Ignorance of God, carnal and low conceptions of His nature and attributes, earthly and sensual notions of the service which is acceptable to Him, all characterise the religion of the natural man. There is a craving in his mind after something he can see, and feel, and touch in his Divinity. He would fain bring his God down to his own crawling level. He would make his religion a thing of sense and sight. He has no idea of the religion of heart, and faith, and spirit. In short, just as he is willing to live on God's earth, but, until renewed by grace, a fallen and degraded life, so he has no objection to worship after a fashion, but, until renewed by the Holy Ghost, it is always with a fallen worship. In one word, idolatry is a natural product of man's heart. It is a weed, which like the earth uncultivated, the heart is always ready to bring forth. And now does it surprise us, when we read of the constantly recurring idolatries of the Old Testament Church,- of Peor, and Baal, and Moloch, and Chemosh, and Ashtaroth, - of high places and hill altars, and groves and images, - and this in the full light of the Mosaic ceremonial? Let us cease to be surprised. It can be accounted for.
JOHN CHARLES RYLE
(Source: Warnings to the Churches)