Monday, January 9, 2012

William Fenner on the Second Commandment

Q. 66. What art thou commanded in the second Commandment? 
A. Not to serve God with will-worship, though it seem never so wise and humble, and mortifying, Colos. 2, 23. To abhor all gross thoughts of God, Acts 17.19. as that he is such a one, as mens selves do think him to be, Psal. 50. 21. Not to make any Image, Deut. 5. 8. unless God should reveal a new Commandment, as once he did for Cherubims in the sanctuary, Exod. 25. 18. and the brazen Serpent in the wilderness, Numb. 21, 8. or unless it be in a civil use, Math. 22. 10. To abhor images of Idolaters, either to worship God before them, 2 Chron. 25.14. or in them, as the Jews did God in Baal, Hos. 2. 16. or to be put in mind of God by them, vers. 17. or being at Mass or communion of Service with them, 1 Cor. 10, 21. or housing them, 2 Joh. 10. or bidding them God speed ver. 11. or learning any of their devises or customs of them, Deut. 12, 30. or familiar reading their Books, Acts 19, 19. Unless it be to confute them by their own writers, Acts 17, 28. and to upbraid carnal Professors with their strictness in their kinds, Rom. 2. 14, 15, 16, 17, &c. 
Q. 67. What else art thou commanded in the Second Commandment? 
A. Not to lean to mine own knowledge, Prov. 3, 5. nor to serve God by the precepts of Men, Isa. 29, 13. nor as men bid me, Mark 7, 6. Nor according to the Traditions and customs of the lives of our Fore-fathers, 1 Pet. 1, 18. I am commanded to do, not only in matter what, but also in manner, as the Lord commandeth, Gen. 6, 22. For otherwise my prayers and services that I do unto God, and all my sacrifices and oblations are no better then murder, or a Dog's neck, or Swines blood, or Idolatry; so indeed it is, if I serve him after my own ways, Isa. 66, 3. not only sticks and stones are Idols, Levit. 26, 1. but carnal fancies, imaginations, dulness, deadness, luke-warmness; for there be idols in the heart, Ezek. 14. 3, 4. Covetousness is Idolatry, Col. 3. 5. Stubbronness is as idolatry, 1 Sam. 15, 23. A careless Christian is an Idol, there is an idol Professor, an idol Christian, an idol Shepherd Zach. 11, 17.
—William Fenner (1600–1640)