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ART. Great, which condemned the Nicene council, together with the
worship of images.
The Gallican church insisted long upon
who think it so incredible a thing, that churches should depart
". from their received traditions, answer this as they can. As Action. 4, for the methods then used, and the arguments that were then 5, 6, 7. brought to infuse this doctrine into the world, he who will
read the history and acts of the Nicene council, will find enough to incline him to a very bad opinion, both of the men and of their doctrine; though he were ever so much inclined to think well of them. After all, though that council laid the foundation of image-worship, yet the church of Rome has made great improvements in it since. Those of Nice expressed a detestation of an image made to represent the Deity; they go no higher than the images of Christ and the saints; whereas since that time the Deity and the Trinity have been represented by images and pictures: and that not only by connivance, but by authority in the church of Rome. Bellarmine,* Suarez, and others, prove the lawfulness of such images from the general practice of the church. Others go further, and from the caution given in the decree of the council of Trent, concerning the images of God, do infer, that they are allowed by that council, provided they be decently made. Directions are also given concerning the use of the image of the Trinity in public offices among them. In a word, all their late doctors agree, that they are lawful, and reckon the calling that in question to be not only rashness, but an error; and such as have held it unlawful to make such images were especially condemned at Rome, December 17, 1690. The varieties of those images, and the boldness of them, are things apt to give horror to modest minds, not accustomed to
* Bellarm. I. ii. c. 8. De Relig. et imagin. Sanct. Suarez, M. 3. Ysambert de Mist. Incarn. ad quæst. 25. dis. 3. Vasquez in 3 Aquin, disp. 113. c. 3. et d'sp. cxlv. cc. 3. 4. Cajetan. in 3 Aquin. quæst. 25. A. 3.
such attempts. It must be acknowledged, that the old em- ART. blematical images of the Egyptians, and the grosser ones now X2 used by the Chinese, are much more instructing, and much less scandalous figures.
As the Roman church has gone beyond the Nicene council Con. Nic. in the images that they allow of, so they have also gone be
2. Act. 7. yond them in the degrees of the worship that they offer to them. At Nice the worship of images was very positively decreed, with anathemas against those who did it not:* a bare honour they reckoned was not enough. They thought it was a very valuable argument, that was brought from those words of Christ to the Devil, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve;' that here service is only appropriated to God, but not worship. Among the acts of worship they reckon the oblation of incense and lights; and the reason given by them for all this is, because the honour of the image, or type, passes to the original, or prototype; so that plain and direct worship was to terminate on the image itself: and Durandus passed for little less than a heretic, because he Duran. in thought that images were worshipped only improperly and Senten.l.
3. dist. 9. abusively, because at their presence we call to mind the object : 2.n. represented by them, which we worship before the image, as if the object itself were before us.
The council of Nice did plainly assert the direct worship of images, but they did as positively declare,t that they meant
• Nice 2, Act, 1. Labbai et Cossartii, vol. vii. p. 60. Paris, 1671. Adrian I. Pope, anno 787.
*Sanctæ et universali synodo Theodosius exiguus Christianus. Confiteor, et polliceor, et recipio amplector atque adoro principaliter intemeratam iconam domimi Nostri Jesu Christi veri Dei Nostri, et iconam Dei genetricis, quæ illum sine semine peperit; et auxilium et protectionem ejus, et intercessiones illius unaquaque die ac nocte invoco ut peccator in adjutorium meum, tanquam eam, quæ habeat confidentiam apud Christum Dominum Nostrum, qui ex ea natus est. Pari modo sanctorum et laudabilissimorum Apostolorum, prophetarum, et martyrum, et patrum atque cultorum eremi iconas recipio et adoro, non tanquam deos (absit) sed affectum et amorem animæ meæ, quem habebam prius in eos, etiam nunc ostendens, rogo cunctos illos ex tota anima ut intercedant pro me ad Deum, quatenus det mihi per intercessiones eorum invenire misericordiam penes se in die judicii. Similiter et lipsana sanctorum adoro et honoro, et amplector, tanquam eorum qui decertaverint pro Christo, et acceperint gratiam ab ipso ad sanitatis efficiendas, et languores curandos, et dæmones ejiciendos, quemadmodum ecclesia Christianorum suscepit a sanctis Apostolis et patribus, et usque ad nos. Pingi autem consentio in ecclesiis sanctorum principaliter iconam domini Nostri Jesu Christi et sanctæ Dei genetricis, ex varia materia auri et argenti, et omni colore : ut carnea dispensatio ipsius omnibus innotescat.-His qui non adorant, anathema. His qui audent detrahere, &c. vel vocare illas idola, anathema. His qui non docent diligenter cunctum Christi ama. torem populum adorare venerabiles iconas, &c. &c. anathema.'-[Ep.)
