To put the same thing therefore in another light. All who have read the Scriptures must confess that idolatry is the crime against which God's highest resentment is expressed, and his severest punishment denounced. But let us not deceive ourselves. It is not in bowing the knee to idols that idolatry consists, so much as in the internal homage of the heart; as in feeling towards them, any of that supreme love, or reverence, or gratitude, which God reserves to himself as his own exclusive prerogative . On the same principle, whatever else draws off the heart from him, engrosses our prime regard, and holds the chief place in our esteem and affections, that, in the estimation of reason, is no less an idol to us than an image of wood or stone would be; before which we should fall down and worship. Think not this a strained analogy; it is the very language and argument of inspiration. The servant of God is commanded not to set up his idol in his Heart [cf. Matthew 6:21]; and sensuality and covetousness are repeatedly termed Idolatry. The same God who declares- "My glory I will not give to another, neither my praise to graven images" [Isaiah 42:8], declares also- "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in his riches" [Jeremiah 9:23]. "No flesh may glory in his presence" [1 Corinthians 1:29]; "he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" [1 Corinthians 1:31]. The sudden vengeance by which the vain glorious ostentation of Herod was punished, when, acquiescing in the servile adulation of an admiring multitude, "he gave not God the glory" [Acts 12:21-23], is a dreadful comment on these injunctions.
- from page 93, A Practical View of Christianity