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* either in Colours, or in Stone, or in any other Kind of “ Metcal, or Matter. But, wheresoever any such Image “ fhall be found, we commend it to be taken down;
afsuring our Subjects, that we will most straitly pu" nifh all such as shall presume to attempt any Thing
contrary to our Decree and Commandment." The fame Decree was afterwards pue in Execution, and pra&tised by many Chriftiao and Godly Emperors,
As the Image of Christ is not to be worsipped, so, neither is the image of the blessed Virgin, or any Saint, or Angel.
Origen faith, (a) “ It is impossible that any Man may worship God, and an Image, both together.
(b) Polydore Virgil, a Man of late Years, expressing the
great Abuse that he saw in the Church, in his Time, writeth thus, “ Now, let us intreat of the worshipping “ of Images, which not only the Heathens that were " void of our Religion, but also, as St. Hierom faith, “ all the old godly Fathers condemne for fear of I
dolatry.” And of the Abuse and Disorder of the Church therein, in his Time, he writeth thus, (c) “The " World is come to such Outrage, and meer Madness
herein,' that this part of Holiness differeth now vesy little from open Wickednels."
We dwell the longer upon this point, because we wou'd gladly root up this idolatrous Conceit out of the World. And it no Examples of true primitive Antiquity be able to convince our obftinate Romanists; yet, at least, we may hope, it will be a fufficient Antidote, to deter Protestants from embracing such an impious, wooden Religion, or Piece of revived Pagan nism,
For, most certain it is, that the Original thereof, was from the Heathens, and Tofidels; that knew not God.
(a) Ori, contra Celsum. Lib. 4. (b) Po. Vir. de Invention, Rer. Lib. 6. Cap. 13. (c) ibid.
Thus the Prophet Baruch openeth, and declares the Religion of Babylon, (a) “ The Priests fit in their “ Temples, having their Heads and Beards shaven, and “ nothing upon their Heads. They roar and cry before “ their Gods.” Thus(b) Heliogabalus, Adrianus, and Alexander Severus, being lofidels, and heathen Princes, had, in their Chappels, and Closets, the Images of Abraham, of Moses, of Christ, and of others.
Thus the Gnostick, and Carpocratian Hereticks, who favoured much of Heathenism, had, and worshipped the Images of Christ, of Paul, of Pythagoras, and of Homer.
By these few Authorities and Examples it appeareth, that the first erecting of Images came, aot from God, but from the Hearbens, that knew not God. As for the Fews, that had the Law and the Prophets amongst them, and therefore, thou'd best know God's meaning in that behalf, they had no Manner of Image, acither painted, nor graven in their Temples, as Dion (c) faith. And as Origen (d) faith, they cou'd not abide any Painter, or Graver to dwell amongst them.
Most lamentable it is therefore, that any, calling themselves Christians, shou'd be thus seduced ; especially, it we consider, how great a stumbling Block this Image-worship is at this Day to the Jews, and an Hindrance to their Conversion.
But, “ Demetrius made Silver Shrines, and they
brought no small Gain to the Craftímen; and thereupon he bluftred for them, and cry'd out,(e) “Sirs,
ye know by this Craft we have our Wealth.” This is the very Case of the Roman Church: She causes lmages to be made, and prescribes Worship to them, because thereby the reaps no small Advantage: Witness the great Wealth at Loretto, our Lady of Hales, &c.
(a) Bar. 6. 31, 32. (b) Lampridius Julius Capitol. Epiph. Auguf. ad quod Deum. Ireneus, Lib. 1. cap. 24. (c) Lib. 37. (a) Con, Celjum, Lib. 4. (e) Ads 19. 25.
Since therefore, the worshipping of Images is prohibited by God in his Word, unknown to the primitive Church, borrowed from the Heathens, absurd to Reafon, contrary to the pure Dictates of Nature, scandalous to Christianity, introduced and supported by Lyes, and maintained only for filtby Lucre; the Declaration of Mojes, and the Priests and Levites, by God's Command to the Men of Israel, shall be our Conclusion for this Ar. ticle of the Romish Faith, (a) “ Cursed be the Man that “ inaketh any graven or molten Image, an Abomination “ unto the Lord, the work of the Hands of the Crafts“ man, and putteth it in a secret Place: And all the People "shall answer and say, Amen.
(a) Deut. 27. 15.
CHA P. IX.
Against Praying to Saints and
s to their Saint and Angel Worship, it is also a
Piece of revived Paganism. The Gentiles, besides their Dii Superi, Gods by Nature, had their Demons, and their Hero's, the Spirits of brave Men departed, whom they worshipped, just as our Papifts do) not fimply and absolutely, but as intercessors for them to the superior Deities. Hence, Tully, in his Book de Legibus, “ Let the Gods be worshipped, as well, those of & the upper House, who were always counted Celestial, e as those whom their own Merits have called into Hea“ ven.” And again, “ Let the Rights of the Ghost " Gods be kept inviolable, and let them after Death be
worshipped as fecond-rate Deities. You may see how exactly our Catholick Romans have vived these idolatrous Laws of their heathen Ancestors. The Offices the Gentiles attributed to their Demons, were the very fame which our Papists expect from their Saints; that is, to be as Mediators, or Agents for them : So Plato in Symposio, “ All Intercourse be“ tween Gods and Men is perform’d by Demons, they « are the Carriers of Mens Prayers to the Gods, and " they bring back Rewards of Devotion to Mortals.” So that you see, they did not alcribe an absolute, but
only an intercessive Power to them, as appears more plainly by these Words of Apuleius, in Damon. Socr. “ All
Things, says he, are done by the Will, Power, and “ Authority of the celestial Gods ; but by the Means, “ Dispatch, and Administration of Demon's."
Thus much for the Original of Saint-worship; now, to the Thing it self, we say, Saints departed are to be hor.oured three Ways; Firsi, By an honourable Memorial: So the Virgin Mother foretels, that, (a) “ Henceforth " all Generations Tou'd call her blessed.'
Secondly, (b) By rendring Thanks to God for the Gifts and Graces which he bestowed upon them for the Good of his Church. Thirdly, By imitating their holy and humble Lives, as the Apostle (c) ules their Example, to ftir up those he writes to.. All this we freely grant and practise: But to offer any religious Worship. pray to them, or esteem them as Intercessors for us, we dare not, for these Reasons, amongst many others.
1, No religious Worship is to be instituted without the Command of God, for otherwise it will be Will-worfhip, not of Faith, (d) and consequently Sin. But for such Worship or Invocation of Angels or Saints there is DO Comorand, nor even Example, (but on the contrary, the same is forbidden) for our Saviour tells us, (e) "Thou “ Male worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt “ thou serve." And very particularly by St. Paul, who blames them, ? Who with religious Respects did Ser“ vice unto them which by Nature are no Gods.” (The Original is remarkable, e3.VII.TE) the very Word whence Douleia, whereby Papists express the Worship. they give to Saints is derived.) Therefore, this Sort of Worship ought not to be instituted.
(c) Heb. 11.
(a) I uke 1.48. (b) Gal. 1. 24. (d) Rom. 14. 23. (e) Mart. 4. 10.