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wards their brethren on earth. Whereto it may be well answered, first, that no man knoweth whether they do pray for us or no. And if any will go about to prove it by the nature of charity, concluding, that because they did pray for men on earth, therefore they do much more the same now in heaven; then may it be said, by the same reason, that as oft as we do weep on earth, they do also weep in heaven, because, while they lived in this world, it is most certain and sure they did so. And for that place which is written in the Apocalypse, namely, that the angel did offer up
the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar, it is properly meant, and ought also to be properly understood of those saints that are yet living on earth, and not of them that are dead; otherwise, what need were it that the angels should offer up their prayers, being now in heaven, before the face of Almighty God? But, admit the saints do pray for us, yet do we not know how, whe. ther specially for them which call upon them, or else generally for all men, wishing well to every man alike. If they pray specially for them which call upon them, then it is like they hear our prayers, and also know our heart's desire. Which thing to be false, it is already proved, both by the Scriptures, and also by the authority of Augustine. Let us not, therefore, put our trust or confidence in the saints or martyrs that be dead. Let us not call upon them, or desire help at their hands; but
let us always lift up our hearts to God, in the name of his dear son Christ, for whose sake, as God hath promised to hear our prayers, so he will truly perform it. Invocation is a thing proper unto God, which, if we attribute unto the saints, it soundeth to their reproach, neither can they well bear it at our bands. When Paul had healed a certain lame man, which was impotent in his feet at Lystra, the people would have done sacrifice unto him and Barnabas, who, rending their clothes refused it, and exhorted them to worship the true God. (Acts xiv.) Likewise, in the Revelation, when St. John fell before the angels' feet to worship him, the angel would not permit him to do it, but commanded him that he should worship God. (Rev. xix.) Which examples declare unto us, that the saints and angels in heaven will not have us to do any honour unto them that is due and proper unto God. Let us not, therefore, any thing mistrust his goodness, let us not fear to come before the throne of his mercy, let us not seek the aid and help of saints, but let us come boldly ourselves, nothing doubting but God, for Christ's sake, in whom he is well pleased, will hear us without a spokesman, and accomplish our desire in all such things as shall be agreeable to his most holy will."*
* Homily on Prayer, second part.
WORSHIP OF IMAGES AND RELICS.
Church of Rome. “ I most firmly declare that the images of Christ, and of the ever-virgin, mother of God, as also of the other saints, are to be had and retained ; and that due honour and veneration are to be shown to them.”
“ The saints who reign toge. ther with Christ are to be venerated and invoked, &c.—their relics are to be venerated.”Trent. Profess. Art. viii. ix.
Church of England. “ The Romish doctrine, concerning worshipping and adoration, as well of images as of relics, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God.”—Art. xxii.
EUSEBIUS, who lived in the fourth century, and who is justly entitled to the rank of the Father of ecclesiastical history, who excelled all other writers in his diligent researches into apostolic history, condemned the worshippers of images as idolators ;
“ Because,” says he, “ the men of old, of a heathenish custom, were wont, after that manner, to honour such as they counted saviours." “When the Empress Constantia desired Eusebius
to send her the image of Jesus Christ, he thus faithfully expostulated with her on the impropriety and absurdity of her request :- What kind of image of Christ does your imperial majesty wish to have conveyed to you? Is it the image of bis real and immutable nature, or is it that which he assumed for our sakes, when he was veiled in the form of a servant? With respect to the former, I presume you are not to learn that no man hath known the Son, but the Father ; neither hath any man known the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.' ask for the image of Christ when he appeared in human form, clothed in a body similar to our own. Let me inform you, that the body is now blended with the glory of the Deity, and all that was mortal in it is absorbed in life.”
The idolatrous veneration of images and relics was the offspring of the gross ignorance and superstition of the third and fourth centuries, when it was the custom to assimilate Christianity as much as possible with paganism. The pagans were every where accustomed to set up the images of their gods, and emperors, and others whom they had raised to the ranks of the gods, in their temples : to these, as objects of religious worship, they burnt incense and offered sacrifices. Though the more enlightened pagans attempted to justify their image worship, by the same reason by which the church of Rome justifies hers-by pretending that
the worship they offered was only of a relative kind, and not intended to be offered to the image itself, but to the being it represented—it is clear that the great mass of the worshippers recognized no distinction of this kind, but terminated their devotions in the images they adored. How abhorrent this species of heathen worship was to the primitive Christians, may be gathered from the fact of the edicts and severe measures of the first Christian emperors for its suppression; from the fact, that under pagan emperors, numerous Christians, though they might have saved their lives by a single act of devotion to an image, chose rather to suffer the pains of martyrdom than be guilty of idolatry.
No fact is more evident than this—that 'the primitive Christians, with anxious zeal, confined their worship to the one most high God, through his Son Jesus Christ -- to them the adoration of the images of Christ and his saints was unknown. The Roman Emperor Adrian, who showed the Christians some favour, testified it by ordering the erection of temples for their worship, but strictly commanded that there should be no images in them, well knowing their utter aversion to the setting up of images in their places of religious worship. The heathen opponents of Christianity, because of the total absence of images in the worship of the Christians, branded them as atheists, who worshipped no God at all. From this charge the Christian