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whomsoever God shall order to be worshipped; nor did the angel, in the Revelations, insinuate any such thing: St. Paul never told us of serving the Creator, and whom the Creator should nominate besides; but Creator only. The like may be observed upon other occasions, where this might have been properly intimated, but is constantly omitted. Nothing therefore can be plainer, than that the fundamental rule for worship is, that God only is to be worshipped. All worship, inconsistent with this primary and perpetual law, must, of consequence, appear idolatrous, either in the practice or the principle: and it is thus that the Arians, following a Scripture-command, but not upon Scripture-principles, and practising a Christian duty upon a Pagan foundation of creature-worship, and polytheism, stand charged with idolatry.
2. To confirm us farther in the truth of the principles here asserted, I shall subjoin a second consideration, drawn from the practice of the primitive martyrs; who may be presumed to have understood the principles of that religion, for which they cheerfully laid down their lives. It is well known, that they readily submitted to all kinds of torment, and to death itself, rather than offer adoration, incense, or sacrifice, to the heathen deities. Now, if sovereign worship be all that is appropriated to God; and if no worship be sovereign, but what the inward intention, and secret esteem of the worshipper make so; how thoughtless were they, to resist even unto blood, for fear of committing a sin, which it was not possible for them to have been guilty of? They could never have blundered so egregiously, as to have considered the heathen deities (which they heartily despised) as supreme gods; or to have intended them sovereign' worship; and therefore could not have been guilty of giving them that worship which is appropriate to God. They had so mean and despicable an opinion of the Pagan deities, that if the quality of the worship is to be estimated from the secret esteem and intention of the worshipper, such acts of worship must have dwindled into no worship in reality; hardly amounting to 50. much as an empty ceremonious compliment. Where then was the harm of sacrificing to idols? What law had condemned it, if your principles be true? The outward act being equivocal, this could not be interpreted sacrifice, such as God had forbid to be offered to any but himself. But those primitive saints were unacquainted with your refined subtilties, having learned their logic from Scripture, and the plain common sense and reason of mankind. They knew that the signification of worship and sacrifice depended not on their arbitrary esteem, or secret intention; but had been before fixed and determined by God. To offer sacrifice to the heathen deities, was, by construction and implication, declaring them to be immutable, eternal, supreme, and strictly divine. They could not be guilty of such a solemn lie, or commit such barefaced profaneness and idolatry. They would not prostitute the marks and characters of divinity to those who were by nature no Gods; nor give that to idols, which was appropriated to God only. This was their manner of reasoning; and this was right: for, indeed, upon the other hypothesis, there is nothing so mean or low, but what a man might pay religious worship to. For instance; pray to angels, but consider them as angels, with proportionate respect, and there will be no harm in it. Worship saints departed, but intend them only such respect as is due to saints, and all is right. Fall down before a crucifix with humble prostration, but consider it as a crucifix, and intend little or nothing by it, and all is well. These seem to me the unavoidable consequences of this famed distinction, and these are the uses which have actually been made of it, since men have learned to be subtle, instead of wise; and have departed from the fundamental maxim of revealed religion, that God alone is to be worshipped with religious worship. The sum of what hath been said, on this important article, may be comprised in the following particulars.
1. That, under the Old Testament, all religious worship was declared to belong to God only; and upon such rea
sons as exclude all creature-worship; namely, because he is God, Jehovah, Eternal, Immutable, Creator, Preserver, Sustainer, and Governor of all things.
2. That our blessed Lord made no alteration in this law, but explained and confirmed it: his Apostles, after him, inculcated the same thing, long after our Saviour's exaltation and ascension; and an angel from heaven reinforced it, thereby proclaiming its perpetual obligation. No distinction of worship, mediate and ultimate, was ever intimated; nor of inferior and sovereign: but all religious worship supposed to have one meaning, one significancy, one object, viz. the divine nature; whether subsisting in one Person, or more.
3. Such being the rule and standing law for religious worship, none can have any right, title, or claim to worship, but in conformity to the same rule.
4. If the Son of God be very God, Jehovah, Creator, Sustainer, and Preserver of all things; then he both may, and ought to be worshipped, in conformity to the Scripture-rule, and upon Scripture-principles : but if he be a creature only, the worship of him is not consistent with the fundamental rule both of the Law and the Gospel. In a word; if the Son of God is to be worshipped, he is not a creature : if a creature, he is not to be worshipped.
It remains now only to inquire, whether the primitive Church, which had the same Scriptures that we have, and better opportunities of knowing and understanding them, made the same or the like conclusions from them. It is an argument of no small importance; and therefore I shall think it worth the while, to give you a brief summary of the sentiments of the earliest Christian writers; and in their own words, that every impartial reader may be able to judge for himself.
Justin Martyr, giving account of the Christian worship, says plainly, “cWe worship God alone;" and, “None but “ God ought to be worshipped.”
• Giàn peir pórov a gorxuveõpsv. Apolog. i. c. 23. Tòy Osòv róver dei #paoruusiv. c. 21,
d Athenagoras, in like manner, speaks to this effect : “ We are not to worship the world, but the Maker of it; “ we worship not the powers of God, but their Creator “ and Governor."
