George Whitefield on aberrations in worship and pictures of Christ

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Again, my Lord, I beg Leave to enquire whether we hear any thing in Scripture of Eldresses or Deaconnesses of the apostolical Churches seating themselves before a Table covered with artificial Flowers, against that a little Altar surrounded with Wax-tapers, on which stood a Cross composed either of mock or real Diamonds, or other glittering Stones? And yet your Lordship must be sensible this was done in Fetter-lane Chapel for Mrs. Hannah Nitschman, the present General Eldress of your Congregation, with this Addition, that all the Sisters were seated in German Caps, and cloathed in White, and the Organ also illuminated with three Pyramids of Wax-tapers, each of which was tied with a red Ribbon, and over the Head of the General Eldress was placed her own Picture, and over that (horresco referens) the Picture of the Son of God. — A goodly Sight this, my Lord, for a Company of English Protestants to behold! Alas! to what a long Series of childish and superstitious Devotions, and unscriptural Impositions must they have been habituated, before they could sit as silent and tame Spectators of such an antichristian Scene. ...

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