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without giving to the blessed Virgin (I may add, each of the saints,) “the divine attributes of omniscience and omnipresence." I can, upon a variety of grounds, cut short any disquisition, by a denial of such a consequence. The first ground I shall take, is that founded upon the indisputable distinction between the extent of this globe and the immensity of space. A being whose view would reach to a great extent, is not therefore said to see through all space; and our globe, from which Christian people send forth their prayers, is but a speck in the midst of creation. It is great in relation to us; but how small is it in relation to him whose eye pervades the boundless recesses of that space, through so small a portion of which the first rays of our sun have as yet travelled ? These big words, omniscience and omnipresence, are thoughtlessly and incautiously used. God alone is omniscient and omnipresent; but as man is raised above the brute in knowledge, and as man excels man in science, so angelic natures exceed ours; neither can we comprehend, much less fix the boundary which God has placed to their powers of intuition. Spiritual beings as they are, we know that it is not with the eye they see, nor with the ear they hear; we know not how they move, if motion they have; nor how, if at all, they correspond to space. We live in a material world: we know that it differs from the world of spirits, in which angels and saints exist; and besides the blunder of extending our conclusions to all extent, from our premises, which only took considerable extent, shall we be guilty of the attempt to argue upon principles of analogy, regarding things where no foundation for analogy exists ? Shall we argue from our imperfect experience in this material world, in which we live, and of which we know so little, to a spiritual world, of which we have no experience, and concerning which so little is known? This is not only illogical, but presumptuous. The nature of the saints reigning together with Christ in heaven, is at present altogether spiritual, and even when their bodies will arise in the ressurrection; even then, the attributes of those bodies shall be like to those of the blessed spirits, the angelic substances. This is the testimony of Christ.
“And Jesus answering, said to them: Do ye not therefore err, not understanding the Scriptures, nor the power of God?
“For when they shall rise again from the dead, they shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage; but are as the angels in heaven.
“And as concerning the dead, that they rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You therefore do greatly err." (Mark xii. 24, 25, 26, 27).
An extended view is not omnipresence, neither is extensive knowledge omniscience; extended views and knowledge are required, by our doctrine, in these spirits, but omnipresence and omniscience are not. I do not advert to the scriptural facts which exhibit full evidence of the existence of what our tenets necessarily suppose: but I thus at once show that the assumed conclusions in this nineteenth paragraph are perfectly unfounded.
Not only is there a total want of correct reasoning, but there is in the assumption a principle which will of course overthrow many of the Scriptural doctrines of your own church; for you believe that the angels in heaven do know and rejoice at the conversion of sinners, who may at the same instant repent in various parts of our circumscribed globe. (Luke xv. 7, 10). You also do believe that the devil, who is neither omniscient nor omnipresent, tempts people in all parts of the world, at the same time that he is their accuser before the throne of God. (Revel. xii. 9, 10; Ephes. iv. 27; vi. 11; I Tim. iii. 6, 7; II Tim. ii. 26; James iv. 7, and so forth). As I am at present merely on the defensive, I consider it unnecessary for me to adduce those texts and reasons that would establish the facts upon which our doctrine rests. I shall therefore content myself with showing, as I trust I have done, that the gentleman with the curious name has altogether failed in his efforts to maintain his positions; that he has treated our documents with manifest dishonesty, and altogether misrepresented our tenets, in his first essay, wherein he undertook to adduce sufficient evidence to prove that I asserted what was not true, when I stated it to be a misrepresentation to charge us with “praying to angels and saints to save us by their merits," "making those angels and saints mediators with Christ, or in his stead; thus dishonouring Christ, the only mediator," and "giving to creatures the worship due to God alone, and “thus being guilty of downright idolatry.”
I shall proceed to consider his second essay in my next, and remain, gentlemen, without any intention of adoring you, Your obedient, humble servant,
A most compendious way, and civil
BUTLER, Hudibras. Part iii. c. 1.
CHARLESTON, S. C., June 6, 1829. To the Editors :
Gentlemen :-There is no subject upon which greater injustice has been done to us than on the worship of images. There are serious differences in matters of fact, and there is a great difference in principle upon this subject between several Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church; I say several Protestants, because I do not find the Protestants, as a body, of the same opinion regarding the principle; nor do I find them, by any means, unanimous as to the statement of facts. The chief object is, therefore, to understand what our present opponent looks upon to be erroneous. At first view it would appear to be easily solved, by saying that he looked upon idolatry to be erroneous. But this answer leaves us as completely as ever at a loss; for, perhaps, we are not agreed as to the meaning of the word itself, nor are our opponents agreed amongst themselves upon this point. For instance, some of them will say that, to pay any respect whatever to an image, is idolatry; whilst others state, that, if the image be considered only as a memorial, by means of which the mind is brought to worship the Creator, whom it represents, it is not idolatry; for it is God, and not the image, that is worshipped. A third class will assert, that, to make anything as a likeness or image of the Creator, is, in itself, highly criminal, and is idolatry. These are some, but not all the varieties of opinion amongst Protestants.
