Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Addresses are made to her, for one to God; and successive Popes have granted large Indulgences and Blessings to all that shall say it. Then their private Writers about her have gone incredible Lengths. One of their Cardinals, Bonaventure, by putting her Name instead of God's, and some other necessary Alterations, hath applied the whole Book of Psalms to her. In the same Manner he hath altered the Te Deum. We praise thee, O Mary, we acknowledge thee to be the Lady; and so in the other Hymns of the Church. Nay, he hath made a Creed for her in Imitation of St. Athanahus's. Whoever will be saved, it is necesary that he hold the true Faith concerning Mary; which except a Man keep whole and undefiled, be shall perish everlastingly. Now if their Church do Teally disapprove these Things, why do they never censure them? Why is this very Man canonized for a Saint, whilst we are condemned as Heretics? For not content with thinking this kind of Worship lawful, they pronounce accursed whoever thall think otherwise.

Another Thing we differ in, is this : They make Pictures of God the Father under the Likeness of a venerable old Man. They make Images of Christ and of his Saints, after their

[ocr errors]

1

own Fancy. Before these Images, and even that of his Cross, they kneel down and proftrate themselves : to these they lift up their Eyes, and in that Posture pray. The least Appearance of Command, or even the Allowance, of such Practices in Scripture they pretend not and yet against those who disallow them, they thunder out Anathemas. Now as to Pictures of the Father Almighty, whom no Man either bath seen, or can fee*; all visible Figures must represent him such as he is not, must lead the Ignorant into low and mean Ideas of him, and give those of better Abilities, from a Contempt of such Representation, a Contempt of the Religion that uses them. Anciently the Heathens themselves had no Images of God; and a very learned Heathen obferves, that if they had never had

any, their Worship would have been the purer ; for the Inventors of these Things, says he, lessened among Men the Reverence of the Divine Nature, and introduced Errors concerning it. The Jews, though the Old Testament figuratively expresses, in Words, the Power and Attributes of God by Parts of the human Form, were yet most strictly forbidden all fen

fi Tim. vi. 16. & Varro ap. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. 1.4. c. 31. where he says they had none for 170 Years. But Tar. quinius Prifcus introduced them. See Tenison on Idol. p. 59.

fible Representations of him under any Form. Take good Heed unto yourselves, says Moses, for je faw no Manner of Similitude on the Day that the Lord spoke to you in Horeb; left ye corrupt yourselves, left ye forget the Covenant of the Lord your God, and make the Similitude of any Figures for the Lord thy God is a consuming Fire, even

jealous God". Accordingly we find, that when they had made a Golden Image, tho' it was expressly designed in honour of that God whe brought them out of Egypt, it was notwithstanding punished as Idolatry. And far from allowing to Christians, what was then forbidden the Jews, St. Paul most severely condemns it in the very Heathens, that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, but became vain in their Imaginations, and changed the Glory of the incorruptible God, into an Image made like to corruptible Man'. Yet how near doth this approach to what the Church of Rome doth nów, in making Pictures of God the Father! Our blessed Saviour indeed, having taken on him human Nature, is capable of being represented in a human Form. But, as all such Representations must be imaginary ones, so they are use. less ones too: the Memorial of himself, which Deut. iv. 15-24.

i Rom, i, 21, 23.

he

[ocr errors]

31

E1

he hath appointed in the Sacrament, we may
be assured is sufficient to all good Purposes; and
these other Memorials have always produced
absurd and wicked Superstitions. As for the
Images of the Saints, it is sufficient to say, that
there being no Pretence for worshipping the
Saints themselves, there is yet less Pretence for
worshipping these Representations of them. But
here the Church of Rome will say we wrong
them : they do not worship Images, but only
Christ and his Saints by these Images. But in-
deed it is they who wrong themselves. then.
For not a few of their own Writers k frankly
own they do worship Images, and with the same
Degree of Worship that they pay to the Persons
whose Images they are. And for the Cross par-
ticularly, in their public Offices, they exprelly
declare themselves to adore it, and in plain
Words, petition it in one of their Hymns, to
give Increaje of Grace to the Righteous, and
Pardon to the Guilty. This they say is a poeti-
cal Licence; and truly, in so serious a Thing
as Worship, no small one. But farther: had

[ocr errors]

k

Aquinas, &c. See Trapp. Ch. of England defended, p. 219, They put in the Index Exp. those Passages in Marginal Notes and Indexes, that say the contrary. See Instances, ib. p. 235. They are to be worshipped, says Bellarmine, ita ut ipfa terminent venerationem, ut in se confiderantur & non folum ut vicem gerunt exemplarin Bellarm. de Imag: 1. ii, f. 21. ap. Vitr. in 17. xliv. 20.

they

they no Regard to the Image, but only to the Person represented, why is an Image in one Place looked upon to have so much more Power and Virtue, than an Image of the same Person in another Place? Why hath that of our Lady of Loretto, for Instance, so much more Honour done it, than that of our Lady any where else? We own the Council of Trent does gives a Caution, that no Divinity be ascribed to Images, nor any Trust put in them: And the Heathen gave

the like Caution often with Respect to theirs: but this never hinders the Scripture from condemning them as Idolaters. And the Reason is, that such Cautions never are, or can be observed by the Multitude. Place sensible Objects before them to direct their Worship to: and in those Objects their Worship will terminate. This the primitive Christians saw too plainly in the Heathens, ever to think of imitating them. Accordingly neither Images nor Pictures were allowed in Churches for near 400 Years. And when, after being more than once condemned, they came to be allowei, no Honour was intended to be paid to them. On the contrary, when it began to be paid, which indeed was not long, it was severely censured, and particularly in the eighth Century, by above 300 Bi

shops,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »