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CHA P. VIII.
Against worshipping of Images:
fifts in worshipping of images, yet when the fame comes to be scann'd, it appears to grosly unwar. rantable, and evidently idolatrous, that some of their more crafty Advocates, often, amongst Protestants, seem to deny, that Roman Catholicks do at all religiously worship any such Images, or at least they croud the Matter with so many nice Distinctions, as render it difficult, if not impoflible, to understand what it is they mean, or wou'd maintain: Therefore, we shall filence such Deceivers, and Mew the Reader, that whatever Niceties they pretend, the establish'd Doctrine, and common Practice of their Church is otherwise, and does prescribe a real religious Worship to the very Pictures of Christ, the Virgin, Saints, exc. which will be sufficiently manifefted by the following Instances, among many that might be produced.
The Bull of Pope Pius the 4th. containing the Form of the Oath, for profefling of Faith, dated at Rome, in the Year of our Lord, 1564. makes Image-worship absolutely necessary to be believed by all Men, as an Article of Faith ; “ And most firmly I avouch, that the “ Images of Christ, and the Mother of God, always a
Virgin, and other Saints, are to be had and retained, " and that to them Honour and Veneration is to be “ given."
But yet their admired Schoolman, Thomas of Aquine, and the far greater Part of their Authors, treating on this Subje&, go yet farther; asserting, that the fame Honour and Worship is due, and ought to be paid to an Image, as to the Person or Thing thereby represented, and, so says this Doctor, “ The Image of Christ is to “ be ador'd with the fame Manner of Worship, as Christ « himself is to be, if personally present.
Now, if any little wheedling Priest, shall, after such evidence, deny this to be the Doctrine of their Church, does it not roundly follow, that either he deceitfully imposes on us with a Lye, or else, that their Church, which boasts so much of Unity, is so divided in Opinion, that none can tell what Me holds or afferts? But as to the Practice, Polydore Virgil, one of their own Authors, in bis Treatise, de Inventione Rerum, ingenuously acknowledgeth, “ That there are many which worship the very “ Images of Wood, or Stone, Brais, or Marble, or " Pictures painted upon the Walls, not as Figures, but “ as if they had verily Sense; and do put more Trust " in them than they do in Christ, or the Saints to whom " they are dedicated." Nor is there any modeft intelligent Man, that is acquainted with the Usages and Devotions of vulgar Romanists towards Images, Crucifixes, Agnus Dei's, &c. but muft with Grief bear Testimony of, and bewail their Superstitions and Idolatries in there Instances.
Now, how diametrically oppofite are such their Doings to the express Law of God, and the constant Tenor of Scripture ! Can any thing be more plainly prohibited by the Second Commandment. “ Thou shalt not make “ to thy self any graven Image, or the Likeness of any “ Thing that is in Heaven above, or in the Earth be“ neath, or in the Waters under the Earth; thou shalt not “ bow down to them,” that is, with thy Body, “ nor “ worship them;" that is, with thy Soul: Whereas it is most apparent Papifts do, and by the Doctrine of their Church, they are oblig'd to do both; which indeed doth tacitly confess her Guilt herein, (but to colour such other Sin of Idolatry, adds thereto, that other grievous
Offence of abolishing the Law of God, liable to a Punithment no less severe, than “ Of being blotted out of the Book of Lite") by quite leaving out, and endeavouring. to suppress this Commandment; as it a Malefactor, to avoid being condemned according to Law, shou'd steal away the Statute Book. Thus, generally, in their Catechisms, and, particularly, in one in English, entitled, A Catechism, or Summary of Christian Doctrine, in Page. 23. Wherein the second Leffon begins thus:
2. “ How mall we make it appear that we love o God?
A. “ By obeying his Commandments.
2. “ How many are these Commandments, and * what are they?'
A. “ You fhalt adore one God, and love him per“ fectly." (Then, leaving out the Second, they skip to the Third, thus,)
2. “ You shall not take his Name in vain.
3. “ You shall keep holy the Sabaoth Day, in fer:
ving God devoutly,” (and to in Order,"till you come to the tenth Commandment, which they most absurdly divide, and make two of, thus,)
“ You shall not covet your Neighbour's Wife, nor u any Thing that is against Chastity.
