The Rise and Fall of Christian Idolatry

Written by J. C. Ryle
Taken from “Knots Untied” first published 1877
Largely Edited for thought and space

goldencalf “Flee from idolatry.”
—1 Cor. 10: 14

Our lot is cast in an age when truth is constantly in danger of being sacrificed to toleration, charity, and peace falsely so-called.

Nevertheless, I cannot forget, as a clergyman, that the Church has “given no uncertain sound” on the subject of idolatry; and, unless I am greatly mistaken, truth about idolatry is, in the highest sense, truth for the times.

I. Let me, then, first of all, supply a definition of idolatry. Let me show WHAT IT IS.

It is of the utmost importance that we should understand this. Unless I make this clear, I can do nothing with the subject. Vagueness and indistinctness prevail upon this point, as upon almost every other in religion. The Christian who would not be continually running aground in his spiritual voyage, must have his channel well buoyed, and his mind well stored with clear definitions.
I say, then, that “idolatry is a worship in which the honor due to God, and to Him only, is given to some of His creatures, or to some invention of His creatures.”

It may vary exceedingly. It may assume ex­ceedingly different forms, according to the ignorance or the knowledge, the civilization or the barbarism, of those who offer it. It may be grossly absurd and ludicrous, or it may closely border on truth, and admit of being most speciously defended.

abominationIt is not necessary for a man formally to deny God and Christ, in order to be an idolator.

Far from it. Professed reverence for the God of the Bible, and actual idolatry, are perfectly compatible. They have often gone side by side, and they still do so. The children of Israel never thought of renouncing God when they persuaded Aaron to make the golden calf. “These be thy gods,” they said (thy Elohim), “which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” And the feast in honor of the calf was kept as “a feast unto the Lord” (Jehovah). (Exodus 32: 4, 5.) Jeroboam, again, never pretended to ask the ten tribes to cast off their allegiance to the God of David and Solomon. When he set up the calves of gold in Dan and Bethel, he only said, “It is too much for you to go up to Jeru­salem: behold thy gods, O Israel (thy Elohim), which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (1 Kings 12: 28.) In both instances, we should observe, the idol was not set up as a rival to God, but under the pretense of being a help—a stepping-stone to His service. But, in both instances, a great sin was committed. The honor due to God was given to a visible representation of Him. The majesty of Jehovah was offended. The second commandment was broken. There was, in the eyes of God, a flagrant act of idolatry.

Imacon Color ScannerLet us mark this well. It is high time to dismiss from our minds those loose ideas about idolatry, which are common in this day. We must not think, as many do, that there are only two sorts of idolatry,—the spiritual idolatry of the man who loves his wife, or child, or money more than God; and the open, gross idolatry of the man who bows down to an image of wood, or metal, or stone, because he knows no better. We may rest assured that idolatry is a sin which occupies a far wider field than this. It is not merely a thing in Hindustan, that we may hear of and pity at missionary meetings; nor yet is it a thing confined to our own hearts, that we may confess before the Mercy-seat upon our knees. It is a pestil­ence that walks in the Church of Christ to a much greater extent than many suppose. It is an evil that, like the man of sin, “sits in the very temple of God.” (2 Thess. 2:4.) It is a sin that we all need to watch and pray against continually. It creeps into our religious worship insensibly, and is upon us before we are aware. Those are tremendous words which Isaiah spoke to the formal Jew,—not to the worshiper of Baal, remember, but to the man who actually came to the temple (Isa. 66:3): “He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol.”

This is that sin which God has especially denounced in His Word. One commandment out of ten is devoted to the prohibition of it. Not one of all the ten contains such a solemn declaration of God’s character, and of His judgments against the disobedient: “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me,” (Exod. 20:5.) Not one, perhaps, of all the ten is so emphatically re­peated and amplified, and especially in the fourth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy.