Again, they differ in their statement of facts; for, whilst some of them admit that we do not adore images, others assert that we do adore them. And again, whilst we meet with some who admit that there might and do exist various degrees of religious homage, which may be all designated by the name of worship, and the highest of which (adoration) is that which is due to God alone—we meet with many who under
take to say, that all religious homage is adoration, and that there cannot be any graduations of worship; that, in fact, worship is an indivisible point, in which there cannot be higher and lower.
From this view, it will be pretty clear, that the subject has been rendered more difficult, confused, and intricate than might at first seem. But as I have to deal with an individual, I consider it to be my duty to endeavour, first, to ascertain how far he agrees with me in principle, and in fact; and not to make him accountable for the opinions of other Protestants.
In the first place, I believe he admits as a fact, that the worship which the Roman Catholic Church permits to be paid to images is not of the same sort as that which she states is due only to God. My ground for this assertion is the following passage in his second essay (for March), paragraph 23:
“Christians under the denomination of Roman Catholics, like other Christians, worship the one true God of the Scriptures. But their Church has authorized a use of images in their places of worship, that would make a certain kind of worship paid to them consistent with the purer and exclusive homage which Jehovah demands for himself.'
Thus, he admits that there are degrees of worship, the purer and exclusive homage of Jehovah, and a certain kind of worship paid to images. The former is called by Roman Catholics adoration, and is given exclusively to the one true God of the Scriptures; the other is not adoration, but a certain kind of different worship paid to images. I shall always, upon this subject, use the word adoration in the meaning which is here affixed by me to it; such, also, is the meaning in which it is understood by all Roman Catholics using the English language. In a preceding part of the same paragraph, he has the following expression of his opinions :
"It may be true, that some Protestants, in an intemperate zeal of dissent from Popery, have considered Roman Catholics equally as idolatrous as the heathens either
I believe, however, that a wide distinction is generally considered due in favour of Christian worshippers of the one only God, however incumbered their worship may be with erroneous appendages, from those, who, with no knowledge or belief of the one Jehovah, may worship infinitely various fictitious dieties, in idols, in which they may be supposed to reside.'
From this I infer that he does not consider Roman Catholics to be polytheists, since they are worshippers of the "one only God," "the one true God of the Scriptures," whom they worship with the purer and exclusive homage” of adoration; this they pay to God alone, and they have no other God but him ; though your correspondent considers their worship to be "encumbered with erroneous appendages," such as “a certain kind of worship paid to images.” In this passage he also
are or were.
draws "a wide distinction between" "those Christiano Roman Catholic "worshippers of the one only God," and the persons who, "with no knowledge or belief on the one Jehovah, may worship" "fictitious deities, in idols, in which they may be supposed to reside." These we may safely call idolaters. In a subsequent passage of the paragraph he again states, that there is an “important” “difference between the Roman Catholics who pay adoration to the one true God of the Scriptures, and the idolater who “either honoured his idols with a worship terminating in them, or through them worshipped the unknown God.”
“Voltaire, it is true, thought the heathens were no more idolaters than Roman Catholics. I would not, however, take his authority as good, against the industrious author of the essay, in the Review. There is a difference, and we should admit that it is important. The poor Indian either honoured his idols with a worship terminating in them, or, through them, worshipped the unknown God.”
The author of the essay, he had previously adverted to in this passage-
“The author of an article in the fourth number of the Southern Review has, with needless elaborateness of detail, given the literary and political community, for whom that work is intended, reasons to believe, that the idolatry of the aborigines of America is a very different thing from the Roman Catholic reverence or adoration of images.'
From this passage it would appear that the author of that article 67 in the Review stated that Roman Catholics paid “adoration” to images. I have very carefully perused the article, and can distinctly aver that the author says no such thing. It is a little unpleasant to be obliged to exhibit those peccadilloes, and is, moreover, somewhat troublesome to me, since it puts it out of my power to rely on the assertion of your correspondent. However, I am not, perhaps, warranted in using this language; for if, by adoration, he means [a] “certain kind of worship, quite different from that which is given exclusively to Jehovah, the only true God of the Scriptures,” it is not impossible but the author of that essay did admit that Roman Catholics paid such adoration to images, though he never used the expression either in phrase or in substance: or, perhaps, some other curiously baptized correspondent will prove the point against him in your number for August. The article has, I believe, been rather unsparingly commented upon, because of the following passage:
"Another passage in the letter exhibits to us the grounds upon which we are fully warranted in calling their (the Indians') worship idolatrous. Idolatry is the giving to any created being the worship of adoration which is due to God alone. The person who acknowledged the existence of only one God, and paid to him adoration under any name by which he might be designated, would not be an idolater,
67 See Essay on the Religion of the N. Am. Indians.