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of the tenth commandment, has, as will be seen afierwards, been providentially the means of detecting the fraud of the Romish church, in blending the two first commandments together, for the purpose of subtracting the second, and then dividing the tenth into tivo, to make up the complete number. If, in the catechisms of that church, it had been usual to insert the commandments at full length, no end could have been served by blending together the first and second commandments, and the fraud would probably never have been attempted ; but when it is known that it was customary only to insert, in the public formularies of instruction, the first sentence of each commandment, the reason will at once appear, for uniting the first precept of the decalogue with the second; for by this expedient, and by inserting only the first sentence of the two united commandments, the Romish church has, in many of her catechisms, got rid of the commandment against image worship altogether, and effectually concealed the knowledge of its existence from the minds of the ignorant common people." Apostasy of the church of Rome, page 60. I wish Mr. Andrews, or some other Papist, would undertake to answer this book. Until something of the kind be done, I shall continue to believe that Papists themselves consider it unanswerable.
Mr. Cunninghame might have said that the divine commandments were thus mutilated, not in many, but in all the catechisms of the Romish church, until they were ashamed out of their villany by the light of the reformation: and indeed he has said that this mutilated copy of the commandments, which he gives in pages 61, 62, was the only one to be found in the manuals of the Romish church, before the reformation, and even at a later period; and he quotes Dr. Stillingfleet, as challenging a Papist, as lately as 1658, to tell him in what public office of their church the second commandment was to be found.
Indeed, when the priests had made up their minds to deceive the people, it was necessary that they should have recourse to fraud. It was not possible to reduce men and women altogether to the rank of brute beasts, though it was determined to rule them as such. The thinking and reasoning faculty was not quite extinct in the darkest ages. The priests could not inscribe on the wall behind the altar, " Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing in heaven above, or in the earth beneath," and then lay down upon the altar an image, or crucifix, to be worshipped. They could not insert the same words in any of their catechisms for the instruction of the people, and then exhort them to come and pay their devotions before an image of the Virgin Mary. In short, it was quite necessary that they should give up the worship of images, or conceal the divine command which forbids it. They chose to do the latter; and thus, by suppressing a part of the divine law, they took upon themselves the condemnation of all those who, through ignorance, should be guilty of breaking it.
The priests, however, have not yet been entirely shamed out of this piece of fraud and imposition; for the second commandment is still omitted in such of their catechisms as are used in Ireland, and other unenlightened parts of Europe. They have restored it to its place in the catechism which is used in Glasgow, because they have not the
face to conceal it, where every child might detect the imposture. See this subject more fully discussed in my seventeenth number.
Image worship is not publicly practised by Papists in Glasgow, therefore they have restored the commandment to its place; but where the practice exists, the commandment is concealed. This is an unequivocal admission, on the part of the priest, that the practice and the commandment cannot stand together; and they have presumed to exercise the dispensing power, in its highest possible degree, by setting aside an entire precept of the law, which God himself pronounced upon mount Sinai, in the hearing of the whole congregation of Israel.
I proceed now to give the high authorities which sanction image worship in the church of Rome; and I appeal to every reader, whether they do not, though there was nothing else against her, clearly convict that church of the grossest idolatry. The following constitution was established by Thomas Arundell, archbishop of Canterbury, in his provincial council
, held at Oxford, in the year 1408; and if popery were restored in England, this would be found the law of the church there, as really as it was in the fifteenth century. I have the Latin original before me, but I will content myself with Archbishop Usher's translation :-“From henceforth let it be taught commonly, and preached by all, that the cross and the image of the crucifix, and the rest of the images of the saints, in memory and honour of them whom they figure, as also their places and relicts, ought to be worshipped with processions, bendings of the knee, bowings of the body, incensings, kissings, offerings, lighting of candles, and pilgrimages; together with all other manners and forms whatsoever, as hath been accustomed to be done in our, or our predecessors' times."
The following authority is higher than that of any one branch of the Romish church. In the Roman catechism, authorized by the council of Trent, the parish priest is required to instruct the people as follows :—" Not only that it is lawful to have images in the church, and to give honour and worship unto them, (forasmuch as the honour which is done unto them, is referred unto the things which they represent.) but also that this bath still been done to the great good of the faithful; and that the images of saints are put in churches, as well that they may be worshipped, as that we, being admonished by their example, might conform ourselves to their life and manners."