This is the sin, of all others, to which the Jews seem to have been most inclined before the destruction of Solomon’s temple. What is the history of Israel under their judges and kings but a melancholy record of repeated falling away into idolatry? Again and again we read of “high places” and false gods. Again and again we read of captivities and chastisements on account of idolatry. Again and again we read of a return to the old sin. It seems as if the love of idols among the Jews was naturally bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. The besetting sin of the Old Testa­ment Church, in one word, was idolatry. In the face of the most elaborate ceremonial ordinances that God ever gave to His people, Israel was incessantly turning aside after idols, and worshiping the work of men’s hands.

This is the sin, of all others, which has brought down the heaviest judgments on the visible Church.

It brought on Israel the armies of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. It scattered the ten tribes, burned up Jerusalem, and carried Judah and Benjamin into captivity. It brought on the Eastern Churches, in later days, the overwhelming flood of the Sara­cenic invasion, and turned many a spiritual garden into a wilderness. The desolation which reigns where Cyprian and Augustine once preached, the living death in which the Churches of Asia Minor and Syria are buried, are all attributable to this sin. All testify to the same great truth which the Lord proclaims in Isaiah: “My glory will I not give to another.” (Isa. 42: 8.)
Let us gather up these things in our minds, and ponder them well. Idolatry is a subject which, in every Church of Christ that would keep herself pure, should be thoroughly examined, understood, and known. It is not for nothing that St. Paul lays down the stern command, “Flee from idolatry.”

Kruis_san_damianoII. Let me show, in the second place, the cause to which idolatry may be traced. WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

To the man who takes an extravagant and exalted view of human intellect and reason, idolatry may seem absurd. He fancies it too irrational for any but weak minds to be endangered by it. To a mere superficial thinker about Christianity, the peril of idolatry may seem very small. Whatever commandments are broken, such a man will tell us, professing Christians are not very likely to transgress the second.

Now, both these persons betray a woeful ignorance of human nature. They do not see that there are secret roots of idolatry within us all. The prevalence of idolatry in all ages among the heathen must necessarily puzzle the one,—the warnings of Protestant ministers against idolatry in the Church must necessarily appear uncalled for to the other. Both are alike blind to its cause.

The cause of all idolatry is the natural corruption of man’s heart.

That great family disease, with which all the children of Adam are in­fected from their birth, shows itself in this, as it does in a thousand other ways. Out of the same fountain from which “proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,” and the like (Mark 7: 21, 22),—out of that same fountain arise false views of God, and false views of the worship due to Him; and therefore, when the Apostle Paul tells the Galatians (Gal. 5:20) what are the “works of the flesh,” he places prominently among them “idolatry.”

italian-translation-of-catholic-massIgnorance of God, carnal and low conceptions of His nature and attributes, earthly and sensual notions of the service which is acceptable to Him, all characterize the religion of the natural man. There is a craving in his mind after something he can see, and feel, and touch in his Divinity. He would fain bring his God down to his own crawling level. He would make his religion a thing of sense and sight. He has no idea of the religion of heart, and faith, and spirit. In short, just as he is willing to live on God’s earth, but, until renewed by grace, a fallen and degraded life, so he has no objection to worship after a fashion, but, until renewed by the Holy Ghost, it is always with a fallen worship. In one word, idolatry is a natural product of man’s heart. It is a weed which, like the earth uncultivated, the heart is always ready to bring forth.

Does it surprise us when we read in history how idolatry crept in by degrees into the Church of Christ,—how little by little it thrust out Gospel truth, until, in Canterbury, men offered more at the shrine of Thomas a Becket than they did at that of the Virgin Mary, and more at that of the Virgin Mary than at that of Christ? Let us cease to be surprised. It is all intelligible. There is a cause.

Does it surprise us when we hear of men going over from Protestant Churches to the Church of Rome, in the present day? Do we think it unaccountable, and feel as if we ourselves could never forsake a pure form of worship for one like that of the Pope? Let us cease to be surprised. There is a solution for the problem. There is a cause.

