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unto thee any graven image, &c. Deut. xii. ult. It is not only a sin not to worship God, and not to regard his ordinances, but to worship him in a way which he has not instituted, to bring in ordinances that bear not his stamp. Of this there are two forts,
First, Idolatry. There is a sort of idolatry forbidden in the first command that respects the object of worfhip, when we worship any other than the true God. But the idolatry here forbidden respects the means of worship, when we make use of idols or images in worship, even though we intend ultimately the worshipping of the true God. And here is condemned,
1. All religious imagery; for of images and pictures for a civil or political use merely, the command is not to be understood ; for the command being of the first table, plainly respects religion, Lev. xxvi. 1. and the art of cutting, carving, &c. is a gift of God, Exod. xxxi. 3. 4. 5. and has had God's allowance for the exercise of it, 1 Kings vi. 29. Now, under this article of religious imagery is forbidden,
ist, The making any representation or image of God inwardly in our mind, all carnal imaginations of him, as to conceive of him like a reverend old man, dc. Acts xvii. 29. for God is the object of our understanding, not our imagination, being invisible. This is mental idolatry, which the best are in hazard of.
2dly, The making any outward representation of God by any image. Remarkable is the connection of the first and second command, Thou shalt have no other gods before me: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, &c. It is impossible to get any bodily likeness that can truly represent God as he is; and therefore men that, over the belly of reason and God's own will, will needs have representations of God, are fain to betake themselves to images of fome corruptible thing, the very thing condmned in the Heathens, Rom. i. 23. And therefore it is abominable imagery, and highly injurious to the great God,
to represent him any manner of way. Such abomi. nations are the representing of God by a sun shining with beams, with the name JEHO V AH in it or over it, as in several Bibles : the representing of the Father by an image of an old man; the Son by that of a lamb, or a young man ; or the Father by a large fhining fun, the Son by a lefser sun shining, and the Holy Ghost by a dove, as in some great Bibles from England. It is lamentable to think how frequent of late the blasphemous pictures of Christ hanging or the cross are grown among Protestants, by Rome's art no doubt, to fit the nations for their idolatry. All these are directly contrary to God's word, Il. xl. 18. Deut. iv. 15.-19.
Though Christ be man, yet he is God too, and therefore no image can nor may represent him. Yea
, what image can there be of his body now, seeing he never fat for it ? He is now glorified, and so cannot be pictured as he is even in his human nature. There is nothing more ready to beget mean thoughts of Chrift, Hab. ii. 18.; and if it thould stir up devotion, that is worshipping by an image, which is idolatry here forbidden,
3dly, The having of these images, though we do not worship them. For if it be a lin in itself to make them, how can they be innocent that keep them? Deut. vii. 5. It is a strange inconsistency in fome to pretend to abhor images, and yet themselves will keep ihem. They may be a snare to others, and therefore should be removed, blotted or torn out of books, if in them. For their very being is an injury to the great
, invisible, and incomprehensible Majeity.
4thly, Images of false gods, such as the Heathens worshipped, and of such angels and faints as the P2. pists worship, we should beware of, because of the danger of idolatry, Exod. xxxii. 8. Hezekiah de ftroyed the brazen ferpent, that had been abused to idolatry. A zeal against them as God's rivals, which have got the worship due to him, is very natural to 3
child of God touched with God's honour, Pfal. xvi. 4.
.5thly, Images of God, Christ, angels, or faints, ought not to be set up in churches or places of worfhip, though inen do not worship them. (1.) Because they are monuments of idolatry, that ought to be removed, Deut. vii. 5. and destroyed, Exod. xxiii. 24. (2.) Hezekiah is commended for breaking the brazen serpent, because the children of Israel burnt incense to it, 2 Kings xviii. 4. (3.) It is stumbling, as an occafion of idolatry, and as it prejudices Turks and Jews against the Christian religion, and grieves the hearts of tender Chriftians,
2. All idolatrous worship is forbidden here as abominable idolatry, Thou fhalt not bow down thyself G to them nor serve them. The forts of idolatry forbidden here are,
ist, Worshipping of false gods by images, as the Heathens did their Jupiter, Apollo, and the reft. Such as was the worship of Baal among the idolatrous Israelsites, Rom. xi. 4.
