Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fenner on the Second Commandment

From Christs Alarm To Drowsy Saints: Or, Christs Epistle to his Churches, by William Fenner (1600-1640):
Q. 66. What art thou commanded in the second Commandment?

A. Not to serve God with will-worship, though it seem never so wise and humble, and mortifying (Colossians 2:23). To abhor all gross thoughts of God (Acts 17:29) as that he is such a one, as mens' selves do think him to be (Psalm 50:21). Not to make any Image (Deuteronomy 5:8) unless God should reveal a new Commandment, as once he did for Cherubims in the sanctuary (Exodus 25:18) and the brazen Serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:8) or unless it be in a civil use (Matthew 22:20). To abhor images of Idolaters, either to worship God before them (2 Chronicles 25:14) or in them, as the Jews did God in Baal (Hosea 2:16) or to be put in mind of God by them (Hosea 2:17) or being at Mass or communion of Service with them (1 Corinthians 10:21) or housing them (2 John 10) or bidding them God speed (2 John 11) or learning any of their devises or customs of them (Deuteronomy 12:30) or familiar reading their Books (Acts 19:19). Unless it be to confute them by their own writers (Acts 17:28) and to upbraid carnal Professors with their strictness in their kinds (Romans 2:14-17, &c.).

Q. 67. What else art thou commanded in the Second Commandment?

A. Not to lean to mine own knowledge (Proverbs 3:5) nor to serve God by the precepts of Men (Isaiah 29:13) nor as men bid me (Mark 7:6). Nor according to the Traditions and customs of the lives of our Fore-fathers (1 Peter 1:18). I am commanded to do, not only in matter what, but also in manner, as the Lord commandeth (Genesis 6:22). For otherwise my prayers and services that I do unto God, and all my sacrifices and oblations are no better then murder, or a Dog's neck, or Swine's blood, or Idolatry; so indeed it is, if I serve him after my own ways (Isaiah 66:3) not only sticks and stones are Idols (Leviticus 26:1) but carnal fancies, imaginations, dulness, deadness, luke-warmness; for there be idols in the heart (Ezekiel 14:3-4). Covetousness is Idolatry (Colossians 3:5). Stubbornness is as idolatry (1 Samuel 15:23). A careless Christian is an Idol, there is an idol Professor, an idol Christian, an idol Shepherd (Zechariah 11:17).

(Thanks to Matthew Lankford at the Idolatry Condemned blog for bringing this to my attention)


Just1689 said...

Hey TF! If you'd like the rest of William Fenners works, let me know! They're hard to come by. Just1689 AT gmail

Natamllc said...

Fenner hits on something succinctly written found at 1 John 5.

If we believe the testimony the Father has given about His Son, we will fully embrace Fenner's words there. If not, we too will be considered a liar among those who do not believe the testimony about the Son by the Father!

Death to self is the only option on the table for those willing to let the Holy Spirit make the Promises of God fulfilled in Christ come alive within one's soul!

Not easy to experience but easy to type out in here! :)

Ken said...

What does Matthew 22:10 have to do with a civil use of images? I don't understand that.

Ken said...

And I think Acts 17:19 was meant to be Acts 17:29

turretinfan said...

Matthew 22:20

turretinfan said...

Good catch - another of my typos.