“Tabernacula Tua quam dilecta.”
No. I.—OCTOBER, MDCCCXLVIII.
THE time having arrived designated by the Committee for the appearance of the first number of the New-York Ecclesiologist, it is herewith put forth with good hopes, but yet not without, fears, arising from many and obvious causes. But the Committee would no longer delay. It is an experiment to which they stand pledged before the Church, and they must abide the issue. If successful, they will feel an honest pride in having led the way to the establishment of a periodical that cannot but tell favorably both on the temporal and spiritual interests of the Church they love; and even though it fail, they will still have at least that satisfaction which comes from boldly daring in a good cause. Though dependent, therefore, on borrowed funds, even for this small outlay of its first number, they go on with a good courage, knowing that the “gold and the silver” are His to whose glory this, their feeble offering, is now made.
But the financial question, however essential, is not yet the hardest that besets this undertaking. Whether the Church in this country is as yet ready for its support, whether it is not rather anticipating a demand that another century must bring forth—a demand that grows up but by slow degrees, oven as the Church itself spreads—and therefore, whether the present interest in such questions is not too narrow a base now to build upon; all those, are reasonable doubts, and certainly not without strength, judging at least from the experience of our mother Church of England, which, with her 12,000 parishes and 16,000 clergy, has but just begun adequately to support a similar undertaking. But that comparison suggests smother serious difficulty—where shall such a work, with us, find its adequate materials? England, our ancestral laud, teems with them; but where shall the American ecclesiologist turn for his subject matter where shall he find his perfect models to recommend, cathedral, collegiate, or parochial? where his ruined Churches and cloisters to trace out, with that antiquarian zeal which may give to his dry didactic subject all the interest of novelty and discovery? and where, above all, shall he find that widely-diffused church sympathy in his subject, which is the highest encouragement, as well as the richest reward, that can await the patient laborer in these toils, whether of head, hand, or pen? The ecclesiologist, in England, addresses himself alike to the heart and understanding of 16,000 classically educated ministers of her communion, themselves a noble audience, apart even from her myriad ranks of lay churchmen, a large proportion of whom are alike zealous, liberal, and wealthy. The ecclesiologist in America, on the other hand, has both a narrower and a feebler audience of church clergy—less than 1,500 in number—of whom more than one-half are struggling with such narrow means, that the addition of even the $2 annual subscription to the work, however desired, would be felt by them as a burthen they could not justifiably undertake; while of the laity, professedly belonging to the Church (to whom, although not so confined, this work must mainly look), how few, comparatively, take any interest in this subject, either spiritually or practically? and of these few, how very few are fitted, by their previous tastes or studies, to enter intelligently into those scientific questions of church architecture which must obviously, after a time, form the chief material of an ecclesiological journal?
Now we have stated these doubts strongly, because we have felt them deeply; nor are we now clear that the time has actually come for the permanent establishment of such a work. But on one point our faith does stand unshaken, and that is the present need (whatever be the support given it) of some such guiding publication for the interests of the Church, whether in this or other form. Never, in truth, we hold, in the history of Christendom, was there opened a wider or richer field of promise to the ecclesiological teacher, or one more demanding prompt and skillful cultivation. The untamed energies of our laud and race, running wild in license, have been hitherto as marked in our church buildings as in all things else—church edifices have sprung up on all sides, as it were, in a night, and in every possible variety of form and deformity—without type, without model—without principles and without, taste—as if the erection were everything and its uses nothing: nor has that era yet passed with us; but still a decided change has of late come over its spirit, and that favorable change is the foundation on which we now build the hoped-for usefulness of our Society and its periodical, whether permanent or temporary. That change is a demand for knowledge. In church buildings, as the case may be, choice is now made of styles or models, and light is asked in choosing them, and curiosity is awakened, and information sought in all questions of church architecture, and men ask with some impatience, Where shall I find it? why is there no church periodical to afford it? and why does not some such arise which shall, at, small cost, guide those who are willing to be guided? Such questions are continually put, and no satisfactory answer as yet can be given; while cases are constantly occurring where, through want of a little wise guidance that would have been thankfully received, the grossest offences against good taste and ancient usage are fallen into in the erection of God’s House—errors to be lamented over almost with tears as soon as completed.
But this aspect of the case again brings up a new stumbling-block in our path; viz., that of setting up ourselves as teachers unto the Church, and, with a little brief and superficial knowledge, lording it over God’s heritage. Such is doubtless our invidious position before the Church; yet our answer will be as plain as we think it should be satisfactory. In a certain sense and to a certain degree we admit it must be even so. He who teaches at all must presume that he has some hearers less knowing than himself; otherwise his teaching is to no end. To those ignorant of church architecture, therefore, we are, and propose to be, teachers; and it will be our endeavor and study to be to them sound teachers, giving to them what we ourselves have perhaps but recently learned, yet by opportunities which they have not enjoyed; but still giving it in a spirit that would not justify any invidious term—as being truly in that humble spirit of love and communion which, as it is born at Christ’s altar, so does it consecrate to His glory all studies and all teaching that relate to God’s House. So much, then, for those unto whom we think, without arrogance, we may pretend to be as teachers, and we only trust that such readers will place in us that reasonable confidence which brother puts in brother, and believe that we will not speak confidently, nor urge zealously any point of church arrangement or architecture without good warrant. This confidence we may at least ask at the hands of our church brethren. But as touching the better instructed in our communion, we wholly repudiate the term: we sit here not as their teachers, but as their fellow-workers, carrying out with them that in which they are equally interested with us; and furnishing them at the same time with an instrument of power such as at present the Church has not—to serve both as a medium of their own sound teaching, and of those varied local wants which so imperatively demand it, and which at present have no organ through which to speak. In such light surely our periodical, however humble, may be recognised even by the most learned of our clergy and laity, as a valuable practical aid; and therefore a helping hand extended to it, neither in pity nor in scorn, but as to one of Christ’s faithful laborers in his vineyard; and though a volunteer in the work, yet seeking neither private gain nor the praise of man, but His commendation who saith “well done”—even to him who hath faithfully used his “one talent.” If we know ourselves, we stand on this impregnable rock, willing to spend and be spent in our Master’s service, in the building up of such temples to His honor and worship as may best accord with the Psalmist’s words, “The beauty of holiness.”
We recapitulate, in closing what we think may be done through the medium of “The Ecclesiologist,” and how?
1. It may be made the “Hand of the Church,” to gather up its fragmentary history, now scattered and almost lost, and thus go to build up the archaeology of the American branch of Christ’s Church; and, to effect this, we urge earnestly upon all its members, zeal in searching for, and care in collecting and remitting in a form for publication, all notices of early church edifices, accompanied, when possible, with plans and measurements.
2. It may be made the “Store-house” of the Church, and the shelves of the Society a receptacle to receive and keep safe, books, drawings, or other documents bearing on these questions, and for which their owners, through love for the Church, would willingly -find some safe place of deposit, open to the examination of all churchmen, and free from risk of loss or dispersion. To this end, too, the Editor would respectfully urge its members—the Society’s library being already, though small, a valuable one, and to donations looking mainly for its increase.
3. It may be made the “Organ of Intercommunication” in the Church, bringing out its sectional wants and remedies, such as plans wanted or given, doubts and difficulties stated or solved, whether of material, or form, or structure; questions of alterations in the renewal of old Churches; together with the fact of collections made, or making, for general or special objects. These certainly are numerous enough, in our rapidly extending Church, to demand a special organ for their publication; and to this end we invite communications.
4. It may be made the “Teacher of the Church”—that is, of those who in it need and ask for instruction; but it will be such, not through any special superiority either in Editor or Committee, but through its open columns, concentering rays of light now scattered. To this end, also, the Editors invite communications, calmly, and carefully, and succinctly prepared, whether on general or special points, or in the form of critical notices of works or buildings.
And lastly, The Ecclesiologist may, through the working of all these means, be made an humble instrument to God’s glory in the Church, by awakening men’s thoughts to the reverence due to God’s House, so often forgotten in this unreverential age, through the special care to be bestowed upon it in all its minutest parts, and through the deep meanings associated with their forms, and speaking forth from their arrangements; partly through the power of natural symbols, though chiefly, doubtless, from that reverential authority due to early and universal usage; the recognition of which authority is directly involved in the study and love of ecclesiological learning, and is in truth one of the strongest recommendations to it.
We conclude this brief address with the chosen motto of the Society, which, as expressive of the motive that governs it, so will it, we are sure, find an answering response in every churchman’s bosom:
TABERNACULA TUA QUAM DILECTA!
NOTE—Fifteen hundred copies of this number are printed and will be widely distributed. On the answer to this appeal (and a speedy one), will depend the means of the Committee to continue its publication. The Committee, having done their part, await, as they are bound, the Church’s answer. The second number will be issued only to such as remit their name and annual subscription ($2) addressed to the Treasurer of the Society, William A. McVickar, No. 8 College Green, New York.
THERE is a very general interest felt in the subject of cheap Churches, and we have a warm desire to assist all Church builders. And we hope to be able to offer them some suggestions which they may find practically useful. It is a common view, arising in a great measure, we cannot but think, from insufficient reflection and the absence of good models, to suppose that a Church, as such, has little essential in its structure—nothing proper to it beyond what is requisite to any other building intended for speaking and the collection of masses of people. An extraordinary latitude is sometimes indulged in, and we have known an architect of no mean reputation, who gave as a plan for a Christian Church a modification of the Colliseum at Rome, the Chancel occupying the place of the Arena. Dissenting from this view, modern ecclesiologists are persuaded that the doctrines and spirit of the Church have on earth a typical structure, and a form, imperfectly indeed, worked out in wood and stone, correspondent and symbolical of themselves; that this form agrees in essentials with the pattern Moses saw in the mount, with the Tabernacle, and with the Temple at Jerusalem. [Hebrews viii, 5; and ix., 23.] For transparency of Christian truth and temper, they regard the Gothic or Pointed Church of the fourteenth century as unequalled. They deprecate the use of all other styles, whether Grecian, Pagan or Romanesque, and advocate and recommend exclusively Christian architecture and the Gothic, Church. The essential character of this—of the Tabernacle and of the Temple—is thought to be the clear and marked division of the building into two parts, Chancel and Nave, and the proper development and proportionate expansion of each. Such being the latest and most approved, as well as most ancient views in regard to Church buildings, it is believed that taste, beauty and economy will result, in proportion as we work in a right spirit, upon true principles, and by the established rules of the science of Christian architecture—a very important subdivision of what is now called Ecclesiology. The proper Spirit we humbly conceive to be that of seeking God’s glory. With the false principle of catering to human pride and vanity, true beauty and real economy are utterly inconsistent. Pride and vanity it is well known are the most expensive of all vices. In building and consecrating a Church, we are preparing and making a gift to God; and it is a childish folly to endeavor to make it appear better, or more valuable than it really is. By painting wood like marble, or imitating. stone in plaster, we cannot, it is needless to say, deceive God, however we may expect to impose upon our fellow men. In the majority of cases, however, we do not suppose there is any intention to deceive, but only a thoughtless adoption of a common-fashion—more honored in the breach than the observance.
We are bound to give God the best that we can: if we cannot give stone, we may give wood; and if we cannot give gold, we may give silver. He asks no more of us than to do our best, and will reward, as such, the least as richly as the most valuable.
One-quarter or one-third the expense of many of our modern Churches, has arisen from the attempt to make the worse material appear the better. By being content, therefore, that our Temples should show on their face what they are in fact, we may diminish greatly their cost, and at the same time increase instead of diminishing their durability. [As to the durability of wooden Churches, properly treated as wood, we may notice that there are two wooden Churches now in England of a venerable antiquity—the Chapel of Little-Greenstead, in Essex, of the eleventh century; and the Chapel of Nether Peover, in Cheshire, of the thirteenth. We hope soon to devote an article to the subject of wooden Churches.]
Again, beauty and economy will be the result of our working upon true principles. As we before stated, a Church is considered as having an essential and proper structure, and we will attempt to show how an attention to this point may conduce to economy in their construction. A complete Church, includes the outward structure and the inward furnishing necessary to the due performance of Divine Service. In both what is inward and what is outward, some things are necessary, some appropriate, and some ornamental. The means we have at our disposal it is evident should be expended—first, for the necessary; and if there is a surplus, then for the appropriate and ornamental; and this method is alone consistent with economy. But far different from this is the common practice. In proportion to the meanness of modern churches, do we often find money expended for appropriateness or ornament before all that is necessary for the due worship of God is procured. This inattention to the due relative importance of things, may be regarded as the mother of waste and expense. That we may apply the rule we have laid down, that those things which are necessary are first to be procured, let us see what is this due subordination of the different members and parts of a Church, protesting, however, that we do not consider anything as unnecessary that may conduce to the glory of God’s worship except in a comparative sense, and in this our imperfect condition.
In the structure of a Gothic Church there is found, first, the Chancel. Without this feature we are not aware that a single ancient example occurs. Collegiate Chapels, and those belonging to Religious houses have, in fact, properly no Nave, and are simply Chancels; all who usually worship in them being considered as possessing a certain clerical character. This Chancel is divided into the Chancel proper or Choir, and the Sacrarium or Sanctuary, where the Altar properly stands, as was that portion of the Temple which corresponded to it into the Holy place and the Holy of Holies. The Nave also is necessary; and for congregational worship Chancel and Nave are the essentials of a Church structure, as universal ancient practice indicates. We can place nothing in importance on a line with these two. Two they are, and two they should appear to be; differing generally in height, and width, and depth. Till these two are procured of handsome dimensions, no money can properly be expended on vestry, or tower, or spire, or bell, or organ. And by a Chancel we mean no recess from the Nave a few feet deep, but a roomy house—a spacious Tabernacle—in which the service of God may be solemnly, and if not always magnificently, yet ever with all due circumstance performed. [The Chancel should be large enough to contain all the communicants kneeling at one time, so that the Priest may pass among them and administer the Sacrament without their changing their position.] Such a structure, whether made of stone unplastered, or of wood with the inside beams displayed, would be more Church-like than the most highly elaborated structure where the Chancel was undeveloped, or of very contracted dimensions.
In furniture, that which stands on a par with these in necessity, are the Altar, Service, Font, Vestments, Lecturn, and Seats for the congregation. But how often in common practice is this order violated, and the rules of economy, if nothing else, disregarded by large sums being lavished upon tower, spire, organ, or mountainous pulpit—none of which are positively necessary—when, for the want of those things which are, vessels not separated from domestic and dishonorable uses are employed in administering the Mysteries of our holy religion. With these necessary things, we have the essentials of the Church and its Service; and both building and service may with these alone be most solemn, religious and Church-like. And we are persuaded that attention to this graduation, will be more conducive to economy than any other single principle that can be suggested. After the Chancel and Nave themselves, in relative importance, in general those things which are appropriate and ornamental for their interiors, stand before those of a similar grade for the exteriors. The Chancel also always claims our attention before the Nave.
The second principle to be observed in Church building, springs in a manner out of a consideration of the last. We have seen that a Church consists of distinct members and parts, of a graduated importance; and we have also seen, that in order to the solemn performance of Divine Service, it is not absolutely requisite to have what is ornamental and appropriate as well as what is necessary. By procuring at the commencement a correct and complete plan, and erecting the Church by parts, as our means allow, we will best consult both economy and beauty, and adapt Church accommodation to the demands of a growing congregation. Economy consists in wasting nothing. To erect a paltry Church now, with the intention of pulling it down ten years hence to put up a little better, and with the expectation also of demolishing this, that finally a more splendid one may rise in its place—a common story in parishes fifty years old—is certainly by no means as economical as to build a substantial Chancel now, as roomy and large as can be done for the money expended for the first supposed Church; and by the time the congregation has increased to the extent which made the erection of the second Church necessary, building a Nave to this Chancel; and finally, in the course of time, when it was thought proper to raise the third Church, expending the money which would have been devoted to it, in adding to this Nave and Chancel a Sacristry Porch, Tower, Spire and Aisles, and all else appropriate and ornamental. [If the Nave is first erected, then the Choir at least should be built along with it, and the Sanctuary may be left for addition at some future period.] This plan may be pursued in wooden as well as stone Churches; and if a Chancel were built of wood, we should not object to seeing a stone Nave added to it, or a Nave of a superior order of architecture or workmanship joined to a Chancel of an inferior character; because when from the failing of the materials it became necessary to renew it, it would doubtless be rebuilt in accordance with the better character of the rest of the structure. [This union of wood and stone seems to exist at Greenstead, and at Nether Peover a stone Tower was added to the wooden Chapel, A. D. 1582.]
The last point that we noticed as conducive to economy in this matter, was the working by the established rules of the science and art of Ecclesiology. That there is such a science and art, results from the Gothic Church being the embodiment, in wood and stone, of Christian doctrine and spirit, which enables us to discover a common law in the thousand examples our fathers have left us. The knowledge of this science, and the acquisition of this art, will enable us to make the best use of our means, which is a great economical secret, and is entirely different from that false economy but real prodigality which teaches how to make the greatest display with the smallest means. We may, without possessing, have the advantage of this science, by copying some good ancient model, and reproducing exactly some noted example of Christian art. Or by mastering the science by a study of the works devoted to it. Or by employing an architect who himself is master of it. Or by applying to some Ecclesiological Society for their advice—to give which aid and assistance, is one of their principal functions. It is provoking to see the waste of means which happens, where good intentions are directed by insufficient knowledge. Ignorance we consider as almost as great a waster as vanity.
We trust that some of the hints we have thrown out will prove useful. We have endeavored to make them practical. This at least can be said in their favor, that they are supposed to form a portion of that wisdom which enabled our forefathers, with less wealth than we have, to erect such noble, appropriate, and numerous Temples to the name of Almighty God.
REALITY IN CHURCH ARCHITECTURE.
Substance of a Paper read at the quarterly meeting of the New-York Ecclesiological Society, April, 1848, by FRANK WILLS, Architect.
THE age in which we live is essentially that of great show: it requires no deep penetration, no acute reasoning, no elaborate argument to prove this: we need only open our eyes, and in every thing around us this truth is evident.
It may be that the Golden Age is not far distant: but at present, instead of the deep, rich and pure lustre of the precious metal, we have to endure much of the glare of mere burnished tinsel. The mind of man appears differently constituted from what it was in earlier days. A keener craving for knowledge; a more thirsty longing for information; an eager passion which yearns for instant gratification, characterizes this generation. Instead of the calm reflection, the patient waiting, the dogged perseverance of our forefathers, we are “all excitement: they had the weight, we have the velocity. Now there is nothing which more distinctly expresses the mind of an age than does its Architecture; and we naturally expect to see impressed upon it, this general tone of excited feeling to which we have alluded.
Nor are we disappointed. We look for a particular style to characterize the 19th century, and we find one grand motley—from a Mausoleum built like the Pyramids of Cheops, to a Villa finished after the model of “the house that Jack built.” There is no selection of any one style, nor an attempt to fully develop it through a series of years, and, by its very developement, probably produce a new system of architecture. But anything novel, rather than something good; anything fine, rather than something sterling and substantial, is the grand ultimatum most generally sought after. The consequence of all this must be evident upon a moment’s reflection. Most of our buildings disappoint after a slight examination. Some indeed at once disgust even the uninitiated, by the gross violation of all aesthetick, as well as constructive propriety, in this absurd desire to be novel before even the elementary principles of the art are at all understood by the builders. If the fabric be a Church “in the Gothic style,” it is frequently considered, that if only all the arches therein are perfectly pointed (the more pointed the better), all the rest of the building, the roof, the pillars, the tracery in the windows, the doors, the prayer benches, the font, the altar, may take care of themselves: hence, upon examining a structure of this kind, we generally find a, heterogeneous mass of discordant elements, jumbled together without discrimination, judgment, or even economy, though meanness is stamped upon the whole. Finery, everywhere, takes the place of dignity; and if, by accident, anything is good at first, it is afterward spoiled by a Committee of Taste, who stick a little lump of unmeaning putty here, and a dab of the same convenient material there; and, in the end, to quote the language of a friend, “more is expended to make the Church look fine, than would have been sufficient to make it beautiful.” The inside of the walls are of plaster: there is no harm in that—it is an excellent covering to rough stonewalls, and assists the sound by rendering the surface smooth,—but then it does not look so fine as stone; therefore a miserable imitation of the latter is substituted.
The walls are very thin indeed, and just able to bear the weight of a light timber roof; but consistency requires another device: the timber is all concealed beneath a coating of plaster, and the plastering all concealed by an imitation of stone. Hence, upon entering one of these Churches, we at once feel the deception, and know that, if the mass above our heads were much more real and substantial than the painted scenes in a theatre, it could not remain—no, not a moment,—but would thrust out the walls by its weight, and the whole place would be in ruins.
In by far the greater majority of modern Churches, erected in England before the establishment of Church architectural Societies, some, if not all these defects are to be discovered.
It appears to me, then, that there is no greater good this Society is capable of producing, than that which would result by its setting its face as a flint against such a system. Its watchword should be, Reality; and against all sham and miserable pharasaic pretensions, it should exert its utmost power. It should begin with the determination to countenance no deception of any kind in a Church; deception being not only thoroughly unworthy so holy a structure, and repugnant to our ideas of reverence and propriety in anything consecrated to the Great God; but it is generally opposed to true taste, as in the case we have mentioned of walls without buttresses supporting an apparently ponderous mass of stone.
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There is nothing which generally gives more beauty and solemnity to a building than the height of ceiling. In ancient Churches, the inside of the roof was, in fact, the ceiling; and the beautiful specimens of timber work still remaining in every part of England, put to shame, by ingenuity, honesty, delicacy of carvings, and yet perfect strength and simplicity of construction, all the modern lath and plaster groining, against the reality of which the numerous rain spots bear ample testimony. There is always much height lost by this kind of sham; and if height of interior be obtained, it can only be so obtained at an extra expense. ‘Tis true, the roof above the acutely-pointed arches and ceiling, is oftentimes most conventically flat; and the cost of the mere attempt (for it seldom thoroughly succeeds,) to keep it weather tight is at all times a serious burden to the parish.
Is Christian art so far behind Pagan skill? Does it soar to nothing beyond successful deception? And, having achieved the representation of wrought stone with the introduction of a few artificial defects to make it look more natural, is Christian art, I ask, to consider that she has thereby attained to the pinnacle of her glory? Does the Church destroy the imagination I Far from it. The Church should and does, encourage the upward flight; but she directs and supports it, at the same time. She is the great school where all that is grand, and beautiful, and holy, should be elevated and spiritualized. She gives no premium and awards no medal, it is true, but she does more. She tells her children what they are, and whose they are, and to whom they are indebted for every talent they possess: she shows them a mother’s love, and shall we deny her a child’s return? But to digress no farther. The true, and doubtless the most beautiful and instructive, way to decorate the plastered walls of a Church, is first to paint or color the plastering to get it to a uniform and sombre tint, and then judiciously inscribe its surface with texts of scripture in accordance with ancient canons: the capital letters should be illuminated, in which alone ample scope is afforded to a most talented artist. In fact, I have no hesitation in saying, that in some of the capital letters to be found in ancient manuscripts, there is more design and real merit than in many a modern Church. These texts should be written distinctly and legibly, for there is no difficulty whatever in slightly altering the form of some of the ancient letters without destroying either their beauty or character. Some of the texts should be written within scrolls, others may continue round the building as a siring course: others, where the space is large (like that between windows), should partake more of the form of tablets, the first capital letter embracing the whole as a margin.
These texts with the occasional introduction of sacred emblems and diapering, will assuredly be much more pleasing and harmonious than the wretched flimsy unrealities we have been condemning, and the mere cost of keeping the latter in repair is frequently more than sufficient to pay the expense of all legitimate decoration. [It will be time to treat of the higher branches of internal decoration, such as paintings, hangings, &c., when the lesser fruits of a better taste begin to appear.]
The great and true principle of Gothic Architecture is, as Pugin expresses it, “the ornamenting construction and not constructing ornament.” But how often do we see money squandered in absurd flying buttresses which have no weight to withstand, hood mouldings, which by no possibility can be of any service in keeping off the rain. The same sum expended in increased thickness of walls, would give a deeper and more solemn tone, and render the building much more durable. An. ornamented, flimsy building, with thin walls, is always most offensive: it may be pretty, but the Church knows no such word. No Church should be pretty: it should be simple, or modest, or dignified, or rich or gorgeous; but there should be never anything puerile about it, to lower its tone or degrade its character.
As this Society is to be practical rather than speculative, it would be well to devote a short time to the consideration of those kind of buildings of which the ancient Church has left us no perfect models. I refer to brick and timber Churches.
There is more danger of the pernicious influence of sham in these than in stone fabrics; and its effect will be more injurious. It is never advisable to contemplate the erection of a highly-decorated structure in brick or wood; because, for the same amount, a simple stone one could be erected, and the latter is certainly preferable.
I doubt much if a good pointed Church can be built of brick unless the windows and various details be of stone. Terra cotta or moulded brick has been often adopted in Norman and Romanesque buildings, and there it answers well, owing to the simplicity of form which characterizes the doorways, windows, and buttresses. I have no wish to have this style applied to Churches generally; but where brick is of necessity required to be used, I think a successful adaptation of Norman far preferable to a clumsy or feeble attempt at pointed.
The interior of a brick Church can be finished precisely the same in manner as the interior of rough stone walls. If it be a large structure, there can be no objection to brick pillars, and arches with mouldings wrought in cement; but they should be left in their integrity, and not scored and stained to produce delusive stone. [These cemented pillars and arches are only recommended when it is impossible to procure stone.]
The red color of the bricks in general use is its greatest objection: if they cannot be obtained of a more quiet tone, and if painting be required to preserve them, the bright tint can be modified without the nature of the walling being at all concealed.
In timber Churches, all attempt at angle quoins should be studiously avoided, as utterly incompatible with the material: buttresses stuck on for mere show are also utterly despicable, but there is no harm in encasing a real timber brace which is used to withstand the outward pressure of the roof. A ceiling with the wooden ribs and the purlins showing with their interstices plastered after the manner of many roofs in Devonshire, is also applicable to timber Churches, the panel thus formed, can have emblems and scrolls painted on them; those in the chancel may be painted azure and powdered with stars.
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The interior of a wooden Church should be less ornate than that of a stone one: the painted glass should be less costly, and the seats plainer. It should be always considered as a temporary building, which in time is to yield to something more enduring and more beautiful. Still it is but pleasing to have in the less pretending fabric the real essentials of a Church: and at the very commencement, it would be well to have such a font and altar as would be worthy of the brighter days we hope for in the future. With the beginning and end of a Church, (for such we may surely call the font and altar), however the walls which enclose them may be altered, in one respect the house of God will be the same. In itself, possibly, this may be of no great consequence, but nevertheless, it may spare some pain which it is but natural to feel, when we see the hallowed building, in which for years we have been accustomed to worship the God of our fathers destroyed, though it is to be replaced by a more magnificent structure.
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NEW YORK ECCLESIOLOGICAL SOCIETY.
Report of the first stated meeting of the New York Ecclesiological Society, held in the school room of St. Paul’s Chapel, Monday April 2, 1848.
THE President took the Chair at half-past seven o’clock. The Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Maryland was admitted a Patron. The following members were then elected:
Rev. Milo Mahan, St. Paul’s College, College Point.
Rev. John I. Tucker, Troy, N. Y.
Rev. John Dixon Carder, New York, N. Y
John G. Barton, St. Paul’s College, College Point.
Capt. Schriver, Troy, N. Y.
The following report of the Committee was then read by the Rev. Thomas S. Preston, Recording Secretary:
“The Committee of the Society beg leave respectfully to lay before the meeting a short abstract of their proceedings since their election. The short time which has elapsed since the organization of the Society, has given them opportunity to do but little, yet they trust that the little which they have done will be accepted as the best which they could do, toward laying firm the foundations, and carrying out the designs of the Society. The first thing to be done was, evidently, to make known our objects and designs to the Church generally and to those from whom are expected sympathy and co-operation. To this end a short abstract of the proceedings of our ‘Primary meeting,’ containing the Laws and Statement then adopted, was published in the ‘N. Y. Churchman,’ and in the ‘Banner of the Cross.’ The ‘Laws and the Statement” were also printed under the direction of the Cor. Secretary, that they might be at the disposal of the members, for their own use, or for making known the purposes of the Society to others. The Cor. Secretary was also directed to communicate with the Ecclesiological Societies in England, whose steps we have undertaken to follow. In the election of members, they have gone upon the principle of electing only those who should previously signify their wish to join us. Proceeding upon this principle, they have elected thirty-one members, as follow:
The Rev. Benjamin I. Haight, D. D., of New York.