This cause is nothing else but the deep corruption of man’s heart.

roman-catholic-massThere is a natural proneness and tendency in us all to give God a sensual, carnal worship, and not that which is commanded in His Word. We are ever ready, by reason of our sloth and unbelief, to devise visible helps and stepping-stones in our approaches to Him, and ultimately to give these inventions of our own the honor due to Him. In fact, idolatry is all natural, downhill, easy, like the broad way. Spiritual worship is all grace, all uphill, and all against the grain. Any worship whatsoever is more pleasing to the natural heart, than worshiping God in the way which our Lord Christ describes, “in spirit and in truth.” (John iv. 23.)

I, for one, am not surprised at the quantity of idolatry existing, both in the world and in the visible Church. I believe it perfectly possible that we may yet live to see far more of it than some have ever dreamed of. It would never surprise me if some mighty personal Antichrist were to arise before the end,—mighty in intellect, mighty in talents for government, yes, and mighty, perhaps, in miraculous gifts too. It would never surprise me to see such a one as him setting up himself in opposition to Christ, and forming an infidel conspiracy and combination against the Gospel. I believe that many would rejoice to do him honor, who now glory in saying, “We will not have this Christ to reign over us.” I believe that many would make a god of him, and reverence him as an incarnation of truth, and concentrate their idea of hero-worship on his person. I advance it as a possibility, and no more. But of this at least I am certain,—that no man is less safe from danger of idolatry than the man who now sneers at every form of religion; and that from infidelity to credulity, from atheism to the grossest idolatry, there is but a single step. Let us not think, at all events, that idolatry is an old-fashioned sin, into which we are never likely to fall. “Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” We shall do well to look into our own hearts: the seeds of idolatry are all there. We should remember the words of St. Paul: “Flee from idolatry.”

RUSSIA_-_IntervistaIII. Let me show, in the third place, the forms which idolatry has assumed, and does assume, in the visible Church. WHERE IS IT?

I believe there never was a more baseless fabric than the theory which obtains favor with many,—that the promises of perpetuity and preser­vation from apostasy, belong to the visible Church of Christ.

It is a theory supported neither by Scripture nor by facts. The Church against which “the gates of hell shall never prevail,” is not the visible Church, but the whole body of the elect, the company of true believers out of every nation and people. The greater part of the visible Church has frequently maintained gross heresies. The particular branches of it are never secure against deadly error, both of faith and practice. A departure from the faith,—a falling away,—a leaving of first love in any branch of the visible Church, need never surprise a careful reader of the New Testament.Monroe_County_-_All_Saints_Orthodox_Church_-_divine_liturgy_-_P1040498That idolatry would arise, seems to have been the expectation of the Apostles, even before the canon of the New Testament was closed. It is remarkable to observe how St. Paul dwells on this subject in his Epistle to the Corinthians. If any Corinthian called a brother was an idolator, with such a one the members of the Church “were not to eat.” (1 Cor. 5:11.) “Neither be ye idolators, as were some of our fathers.” (1 Cor. 10:7.) He says again, in the text which heads this paper, “My dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Cor. 10:14.) When he writes to the Colossians, he warns them against “worshiping of angels.” (Col. 2:18.) And St. John closes his first Epistle with the solemn injunction, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21.) It is impossible not to feel that all these passages imply an expectation that idolatry would arise, and that soon, among professing Christians.

The famous prophecy in the fourth chapter of the first Epistle to Timothy contains a passage which is even more directly to the point: “The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim. 4:1) I will not detain my readers with any lengthy discussion of that remarkable expression, “doctrines of devils.” It may be sufficient to say that our excellent translators of the Bible are considered for once to have missed the full meaning of the Apostle, in their rendering of the word translated as “devils” in our version, and that the true meaning of the expression is, “doctrines about departed spirits.” And in this view, which, I may as well say, is maintained by all those who have the best right to be heard on such a question, the passage becomes a direct predic­tion of the rise of that most specious form of idolatry, the worship of dead saints.

The last passage I will call attention to, is the conclusion of the ninth chapter of Revelation. We there read, at the twentieth verse: “The rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils” (this is the same word, we should observe, as that in the Epistle to Timothy just quoted), “and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.” Now, I am not going to offer any comment on the chapter in which this verse occurs. I know well there is a difference of opinion as to the true interpretation of the plagues predicted in it. I only venture to assert that it is the highest probability these plagues are to fall upon the visible Church of Christ; and the highest improbability that St. John was here prophesying about the heathen, who never heard the Gospel. And this once conceded, the fact that idolatry is a predicted sin of the visible Church, does seem most conclusively and for ever established.