Theophilus says, “ I will honour the king, but I will « not worship him. I will worship God, the real and “ true God: no one ought to be worshipped but God « alone.”
fTatian, to the same purpose, though not so fully, says; « The works of God, made for our sakes, I will not wor“ ship.”
& Tertullian says, “ What we worship is one God, who “ made the whole mass of things purely from nothing. “I am commanded not to call any other, God, nor to " adore, or in anywise worship any other besides that « one.”
h Clement of Alexandria has more to this purpose: “ Angels and men” (says he) “ are the works of God's “hands: let none of you worship the sun, but let him set “his heart upon the sun's Creator: neither let him deify “ the world, but to the Maker of the world let his desires 66 be. I seek after God, the Creator of the world, him « that lighted up the sun, and not after the creatures (έργα) 66 which God hath made. The Gentiles ought to learn,
4 ου τούτον, αλλά τον τεχνίτης αυτού προσκυνητέον, p. 55. Ου σας δυνάμεις (το Θεού) πρoσίοντες θεραπεύομεν, αλλά τον ποιητών αυτών και δεσπότην, p. 56.
• Θεώ δε τω όντως Θεώ και αληθεί προσκυνώ-----ουκ άλλο εξόν έστι- προσκυνείσθαι αλλ' ή μόνω Θεώ, p. 30, 33.
1 Δημιουργίαν την υπ' αυτού γεγενημένην χάριν ημών προσκυνείν ου θέλω, p. 18. Vid. et p. 79.
& Quod colimus, Deus unus est; qui totam molem istam de nihilo expressit. Apol. c. 17.
Præscribitur mihi ne quem alium Deum dicam, ne quem alium adorem, aut quoquo modo venerer, præter unicum illum qui ita mandat. Scorp. c. iv. p. 490. Rigalt.
h"Αγγελοι και άνθρωποι έργα των δακτύλων αυτού---μή τον ήλιών τις υμών προσκυνείτω, αλλά τον ηλίου ποιητήν έπιπoθείτω, μηδέ τόν κόσμον εκθειαζίτω, αλλά τον κόσμου δημιουργον επιζητησάτω, p. 53. ed. Ox. Τον κόσμου δημιουργών, τον ηλίου φωταγωγόν Θεόν επιζητώ, ου τα έργα τέ Θεού, p. 59. Τους Έλληνας χρή δια νόμου, και προφητών εκμανθάνειν ένα μόνον σέβειν Θεόν τον όντως όντα παντοκράτορα, p. 825. Το δ' έσι θρησκεύειν το θείον διά της όντως δικαιοσύνης έργων τε και γνώσεως, p. 778.
nd, the the d
“ from the Law and the Prophets, to worship the one “only God, the necessarily-existing Almighty. This it “ is to worship the divine Being in true righteousness of « practice and knowledge.”
i Irenæus expresses himself thus : “ You ought to wor“ship the Lord your God, and to serve him alone, and to “ give no credit to him who deceitfully promised things “ which were not his own, saying; “ All these things will “ I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me'“ The system of creatures is not under his dominion, since “ he himself is one of the creatures.”
k Origen has a great deal to our purpose, in his book against Celsus. I shall select a few passages : he blames the Gentiles, “ who from the stupendous greatness of the “ things in the world, and the beautiful order of creatures, “ (Emploupynuárwy,) could not look up and consider that “they ought to admire, worship, and adore him only that “ made them.” In another place he says, “ To worship the “sun and the creatures of God (Oerű onusougvýuata) is for“bidden us, who are taught, not to serve the creature “ besides the Creator.” He observes, a little after that; “We ought not to honour those in the place of God, or * of the Son of God.” Which I take notice of here particularly, that you may see how clearly Origen distinguishes the Son from the Smucoupyhuata koû: as, indeed, he does every where. In another place, he observes that
i Dominum Deum tuum adorare oportet, et ipsi soli servire, et non credere ei qui falso promisit ea, quæ non sunt sua, dicens: Hæc omnia tibi dabo, si procidens adoraveris me.- Neque enim conditio sub ejus potestate est, quandoquidem et ipse unus de creaturis est, p. 320. ed. Bened.
* Οι εκ του τηλικούτου μεγέθους των εν τω κόσμω και του κάλλους των δημιεργημάτων μη δυνάμενοι αναβλέψαι και θεωρήσαι, ότι προσκυνείν και θαυμάζειν και σέβειν xạ távay Tày TUT TG01x Ta, p. 158. –ới suy Đề Tày Adv, tai và Toũ ecoũ Φημιουργήματα άπερ ημϊν απηγόρευσαι διδασκομένοις μη λατρεύειν τη κτίσει παρά Tài x ridavia, p. 375. .
I shall add another passage.
Ουδείς γαρ βλέπων τοϊς της ψυχής οφθαλμοίς άλλο τρόπο σέβει το θείον παρά τον υποδεικνύντα ένορα, αει τα του παντός δημιουργώ, και πάσαν ευχήν αναφέρειν εκείνη, p. 367,