The Rev. John McVickar, D. D., of New York.
The Rev. W. A. Muhlenberg, D. D., of New York.
The Rev. M. P. Parks, of New York.
The Rev. Cornelius R. Duffie, of New York.
The Rev. Henry McVickar, of New York.
Mr. Samuel Cox. Jr., of Philadelphia.
Mr. Charles M. Parkman, of Boston.
Mr. Robert Ralston, of Mt Peace.
Mr. T. A. Eaton, of Gen. Seminary.
Mr. J. F. Le Baron, of Gen. Seminary.
Mr. T. S. Drowne, of Gen. Seminary.
Mr. A. Mackie, Jr., of Gen. Seminary.
Mr. C. J. Muenscher, of Gen. Seminary.
The Rev. Wm. Walton, of New York.
The Rev. G. H. Houghton, of New York.
The Rev. Sullivan H. Weston, of New York.
Mr. Wm. N. Moore, of New York.
Mr. D. H. Hoyt, of New York.
Mr. John H. Cornell. Jr. of New York.
The Rev. Caleb S. Henry, D.D., of New York.
The Rev. Samuel Roosevelt Johnson, of Brooklyn.
The Rev. Francis Vinton, of Brooklyn.
The Rev. Thomas McClure Peters, of New York.
The Rev. John Wragg Shackelford, of Philadelphia.
Mr. Joseph Poole Pirsson, of New York.
Mr. James Ely, of Philadelphia.
Mr. Robert C. Rogers, of Hudson, N. Y.
Mr. Alexander Wood, of New York.
Mr. E. M. Peck,
Wm. Wood Seymour, of Gen. Theo. Sem.
The Committee are happy to state, that they have received a very kind letter from the Bishop of Maryland, signifying his pleasure to become a member of the Society, and expressing much interest in our proposed plans.
The Committee have held weekly meetings since their appointment, and have taken into consideration almost all things which the Society could do at present. They desire to take measures for the establishment of a library, as soon as our funds will allow. The publishing of a ‘periodical’ according to the views expressed in the Statement, they consider as very necessary to the usefulness of the Society, and they desire to recommend the subject to the consideration of this meeting. With a little effort, they are persuaded that this thing might be done at once. The choice of a ‘Seal’ and a ‘Motto’ being a matter of considerable importance and requiring considerable taste, has been delayed for more mature consideration, though the Architect of the Society is now engaged in drawing designs for the inspection of the Committee.
The Committee desire to call the attention of members to the provisions of Law iv., by which any three members can nominate others, and send the nomination to the Committee, in the recess of the Society. It is very important that every member should interest himself in this matter, since the prosperity and usefulness of the Society depend greatly upon the number of its members.
The Committee are happy to report the gift of ‘Pugin’s True Principles of Christian Architecture,’ from Rev. Dr. McVickar; and of ‘Barr’s Anglican Architecture,’ from Rev. Mr. Preston.
* * * * * * *
In conclusion, they can only say, that they have gone into this work with earnestness, at the expense of time and labor, and they trust that some small share of usefulness awaits us. Time would fail us, even to hint at the good which the English Societies have done, good which is felt all over our mother country, but which is by no means confined to one nation, or one branch of the Church. If in our peculiar circumstances we can follow in their footsteps, we may well be satisfied. We have no Churches to restore from sacrilege and spoil, but we have many churches to build.
To accomplish our object with any speed whatever, it is absolutely necessary that all of us should devote some time to the study of Ecclesiastical Architecture. If we are not informed ourselves, we cannot teach others. The Committee, therefore, take this opportunity to mention, that there are some elementary works already within our reach, which will be found very useful to any who desire to read them. ‘Paley’s Manual of Gothic Architecture,’ and ‘The Glossary of Architecture’ (copies of which are on the table), will be found very convenient for study. Though the latter work is open to some criticism, yet it will assist any one in acquiring a knowledge of architectural terms.”
Rev. John McVickar, D. D.,
Rev. Benjamin I. Haight, D. D.,
Robert Ralston, Esq.,
were elected Vice Presidents.
On motion of Rev. Dr. McVickar, the Committee were recommended to take action, as soon as possible, upon the establishment of a Library; and also on the publishing of the Ecclesiologist, according to the design of the statement adopted at the primary meeting.
An address was read by Mr. R. Ralston Cox, and a paper by Mr. Frank Wills on the subject of reality in church architecture.
The meeting then adjourned.
Report of the Second Quarterly Meeting of the New York Ecclesiological Society, held in the school room of St. Paul’s Chapel, on Monday, July 3, 1848
THE Rev. Dr. Forbes, President, took the Chair at eight o’clock.
The following Report of the Committee was read by Rev. T. S. Preston, one of the Secretaries:
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“Since the last stated meeting your Committee have elected as members of the Society—
Rev. Charles Burroughs, D.D., of Portsmouth, N. H.
Dr. George C. Shattuck, of Boston.
Dr. Win. E. Coale, of Boston.
Mr. Plowden C. J. Weston, of Georgetown, S. C.
Rev. E. M. P. Wells, of Boston.
Mr. Wm. H. Bell, of New York.
Rev. Walter Ayrault. of Auburn, N. Y.
Mr. Frank W. Anthony, of Gen. Theological Seminary.
Your Committee have received letters from the Ecclesiological late Cambridge Camden Society, which have been made public through the columns of the ‘N. Y. Churchman.’ Our Society has been received into union with that Society, and they have most kindly presented us with copies of all their publications. These publications will be a valuable addition to the library which we are endeavoring to provide.
The committee were directed to take into consideration the whole subject of a Library. They have, therefore, purchased such books as best suited our necessities, and at the same time our abilities. These books have been placed in the hands of the Treasurer for safe keeping, and they are at the use of members. The following books have been purchased:
The Ecclesiologist, one set.
Rickman’s Gothic Architecture.
Weale’s Papers on Architecture, four vols.
Webb’s Continental Ecclesiology.
Bloxam’s Gothic Architecture.
Markland on English Churches.
Britton’s History of Gothic English Architecture.
The Rev. Henry McVickar has presented to the Society ‘The Religious and Civil Costumes of the Pontifical Court.’
Your Committee would suggest that, if the members feel a desire that the Society should have a good collection of books and prints, they should themselves make contributions, as far as they may be able.
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Your Committee gave notice in the ‘Churchman,’ and in the ‘Banner of the Cross,’ that they were ready to give information to such as might desire it through them, and since the last meeting they have had several applications. They have given advice to the following gentlemen:—The Rev. Charles Maison, of S. Paul’s Church, Edenton, N. C.; the Rev. Mr. Clarkson, of S. James College, Md.; the Rev. W. Griswold, of S. Louis, Mo.; and the Rev. Mr. Gibson, of Cohoes, N. Y.; and, at their suggestion, the Architect has prepared a design for the Rev. Mr. Buel, of Cumberland, Md. It is but right that they should state to the members of the Society, somewhat more minutely, the nature of the advice they have given in each instance. The Church at Edenton is of brick, and was built before the Revolution. The Chancel is an apse, and had been fitted up in the usual unchurchlike and unsightly manner, viz., a table standing beneath a high reading-desk, and the whole surmounted by a cumbrous pulpit. A more catholic arrangement was contemplated by the present Rector, and your Committee, at his request, endeavored to adopt (as much as the limited size of the Church would allow) the true method. The altar is to be placed against the eastern wall—on the south side will be two stalls, A lecturn and a faldstool will be placed outside the sacrarium, and the pulpit will stand on the northwest corner of the apse. At S. Louis, it was intended that the chancel should be at the west end of the building instead of the east. Your Committee have strongly urged the necessity of adhering to the ancient and almost universal custom, and think there can scarcely occur any reason which can justify any other position of the chancel than the true one at the east. A nave, with one aisle, was also advised in preference to the proposed plan of covering the nave with a roof of a single span, which being 44 feet in width, would require walls of extra thickness, and if carried to a proper pitch, would be of extravagant height and expense. To Mr. Clarkson, of S. James College, your Committee gave a sketch of the arrangements proposed, and also of the general form and number of the windows. The Church at Cohoes is a frame building of no pretensions to beauty or propriety. Your Committee suggested, in this case, that a chancel of pointed architecture should be added, in the hopes that at some future time a nave of a similar character might be built.
Several valuable papers have been laid before the Committee regarding the durability and excellence of Cypress wood, as a material to be used in church-building. Your Committee would recommend this wood as good material for a lich-gate, or for a church-yard cross; though, in this latter case, stone is much to be preferred. It might also be used in wooden porches.
The Committee have also received from one of the members, Dr. Wm. E. Coale, of Boston, an account of an eagle-lecturn, recently made for the Church of the Advent, in that city, at the expense of $145. From what your Committee can learn, as well as from the representation of the architect who has seen it, they are induced to think highly of it. With a slight modification of the stem, they think it would be a good model.
A seal is this evening recommended for the adoption of the Society, and a drawing of it is now laid before the members for their inspection. It has been a subject of much consideration by your Committee, and the one they recommend is perfectly simple, indicating that church architecture, like church music and the other arts, should be the handmaid of the Church, and devoted to the honor and glory of God. It is of the ancient mystic form, the Vesica Piscis. On the margin are the words ‘Sigillum Societatis Ecclesiologicæ Neo Eboracencis. A. D., MDCCCXLVIII.’ In the middle is the figure of S. John, enclosed within tabernacle work, holding in his hand the model of a Church, and a scroll bearing the motto, ‘Quam dilecta Tabernacula Tua.’ Underneath the figure of the saint is his appropriate symbol; and on either side, in a canopied niche, stands the figure of an angel.
In addition to what has been said to the Society about the duty of members in regard to the Ecclesiologist, the Committee wish to remind all who are at all interested in our undertaking, that they should interest themselves in gaining members for the Society. It is very necessary that something should be done in this way, and much more than has been done. The Committee can accomplish little without the active co-operation of the Society. It is to be presumed that we all have joined this Society with an earnest desire to do service to the Church. And if this is so, surely we should be in earnest, and ‘whatever our hands find to do, we should do it with our might,’ as we are acting here for the glory of God and the honor of His Divine Service.”
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After the reading and adoption of the report, Mr. W.A. McVickar read the regular paper upon “the style of Architecture to be recommended for Ecclesiastical Buildings in this country.” Mr. McVickar divided his subject, and confined himself, upon this occasion, to a well condensed history of the rise, the ancient excellence, and the decline, of Christian Architecture in general; and in each of its particular periods and styles, showing most clearly that the Middle Pointed, or what has been generally called the Decorated, is the only style which we can, at the present day, consistently employ in our ecclesiastical buildings. His paper was listened to with very great interest and attention by all present.
On motion of Mr. R. Ralston Cox, the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg was appointed to read the paper before the next stated meeting, upon “The style of Music proper for use in congregations, and its due performance.”
The Society elected John Henry Hopkins, Jr., of the General Theological Seminary, a member; and confirmed all the elections made, in the recess, by the Committee.
On motion of Mr. J. P. Pirsson, the Committee were recommended to issue, when they deem it convenient, a large edition of the first number of the Ecclesiologist, for general and gratuitous distribution. This issue is to be made without reference to the number of subscribers obtained, and the expense is to be defrayed out of the treasury of the Society.
On motion of the Rev. Dr. Haight, Vice President, Mr. W. A. McVickar was requested to continue, upon some future occasion, at his own convenience, the paper which the Society had heard with so much interest this evening.
The letters received, since the last meeting of the Society, from the Rev. B. Webb, Secretary, and from A. J. B. Hope, Esq., M. P., Chairman of the Committee of the Ecclesiological late Cambridge Camden Society, were read by the Corresponding Secretary. On motion of the Rev. William Walton, it was ordered that these letters be entered, at large, upon the Records of the Society; and that the Corresponding Secretary inform their authors of this order, and express to the Rev. Mr. Webb, and to Mr. Hope, the very grateful feelings with which their letters had been received by the Society. In connexion with this matter, the Rev. Dr. Forbes, President, spoke with much pleasure of a private letter received from the Rev. Mr. Forbes, one of the Committee of the Ecclesiological late Cambridge Camden Society, very heartily congratulating Dr. Forbes upon the establishment of the Society of which he is President.
On motion of the Rev. Henry McVickar, the Committee were requested to prepare a “Church Scheme,” for distribution throughout the country, to be filled up with information from all quarters, and returned to the Society.
The Society, after much interesting conversation upon the subject of the last, motion, adjourned. The day for the next stated meeting will be Monday, October 2d.
ECCLESIOLOGICAL, LATE CAMBRIDGE CAMDEN SOCIETY.
AN Evening Meeting of this Society took place on Tuesday, June 7th, 1848, at 8 P.M. in the School-room of Christ Church, S. Pancras.
The Rev. W. Dodsworth, V.P., having taken the Chair, a paper was read by J. D. Chambers, Esq., M.A., of Oriel College, Oxford, the Treasurer, on Ancient Crosses, forming a continuation of a paper on the same subject, which appeared in the Ecclesiologist. It was profusely illustrated by sketches and engravings. A paper was also read by the Rev. W. Scott, M.A., of Queen’s College, Oxford, on Wooden Churches. Besides numerous specimens of ancient embroidery, chiefly belonging to the Society’s collection, there were exhibited some beautiful modern imitations, especially some worked by Miss Agnes Blencowe. The Rev. J. F. Russell also submitted to the Meeting a small picture belonging to him, apparently a fragment of a gradino, and containing the half-figures of a bishop and a monk within small circles—reputed to be a work of the B. Angelico of Fiesole. The Meeting, which was largely attended, adjourned at half-past ten o’clock.
A Second Evening Meeting was held in the same school-room, on Tuesday, June 20th, 1848.
