Monday, December 19, 2011

Thomas Watson on The Second Commandment, Roman Catholicism, Idols, Idolatry, & Idolaters

Click here ( to read Thomas Watson's commentary on the second commandment (called "The Second Commandment") from his writings THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, which was first published as a part of A Body of Practical Divinity, in 1692; read all of Watson's THE TEN COMMANDMENTS here (Internet Christian Library). Here are two quotes from Watson's commentary:
'Nor the likeness of any thing,' &c. All ideas, portraitures, shapes, images of God, whether by effigies or pictures, are here forbidden. 'Take heed lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make the similitude of any figure.' Deut 4: 15, 16. God is to be adored in the heart, not painted to the eye.
[2] To worship God by an image, is both absurd and unlawful.
(1) It is absurd and irrational; for, 'the workman is better than the work,' 'He who has builded the house has more honour than the house.' Heb 3: 3. If the workman be better than the work, and none bow to the workman, how absurd, then, is it to bow to the work of his hands! Is it not an absurd thing to bow down to the king's picture, when the king himself is present? It is more so to bow down to an image of God, when God himself is everywhere present.
Take heed of all occasions of idolatry, for idolatry is devil-worship. Psalm 106: 37. If you search through the whole Bible, there is not one sin that God has more followed with plagues than idolatry. The Jews have a saying, that in every evil that befalls them, there is uncia aurei vituli, an ounce of the golden calf in it. Hell is a place for idolaters. 'For without are idolaters.' Rev 22: 15. Senesius calls the devil a rejoicer at idols, because the image-worshippers help to fill hell.
Read Thomas Watson's "A Sermon Against the Roman Catholic Church (A Sermon against Popery)" here (Bible Bulletin Board). Here is a quote from Watson's sermon:
11ly. An eleventh Error is, Their Worshipping of Images; they burn {} Incense before the Image, which is a Divine worship unto the Image. Now this is directly contrary to the very letter of the Command, Exod. 20.4,5. Image-worship, and Idol-worship are terms synonimical. God saith of Idols, that they speak Vanity, Zach. 10.2. And is it not a vain thing to worship those things that are vain, and that speak vanities? None can draw the picture of a Spirit, who then [can] draw the Picture of him who is the Father of spirits? This Opinion of Image-worship hath been condemned and exploded by several Councils and Synods.
Read Watson's sermon "Roman Catholicism" here (Grace Gems). Here is a quote from Watson's sermon:
11. The next popish error, is their image-worship. Pope Stephen the Third, maintaining images in temples, proclaimed their veneration, and caused the people to burn incense to them. This is contrary to the letter of the commandment, "Do not make idols of any kind. You must never worship or bow down to them." Images are teachers of lies; they represent God in a bodily shape. God said, "Let us make man in Our image," Genesis 1:16. But the papists say, "Let us make God in our image!" When the Lord delivered the Law, the people "heard His words but didn't see His form; there was only a voice," Deuteronomy 4:12. God cannot be pictured by any image. You cannot picture the soul—much less God, Isaiah 40:18, "To whom then will you liken God?" The papists tell us they worship God by the image. I answer, if it is absurd to bow down to the picture of a king—when the king himself is present—then much more to bow down to the image when God Himself is present! Jeremiah 23:24, "Do not I fill heaven and earth, says the Lord?"
From Thomas Watson's The Lord's Prayer: The First Petition in the Lord's Prayer: "Hallowed be your name." Matthew 6:9:
(4) God's name is dishonored by the Papists. Theirs is a God-dishonoring religion. They dishonor the name of God by their idolatry, which is spiritual adultery. Idolatry is to worship a false God, or the true God in a false manner. They dishonor God by their idolatry, in making graven images, and giving the same honor to those who is due to God.Images are teachers of lies. They represent God in a bodily shape. Hab 2:18. They dishonor God by their idolatry in the mass; worshiping the host, and offering it up as a sacrifice for sin. The apostle says, "By one offering, Christ has perfected forever those who are sanctified" (Heb 10:14); but as if his offering on the cross were imperfect, they offer him up daily in the mass, which is a dishonor to Christ's priestly office. 

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