Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Canons of the Council in Trullo; Often Called The Quinisext Council.: Canon LXXXII
In some pictures of the venerable icons, a lamb is painted to which the Precursor points his finger, which is received as a type of grace, indicating beforehand through the Law, our true Lamb, Christ our God. Embracing therefore the ancient types and shadows as symbols of the truth, and patterns given to the Church, we prefer “grace and truth,” receiving it as the fulfilment of the Law. In order therefore that “that which is perfect” may be delineated to the eyes of all, at least in coloured expression, we decree that the figure in human form of the Lamb who taketh away the sin of the world, Christ our God, be henceforth exhibited in images, instead of the ancient lamb, so that all may understand by means of it the depths of the humiliation of the Word of God, and that we may recall to our memory his conversation in the flesh, his passion and salutary death, and his redemption which was wrought for the whole world.
Ancient Epitome of Canon LXXXII.
Thou shalt not paint a lamb for the type of Christ, but himself.
As from this canon, a century earlier than the iconoclastic controversy, the prevalence of pictures is evident, so from the canon of the same synod with regard to the veneration due to the image of the cross (number lxxiii.), we learn that the teaching of the Church with regard to relative worship was the same as was subsequently set forth, so that the charge of innovating, sometimes rashly brought against the Seventh Ecumenical Council, has no foundation in fact whatever.
This canon is further interesting as being the one cited by more than one Pope and Western Authority as belonging to “the Sixth Synod.”
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