The Venerable the President took the Chair, at 8 P.M., supported by the Rev. W. Dodsworth, V.P. A paper on the Ecclesiological Movement in Scotland, was first read by A. J. B. Hope, Esq., M. P., M.A., of Trinity College, Chairman of Committees. This elicited some observations and corrections from the Rev. J. Rodmell, late of Edinburgh, and a conversation ensued in which several members took a part. Upon the motion of F. H. Dickinson, Esq., a vote of thanks was given to Mr. Rodmell for his contributions, on ritual subjects, to the pages of the Ecclesiologist. A paper, on the Restoration of Hereford Cathedral, was next read by F. R. Haggitt, Esq., M.P., B.A., of Baliol College, Oxford, after which the Very Rev. the Dean of Hereford gave some additional explanations and information. The Dean of Hereford having mentioned the discovery of the foundations of the three eastern circular apses of the former Romanesque Cathedral, the Rev. P. Freeman rose to inform the Meeting that a precisely similar discovery had just been made in Chichester Cathedral. The Rev. J. F. Russell exhibited on this occasion an exceedingly beautiful illumination, from his collection, representing the Death of the Blessed Virgin. This had belonged to the late Mr. Ottley, and was described at length in Dibden’s Bibliographical Decameron and by Dr. Waagen. It is attributed to Don Silvestro degli Angeli, a Camaldolese monk of the fourteenth century. A variety of specimens of church-plate of the Society’s manufacture were also exhibited. This meeting was attended by Archdeacon Merriman of Albany, Cape-town, and G. Stephens, Esq., Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Copenhagen, to whom the Society was indebted for the Icelandic Homily on the Dedication of a Church that appeared in the Ecclesiologist.
The Sub-Committee appointed at the request of the Bishop of Fredericton, to consider the subject of wooden churches, have been able, by Mr. Butterfield’s aid, to promise some drawings early in August.
OXFORD ARCHITECTURAL SOCIETY.
Annual Meeting, July 4th.
The Rev. the President in the Chair.
After a few preliminary remarks, the President alluded to the presence of Mr. A. J. B. Hope, M.P., the munificent promoter of the foundation of S. Augustine’s College, Canterbury. He then in the name of the Committee proposed him as a Vice-President of the Society. The proposal was carried by acclamation.
Mr. Lechmere, Secretary, was then called upon by the President to read the Annual Report of the Committee, which was as follows:
“The events to which the attention of the Society will be most naturally drawn on the occasion of this their Ninth Annual Meeting, are both numerous and important. The Committee feel that they may in all honesty congratulate the Society upon a steady continuance in promoting the ends of its institution, and upon many occurrences of the highest interest, both among ourselves and elsewhere.
“It is now three years since the Committee congratulated the Society and the Church at large, in the reproach of centuries being removed from the venerable Abbey of S. Augustine. What then matter of expectation has now been accomplished in full perfection before the eyes of many of ourselves. Since we last assembled in this room, the recovered Sanctuary has been solemnly dedicated to its holy use, and the spot whose name recalls the first efforts of other Churches for the conversion of our new race has become the fountain from whence the same precious gift, will, we trust, be spread far and wide among other lands.
“And while our attention is directed to this, by far the most noble instance of individual munificence, seconded by correct ecclesiological taste, to which the present revival of Catholic feeling has given birth, it will be our pride to recollect that the author of it now ranks not only among our members, but among the foremost of our officers. But we have not to go so far from our own home to point to instances of church architecture and restoration bearing the highest testimony to the skill and bounty of their authors. This very day is to witness the consecration of a church in our own diocese, which may claim a high place in our regard as the work of several of our own members, as well as for its intrinsic merits; the Committee allude to the church at Bradfield, near Reading, a most interesting specimen of modern skill, and must call attention to the fact that, since our glorious minsters of old, but few temples have been reared which are so strictly the work of the priestly architect. Another church still more intimately connected with ourselves, and which must share the same honorable place in our Report with the one last mentioned, is rapidly approaching perfection. The Committee refer to the chancel and! tower recently added to the chapel at Littlemore, which formed the subject of one of the Society’s earlier publications. By these additions a building which claims a high place in our regard as one of the earliest fruits of revived Church Architecture, has had its principal deficiencies, both artistic and ecclesiastical, most nobly supplied. Again, a glance at the important restorations effected, at a greater distance from our own immediate neighborhood will sufficiently testify to the progress of ecclesiological feeling and action throughout the land. The Cathedrals of Hereford, Canterbury, Ely, and Manchester, the glorious churches of Hull, Holy Trinity, Hecton, Hinden, and S. Mary Redcliffe, have in a greater or less degree been rescued from neglect and dilapidation, and great and manifest improvement is visible in the mode in which these restorations have in most cases been effected.
“But while they have much on which to congratulate the Society both at home and abroad, the Committee cannot blind themselves to the fact that much still remains to be done before the triumph of correct principles can be considered complete. Not to go into obscurer and less important examples, the noblest church in our land, the royal Abbey of Westminster, has been during the past year restored in a manner which must make it evident to all that every principle of ecclesiastical arrangement has been utterly neglected.
“While we see in such a place architectural beauty and ecclesiastical propriety alike trampled under foot, the Committee feel that no risk, no feeling of reluctance, could justify them, either as Churchmen or as lovers of the art which we are assembled to promote, in passing by such an event in silence.
“And this circumstance naturally leads the Committee to look with still greater anxiety than they would otherwise have done on the works now in progress in our own University Church. They feel bound to state that, as far as the mere work of repair has hitherto proceeded, they had seen nothing open to objection; but they cannot conceal the apprehension with which they look forward to the most important and delicate work of renewing the mutilated statues, and the upper part of the pinnacles; portions in which a certain amount of original work cannot fail to be required.
“Nothing short of the very highest skill, taste, and feeling, both in architecture and the kindred arts can hope to be at all successful in producing anything like a satisfactory result. The Committee would however fain hope that their apprehensions may be groundless, and that the restoration of S. Mary’s spire may be successful in itself, and an earnest of the more extensive renovation so cryingly demanded both by the external and internal state of the magnificent fabric, of which it is the most conspicuous ornament.
“The Committee regret to say that the same fault which has destroyed the interior beauty of Westminster Abbey is likely to be committed though on a less important scale at Wells and Ely, but it is hoped that the utter failure of Westminster will induce the guardians of those churches to re-consider their determinations. To turn from this painful subject the Committee are happy in being enabled to point out a church the restoration of which must, as far as it has gone, be regarded with the most unqualified satisfaction; they mean S. Nicolas, Kemerton, the incumbent of which is the well-known and universally honored Archdeacon Thorp, President of the Ecclesiological Society, whose name alone would be a guarantee for the correctness and beauty of everything under his auspices.
“Of the restoration with which the Society, as a body, is most intimately connected, that of Dorchester Abbey Church, the Committee earnestly regret that they can add nothing to the statement made in the Annual Report, published during’ the preceding term. They can only repeat the statement that the sacrarium has been restored to a state, not indeed of ideal perfection, but certainly of the nearest approach to it which the funds allowed. The work is at present standing still, for the circumstance that there are now no funds at their disposal, but it will be continued as soon as fresh donations may give them the opportunity, which they would fain hope may not be far distant.
“Nor can the Committee omit mention of the approaching restoration of Merton College Chapel;—a chapel consecrated in the thirteenth century, and which forms the type and model for nearly all the college chapels in this university, would in itself command our reverence; but when it is stated that this chapel is the well-known and most glorious one attached to the oldest collegiate institution in England, it will be felt that the restoration now to be commenced by the warden and scholars of that foundation, commands our most earnest sympathy as Churchmen, as Englishmen, and as Oxonians.
“To turn to the internal affairs of our own Society, the Committee have first of all to deplore the loss of the two Prelates of highest rank, whom we had the honor to reckon on our list of patrons, the two venerable Primates of Canterbury and York. On the other hand they have to congratulate the Society on two happy accessions made during the last year, to the highest class of our members, caused by the elevation of one of our own body to the episcopal throne of Brechin, and more recently by the wish expressed by the Lord Bishop of Fredericton to enter into the same relation with our Society. None here present need be informed of the eminent services by which his lordship has won the admiration of all who would see the internal glory of the Church reflected on her material sanctuaries; they need only point to the most vigorous and efficient of the provincial societies as still retaining the energy originally communicated by him, and to the noble work of the cathedral church, now proceeding in his remote diocese.
“The Society has also during the past year added to the list of its Vice-Presidents, two Presidents, and one non-resident Member. This last accession, that of the Very Rev. the Dean of Hereford, is one to which the Committee would refer with peculiar pleasure, as closely connecting them with the main author and promoter of perhaps the very greatest work of church restoration which has been witnessed for many years. And while referring to this subject, the Committee cannot refrain from commenting with the admiration it so well merits, on the manner in which the duty and privilege of so glorious an undertaking has been impressed upon the landowners of the diocese, in a pamphlet which has emanated within a year from a lay member of our own Society.
“Of the two honorary Members who have been elected since the last annual meeting, the Committee have great satisfaction in alluding to the name of Mr. Butterfield, a gentleman so well known for his attainments in many of the subsidiary arts, and who has derived an additional claim upon the regard of our own Society from the manner in which he has conducted the restoration at Dorchester.
“The Committee announce with regret the resignation of the Librarianship by Mr. Freeman, who has so long and so ably filled an office in which he was most valuable from his intimate acquaintance with the principles and details of architectural design, and the zeal and attention which he bestowed upon the promotion of the Society’s interests. Mr. Lingard, of Brazenose College, has succeeded Mr. Freeman in the office of Librarian.
“During the past year no meeting has passed without some accession to our ranks, and among the senior and non-resident portion of the newly elected members, we may reckon more than one name of distinguished rank and reputation in the Church; while the juniors have contributed their full proportion to the working energy of the Society.
“The only publications of the Society during the past year have been the Manual of Monumental Brasses, and the first of the new series of Annual Reports. The latter sufficiently tells its own tale, and it is hoped that it has been found by members in general to be as great an improvement upon the former method of editing the Society’s proceedings, as it has been the design of the editorial body to make it. The former more important publication has boon now for several months in the subscribers’ hands, and its scheme and intent have been so often alluded to in this place, that the Committee will do no more than pay a final tribute to the zeal and perseverance of Mr. Haines, to whom it is mainly owing that a work which was originally designed as little more than a catalogue of one portion of the Society’s property, has been raised to what the Committee hope they are justified in considering a standard text work on several important and interesting branches of archaeological science.
“The Committee have great pleasure in referring to the many interesting and valuable papers read during the year, especially as in several instances they have been the composition of members not among their own body. A supply of papers from members in general and not exclusively from members of the Committee, is what they earnestly wish to promote. The Committee would especially refer to the series on the Structure and Arrangement of Parish Churches, which has occupied the greater part of the present term.
“During the latter part of the term a sub-committee has been engaged in revising the present code of Rules, and the alterations proposed will be submitted to the Society at an early opportunity after the long vacation. Another subject which in the course of the ensuing term will be brought before the notice of the resident members of the Society, is the institution of an Heraldic Section, by means of which the attention of members may be directed to the study of a branch of ecclesiology hitherto somewhat neglected by our Society.
“The principal external event of the past year, has been the alliance which our Society has entered into with the newly-formed Buckinghamshire Architectural and Archaeological Society. The Committee fear, however, that the connection between our own and other similar bodies, is in many cases little more than nominal, and heartily concur in the wish which has been more than once expressed by the Ecclesiological Society, that some means of more effectual co-operation among the different societies could be established; though they much regret that they must also unite in the statement made at the last annual meeting of that association, that no satisfactory means of accomplishing this desirable object has as yet presented itself to them. The Committee have, as usual, to conclude their Annual Report, with pressing on the minds of members at large the advantages afforded by the long vacation, for the study of architectural antiquities. Much, doubtless, yet lurks undiscovered in the nooks and corners of our own country—many examples of beauty and singularity which are as yet unrecorded at all—and still more, of which our Society as yet possesses neither drawing nor description. And to any more adventurous spirits, whom the present aspect of affairs may not deter from visiting other lands, the Committee would suggest, that anything that can throw light on foreign architecture, will always be most acceptable to the Society, which, in its work of promoting ecclesiological research, recognizes no distinction of language country, or climate.”
The Report was then put from the chair, and unanimously received by the Society.
Mr. A. J. B. Hope then rose to express the satisfaction which he felt at being present on so gratifying an occasion as the Ninth Annual Meeting of a body so practical in its objects, and so highly esteemed, as the Oxford Architectural Society He wished to convey to the Society his deep sense of the honor which they had conferred upon him in electing him a Vice-President. Though, from his intimate connection with the sister Society he could riot devote his whole attention to the Oxford Architectural Society, he should always take the greatest interest in its proceedings, and it would always afford him the greatest pleasure to be present at its meetings.
The Rev. J. H. Pollen, M.A., Fellow of Merton College, then read a paper on “The arrangement of Chancels,” being the concluding paper of the series on “The Structure and Arrangement of a Parish Church.”
EXETER DIOCESAN ARCHITECTURAL SOCIETY.
THE Annual meeting of this Society was held on May 30th, at the College Hall, South street, Exeter. The Chair was taken by the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Frederickton, the original founder of the Society, and its first able and zealous Secretary. His Lordship’s presence was warmly acknowledged by the members of the Society.
The Report of the Committee was read by the Rev. N. F. Lightfoot, M. A., one of the Secretaries. It commenced by observing that the members of the Society would join with the Committee in welcoming as their President for the day, one, who, before he was called to a more extended sphere of duty, thought that a portion of his time could not be better spent than in first organizing, and then laboring for, a society within our own Diocese, which should bring before us the duty and then teach us the best manner of ordering aright that which is the highest object of man on earth—the worship of Him who dwelleth in the temple not made with hands: for who can doubt that this is the true end of all ecclesiological science?
The Report then alluded to some few instances in which, during the seven years of its existence, its objects had been impugned; and added that the prospects of the Society are now very cheering; new members from all portions of the Diocese are continually being added to it; an active and able District Committee has been established at Plymouth; the numbers in which district are now forty instead of ten.
During the year plans have been laid before the Committee for building a church in the district of S. James, Stoke Damerel; at Boldiew, Biscovy, Bolventor, Charlestown, Wendron, Herodsfoot, and Treverbyn, in Cornwall; for rebuilding the churches of Virgin-stow and of Gerrans; for enlarging and repairing the church of Sandford; for reseating or otherwise improving the churches of Halberton, Chittlehampton, Cullompton, and Buckland Brewers, in Devon; and Laneast, St. Veryan, and Budock, in Cornwall.
The Cambridge Architectural Society and the Archaeological Society for the county of Buckingham, have been received into union during the past year.
It was in conclusion observed, that the extent of the labors of the Committee depends not upon themselves, but upon the Society at large; and no one, it is added, who is acquainted with the state of many churches in every part of the Diocese, can fail to acknowledge that they have still much labor to anticipate; that there are still too many places where the spoiling hand of time is year by year committing its ravages, and the restorer’s hand is yet unknown.