And now, if we turn from the Bible to facts, what do we see? I reply unhesitatingly, that there is unmistakable proof that Scripture warnings and predictions were not spoken without cause, and that idolatry has actually arisen in the visible Church of Christ, and does still exist.

But let us now turn from the past to the present.

consecration1Let us examine the question which most concerns ourselves. Let us consider in what form idolatry presents itself to us as a sin of the visible Church of Christ in our own time. I find no difficulty in answering this question. I feel no hesitation in affirming that idolatry never yet assumed a more glaring form than it does in the Church of Rome at this present day.

And here I come to a subject on which it is hard to speak, because of the times we live in. But the whole truth ought to be spoken by ministers of Christ, without respect of times and prejudices. And I should not lie down in peace, after writing on idolatry, if I did not declare my solemn conviction that idolatry is one of the crying sins of which the Church of Rome is guilty. I say this in all sadness. I say it, acknowledging fully that we have our faults in the Protestant Church; and practically, perhaps, in some quarters, not a little idolatry. But from formal, recognized, system­atic idolatry, I believe we are almost entirely free. While, as for the Church of Rome, if there is not in her worship an enormous quantity of systematic, organized idolatry, I frankly confess I do not know what idolatry is.

I know well that language like this jars the minds of many. Men love to shut their eyes against evils which it is disagreeable to allow. They will not see things which involve unpleasant consequences. That the Church of Rome is an erring Church, they will acknowledge. That she is idolatrous, they will deny.

eucharist-201x300I know how painful these things sound to many ears. To me it is no pleasure to dwell on the shortcomings of any who profess and call them­selves Christians. I can say truly that I have said what I have said with pain and sorrow. I draw a wide distinction between the accredited dogmas of the Church of Rome and the private opinions of many of her members. I believe and hope that many a Roman Catholic is in heart inconsistent with his pro­fession, and is better than the Church to which he belongs.

I should not be faithful if I said less. The Church of which I am a minister has spoken out most strongly on the subject. But I may not dwell longer on this part of my subject. The main point I wish to impress on men’s minds is this,—that idolatry has decidedly manifested itself in the visible Church of Christ, and nowhere so decidedly as in the Church of Rome.

IV. And now let me show, in the last place, the ultimate abolition of all idolatry. WHAT WILL END IT?

I consider that man’s soul must be in an unhealthy state who does not long for the time when idolatry shall be no more. That heart can hardly be right with God which can think of the millions who are sunk in heathen­ism, or honor the false prophet Mahomet, or daily offer up prayers to the Virgin Mary, and not cry, “O my God, what shall be the end of these things? How long, O Lord, how long?”

Here, as in other subjects, the sure word of prophecy comes in to our aid. The end of all idolatry shall one day come. Its doom is fixed. Its overthrow is certain. Whether in heathen temples, or in so-called Christian churches, idolatry shall be destroyed at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then shall be fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, “The idols He shall utterly abolish.” (Isa. ii. 18.)—Then shall be fulfilled the words of Micah (v. 13): “Their graven images also will I cut off, and their standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.”—Then shall be fulfilled the prophecy of Zephaniah (2:11): “The Lord will be terrible unto them: for He will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.”—Then shall be fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah (13:2). “It shall come to pass at that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered.”—In a word, the ninety-seventh Psalm shall then receive its full accomplishment: “The Lord reigneth: let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship Him, all ye gods.”

The second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is that blessed hope which should ever comfort the children of God under the present dispensation. It is the pole-star by which we must journey. It is the one point on which all our expectations should be concentrated. “Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” (Heb.10:37) Our David shall no longer dwell in Adullam, followed by a despised few, and rejected by the many. He shall take to Himself His great power, and reign, and cause every knee to bow before Him. 

