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A. Yes, if rightly understood ; because the honour given them, is referred to the things they represent; so that by the images, or crosses, which we kiss, and before which we kneel, we honour and adore Christ himself.” This is precisely such an answer as an ancient Roman would have given, had he been interrogated as to his worshipping the image of Jupiter.
Now we shall see that the words bowing and kissing are the very terms used in scripture to denote divine worship: and the giving of which to any creature or image is declared to be idolatry. In the 72d Psalm, the worship which shall be paid to Messiah himself is expressed by the words,-" They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him;" and, in the 95th Psalm, it is said, “ Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” “In both these passages, bowing before, and kneeling before God and Christ, are expressive of the worship paid to them. In like manner," continues Mr. Cunninghame, p. 70, "the worship to be paid to the Son of God, by the kings of the earth, is expressed in Psalm ii. 12, by the words · Kiss the Son;' and the seven thousand in Israel, who had not been partakers of the sin of idolatry, are designated as all the knees who had not boued to Baal, and the mouths which had not kissed him. But this very worship, so far as the external acts are concerned, the Papists pay to the images of saints. Therefore they do thereby grossly and palpably violate the commandment which forbids the worship of images."
The strong language of Job (chap. xxxi. 26—28) is decisive on this point. If he had looked upon the sun or the moon, and merely kissed his own hand, in token of respect, he says this would have been deny. ing the God that is above. In Hosea, xiji. 2, to kiss the calves, the golden calves of Dan and Bethel, is represented as the most heinous idolatry; and yet Papists are taught by the Douay Catechism to kiss and bow down before images of wood and stone. I have been told that the great toe of the image of Peter in Rome has been actually kissed away, by devout citizens and strangers, in the course of ages. It would require some skill in calculation to say how many kisses would consume two or three inches of marble or bronze.
I shall conclude this number with the prayer used in the consecration of images, as it is found in the Rituale Romanum, authorized by Pope Urban VIII. “Grant, O God, that whosoever before this image shall diligently and humbly, upon his knees, worship and honour thy only begotten Son, or the blessed virgin, (according as the image is that is consecrating) or this glorious apostle, or martyr, or confessor, or virgin, that he may obtain, by his or her merits, and intercession, grace in this present life, and eternal glory hereafter.” “Now," says Mr. Cunninghame, from whom I quote, “ if this be not gross idolatry, let the church of Rome show wherein the worship of Jupiter and Apollo was idolatry.”
I expect to finish, in my next number, this subject, and that of worshipping relics. My fiftieth number will conclude the first volume of THE PROTESTANT, when an index will be given. I intend, in that number, to insert the declarations of three credible witnesses, which completely prove the story which Mr. Andrews has so often called a forgery. These declarations were taken down by a notary public, and are offered to be verified by oath. Two Papists were present
during part of the examination of my first witness; and they were invited to wait and hear the whole, and cross-examine them all, which, however, they did not do.
IDOLATRY OF THE JEWS. DECEPTION PRACTISED IN IMAGE WORSHIP. STORY OF AN IMAGE OF MARY AT LUCCA.
PICTURE OF ST. DOMINIC, SAID TO HAVE BEEN PAINTED IN HEAVEN. HISTORICAL NOTICE OF HIS, AS FOUNDER OF THE INQUISITION. HIS CHARACTER. PRETENDED CURE OF A BLIND BOY, NEAR EDINBURGH, DETECTED.
SATURDAY, June 19th, 1819. I BELIEVE it is generally supposed, that the children of Israel took the idea of making and worshipping the image of a call, from the Egyptian Apis; but it is not so generally understood, that Apis was probably no more than the image which the Egyptians made, and afterwards worshipped, in honour of Joseph, their great preserver. learn from Pere Lamy, who, upon the authority of Jewish Antiquities, gives the banners, or standards of the twelve tribes, that that of Ephraim, as constituted the head of the house of Joseph, was the figure of an ox. Perhaps it is in allusion to this banner of the tribe, exhibited in the midst of the congregation, that Moses says concerning Joseph, Deut. xxxiii. 17, “ His glory is like the firstlings of his bul. lock," &c., denoting the strength and vivacity of that tribe.
Considering the general prevalence of idolatry, it was not to be wondered at that the Egyptians should give divine honours to Joseph after his death; and Julius Firmicus tells us expressly that they did so. “The Egyptians,” says he, “after his death, according to the appointment of their country, built temples to him. And again, this man is worshipped in Egypt, he is adored, &c." St. Augustine, or whoever else was the author of that book which bears his name, De Mirabilibus Scripturæ, was of the same opinion, as also Ruffinus, 1. 2. Hist. Eccles. c. 23. They say that the Egyptians " set up the symbol of an ox over the sepulchre of Joseph, in memory of their deliverance;" and these writers, together with Suidas, adds, that "his statue was set up with a bushel upon his head, to denote the plenty of corn which he provided for them.” See Discourse concerning Idolatry, anon, p. 28.
