds of many have been warped from the simplicity of it.
To define a person, as the fathers have done, to be "complete intelligent and individual subsistence, which is neither a part of, nor sustained by any other"; and to say that three such persons or subsistences are in the Godhead, is undoubtedly contrary to Scripture, and perfectly unintelligible. But there is but one God, though revealed under different names or relations to his creatures. (Letters to a Friend)
Some think, that by the three persons in the one God, is intended his power, wisdom and love, personified. This is mere supposition, and wants the authority of Scripture.
But should this be admitted, we should never know where to stop in forming persons  in the one God.
With equal propriety we might personify every perfection of the Almighty. The most rigid Unitarians believe that power, wisdom and love are in the one God; but they object to the notion of calling them three persons in God.
Others, by three persons in God, seem to signify that the three persons are three offices in the one God, as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.
........... If this be granted, then upon the same principle we may multiply persons in Deity;
........... for he sustains many other offices as king, judge, lawgiver, etc.
The doctrine, that there are three persons in one God, is principally founded on
........... 1 John v: 7. "There are three that bear record in heaven,
........... the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."
From reading the context, it is plain, that the matter testified of, is that Jesus is the son of God. The Father testified this, when he spake from heaven, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye him."
The Word or Son, testified the same by the many wonders he performed when incarnate.
This also the Holy Ghost witnessed by the many miracles wrought through the Apostles. These three are one.
They are one, or agree in their testimony; as, in the next verse, the three witnesses on earth agree in one.
To say these three are one God, would contradict the original; for the word hen, translated one, is in the neuter gender, and can not agree with the word God.
Nor is it correct to say, these three are one being; for Paul and Apollos are said to be one--
I Cor. iii: 8. "Now he that planteth and he that watereth are (hen) one." No one imagines that they were one being; but agree, that they were two distinct men engaged in one work, in one spirit.
Our blessed Saviour prays the Father, that  all believers might be (hen) one, even as he and the Father were (hen) one. Now as all believers are not one substance nor one being; and as they are all one, even as the Father and Son are one; we must then conclude, that the Father and Son are not one substance, nor one being. This is further evident from John x: 30, "I and my Father are (hen) one," says Jesus. Yet in the same Evangelist he said, "My Father is greater than I." John xiv: 28. If they were one substance, or one being, there could be no comparison; as one can not be greater or less than itself.
The fact is, all believers are one in spirit, purpose, and mind--and this is the oneness which our Lord prayed they might have--this was the oneness of Paul and Apollos.--This appears to me to be the oneness of the Father and the Son.
The text, I John v: 7, the cause of so much altercation, has long been disputed, as being of divine authority. It is not found in Griesbach's Greek Testament, reckoned to be the most correct.--
It is not found in the Syrian Christian's Bible, which Dr. Buchanan examined in the East.--Many learned men reject it, and even Dr. Doddridge doubts its divine authority.
After all, I am unwilling to reject it; but am confident it can not establish the notion of three persons in one God.
The doctrine of a plurality of persons in the one God, is argued from the plural termination of the Hebrew word Elohim, translated God. As great stress is laid on this argument, I will particularly examine it.
Here it will be necessary to introduce the rule in the Hebrew Grammar, by which we shall determine the point. "Pluralis pro singulari positus, denotat magnitudinem, et excellentiam"--which, literally translated,  is,
"A plural put for a singular denotes greatness and excellency."--Robertson's Heb. Gram., p. 240.
"Now, according to this rule, Elohim, God (Jehovah), is put in the plural; because the word expresses dignity and majesty. For the same reason, the Lord said unto Moses, "See, I have made thee Elohim, a God unto Pharaoh"--Exod. 7, 1. No one supposes, that because Moses was called Elohim in the plural, there must have been a plurality of persons in him; but he was so called because of his dignity and greatness.
For the same reason Aaron called the molten calf he made Elohim--Exod. 32, 4, 8--wishing, by expressing it in the plural, to attach dignity and majesty to it, and by this means to excite reverence in the minds of its worshippers.
For the same reason, the Israelites called their idol Baal-berith, their Elohim, God--Judge ix: 33.--And the Philistines called their idol Dagon, in the plural, Elohim, God--Judges xvi: 22, 24. Also the idols Ashteroth, Chemosh, Milcom, Baalzebub, Nisroch, etc., though each is in the singular; yet each is called Elohim, God, in the plural--1 Kings xi: 32; 2 Kings i: 2, and xix: 37. No doubt that those idol worshipers expressed their particular idol in the plural, because of its supposed dignity, majesty and excellence.
