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by St. Paul, that if “an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. i. 9.) This passage shows how little we ought to regard the authority of men in matters of faith. It is not to be denied, that the Fathers of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries were deeply tinctured with superstition, and favoured the invocation of saints; but this is not to be wondered at, when we consider what St. Paul says in his ad Epistle to the Thesalonians, ii. 7. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” If the spirit of Antichrist was at work even in the days of the Apostles, it is not at all a matter of surprise that idolatry, which forms so principal a part of the work of Antichrist, should have made its appearance in the Church at a very early period. But in truth, the authority of the fathers possesses no greater weight in support of the idolatry of Papal Rome, than the example of Aaron did in favour of the sin of Israel when he at their desire made the golden calf. (Exod. xxxii. 7—24.) To show that some of the Fathers of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries favoured the practice of saint invocation, is only proving in other words that
the Apostasy or falling away predicted by St. Paul, had begun then to take place.
Having concluded what I had to offer on the arguments of Mr. Calderbank, in defence of the worship of saints, I shall, before closing this chapter, quote a passage from a Catholic writer, the learned translator of the history of the Council of Trent, by Fra Paolo Sarpi, to show that, in the opinion of enlightened Catholics, saint worship has in practice been carried alinost the length of idolatry.--His words are, « The manner in which the church invokes the saints cannot be accounted idolatry, although the ignorant people has sometimes carried the abuse almost as far as idolatry, either in considering the saints as the authors of the favours which they ask, or in placing more confidence in their mediation, than even in that of Jesus Christ, or finally in persuading themselves, that, independently of a good life, the merits and intercessions of the saints might enable them to obtain salvation."*
Now it may be observed, that as the gospel of Jesus Christ was originally described both by its Divine Author and his Apostles,
* Histoire du Concile de Trente Traduite en Francois Par P. F. Le Courayer, Tome II. p. 646, Note.
as peculiarly adapted for the poor; (Matt. xi. 5. 1 Cor. i. 26–28. James ii. 5;) the system of the Church of Rome, which is thus easily abused by the ignorant people, and carried to the borders of idolatry, even by the confession of some of its own members, must be a spurious gospel.--Let its ministers then ponder the awful words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians i. 8.
The worship of Images by the Church of Rome, proved
to be Idolatry. The second position which I laid down respecting the idolatry of the Church of Rome, and which I am now called upon to illustrate by a reference to her authorized formularies and Catechisms, is as follows: “ The honour and worship which the Papists pay to the images of Christ and the saints are contrary to the second commandment, and therefore are direct and gross idolatry.”
It is necessary, however, to introduce that which I have to offer on this subject, by stating, that what Protestants term the second
commandment, is by the Romish Church considered as a part of the first, and to make up the whole number of ten, this Church has divided the tenth commandment into two. Further, in order to conceal from the people the danger and sin of worshipping images, this idolatrous church has, in many of her Catechisms, drawn up for public instruction, entirely suppressed and left out all that part of what she calls the first commandment, which answers to the second commandment in our formularies.
The ten commandments are recorded in two different passages of Scripture, the 20th chapter of Exodus, and the 5th of Deuteronomy, though with some variations of expression. As it is necessary for the illustra'tion of my subject, I shall here give them at full length as they stand in the first of these passages, viz. Exod. xx.-" I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
1. “ Thou shalt have no other gods before те, ,
2.“ Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the
earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
3. 6 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
4. “ Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.
5. “ Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.