+ Act 7. Vol. vii. p. 556.
• Definimus in omni certitudine ac diligentia, sicut figuram preciosæ ac vivificæ crucis, ita venerabiles ac sanctas imagines proponendas, tam quæ de coloribus et tessellis, quam quæ ex alia materia congruentur in sanctis Dei ecclesiis, et sacris vasis, et vestibus, et in parietibus ac tabulis, domibus et viis : tam videlicet imaginem domini Dei et salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi quam intemeratæ dominæ nostræ sanctæ Dei genetricis, honorabilumq. angelorum, et omnium sanctorum simul et almorum virorum. Quanto enim frequentius per imaginalem formationem videntur, tanto qui has contemplantur, alacrius eriguntur ad primitivorum earum memoriam et desi
ART. only that it should be an honorary adoration, and not the true XXII. latria, which was only due to God. And whatever some
modern representers and expositors of the Roman doctrine may say, to soften the harshness of the worship of images, it
is very copiously proved, both from the words of the council Con. Nic. of Nice, and from all the eminent writers in that communion,
even from the time of Aquinas,* and of the modern schoolmen, and writers of controversy, that direct worship ought to be offered to the image itself: this reserve of the latria to God, being an evident proof, that all inferior acts of worship were allowed them. But this reserve does no way please the later writers; for Aquinas, and many from him do teach, that the same acts and degrees of worship which are due to the original, are also due to the image; they think an image has such a relation to the original, that both ought to be worshipped by the same act, and that to worship the image with any other sort of acts, is to worship it on its own account, which they think is idolatry. Whereas others adhering to the Nicene doctrine, think that the image is to be worshipped with an inferior degree, that otherwise idolatry must follow. So here the danger of idolatry is threatened of both sides; and since one of them must be chosen, thus it will follow, that let a man do what he can, he must commit idolatry, according to
the opinion of some very subtile and learned men among them. Con. Trid. The council of Trent did indeed decline to give a clear de
cision in this matter, and only decreed, that due worship should be given to images ;t but did not determine what that due
derium, et ad osculum, et ad honorariam his adorationem tribuendam. Non tamen ad veram latriam, quæ secundum fidem est, quæq. solam divinam naturam decet, impartiendam : ita ut istis, sicuti figuræ preciosæ ac vivificæ crucis et sanctis evangeliis et reliquis sacris monumentis, incensorum et luminum oblatio ad harum honorem efficiendum exhibeatur, quemadmodum et antiquis piæ consuetudinis erat. Imaginis enim honor ad primitivum transit : et qui adorat imaginem, adorat in ea depicti subsistentiam.'
And in the same council we have the following adoration of the cross-see Act VII. p. 583. Crucem tuam adoramus domine, et adoramus lauceam quæ aperuit vivificum latus tuæ bonitatis.'-[Ed.]
* Aquin. 2. p. q. 25. art. 3. See to the same purpose, Alex. Hales, Bonaven ture, Ricardus de Media villa palud. Almans. Biel Summa Angelica, and many more cited by bishop Stillingfleet's Defence of the Charge of Idolatry, part Ii. chap. 2.
+ The following is the decree of the council of Trent concerning the worship of relics and images :
Sanctorum quoque martyrum, et aliorum cum Christo viventium sancta corpora, quæ viva membra fuerunt Christi, et templum Spiritus sancti, ab ipso ad æternam vitam suscitanda et glorificanda, a fidelibus venerande esse : per quæ multa beneficia a Deo hominibus præstantur: ita ut affirmantes, sanctorum reliquiis venerationem atque honorem non deberi ; vel eas aliaque sacra monumenta a fidelibus inutiliter honorari; atque eorum opis impetrandæ causa sanctorum memorias frustra frequentari; omnino damnandos esse, prout jampridem eos damnavit, et nunc ctiam damnat ecclesia. Imagines proro Christi, deiparæ Virginis, et aliorum sanctorum, in templis præsertim habendas et retinendas, iisque debitum honorem et venerationem impertiendam; non quod credatur inesse aliqua in iis divinitas, vel virtus, propter quam sint colendæ; vel quod ab eis sit aliquid petendum ; vel quod fiducia in imaginibus sit figenda, veluti olim fiebat a gentilibus, quæ in idolis spem
worship was. And though it appears by the decree, that there ART. were abuses committed among them in that matter, yet they XXII. only appoint some regulations, concerning such images as were to be suffered, and that others were to be removed; but they left the divines to fight out the matter concerning the due worship that ought to be given to images. They were See bishop then in haste, and intended to offend no party; and as they stillingwould not justify all that had been said or done concerning pra. the worship of images, so they would condemn no part of it: yet they.confirmed the Nicene council, and in particular made use of that maxim of theirs, that the honour of the type goes to Pont. the prototype; and thus they left it as they found it. So that Rom.Ordo the dispute goes on still as hot as ever. The practice of the imme
of the ad Recip. Roman church is express for the latria to be given to images: Rubri. and therefore all that write for it do frequently cite that hymn, Crux Aue spes unica, auge piis justitiam, reisque dona veniam. It is expressly said in the Pontifical, Cruci debetur latria, and the prayers, used in the consecration of a cross; it is prayed,* that the blessing of that cross,,on which Christ hung, may be in it, that it may be a healthful remedy to mankind, a strengthener of faith, an increaser of good works, the redemption of souls, and a comfort, protection, and defence, against the cruelty of our enemies. . These with all the other acts of adoration used among them, seem to favour those who are for a latria to be given to all those images, to the originals of which it is due; and in the like proportion for dulia and hyperdulia to other images. It is needless to prosecute this matter further.
