Thomas Cartwright on the second commandment and images

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Q. What gather you of this?

A. That the Popish doctrine of Images (that they are Lay men’s books), is directly contrary to the word of God; and therefore to be detested of all God’s children.

Q. What Images are most of all condemned?

A. Images of God: for it is a great sin to conceit or imagine in our hearts, that he is like any thing, how excellent soever we do think it; but it is much worse so to set him out to the view of others, considering that the mind can conceive a further beauty, then the hand of the Artificer can express. And therefore the children of Israel did sin grievously, and were worthily condemned, for worshipping God, in the Image of a Calf.

Q. Did not the Israelites worship the Calf as God, as the Papists say?

A. No: but they worshipped God in the Calf: for they said, Let us make a feast tomorrow to the Lord.

Q. Wherein did they sin so grievously?

A. In tying the presence of God to the work of their own hands, and coupling him with their Idols, which he cannot endure: for God saith by his Prophet Hosea, You shall no more call upon me in Baal. So impossible it is truly to serve God by an Idol, as the Papists do. ...

For more, see Thomas Cartwright on the second commandment and images.
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