Till then our redemption is not perfectly enjoyed; as Paul tells the Ephesians, “We are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph. 9:30) Till then our salvation is not completed; as Peter says, “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5) Till then our knowledge is still defective; as Paul tells the Corinthians: “Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; then shall I know even also as I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) 

But in the day of our Lord’s return every desire shall receive its full accomplishment.

We shall no more be pressed down and worn out with the sense of constant failure, feebleness, and disappointment. In His presence we shall find there is a fulness of joy, if nowhere else; and when we awake up after His likeness we shall be satisfied, if we never were be­fore. (Psalm 16:11; 17:15)

There are many abominations now in the visible Church, over which we can only sigh and cry, like the faithful in Ezekiel’s day. (Ezek. 9:4)

We cannot remove them. The wheat and the tares will grow together until the harvest. But a day comes when the Lord Jesus shall once more purify His temple, and cast forth everything that defiles. He shall do that work of which the doings of Hezekiah and Josiah were a faint type long ago. He shall cast forth the images, and purge out idolatry in every shape.

Who is there now that longs for the conversion of the heathen world? You will not see it in its fulness until the Lord’s appearing. Then, and not till then, will that often-misapplied text be fulfilled: “A man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats.” (Isa. 2:20.)

Who is there now that longs for the redemption of Israel? You will never see it in its perfection till the Redeemer comes to Zion.

Who is there now that longs for the fall of Antichrist, and the purifica­tion of the Church of Rome? I believe that will never be until the winding up of this dispensation. That vast system of idolatry may be consumed and wasted by the Spirit of the Lord’s mouth, but it shall never be de­stroyed excepting by the brightness of His coming. (2 Thess. 2:8.)

Who is there now that longs for a perfect Church?

—a Church in which there shall not be the slightest taint of idolatry? You must wait for the Lord’s return. Then, and not till then, shall we see a perfect Church,—a Church having neither spot nor wrinkle, nor any such thing (Eph. v. 27),­ a Church of which all the members shall be regenerate, and every one a child of God.

But let our eyes look right onward to the day of Christ’s second advent. That is the only day when every abuse shall be rectified, and every corrup­tion and source of sorrow completely purged away. Waiting for that day, let us each work on and serve our generation; not idle, as if nothing could be done to check evil, but not disheartened because we see not yet all things put under our Lord. After all, the night is far spent, and the day is at hand. Let us wait, I say, on the Lord.

We must all be on our guard. We must take nothing for granted. We must not hastily suppose that we are too wise to be ensnared, and say, like Hazael, “Is Thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?” Those who preach must cry aloud and spare not, and allow no false tenderness to make them hold their peace about the heresies of the day. Those who hear must have their loins girt about with truth, and their minds stored with clear prophetical views of the end to which all idol-worshipers must come. Let us all try to realize that the latter ends of the world are upon us, and that the abolition of all idolatry is hastening on. Once more, then, I say, let us remember that the destruction of all idolatry is certain, and remembering that, beware of the Church of Rome.

The subject I now touch upon is of deep and pressing importance, and demands the serious attention of all Protestant Churchmen. It is vain to deny that a large party of the clergy and laity in the present day are moving heaven and earth to reunite the Protestantism with the idolatrous Church of Rome.

The existence of such a movement as this will not surprise any one who has carefully watched the history of the Church during the last forty years. The pompous semi-Romish ceremonial which has been introduced into many churches, has prepared men’s minds for changes.

I hold, for one, that this Romish movement ought to be steadily and firmly resisted. Notwithstanding the rank, the learning, and the devoted­ness of some of its advocates, I regard it as a most mischievous, soul-­ruining, and unscriptural movement. To say that reunion with Rome would be an insult to our martyred Reformers, is a very light thing; it is far more than this: it would be a sin and an offense against God!

Unity in the abstract is no doubt an excellent thing: but unity without truth is useless.

Peace and uniformity are beautiful and valuable: but peace without the Gospel,—peace based on a common denomination, and not on a common faith, is a worthless peace, not deserving of the name. —If the Pope does indeed desire we should be re­conciled to him, he ought first to reconcile himself to God.” This witness is true!

