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CHAP. III. Of the falsehood of divers passages in this Council. Though the want of learning in guides of souls be a great defect, yet want of integrity is a greater ; but there are many evidences in this Council, that the bishops there assembled were as void of sincerity and truth, as they were of learning and judgment : for Pope Gregory, in his letter,* and the Council do affirm, † “that they had no hope nor trust in images :" yet when Basilius comes to recant, the Council makes him declare, he reverently adores the relics of the saints, hoping to be partaker of their sanctification,"I and the whole Council saith the same.Ş Doubtless also those citizens of Rome mentioned with honour, had some hope in the image of Symeon Stylites, since they are said to have set up this image on every shop-door, seeking protection and safety to themselves :|| yea, the Council saith, “we salute and embrace images, hoping to partake of sanctification by them." Tarasius, the patriarch, declares, “they had received images for lifting up their minds, and helping their memories, and for procuring some holiness from them.'
And in the appendix to this Council, it is affirmed, that“Christians, by affectionately adoring and saluting the cross and other images, are made partakers of their sanctification ;" ft which shews their pretence to have no hope in them, to be a mere sham, and a downright untruth.
Tarasius saith, “If it be asked why images do no miracles now, as they were wont to do of old, we must grant,” saith he, “that they do none:” and he pretends to give this reason for it, “ because that age had no infidels in it,"II though there were thousands who did not believe images were to be adored ; and so needed miracles to convince them. Germanus also, his predecessor, almost one hundred years before, speaking of his own time, saith, “We must not admire there are no such miracles now, as were related to have been done by images in former times, lest we should doubt of the miraculous gifts of the Apostles' days, since no such are now given.”'S$ This seems a full confession, that for almost an hundred years
p. 14. E.
Ibid. # Act. p, 55. B. || Act. 4. p. 266. A. #t Ibid. p. 647. B.
of Act. 6. p. 411. B.
Act. 6. p. 42. E. | Act. 6 p. 491. B. ** Act. 8. p. 639. B. ++ Act. 4. p. 223. C. $$ Ibid. p. 315. A.
before this Council no miracles were done by images; and yet in contradiction to this confession, there are innumerable stories told and approved in this Council, of miracles wrought before images ; and many of them pretended to be done in, and since the time of Germanus ; yea, some of them but a short time before the Council : such as the Sicilian bishop's report
of a woman dispossessed by an image at Rome, and the Eastern legate's remark upon it :* and the story of Manzo, a bishop then in the Council, who pretends to have been cured by addresses to an image the very year before,f with that improbable relation of a Hagarene's eye put out by an image, in revenge for his putting out its right eye, said to be done but two years before. I Now either the two patriarchs, who grant there were no miracles of this kind in their time, or these relators, must needs speak falsely; but it is more probable the histories told for the credit of images are falsehoods, than the ingenuous confessions of two zealots for them, in a case which lessened their credit; and therefore the Council of Frankfort justly charged them with citing apocryphal stories and ridiculous fables, to justify their error. Yet upon the credit of these fictions, they argue for image-worship.
Pope Gregory had bragged in his first letter, " that the six
* Act. 4. p. 215. D. & 218. A. + Ibid. p. 258. D.
Vid. Ep. Adrian. p. 939. D.
** Ibid. E. t Act. 6. p. 403. E.
## Ibid. p. 406. E. 407. A.
urge it three times) makes really against them, and declares, that adoring images of Christ, is so far from being an Apostolical tradition, or a doctrine of all the six General Councils, that till this last of the six (which was not one hundred years before this of Nice) it was not used nor allowed to picture or carve Christ in the form of his humanity.
The Council which forbade the adoration of images, blamed such as worshipped them, for imagining a thing made with hands, to be God, and calling it by the name of Christ.* The Nicene bishops answer this, by saying, “Christians do not call venerable images by the name of God.”+ But then I would know, what religion Pope Gregory was of, who calls the image of Christ by the name of “the Saviour ;"I and the Council reckons Severus for a heretic, for saying, “the images of doves hanging over the altar were not to be called the Holy Ghost.” Yea, they labour very earnestly to prove, “ that the image of Christ agrees with him in name, though not in substance ;"Ş and affirm, that his image “ought to be called by his name:"| yea, John, the legate of the Eastern patriarch, openly saith, "he that adores an image of Christ, doth not sin,” if he affirm “this is Christ the Son of God.” And if this be not calling images by the name of God, I know not what is.
