The Wood Is The Instruction Of Vanities

John Calvin:

“In order to know God, therefore, we must not frame a likeness of him according to our own fancy, but we must betake ourselves to the Word, in which his lively image is exhibited to us. Satisfied with that communication, let us not attempt anything else of our own. Other ways and methods, such as idols and images, teach us vanity and falsehood, and not truth, as Jeremiah beautifully says, ‘The wood is the instruction of vanities,’ (Jer_10:8,) and Habakkuk, ‘His graven image is falsehood.’ (Hab_2:18.) When the Lord sometimes compares himself to a lion, a bear, a man, or other objects, this has nothing to do with images, as the Papists imagine, but by those metaphors either the kindness and mercy of God, or his wroth and displeasure, and other things of the same nature, are expressed; for God cannot reveal himself to us in any other way than by a comparison with things which we know.”

Source:, Comment #4


No Symbols

Via Mint, Anise, and the Cumin:

“All representing of the persons as distinct, as to set out the Father (personally considered) by the image of an old man, as if he were a creature, the Son under the image of a lamb or young man, the Holy Ghost under the image of a dove, all which wrongeth the Godhead exceedingly; and although the Son was and is man, having taken on him that nature, and united it to his Godhead, yet he is not a mere man; therefore that image, which only holdeth forth one nature, and looketh like any man in the world, cannot be the representation of that person which is God and man.”

-James Durham, The Law Unsealed

“Puritan Thomas Watson wrote in his commentary on the Ten Commandments that all portraitures, shapes and ideas are forbidden in the Second Commandment with regards to the any person of the Godhead or the Triune God as a whole. Diagrams, Triangles, Triquetra etc are not only ideas but also shapes that are expressively forbidden when made for a religious use and for representing God either symbolically or literally.”

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