I write these things with sorrow. But the circumstances of the times make it absolutely necessary to speak out. To whatever quarter of the horizon I turn, I see grave reason for alarm. For the true Church of Christ I have no fears at all. But for all the Protestant Churches, I have very grave fears in­deed. The tide of events seems running strongly against Protestantism and in favor of Rome. It looks as if God had a controversy with us, and is about to punish us for our sins.

I am no prophet. I know not where we are drifting. But at the rate we are going, I think it quite within the verge of possibility that in a few years the Church may be reunited to the Church of Rome. God grant we may never come to this state of things! But at the rate we are going, it seems to me quite possible.

And now it only remains for me to conclude what I have been saying, by mentioning some safeguards for the souls of all who read this paper. False doctrines of every kind are continually set before us in the most subtle and specious forms. It cannot be thought unseasonable if I offer some practical safeguards against idolatry. What it is, whence it comes, where it is, what will end it,—all this we have seen. Let me point out how we may be safe from it, and I will say no more.

(1) Let us arm ourselves, then, for one thing, with a thorough knowledge of the Word of God.

Let us read our Bibles more diligently than ever, and become familiar with every part of them. Let the Word dwell in us richly. Let us beware of anything which would make us give less time, and less heart, to the perusal of its sacred pages. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit; let it never be laid aside. The Bible is the true lantern for a dark and cloudy time; let us beware of traveling without its light.

(2) Let us arm ourselves, in the second place, with a godly jealousy about the least portion of the Gospel.

Let us beware of sanctioning the slightest attempt to keep back any jot or tittle of it, or to throw any part of it into the shade by exalting subordinate matters in religion. When Peter withdrew himself from eating with the Gentiles, it seemed but a little thing; yet Paul tells the Galatians, “I withstood him to the face, be­cause he was to be blamed.” (Gal. ii. 11.) Let us count nothing little that concerns our souls. Let us be very particular whom we hear, where we go, and what we do, in all the matters of our own particular worship; and let us care nothing for the imputation of squeamishness and excessive scrupulosity. We live in days when great principles are involved in little acts, and things in religion, which fifty years ago were utterly indifferent, are now by circumstances rendered indifferent no longer.

(3) Let us arm ourselves, last of all, with clear sound views of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the salvation that is in Him.

He is the “image of the invisible God,”—the express “image of His person,”—and the true pre­servative against all idolatry, when truly known. Let us build ourselves deep down on the strong foundation of His finished work upon the cross. Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that Christ Jesus has done everything needful in order to present us without spot before the throne of God, and that simple, childlike faith on our part is the only thing required to give us an entire interest in the work of Christ. Let us not doubt that, having this faith, we are completely justified in the sight of God,—will never be more justified if we live to the age of Methuselah and do the works of the Apostle Paul,—and CAN add nothing to that complete justification by any acts, deeds, words, performances, fastings, prayers, almsdeeds, attendance on ordinances, or anything else of our own.

Above all, let us keep up continual communion with the person of the Lord Jesus!

Let us abide in Him daily, feed on Him daily, look to Him daily, lean on Him daily, live upon Him daily, draw from His fulness daily. Let us realize this, and the idea of other mediators, other comforters, other intercessors, will seem utterly absurd. “What need is there?” we shall reply: “I have Christ, and in Him I have all. What have I to do with idols? I have Jesus in my heart, Jesus in the Bible, and Jesus in heaven, and I want nothing more!”

Once let the Lord Christ have His rightful place in our hearts, and all other things in our religion will soon fall into their right places.—Church, ministers, sacraments, ordinances, all will go down, and take the second place. Except Christ sits as Priest and King upon the throne of our hearts, that little kingdom within will be in perpetual confusion. But only let Him be “all in all” there, and all will be well. Before Him every idol, every Dagon shall fall down.

CHRIST RIGHTLY KNOWN, CHRIST TRULY BELIEVED, AND CHRIST HEARTILY LOVED, IS THE TRUE PRESERVATIVE AGAINST RITUALISM, ROMANISM AND EVERY FORM OF IDOLATRY.