10. “ You shall not covet your Neighbour's Goods“ of any kind.""
Where, besides their Impudence in varying the Phrase, and leaving out what they please of each command, as it they cou'd find out Expressions more comprehensive and significant, than those which were written by the Finger of God; the second Commandment they im. Riously omit, and wholly leave out, which is mania
fefly done, with a Design to keep the poor people from startling at their idolatrous Image-worship, (which they must needs do, if they shou'd be suffered to know, that the same is so expresiy condemned by God) and they di. vide the tenth into two, that the Number may be complete, knowing the People will not be satisfied without Ten. Now, if these wicked Jugglers, to support their Abominations, dare thus corrupt God's holy Law, and suppress, and alter, even the ten Commandments, at their Pleasure, what Forgeries may not we expect in Fathers, Couocils, and other Monuments of Antiquity, that have passed their facrilegious Hands ? Or indeed, where, or in what, can we hope for any Sincerity or fair Dealing from them ?
But, belides this Commandment, the Scripture a. bounds with Precepts of the same Tenor; and God expresly, and everywhere, condemneth Image-worshipers, and Image-makers, (a) “ Take ye tlierefore good “ heed unto your felves (for ye saw no Manner of Simi« litude on the Day the Lord (pake unto you in Horeb,out “ of the Midst of the Fire) left ye corrupt your felves, “ and make you a graven i mage, the Similitude of any
Figure, the Likeness of Male or Female, exc." And, (b) • Cursed be the Man, that maketh any graven or “ molten Image, an Abomination unto the Lord.” God faith, (c) “ They are Snares to catch the Ignorant: “ What profiteth the graven Image, the molten Image,
a Teacher of Lyes, that the Maker of his Work “ trusteth therein, to make his dumb Idols? Woe unta “ him that faith unto the Wood, awake; to the dumb “ Stone, arise, it shall teach: Behold, it is laid over with “ Gold and Silver; and there is no Breath at all in the “ Midst of it. But the Lord is in his holy Temple: “ Let all the Earth kcep Silence before him, faith the “ Holy Prophet.
(a) Deut. 4. 15, 16. (b) Deut. 27. 15. (c) Hab. '3. 18, 19, 20.
As it is utterly unlawful to make any Counterfeit, so it is impossible to frame any true Image of God; because,
“ Incorporeal, Infinite, Incompreben“ fible, &c.” the most glorious of Creatures, or all of them put together, cannot in any Degree of Comparifon express his divine Majesty. So faith the holy Prophet, (a) 's To whom then will
liken God: Or & what Likeness will ye compare unto him ? (b)
ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto Gold
or Silver, or Stone, graven by Art, and Man's De. " vice."
Since then, we are not to make the Images of any Thing that is in Heaven above, por any where else, to bow down to them; and worship them ; we are therefore forbid to worship any Image of our sacred Saviour, the blessed Virgin, or any other Saint ; because, an Image is a Creature, and no God: And to honour the Creature in that Sort, is Idolatry.
Epiphanius, the Bishop of Cyprus, entring into a Church, and finding there a Vail hung up, and the Image of Christ painted in it, tore it in funder, and pulled it down, because it was done, as he writech himself, (c) “ Contrary to the Commandment of God's Word." Again, he faith, “ Such Vails are contrary to our Chril* tian Religion." And again, “ This superstition is
uomeet for the Church of Chrift, and unmeet for 6 the People, that is committed upto thee, ".
The godly Emperors, Valens, and Theodosius, gave, out this
general Proclamation, throughout all Christendom.
(d) “ Forasmuch as we have a diligent Care, in all
Things, to maintain the Religion of the most high « God; therefore we suffer no Man to fashion, to grave,
or to paint the Image of our Saviour Jesus Chrift,
(a) Ifa. 40. 18. (b) Ads 17.29. (c) Epis. Epipha. ad Joanneṁ Epifcop. Hierofel. (d) Conftantinopolitan Council. P. Crinitus. Lib. 9. Cap. 9.