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Serm.tares and Images of the Invisible God, nI- even of the Father Almighty, in express opposition to the Second Commandment. And in the matter of Tranfub*stantiation; fancying the elements to be changed into the Body of Christ, and knowing, the Body of Christ to be. in union with his Divinity, and his Divinity to be in union with that of his Father; from hence, by three or four steps of multiplied idolatry, they pay to the mere elements of bread and wine, That Worship which indeed is due only to the God and Father of All, even to Him who so loved the World, as to give his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlajling Life. In which and the like cases, an unaccountable Tyranny has for many Ages compelled Learned men to employ their whole skill and abilities, not in getting a right understanding of things, but in defending implicitly what ignorant and unlearned Persons had deeided for them before.
4. A No
4. Another Kind Ox Species of Z&-serm. latry, is when Men apply themselves to God through and Idol-Mediators,1**"^*
in diminution of the Honour of the One True Mediator, whom God himself has expreflly appointed to be Alone our Advocate, Intercessor and Judge. God who At sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son; who, when he had by himself purged our Sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; where be ever liveth, to make intercession for us. To Us Christians therefore, as there is (if we will use St Paul's expression) One God, even the Father, of whom are iCor. via. all things; so there is also One Lord,6' even Jesus Christ, through whom are all things. For there is one God, and One Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus, i Tim. ii. 5. As therefore the setting up any Idol or False God, in opposition to, or in conjunction with the True God, is Idolatry with regard to God; so the setting up any Idol or False Mediator, in opposition to, or in conjunction
Se Rm. junction with the One Tnte Mediator, is M. .Idolatry with regard to Chriji. Which
*/'V>v most evidently shows, that the Worship paid by the Church of Rome to Angels, and to Saints departed, to Images and Relicks, and to the Blejfcd Virgin, whom they profanely stile the Mother of God; is truly and properly Idolatry: And that the Excuse they plead, that the Worship thus paid, is not Divine, but only Mediatorial Worship j is nothing to the purpose, and alters not at all the Nature, but only a Circumstance of the Crime: An i&/-Mediator being as truly and plainly an Idol, and a departing from Chriji our only true Mediator and Advocate; as the worshipping an Idol-God, is a departure from the Living and True God. St Paul argues in this manner expressly and most prophetically; Col. ii. i8; Let no man beguile you of your Reward, in a voluntary humility [ or wiUworship, ver. 23.] and worshipping of Angels; intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his flefoly mind, And not holding the Head, which is Christ. And tb.e fame thing
was was long before prophesied of by Dani- Serm, el, ch. xi. 38; when speaking of Jntichrist, he foretells concerning him, that^^^ not only a God whom his Fathers knew not, should he honour, that is, mould corrupt the true Notion and Worship of God j but moreover, that he mould honour also Gods of Forces, (or as it is more rightly rendered in the Margin of the Bible ) mould worship divers Gods-ProteSlors, that is, Saints, and Angels, and Images, on whom men mould rely for Protection and Salvation.
5. Fifthly and Lastly; Besides aU these several Kinds and Degrees of Idolatry, literally and strictly so called; there are also several other things, which because they are, in different ways and manners, a departing in some measure from God, and placing our reliance or our Affections upon some wrong Object; they are therefore in Scripture figuratively, and by way of analogy or proportion, represented as Idolatrous Practices. Thus St Peter describes those Jewijh Proselytes, who had indulged themselves In being present, though not perhaps at
S E R M. the actual Worship, yet at the Idol-Feasts of the Heathen; he describes them as having wrought the Will of the Gentiles^ in retellings, banquetings, and
abominable idolatries, i Pet. iv. 3. And St Paul, speaking of Jews, who never had literally been idolaters, but, neglecting the true Will of God, had placed their whole Trust upon what he there calls the weak and beggarly elements of a formal and ceremonious religion, namely, their Superstitious observation of days and months and times and years; he thus expresses his censure of them, Gal. iv. 8. -then when ye knew 'not God, ye did service unto Them [ unto those things ] which by nature are no Gods. And among Christians, mens taking delight in promoting Corruptions of Religion introduced by human power and violence, the Scripture calls falling down and worshipping the wild Beast, that is, paying more regard to the Will of oppressive and unreasonable Men, than to the Will of God; [ And worshipping the Image of the Beast, that is, (with Tome allusion perhaps to Nebuchadnezzar's golden Image,) being