The Treasurer’s report showed a balance in favor of the Society and a large amount of arrears.
An Historical Sketch of Trinity Church, N. Y., by the Rev. Wm. Berrian, D. D., Rector of the same. N. Y. Stanford & Swords. 1847.
THIS is a handsome octavo volume of 386 pages, with illustrations. It was prepared as a suitable accessory to the opening of the new edifice for public worship. We have understood that it is the enlargement and filling up of the Sermon preached by the respected Rector on that occasion. Its compilation has evidently boon a labor of love. The author lingers with a quiet satisfaction upon the day of small things, when Moses Levi, Mordecai Nathan, and other Jews, in 1711, offered a contribution of £5, 12s. 3d. toward the building of a steeple; that he may the more astound us by the expenditure, in 1846, of $300,000 by the corporation, in the erection of a Church. A large portion of the work is but of local interest—details of action of the vestry, accounts, names of ministers, sextons, &c.—the dryness of these is relieved by highly interesting biographical notices, and by warm and spirited character sketches which give life and vivacity to the work.
It covers a series of 173 years, from the taking of New-York by the English till the completion of the present Church, in 1847. As a contribution to Church History and Archeology we might claim to notice it, but there is another point of view through which we consider it as falling more particularly under our cognizance.
The History of Trinity Church is the instructive history of a great religious endowment, piously given and faithfully and most liberally administered; but whether as wisely as liberally, may we trust without offence be made a subject of consideration.
Endowments and foundations are a necessary feature of that system, out of which sprang the majestic Cathedral, the humbler parochial Church, the peaceful religious house, and the retired College. Any attempt, therefore, to renew the Christian Church in its ancient solemnity of symbolical structure and service, must end in disappointment unless we can at the same time restore the glebe land to the parish Church, and the endowment and foundation to the Cathedral, the religious house, and the College. Therefore is it that we consider the subject of endowments as suitable for discussion in the pages of an Ecclesiological journal, and we hope hereafter to devote to it more than a passing notice.
The spacious Chancel and extended choir, presuppose a numerous clergy, or persons possessed of a certain religious character, to fill them; but such a sacred body cannot be supported except on the fixed revenues arising from endowment and foundations. Upon the establishment of English churchmen in this country, we find that this truth, this portion of the Church’s wisdom, the result of ages of experience, must have been strongly implanted in their minds; for wherever Church influence predominated in North and South Carolina, in Virginia and Maryland, and also in New York, in the settlement of the Church, the endowing it with a portion of the soil in every parish was the almost universal practice.
Why God has permitted the hand of sacrilege to snatch from the Church the major part of this rich inheritance, it is riot for us to inquire. Though He permitted it elsewhere, yet in the city of New York, in the case of Trinity Parish, He overruled the avarice of men for His own glory; and has permitted us to see an almost unparalleled example, considering the shortness of the period in which the land has been in her hands, of the value and power for Church advancement of landed endowment. “In 1705,” to quote from the History, “in the reign of Queen Anne, a grant was made to the Corporation of Trinity Church, by deed patent, signed by Lord Cornbury, who was at that time governor of the province, of the tract of land then called the Queen’s Farm—now the Church Farm—lying on the west side of Mannahata Island, and extending from St. Paul’s Chapel, northwardly, along the river, to Skinner road—now Christopher street. This property, which was then literally what it was called—a farm—and which was comparatively of little value, has long since become a compact part of the city.” The present value of that portion of this property which now remains in the vestry’s hands, may, according to our author, be estimated at three millions of dollars, although their income is by no means in proportion; while, in the course of the last seventy years, they have bestowed beyond their own expenses, and that of their Chapels on some five hundred different occasions, for public, religious and educational purposes, property now valued at two millions of dollars. Their donations have been principally made for three objects—for the establishment and assistance of parishes and Churches, the support of the episcopate in New York, and for the advancement of education. No man can rise from the perusal of this historical sketch, with which the valued Rector has favored us, without being charmed with the “liberality, charity and public spirit,” which the vestry of Trinity Church, from the start, has ever displayed. To quote from a vote of thanks from De Witt Clinton, on the part of the Free School Society, to whom the Church had presented certain lots of land, “As long as benevolence shall be considered a virtue, and knowledge a blessing, their acts will command the blessing of all good men.”
Yet we said, at the commencement, we trusted it might without offence be considered a question whether they had acted as wisely as they had liberally, and on this point we now wish to say a few words, not as though we claimed authority either to judge or advise, but as fellow-workers in the Church’s cause, who, if we can do little of the labor ourselves, may yet do something to encourage a brother, to raise the weak hands, and to strengthen the feeble knees, and to cheer on the veteran grown gray in that service, by sounding in his ears the cry familiar to his youth—”Antiquam exquirite Matrem.”
We noticed that English churchmen, on first coming into the country, came imbued with that portion of the Catholic system which had reference to the territorial division of Parishes, and the permanent endowment of the Church with inalienable Glebes and other landed possessions. In the abandonment of this Catholic system, of the powers of which a reference to the sources of their own greatness might have reminded them, the failure in wisdom in the Corporation of Trinity Church, in the distribution of their means for the advancement of religion and learning, we conceive to have consisted. And as the first act of doubtful policy in their course, we regard the voluntary rupture of the integrity of Trinity Parish, without at the same time determining the territorial limits of the Parishes so set off. S. Marks was made independent of the parent church in 1798, and S. George’s in 1811. Their history illustrates the positions we have assumed. They have grown rich beyond their own necessities, through the land with which they were gifted. And the indefinite-ness of a parochial charge, without local bounds, has afforded occasion for the hostile position which they are said to have assumed to the parent Church. The next questionable point, we conceive to have been the expending of enormous sums in giving temporary aid to Churches and ministers. Their own story, if not Catholic use, might have taught them the higher value of permanent foundations. The result is, that while by the increase in the value of property individuals have grown rich, the churches themselves have remained as poor as the proverbial church mouse, and our parishes, instead of having glebe and church lands, frequently have not enough ground in which to bury their dead. What a, different position the Church in this State would now be in if it had been a condition of every important grant to a Parish, that a certain proportion should be expended in land, to remain inalienably in the vestry.
For educational purposes, the Corporation seem to have pursued a truer policy; and we see the good results of it in the ever-increasing efficiency and influence of Trinity School and the Society for the promotion of Religion and Learning. The endowments of this School and Society are bringing forth good results in their ever-widening and definite Church influence.
Not so, to any proportionate extent, with the earliest and most noble endowment of all—that of King’s, now Columbia College, N. Y.
Almost cotemporary with the gift of the Queen’s Farm to Trinity Church, we find the following record in the minutes of the vestry: Agreed, “that the Rector and Church wardens should wait upon my Lord Cornbury, the governor, to know what part thereof (King’s Farm) his lordship did design toward the College his lordship designs to have built.” Nothing appears to have come of this at that time; and it was not till 1754—nearly half a century afterwards—that the vestry appropriated certain lands, said now to be worth $400,000, for the endowment of King’s College; the condition of the gift being, “that the President of said College, forever, for the time being be a member of, and in communion with the Church of England, and that the Morning and Evening service in said College be the Liturgy of the said Church or such a collection of prayers, out of said Liturgy as shall be agreed upon by the President, or Trustees, or Governors of said College.” Or, as it stands more strongly in the charter, “And we do further will, ordain and direct, that there shall be forever hereafter public Morning and Evening Service constantly performed in the said College morning and evening forever, by the President, Fellows, Professors, or Tutors of the said college, according to the Liturgy of the Church of England, as by law established, or such a collection of prayers, out of the said Liturgy, with a Collect peculiar for said College, as shall be approved,” &c.
In what view the vestry regarded these provisions, we learn from a letter addressed by them to the Venerable Society in England, in which they say: “But we never insisted upon any condition,” supposing it unnecessary, as the letter informs us, “till we found some persons laboring to exclude all systems of religion out of the Constitution of the College. When we discovered this design, we thought ourselves indispensably obliged to interpose.” The vestry, “finding persons laboring to exclude all systems of religion from the college, thought themselves indispensably obliged to interpose;” and they did so by a condition intended to secure the introduction of the Church’s “system of religion.” [From Dr. Cooper’s account of the College before the Revolution, we learn, that “All students, except those in Medicine, are obliged to lodge and diet in the College, unless they are particularly exempted. The edifice is surrounded by a high fence, which also encloses a large court and garden; and a porter constantly attends at the front gate, which is closed at ten o’clock every evening in summer and nine in winter, after which hours me names of all that come in are delivered weekly to the President.”
Call to mind that here was performed the Daily Service, and we will see that this college once aimed at that union between religion, discipline and learning, which alone deserve the name of education.]
Here is an endowment made by a Church, with a condition “That the President shall be in communion with the Church of England, and there shall be forever hereafter Public Morning and Evening Service constantly performed in said College morning and evening forever.” This being made an absolute condition, makes this a religious endowment, for the performance of the worship of Almighty God, morning and evening forever. To alter the use of land, so devoted, to less holy purposes, is sacrilege. But the annulling of the condition may be productive of that result.
This condition was annulled by the Legislature of the State of New York when they confirmed the charter; excepting from such confirmation, among other clauses, those “which render a person ineligible to the office of President of the College on account of his religious tenets, and prescribe a form of public prayer to be used in the said College.” The land was held on condition of the performance of a duty to Almighty God, and the State has annulled that condition. This has a bold look, and carries the appearance of sacrilege. That ill-success and loss follow hard upon sacrilege, is proverbial. We cannot, indeed, assert, that Columbia College is a proof of this, yet how is it, that, with a property in possession, the gift of Trinity Church, valued at $400,000, according to our author, once the possessors of 25,000 acres of land in Vermont, and now owning other land of very great value, we hear so much of want of means, and expenses running beyond the income? If God’s blessing is not upon it, because He has been defrauded of His Service, the remedy is in the hands of the President and Trustees, by restoring the Services of the Church, and placing their performance in the hands of one of His ministers.
[We would call attention to a suggestion which has been made, that “a Petition be got up to the Trustees of Columbia College, and circulated among the Alumni for signature, that the Daily Service of the Church be re-established in the College.”
We believe that sufficient zeal exists among the Alumni, and Churchmen in general, to supply any additional expense that the College might be pat to by this return to a former practice.]
This important subject of Church Endowment, we hope to have an opportunity again to touch upon.
A new light has of late years opened upon the Catholic Church in England and this country, and if the Vestry of Trinity Church are willing to profit by it, we are confident that they will earn for themselves the reputation of Catholic wisdom, as well as of Catholic liberality.
A suggestion, which we understood to have come from an honorable and influential source, appeared lately in the Churchman, that Trinity Church should found a definite Church College. We earnestly trust she will do so. That a college upon the Catholic type may be founded, even in this day, with its Warden, Fellows and Scholars, its endowments and foundation, its Hall, Library, Quadrangle, Cloisters, and Chapel, is happily placed beyond dispute by the successful establishment of the noble Missionary College of S. Augustine, Canterbury. The Christian triumph of Mr. Hope, in England, we trust may be repeated by the Corporation of Trinity Parish in the United States.
THE early History of the Church is so connected with its Ecclesiology, that we consider historical notices of the Colonial Church proper matter for our sheets. And the Society has especially called the attention of its members to the importance of collecting ecclesiological information in regard to the Churches of this period. We are happy to be able to lay the following Notes, Historical and Ecclesiological, before our readers; and we hope it will induce correspondents, indeed all who sympathize with our labors, to favor us with local, and especially exact, information on these subjects.
S ——, Jamestown, Va.—This was the first Anglican Church built in this country. It stood in the Parish of Jamestown, but we cannot learn its dedication. It was probably built between 1600 and 1610. A lithograph of what now remains of it was made for the benefit of the Norfolk Orphan Asylum. This lies before us. What remains appears to be a portion of the tower about twelve feet high, built of brick. In the tower is a doorway, apparently having a pointed arch. We hope that those having the opportunity will interest themselves to trace out the foundation of this mother Church.
Dr. Hawks, in this History of Virginia, thus notices it: “Upon a peninsula which projects from the north shore of James River, may still be seen the ruins of a tower which once formed part of a Christian Church; and this, with its surrounding grave-yard, is now almost the only memorial to mark the site of what was once Jamestown.”
“The piety of the emigrants, stimulated by the exhortation of their teacher, led to the almost immediate erection of an edifice, humble, indeed, as were the rude habitations by which it was surrounded, but hallowed as the place dedicated to the worship of Almighty God.”
In a few months this building was burnt, in common with the whole village. But A. D. 1610, when Lord de la War arrived, he found a Church at Jamestown. In 1611, under Sir Thomas Dale, as governor, we find the Daily Service established by the following law: “All preachers or ministers, within this our colonie or colonies, shall, in the forts where they are resident, after Divine Service, duly preach, every Sabbath daie in the forenoone, and chatechize in the afternoone, and weekly say the Divine Service everie day, and preach every Wednesday.”
In 1611, Henrico was made a parish, and two Churches built—one of brick. This was the second parish in this country.
In 1722, we find the following parishes established in Virginia, according to Dr. Hawks:
S. Mary White Chapel, Christ Church, Fanfield and Boutracy, Wicomico, Copely and Washington, North Farnham, Settenburn, Hanover, S. Paul’s, Overworton, Pesso, Abingdon, Ware, Kingston, Christ Church, Shatton Major, S. Stephen’s, S. John’s, S. Margaret’s, South Farnham, S. Anne, S. Mary’s, S. George, Elizabeth City, Denby and Mulberry Island, Charles, York, Hampton, Bruton, James City, Merchants’ Hundred, Wilmington, Blisland, S. Peter’s, Western, Wilmington, S. Paul’s, Henrico, S. James, Bristol, Lynhaven, Elizabeth River, Lower Parish, Upper Parish, Chickabuc, Warwick, Squoako Bay, Newport, Lyons’ Creek, Southwark, Martin Brandon, S. Andrew’s, Hungers, Accomac. Fifty-four parishes. Some were sixty miles long, others very small. The size of a parish was estimated, not entirely by the extent of its territory, but by the number of its tithables.
In each of these parishes was a convenient Church edifice—built of stone, brick or wood—furnished with all things necessary for the decent performance of divine service.
In many of the larger parishes, also, were one or more Chapels of ease; so that probably the whole number of places of worship was not less than seventy.
