A Treatise on Relics

A Treatise on Relics

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A Treatise on Relics by John Calvin

Published:

1870

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A Treatise on Relics

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Book Excerpt

fact, people usually end by believing it. This iconographic teaching was, therefore, recommended by the rulers of the church, as being useful to the ignorant, who had only the understanding of eyes, and could not read writings.(6) Such a practice was, however, fraught with the greatest danger, as experience has but too much proved. It was replacing intellect by sight.(7) Instead of elevating man towards God, it was bringing down the Deity to the level of his finite intellect, and it could not but powerfully contribute to the rapid spread of a pagan anthropomorphism in the church.

There was also another cause which seems to have greatly contributed to the propagation of the abovementioned anthropomorphism amongst the Christians, namely, the contemplative life of the hermits, particularly of those who inhabited the burning deserts of Egypt. It has been observed of these monks, by Zimmerman, in his celebrated work on Solitude, that "men of extraordinary characters, and actuated by strange and uncommon pa

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