If you despise the royal garment, do you not despise the king himself? Do you not see that if you despise the image of the king, you despise the original? Do you not know that if a man shows contempt for an image of wood or a statue of metal, he is not judged as if he had vented himself or lifeless matter, but as showing contempt for the king? Dishonor shown to an image of the king is dishonor shown to the king.
The same, from his Sermon to St Meletius, Bishop of Antioch, and on the zeal of his hearers, beginning, "Casting his eyes everywhere on this holy flock."
What took place was most edifying, and we ought always to bear this consolation in mind, and to have this saint before our eyes, whose name was invoked against every bad passion and specious argument. This was so much the case that streets, market-place, fields, every nook and corner rang with his name. Not only have you longed to invoke him, but to look upon his bodily form. As with his name so with his image. Many people have put it on their rings and goblets and cups and on their bedroom walls, so as not only to hear his history but to look upon his physical likeness, and to have a double consolation in his loss.*
St Maximus, Philosopher and Confessor. From his "Acts" and those of Bishop Theodosius.
And after this all rose with tears of devotion, and kneeling down, prayed. And every one kissed the holy Gospels, and the sacred Cross, and the image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and of Our Lady, His Immaculate Mother (panagiaV qeotokou), putting their hands to it in confirmation of what had been said.
Blessed Anastasius, Archbishop of Theopolis, on the Sabbath, to Simeon, Bishop of Bostris.
As in the king's absence his image is honored instead of himself, so in his presence it would be unseemly to leave the original for the image. This is not to say that what is passed over in his presence should be dishonored. . . . As the man who shows disrespect to the king's image is punished as if he had shown it to the king in very deed, although the image is composed merely of wood and paint moulded together, so one who shows disrespect to the likeness of a man means it for the original of the likeness.