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THE

SEVENTH GENERAL COUNCIL,

THE

SECOND OF NICÆA,

IN WHICH

THE WORSHIP OF IMAGES WAS ESTABLISHED:

WITH COPIOUS NOTES

FROM

THE “CAROLINE BOOKS,"

COMPILED BY ORDER OF CHARLEMAGNE FOR ITS CONFUTATION.

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL

BY THE REV. JOHN MENDHAM, M.A.,

RECTOR OF CLOPHILL.

LONDON:

WILLIAM EDWARD PAINTER, 342, STRAND.

1850 .

TO

The Right Buugarable the Earl de Grey, K.G.,

LORD LIEUTENANT OF THE COUNTY OP BEDFORD,

THIS TRANSLATION

OF

THE SEVENTH GENERAL COUNCIL

IS

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BY

HIS HUMBLE AND MUCH OBLIGED SERVANT,

The Rretor of Clophill.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

1

The worship of images, for the establishment of which the Second Council of Nice was called together, was one of those corruptions of Christianity which crept into the Church stealthily and almost without notice or observation. This corruption did not, like other heresies, develope itself at once, for in that case it would have met with decided censure and rebuke : but, making its commencement under a fair disguise, so gradually was one practice after another introduced in connection with it, that the Church had become deeply steeped in practical idolatry, not only without any efficient opposition, but almost without any decided remonstrance; and when at length an endeavour was made to root it out, the evil was found too deeply fixed to admit of removal.*

That the worship paid to images in the eighth century was not primitive—that it had not its original with the Gospel as it has so often been asserted—is proved alike by the history of that early period, and by the fathers who lived in those ages. Not only do we find no allusion in those writers to any such reverence of images as the Council of Nice enjoins, but, on the

See Chemnitz,"Examen Concil. Trid.,” pars. iiii. loc. ii., pp. 40-47, ed. 1707.

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