All Coptic Links - Coptic Directory - Orthodox Church Directory The Agbeya - The Coptic Book of Prayers (English Agbiya + Arabic Agpeya) English Bible + Holy Bible in other languages - Arabic, French, Ethiopian Amharic Holy Bible, ArabicBible, Enjeel Saint Takla dot org - Main page - English Photo and Image Gallery: Jesus - Mary - Saints - St. Takla - Church - Priests - Bible - Activities - pictures and Icons.. Download and listen to Hymns - Carols - Midnight Praise (Tasbeha) - Midis - Videos - Liturgies - Masses - Sermons - Online Streaming St-Takla.org   Coptic Church Website Logo of Saint Takla Haymanot the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Website - Alexandria - Egypt - موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت القبطي الأرثوذكسي FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Coptic and Christan Q&A - Faith, Creed, Site, Youth, Family, Holy Bible Contact Us - Address - Map - Online Support Send a free Christian and Coptic Greeting Cards to your friends موقع الكنيسة القبطية باللغة العربية - الموقع العربي StTaklaorg Site News and Updates Downloads.. Winamp Skins - Coptic fonts - Agbeya - Software - Freeware - Icons - Gallery - Mp3s Feedback - Submit URL - ideas - Suggestions.. Kids' Corner - Coloring - Songs - Games - Stories Free Coptic Books - Christian Arabic Books, Orthodox English Books  


Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: The Brazen Serpent and the Golden Cherubim Were Not Violations of the Second Commandment.  Their Meaning.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXII.—The Brazen Serpent and the Golden Cherubim Were Not Violations of the Second Commandment. Their Meaning.

Likewise, when forbidding the similitude to be made of all things which are in heaven, and in earth, and in the waters, He declared also the reasons, as being prohibitory of all material exhibition 2963 of a latent 2964 idolatry. For He adds: “Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them.” The form, however, of the brazen serpent which the Lord afterwards commanded Moses to make, afforded no pretext 2965 for idolatry, but was meant for the cure of those who were plagued with the fiery serpents. 2966 I say nothing of what was figured by this cure. 2967 Thus, too, the golden Cherubim and Seraphim were purely an ornament in the figured fashion 2968 of the ark; adapted to ornamentation for reasons totally remote from all condition of idolatry, on account of which the making a likeness is prohibited; and they are evidently not at variance with 2969 this law of prohibition, because they are not found in that form 2970 of similitude, in reference to which the prohibition is given. We have spoken 2971 of the rational institution of the sacrifices, as calling off their homage from idols to God; and if He afterwards rejected this homage, saying, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?” 2972 —He meant nothing else than this to be understood, that He had never really required such homage for Himself. For He says, “I will not eat the flesh of bulls;” 2973 and in another passage: “The everlasting God shall neither hunger nor thirst.” 2974 Although He had respect to the offerings of Abel, and smelled a sweet savour from the holocaust of Noah, yet what pleasure could He receive from the flesh of sheep, or the odour of burning victims? And yet the simple and God-fearing mind of those who offered what they were receiving from God, both in the way of food and of a sweet smell, was favourably accepted before God, in the sense of respectful homage 2975 to God, who did not so much want what was offered, as that which prompted the offering. Suppose now, that some dependant were to offer to a rich man or a king, who was in want of nothing, some very insignificant gift, will the amount and quality of the gift bring dishonour 2976 to the rich man and the king; or will the consideration 2977 of the homage give them pleasure? Were, however, the dependant, either of his own accord or even in compliance with a command, to present to him gifts suitably to his rank, and were he to observe the solemnities due to a king, only without faith and purity of heart, and without any readiness for other acts of obedience, will not that king or rich man consequently exclaim: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? I am full of your solemnities, your feast-days, and your Sabbaths.” 2978 By calling them yours, as having been performed 2979 after the giver’s own will, and not according to the religion of God (since he displayed them as his own, and not as God’s), the Almighty in this passage, demonstrated how suitable to the conditions of the case, and how reasonable, was His rejection of those very offerings which He had commanded to be made to Him.


Footnotes

314:2963

Substantiam.

314:2964

Cæcæ.

314:2965

Titulum. [See Vol. II. p. 477, this series.]

314:2966

Num. 21:8, 9.

314:2967

See John iii. 14.

314:2968

Exemplum.

314:2969

Refragari.

314:2970

Statu.

314:2971

In chap. xviii. towards the end. [p. 311, supra.]

314:2972

Isa. i. 11.

314:2973

Ps. l. 13.

314:2974

An inexact quotation of Isa. 40:0, Isa. 28:0.

314:2975

Honorem.

314:2976

Infuscabit.

314:2977

Titulus.

314:2978

See Isa. i. 11-14.

314:2979

Fecerat seems the better reading: q.d. “which he had performed,” etc. Oehler reads fecerant.


Next: God's Purposes in Election and Rejection of the Same Men, Such as King Saul, Explained, in Answer to the Marcionite Cavil.

Send this page to a friend

St. Takla Church - Main Index111111111 - Commentary on the New Testament by Matthew Henry تفسير العهد القديم - متى هنرى

Like & share St-Takla.org


© Saint Takla Haymanout Website: Coptic Orthodox Church - Alexandria, Egypt / URL: http://St-Takla.org / Contact us at

http://st-takla.org/books/en/ecf/003/0030366.html