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ed by the difficulty of a seeming contradiction to the worship of one only God, he considers the earth as the footstool; it being elsewhere so called: and then, our Lord having taken from the earth his body, it is considered as the object of worship to which the psalm incites. However unnecessary this circuitous interpretation, it is evidence of the distance of the mind of the Father from creature worship. The Doway Bible, besides its imperfect translation of the passage of scripture, applies in a note the comment of St. Austin to the worship of the body and the blood of Christ, in the Eucha. rist. But the Father has explained himself by de. claring, that his interpretation is to be taken in a spiritual sense; and by introducing Christ'an. nouncing to his disciples, that the body and the blood of which he spake in the sixth chapter of St. John, were not what were to be offered on the cross:

The explanation of St. Ambrose, who is also re. ferred to by the translation of Doway, is not materially different from that of St. Austin. Both of these fathers were conducted to their comments, by their wish to reconcile the verse of the psalm with the positive prohibition of creature.worship. They were unnecessarily perplexed on this point, by conforming themselves to the vulgate. This is one of the many instances which prove, in contrariety to the decision of the council of Trent, that the said translation, however respectable, requires the check of the Hebrew. The Septuagint is to the same ef. fect, in the translation of the verse in question: but neither should the latter version be uncontrolled by the original.

From the New Testament also, there have been endeavours to fetch authorities for the same mis. taken species of worship. John the Baptist's expressing of veneration for the latchet of our Lord's shoes, has been thought to the purpose. More stress has been laid on the name of Jesus: it being thought to be declared, * that Christians are to bow at the mention of it. Such an expression of reverence, is not the offering of it to an image; but to the original, as contemplated by the mind. The passage, however, may more properly be translatedIn the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”+ Besides, it is not probable that this name, which the adorable author of our religion bore in common with many of his countrymen, should have been announced as challenging more reverence than the name of Christ (that is, the Anointed) which was peculiar to himself.

This blessed person found no reason to upbraid his countrymen with image worship: for their captivity and their other calamities had purged them of that errour. But when the gospel began to be preached to the Gentiles, we find unequivocal re. proofs of it from the apostles. These reproofs, it will be said, were of the worship of the images of false gods. But is it possible that St. Peter, who forbad Cornelius to worship him, saying“I myself also am a man,”I would have endured to be wor. shipped and invoked through the medium of an image? Or is it possible that St. John, who, overpowered by the wonders which he had seen in vision, fell down to worship at the feet of the angel, but received a check on that account, would have sanctioned the like worship in his more recollected moments? Perhaps his yielding to human infirmity in this instance, may have been permitted by the providence of God; in order to close the sacred volume with an explicit protest against an errour, which

* Philip. ii. 3.

† The preposition “ At" seems to have crept into the present translation, from the English Bible of Geneya, published in 1567. Archbishop Cranmer's and that of the Reign of Elizabeth called the Bishop's Bible, have" In.” So has the Roman Catholick version of Doway.

* Acts x, 26.

afterwards spread its cloud over the whole Christian world.

One of the great uses of repeating the facts found in the primitive ages of the Church, in every way in which they may be explanatory of scripture, is conspicuous in reference to the present subject. The following facts are stated, to the purpose.

First: It is not even alleged, that in the first four centuries, there is on record a single instance of an image or a picture found in a Church-much less made an object of worship. This may easily be seen by a reference to some of the best historians of the communion, in which such worship is con. tended for.

Secondly: With the Pagans, it was a reproach commonly cast on the Christians, that these mani. fested contempt of the images of the established worship; but they were never accused by the others of setting up images of their own, in rivalship. Indeed the standing objection of their being without temples and altars, shows that neither had they the accustomed appendages of them. In the persecutions, diligent search was made after the books of Christians, but none after images. Had these been a part of the religious furniture, they would have been no less than the other, an object of offence.

Thirdly: The Jews would unquestionably have reproached the Christians with their images, had any such been found among them. But this does not appear to have ever happened. And yet, there are various ways in which the objection would have been urged, had there been ground for it. To name one instance out of many: Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, describes him bringing against Christianity all the arguments, which the prejudices of his nation suggested. But there is not a syllable of a charge as to image wor. ship. And yet we cannot doubt, that this would

have been the prominent charge, had there been room for it.

Fourthly: There are on record some facts, which show at how late a period of the Christian Church, the use of images in Churches, and much more the worship of them, was still a novelty. Three facts only of this description shall be mentioned.

Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus in the fourth century, relates in a letter to John bishop of Jerusalem, that on a journey, visiting a Church adjacent to the road, and observing, on a curtain fastened to the door, the image of Jesus Christ, or of some saint she did not recollect which, but] he tore the curtain from the place; and ad. vised those who kept the Church, to apply it to the decent interment of some poor man. There is something reinarkable in the manner, in which each of the two respectable historians, Fleury and Dupin, speak of this fact. The former says-" If this part of the letter really belongs to St. Epiphanius, it must be confessed, that he was in this point more scrupulous than other bishops.” Here it shall only be remarked, that if so-of which, however, no evidence is producedthose other bishops must have been sensible of the novelty of their practice; since no one pretends, that any voice was raised against the said act of the venerable Iconoclast. * But Fleury adds soon after—" The customs of the Churches might be different in this point; and the great number of Jews who lived in Palestine might oblige them to use images with more caution, that they might not give offence, when there was no necessity for it.” As if the offence would not have travelled from Rome, and from Alexandria, and from Antioch, into Judæa-not to say, have its effect on the minds of the Jews settled in those places, and in every part of the empire. Here however is a plain confes. sion, that the practice was opposed to those objections of the Jews against image worship, which they had

* He was faulted for violence offered to the property of the Church; but the offence was done away, by bis presenting of another curtain.

SS

gathered from the scriptures; which they had never opposed to the worship of the primitive Christians; but on the ground of which they complained loudly of the Church, in the times subsequent to the times now in question; and on which they continue to complain, to this day.

Dupin, writing on the same subject, recites objections brought by certain authors of his communion, against the authenticity of the said letter of Epiphanius. The historian answers all their objections; and then adds-" Thus, though it be true, as appears by the testimony of Gregory of Nyssa, in his panegyrick on Theodorus, and in his treatise on the Son and the Holy Spirit, that from that time there were pictures in some Churches, which represented the histories of the Scriptures, and of the actions of saints and martyrs, yet it cannot be said that this custom was general; and it must be confessed, that St. Epiphanius disapproved of it, though without reason; and that he was mistaken in saying, that it did not agree with scripture. For I be. lieve that it would be contrary to the candour and sincerity that religion requires of us, to attempt to give another sense to his words.” Here, to the candid confession of the sense of Epiphanius, we have in contrast the custom of some Churches, confessedly not general. Even the partial custom is rested on the authority of a single writer; and is said to have existed, not before, but from that time—the latter end of the fourth cen. tury. And after all, the question is confined to the use of pictures; not extending to the adoration of them.

The second fact is this. In the beginning of the fourth century, there was held a council of nineteen bishops, at Eliberis, in Spain; Hosius, the most cele. brated bishop in the world, presiding. The determinations of this body became much respected. The thirty-sixth of its Canons, is expressed thus" We would not have pictures placed in Churches, lest the object of our worship and adoration should be painted on the walls.” The comment of Fleury on this canon is—" Perhaps there were no paintings allowed in the time of persecution, lest they should be profaned by

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