quad for the lemma: truth_n
snippets containing the quad
Corrected Date of Publication (TCP Date of Publication)
An ansvver to a discourse intituled, Papists protesting against Protestant-popery being a vindication of papists not misrepresented by Protestants : and containing a particular examination of Monsieur de Meaux, late Bishop of Condom, his Exposition of the doctrine of the Church of Rome, in the articles of invocation of saints, and the worship of images occasioned by that discourse.
Sherlock, William, 1641?-1707.
Wing S3259; ESTC R3874
they Worship But how unreasonable is this when they know he is invisible and would not be a God if he could be seen And how absurd is it to Represent him by an Image when they know they can make no Image like him No worship can be natural which contradicts the nature of that Being whom we Worship and if it be not natural it must be instituted Worship and then tho it were forbid by no Law it must be commanded by some Law to make it reasonable at least if it be possible that a Law could make that an act of Honour and Worship which is a Dishonour to the Divine Perfections 6ly It is more especially contrary to the nature of the Christian worship which teaches us to form a more spiritual Idea of God and to worship him in Spirit and in Truth in opposition not only to all sensible Representations but to all symbolical Presences There are two things principally for which Images are intended to be visible Representations and a visible Presence of the Deity The first of these is so great a Reproach to the Divine Nature that it was forbid by the Law of Moses which was at best a less perfect Dispensation as being accommodated to the carnal State of that people but as to the second God himself gratified them in it for he dwelt among them in the Tabernacle and afterwards in the Temple of Jerusalem where he placed the Symbols of his Presence But now when the Woman of Samaria asked our Saviour about the place of Worship whether it was the Temple at Jerusalem or Samaria He answers The hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father But the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth for the Father seeketh such to worship him God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in Truth Where Christ opposes worshipping in Spirit and in Truth to worshipping in the Temple not as a Temple signifies a place separated for Religious Worship which is a necessary Circumstance of Worship in all Religions but as it signifies a Symbolical Presence a Figure of Gods Residence and Dwelling among them in which sense the Primitive Christians denied that they had any Temples For God dwelling in human Nature is the only Divine Presence under the Gospel of which the Temple was but a Type and Figure Now if the spiritual Worship of the Gospel does so withdraw us from sense as not to admit of a Symbolical Presence much less certainly does it admit of Images to represent God present to us which is so gross and carnal that God forbad it under the Legal Dispensation We must consider God as an infinite Mind present in all places to hear our Prayers and receive our Worship and must raise our hearts to Heaven whither Christ who is the only visible Presence of God is ascended and not seek for him in carved Wood or Stone or a curious piece of Painting 7ly But since M. de Maux and the Representer think it sufficient to justifie the worship of Images that they are of great use to represent the object of our worship to us and to affect us with suitable passions it will be needful briefly to consider this matter For I confess I cannot see how a material and visible Image should form a true Idea in us of an invisible Spirit it is apt to corrupt mens notions of God and Religion and to abate our just reverence by representing the object of our worship under so contemptible an appearance An Image cannot tell us what God is if we are otherwise instructed in the nature of God we know that an image is not like him but a reproach to the Divine perfections if we are not better instructed we shall think our God like his image which will make us very understanding Christians But the Representer has drawn this Argument out at large and therefore we must consider what he says of it That Pictures and Images serve to 1. Preserve in his mind the memory of the things represented by them as people are wont to preserve the memory of their deceased Friends by keeping their Pictures But I beseech you the memory of what does a Picture preserve Of nothing that I know of but the external lineaments and features of the face or body and therefore the Images and Pictures of God and the Holy Trinity which yet are allowed in the Church of Rome cannot serve this end unless they will say that God has an external shape as Man has And suppose we had the exact Pictures of Christ and the Virgin Mary the Apostles and other Saints and Martyrs this might gratifie our curiosity but of what use is it in the Christian Religion To remember Christ is not to remember his face which we never saw but to remember his Doctrine and his Life to call to mind his great Love in dying for us to remember him not as a Man but as a God incarnate as our Mediator and Advocate as our Lord and Judge and therefore the Gospel which contain the History of his Life are a much better Picture of Christ than any drawn by the most curious Pencil and I doubt the Christian Religion will not gain much by taking the Gospels out of peoples hands and giving them a Picture to gaze on Yes says our Author 2. He is taught to use them by casting his eye upon the Pictures or Images and thence to raise his heart to the Prototypes and there to imploy it in Meditation Love Thanksgiving Imitation c. as the object requires But he is a very sorry Christian who never thanks of Christ but when he sees his Picture And how can the sight of a Picture raise our hearts to the Love of Christ The sight indeed of a lovely Picture may exciâe a sensible passion but not a Divine Love The sight of his Picture can only put us in mind that there was such a person as Christ in the world but if we would affect our hearts with his love and praise we must not gaze on his Face which is all that a Picture can show us if it could do that ãâã meditate on what he has done and suffered for us which may be done better without a Picture than with it If they want something to put them in mind that there is such a person as Christ which is all that his Picture can do the name of Christ written upon the Church Walls would be more innocent and altogether as effectual to this end But Pictures are very instructive as that of a Deaths head and Old Time painted with his Fârelâck Hour-glass and Sythe and do inform the mind at one glance of what in reading requires a Chapter and sometimes a Volume Which is so far from being true that a Picture informs a Man of nothing but what he was informed of before The Picture of a Crucifix may put a