Monday, January 24, 2011

Was Baron Von Steuben a Christian?

I read a history about Von Steuben, then stumbled across a quote I have never seen before concerning Timothy Pickering. Pickering was a unitarian, and Von Steuben is falsely linked to him. The author of this post did not invent this quote, but it is making the rounds.
Timothy Pickering, began to doubt his Puritan theology when he heard General von Steuben say that he would sooner believe in an absurdity than in the Trinity.
This quote is from:
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&source=hp&q=von%20steuben%20pickering%20the%20trinity%20absurdity&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wp

It doesn't give any source, but I found the real quote from the Works of Pickering, Vol I. Here, is the actual quote absolving Von Steuben:
At that time the Trinitarian controversy had npt engaged the attention of Mr. Pickering. He had been brought up in the belief of the doctrine of the Trinity, and never heard the truth of it called in question until after he had joined the army in 1777; when one day he was startled by the remark of the late Peter S. Du Ponceau, on some questionable statement, that " he would as soon believe the doctrine of the Trinity." This induced Mr. Pickering to read on the subject and he thereupon became, and continued through life, a Unitarian. Without bigotry, he was a reverent believer in Christianity, never trifling with things sacred.
Just what was the faith of the Baron?

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