To this let me add, as a conjecture of my own, that the idea of representing Joseph under the figure of an ox, might have been taken from the fat and lean kine which were the subjects of Pharoah's dream, the interpretation of which suggested the measures which were taken for the preservation of the whole nation. Be this as it may, if there be any truth in the opinion expressed by the above writers, it accounts for the readiness with which the children of Israel fell into the sin of worshipping the calf or young bullock. Joseph had been the preserver of their nation as well as of the Egyptians; and such was the grossness of their conceptions, that they expected, perhaps, that he would preserve them again, when they thought Moses had left them; or perhaps they looked for deliverance from God through the intercession of
Joseph, VOL. I. -46
for they had not altogether disowned the true God, any more than Papists do when they worship images. They called the feast of the calf, a feast to the Lord; and ihey might consider him as somehow dwelling in the image of their great patriarch, who, as a Papist would say, had such great merit before God, that he could procure from him what he pleased; for they said, “ These be thy gods, O Israel, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." It is worthy of remark too, that Jeroboam, who set up the golden calves of Dan and Bethel, was descended from Joseph by Ephraim, which may account for his preference of this idol.
From the time that Jeroboam set up these calves, the ten tribes, to use a vulgar expression, had not a day to do well. Every thing went wrong with them. They were made to suffer all the calamities of war and famine, and every species of misery that can affect the human race, in the present life. This was because they had set up idols, a crime of which God had declared his abhorrence, and against which he had pronounced the heaviest judgments.
What was declared to be so great a crime under the Old Testament, cannot be considered less, but rather more heinous, under the New Testament. To make an image of the Virgin Mary, or any saint, and set it up even as a representation of some object of worship, cannot be less offensive to the true God now, than the making the golden calves or the image of Baal was in former times. Throughout the Old Testament history we find that God never forgot, and never ceased to remind the people, of the sin of Jeroboam, wherewith he made Israel to sin ; and can we suppose that he overlooks the gross idolatries of the church of Rome? He does not send prophets to reprove them as he did to Jeroboam ; but he has given the complete volume of his word, which declares his abhorrence of idolatry, and that it shall not go unpunished. Neither does he, in such a visible and sensible manner, connect the punishment with the sin, as he did in the case of Israel; but the punishment is not on that account the less certain; and it will be so much the more dreadful that it has been long delayed.
Deceit and falsehood are necessary accompaniments of image worship. The system is founded on lies, and supported by all deceivableness of unrighteousness. This has impressed a character upon the general body, which appears in almost every thing that they say and write on the subject of their religion and worship. Nay, some of their great casuists have declared a lie to be no sin, or only what they call a venial one, if it be to promote the glory of God, or one's own advantage. This system of falsehood and deceit appears in nothing more than in the lying wonders which they relate concerning their images. Every one knows what foolish stories are related of the miraculous house of Loretta, and of the miraculous image of the Virgin Mary, which is the idol of the place. Middleton tells us “ihat in the bigh street of Loretta which leads to the holy house, the shops are filled with beads, crucifixes, Agnus Deis, and all the trinkets of popish manufacture; where I observed printed certificates, or testimonials affixed to each shop, declaring all their toys to have been touched by the blessed image : which certificates are provided for no other purpose, but to humour the general persuasion, both of the buyer and
the seller, that some virtue is communicated by that touch, from a power residing in the image.” “For what else,” says he, " say of those miraculous images, as they are called in every great town of Italy, but that some divinity and power is universally believed to reside in them? Are not all their people persuaded, and do not all their books testify, that these images have sometimes moved themselves from one place to another; have wept, talked, and wrought many miracles; and does not this necessarily imply an extraordinary power residing in them?"
Preface, page xxvii. “In one of the churches of Lucca, they show an image of the virgin, with the child Jesus in her arms, of which they relate this story. That a blaspheming gamester, in a rage of despair, took up a stone and threw it at the infant; but the virgin, to preserve him from the blow which was levelled at his head, shifted him instantly from her right arm into the left, in which he is now held; while the blasphemer was swallowed up by the earth upon the spot, where the hole, which they declare to be unfathomable, is still kept open and enclosed only with a grate, just before the altar of the image. The virgin, however, received the blow upon her shoulder, whence the blood presently issued, which is preserved in a chrystal, and produced with the greatest ceremony, by the priest in his vestments, with tapers lighted, while all the company kiss the sacred relic on their knees.” Wright's Travels at Lucca, quoted by Middleton, pref. xxviii. On which the doctor justly remarks. “Now, does not the attestation of this miracle naturally tend to persuade people, that there is an actual power residing in the image, which can defend itself from injuries, and inflict vengeance on all who dare to insult it ?"
