Thursday, January 23, 2014

Isaac Ambrose on Sins against the Second Commandment.

Sins against the Second Commandment. 
It is the Second Commandment, Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven Image:] 
For the Duties here required. 
Say, 1. Hast thou ever worshipped the true God purely, according to his Will? 2. Hast thou observed all those outward Duties of his Worship, as Prayer, and Vows, and Fasting, and Meditating, and the rest? 3. Hast thou repaired to God's house, observed Family-duties, received the Preachers of the Gospel? 
Or, for the sins here forbidden.
Say, 1. Hast thou not sometimes walked after the imaginations of thy own heart, serving God out of custom, or (after the manner of thy Fore-fathers) by Will-worship, and superstitions? 2. Hast thou not committed Idol-worship, conceiving of God in thy Mind, or respecting him in thy sense in the Likeness of a Creature? 3. Hast thou not mentioned the Names of other Gods, either by way of swearing, or Apology? 4. Hast thou not made an Image to liken God to it, or used any Gesture of Love and Reverence to any such Image? 5. Hast thou not been careless to worship God, to call upon the Lord, to receive God's Ministers, or to perform any of the outward Duties of God's Worship? If in any of these thou hast transgressed, then hast thou broken this Commandment, Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven Image. Jer. 9. 14. Exod. 23. 13. Isa. 40. 18. Zach. 14. 17. Psal. 14. 4. Mat. 10. 14.
—Isaac Ambrose, Prima, media, & ultima

Thomas Beccon: Images lead men away from Christ unto vain spectacles, from the living God unto dumb idols, from true religion unto wicked superstition.

Our Saviour Christ saith: "l am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me." If no man cometh unto the Father but by Christ, what help then images in this behalf? What make they unto the furtherance of true godliness and true religion? How move they unto devotion? Again, he saith: "No man can come unto me, except my Father draw him." If no man can come unto Christ, except the heavenly Father draweth him by his holy Spirit, what profiteth then in this behalf the beholding of images? Are they of such inward working in the hearts of men, that they are able to convert them unto God, and to bring them unto Christ? Yea, they lead away men from Christ unto vain spectacles, from the living God unto dumb idols, from true religion unto wicked superstition; so far is it off, that they move any man unto godly devotion or devout godliness. It is the office of the Holy Ghost to bring us unto Christ, and not the part of dumb idols. The Holy Ghost is appointed of God to be our schoolmaster for to lead us into all truth, and not idle images and monstrous mawmets. To place images therefore in the temples of the Christians to this end, that they should be the books of the lewd people, or that they should move us unto devotion, is nothing else than to make the Holy Ghost, as they use to say, Jack out of office, and to place a rabblement of vile and abominable idols in the stead of God's Spirit to be the teachers and schoolmasters of the faithful. Perish mought all those vain mawmets from the face of the earth, with all such as glory and rejoice in them, that all the honour may be given to our Lord, that living God alone, whose name be praised for ever!

~Thomas Beccon