In every parish there was also a dwelling house for the minister. In most, if not all of them, a glebe of two hundred and fifty acres; and in some, a small stock of cattle. This was the condition one hundred and fifteen years after the first clergyman came into Virginia. At this time, it is said, there was but one conventicle in the colony.
S. Paul’s, Norfolk, Va.—The old Parish Church. We can only speak of it from recollection, and hope at some future period to give a detailed account. It is remarkable for having been in a sense desecrated, by being voluntarily abandoned some years since, and employed for a time as a meeting house by the Baptists. The Church is built of brick. We think the date is 1719. The ground plan is cruciform; and in order to preserve orientation, it stands diagonally to the street, in a good-sized burying ground. The Chancel, we are informed, originally occupied the head of the cross; but during the last year they have been making repairs and improvements. Pews have been placed in the head of the cross, and the actual Chancel, reduced to the most narrow dimensions, has been removed to the northwest corner of the original Chancel, where probably the Pulpit originally stood, and where indeed it now stands, and in front of it the Desk, and in front of the Desk a Communion Table—a Chancel Rail enclosing, in small bounds, this most compact and economical arrangement. A Gallery has been elevated at the west end. The ceiling has been enlivened with painted ribs and bosses, and a very dubious effect has been given to the exterior by the addition of a diminutive tower of upright boards, of the most flimsy workmanship, the lower part of which we believe is to serve as a sacristy.
When the government seized upon the lands devoted to the service of God in the State of Virginia, many of the holy vessels and furniture of Churches were sold, carried off, and denied; and we have accounts of a, font being used as a watering trough, and of chalices being seen in common abuse in bar-rooms. We think that churchmen in Virginia should investigate this matter, and recover from profanation these holy things, if any are now in existence.
Thompson’s History contains the following notice of some of the early Churches on Long Island, New-York: During the administration of Gov. Fletcher, a law had been passed in 1683 for settling a ministry in the counties of Richmond, West Chester and Queen’s. By this law Hempstead and Oyster Bay were made one precinct or parish.
S. George’s, Hempstead, L. I.—In describing this Church, built in 1734, Mr. Jenny says, “It is fifty feet long and thirty-six wide, with a Steeple twenty-four feet square; that Gov. Crosby and lady had named it S. George’s, and appointed S. George’s day for the opening it.” It stood a few rods cast of the present church. In 1822 the rebuilding of S. George’s Church was commenced.
S. James, Newtown, L. I.—April 19, 1733, the town presented twenty square rods of ground for a church lot. A building was erected thereon in 1734, and a charter granted by Lieut. Gov. Golden, 1761. This church, with those at Flushing and Jamaica, were considered as one parish. A new Church is being now (1848) erected.
Grace Church, Jamaica, L.I.—Was dedicated in 1734. The Rev. Thomas Colgan, in a letter to the Society in England, says “it is thought one of the handsomest in America.” The present edifice was built in 1820. In the Society’s report in 1706, it is stated that her majesty, Queen Anne, was pleased to allow the Churches of Hempstead, Jamaica, West Chester, Rye and Staten Island, each a large Church Bible, Common Prayer Book, Book of Homilies, a cloth for the Pulpit, a Communion Table, and a Silver Chalice and Paten.”
At the dedication of Grace Church, Jamaica, in 1734, Governor Cosby and lady, the Council, and many ladies and gentlemen of distinction from the city, honored the occasion with their presence when a splendid entertainment was given by Samuel Clowes, Esq. His excellency’s wife presented the Congregation with a Bible, Common Prayer Book, and a Surplice for the Rector. Afterwards we hear that John Troup, Esq., presented a silver Collection Plate, a large Prayer Book, and a Table for the Communion.”
S. George’s, Flushing, L. I.—In 1746, Capt. Ralph Wentworth made a donation of half an acre of land for the site of a Church, and he gave likewise a considerable sum toward its erection, which took place probably before 1750. In 1761, a charter of incorporation was executed by Lieut. Gov. Golden, by the name and style of S. George’s Church. The present Church was erected in 1812—enlarged in 1838.
S. Paul’s Church, Edenton, N. C.—This Church was built of brick, about the year 1723, in an extensive burying ground. The ground plan is a Nave about forty by sixty, a western Tower twenty feet square, and an eastern Chancel nine feet deep. The Church has a northern and southern entrance. The windows are rounded. The Chancel is a semi-circular Apsis, with a rounded east window. The Spire is of wood, and well-proportioned. The brick-work appears never to have been painted, and looks more real and venerable on that account. This Church is now standing in good repair. We understand that a noble-hearted liberality has lately supplied means for the furnishing of its Sanctuary, in a manner suitable to the beauty of holiness. The work has begun in the Chancel, where it should. We trust, before it rests, the walls will be disencumbered of their unsightly galleries, which belonged not to the original edifice, and that the barbarous refinement of pews will give place to open seats. And as they afford one-third more accommodation, we are told, than pews, no inconvenience will arise from this alteration. A Font has also been presented, to be placed we trust near the entrance. We love the stones of venerable Churches like this, and would not pull them down, even if we could supply their place with buildings of more correct details. But we would have every opportunity which occurs, of necessary alterations and repairs, taken advantage of to improve upon the general plan of the building; as, for instance, to substitute an open roof for a ceiled one, whenever the construction of a new roof becomes necessary; or, if means can be obtained, to supply features which belong to a perfect Church, but which did not enter into the original plan; as, for instance, the beautiful addition of a southern Porch, or northern Sacristy. Whenever these things are done, at individual expense, they may be made “monumental;” that is, to serve instead of a tablet or monument to some departed friend and saint. Monumental Windows are not uncommon in England, and we do not see why other members of a Church may not be used for the same purpose. For, as those whom we commemorate are we trust living stones in the spiritual Temple, it is not inappropriate that some member of the material Church, where perhaps they worshipped, should bear their effigy—remind us of their love, and excite us to imitation—and be a continual memento of the communion of saints in earth and Heaven.
S. Mary’s, Burlington, N. J.—Originally dedicated to St. Anne. The first building was erected A.D. 1705, and consisted of a simple wooden Nave, standing very nearly east and west—the Chancel, railed off at the east end, containing only the Altar. The Reading Desk, Pulpit and Clerk’s Desk, stood farther down the Nave, against the north wall. A large wooden Font—large enough to immerse an infant—stood near the door, but is now lost. We think inquiry should be made for it. The first alteration which was made, was the addition of an Apes at the east end, to which the Chancel was confined—the Desk and Pulpit being placed in it. The Church remained without any further alteration until a few years past, when a Trancept was added, one arm longer than the other. In the southern Trancept was placed the Sacristy or Vestry, and in front of it the Chancel. A Gallery was raised over the Sacristy for the Organ. In the old Church there was a chest to keep the church hangings in.
Trinity Church—Trinity Parish, New York—Was originally built in 1697, and is described as “a small, square edifice,” having a “Steeple.” In 1737 it was enlarged. The ground plan of the building appears to have been a Nave seventy-two feet broad, a Tower at the West end, and a Chancel at the East, making a length in all of one hundred and forty-eight feet.
The Nave had two entrances on the South and North. The Chancel was a semi-circular Apsis, having three windows.
The Tower was square, having an octagonal Broach-spire, with a true Weathercock.
The walls were of stone or brick. There were two Southern and two Northern entrances. These were Pointed, and had small Pointed Windows over them; and the rest of the Windows were tall Lancets.
A contemporary says—”The Church is within ornamented beyond any other place of public worship among us. The head of the Chancel is adorned with an Altar Piece. On the walls hang the arms of the principal benefactors. This building was burnt in 1776.
We find that some attention was paid at this early date to Ecclesiological propriety. The Church, having a separate Chancel toward the East, in order to obtain this the Chancel had to be turned toward Broadway, which even then was the principal street.
A Western Tower and a true Weather-Cock as the termination of the Spire, the symbolical reference of which to S. Peter’s denial—giving it an Ecclesiological propriety.
In addition to this, whatever deficiencies may have existed, the Pointed Windows declare the Church to have been built after a Gothic type.
Trinity, New York.—It would seem unkind, as well as unjust, to make use of the knowledge which the rapid advance of ecclesiological science has placed within our reach, to criticise a building begun before that science had made much, or, it may be said, any progress; and this would certainly be the case, if we went to our work in a fault-finding spirit; but it is a far different spirit which prompts us in this, our first number, to notice Trinity Church. We consider its erection to be an era well worthy to be commemorated by American Ecclesiologists, and we consider that they, as well as all other churchmen, owe a debt of gratitude to its architect which they cannot well repay. Amid many difficulties arising from the scanty knowledge of the principles of Christian Architecture, and still greater ones arising from the prejudices and parsimony of the age, he still succeeded in erecting a building which all feel to be a Church, and all acknowledge to be, in a measure, worthy of its high and holy object. With such feelings it is that we proceed to notice this Church.
Trinity church, erected from designs of Mr. Upjohn, was commenced in 1839. It consists of Chancel and Nave, two Aisles, with a north and south Porch, and a Tower at what should be the west end, but is, in fact, the east. This departure from the almost universal rule in ancient times, of Orientation, was, as we understand, contrary to the wish of the architect, but forced upon him by the building Committee, who prevented him from carrying out his plan in many very important particulars. It is a very unfortunate thing where a building Committee, unacquainted with architecture, undertake to direct an architect, and it will be one of the great advantages of the “New York Ecclesiological Society,” and other like societies which may arise, that an appeal can be made to them in the case of any difference of opinion between an architect and a church Committee.
The dimensions of the Church are as follow:
Entire length 192’
Interior, exclusive of Tower, 137’
Depth of Chancel 33’ 6
Breadth of Nave 37’ 4
Breadth of Aisles 17’ 4
Height of Nave 67’ 6
Square of Tower without buttresses 30’
Square of Tower with buttresses 45’
Inside square of Tower 18’ 6
Height of Tower 127’
Height of Tower and Spire 264’
The style of this Church is Third-Pointed or Perpendicular, against which we feel bound to protest; it is a style in which we find many symptoms of decline, and therefore not the one to be adopted in the present revival of Christian architecture. It has, however, in general, been well and consistently carried out—an unusual thing for our day and country. Let us begin with the interior and Chancel.
The east window, or rather, in the present case, the west window, is a true perpendicular one of seven lights, divided by a transom and filled with stained glass. In the centre light above the transom is the figure of our Saviour, and on either side two of the Evangelists, with their symbols, and S. Peter and S. Paul on the extreme right and left. The rest of the window is filled in with symbols, many of them, however, quite unmeaning. The only other windows in the Chancel are two in the Clerestory on cither side, of three lights: they also have transoms.
The Chancel is divided from the Nave by a Chancel-Arch of great beauty and fine effect. The height is about 60 ft. 9 in.; the mouldings are mostly continuous, and on each face of the arch is a slender semi-detached shaft; from the capital of this springs a vine which runs round the arch, filling up the cavetto. The Chancel is raised above the Nave by three steps of green polished marble, and the Sanctuary from the Chancel by two of the same. The pavement of the Chancel is a ground of light-colored marble inlaid with small diamonds of green, and that, of the Sanctuary is the same material of a more complex pattern. The Reredos, which is of oak, and very elaborate, strikes us as being too large, hiding, by its great height, the lower part of the Altar window, and helping to increase the gloom of the Chancel. This darkness of the Chancel is one of the great defects of the Church. We would suggest colors and gilding as a way of partially relieving it. The Lord’s Prayer, Creed, and Ten Commandments, are printed in gilt just above the Altar; above and on either side of which are canopied niches, no less than seventeen in number, but no figures in them. On the top is a crest of Tudor flowers.
The Altar, which is of oak, elaborately panelled, is about six feet by three, and a little over three feet high. The hanging is a red silk manufactured cloth. The Credence is a shelf supported by brackets at the south of the Altar. Sedilia there are none, but their place is supplied by what we believe to be the unauthorized arrangement of Altar chairs. On the uppermost step is a low railing dividing the Chancel from the Sanctuary. The Chancel proper is furnished with a series of five seats on the north and south, placed stallwise. but not at all like stalls in appearance, having red velvet seats and backs, and not provided with the usual kneeling desk At the foot of the steps, dividing the Chancel from the Nave, it has been found necessary to place a temporary screen or fence, to prevent visitors going up into the Chancel. Now how much more appropriate and beautiful would it have been to have had a rood-screen, with its holy doors always closed and locked, except during the performance of service. There would then have been no fear of unhallowed feet desecrating this holy part of the Church. The side walls of the Chancel are relieved by two blank arches, corresponding to those between the Nave and Aisles, and above them the whole wall is panelled. The roof of the Chancel is groined, and the bosses at the intersection of the ribs are very beautiful; but we can take no pleasure in describing them, knowing them, as we do, to be only plaster.
The Nave has six piers, and two responds on either side; the columns are clustered, and very beautiful. Most of the mouldings are continuous, and like the Chancel-Arch have the cavetto filled with a vine. One slender shaft runs up into the clerestory wall, terminating in a foliaged capital, from which springs the vaulting of the roof. The arches are all equilateral, a thing which you do not often find in old Third-Pointed buildings, the arch having generally become debased. The Clerestory, there being no triforia, has seven large windows of three lights, the same both on the north and south. They differ slightly from the windows of the aisles in the tracery, otherwise they are the same. The stained glass in them is good, much better than might have been expected from American workmen at that time.
The roof of the Nave is apparently a groined stone, one of great beauty—but proves only to be plaster. Why was not one of those exquisite open roofs, the chief glory of this style, employed instead? We have the same objection to make to the walls as to the roof; they are also of plaster, and marked as stone. This is a practice we never can let pass without our protest. It knocks away the very basis of Christian architecture—truth and reality. If planter be needed, let it be used and appear as plaster; though we would much prefer to see merely the hammer-dressed stone. The liturgical arrangements are as follows: An eagle lecturn of bronze standing in the centre alley of the Nave, just in front of the Chancel Arch; and a little to the south a prayer desk facing the people, and from which, at least at the Daily Service, the lessons are read, and not from the lecturn; and the Choir is only used as a place for those clergy who are not officiating. In ancient times, as far as we can learn, the arrangements were these: The Choir was the place where service was performed. In it were the seats of the choristers, ranged on either side; and from one of the stalls the prayers were read by the officiating priest. Then, in the littany, the priest came out of the Choir, and offered up that solemn supplication from a low desk in the Nave. The lessons also were read in the Nave, from a lecturn facing the people, and standing just in front of the Chancel-Arch and rood-screen.
