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“ worship wood, because they think it to be the image of God: but the image of the invisible God is not in that which is seen, but in that which is not seen.” “God would not have himself worshipped in stones :" saith the same father in another place; and “the church knoweth no vain ideas and diverse figures of images, but knoweth the true substance of the Trinity.” So St. Hierome: "Wel worship one image which is the image of the invisible and omnipotent God;" and St. Augustine: “In' the first commandment, any similitude of God in the figments of men is forbidden to be worshipped, not because God hath not an image, but because no image of him ought to be worshipped, but that which is the same thing that he is", nor yet that for him, but with him.” As for the representing of God in the similitude of a man: he resolveth that“ itt is utterly unlawful to erect any such image to God in a Christian church;" and touching the danger of images in general, and the practice of the Church in this matter, thus he writeth: the Gentilesu worship that, which they themselves have made of gold and silver. But even we also have divers instruments and vessels of the same matter or metal, for the use of celebrating the sacraments, which being consecrated by this very ministry are called holy, in honour of him who for our salvation is served thereby. And these instruments and vessels also, what are they else but the work of men's hands? Yet have these any mouth, and will not speak? Have they eyes, and will not see? do we supplicate unto these, because by these we supplicate unto God ? That is the greatest cause of this mad impiety, that the form like unto one living which maketh it to be supplicated unto, doth more prevail in the affections of miserable men, than that it is manifest it doth not live at all, that it ought to be contemned by him who is indeed living. For images prevail more to bow down the unhappy soul, in that they have a mouth, they have eyes, they have ears, they have nostrils, they have hands, they have feet, than to correct it, that they will not speak, they will not see, they will not hear, they will not smell, they will not handle, they will not walk."
Non vult se Deus in lapidibus coli. Ambros. ep. 31. ad Valentinian. imp. p Ecclesia inanes ideas et varias nescit simulacrorum figuras; sed veram novit Trinitatis substantiam. Id. de fuga sæculi. cap. 5.
9 Nos unum habemus virum, et unam veneramur imaginem, quæ est imago invisibilis et omnipotentis Dei. Hieronym. lib. 4. in Ezech. cap. 16.
r In primo præcepto prohibetur coli aliqua in figmentis hominum Dei similitudo: non quia non habet imaginem Deus, sed quia nulla imago ejus.coli debet nisi illa quæ hoc est quod ipse, nec ipsa pro illo, sed cum illo. Aug. epist. 55. ad Januar. cap. 11. op. tom. 2. pag. 135.
$ Coloss, chap. 1. ver. 15. Hebr. chap. 1. ver. 3.
• Tale simulacrum Deo nefas est Christiano in templo collocare. Aug. de Fide et Symbol. cap. 7.
u Hoc enim venerantur, quod ipsi ex auro argentoque fecerunt. Sed enim et nos pleraque instrumenta et vasa ex hujusmodi materia vel metallo habemus in usum celebrandorum sacramentorum ; quæ ipso ministerio consecrata sancta dicuntur, in ejus honorem cui pro salute nostra inde servitur. Et sunt profecto etiam ista instrumenta vel vasa, quid aliud quam opera manuum hominum ? Veruntamen nunquid os habent, et non loquentur? Nunquid oculos habent, et non videbunt? Nunquid eis supplicamus, quia per ea supplicamus Deo? Illa causa est maxima impietatis insanæ, quod plus valet in affectibus miserorum similis viventi forma quæ sibi efficit supplicari, quam quod eam manifestum est non esse viventem, ut debeat a vivente contemni. Plus enim valent simulacra ad curvandam infelicem animam, quod os habent, oculos habent, aures habent, nares habent, manus habent, pedes habent; quam ad corrigendam, quod non loquentur, non videbunt, non audient, non adorabunt, non contrectabunt, non ambulabunt. Id. in Psal. 113, conc. 2.
