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by thinking of them as God; and, secondly, by worshipping and serving of them as such.
Proofs SUBJOINED.—1 Cor. viii. 5, 6. For though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or earth, (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. xii. 2. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Gal. iv. 8. Houbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which, by nature, are no gods. Eph. ii. 11, 12. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision in the flesh, made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14. Q. Is it possible for any man, who knows, and worships the Lord, to have any other God besides bim?
A. So this commandment evidently supposes ; and so indeed it may easily enough be: there being nothing so unreasonable which an immoderate superstition is not capable of leading, sometimes even wise men into. And therefore not only God here gives this caution to the Jews, but St. Paul, in like manner forewarns even the Christians to whom he preached, to flee from idolatry. I Cor. x. 14. Comp. 1 John, v. 21. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from
idolatry. John. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
And, not to keep company with a brother, (that is, a Christian,) who was guilty of it, 1 Cor. v. U.
ProofS SUBJOINED.—1 Kings, xi. 2, 3, 4. But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, ye shall not go into them, neither shall they come in unto you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of Duvid his father. 2 Kings, xvii. 33, 34. They served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the Lord, neither do they, after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel.
15. Q. How can this be; seeing he who knows and believes aright of God, must know, and believe, that there neither is, nor can be, any other God besides himn ?
A. Would men always act consistently to their own knowledge and profession, it would then, indeed, be impossible for those who had a right notion of God, to have any other God besides him.
But, as in other cases, men may know very well what their duty is, and yet act contrary to it, so it is certain that they not only may, but have done, in the case before us. In short, whosoever gives divine honour to any being, does thereby profess that being to be God, as much as he who swears allegiance to any person, does by such bis action, acknowledge that person to be bis prince.
Now, such an honour religious prayer and invocation, without all controversy, are. Yet these, the church of Rome does publicly and solemnly pay to others besides the Lord; and by so doing, shews to all the world that she has other gods besides him.
16. Q. What do you then suppose to be the full import of this second part of the present commandment?
A. That we should neither believe in, account of, or worship any other as God, besides the Lord: whether it be by forsaking him, and falling off altogether to idolatry; or by giving the honour of God to any other being, together with him.
of the Idolatry of Image Worship, its heinousness
and danger. 1. Q. What is the second commandment?
A. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them. For the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of
them that hate me, and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me, and keep my commandments.
2. Q. How does tbis commandment differ from the foregoing?
A. The design of the first commandment was to determine and set us right in the object of our religious worship; and to prevent us from giving divine honour to any besides the true God. The desigo of this is to direct us in the manner of worshipping him, that so we may not only serve the true God, but may serve him after such a manner as he requires, and is most fitting for us to do.
3. Q. What is the full import of this commandment?
A. It is this; first, * that we must not make any image of God at all; be our design what it will in making of it. Nor, secondly, *that of any other being, with an intention to pay any honour or worship to it.
4. Q. Do you think it utterly unlawful to make any image at all of God?
A. It is certainly unlawful, and is in many places of Scripture expressly forbidden, as being highly dishonourable to the infinite nature and majesty of God; and of great danger and harm to us. See Deut. iv. 15, 16, 17, 18. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude 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 flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is
in the waters beneath the earth. Isaiah, xl. 18, &c. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? Rom. i. 21, 23. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four
footed beasts, and creeping things. Proofs SUBJOINED.—Lev. xix. 4. Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God. xxvi. 1. Ye shall make you no idols, nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. Ezek. xiv. 3, &c. Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face. Acts, xvii. 29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device,
5. Q. What think you of the image of Christ; may not that be made ithout offending against this commandment?
A. Christ being man as well as God, his body may certainly be aptly enough represented by an image; nor would it be any sin so to do, provided that no use were made of any such image, in any part of our religious worship. But to represent God the Father in a graven image; to paint the Holy Trinity, and that in so profane a manner as it has often been done in the church of Rome, is certainly a great sin, and a