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A Caution Against Idolatry

A Caution Against Idolatry

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BY J. Edmondson

1 John y. 21.
Little children keep yourselves from Idols.
BY J. Edmondson

1 John y. 21.
Little children keep yourselves from Idols.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A CAUTIO AGAIST IDOLATRYBY J. Edmondson1 John y. 21.Little children keep yourselves from Idols.Idolatry is a sin which cannot pass un-punished. It has been the reproach of humannature,and the ruin of all who have lived and diedunder its influence. In nations professing pureChristianity, there is no danger of that ^ro^* ido-latry which has been practised by the heathennations ; but there is great danger of a morerefined, but not less sinful, idolatry. In thesight of God a man may be an idolater who ne-ver bowed down to an idol. Let us, then, seri-ously regard the advice of the venerable apostleIDOLATRY. 259John, to his young converts: Little childrenkeep yourselves from idols.Let ns, first, make a few general remarksupon Idolatry ; and, secondly, urge the cau-tion contained in our text.I. General remarks upon idolatry.Gross idolatry is that superstitious worshipwhich men pay to idols or false gods. Thereis a livinr and true God who made, preserves,and blesses man, and whom he is bound to wor-ship in spirit and in truth ; but having forgot-
ten, and departed from the living and true God,foolish man has turned his attention to idols,and has paid those honours to them which areonly due to his maker, preserver, and benefac-tor. When this gross idolatry first began to bepractised, cannot be determined; but it appearsto have been ancient, having spread far and"wide when God called Abraham to leave hisnative country. What gave rise to it is uncer-tain. Heroes, perhaps, and men who had beensignally useful in their life-time, might, afterdeath, become the first objects of idolatrousworship. A supposition that the spirits of thosedeparted heroes and benefactors of mankindresided in the bright luminaries of heavea>3LIf#8 I»61ATllT.iiii^ht be the first step towards the Worship oTthe heavenly bodies. The heavens not beingalways visible, might suggest the propriety of ftiaking such images for worship as would bestrepresent those absent luminaries : this ideamight give rise to gods of gold and silver, of wood and stone. In process of time it wascoijjectared that alnriost every thing in nattirehad its peculiar god, and that man should payhomage to all the gods. Hence sprung up in-numerable gods : mountains and valleys ; wood^and plains; fountains, rivers, and seas; vir-tues and vices ; peace and ivar ; the particularperiods of time ; the different ages and circUin-Btances of life ; and the various implements of %riculture, all had thieit tutelary deities. Ittfact, as a celebrated writer observes, the whole"universe seemed to swarm with these airy no-things. Thus the true God was forgottien, ahd
his glory given either to iliere creatures, or toobjects of mere imagination.Gross idolatry has spread over the nations.Wehave many vestiges ofitinourowniand. Thenames of our days, and of some of our months,were given by idolaters. Sunday was dedica-ted to the sun ; Monday to the moon ; Tuesdayto Tuesca ; Wisdnesday to Woden ; Thursday toThor; Friday to Freya ; ^nd Satiirda^ to Saturn,IDOLATRY. fQY.We may also rank with^ro^s idolatry, the Ro-misli worship of ani>els, saints, images, and re-lics ; for it is as abominable in every respect aspagan idolatry. That corrupt chnrch has longcoi>ied the ignorant and bewildered heathens ;and, perhaps, if the protestants had not stoodforth, the champions of truth, all Europe wouldat tliis day have been as much devoted to orrossidolatry as heathen Rome.Refined idolatry, is the substitution of anything, in our affections, in the place of God.ow we come a little nearer home ; and per-haps, may find idolaters amongst professingchristians. A covetous man is called an idola-ter, because riches are supreme in his affections.Giuttons and drunkards may be called idolaters^because they serve their bellies more than God.The first and greatest command is, Thou shalllove the Lord thy God ivith all thy heart ; and,therefore, to love the creature more than him isidolatry. Complete happiness should be soughtin God ; but if we seek it in the creature weare idolaters. Man who is weak and feeble,wants help and support from God ; but when

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