The speech of Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium, to this purpose is memorable : " We have no
care to figure by colours the bodily visages of the saints in tables, because they have no need of such things, but by virtue to imitate their conversation.” But the fact of Epiphanius, rending the veil that hung in the church of Anablatha, is much more memorable: which he himself in his epistle to John bishop of Jerusalem, translated by St. Hierome out of Greek into Latin, doth thus recount : “ [* found there a veil hanging at the door of the church dyed and painted, and having the image, as it were, of Christ, or some saint: for I do not well remember whose image it was. When therefore I saw this, that contrary to the authority of the Scriptures the image of a man was hanged up in the church of Christ: I cut it, and gave counsel to the keepers of the place, that they should rather wrap and bury some poor dead man in it;” and afterwards he entreateth the bishop of Jerusalem, under whose government this church was, « to give charge hereafter, that such veils as these which are repugnant to our religion, should not be hanged up in the church of Christ." Which agreeth very well with the sentence attributed to the same father in the council of Constantinople: “Have this in mind, beloved sons, not to bring images into the church nor into the cemeteries of the saints, no not into an ordinary house, but always carry about the remembrance of God in your hearts. For it is not lawful for a Christian man to be carried in suspense by his eyes and the wanderings of his mind;" and with his discourse against the heresy of the Collyridians, which made an idol of the virgin Mary, as in the former question hath more largely been declared : to which he opposeth himself in this manner: “ Howa is not this course
* Ου γαρ τοϊς πίναξι τα σαρκικά πρόσωπα των αγίων δια χρωμάτων επιμηλές ημίν εντυπούν, ότι ου χρήζομεν τούτων αλλά την πολιτείαν aútūv di' ápɛrns évurueTobai. Amphiloch. citatus a Patrib. Concil. Constantinop. ann. 754.
* Inveni ibi velum pendens in foribus ejusdem ecclesiæ tinctum atque depictum, et habens imaginem quasi Christi, vel sancti cujusdam : non enim satis memini, cujus imago fuerit. Cum ergo hoc vidissem, in ecclesia Christi contra auctoritatem Scripturarum hominis pendere imaginem, scidi illud ; et magis dedi consilium custodibus ejusdem loci, ut pauperem mortuum eo obvolverent et efferrent. Epiphan. epist. ad Joann. Hierosolym. tom. 4. oper. Hieronym. epist. 110. pag. 828.
y Deinceps præcipere, in ecclesia Christi istiusmodi vela, quæ contra religionem nostram veniunt, non appendi. Epiphan. ad Joan. Hierosol. tom. 4. oper. Hieron. ep. 110. pag. 929.
2 Και εν τούτη μνήμην έχετε, τέκνα αγαπητά, του μή αναφέρειν εικόνας επ' εκκλησίας, μήτε εν τοίς κοιμητηρίοις των αγίων (άλλ' αεί δια μνήμης έχετε τον θεόν εν ταις καρδίαις υμών) αλλ' ούτε κατ' οίκον κοινόν: ουκ έξεστι γαρ Χριστιανώ δι' οφθαλμών μετεωρίζεσθαι και ρεμβασμών του voòs. Epiphan. citat. a Concil. Constantinop. in Act. 6. tom. 5. concil. Nicen. II.
2 Πόθεν ουκ είδωλοποιον το επιτηδευμα, και το εγχείρημα διαβολικών και προφάσει γάρ δικαίου αεί υπεισδύνων την διάνοιαν ο διάβολος των ανθρώπων, την θνήτην φύσιν θεοποιών είς οφθαλμούς ανθρώπων, ανδροείκελα αγάλματα δια ποικιλίας τεχνών διέγραψε και τεθνήκασι μεν οι προσκυνούμενοι, τα δε τούτων αγάλματα μηδέποτε ζήσαντα (ούτε γάρ νεκρά δύναται γενέσθαι τα μηδέποτε ζήσαντα) προσκυνητά παρεισάγουσι, διά μοιχευσάσης διανοίας, από του ενός και μόνου θεού· ώς ή πολύκοινος πόρνη επί πολλήν ατοπίαν πολυμιξίας ερεθισθείσα, και το σώφρον άποτριψαμένη της του ενός άνδρός ευνομίας. Epiphan. in Panar. heres. 79. op. tom. 1. pag. 1061.
idolatrous and a devilish practice ? For the devil stealing always into the mind of men under pretence of righteousness, deifying the mortal nature in the eyes of men, by variety of arts framed images like unto men. And they truly who are worshipped are dead, but their images that never yet were alive (for they cannot be said to be dead that never were alive) they bring in to be worshipped, by a mind going a whoring from the one and only God; as a common harlot, stirred with a wicked desire of promiscuous mixture, and rejecting the sobriety of the lawful marriage of one man."
