The Berean Expositor
Volume 40 - Page 162 of 254
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omitting from the Scriptures I John 5: 7. Consequently, it would be very improper, and
expose the one who so used it to well merited suspicion, to attempt to build the doctrine
of the Trinity upon this verse. The doctrine of the Trinity must be based upon passages
of Scripture that the Unitarian himself must admit to be authentic.
Again, some passages of Scripture are taken by enthusiasts as proofs of their particular
doctrine, that only very slightly lend themselves to its establishment. This is extremely
unwise. No doctrine that is fundamental to the faith lacks clear unambiguous testimony
from the Word, and any attempt to drag in obscure texts weakens rather than strengthens
our case.
(2) Words have one signification in one and the same connection:
"The sense of Scripture is ONE, CERTAIN and SIMPLE and is everywhere to be
ascertained in accordance with the principles of grammar and human discourse."
"We must not make God's Word mean what we wish, we must not bend it, but allow
it to bend us, and give it the honour of being better than we could make it, so that we
must let it stand." Luther.
"Every word has some meaning. A word that has no meaning can do no good. Words
cannot have a plurality of significations at the same time and in the same position."
(3) We must interpret any given passage where there is any element of uncertainty,
so that it accords with the plain teaching of passages that are clear. In other words we
must regard the analogy of the faith in all our work.
"As grammatical analogy is the law and form of language established by usage, to
which is opposed anomaly, that is departure from the established usage and forms of
speech: so the analogy of doctrine and faith rests upon the main points of Christian
doctrine evidently declared in Scripture, and thence denominated by Latin Doctors, the
Regula Fidei. To these everything is to be referred, so that no interpretation is to be
received which is not consistent with them." Ernesti.
"This does not mean that we first somehow learn the scheme of truth revealed in the
Scripture, and that with this previously arranged scheme in our heads, we then go to the
Scripture, not in order to learn the truths it contains, but in order to find something that
may be made to satisfy our opinions.
In its fair and legitimate application the principle has respect only to the more doubtful
or abrupt parts of the Word of God, and simply requires, that these should be brought into
comparison with the other and clearer statements contained in it." Fairbairn.
(4)  We must be careful to distinguish the occasions when we must emphasize
differences and when we must emphasize agreement, in dealing with O.T. doctrine.
"In those passages which distinctly and formally exhibit differences between the Old
and New Testament things, it is the difference which ought to be rendered prominent in
our explanation", while on the other hand "In those passages which simply present
Christian things under the form and aspect of those that belong to the Old Covenant, it is
the correspondence or agreement that should be mainly dwelt upon." Fairbairn.