With regard to the nature of the worship which is offered to images, we are taught that "it must not only be confessed that the faithful in the church do adore before the images, (as some peradventure would cautelously speak,) but also adore the image itself, without what scruple you will: yea, they do reverence it with the same worship wherewith they do the thing that is represented thereby. Wherefore, if that ought to be adored with latria, or divine worship, this also is to be adored with latria; if with dulia or hyperdulia, this likewise is to be adored with the same kind of worship. And so we see that Saint Thomas Aquinas doth directly conclude, that the same reverence is to be given to the image of Christ, and Christ himself; and, by consequence, seeing Christ is adored with the adoration of latria, or divine worship, that his image is to be adored with the adoration of
latria." Usher's Answer, pp. 497, 498, with the Latin originals, as quoted by him.
Let it be remembered that St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the highest authorities in the church of Rome. He is called the angelic doctor, because, in his theological speculations, he rose above the rank of ordinary men, and was understood to aproximate that of angels; and Pedro de Cabrero, a great divine in Spain, has declared that "the doctrine delivered by St. Thomas-that the image, and the sampler represented by it, are to be worshipped with the same act of adoration, is most true, most pious, and very consonant to the decrees of faith. This, he says, is the doctrine not only of St. Thomas and of his disciples, but also of all the old schoolmen almost.” Ibid. 499. It was then the doctrine of almost all these great divines, that an image of Christ was to be worshipped with the same adoration as Christ himself; and as Papists were impious enough to make images of God the Father, and of the Holy Spirit, it follows, of course, that these images were all to be worshipped with the same degree of adoration, as that which was offered to the God and Father of all.
I could fill this sheet with the testimonies of other great divines, all to the same purpose; but that I may not rest on the authority of mere individuals, however great and renowned in the church of Rome, I proceed to give the solemn authentic canon of the council of Trent: “Sess. 25th. That the images of Christ, and of the blessed virginmother of God, and other saints, are to be kept and reserved, especially in churches, and due honour and veneration to be given them; not for that any divinity or virtue is believed to be in them, for which they are to be worshipped, or that any thing is to be asked of them, or any confidence to be placed in them, as was anciently done by the heathens, who put their trust in idols, but because the honour which is exhibited to images, is referred to the prototype, or thing represented by them: so that by the image which we kiss, and before which we kneel, or put off our hats, we adore Christ, and reverence his saints, whom the said images represent."
Such is the solemn decision and authentic canon of the last general council that was held in the Romish church. To the decrees of this council every popish priest is bound by a solemn oath to conform in every respect; and if it were not that a certain priest does not keep his oath, “the images of Christ, and of the blessed virgin-mother of God, and other saints," would be set up and worshipped, even in our own city, so truly Presbyterian, and so distinguished for its opposition to the abominations of Rome, ever since it received the light of the reformation. Justice, however, requires me to say, that the pope has the power of dispensing with such oaths as cannot be conveniently kept; and, therefore, the priest above referred to, may have received a dispensation, freeing him from the obligation of setting up images in his church, until he shall have brought our good citizens io a more exact conformity with Rome.
The grave council enacts it as a law of the church, that “due honour and veneration is to be given to them," (i. e. the images.) Now those who are acquainted with human nature, especially those who have studied the human character as it appears in a state of gross ignorance, know, that the due honour and veneration here enjoined to be paid to images, will be the highest veneration and honour of which they are capable; that, in short, all the worship which they have to give, will be given to the images which the church has set up. To say that no divinity or virtue is in the image, or that nothing is to be asked of it, is saying no more than the heathen would say of their images. They did not regard the block of wood or stone as God, any more than the Papists do. The Hindoo mentioned at the beginning of the present number, did not regard the great image as the deity, but only as reminding him of the deity; and I suppose there are few Papists so extremely stupid as to mistake a block of wood, or a piece of stucco, for the real Virgin Mary, though they are guilty of equal stupidity in believing a piece of bread to be really their Saviour. When, therefore, they give due honour to an image, as representing Christ or the Virgin Mary, they are guilty of the very same idolatry as the Pagans were, who honoured the images of their gods, on account of that which they represented.