If it be inquired who they were that first brought in this use of images into the Church, it may well be answered, that they were partly lewd heretics, partly simple Christians newly converted from paganism, the customs whereof they had not as yet so fully unlearned. Of the former kind the Gnostic heretics were the principal, who “ had images, some painted in colours, others framed of gold and silver, and other matter, which they said were the representations of Christ, made under Pontius Pilate, when he was conversant here among men.” Whence Carpocrates, and Marcellina his disciple, who brought this idolatrous heresy first to Rome in the days of pope Anicetus, “ having privily made images of Jesus, and Paul, and Homer, and Pythagoras did cense them, and worship them:" as Epiphanius and Augustine do report. To the latter, that observation of Eusebius may be referred concerning the image of Christ, thought to be erected by the woman that was cured of the bloody issue : “ Ita is no
"Έχουσι δε εικόνας ενζωγράφους διά χρωμάτων, τινές (vel τινάς potius) δε εκ χρυσού και αργύρου και λοιπής ύλης, άτινα εκτυπώματά φασιν είναι του Ιησού και ταύτα υπό Ποντίου Πιλάτου γεγενήσθαι τα εκτυπώματα του αυτού Ιησού, ότε ενεδήμει τω των ανθρώπων γένει. Epiphan. heres. 27. op. tom. 1. pag. 108. ex Irenæo, lib. 1. adv. hæres. cap. 25. op. pag. 105.
© Epiph. in Anacephal. op. tom. 2. pag. 140. de Carpocrate. Toúrov yéyovev ή έν Ρώμη Μαρκελλίνα. εικόνας δε ποιήσας εν κρυφή Ιησού, και Παύλου, και Ομήρου, και Πυθαγόρου, ταύτας έθυμία και προσεκύνει. Secte ipsius fuisse traditur socia quædam Marcellina ; quæ colebat imagines Jesu, et Pauli, et Homeri, et Pythagoræ, adorando incensumque ponendo. August. de hæres. cap. 7. op. tom. 8. pag. 7.
Και θαυμαστόν ουδέν, τους πάλαι εξ εθνων ευεργετηθέντας προς του
marvel," saith he, “that those of the heathen, who of old were cured by our Saviour, should do such things: seeing we have seen the images of his apostles Paul and Peter, yea and of Christ himself, kept painted with colours in tables: for that of old they have been wont by a heathenish custom thus to honour them whom they counted to be their benefactors or saviours."
But by whomsoever they were first brought in, certain it is that they proved a dangerous snare unto the simple people, who quickly went a whoring after them, contrary to the doctrine which the fathers and doctors of the Church did deliver unto them. And therefore St. Augustine writing of the manners of the Catholic Church against the Manichees, directly severeth the case of such men from the common cause, and approved practice of the Catholic Church : “ Doe not collect unto me," saith he,
o such professors of the name of Christ, as either know not or keep not the force of their profession. Do not bring in the companies of rude men, which either in the true religion itself are superstitious, or so given unto their lusts that they have forgotten what they did promise unto God." Then for an instance of the first, he allegeth that he himself did know many which were worshippers of graves and pictures; and at last concludeth: “Now this I advise you, that you cease to speak evil of the Catholic Church, by upbraiding it with the manners of those men, whom she herself condemneth, and seeketh every day to correct as naughty children." This also gave occasion to Serenus,
σωτήρος ημών, ταύτα πεποιηκέναι, ότε και των αποστόλων αυτού τάς εικόνας Παύλου και Πέτρου, και αυτού δη του Χριστού, διά χρωμάτων εν γραφαϊς σωζομένας ιστορήσαμεν, ώς εικός των παλαιών απαραλλάκτως οία σωτήρας εθνική συνηθεία παρ' εαυτοίς τούτον τιμάν ειωθότων τον τρό
Euseb. lib. 7. histor, eccles. cap. 18. e Nolite mihi colligere professores nominis Christiani, nec professionis suæ vim aut scientes aut exhibentes. Nolite consectari turbas imperitorum, qui vel in ipsa vera religione superstitiozi sunt, vel ita libidinibus dediti, ut obliti sint quicquid promiserint Deo. Novi multos esse sepulchrorum et picturarum adoratores, &c. Nunc vos illud admoneo, ut aliquando Ecclesiae Catholicæ maledicere desinatis, vituperando mores hominum, quos et ipsa condemnat, et quos quotidie tanquam malos filios corrigere studet. August. de moribus Eccles. Catholicæ, cap. 34. op. tom. 1. pag. 713.