These patrons of images do more than once brag, “ that all the bishops and priests of the east and west, north and south, had agreed to anathematize such as opposed image-worship :”** and nothing is so common as for the packed assembly to call themselves the Catholic Church.tt But let it be considered, that not long before, a Council of three hundred and thirtyeight bishops (that is, within twelve of the number now assembled) had condemned the adoration of images in the east :11 and Pope Adrian, in his letter read in this Nicene Synod, affirms, that all the people of the east had erred (as he miscalls it) before Constantine and his mother Irene began to reign,"$$ which was but about seven years before ; and it is plain there were but few of the bishops who had condemned image-worship, who recanted in this Council of Nice. And the party was so strong at that time in Constantinople, that they forced the Synod to break up, and defer their meeting a
* Act. 6. p. 407. D. + Ibid. p. 411. # Ep. 1. Greg. p. 19. A. § Act. 6. p. 427. E. ibid.
|| Act. 6. p. 522. E. Act. 4.
263. B. ** Act. 6. p. 455. A. & Act. 7. p. 586. C. tt Act. 7. p. 590. B. C. #Præfat. ad Concil. 7. p. 5. B. et p. 7 A 99 Act. 2. p. 99. E.
whole year; after which time they removed to Nice, for fear of violence from the numbers which were against images ;* which party, within a few years after, prevailed with this very Constantine to revoke the constitutions of this Nicene Council." As for the West and North, we shall in due place make it evident, that in France, Germany, and Britain, this Council was utterly rejected as no General Council, and of no authority at all, though it was confirmed by the Pope. Insomuch that the Franks objections, which Adrian replies to, say, “these Fathers did rashly and unwarily anathematize the catholic Church, which worshiped no images ;" and do observe, “that they should first have inquired what was the sense of every part of the Church in this matter :”I wherefore their brag of universal consent in notoriously false.
Again ; nothing is more common with them, than to mince the matter and say, “they retain images only for history and commemoration :" yet they made the bishops who recanted, profess,“ they did embrace and salute images, and give them honorary worship;"|| and they also determine, we must salute and embrace them, and give them due worship or adoration :"I and to make all sure, the Pope's legate causeth an image of Christ to be brought into the Council, and all of them were humbly to kneel before it, and adore it, as a confirmation of their opinion and decrees. **
This Nicene Synod very magisterially reproves the former Council, which condemned image-worship, for self-flattery, and for taking upon them the title of a General Council, and styling themselves Fathers of the Catholic Church :ft yet they who had forsaken the faith and practice of the ancient Church, and differed at that time from the greater part of Christians, do at the beginning of every action, call their assembly an holy and General Council ; II and every where ascribe to themselves the title of the Catholic Church : nor can there be vainer flattery found any where, than one of them gives to this despicable Council, in an oration made at the close thereof:$$ so that they who could see a mote in their brethren's eye, did not, or would not, discern the beam in their own.
* Præfat. p. 38, et 39. + Platina in Vita Adriani, p. 21. [p. 148. Lond. 1685.] # Epist. Adrian. p. 938. D. § Act. 6. p. 459. D. & p. 523. C. & alibi. || Act. 1. p. 55. D. Act. 6. p. 39. C. B. ** Act. 5. p. 387. D. tt Act. 6.
p. 526. B. ## Act. 1. p. 39. C. Act. 2. p. 95. C. &c. $$ Act. 8. p. 6, 7. 618. VOL. VII.
Finally, it is very remarkable, that Pope Adrian, in his letter to the Emperor of Constantinople, wheedles him to restore images, by promising him great prosperity, and many triumphs over the barbarous people; affirming, “ that Charles the Great, of France, by obeying his admonition, and fulfilling his will in all things, had subdued all the barbarous nations of the West, and brought them under his command :'* which manifest falsehood could pass nowhere, but at so great a distance as Constantinople. For it is well known Charles the Great did not obey the Pope's monition, nor fulfil his will in this very point of images; but called a Council to condemn these decrees of Nice, and sent his objections against them to Rome ; which put poor Adrian hard to it, to patch up something that might look like an answer to those objections. Wherefore his prosperity was not the effect of his zeal for image-worship, nor of his reverence for the Pope's authority. To conclude ; what credit can we give to a company of men, who make no scruple to say and unsay ; to affirm the greatest falsehoods, and deny the plainest truths ; yea, and contradict themselves to serve an interest, and to please the Pope, and the Empress Irene.
Of their proofs for Image-worship taken out of holy
Scripture. WHEN a Pope writes in a doctrinal matter, and a General Council approves the epistle, a man might expect most accurate and infalliblet expositions of Scripture : for if the infallible interpreter do not with a Council expound infallibly, who can
? But in Adrian's letter read and ratified, the adoration of images is proved from Scriptures that are nothing to that purpose : for he quotes Heb. xi. 21, and tells us, " Jacob worshipped on the top of his staff;” which he expounds of Joseph's staff; adding, “ that it was not the staff he worshipped (take heed of that), but him that bore it, to whom he shewed this respect and love :"I but if the place be searched, there appears nothing but that Jacob worshipped God; and being aged and infirm, could not bow down without leaning over the top of his own staff.
* Act. 2. p. 118. E. & 119. A.
# Act. 2. p. 107. C.