2dly, Worshipping the images themselves of God, Christ, and faints, which is contrary to the very letter
of this command. Sce Lev. xxvi. 1. The Papifts are most abominable idolatérs in this respect, bowing
to stocks and stones. Their principles allow them a worship more than civil, which they call service, and that for the images themselves properly; contrary to the express words of this command, Thou shalt not serve them, Gal. iv. 8. And the images of God and Christ get the most plain divine worship, though some distinguish they get it not for themselves, but for what they represent. But get it as they will, it is plain they do get it, and that therefore the Papifts are as real idolaters as ever the Pagans were, worshipping the work of their own hands. And accordingly they bow down to images, kiss them, offer incense to them, pray to them, bc,
3dly, Worshipping God'in and by an image. The Papiits wipe their mouth, and say, they have not fin
ned, when they do not believe the image to be God, and do not terminate their worship on the image itfelf, but worship God in and by it. And when they have said this, what say they more than what the Heathens had to say, and did say to the Christians of old? Did they believe that their images were the very gods they worshipped ? Nay, they made many images of one god, as of Jupiter; and when they grew old, they cast them off, and got new ones. But did they change their gods ? No, Jer. ii. 11. Were not the Israelites abominable idolaters in the worship of the golden calf? Psal. cvi. 19. 20. Yet they did but worship Jehovah by it, Exod. xxxii. 5. boam's golden calves were intended but as means whereby to worship the true God, 1 Kings xii. 26. So the calf-worship remained after Baal's worship was destroyed out of Israel by Jehu. The fame was the case with Micah's idolatry, Judg. xvii. 13. & xviii. 6.
4thly, The worshipping of a man for some relation to God, of the Pope as God's vicar on earth. They call him their Lord, and a God upon earth. And when he is new-made, he is twice set upon the altar, and worshipped by the cardinals. And he does not only admit the killing of his feet, but expects and requires it as Christ's vicar. He is carried in proces
. fion, as the Heathens carried their idols, and they themselves the sacrament, which they account God, great and fmall worshipping him as a God. If they think the honour redounds to God, so did Cornelius, Acts x. 25. 26.
Lastly, The same idolatry is in their worshipping of angels, faints, relics, the cross, bread in the facrament, though they think the honour redounds to God. As if saints and angels had some Deity in them, or God were present in the cross or relics, and heard prayers better at and by them than any where else.
Secondly, There is fuperftition and will-worship; that is, whatever (though not idolatry) is brought into religion as a part of it, which God has not ap
pointed in his word. The command says, Thou shalt not make, &c. that is, but thou shalt receive the wor. fhip and ordinances as God has appointed them, and pot add to them of mens inventions, Deut. iv, 2. As irreligion regards not God's ordinances, fo fuperftition brings in others; by irreligion men take away from the ordinances of God, by superftition they add to them.' Both are hateful to God, Under this head are forbidden,
ì. All making of things to be fin or duty which God has not made fo, Matth. xv, 2. Whatever be mens pretences in this, it is an invading of the power and authority of the great Lawgiver, an accusing of his word of imperfection, and very dangerous, Prov. xxx. 6. This is the great occasion of fad divisions and fchifms in the church, while men, not content with plain duty appointed of God, make the conceptions of their own hearts fins and duties, which God never made so, and impofe them on others as terms of Christian communion: which fuperftition can never be fanctified by their fathering it wrongously on thę fcripture, Prov. xxx. 6.
2. Religiously abstaining from any thing which God does not require us so to abstain from. Men will have their ordinances as God has his; and O how hard is it to keep men from religious inventions of their own! Col. ii. 20. 21. This is sinful in itself, religiously binding up ourselves where God has left us free, as if that could be acceptable service to God, which, like Jeroboam's feaft.day, 1 Kings xii. ult. is devised of our own heart. But much more is it fo when it juftles out plain commanded duty, Matth. xv. 5. 6. Such is the withdrawing from the public ordinances dispensed by Chrift's fent servants lawfully called, and not mixed with mens inventions,
3. All unwarrantable observations and expectations of effects from causes which have no such virtue from God, either by the nature he has given them, or by any special appointment of his. Of this sort of super