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The Princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their
De verbis hactenus.
of the text are two
In the first, 1. Peccatum, that is, idolatry. 2. Pœna: Va Woe:
1. A defcription of the idolatry of the heathen Babel.
1. Idolatry is a trust in, and an invocation of graven and molten images, dumb idols.
First here is truft, then followeth invocation, and that is the Apostles method in all religious adoration. How shall they call on Romilon4 him in whom they have not believed?
This doth open to us the occafion of this laft imputation to them of idolatry; for what hath made them fo proud, fo cruel, fo covetous, fo voluptuous, as the opinion that they have in the protection of their gods? therefore now at laft God overthroweth that alfo, and doth fhew them that in religion they are moft of all wrong.
If you defire a general definition of idolatry, which comprehendeth all kinds, I think this is full of comprehension. It is CulLuis Religiofus exhibitus Creature, A religious worship given to
Learn then that no nation of the world did ever deny a divine Power, but acknowledged fome God in whom they trufted,and whom in their neceffities they called upon; and because this invifible Godhead was out of fight, they devised idols, which they erected for representation of their gods, which they alfo worfhipped with divine honours, and this we call idolatry, or the worshipping of idols. They faw that there was much to do in the Government of the world, and therefore they adored many gods, as thinking it too much to believe any one God able to manage the univerfal Government of all things.
These gods they reprefented fome formes either caft in mettal, or graven in gold, filver, wood and ftone: this they call d ab isda, video to fee, fignifying somewhat that was to be feen; for
they walked by fight and not by faith, and would have somewhat to fee before they would worship.
2. The vanity of this worship is derided here, because this idol which they worshipped could profit them nothing; for no man would do fervice, where nothing is to be gained: by it.
He proveth that it cannot profit.
1. Because it hath a Maker;for fo there was a time when it was not; and how can he profit a man, that is beholding to man for his making?
2. Because every idol is a teacher of lies; for it teacheth a man to truft in his own work, and is a meer illufion,planting his truft, and directing his worship in and to that which is able to do him no good when he needeth,
3. Because these idols are dumbe, and can give man no answer to his demands or Petitions.
4. Because when man hath bestowed his workmanship upon it, and all his cost in over-laying it with gold and filver, it is yet a dumb ftatue, it hath no lite in it; there is no breath at all in the midst of it. So that the doctrine of this place is;
Idolatry is a grievous fin.
The reasons to prove this are great; two chiefly.
1. In respect of God; there is no fin that doth more difhonour God; because this doth as it were un-god him, and fetteth up the creature in the place of the Creator, at once breaking the two firft Commandments of the first Table of Gods holy Law.
SI. Thou shalt have no other gods but me.
But this reafon God omitteth, as having now to do with those who knew not the true God.
2. He urgeth a fecond reafon;this fin is against them that commit it; for they truft in, and call upon that thing which cannot profit them; the two great acts of Religion caft away and loft, that is, trust and invocation.
This is a great Argument in our temporal affairs; man beftow his time, his labour, his love and fervice, profit is like to arise to him ?
for will a
But this kind of idolatry is fo extinguished by the light of the Gofpel, and fo little caufe of fear of it, that I need bellow no time nor pains on it; for there is none of us, who doth not con. feffe one God in three Perfons.
But there is an idolatry amongst thofe that call themselves Chriftians, and would have none be the Church of God but themselves, that is the Church of Rome, and though they proteft against it, and plead not guilty to our accufation, yet the evidence of truth will convince them of it.
Under the name of idol, Cardinal Bellarmine doth understand only falfam fimilitudinem reprefentantem id quod revera non eft, a falle fimilitude reprefenting that which indeed is not, as the dols. He faith the heathen did reprefent fained gods, such as never were; but were only the fictions of humane device, they have none fuch.
Theirs are imagines: imago ab imitando, of imitating, and they be Counterfeits, reprelenting in fimilitude fuch Ferfons as God have been, and have lived in the world.
So idols they defie,images they embrace. In this very be ginning of their defence, both abfurd in the ftrife of words, making diftinction where there is no difference, for dev is pro perly a vifible Reprefentation, and fo is an image, and therefore both in Greek, Latine and English one and the fame thing; but the custome of fpeech hath impropriated certain words to fr fict ons,as that an image is the reprefentation of an ching,but an idol is commonly taken with us for the reprefentation of fome thing that is worshipped.
Therefore the best part of the Papifts defence of their Reli gion against our imputation of idolatry, is this.
1.That for the images that they do retain,cither in the Churchoratories, or in their private ufe, they know them in their mat rer to be no other then the creatures of God, of wood, flone, mettal, or fome other mixt matter; they know them to be in their formes the art of the workman; they do know and con feffe them to be dead, inanimate, fenteleffe things in themfelves, and they protest against any adoration of them as much (they fay) as we do. Here Cardinal Bellarmine fpeaks for the reft, and The will charge the Proteftant Church with flander in this point
and say there is no fuch matter, they do not worship any
He complaineth, that by this flander, fome of the Proteftants have fo diftafted the Religion of Rome to many that 'knows it not, that though they do hear of worthy men amongst them, who for gravity of manners, holineffe of life, and all exemplary vertues deferve reverence and refpect, yet our opinion of their idolatry diftafteth them lo to us, that we will not heare them fpeak.
2. They answer, that their images are of two forts which they ufe in divine worship.
Either they be of God,or of the creature.
In the images which reprefent God, they only do worhipGod in the Image, not the Image it felf with Holy-worship. In the images of the Creatures, as of the mother of the Lord, Angels and Saints, they do but honour God in his Saints; and in their invocation they use them but as means of quickning their memories, and turning up their devotions by that which the eye beholdeth and God lofeth no honour by it to have fo many means used to him.
This is that which they give out for themselves, we charge them that they adore creatures, and give divine Worship to. Images,s the heathen did.
For it is plain that they worship the wood of the Croffe, in that they speak that to the Crucifix, which can only be applyed to the Croffe it felf and not to Chrift, Salve crux fpes unica. They adde, thou only wert worthy to bear the ranfome of the world O faithful Croffe. Which agreeth with their doArine,
That all the honour due to the Samplar is given to the image thereof.
And where they excufe their idolatry, that they do not worfhip the image, but God reprefented in the image: if that be not idolatry, neither were the Athenians Idolaters, who wor fhipped in their images the fame God whom Taul preached.
Neither were the Ifraelites idolaters, who worshipped the true God in the Calfe which Aaron made; for they could not
be fo ignorant as to afcribe their deliverance from Ægypt to fuch a thing as Aaron could make.
This doctrine and practice of idolatry in the worship of ima ges came in by little and little into the Church of Rome; for it is clear that there was a time wherein there were no images at all known in the Church.
There were fome defirous then to bring them in, but the councel of Eliberis decreed that no picture or image should be brought into the Church left it should be adored,
And Epiphanius finding an image painted on a cloth, hanging in a Church,rent it down, and said it was against the Authority of Scriptures that any image fhould be in the Church.
Saint Origen faith of his time, nos imagines non adoramus, we do not worship images. Eight hundred years after Chrift the fecond Nicene Councel fet up images; but
The Councel of Franckford, which was a general Councel, and where the Popes Legates were prefent, repealed it, and affirme,
The Catholick Church doth affirme, that mortal man ought to worship God, not by images and Angels, but by Chrift our Lord.
And whatsoever the practice of the Church of Rome now is in the use of them, they shall never be able to reconcile the judgments of their beft learned concerning them. For
Some condemn all divine adoration given to them, fome condemn external bowing before them, fome confeffe that the ancient fathers condemned them, fame think their use dan gerous.
And they which have gone fartheft in defending them, have done it by to nice diftinctions, that the common People cannot understand how to beware of idolatry, themselves not underftanding themselves therein.
Even in the administration of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, they are idolaters in worshipping the hoaft; which I prove from Cardinal Bellarmines own penne De juftif. lib. 3, cap. 8.
Neque poteft certus effe certitudine fidei, fe percipere verum Sacramentum, cum Sacramentum fine intentione miniftri non confici