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delight and satisfaction, but only such zealots as these whose eyes were so dazzled, that they thought they saw Popery in every picture and piece of painted glass."" One of the arguments used by the Puritans for breaking the painted glass was, because by darkening the church it obscured the new light of the Gospel.

Here, then, was the practice of glass-painting for a while exterminated: some few specimens were, however, produced soon after the reformation, but from the disuse of the architecture with which the art was so intimately associated, and from the imitation of the Italian school, at that time becoming so much the fashion, the works were of little note, and when used, frequently foreign in design.

Except where occasionally we admire the work of some Dutch or German artist, a void in the art exists, until the spirit which has lately arisen from the restoration of many of our religious edifices, and the accompanying decorative arts, have animated the energy of the wealthy, the soul and talents of the artist: and while we see and admire these restored works, it is most devoutly to be hoped that the spirit which created medieval taste may animate its admirers, and that from the ashes of restoration may arise a phoenix, the monument and illustration of the taste and genius of the nineteenth century.

Sir Joshua Reynolds has remarked, that "invention is one of the marks of genius; but if we consult experience, we shall find that it is by being conversant with the inventions of others we learn to invent, as by reading the thoughts of others we learn to think." Hence the real practical value of the study of antiquity. The above remark may well be applied to the labours of the Archæological Association, whose object is to become conversant with the works of others, hereafter probably to work important ends in the history of our age.


In these days, we have the power of producing the finest subjects this art is capable of. From the ability of the artists employed, the practical works on the subject serving as so much experience, in the mechanical means, in the knowledge of chemical combination and burning in of colour, we have infinite advantages over the craftsmen of the middle ages; and however much may be said of the lost secrets of the art, we have certainly little to envy the ancients in their method of proceeding.

But instead of employing these various talents to advantage, what is it that we shall leave to posterity to perpetuate and immortalize our proficiency in art? Skill, science, refinement, not one attribute is wanting to greatness or originality, but the adaptive principle is wanting: that principle which identifies a nation with its deeds, art, at any era with its productions. We know not our own power; like the first restorers of literature, we spend our strength in imitations,—so true, so beautiful, so comprehensive of the spirit of the original, as make us grieve for the days and men, whose attainments were wasted for so trivial an end. It is but to believe that we can impart to our creations the impress of ourselves, and it is done. We need no new inventions; no mind can create a style in art, he may acquire a manner; but style is the invisible and unconscious work of an age and people; a thousand circumstances go to determine the character and development of art at any particular period; it cannot be separated from the people themselves, the whole turn of their mind, their habits of thinking, their religious impressions, their domestic occupations, their public character and political station, all are reflected in it, and it is this that makes art a more valuable, more trustworthy record than aught else besides. It matters not what it operates upon. Stone or glass, marble or canvas, Grecian, Gothic, Indian, or Elizabethan, from any or all of these, national art is capable of rearing itself a monument that shall tell its tale to eternity.

In the present day, however, a decided privation seems to mark our people; conscious of our own want of popular individuality, we endeavour to borrow from other times a lustre that may gild our era, though it be only with a reflected light. On every hand edifices arise, not inferior in cost and labour to the most magnificent edifices of the past; a feverish anxiety characterises every department of industry, and our own age, when it shall come to be recorded in the annals of the world, will be remembered as one when the people were more wealthy and busy, the channels of successful enterprise more broad and widely ramified, and the whole race of mankind hurrying each other forward in a race, whose goal none knew, and of whose track no vestige is imprinted on the face of time.



CHANGED in aspect are the venerable features of St. John's from what they were when described in the opening paper of the last volume of our Journal; so complete, indeed, is the transition its interior has undergone, that it is scarcely to be recognized as the same old church. Nor is this to be wondered at, considering it has passed through that dreadful ordeal known by the term "church restoration", which often with greater propriety might be called "church desecration"; for in most cases it amounts to little less. For a period of nearly six months, this church has been in the hands of bricklayers, masons, and carpenters; its interior has been cleared out, the pavement plucked up, the walls stripped of their plaster, and the roof untiled. These formed the preliminary operations of the restoration. The church now presents an appearance of neatness, with a degree of newness; and, perhaps, in the eyes and ideas of the parishioners, it may be more comfortable. But, as every venerable feature is pretty sure to be destroyed in undergoing this process, so in this instance the old associations are almost entirely gone. The rood-screen, however, still reminds one of the faith of its original builders; and the Easter sepulchre tells that it was adapted for, and once witnessed, an older and a more gorgeous ritual.

The opportunity thus afforded to continue our researches on the walls of this church was not neglected, previous to the destruction of the whole of the plaster with which they were covered. The result of our labour is exhibited in the accompanying plates. These, with the series already published (plates 1-6, vol. ix), formed the entire pictorial decorations of this church. The north aisle only had its entire walls covered with paintings, all executed at the same period, and by the same hands; probably the work of some Franciscan friar. A convent of this order having been established a few years previous to the date of these paint

ings, and at no very great distance from this church, the community might have had the use of this aisle while their own church and house were being built, and afterwards might have decorated its walls, as an acknowledgment of their gratitude.

In commencing an account of these newly discovered paintings, as those already published were on the north wall of the north aisle, we will begin with those found on the opposite wall of the same aisle. In order better to illustrate their respective positions, an elevation is given of this wall (see plate 4), consisting of the respond to the east wall having the piscina and hagioscope, and above this a string moulding; to the west are three flat pointed arches resting on circular pillars; between the first is seen the early decorated parclose-screen, and on the adjoining pillar a section of the rood-screen, with its passage or entrance in the wall above. The altar step and its predella, given in the drawing, have since been removed.

The first of these paintings is of no ordinary interest, not only on account of its date and the circumstance that its preservation was entirely owing to its being covered up more than a century previous to the change of religion in this country, but also because it represents the violent death of that remarkable man, who refused to give to Cæsar the things that belonged to God. Crossing all alone the will of a powerful monarch, he readily yielded up his life in defence of that church of which he was the spiritual father, and with the courage and constancy of a martyr, when he knew his hour was come, resolved to go to the high altar of his cathedral, and perish in the patriarchal chair in which he and all his predecessors from time immemorial had been enthroned; but Heaven had decreed otherwise.

So numerous were the paintings and statues of this beloved and popular martyr, St. Thomas of Canterbury, which existed in our ecclesiastical edifices and private oratories, as to cause much surprise that not a single statue and but very few paintings escaped the order for their destruction, issued by Henry VIII, dated November 16th, 1538. It decreed that St. Thomas was no saint, but

1 Anon. Lambeth., p. 121.

Francis Joseph Baigent Delt 1853.

Scale of One Hundreth.


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