The lecturn of this Church, which as we have said stands in the centre alley of the Nave, is of good form, and we believe of English workmanship. The eagle, with his wings spread, stands upon a sphere, which is supported by a richly-moulded stem, the base of which rests upon four lions. This, of course, is the proper place for the reading of the lessons. The font does not stand in “the ancient usual place,” near one of the entrances, but near the Chancel-Arch to the south. It is of very good form and workmanship, but lacks drain and cover. The material is a fine red sandstone, which is susceptible of very delicate work, but not of polish. The form of the font is octagonal. Under the first moulding runs a vine of trefoil leaves. There is a panel sunk in each face of the octagon, in the centre of which are raised quatrefoils containing various symbols—A and W, the dove, the pomegranate and fig—the remaining part of the panel is filled in with a vine. The stem of the Font is octagonal, surrounded by eight small circular shafts: the base is also octagonal. This Font loses much of its effect and beauty by not standing upon some platform, it at present stands immediately upon the pavement. The Pulpit is upon the most western pier, or that nearest the Chancel to the north. It is a hexagon, and has no support except from the pier. The material is of oak, and very richly panelled and carved: the steps wind round the pier. The effect of the Church is sadly marred by pews, which fill both Nave and Aisles, hiding the bases of the piers, and destroying the effect of the Church as a whole. We believe the architect would have preferred open seats. The sight of these pews, in the present case, is rendered peculiarly distressing by their being made of solid oak, which leaves us but little hope of their being removed. Leaving out the moral objection to pews, the practical and aesthetical objections to them are quite sufficient to exclude them from our churches. The Aisle walls are wainscotted as high as the windows. The Tower, which is square and of four stages, is one of the greatest beauties of the Church. The buttresses, which at the base project seven feet six inches from the wall, stand at right angles to each other, two at each corner of the Tower. These rise by a number of stages till near the top, where they unite, and the angle between them being filled in, they run up into an octagonal pinnacle; the faces of the buttresses as well as of the pinnacles are all richly panelled. From the inner side of these pinnacles, about a third of the way up, spring flying-buttresses, which abut into the spire, relieving in a measure the abruptness occasioned by a hexagonal spire springing out of a square tower.
The parapet of the tower is embattled and pierced, and the angle between the buttresses, toward the Nave, is on both north and south occupied by a turret, having a winding staircase. One of these leads to the second stage of the tower, in which is placed the organ—a spacious arch opening into the Nave—and the other communicates with the upper stages. The first stage of the tower forms the main entrance to the Church, the doorway is rich, but unsatisfactory. The second stage, as we have said, is occupied by the organ. On the east, or front, there is a large four-light perpendicular window, with a richly-foliaged ogee hood-moulding. On the north and south are two canopied niches, but like the niches in the Reredos, they are empty. The third stage of the tower contains the clock, and its three dial-faces occupy the three sides. This clock chimes the quarters of the hour. The fourth stage is the bell chamber. The bells are eight in number, without any inscription, so far as we could discover, save the maker’s name. How different in old times, when bells plainly told their holy object by some appropriate legend, as for instance—
“Laudo Deum verum, plebem voco, congrego clerum:
Defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festa decoro.”
Now, however, a bell is made with no inscription but the maker’s name, and either woes to a factory, a Church, or a steamboat, as the case may be. The belfry windows are four couplets, the hood-moulding connected, and running up in the case of each into an ogee arch: they are not glazed, but filled in with sloping boards or Suffers. The spire, which is one hundred and thirty-seven feet in height, is hexagonal, and of stone, with crocketed ribs—the crockets here, as well as those upon the pinnacles, strike us as wanting sharpness and precision; flowing too much one into the other, giving the appearance merely of a wavy line. There are three lights on each face of the spire; the height of the lights the same on the alternate faces. The spire is surmounted with a metal cross, gilt.
The porches, which are exactly similar, occupy the most easterly bay of the aisles; that is, the one farthest from the Chancel. They are square, with three open archways, buttresses and pinnacles at the corners. The roof is groined and of low pitch, the ridge of the roof not being visible above the parapet, which consists of pierced quatrefoils. The roof of the aisles is lean-to; that of the Nave is of low pitch. The parapets are all solid embattled ones, except that on the gable of the Chancel, which is pierced, and which at the apex rises into a floriated cross. The Chancel is distinguished from the Nave on the exterior by the greater weight of the buttress, and height and richness of the pinnacle that marks the position of the Chancel Arch, and also by the termination of the aisles. Beyond the Nave aisles, and not rising as high, are what appear to be Chancel-aisles: they are not however open to the Church, but are divided into four rooms, one of which is used as the Sacristy. In ancient times when any place was wanted in connexion with the Church, for uses apart from worship, it was built out separate; as, for instance, the Chapter-House of a Cathedral. We forgot to mention, that at the inner doorway of the porch, both on the north and south, stands a chest for alms, with plain iron work upon it, resting upon brackets. The material of which Trinity Church is built is red sandstone, of a very fine grain, from a quarry at Little Falls, New Jersey.
We are happy to state, that since the consecration of this Church there has been no intermission of the daily service.
S. George’s Chapel, New-York, N. Y.—This Church, which is nearly completed, from designs of Messrs. Blesch. & Eidlto, consists of an immense Nave, with a semicircular Apse and two engaged Towers at what should be the west end, but is the east. The style is, unfortunately, Romanesque, the material red sandstone. The Towers, which are finished to about the ridge of the roof, are fine, and so is the whole facade. The entrance is formed by three door-ways, which take up the whole space between the Towers, or, perhaps, it would be more correct to call it an open Arcade of three arches, which admit you into a kind of vestibule, front which are three doors into the Nave, and an entrance into each of the Towers. Above the Arcade which forms the entrance, is a series of five narrow, round-headed windows, with a heavy splay and good mouldings; and again, above these, is a rose window, simple, but of very good character. The whole appearance of the facade is good; and if the completion of the Towers is equal to their commencement, the effect will be one of decided power. The Nave is five bays in length; the windows are round-headed, and are divided by a single monial into two circular-headed lights, with a trefoiled circle above them. Some glass which we saw in one of the windows was quite good. The gable of the Cancel end of the Nave—for we cannot call it the Eastern—instead of being surmounted with a cross, has upon it an ornament, which we confess ourselves unable to describe, except as a huge block of stone, with some carving upon it. The Apse is ornamented with an arcade of blank arches, and lighted by a sky-light. The roof, which has a very low pitch, is of open timber, and of very peculiar character: it consists of a colar beam, very high up, with a king-post projecting below it, hammer beams with the ends of the struts showing below them, and struts again resting on the corbels and mortised into the principal rafter. The corbels are at different heights, varying alternately: the timbers are all very heavy, of pine, oiled. This Church possesses galleries, a deformity which we hoped had gone out of fashion, as well as that other deformity of pews. The platform of the Chancel projects somewhat into the Nave, and is raised four steps. What its arrangements will be, we are unable to say: when completed, we will notice them. The walls are all plastered, but they had not boldness enough to leave them plain—they are marked like stone. The buttresses of this Church are not at all consistent with the style employed; the projection from the wall being much greater than their width, which, we believe, was never the case in Romanesque or Norman buildings.
S. James the Less, near Falls of Schuylkill, Philadelphia County.—The Church of S. James the Less is built from tracings of S. Mary’s, at Arnold, Cambridgeshire, presented to the Rev., learned and excellent Dr. Jarvis, of the Diocess of Connecticut, by the Cambridge Camden Society. [There is also a strong similarity between the Western Gable, roofs and plans of Long Stanton Church, as drawn by the Braudans, in their Parish Churches, and S. James the Less.] The style is Early English. The plan consists of Chancel, with Sacristy on the North, Nave, North and South, Aisles, and South Porch. The stone is a species of gray granite, from the vicinity. The internal Chancel walls are ashlared; the Nave and other walls are rouble, with the exceptions of the window and doorways, Chancel and Nave arches, columns, brackets, base course, buttresses, front of porch, and Bell Gable of three arches, which are all dressed. The windows are filled with flowered quarries (see Plate XLI. of Instrumenta Ecclesiastica), of fourteen patterns from Powel’s, White Friars Glassworks, London. The Eastern triplet with the monogram I.H.C., alternating with a floriated Cross. The Reredos is of blue, buff, and red tiles, liberally presented by Mr. Minton, of Kent, E’d. There are niches for Credence, Bishop’s Seat, and two Sedilia. There are ten Stalls, with returns, and a Priest’s door (which is opposite to that of the Sacristy). The walls are 2 ft. 6 in. thick, giving good splay to the windows and door-ways. There is one step at the Chancel-arch, and three within the Sacrarium, besides a foot-pace. The Altar, steps, and Font, are of Connecticut brown sandstone; the last, from the design in the Instrumenta Ecclcsiastica, Plate No. XLIV. The Lecturn, Plate No. ii., and Litany Desk, at No. xvii. (which are both properly placed), are from the same excellent and most useful work. The floor of Chancel is laid with rich encaustic tiles, interspersed with red and black—the Nave, Aisles, and Porch, with black and red, with encaustic tile in passages. The Seats are free throughout, and well carved; the standards of those in the Aisles having poppy-heads. All the Roofs are open, of the cradle form, and of oak. All the Gables are coped, surmounted by crosses of stone; and that over the Chancel, together with the Altar and Altar-cloth, Communion-plate, Bishop’s Seat, Sedilia, Rood-screen (which is not yet in its place), Litany Desk, Lecturn, Font, and Chime of four Bells, were specifically given. The Organ, which is good, is under an arch at east end of South Aisle. As yet there is no Pulpit. Prayers are said from one of the Stalls, and the sermon from Lesson-table.
The Church, by careful arrangement will seat 400. Length of Chancel, 32 ft. 6 in.; width of do., 12 7; length of Nave, 61 6; width of do., 30 4; height of Ridge Pole, 36; do. of Nave Walls, 22; do. of Aisle Walls, 11 9.
EAGLE-LECTURN, CHURCH OF THE ADVENT, BOSTON.
[The following interesting communication, from Dr. Coale, having come too late to be read, as it was intended, before the late meeting of the Society, we take pleasure in laying it before our readers.—ED.]
Believing that the relation of any successful attempt in the manufacture of articles of Church furniture, would interest the Ecclesiological Society, I offer a description of a Brass Eagle Lecturn, lately presented to the Church of the Advent, in Boston, by a nameless donor, the first specimen of this particular piece of furniture, I believe, made on this side of the Atlantic.
I call it a successful attempt, because the workmanship of it has been pronounced very excellent by those competent to judge, and because the design has now been subject to the criticisms of several sculptors, and architects, both secular and ecclesiastical, and has, with some slight exceptions, which will be specified, met with their approval, often warmly given.
Before passing further, the difficulties attending the execution of this work may be mentioned. In the first place there was no model, and not even a drawing, except one about four inches long, of the Eagle, at S. Nicholas, Lynn, to serve as a guide, and to give an idea to the workman of what was required. This had to be done by gradual infusion: standing by and directing him when making the model, or raising off parts and replacing them by fresh carvings. For the Pedestal there was no design. That of the one just mentioned seemed heavy and unmeaning, and was evidently unfit to reduce to a size proper for a bird so much smaller. It had, therefore, to be designed by one who had never undertaken anything of the sort, and who had never seen a roll moulding.
The Eagle stands upon a rock, with one claw advanced a little before the other. The wings are half spread, as if in an act preparatory to rising. The head is raised—turned a little to the left, and looking upward with (as has been frequently remarked) a mournful but hopeful expression—accidental, yet who would say not significant? It was first carved in wood by Mr. Wm. B. Gleason, a young man, who had shown much taste and skill in furniture carving, and who entered into the subject with much spirit. The feathers in this model were finished smooth, the ‘band’ being only marked up the middle after its completion. The wings were hollowed out from the upper surface, and the body from the back—the former were then sawn off, and the body separated from the rock to which it is attached by the tail, as well as the leg’s—thus making four pieces for the founder to cast from. As but one copy was wanted, it would have cost more, in time, to core it out, so as to cast it thin, than it would in metal to cast it solid; the latter was therefore done, making it much heavier than was necessary. The wings and legs were then burned on, a process which consists in packing the pieces together in the proper situation, very firmly, in sand, and hollowing out a cavity at each point, into which cavity enough of melted metal is poured to fuse the neighboring parts, which, when cool, are thus as firmly united as if originally cast in one piece. The quantity of metal melted down for the first casting was over one hundred and sixty pounds weight, and for the burning nearly half that quantity. The whole bird was then tooled over by hand, each feather being separately wrought, so as to give full expression to its plumage, and with an effect which was particularly admired by a sculptor of great merit and judgment.
The metal is not the ordinary brass, but has a larger proportion of copper, and some tin in it, a mixture which amalgamates more perfectly, in large castings, than zinc and copper. The bronzing was done by ‘dipping’ or immersing it in an alkaline solution alone, obtaining, in that way, the natural bronze of the metal, and not one given by an artificial colored lacquer, as is almost always the case. In the hue and tint thus given the founder was very fortunate.
The Eagle and Rock together, weigh one hundred and thirty-five pounds. The Pedestal, of which drafts are sent, is of the same metal, cast in convenient sections, and finished upon a lathe. In thickness it varies, from one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch, and weighs ninety pounds.
In putting it together, the Rock was first screwed to the top plate of the capital, passing through this down the centre of the Pedestal, and through an iron disc accurately fitted. Within the lowest piece is a three-quarter inch iron rod, having a screw and nut at the lower end, by which the whole is firmly screwed together. To further stiffen it, and destroy the spring of the metal, the band around the shaft is run full of zinc. The weight of the whole is about three hundred and thirteen pounds. The iron disc about eighty pounds.
The Eagle measures twenty-three and a-half inches in length, twenty across the wings, accommodating readily a Book thirteen or fourteen inches high, and ten or eleven wide, and three thick. Upon its hack is a desk of wood covered with velvet, and accurately shaped to the wings, and an inch thicker below than at top, thus lessening a little the inclination of the Book.
The Pedestal is forty-eight inches high, making the whole height to the top of the Eagle five feet six inches.
