« VorigeDoorgaan »
his hosts. Praise him ye sUN and MOON: praise him all ye STARS OF LIGHT."-Again, "Praise the Lord from the earth ye DRAGONS, and all DEEPS. FIRE and HAIL, SNOW and VAPOURS, STORMY WIND fulfilling his word. MOUNTAINS and HILLS, FRUITFUL TREES, and ALL CEDARS. BEASTS, and ALL CATTLE, CREEPING THINGS, and FLYING FOWL," &c. (Psalm cxlviii. 2-10.)-It is, therefore, manifest that if David's calling on the angels to praise the Lord can warrant the Romish practice of worshipping angels and dead saints, it must by parity of reason justify the heathenish practice of worshipping the sun, moon, and stars, and even serpents, and four-footed beasts, for David calls upon them in like manner as the angels to praise the Lord.
Having thus endeavoured to answer what Mr. Gandolphy has said in vindication of the worship of saints, I shall in my next chapter consider the arguments which are advanced on the same subject by another advocate of the Romish Church.
The arguments of the Rev. Mr. Calderbank, in defence of saint worship, considered and answered.
ANOTHER Roman Catholic Priest, the Rev. Mr. Calderbank, in a pamphlet published in defence of the Romish Church, enters at considerable length into the argument respecting the lawfulness of saint worship; and I now proceed to examine, with as much brevity as possible, what he has said on the subject.
"Even on the supposition," (says Mr. Calderbank,) that Catholics are mistaken. in their ideas on the subject of the invocation of angels and of saints: even on the supposition that the honour which we pay to their memories is not perfectly consistent with the dependent situation in which they are placed: yet on no principle of reason, could the charge of idolatry be established on that ground against the Catholic Church. Were these suppositions even proved to be true, then
* Observations in a Series of Letters, in answer to certain Questions relating to various subjects of Religion, &c. by the Rev. J. Calderbank. Sold by Keating & Co. 1814.
error indeed, and error too of a most serious description, might with fairness be imputed to her doctrines:-But certainly not the crime of idolatry: unless it can also be proved that 'the honours in question are such as belong exclusively to God: or that they are intended to be Divine honours by the Catholic himself."**
I answer, that the error which is supposed in this passage, if it exist at all, must be an error not of doctrine only, as is asserted, but of practice; and an error of practice is a violation of some one or other of the commandments of the Lord; for if the practice violate none of the commandments, then it is right and good, and there can be no error in it. Now here let Mr. Calderbank take his stand, and say which of the commandments is, or would be violated, by an undue reverence and honour to creatures in the way of adoration, or invocation—and if he feels any hesitation in answering the question, I will assist him to a passage of Scripture, which will help him to resolve it. When St. John, the beloved apostle, saw in Patmos the visions relating to the glory of the Church, in the last times, he was about to worship
* Letters by the Rev. J. Calderbank, p. 122-3.
the angel who showed him those glorious scenes. "And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then said he unto me, SEE THOU DO IT NOT: for I am thy fellow-servant and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD." (Rev. xxii. 8, 9.)
Surely the Romanist will not presume to accuse John of having intended to give to the angel the same degree of honour as belongs to God. It is impossible to believe that an apostle of the Lord would have been capable of such impiety. We are, therefore, obliged to suppose that he was about to pay to the angel that kind of reverence and homage which it was customary among eastern nations to show to kings and great men, and which was not unlawful with respect to them, because it had no relation to things spiritual, and was not of the nature of invocation. But the angel, jealous of the honour and glory of God, who permits spiritual honour to be given to no creature, immediately checked the apostle, saying, "See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow-ser
vant"-" worship God." As if he had said, all homage or honour given to creatures in things spiritual, is a breach of the Divine law, which permits only the worship of God.
I shall illustrate the distinction between honour in things temporal and spiritual, by observing that it is customary for the subject to fall down on one knee, in doing homage to the king of England; and there is nothing sinful in this, because it is understood that the honour thus given, is temporal only. But were a subject to fall on his knee to the king as a part of his religious service in the house of God, it would be idolatry. In confirmation of these remarks, it is proper to mention that the very same words are used both in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, to signify temporal and spiritual homage. "And Abraham stood up and BOWED HIMSELF, Hebrew in Greek IIgooɛxvvnoɛ, to the people of the land." (Gen. xxiii. 6.)—" And the brethren of Joseph came and BOWED THEMSELVES before him," (Gen. xlii. 6.) (the same Hebrew and Greek words as in the preceding text.) The above are examples of temporal worship, or homage. I shall now adduce one or two of spiritual adora