In short, Papists cannot use a word in defence of their image worship, which was not used by the heathens before them. The heathen declared that the worship of their images was merely relative; and that it had respect to the being whom the image represented. For instance, they worshipped, in one place, Jupiter Capitolinus; in another, Jupiter Olympius; and they understood these to be merely different representations of the same god, not that the image itself was the god. They never could imagine that the sculptor made the god who made himself. This absurdity was left for the darker ages of counterfeit Christianity; but they supposed that the divinity used the image as an occasional place of abode, and they invoked it as residing there. In short, the image-worship of the Romanists is as idolatrous as the calf-worship of the Israelites, and the worship of Venus by Horace and the old Romans. See Antijacobin Review for April last, p. 71.
In Deut. iv. 15, 16, we read as follows: "Take good heed to yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude in the day that God spake to you in Horeb out of the midst of fire; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female." Here the making of any figure as a representation of the God that spoke to them, is declared to be a corrupting of theinselves; and a reason is given, namely, that God did not appear to them under any similitude. When he spoke to them out of the midst of the fire, they saw no resemblance of any thing in heaven, or in the earth, or in the sea. Any figure, therefore, which they could make, would be a creature of their own fancy, and, according to their gross and carnal conceptions, would have been dishonouring to that God who is a Spirit, invisible, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. To attempt to make an image, or any resemblance of the eternal and invisible God, indicates a state of mind the most grossly estranged from the knowledge of the true God; yet this state of mind actually exists ainong our Glasgow Papists; and it is a vowed by Amicus VERITATIS, who speaks of the material building called the Catholic chapel, as resembling the majesty of that God to whose service it is dedicated. He means this to be understood of the true God; but it is evident that he was thinking of an idol, and of a material one too, seeing it could
find a resemblance in timber and stone, cut into figures as ridiculous as any which our pagan ancestors worshipped in the valleys or upon the mountains.
The image by which Papists could represent God the Father, is that of an old man, to denote wisdom and eternity;* though to represent eternity by the utmost period of mortal life, is a thousand times more absurd than to represent the ocean by a drop of water; and as for the greatest wisdom of the aged among men, it is as far from that of God, as a few years are from eternity. The image of Christ is usually that of a human body extended upon a cross : and they represent the Holy Spirit under the image of a dove, from a mistaken apprehension, I suppose, of the meaning of those passages in the gospel history which describe the descent of the Holy Ghost upon Jesus Christ. It is said, John i. 32, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him." God was pleased to point out the Saviour to John the Baptist, by a sign from heaven. This sign was the descent of the Holy Ghost, in a bodily or visible form, as in Luke iii. 22. But we are not told what that form was. It descended like a dove, that is, as a dove descends, slowly hovering over the object on which it is about to alight. If to represent the Holy Ghost under the figure of a dove be a popish error, candour requires me to admit, that it is one in which they have been followed by most of those Protestants who carnalize the Bible by the unnecessary accompaniment of pictures.
It is evident that Jesus Christ never intended that his people should have any picture, or visible representation, even of his human body, for no means were used either by himself or by his disciples to preserve the likeness ; much less could it be his intention that they should have a visible representation of the divine nature, as subsisting in Father, Son, or Holy Spirit; yet Papists have gone to such a length in impiety as to make an image of the Trinity, in the form of a man with three faces.
It would appear that the church of Rome cannot put her hand to any religious matter without corrupting it. Though they have given the second commandment in the Douay Catechism, blending it with the first, yet they have mistranslated one phrase in it, so as to conceal the prohibition of their practice of prostration before images. Their translation is, “ Thou shalt not adore nor worship them,” which ought strictly to be rendered, “ Thou shalt not bow thyself to them, and shalt not serve them.” The commandnient, as given in the Douay Catechism, therefore, does not prohibit the kneeling before images, or any other mark of worship, provided it be not adoration, or worship, in the highest sense. One of their questions on the commandment is as follows:-" Is it lawful to honour the images of Christ and his saints ?
"That church," says Mr. Cunninghame, page 71, “is chargeable with the toleration of images even of the first person of the Godhead, the eternal Father. I myself saw a picture of this kind in one of the churches of Antwerp, about twenty-five years ago; and the existence of such abominations is acknowledged in an Abridgment of Sacred History by L'Abbé Fleury, which is in my possession. The images,' says he,' which represent the divine persons, are drawn from the sacred scriptures. God has sometimes appeared to his prophets under the form of a venerable old man, to signify his eternity.' ” Mr. C. justly remarks on the words printed in italics, “This is one of those instances of daring falsehood, whereby the Romish church deceives the people."