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We read of other forms of adoration among the Hebrews, such as taking off the shoes ( Exodus 3:5 ), bowing ( Genesis ), and we are told that the contrite publican stood when he prayed, and that St.Paul knelt when he worshiped with the elders of Ephesus.This was clearly an act of adoration in its highest sense; yet that it could have other meaning, we know from, e.g., 1 Samuel , which says that David adored "falling on his face to the ground" before Jonathan, who had come to warn him of Saul's hatred.In like manner Gen xxxi;; 3 narrates tbat Jacob, on meeting his brother Esau "bowed down with he face to the ground seven times".It is to be expected, then, that men should have agreed upon certain conventional actions as expressing adoration of the Supreme Being.Of these actions, one has pre-eminently and exclusivly signified adoration, and that is sacrifice.Latria , as we have already said, is the name of this latter worship; and for the secondary kind, evoked by saints or angels, we use the term dulia.The Blessed Virgin, as manifesting in a sublimer manner than any other creature the goodness of God, deserves from us a higher recognition and deeper veneration than any other of the saints ; and this peculiar cultus due to her because of her unique position in the Divine economy, is designated in theology hyperdulia , that is dulia in an eminent degree.
But equally evident is that the adoration felt within will seek outward expression.Even to inanimate objects, which for one reason or another strikingly recall the excellence, majesty, love, or mercy of God, we naturally pay some measure of reverence.The goodness which these creatures possess by participation or association is a reflection of God's goodness ; by honouring them in the proper way we offer tribute to the Giver of all good.Other acts have been widely used for the same purpose, but most of them -- sacrifice always excepted -- have not been exclusively reserved for Divine worship; they have also been employed to manifest friendship, or reverence for high personages.
Thus Abram "fell flat on his face" before the Lord ( Genesis 17:3 ).
Adoration differs from other acts of worship, such as supplication, confession of sin, etc., inasmuch as it formally consists in self-abasement before the Infinite, and in devout recognition of His transcendent excellence.