It seemed necessary to say so much, to justify our church, which has in her Homilies laid this charge of idolatry very severely on the church of Rome; and this is so high an imputation, that those who think it false, as they cannot, with a good conscience, subscribe, or require others to subscribe the Article concerning the Homilies, so they ought to retract their own subscriptions, and to make solemn reparations in justice and honour, for laying so heavy an imputation unjustly upon that whole communion.
There is nothing that can be brought from scripture, that
suam collocabant; sed quoniam honos, qui eis exhibetur, refertur ad prototypa, quæ illæ repræsentant : ita ut per imagines, quas osculamur, et coram quibus caput aperimus et procumbimus, Christum adoremus, et sanctos, quorum illæ similitudinem gerunt veneremur; id quod conciliorum, præsertim vero secundæ Nicænæ synodi, decretis contra imaginum oppugnatores est sancitum.' Sessio xxv. In this Sessio the council of Trent, it will be observed, appeals to the authority of the second Nicene council on the subject of image-worship.-[Ed.]
* In benedictione novæ Crucis.
Rogamus te Domine, sancte Pater, omnipotens sempiterne Deus, ut digneris benedicere hoc lignum Crucis tuæ, ut sit remedium salutare generi humano, sit soliditas fidei, profectus bonorum operum, redemptio animarum, sit solamen et protectio ac tutela contra sæva jacula inimicorum. Per Dom.
Sanctificetur lignum istud in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, et benedictio illius ligni in quo membra sancta Salvatoris suspensa sunt sit in isto ligno, ut orantes inclinantesque se propter Deum ante istam crucem inveniant corporis et animæ sanitatem per eundem.
ART. has a show of an argument for supporting image-worship, un
XXII. less it be that of the cherubims that were in the holiest of Heb.ix. 3, all; and they, as is supposed, were worshipped, at least by 5,7. the high-priest when he went thither, once a year, if not by
the whole people. But first there is a great difference to be made between a form of worship immediately prescribed by God, and another form that not only has no warrant for it, but seems to be very expressly forbidden. It is plain, the cherubims were not seen by the people, and so they could be no visible object of worship to them. They were scarce seen by the high-priest himself, for the holiest of all was quite dark; no light coming into it, but what came through the veil from the holy place; and even that had very little light. Nor is there a word concerning the high-priest's worshipping either the ark or the cherubim. It is true, there is a place in the
Psalms that seems to favour this; as it is rendered by the
cix. Vulgar, 'worship his footstool, for it is holy;' but both the 5, 9.
Hebrew and the Septuagint have it, as it is in our translation,
worship at his footstool, for he is holy;' and all the Greek fathers cite these words so. Many of the Latin fathers do also cite them according to the Greek; and the last words of the Psalm, in which the same words are repeated, make the sense of it evident: for there it is thus varied, 'Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy.' These words coming so soon after the former, are a paraphrase to them, and determine their sense. No doubt the high-priest worshipped God, who dwelt between the cherubims, in that cloud of glory in which he shewed himself visibly present in his temple; but there is no sort of reason to think, that in so majestic a presence, adoration could be offered to any thing else; or that after the highpriest had adored the divine essence so manifested, he would have fallen to worship the ark and the cherubims. This agrees ill with the figure that is so much used in this matter of a king and his chair of state ; for in the presence of the king, all respects terminate in his person, whatsoever may be done in his absence.
And thus, this being not so much as a precedent, much less an argument, for the use of images; and there being nothing else brought from scripture, that with any sort of wresting can be urged for it, and the sense and practice of the whole church being so express against it, the progress of it having been so long and so much disputed, the tendency of it to superstition and abuse being by their own confession so visible; the scandal that it gives to Jews and Mahometans being so apparent, and it carrying in its outward appearances such a conformity (to say at present no more) to heathenish idolatry, we think we have all possible advantages in this argument. We adhere to that purity of worship which is in both Testaments so much insisted on; we avoid all scandal,