Thursday, 1 October 2009

Devout hatred

Of them that hate me.

Another reason against image-worship is, that it is hating God. Image-worship is a pretended love to God, but God interprets it as hating him.
[1] God says, you shall not set up any statue, image, nor picture, to represent me; these things I hate. 'Neither shalt thou set up any image; which the Lord thy God hateth.' Deut 16: 22. Yet the idolater sets up images, and worships them.
[2] The idolater shuts the truth out of doors; he blots out the second commandment; he makes an image of the invisible God; he brings a lie into God's worship; which are clear proofs that he hates God.
[3] Though idolaters love the false image of God in a picture, they hate his true image in a believer. They pretend to honour Christ in a crucifix, and yet persecute him in his members. Such hate God.

1st Application
This confutes those who plead for image-worshippers. They are very devout people; they adore images; they set up the crucifix; kiss it; light candles to it; therefore they love God. Nay, but who shall be judge of their love? God says they hate him, and give religious adoration to a creature. They hate God, and God hates them; and they shall never live with God whom he hates; he will never lay such vipers in his bosom.

2nd Application
Let us not be among God-haters. 'Little children, keep yourselves from idols.' 1 John 5: 21. As you would keep your bodies from adultery, keep your souls from idolatry. Take heed of images, they are images of jealousy to provoke God to anger; they are damnable. You may perish by false devotions as much as by real scandal; by image-worship, as by drunkenness and whoredom. A man may die by poison as much as a pistol. We may go to hell by drinking poison in the cup of fornication, as much as by being pistoled with gross and scandalous sins.

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