Puslapio vaizdai

and teachers of the Sabbath School, and held at such an hour as would be suitable for their attendance. It should be so condueted that men may realize that out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, God has perfected praise.

It should ordinarily be distinguished by an extemporaneous lecture, in exposition of the Bible, illustrating its history, its biography, unfolding its prophecies, and enforcing its doctrines.

We believe that one protracted service of any given kind, for tlıe same congregation on the same day, is enough; and that two public exercises should be the extent of pastoral service, as the ordinary rule. The exceptions should be the seasons of special religious interest, occasional visits to the Sabbath School, and funeral services called for by the exigencies of the time.



There are twenty-nine ancient Churches in England, technically called Cathedrals. These structures are interesting as in some degree embodying the history and faith of England. We have but to mention Westminster Abbey, to bring before us a kind of gorgeous crystallization of all the stately and solemn glories of our motherland. These buildings have been the slow work of ages. They have grown by accretion, gathering into their immense piles the genius and treasures of centuries. The foundation of some of them is a matter of obscurity. It can hardly now be ascertained where one age left off and another began. Yet there are four principal epochs of English ecclesiastical architecture distinctly marked upon the buildings themselves ; although these architectural periods, historically considered, form a development of the same Anglo. Gothic type of architecture, and are variations of its original idea, rather than new styles. We propose to describe briefly the characteristics of these four epochs.

It is true, that from a few antique fragments found here and there, a claim has been made to a distinctive Saxon architecture; but this claim has been abandoned by the best authorities. It is probable that the Anglo-Saxons, prior to the Conquest, built chiefly in wood, and their edifices were extremely rude, and possessed little architectural individuality.

The Normans were the first builders both in England and on the continent. They were the Romans of their time. Wherever they went they meant to stay. Upon their public edifices, as on their laws, was stamped the spirit of stability, and of a living original strength, which enabled the Norman architecture, wherever it appeared, in Italy as well as in Northern Europe, to supersede the effcte classical styles, and to become the solid foundation of Christian architecture down to the present time.

We find, therefore, in nearly all the ancient Churches of England, that the Norman forms the oldest portion of them, and is their original basis. This is especially true of the Cathedrals of Gloucester, Chester, Winchester, Peterborough, Durham, and Ely, in which, indeed, as in the smaller parish churches of Romsey and Iftly, the Norman element predominates, and gives the characteristic tone to these structures.

All architecture came originally from the East, and the influence of the Byzantine style upon the Norman, is very direct-caught, doubtless, during the period of the Crusades. Norman architecture, in all probability, sprang from the Byzantine-Roman, modified and enlarged into a new creation, by the stronger genius and gloomier fancy of the North. It has the ponderous masses, low and cavernous spaces, and round arch, of the old Roman edifice. Sometimes the Norman arch has its centre above the line of impost, and then curves inward below the point of springing, making a horseshoe arch, thus increasing the resemblance to oriental architecture. This style, introduced into Britain, by William the Conqueror, continued unmixed, about one hundred and twentyfour years, to the end of the reign of IIenry III., in 1189. While massive strength is its chief quality, yet it is not withiout a certain degree of ornament, though fanciful and grotesque. The Norman capital is often, as at Gloucester, strung with meagre and curious carved work. Nothing is more varied, in fact, than the Norman capital. Its shape is usually that of a bowl, truncated at the sides, but its adornment is exceedingly diverse and strange.

Sometimes it is braided with interlacing lines of bead-work, as if hung over with a net of pearls. Sometimes it is wreathed with largeleaved flowers, or a stiff wide-spreading vine. At other times it is carved into bird-nests, with the birds sitting in them. Then an odd monster, or dragon lizard, is convoluted around the bell of the capital. Human faces and busts, sometimes of men holding their months open with their fingers, and sometimes of females or veiled nuns, interlacing arms around the column, appear as the head of the pillar.

These are not unlike the human-headed and Isis-faced columns of Dendarahi and other Egyptian temples, forming still another feature of likeness to the architecture of the East. The oriental character of the principal columns of Durham Cathedral is very marked.

A fine example of the Norman style is found in the nave of Peterborough Cathedral, surmounted by three tiers of bowheaded arches, forming the sides and clere-story. The length of this edifice is four hundred and seventy-nine feet.

It abounds in rich sepulchral brasses, anciently called “latten,” which are laid in Purbeck marble. These were, in fact, the first stereotypes.

Gloucester Cathedral is still more characteristically Norman, although having been begun at the latter end of the eleventh century, and finished at the beginning of the fifteenth, its history comprehends the whole range of English Church architecture. Its nave, foundation, and crypt, are of the most solid Norman style. The sixteen unornamented and ponderous columns of the nave are truly grand. The only fault (which is, indeed, the great fault of all the English Cathedrals) is the want of height in the main body of the building. In more expressive plırase, it is squatty. But its interior gives one a sense of that strength and repose befitting God's house. The stone vaulting of the ceiling is also simple and plain; yet there is carved work and ornament about the clere-story windows and the central tower. This structure remarkably combines the massive and light, the simple and rich. It has felt the new movement in England to restore the old churches. This is seen in the complete renovation of its noble cloisters. In this church is the monument of Robert Duke of Normandy, eldest son of the Conqueror, who was a crusader.

The second style of ecclesiastical architecture in England, or the “Early English,” gradually succeeded the Norman, and prevailed from the beginning of the reign of Richard I., in 1189, to the end of the reign of Henry III., in 1272, a period of about one hundred years. We may date the time of transition, to that chivalric period when the troubadour and ballad poetry arose, and new ideas of freedom and beauty seemed to be struggling with the old Norman force and tyranny. The

We can


prime characteristic of this style is the pointed arch, long and narrow at first like the head of a Knight's lance, and then expanding into those great windows, which, filled with painted glass like those of Yorkminster, have such a glorious effect. The round lines, however, of the Norman style, were not given up, but were retained in the headings of doors and windows, and in the large circular windows like those at Lincoln and Peterborough.

see how the pointed arch originated from the accidental intersections of round arches with each other, making pointed archies of the intermediate spaces. The pointed arch lifted the building from its heaviness and earthliness. It heightened the ceiling, and, as a natural development, it sprung toward heaven as far as it could carry its lines upward in the slenderly pointed spire. To support this greater height and this mighty upspringing mass, wide and prominent buttresses were added, which, in the compact Norman architecture, were commonly but small round projections from the wall itself. These flying buttresses, with their doubled stories of arches, and their pin. nacled tops, form a new and striking feature. In the original contract for the building of Fotheringay church, it is written: “And aither of the said Isles shall have six mighty Botrasse of Free stone, clen-hewyn; and every Botrasse fynist with a fynial.” A very characteristic ornament of the early English style, is the “ tooth-ornament,” taking the place of the invariable Norman zigzag moulding or “chevron,” around the arches of windows and doors. This moulding resembles the necklace of sharks' teeth worn by the Pacific islanders. But all kinds of rich and delicate ornament begin to appear in the later period of this style. Profuse flower-carving is seen in the heads of pillars, and the finishings of corbels. Everything ended in bloom and flower. There was far more of

and delicacy than in the Norinan style. The vaultings of the roof at their lines of intersection were ribbed; and cross-springing transverse ribs were introduced, thus weaving a rich tracery over the plain Anglo-Norman ceiling, though it continued as massive as before. And while the columns and piers were still ponderous, the rounds, and hollows, and the variety of lines



[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »