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bibition of God, to make it of no Effect, and which will Excuse thé Heathens as much as
L. Our Catechism ad Parochos ( which is our Text) in the Place last Quoted, Sect. xxxiv. teaches us, That the Heathen when they made Images of Serpents, Beasts, &c. they Worshipped all these as God. Hæc enim omnia tanquam Deum venerabantur. And that the Israelites thought the same of the Golden Calf, for that they said, These are the Gods that brought thee out of Egypt, and therefore that they were Idolaters, because they thus (a) Changed their Glory into the Similitude of a Calf that eateth Grass.
G. It is very Absurd to say, That the Heathen thought their Images to be the things of which they were the images. That was Impossible, for then they would not be the Images but the Things themselves. Who ever said, that a Man's Picture was himself ? Though they are called the Persons, as when we look upon Pictures we say, This is such a Max, or such a Man: But if any should put it upon us, that we meant the Perfons themselves, we must think them Idiots or School-Mer, that loved Di. stinctions and Wrangling. Maximus Tyrius in the Dissertation before Quoted, tells us, that they had many Images of the fame God, as of Venus, Diana, &c. and yet that they did not think there was more than one Venus or one
Diana. Have not you Multitudes of the PiEtures and Images of the Virgin Mary? And yet you say not that ther is more than one such Virgin. Now the Heathen Worhipped their Images, and if you believe your own Catechism, , you must think that they took every one for God, for Hæc ořnia, they worshipped all these as God!
And it is as absurd to think that they took that Serpent or Beast whose. Image they made, to be God. Or if they meant not any particular Serpent or Ox (for Example) by the Image, they must think every Ox or Serpent to be God! But they were not so Ridiculous, as Maximus Tyrins; and all, as many of them as have wrote, will satisfy you. But that they made Use of their Images only as Symbols, which being Dediented to such à God, they thought that this God would afford his Prefence with his Symbol, and by it fecure to them his Favour and Protedion. How near your Confecration comes to their Dedication of Images, I leave to your felves to judge. But you put fuch monstrous things upon the Heathen, as they Disown, Detest, and Abhor. And yet you must do it, that your Cafe and theirs may not appear so very like.
But you must draw in the Jews too, elfe all this will stand you in no ftead. And you have no Mercy upon them, you suppose them full as Ignorant as you have made the Heathen, They must believe that the Golden Calf, on the fame Day they made it, to be the Great God.
Who made themselves and all the World, and to have brought them out of Egypt long before it self was made! But the Jews will not let this go with you more than the Heathen.
They were not quite so foolish. They had learned the Use of Images and
Symbols in Egypt. And it is plain they did here Imitate it. They had seen Ofiris worshipped in Egypt under the Figure of an Ox, from which they took their Figure of the Calf. And it was to secure God's Presence among them, upon the Supposed Loss of Moses, by whom they had Received their Law from God, and Directions from Him upon all Occasions. But Mofes had been absent from them 40 Days, and took neither Meat nor Drink with hiin, so that they thought he had been quite Gone or Dead, and that they should never See hiin more. And then liow should they do to Secure the Presence of God among them ?. And they took to this way of an Image or Symbol of God, not that they forsook God, but to take Care that He might not forsake them. And they meant His Worship in that of the Golden Calf. Therefore they Proclaimed the Dedication of it, (a) A Feast unto the Lord. And that it was wholly for the Want of Mofes they did it, (by whom they had found, by long Experience, the Preferice of God Secured among them) they theinselves gave the Reason: (b) Up (faid they) make us Gods
(a) Exo.. xxxii. s. (b) Ver, I,
which shall go before us ; for as for this Moles, the Man that brought us up out of the Land of Egypt, we Wot not what is become of him.
Pray, My Lord, let me ask you, suppose it were made Treason to draw a Pieture of the King, or to Bow to it: Would you venture your Life upon all these Distinčtions and Excuses which are inade for the Pi&tures of God? Yet we venture our Souls upon it, if it be a Sin : And though we think it may be Beneficial to us, aš putting us in Mind of Him, or paying Respect unto Him.
Now by this let us learn how Dangerous à thing it is to make Means of Grace of our own Invention, and to think that by our Confecra. tions or Dedications, without Warrant of God's Word, we can secure his Presence with us, and Procure the Grace of Health or any Benefit either to Body or Soul. This is turning Religion into Superstition.
(37.) But the strangest Instance of this that ever was in the World is that of Trans-substantiation, a meer School-nicety which no Man alive Understands, and yet Transformed into an Article of Faith by the Council of Trent.
Christ said, This is my Body, but as to the Manner or Means how it was so, He said not a Word; whether onlySacramentally, Figuratively, or Symbolically: Or on the other hand, whes ther, Substantially, Con-Substantially, or Transsubstantially. These are Inventions of our own, from our poor Philosophy! And yet about these K
is our whole Dispute ; which has Tormented the Christian Church in our later Age more than all the other Mysteries of Religion. Had we kept to the Words of Institution as Christ left them, and gone no further, there might have been various Opinions in the Schools concerning. the Manner of the Presence of Christ, in the Sacrament; and they who had nothing else to do might have spent their įdle Hours, and vain Distinctions about it : But it had never broke the Coinmunion of the Church, if it had not been adopted into an Article of Faith, and made a Condition of Communion: And now we must difpute it. And the first thing I have to fay is, That it seems very strange there should be any Dispute about it. For our Saviour was then fulfilling a Type of himfelf which was the PafSover, and he kept to the same Phrafe or Form of Words which was Customary with the Jews in their Celebration of it, only putting Himself in the Room of His Type, as instead of This is the Pafchal Lamh which was sain for us in Egypt, He said, This is my Body which is given for you. And when Mafes sprinkled the Blood, it was with this Form of Words, (a.) This is the Blood of the Testament which God batb Enjoyned unto. you. Instead of which Old Testament, Chrift said, (b.). This is my Blood of the New Teftament. in which Words there is no Difficulty at all, for no Mortal ever understood these Words of Mo