Imágenes de páginas

my engagements in this respect, without reciting a considerable number of passages from the books both of the Old and New Testament on this subject, and more especially from the former, which relates to the times in which idolatry was peculiarly prevalent. To preserve in the world the knowledge and worship of the one true God, seems, indeed, to have been the principal object of the whole Jewish dispensation ; and, therefore, we are not surprised that our attention is constantly kept up to it through the whole of the Old Testament history. Besides, we are apt to lose our idea, not only of the reletive, but also of the real importance of this doctrine, without recurring to, and reflecting upon what we read in the Old Testament concerning it.

The first of the Ten Commandments pronounced by an audible and supernatural voice from mount Sinai, in the hearing of all the Israelites, relates to this subject only, Ex. xx. 3. “ Thou shalt have no other .“gods before me.” The same doctrine of the unity of God, and the sentiments

which result from it, are also frequently inculcated in all the writings of Mofes ; as Deut. vi. 4. “ Hear, O Israel, the Lord “ our God is one Lord; and thou shalt “ love the Lord thy God with all thine “ heart, and with all thy soul, and with all “ thy might.”

This paffage of Moses is also quoted by our Lord, as containing the first and the most important of all the commandments in the Law, Mark xii. 28---30, “ And “ one of the fcribes came and asked him, " Which is the first commandment of all? “ And Jesus answered him, The first of all “ the commandments is, Hear, o Ifrael, “ the Lord our God is one Lord; and thou «« shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy “ heart, and with all thy foul, and with “ all thy mind, and with all thy strength. “ This is the first commandment.”

The divine being himself, in a very emphatical manner, afferts his fole title to divinity in If. xliv. 6. .“ Thus faith the “ Lord, the king of Israel, and his re

" deemer,

s deemer, the Lord of hosts. I am the first, " and I am the last, and befides me there is “no God. Fear ye not, neither be afraid : “have not I told thee from that time, and " have declared it? Ye are even my wit“neffes. Is there a God besides me ? yea, “ there is no God, I know not any."

The same doctrine is not only always supposed, but it is likewise frequently and very expressly inculcated in the New Teftament; as in i Tim. ii. 5. “ There is one “God, and one mediator between God "and men, the man Christ Jesus ;” and, 1 Cor. viii. 4. &c. “We know that an " idol is nothing in the world, and that " there is none other God but one. For , “though there be that are called gods, “whether in heaven or in carth, (as there “ be gods many, and lords many) but to “us there is but one God, the Father, "of whom are all things, and we in him ; " and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are “ all things, and we by him.” The Apostle James also mentions this doctrine in such a Vol. II,



manner as plainly thews that he considered it as the most incontestable maxim in religion. Jam. ii. 19. “ Thou believest that “ there is one God; thou dost well.”

The worship of the true God by images, or symbols, &c. is also most expressly forbidden in the Old Testament. This species of idolatry was commonly practised at the time of the promulgation of the Law, and the second of the Ten Commandments is appropriated to the prohibition of it. Ex. XX. 4. &c. “ 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 bencath, or that is in the “ waters under the earth. Thou shalt not “ bow down thyself to them, nor serve “ them: for I' the Lord thy God am a "jvalous God, visiting the iniquity of the “ frihers upon the children unto the third “ and fourth generation of thein that hate me; and thewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my com“ mandments."

. To To enforce this command, Mofes is particularly careful to remind the Israelites, that when God spake to them from mount Sinai, they saw no resemblance whatever, but only heard a voice, Deut. iv. 12. &c. “ And the Lord spake unto you out of the “midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of “ the words, but saw no fimilitude, only ye “heard a voice. Take ye, therefore, good “ heed to yourselves, for ye faw no man“ ner of fimilitude on the day that the Lord “spake unto you in Horeb, out of the “midst of the fire, Icît ye corrupt your“selves, and make you a graven image, “the fimilitude of any figure, the likeness “ of male or female ; the likeness of any “ beast that is on the earth, the likeness of “ any winged fowl that fieth in the air, “ the likeness of any thing that creepeth on “the ground, the likeness of any fish that “is in the water beneath the earth. And “ lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, “and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the fiars, even all the host of “ heaven, shouldest be driven to worship “ them, and serve them, which the Lord N 2


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