"their gods of silver and of gold"

A relic of the True Cross kept in Vienna’s Imperial Treasury
Public DomainA relic of the True Cross kept in Vienna’s Imperial Treasury - Credit: Gryffindor
Exodus 20:23: “Ye shall not make with me gods of siluer, neither shall ye make vnto you gods of gold.” This is an elaboration on the second commandment which prohibits making graven images. Robert’s moral disapproval can be seen as embodying Reformer’s attitudes towards Catholic practices, particularly those emphasising the material. Catholicism’s veneration of relics attracted particular opprobrium. Calvin wrote at length on the sacrilege of deifying martyrs and saints in this way and was scathing about the authenticity of the relics themselves. As he drily remarked, “if we were to collect all these pieces of the true cross exhibited in various parts, they would form a whole ship's cargo”.