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ship that, which they themselves have made of gold and silver. But even we also have divers instruments and vessels of the same matter or metal, for the use of celebrating the sacraments, which being consecrated by this very ministry are called holy, in honour of him who for our salvation is served thereby. And these instruments and vessels also, what are they else but the work of men's hands? Yet have these any mouth, and will not speak? Have they eyes, and will not see? do we supplicate unto these, because by these we supplicate unto God? That is the greatest cause of this mad impiety, that the form like unto one living which maketh it to be supplicated unto, doth more prevail in the affections of miserable men, than that it is manifest it doth not live at all, that it ought to be contemned by him who is indeed living. For images prevail more to bow down the unhappy soul, in that they have a mouth, they have eyes, they have ears, they have nostrils, they have hands, they have feet, than to correct it, that they will not speak, they will not see, they will not hear, they will not smell, they will not handle, they will not walk."
The speech of Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium, to this purpose is memorable :
- We have no
care to figure by colours the bodily visages of the saints in tables, because they have no need of such things, but by virtue to imitate their conversation.” But the fact of Epiphanius, rending the veil that hung in the church of Anablatha, is much more memorable: which he himself in his epistle to John bishop of Jerusalem, translated by St. Hierome out of Greek into Latin, doth thus recount : “Ix
* Ου γαρ τοϊς πίναξι τα σαρκικά πρόσωπα των αγίων διά χρωμάτων επιμηλές ημίν εντυπούν, ότι, ου χρήζομεν τούτων' αλλά την πολιτείαν aúrūv či' đperiis érjepciodat. Amphiloch. citatus a Patrib. Concil. Constantinop. ann. 754.
* Inveni ibi velum pendens in foribus ejusdem ecclesiæ tinctum atque depictum, et habens imaginem quasi Christi, vel sancti cujusdam : non enim satis memini, cujus imago fuerit. Cum ergo hoc vidissem, in ecclesia Christi contra auctoritatem Scripturarum hominis pendere imaginem, scidi illud; et magis dedi consilium custodibus ejusdem loci, ut pauperem mortuum eo obvolverent et efferrent. Epiphan. epist. ad Joann. Hierosolym. tom. 4. oper. Hieronym. epist. 110. pag. 828.
found there a veil hanging at the door of the church dyed and painted, and having the image, as it were, of Christ, or some saint: for I do not well remember whose image it
When therefore I saw this, that contrary to the authority of the Scriptures the image of a man was hanged up in the church of Christ: I cut it, and gave counsel to the keepers of the place, that they should rather wrap and bury some poor dead man in it;" and afterwards he entreateth the bishop of Jerusalem, under whose government this church was, “ to give charge hereafter, that such veils as these which are repugnant to our religion, should not be hanged up in the church of Christ.” Which agreeth very well with the sentence attributed to the same father in the council of Constantinople: “Have this in mind, beloved sons, not to bring images into the church nor into the cemeteries of the saints, no not into an ordinary house, but always carry about the remembrance of God in your hearts. For it is not lawful for a Christian man to be carried in suspense by his
eyes and the wanderings of his mind;" and with his discourse against the heresy of the Collyridians, which made an idol of the virgin Mary, as in the former question hath more largely been declared : to which he opposeth himself in this manner: Howa is not this course
y Deinceps præcipere, in ecclesia Christi istiusmodi vela, quæ contra religionem nostram veniunt, non appendi. Epiphan. ad Joan. Hierosol. tom. 4. oper. Hieron. ep. 110. pag. 829.
2 Και εν τούτω μνήμην έχετε, τέκνα αγαπητά, του μη αναφέρειν εικόνας επ' εκκλησίας, μήτε εν τοίς κοιμητηρίοις των αγίων (άλλ' αεί δια μνήμης έχετε τον θεόν εν ταις καρδίαις υμών) αλλ' ούτε κατ' οίκον κοινόν: ουκ έξεστι γαρ Χριστιανώ δι' οφθαλμών μετεωρίζεσθαι και ρεμβασμών του voos. Epiphan, citat. a Concil. Constantinop. in Act. 6. tom. 5. concil. Nicen. II.