"Again, we will apply the same rule to the plural word Adonim, master, "And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his master," his Adonim in the plural--Genesis 24, 9, 10, 51. So Potiphar is called Joseph's Adonim, master --Genesis 39, 2, 3, 7, 8, 16, 19, 20. So the captain of a guard was called in the plural Adonim, lord--Genesis 40, 7. So Joseph, the ruler of Egypt, was called Adonim, a lord--Genesis 42, 30, 33, & 44, 8. In all these places the plural is used for the singular, according to the well known rule; because the word expresses dominion, dignity and greatness.
It would be unnecessary to multiply quotations. These surely are sufficient to prove to any unprejudiced mind, that the plural word, put for a singular, does not imply a plurality of persons. If it does, then there was a plurality of persons in Moses--in Aaron's calf--in each of the idols I have named--in Abraham--in Potiphar--in Joseph--and in the captain of Pharaoh's guard. There are surely none who will affirm it. If not, why, or how can they affirm, that there is a plurality of persons in the one God, because he is called Elohim?
Another argument, considered of great weight to establish the notion of a plurality of persons in the one God, is the use of the pronouns us and our, when applied to him. "Let us make man in our image"--Gen. i: 26. This and similar texts I shall hereafter explain, as addressed by the Father to the Son, "By whom he created all things." I therefore, for the present, wave the further consideration of it.
That the Scriptures speak of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is believed and admitted by Christians of every name; and that these three are one in some sense, I think, none will deny. My view of this oneness I have expressed a few pages back. If they are one in any other sense, I shall rejoice to know it.
It is possible that some, more attached to the unintelligible language of their ancestors than to the simple expressions of Scriptures, may retain notions or words contrary to what I have stated. They may so darken the doctrine by words without knowledge, as to bewilder and lose themselves, and then resolve it all  into mystery; and lampoon and bite their fellow Christians for not receiving their own inventions. But brethren, I hope "You have not so learned Christ, it so be ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus."
Others, with whom bigotry outweighs a thousand good arguments, may be deterred from receiving this view of trinity by being told that it savors of Arianism, Socinianism, or some other reputed heresy. These and such like names have driven many into opposite extremes, and kept them from that happy medium, where truth commonly lies. I know not what the real sentiments of Arius were, having never seen his writings; nor have I seen his sentiments, but through the coloring of his enemies. They, who will put themselves to the trouble of reading this address, will clearly see whose doctrines, mine or those of my brethren who oppose us, most savor of those just mentioned.
Others, who have labored through mazy volumes of scholastic learning on this doctrine,
may be disposed to object to my view of it, because of its simplicity.
They have been long taught that the doctrine was a high, incomprehensible mystery.
However mysterious it may be, the Scriptures never call it a mystery.
It is a term attached to it by man.
The explanation of this doctrine, as given by some, is truly an incomprehensible mystery. They have said, "The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; and the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son."
A part of this explanation is indeed a mystery, not found in revelation nor reason. We are told by some, that it is an evidence of an humble heart to believe it.
Can any man believe it, whether he be humble or not? 
They, who profess to believe nothing without testimony, can not; because the two last propositions are not in the Bible.
........... They who profess to believe nothing before they understand it, can not.
........... Therefore it is as incredible as it is incomprehensible.
So it appears to me. But if others receive it as an article of their faith, I judge them not, nor reject them from the arms of charity.
But to make it a term of Christian fellowship I think unwarrantable from the word of God. A person of a fruitful mind may form a very mysterious doctrine.
To make this mystery pass for truth, he might run through heaven and earth to show how many other mysteries exist.
He might find a mystery in the existence, the eternity, and infinity of God--in the connection of soul and body, etc. These mysteries, he might argue, are believed; and why not his mysterious doctrine too?
The answer is, because these are revealed but his doctrine is not;--
........... these, though above reason, are not contrary to it; but his is both above and contrary to reason.
........... If a doctrine be revealed, however mysterious it may be, I will humbly receive it.
My reason shall ever bow to revelation; but it shall never be prostrated to human contradictions and inventions. Pious and good men have received such doctrines. God loves and pities them; and so will I.
Alexander Campbell Defines Unitarian and Trinity
Alexander Campbell: The Trinity Rejected
How Thomas Campbell Explains the Trinity
Barton W. Stone, Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott and Others on the trinity.
Restoration Movement Index
Holy Spirit Index
Counter added 1.18.05 7p 2195 10.31.08 11.04.11 6958 2.15.15 8143