The ancient Christians did not approve of statues of wood or metal or stone to be used in churches. This is proved from the testimonies of Germanus, bishop of Constantinople (Ep. ad Thonz. etc.), and Stephanus Bostrenensis, both cited in the Acts of the Second Council of Nice, which show that massy images or statues were thought to look too much like idols even by that worst of councils. Petavius answers the reference to the authority of Gregory Nazianzen (Ep. 49), that he speaks not of statues in temples, but of profane statues in other places. It is most certain, from the writings of Augustine (in Psalm 113) and Optatus (lib. 2), that there were no statues in that age in their churches or upon their altars, because they reckon both those to be mere heathenish customs. Cassander notes (Consult. de Imagin. p. 165) that till the time of the Sixth General Council the images of Christ were not usually in the figure of a man, but only symbolically represented under the type of a lamb; and so the Holy Ghost was represented under the type or symbol of a dove. That council forbade (Conc. Trull. c. 83) the picturing of Christ any more in the symbol of a lamb, and ordered that the Son of God should be drawn only in the likeness of man. The worship of images began, probably, in A.D. 692. It was then thought indecent to pay devotions to the picture of a lamb, and it was therefore no longer seen in the Church. Statues are now among the prominent ornaments of Roman Catholic churches and chapels. See Bingham, Christ. Antiq. bk. 8, ch. 8, § 11. SEE IMAGE WORSHIP; SEE SCULPTURE, CHRISTIAN.

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