I have given these particulars with much, possibly too much, detail, and it may appear to one ignorant of the difficulties, inherent and accidental, attending the execution of the work, as if I magnified their importance. As a specimen of the former I may mention that the matrix in which the body was cast, was formed of nearly one hundred separate pieces; and of the latter the total want of any guide will suffice. I have desired, then, to lessen these to others: this has, however, been done more effectually by the donor who, with the same liberality that prompted the original gift, has placed at my disposal the costly patterns used in the casting. From these the ingenious founders. Messrs. Gooding and Gavett, can now execute similar articles at a reduced cost ($150, complete, with desk and sconces for lights).
The criticisms above alluded to, were confined to the Pedestal, which has been considered deficient in sharp lines—not enough fillets in it. Of this the drafts will afford some opportunity of judging.
I now wish to use the Eagle just described as a text to a few remarks upon the principles to be followed in certain works of art for Church Building and Furniture. It differs from four others that I have seen figured. The one of Lynn is in an unnatural and constrained attitude. Its wings are flat and expressionless. The pattern from which they were cast might have been made from an inch board, and the head is certainly not that of an Eagle. In one figured by Markland, the expression is better, but the attitude is constrained, and it seems to suffer from the weight it carries. The one given in the Instrumenta Ecclesiastica, is beneath criticism. Ours is the result of an attempt to realize, upon true principles of art—principles seemingly applicable to both secular and ecclesiastical art—a genuine Eagle—not ornithologically, but ideally. (It will be understood I am not speaking of the excellence of the result, but of the principles upon which the attempt was made.) ‘
Is this principle a correct one—was the attempt proper? or must we continue to copy, without alteration, examples furnished us by old Churches, and merely because they are so furnished—or is there a better reason? With due deference it seems to me, that we should first obtain a clear and definite idea of what is to be done, and then set to work to effect it in all the excellence that better drawing, more perfect tools, and more finished workmanship, will assist us to. As we must believe that He who takes cognizance of the falling of a sparrow, has not made the smallest twig or stone without its significance, so we must feel that the Church has ordered nothing arbitrarily, devised nothing without its meaning—a meaning that, in the better days of a more perfect faith, was easily read by Her children, and which we may hope again to know, if we but do the works She has set before us.
To reach, then, the true ideal, we should in all cases attempt to discover the significance of the thing, the symbolism intended by it. It is only thus, by not stopping at precedents, by passing through externals, by going beneath to the more interior deeps of our Faith, that we can ever hope to give it a proper exponent in Art—that we can hope to again rear Churches which will be like those we now gaze upon in breathless admiration, which we acknowledge are beyond criticism, and which, though apparently made like others, of wood and stone, wrought into definite and measurable forms by hands of men like ourselves, we feel we cannot equal.
What is the Bird, then, used to support the Word by the Church from the earliest times in which it made Art its servant? Was it the Eagle, and why was it used1? I can only give my views, and I do it humbly, and with the sole desire to serve the good cause in which we are all engaged. I believe it was the Eagle; for although we know of Pelican Lecturns, I think that it can be shown they were exclusively used, originally, for the support of the Missal in celebrating the Mass.
Why, then, was the Eagle used? Is its coincidence with the Bird of Jove accidental, or had they both an origin in the same interior principle, which, of course, must, by the law of correspondences above alluded to, have the same exponent? I think it was not accidental, but that the same thing is symbolized by each, namely, the aptitude, or rather the affection, of Divine Truths as to the understanding of Man, and thence the condition of his knowledge and understanding when imbued with those Truths, as Isaiah says. (xl. 31.) “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.” Also in Psalm ciii., v. 5—”Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” In Job, xxxix. v. 27-30. “Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey: and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are there is she.” And S. Matthew xxiv. v. 28: “For wheresoever the carcase” is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
Further I do not care to say. I offer these remarks with the hope, at least, that they may prove suggestive, and, for one, am content to wait patiently and abide the time when our eyes shall be opened. We have much before us that it will not do to argue upon and talk about, but which we should ponder deeply, feeling the importance of every step we take, and striving, with brotherly kindness, to help each other. With this feeling I respectfully offer this paper, only asking leniency to the length to which it has been drawn out, a length which my other engagements unfortunately prevented my curtailing.
WM. ED. COALE.
Boston, Festival of S. Michael, 1848.
[From the English Ecclesiologist, No. IX.]
A HINT ON MODERN CHURCH ARCHITECTURE.
IT has often appeared to us a surprising fact, that modern church-architects should never have recourse to a method which would, if adopted, not only place their works beyond the reach of criticism, but enable them to produce buildings at once the most beautiful, commodious, and correct, at an outlay considerably less than is now too often devoted to the erection of the unsightly piles known by the generic name of “new churches.” In saying this, we do not of course mean to imply, that superfluous sums are in these days contributed for the purpose of church-building, but simply to state our opinion, that a particular sum collected for building a new church might, by the adoption of a system we would propose, be expended to much greater advantage than under the present practice of architects it will generally be found to be. We would suggest, then, that instead of new designs, or “original conceptions,” as they are very properly called, formed by the adaptation of a buttress from this church to a window or parapet from that, real ancient designs, of acknowledged symmetry of proportions or beauty of detail should be selected for exact imitation in all their parts, arrangements and decorations. How often do we see a simple village church, consisting, it may be, of low and rough stone walls, surmounted, and almost overwhelmed, by an immense roof, and pierced with some two or three plain windows between as many bold irregular buttresses on each side, or having a short massive Tower placed at one corner or in some seemingly accidental position, which nevertheless every one confesses to be as picturesque and beautiful and church-like an edifice as the most critical eye or the most refined taste could wish to behold. And just such another church could be built perhaps for seven or eight hundred pounds; while a modern Early-English design, with all its would-be elegances of trim regular buttress, triple lancet, and curtailed Chancel, would contain no more kneelings, cost more than twice the money, and look like a “Gothic factory” after all. And why is this? Because a lofty Tower must be built instead of a simple unpretending Chancel; or because one-half of the money is expended first in procuring, and then in smoothing and squaring great masses of stone, or in working some extravagant and incongruous ornament, so that cast-iron pillars must be placed in the interior instead of piers and arches; whereas the small rude hammer-dressed ashlar or rubble work of the ancient model has a far better appearance, and allows a larger expenditure where it is most wanted, in procuring solid, handsome, and substantial arrangements for the interior.
Now we cannot help thinking that architects would act more wisely if they would carry away with them on their journeys of research, not only mere sketches of details and partial measurements, but entire churches: we do not mean take them bodily away in their trunks or portmanteaus, but make plans, sections, and measurements of the whole, wherever they meet with an old church of peculiarly beautiful or appropriate design, so as to be able to build it elsewhere in precisely the same manner, or with the additional improvement of substituting, as far as can be ascertained, the original forms for the altered and mutilated portions of later ages. Any architect who would set the example of building new churches after the exact models of good ancient ones, would we think, have the glory of commencing a new and happy era in the history of modern church-building. And why should not this be generally done? Are not ancient Churches allowed by all to be most beautiful, and modern ones (at least by many) to be most faulty? Since Church architecture in the present day is strictly imitative, why may we not copy whole and perfect edifices as well as detached and unconnected parts? And what would be the result of the general adoption of such a system? The gradual return to ancient propriety in ecclesiastical architecture, instead of the extensive introduction of a series of nondescript designs which appear painful to us, and may possibly appear even ridiculous to posterity. We should thus replace by now and perfect buildings the worn-out and mutilated edifices of our pious ancestors; and England might once again become the country, if not of glorious Cathedrals, at least of refined and chastened Christian art.
Nor let it be thought that servile imitation implies a poverty of invention reproachful to our times. It is no sign of weakness to be content to copy acknowledged perfection; it is rather a sign of presumption to expect to rival it in any other way. We are indeed aware that it is a great pleasure, and therefore a great temptation, to exercise genius in producing new combinations, and endeavoring to surpass ancient examples. Yet surely there is still greater pleasure (as certainly we think there would be greater good) in producing an exact copy of a church whose excellence has been proved by the admiration bestowed upon it by all for centuries past, than in trying experiments which, should they happen to fail, entail lasting discredit on the authors and promoters of the design.
Much has been written upon the causes of the acknowledged failure of modern works executed in imitation of the ancient ecclesiastical styles: and it is very generally held that, the sudden discovery of some unknown principle may at once enable us to regain all the lost graces and beauties of ancient architectural composition. We think that this opinion will prove fallacious. There is surely something inherent in the very nature of mere imitative art, which renders the attainment of equal excellence with the originals we profess to copy a mere contingency, dependent solely upon individual skill or the circumstances of the case. We speak, of course, of affecting to copy, not of literally copying, ancient design. It has been said that no political constitution has ever prospered which has been borrowed from another nation, and has not been gradually altered and improved from its earliest formation, according to its own wants and emergencies, until it has attained its highest point of perfection. Similarly, it is characteristic of progressive art to arrive gradually, by its own impulses, its animating and unexhausted powers, at consummate excellence; of retrospective or imitative art, destitute of this life-giving principle, to fail or partially succeed according to the skill of individual copyists. The latter is not a natural production; it is not the free exercise of genius inspired by a consciousness of present defects and yet-untried capabilities, ever looking forward and improving upon the past; but it is the fettered effort of a mind, aware, indeed, of the beauty of the thing produced, yet unacquainted with the feelings and impulses that produced it. For this reason, it appears to us probable that Christian architecture, having ceased to be progressive, and being no longer animated by the hidden power that gave it birth and reared it into mature excellence, will not thrive in its second birth under the present process of what we may call inventive imitation; and that it will be the safest and best course to adhere, for the present, at least, to close or mechanical imitation, as the only sure way of attaining that excellence which we admire, but have hitherto striven to reach in vain.
[Though our architects cannot, as this paper advises, themselves examine and make measurements of ancient Churches, yet they will find many books where the description and measurements are sufficiently accurate for their purpose. Brandon’s Parish Churches is one of the best, and one which we would heartily recommend to all. As an example of this reproduction of an ancient Church, we would refer our readers to S. James the Less, on the Schuylkill, near Philadelphia, noticed in this number; it being a copy of S. Mary’s Arnolds, and is now nearly completed.—ED.]
AISLE, AILE. Ala, Lat. Aisle, Fr.—The lateral division of a Church or its wings. Aisles were generally two in number, one on each side of the Nave: sometimes, however, but one, and again sometimes three. Chancel-aisles, too, were sometimes employed, but never, as in modern times, for the accommodation of worshippers, as in Grace, and Calvary, New York. We sometimes hear the terms “Middle-aisle” and “Side-aisle” used, but quite improperly, as there cannot be any Middle-aisle, and Side-aisle is tautology. In speaking of aisles, we say North or South aisle, and North or South Chancel-aisle. Those passages in a Church, between Pews or Benches, should not be called Aisles, but Alleys.
ALTAR.—An elevated table in Christian Churches, dedicated to the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist only It is also called, in our Prayer-Book, besides Altar, Lord’s Table, and Communion Table. The forms of ancient Altars were various; the most usual, however, was a solid mass of masonry, with a stone slab upon it about six feet by four in size, and about three feet six inches in height: a single slab of marble, resting upon brackets, was also often employed, and likewise a slab supported upon shafts. The slab was marked with five Crosses, in allusion to the five wounds of Christ: the stone slab was the only essential part of the Altar; and the term table, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, seemed to refer to this, for her advertisements of the year 1564 require “that the parish provide a decent table, standing on a frame, for a Communion Table.” Upon this the author of the Glossary remarks, “Hence it appears that, by the word table, at the era of the English Reformation, the slab only was meant.”
The position of the Altar wax almost universally against the Eastern Wall of the Chancel, raised upon a series of steps of one, two, or three flights of three stops each: the sides of these steps, their risers, were generally panelled, or sometimes had the dedication and date of the Church carved upon them. We find that, in addition to the Altar, there was generally a ledge in the East Wall, called the Super-Altar, on which an Altar-Cross and Candlesticks were placed, and flowers, whenever used. None of these things were ever placed upon the Altar itself. We seldom or ever find ancient Altars richly panelled or carved, the front and sides were generally plain.
APSE.—The semicircular or poligonal termination to the Chancel of a Church. This form is very common on the continent of Europe, but very seldom found in England: in this country you often see it used instead of a Chancel, which in ancient Churches was never the case. The poligonal termination, sometimes added to an Aisle, was also called an Apse.
The apsidal termination to the Chancel, which is becoming quite common with us, is very unadvisable; the East window, by means of it, is split up into several small windows, and the Altar has to be removed from the East end and placed upon the chord of the Apse, neither of which things are at all desirable.
CHANCEL.—The eastern part of a Church, appropriated to those who officiate in the performance of the services, and separated from the Nave and other portions, in which the congregation assemble, by a screen (cancellus), from which the name is derived. These are the two essential parts of a Church. In this twofold division was recognized an emblem of the Holy Catholic Church. As this consists of two parts, the Church Militant, and the Church Triumphant, so does the earthly building also consist of two parts, the Chancel and the Nave; the Church Militant being typified by the latter, the Church Triumphant by the former. This division between the Nave and Chancel was generally marked on the exterior by the Chancel not being as wide as the Nave, and the roof not rising as high, though there are some cases where it is not marked on the exterior at all; in the interior it was marked by the Chancel-arch and the Rood-screen. The comparative length of Chancel and Nave is a point not very easy to settle; it ranged, perhaps, as a general rule, between a third and a half.
The Committee beg leave to state, that the first number of the New York Ecclesiologist is sent gratuitously, but that the second number will only be sent to those who, in the meantime, that is, before the first of January, have forwarded their subscriptions.
All communications to be sent to the Editor, through Mr. Onderdonk, Publisher, 162 Fulton street, New York.
The payment of subscriptions to be made to Mr. Wm. A. McVickar, Treasurer of the Society, No. 8 Columbia College, New York.
A correspondent informs us that the Church at Canandaigua has a close wooden fence (this certainly is no improvement upon the open rail) around the Chancel; and that the cloth is nailed upon the Altar. Three persons were engaged in cleaning the Church: on questioning them, he found that one was a Methodist, and the two others Roman Catholics. It is most distressing to see persons, having no reverence for our holy places, thus employed in them. Surely some one who loves the Church might be found who would undertake the duty in a reverent spirit.
The present number of the Ecclesiologist contains three sheets, instead of two. The next number will not appear till the first of January, and will contain three sheets also.
If members of the Society will be punctual in sending in their subscriptions by the first of January (at which time they become due), it will save the Committee much trouble.
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