St. Dominic, it is well known, was the founder of the Inquisition ; and he has been, of course, a great favourite with the high authorities in the Romish church.“ One of the most celebrated images in Italy," says Dr. Middleton, “is that of St. Dominic, of Surriano in Calabria, which, as their histories testify, was brought down from heaven about two centuries ago, by the Virgin Mary in person, accompanied by Mary Magdalene and St. Catherine. Before this glorious picture, as they affirm, great numbers of the dead have been restored to life, and hundreds from the agonies of death; the dumb, the blind, the deaf, the lame, have been cured, and all sorts of seases and mortal wounds have been healed: all which facts are attested by public notaries, and confirmed by the relations of cardinals, prelates, generals, and priors of that order; and the certainty of them so generally believed, that from the 9th of July to the 9th of August, the anniversary festival of the saint, they have always counted above a hundred thousand pilgrims, and many of them of the highest quality, who come from different parts of Europe, to pay their devotions, and make their offerings at this picture.” La vie si. Dominic, p. 599, 4to. à Paris, 1647, as quoted by Middleton.
Aringhus, touching upon the subject, in his elaborate account of subterraneous Rome, observes, " that the images of the blessed virgin shine out continually by new and daily miracles, to the comfort of their votaries, and the confusion of all gainsayers. Within these few years," says he, “under every pope, successively, some or other of our sacred images, especially of the more ancient, have made themselves illustri
ous, and acquired a peculiar worship and veneration by the exhibition of fresh signs; as it is notorious to all who dwell in this city. But how can I pass over in silence the image of St. Dominic; so conspicuous at this day for its never ceasing miracles; which attract the resort and admiration of the whole Christian world. This picture, which as pious tradition informs us, was brought down from heaven, about the year of our redemption, 1530, is a most solid bulwark of the church of Christ, and a noble monument of the pure faith of Christians, against all the impious opposers of image worship. The venerable image is drawn indeed but rudely, without the help of art or pencil; sketched out by a celestial hand; with a book in its right and a lily in its left hand; of a moderate stature, but of a grave and comely aspect: with a robe reaching down to the heels. Those who have written its history, assert that the painters, in their attempts to copy it, have not always been able to take similar copies : because it frequently assumes a different air, and rays of light have been seen by some to issue from its countenance; and it has more than once removed itself from one place to another. The worship, therefore, of this picture, is become so famous through all Christendom, that multitudes of people, to the number of a hundred thousand and upwards, flock annually to pay their devotions to it, on the festival of the saint: and though it be strange which I have now related, yet what I am going to say is still stranger, that not only the original picture, made not by human but by heavenly hands, is celebrated by its daily miracles, but even the copy of it, which is piously preserved in this city, in the monastery called St. Mary's, above the Minerva, is famous also, in these our days, for its perpetual signs and wonders, as the numberless votive offerings hanging around it, and the bracelets and jewels which adorn it, testify.'' Mid. pref. p. xxxi. fc.
If Papists are pleased to believe all this, I cannot help it; but I hope few arguments are necessary to convince every Protestant reader that the whole story is made up of lies and imposition. It is a curious fact, that those who are trained to lying, as Papists are, are the most inclined to believe lies, which is accounted for from their being given up to strong delusion. No doubt, then, they believe very firmly all that their priests tell them about these miraculous images, and that miraculous picture, which, though they say it was made in heaven, is yet such a daub that no artist on earth would own it. The circumstance, however, of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims coming to it, accounts for its popularity. It is a gainful imposture, and therefore the priests use all their art, and forge many fine stories to keep up the credit of it.
The worship thus paid to the image of St. Dominic, is, I think, one of the worst features in the character of modern Rome. The characters of men may be known from the object of their worship, or from the qualities wbich are supposed to reside in that object. Thus the worshippers of Bacchus and Venus were notorious for all manner of licentiousness; the worshippers of Moloch caused their children to pass through the fire in honour of their idol. Dominic was the Moloch of the church of Rome; and the adorations paid to him at this day, show the bloody intolerant character of modern Papists; that, in fact, they are what they have always been, whenever they have the opportunity of exhibiting their true character.