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of nature and grace ; then we are in the love of God, then we“ love him with all our heart.” But if sin grows upon us, and is committed more frequently, or gets a victory with less difficulty, or is obeyed more readily, or entertained with a freer complacency; then we love not God as he requires ; we divide between him and sin, and God is not the Lord of all our faculties. But the instances of Scripture are the best exposition of this commandment: for David “ followed God with all his heart, to do that which was right in his eyes 9;" and Josiah “ turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might?” Both these kings did it; and yet there was some imperfection in David, and more violent recessions : for so saith the Scripture of Josiah, “ Like unto him was there no king before him ;" David was not so exact as he, and yet he “ followed God with all his heart." From which these two corollaries are certainly deducible : that to love God with all our heart admits variety of degrees, and the lower degree is yet a love with all our heart; and yet to love God requires a holy life, a diligent walking in the commandments, either according to the sense of innocence or of penitence, either by first or second counsels, by the spirit of regeneration, or the spirit of renovation and restitution. The sum is this: the sense of this precept is such as may be reconciled with the infirmities of our nature, but not with a vice in our manners; with the recession of single acts, seldom done, and always disputed against, and long fought with, but not with an habitual aversation, or a ready obedience to sin, or an easy victory.
15. This commandment, being the sum of the first table, had, in Moses' law, particular instances which Christ did not insert into his institution; and he added no other particular, but that which we call the third commandment, concerning veneration and reverence to the name of God. The other two, viz. concerning images and the sabbath, have some special considerations.
The Second Commandment.
16. The Jews receive daily offence against the catechisms of some churches, who, in the recitation of the decalogue,
? 1 Kings, xiv. 8.
2 Kings, xxiji. 25.
omit the second commandment, as supposing it to be a part of the first, according as we account them; and their offence rises higher, because they observe, that in the New Testament, where the decalogue is six times repeated, in special recitation and in summaries, there is no word prohibiting the making, retaining, or respect of images. Concerning which things Christians consider, that God forbade to the Jews the very having and making images and representments, not only of the true God, or of false and imaginary deities, but of visible creatures, which, because it was but of temporary reason, and relative consideration of their aptness to superstition, and their conversing with idolatrous nations, was a command proper to the nation, part of their covenant, not of essential, indispensable, and eternal reason, not of that which we usually call “ the law of nature.” Of which also God gave testimony, because himself commanded the signs and representment of seraphim to be set upon the mercy-seat, toward which the priest and the people made their addresses in their religious adorations; and of the brazen serpent, to which they looked when they called to God for help against the sting of the venomous snakes. These instances tell us, that to make pictures or statues of creatures is not against a natural reason; and that they may have uses which are profitable, as well as be abused to danger and superstition. Now, although the nature of that people was apt to the abuse, and their intercourse with the nations in their confines was too great an invitation to entertain the danger ; yet Christianity hath so far removed that danger, by the analogy and design of the religion, by clear doctrines, revelations, and infinite treasures of wisdom, and demonstrations of the Spirit, that our blessed Lawgiver thought it not necessary to remove us from superstition by a prohibition of the use of images and pictures ; and, therefore, left us to the
“Μωσής τάς δοκίμους και γλαφυράς τέχνας, ζωγραφίας και ανδριαντοποιίαν, εκ της κατ' αυτόν πολιτείας εξήλασε. - Philo de Gigant.
Vide Exod. xxxiv. 13. Dent. iv. 16, and vii. 3. Numb. xxxiii. 52.
· Imò et Ecclesia 8. Novemb. celebrat martyrium Claudii Nicostrati et sociorum, qui, cùm peritissimi fuerant statuarii, mortem potiùs ferre, quàm Gentilibus simulacra facere, maluerunt.
"Αγαλμα του κατεσκεύασε, διά το μη νομίζειν ανθρωπόμορφον είναι τόν Θεόν. Diodor. Sic. de Moyse.
sense of the great commandment, and the dictates of right reason, to take care that we do not dishonour the invisible God with visible representations of what we never saw, nor cannot understand, nor yet convey any of God's incommunicable worship in the forenamed instances to any thing but himself. And for the matter of images we have no other rule left us in the New Testament; the rules of reason and nature, and the other parts of the institution, are abundantly sufficient for our security. And possibly St. Paul might relate to this, when he affirmed, concerning the fifth, that “ it was the first commandment with promise.” For in the second commandment to the Jews, as there was a great threatening, so also a greater promise of “ showing mercy to a thousand generations.” But because the body of this commandment was not transcribed into the Christian law, the first of the decalogue which we retain, and in which a promise is inserted, is the fifth commandment. And, therefore, the wisdom of the church was remarkable in the variety of sentences concerning the permission of images. At first, when they were blended in the danger and impure mixtures of Gentilism, and men were newly recovered from the snare, and had the relics of a long custom to superstitious and false worshippings, they endured no images, but merely civil: but as the danger ceased, and Christianity prevailed, they found that pictures had a natural use of good concernment, to move less knowing people by the representment and declaration of a story; and then they, knowing themselves permitted to the liberties of Christianity, and the restraints of nature and reason, and not being still weak under prejudice and childish dangers, but fortified by the excellence of a wise religion, took them into lawful uses, doing honour to saints, as unto the absent emperors, according to the custom of the empire; they erected statues to their honour, and transcribed a history, and sometimes a precept, into a table, by figures making more lasting impressions than by words and sentences. While the church stood within these limits, she had natural reason for her warrant, and the custom of the several countries, and no precept of Christ to countermand it: they who went farther were unreasonable, and, according to the degree of that excess, were superstitious.