4 Πόθεν ούκ είδωλοποιον το επιτήδευμα, και το εγχείρημα διαβολικών; προφάσει γάρ δικαίου αεί υπεισδύνων την διάνοιαν ο διάβολος των ανθρώπων, την θνήτην φύσιν θεοποιών εις οφθαλμούς ανθρώπων, ανδροείκελα αγάλματα διά ποικιλίας τεχνών διέγραψε και τεθνήκασι μεν οι προσκυνούμενοι, τα δε τούτων αγάλματα μηδέποτε ζήσαντα (ούτε γάρ νεκρά δύναται γενέσθαι τα μηδέποτε ζήσαντα) προσκυνητά παρεισάγουσι, διά μοιχευσάσης διανοίας, από του ενός και μόνου θεού ως η πολύκοινος πόρνη επί πολλήν ατοπίαν πολυμιξίας ερεθισθείσα, και το σώφρον αποτριψαμένη της του ενός άνδρός ευνομίας. Epiphan. in Panar. hares. 79. op. tom. 1. pag. 1061.
idolatrous and a devilish practice? For the devil stealing always into the mind of men under pretence of righteousness, deifying the mortal nature in the eyes of men, by variety of arts framed images like unto men. And they truly who are worshipped are dead, but their images that never yet were alive (for they cannot be said to be dead that never were alive) they bring in to be worshipped, by a mind going a whoring from the one and only God; as a common harlot, stirred with a wicked desire of promiscuous mixture, and rejecting the sobriety of the lawful marriage of one man."
If it be inquired who they were that first brought in this use of images into the Church, it may well be answered, that they were partly lewd heretics, partly simple Christians newly converted from paganism, the customs whereof they had not as yet so fully unlearned. Of the former kind the Gnostic heretics were the principal, who “had images, some painted in colours, others framed of gold and silver, and other matter, which they said were the representations of Christ, made under Pontius Pilate, when he was conversant here among men.” Whence Carpocrates, and Marcellina his disciple, who brought this idolatrous heresy first to Rome in the days of pope Anicetus, " having privily made images of Jesus, and Paul, and Homer, and Pythagoras did cense them, and worship them;" as Epiphanius and Augustine do report. To the latter, that observation of Eusebius may be referred concerning the image of Christ, thought to be erected by the woman that was cured of the bloody issue :
66 Itd is no
5 "Έχουσι δε εικόνας ενζωγράφους διά χρωμάτων, τινές (vel τινάς potius) δε εκ χρυσού και αργύρου και λοιπής ύλης, άτινα εκτυπώματά φασιν είναι του Ιησού και ταύτα υπό Ποντίου Πιλάτου γεγενήσθαι τα εκτυπώματα του αυτού Ιησού, ότε ενεδήμει τω των ανθρώπων γένει. Epiphan. hæres. 27. op. tom. 1. pag. 108. ex Irenæo, lib. 1. adv. hæres. cap. 25. op. pag. 105.
© Epiph. in Anacephal. op. tom. 2. pag. 140. de Carpocrate. Toúrov yé yovev ή έν Ρώμη Μαρκελλίνα" εικόνας δε ποιήσας εν κρυφή Ιησού, και Παύλου, και Ομήρου, και πυθαγόρου, ταύτας έθυμία και προσεκύνει. Secte ipsius fuisse traditur socia quædam Marcellina ; quæ colebat imagines Jesu, et Pauli, et Homeri, et Pythagoræ, adorando incensumque ponendo. August. de hæres. cap. 7. op. tom. 8. pag. 7.
1 Και θαυμαστόν ουδέν, τους πάλαι εξ εθνων ευεργετηθέντας προς του marvel,” saith he, “ that those of the heathen, who of old were cured by our Saviour, should do such things: seeing we have seen the images of his apostles Paul and Peter, yea and of Christ himself, kept painted with colours in tables: for that of old they have been wont by a heathenish custom thus to honour them whom they counted to be their benefactors or saviours."
