Page images


PART iv, and are told by their pastors, that some of them

have spoken ; and have bled ; and that miracles have been done by them ; which they apprehend as done by the saint, which they think either is the image itself, or in it. The Israelites, when they worshipped the calf, did think they worshipped the God that brought them out of Egypt; and yet it was idolatry, because they thought the calf either was that God, or had him in his belly. And though some man may think it impossible for people to be so stupid, as to think the image to be God, or a saint; or to worship it in that notion ; yet it is manifest in Scripture to the contrary; where when the golden calf was made, the people said, (Exod. xxxii. 4) These are thy gods, O Israel ; and where the images of Laban (Gen. xxxi. 30) are called his gods. And we see daily by experience in all sorts of people, that such men as study nothing but their food and ease, are content to believe any absurdity, rather than to trouble themselves to examine it ; holding their faith as it were by entail unalienable, except by an ex

press and new law. Painting of But they infer from some other places, that it is idolatry ; but lawful to paint angels, and also God himself: as abusing them from God's walking in the garden; from Jacob's seeworship is. ing God at the top of the ladder; and from other vi

sions, and dreams. But visions, and dreams, whether natural, or supernatural, are but phantasms : and he that painteth an image of any of them, maketh not an image of God, but of his own phantasm, which is making of an idol. I say not, that to draw a picture after a fancy, is a sin; but when it is drawn, to hold it for a representation of God, is against the second commandment; and can be of

to religious


no use, but to worship. And the same may be said Part IV. of the images of angels, and of men dead; unless as monuments of friends, or of men worthy remembrance. For such use of an image, is not worship of the image ; but a civil honouring of the person, not that is, but that was. But when it is done to the image which we make of a saint, for no other reason, but that we think he heareth our prayers, and is pleased with the honour we do him, when dead, and without sense, we attribute to him more than human power; and therefore it is idolatry.

Seeing therefore there is no authority, neither in the law of Moses, nor in the Gospel, for the religious worship of images, or other representations of God, which men set up to themselves; or for the worship of the image of any creature in heaven or earth, or under the earth : and whereas Christian kings, who are living representants of God, are not to be worshipped by their subjects, by any act that signifieth a greater esteem of his power, than the nature of mortal man is capable of; it cannot be imagined, that the religious worship now in use, was brought into the Church by misunderstanding of the Scripture. It resteth therefore, that it was left in it, by not destroying the images themselves, in the conversion of the Gentiles that worshipped them.

The cause whereof, was the immoderate esteem, How idol. and prices set upon the workmanship of them, in the Church. which made the owners, though converted from worshipping them as they had done religiously for demons, to retain them still in their houses, upon pretence of doing it in the honour of Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and of the Apostles, and other the pastors of the primitive Church; as being easy, by

atry was left


And as


PART IV. giving them new names, to make that an image of

the Virgin Mary, and of her son our Saviour, which
before perhaps was called the image of Venus, and
Cupid; and so of a Jupiter to make a Barnabas,
and of Mercury a Paul, and the like.
worldly ambition creeping by degrees into the
tors, drew them to an endeavour of pleasing the
new-made Christians; and also to a liking of this
kind of honour, which they also might hope for
after their decease, as well as those that had already
gained it: so the worshipping of the images
of Christ and his apostles, grew more and more
idolatrous; save that somewhat after the time of
Constantine, divers emperors, and bishops, and gene-
ral councils, observed and opposed the unlawfulness

thereof; but too late, or too weakly. Canonizing The canonizing of saints, is another relic of Gen

-tilism: it is neither a misunderstanding of Scripture, nor a new invention of the Roman Church, but a custom as ancient as the commonwealth of Rome itself. The first that ever was canonized at Rome, was Romulus, and that upon the narration of Julius Proculus, that swore before the senate, he spake with him after his death, and was assured by him, he dwelt in heaven, and was there called Quirinus, and would be propitious to the state of their new city: and thereupon the senate gave public testimony of his sanctity. Julius Cæsar, and other emperors after him, had the like testimony; that is, were canonized for saints; for by such testimony is CANONIZATION now defined; and is the same with the amolówors of the heathen.

It is also from the Roman Heathen, that the Popes have received the name, and power of PON

of saints.

This was the name of him that PART IV. in the ancient commonwealth of Rome, had the supreme authority under the senate and people, of The nar: e regulating all ceremonies and doctrines concerning their religion: and when Augustus Cæsar changed the state into a monarchy, he took to himself no more but this office, and that of tribune of the people, that is to say, the supreme power both in state, and religion ; and the succeeding emperors enjoyed the same. But when the emperor Constantine lived, who was the first that professed and authorized Christian religion, it was consonant to his profession, to cause religion to be regulated, under his authority, by the Bishop of Rome : though it do not appear they had so soon the name of Pontifex; but rather, that the succeeding bishops took it of themselves, to countenance the power they exercised over the bishops of the Roman provinces. For it is not any privilege of St. Peter, but the privilege of the city of Rome, which the emperors were always willing to uphold, that gave them such authority over other bishops; as may be evidently seen by that, that the bishop of Constantinople, when the emperor made that .city the seat of the empire, pretended to be equal to the bishop of Rome; though at last, not without contention, the Pope carried it, and became the Pontifex Maximus ; but in right only of the emperor; and not without the bounds of the empire; nor any where, after the emperor had lost his power in Rome; though it were the Pope himself that took his power from him. From whence we may by the way observe, that there is no place for the superiority of the Pope over other bishops, ex


of l'ontifex.




PART iv. cept in the territories whereof he is himself the

civil sovereign, and where the emperor having sovereign power civil, hath expressly chosen the Pope for the chief pastor under himself, of his Christian subjects.

The carrying about of images in procession, is of images.

another relic of the religion of the Greeks, and Romans. For they also carried their idols from place to place, in a kind of chariot, which was peculiarly dedicated to that use, which the Latins called thensa, and vehiculum Deorum; and the image was placed in a frame, or shrine, which they called ferculum : and that which they called pompa, is the same that now is named procession. According whereunto, amongst the divine honours which were given to Julius Cæsar by the senate, this was one, that in the pomp, or procession, at the Circæan games, he should have thensam et ferculum, a sacred chariot and a shrine; which was as much, as to be carried up and down as a god: just as at this day the Popes are carried by

Switzers under a canopy. Wax candles,

To these processions also belonged the bearing lighted. of burning torches, and candles, before the images

of the gods, both amongst the Greeks, and Romans. For afterwards the emperors of Rome received the same honour ; as we read of Caligula, that at his reception to the empire, he was carried from Misenum to Rome, in the midst of a throng of people, the ways beset with altars, and beasts for sacrifice, and burning torches : and of Caracalla, that was received into Alexandria with incense, and with casting of flowers, and dadovxíaıç, that is, with torches; for dadoũyou were they that amongst

and torches

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