17. The duties of this commandment are learned by the intents of it: for it was directed against the false religion
of the nations, who believed the images of their gods to be filled with the Deity; and it was also a caution, to prevent our low imaginations of God, lest we should come to think God to be like man". And thus far there was indispensable and eternal reason in the precept : and this was never lessened in any thing by the holy Jesus, and obliges us Christians to make our addresses and worshippings to no god but the God of the Christians, that is, of all the world ; and not to do this in or before an image of him, because he cannot be represented. For the images of Christ and his saints, they come not into either of the two considerations; and we are to understand our duty by the proportions of our reverence to God, expressed in the great commandment. Our fathers in Christianity, as I observed now, made no scruple of using the images and pictures of their princes and learned men; which the Jews understood to be forbidden to them in the commandment. Then they admitted, even in the utensils of the church, some cælatures and engravings : such was that Tertullian speaks of, " the good shepherd in the chalice.” Afterwards they admitted pictures, but not before the time of Constantine ; for in the council of Eliberis they were forbidden. And in succession of time, the scruples lessened with the danger, and all the way they signified their belief to be, that this commandment was only so far retained by Christ as it relied upon natural reason, or was a particular instance of the great commandment; that is, images were forbidden, where they did dishonour God, or lessen his reputation, or estrange our duties, or became idols, or the direct matter of superstitious observances, charms, or senseless confidences; but they were permitted to represent the humanity of Christ, to remember saints and martyrs, to recount a story, to imprint a memory, to do honour and reputation to absent persons, and to be the instruments of a
* Τον αόρατον εικονογραφεϊν ή διαπλάσσειν ουχ όσιον. - Philo de Legatione.
Prioribus 170 annis templa quidem ædificabant [ Romani,) simulacruin verò nullum effigiatum faciebant; perinde atque nefas esset nieliora per deteriorum similitudines exprimere. — Plutarch. Numa.
Είη γάς εν τούτο μόνος θεός, περιέχον ημάς άπαντας και γήν και θάλατταν, και καλούμεν ουρανόν, και κόσμον, και την τών αυτών φύσιν, τούτου δη τις αν εικόνα πλάττειν θαρρήσειε, νούν έχων, ομοίαν τινι των παρ' ημίν , αλλ' εαν δεί πάσαν ξοανοποιίαν, τέμενος αφορίσαντας, και σηκών αξιόλογον τιμάν είδους χωρίς. – Strab. lib. xvi.
οφθαλμοίς ουχ οράται, ουδέν έoικεν· διόπες αυτόν ουδείς εκμαθεϊί εξ εικόνος δύναται. - Antisth.
relative civility and esteem. But, in this particular, infinite care is to be taken of scandal and danger, of a forward and zealous ignorance, or of a mistaking and peevish confidence; and where a society hath such persons in it, the little good of images must not be violently retained, with the greater danger and certain offence of such persons, of whom consideration is to be had in the cure of souls. I only add this, that the first Christians made no scruple of saluting the statues of their princes, and were contident it made no entrenchment upon the natural prohibition contained in this commandment; because they had observed, that exterior inclinations and addresses of the body, though in the lowest manner, were not proper to God, but in Scripture found also to be communicated to creatures, to kings, to prophets, to parents, to religious persons*: and because they found it to be death to do affront to the pictures and statues of their emperors, they concluded in reason, (which they also saw verified by the practice and opinion of all the world,) that the respect they did at the emperor's statue was accepted as a veneration to his person. But these things are but sparingly to be drawn into religion, because the customs of this world are altered, and their opinions new; and many, who have not weak understandings, have weak consciences; and the necessity for the entertainment of them is not so great as the offence is, or may be.
The Third Commandment.
18. “ Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain y.” This our blessed Saviour repeating, expresses it thus: “ It hath been said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself;” to which Christ adds, out of Num, xxx, 2. “But thou shalt perform thy oaths into the Lord.” The
» Gen. xxiij. 12; xxvī. 29; xlii. 6; and xlviii. 12. 1 Sam. XX. 41. 1 Kings, i, 16.
y Apud Romanos sancitum est, ut si per Deum jurans quis pejeraret, ad. Deum ipsum plectendus remitteretur, qnem satis esse idoneum snæ majestatis vindicem dicebant.-L. Jurisjurandi, C. de Rebus Credit. et Jurejur.
Sin per genium principis quis jurans pejeråsset, castigabatur fustibus, cum hoc elogio, Temerè ne jura.- Si duo Patroni, Sect. fin. de Jurejur,
Lysander dixit homines nti posse pro suo conimodo jurameutis, sicut pueri astragalis.- Plutarch. in Lysand.
Idem in Æmylio ait, Macedonas usos esse jnramento nti moneta.