But by whomsoever they were first brought in, certain it is that they proved a dangerous snare unto the simple people, who quickly went a whoring after them, contrary to the doctrine which the fathers and doctors of the Church did deliver unto them. And therefore St. Augustine writing of the manners of the Catholic Church against the Manichees, directly severeth the case of such men from the common cause, and approved practice of the Catholic Church : “ Doe not collect unto me,” saith he, “ such professors of the name of Christ, as either know not or keep not the force of their profession. Do not bring in the companies of rude men, which either in the true religion itself are superstitious, or so given unto their lusts that they have forgotten what they did promise unto God," Then for an instance of the first, he allegeth that he himself did know many which were worshippers of graves and pictures; and at last concludeth: “Now this I advise you, that you cease to speak evil of the Catholic Church, by, upbraiding it with the manners of those men, whom she herself condemneth, and seeketh every day to correct as naughty children." This also gave occasion to Serenus,
σωτήρος ημών, ταύτα πεποιηκέναι, ότε και των αποστόλων αυτού τάς εικόνας Παύλου και Πέτρου, και αυτού δη του Χριστού, διά χρωμάτων εν γραφαϊς σωζομένας ιστορήσαμεν, ώς εικός των παλαιών απαραλλάκτως οία σωτήρας εθνική συνηθεία παρ' εαυτούς τούτον τιμάν ειωθότων τον τρό
Euseb. lib. 7. histor. eccles. cap. 18. e Nolite mihi colligere professores nominis Christiani, nec professionis suæ vim aut scientes aut exhibentes. Nolite consectari turbas imperitorum, qui vel in ipsa vera religione superstitiosi sunt, vel ita libidinibus dediti, ut obliti sint quicquid promiserint Deo. Novi multos esse sepulchrorum et picturarum adoratores, &c. Nunc vos illud admoneo, ut aliquando Ecclesiæ Catholicæ maledicere desinatis, vituperando mores hominum, quos et ipsa condemnat, et quos quotidie tanquam malos filios corrigere studet. August, de moribus Eccles. Catholicæ, cap. 34. op. tom. 1. pag. 713.
bishop of Marseilles, two hundred years after, to break down the images in his church, when he found them to be thus abused : which fact of his, though pope Gregory disliked, because he thought that images might profitably be retained as laymen's books; yet in this he commended his zeal, that he would by no means suffer them to be worshipped. “ I' certify you,” saith he,“ that it came of late to our hearing, that your brotherhood, seeing certain worshippers of images, did break the said church images and threw them away. And surely, we commended you that you had that zeal, that nothing made with hands should be worshipped: but yet we judge that you should not have broken those images. For painting is therefore used in churches, that they which are unlearned, may yet by sight read those things upon the walls, which they cannot read in books. Therefore your brotherhood ought both to preserve the images, and to restrain the people from worshipping of them : that both the ignorant might have had, whence to gather the knowledge of the history, and the people might not sin in worshipping the picture.'
There would be no end, if we should lay down at large the fierce contentions that afterwards arose in the Church touching this matter of images, the Greek emperors, Leo Isaurus, Constantinus Caballinus, Nicephorus, Stauratius, Leo Armenus, Michael Balbus, Theophilus, and others, opposing them in the east; and on the other side, Gregory the second and third, Paul the first, Stephen the fourth, Adrian the first and second, Leo the third, Nicholas the first, and other popes of Rome as stiffly upholding them in the west. In a council of three hundred and thirty
* Præterea indico dudum ad nos pervenisse, quod Fraternitas vestra quosdam imaginum adoratores aspiciens, easdem ecclesiæ imagines confregit, atque pro. jecit. Et quidem zelum vos, ne quid manufactum adorari possit, habuisse laudavimus : sed frangere easdem imagines non debuisse judicamus. Idcirco enim pictura in ecclesiis adhibetur, ut hi qui literas nesciunt, saltem in parietibus videndo legant quæ legere in codicibus non valent. Tua ergo Fraternitas et illas servare, et ab earum adoratu populum prohibere debuit : quatenus et literarum nescii haberent unde scientiam historiæ colligerent; et populus in picturæ adoratione minime peccaret. Gregor. Registr. lib. 9. epist. 105. ad Serenum. op. tom. 2. pag. 1006. Vide etiam lib. 11. epist. 13. ad eundem. op. tom. 2. pag. 1099.