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wish them to contribute. They have been adapted by later generations to the changes which gradually obtained in the church ; and we can restore them to their original simplicity only by the aid of the descriptions of the churches of that period, which we find in the works of contemporary writers. With this help, however, they afford much assistance to the ecclesiastical historian, in his inquiries respecting the worship and discipline of the ancient church.

The settlement of a new population in the western division of the Roman world produced a state of things altogether different to that presented by the ancient system. The gospel, indeed, eventually triumphed over the heathenism of the barbarian conquerors; and the rudeness of the first generations was soon succeeded by a rapidly increasing civilization. But the condition of society, which had lasted for so many ages, was dissolved. Nations in a different stage of the progress of cultivation had gained the ascendancy. Manners, intelligence, taste, were regulated by another standard, and followed other directions; and nature and feeling took the place of experience and formality. The Christian edifices which had adorned the provinces had, in many instances, been swept away by the violence of the torrent. And when the victorious tribes embraced the religion of their subjects, their first churches naturally accorded with their habits and modes of life. But the frail structures which satisfied a rude people were gradually supplanted by more substantial and aspiring works. Under the guidance of the clergy, whose parsuits and superior intelligence led them to look back to a state of greater refinement, which still partially lingered beyond the Alps, they learned to imitate the forms and spirit of Roman art. The semicircular arch, resting upon massive columns, finely represented the dignity and severity of the ancient system; and the solemn spirit of the early ecclesiastical architecture awed the public mind to submission and obedience. As the general intelligence increased, and greater activity prevailed in the western world, more imagination and variety were exhibited in the structures devoted to religious purposes. The pointed arch, and its kindred peculiarities, spread from Lombardy, or the East, over the whole of Christian Europe, with a rapidity which denotes a general ability to appreciate the merits of liveliness and grace. The magnificence and exuberance of the succeeding period were not less uni. versal; and before the end of the fifteenth century, every province of Western Christendom exhibited noble specimens of these monuments of religion and genius.

The revival of a classical taste in art at the era of the revival of letters, terminated the existence of the indigenous architecture of the west. Its proudest efforts were despised, its very principles were forgotten. For nearly three centuries the greatest achievements of Teutonic genius were ridiculed as childish toys, or regarded with stupid wonderment. It is within the last fifty years that they have become the object of rational curiosity, and been studied in a spirit of intelligent criticism. The ingenious investigations of two generations of antiquarians and artists, who have studied this interesting subject with a diligence and acuteness worthy of its importance, have led to

VOL. XIV.-August, 1838.


the recovery of the main principles of Gothic art; and we have been enabled, by a series of inquiries, * conducted in the true spirit of science, to find in the remains of the architecture of the middle ages a fruitful source of church-history. A very limited acquaintance with the discoveries to which I allude will enable the student to perceive, at a glance, the period to which he should refer any ecclesiastical or monumental structure. And a more intimate knowledge of this branch of antiquities will often enable him to rescue important facts from the tenacious grasp of ignorance and fable.

2. The abhorrence with which the early Christians regarded the Pagan idolatry, induced them to look with jealousy upon the labours of the sculptor.t Though the courtly subjects of the first Christian emperors readily complied with the common mode of flattery, and peopled Rome and Constantinople with the statues of their sovereigns, the church was slow in receiving these dangerous ornaments, and they were scarcely admitted into sacred edifices before the end of the sixth century. When they were once common, (and they were not common in the West till a much later period,) they multiplied with wonderful rapidity. They became objects not only of respect, but of worship, and eventually formed one of the greatest scandals of the church. But while we deplore the effects of IMAGES, in confirming and extending superstition, we gladly avail ourselves of such as have escaped the ravages of time and violence, for the illustration of ecclesiastical history. Many great events, many curious fables, and many important facts, connected with the opinions and customs which prevailed in the church during the middle ages, are explained by these remains; and the antiquarian is sometimes ready to express, in language little edifying to the zealous iconoclast, the regard he feels for these monuments of the rude taste and misdirected piety of our ancestors.

3. But we are less indebted to the chisel than to the pencil. Painting can effect more than her more severe and dignified sister. She gives us not only single forms, but groups and colours, and transmits that which language could not communicate. There is no branch of history which derives more direct and abundant illustration from painting than the history of the church. The illuminations of manuscripts were chiefly the work of ecclesiastics, and, in the great majority of instances, adorn religious books. A great part of the ancient pictures which have come down to us were designed as the ornaments of sacred edifices; hence it is that the ceremonies of religious worship, the proceedings of councils, the dresses and ornaments of the various orders of the hierarchy, and other matters of great interest to the ecclesiastical student, are often happily explained by the remains of this branch of art.

* The History and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church of Ely, by the Rev. James Bentham. Cambridge, 1771. A Treatise on the Ecclesiastical Architecture of England during the Middle Ages, by the Rev. John Milner, D.D. Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain, by J. Britton. 5 vols. 4to. London, 1807-14. An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture in England from the Conquest to the Reformation, by Thomas Rickman. London, 1817. An Historical Essay on Architecture, by Thomas Hope, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1835.

t Bingham, book viii. chapter 8.

4. The importance of NUMISMATICs in the critical study of history is universally acknowledged. Many memorable events, and many interesting points of chronology and geography, would have remained unknown, had they not been brought to light by coins and medals. And no kind of history has derived more advantage from discoveries of this nature than the history of the church.

5. The INSCRIPTIONS which celebrate the services of eminent persons, record the names and titles of the dead, or perpetuate the memory of remarkable transactions, often communicate important information of an historical nature. The tombs, especially, of departed Christians,* whether in the catacombs of the ancient cities, or the magnificent churches of the middle ages, often make us acquainted with facts which would otherwise have remained undiscovered, and exhibit inscriptions which take a high rank among the sources of ecclesiastical history.

6. The VESTMENTS worn by the ministers of the sanctuary, and the VESSELS employed in the performance of the divine service, throw much light on the history of Christian worship, and mark the progress of opinion on some of the most interesting subjects respecting which we look for information to the history of the church.

It is obvious, however, that monuments of every kind may serve to mislead rather than instruct us, if they are not studied with extreme caution. Unless we carefully ascertain the period to which they actually belong, and the uses in which they were employed, we shall inevitably fall into the snares which beset the path of the prejudiced and indolent student. If, on the contrary, we pursue our researches with diligence and care, we shall find this department of the sources of ecclesiastical history rich in the purest instruction. Independently of the direct information which monuments communicate, they are of the greatest value in imparting substance and reality, so to speak, to historical knowledge. They link together the present and the past; they give correctness and precision to our views of antiquity ; and powerfully assist the languid imagination in its efforts to hold communion with distant ages.

J. G. D.

• Roma Subterranea novissima in qua post Antonium Bosium Antesignanum, Jos. Severanum Congreg. Oratorii Presbyterum, et celebres alios Scriptores Antiqua Christianorum et præcipuè Martyrum Cæmeteria, Tituli, Monimenta, Epitaphia, Inscriptiones, ac nobiliora Sanctorum Sepulchra sex libris distincta illustrantur, et quamplurimæ res Ecclesiasticæ Iconibus graphice describuntur, ac multiplici tum sacrâ, tum profanâ eruditione declarantur. Opera et studio Pauli Aringhi Romani Congreg. ejusdem Presbyteri. Coloniæ et veneunt Lutetiæ Parisiorum, 1659. The works of Ciampini, Jacutius, and others, are also important.



My Dear Sir,—The circumstances of the dispute about the bread monopoly, if I remember right, were these that is, so far as relates to certain points which are at present of great interest in the part of the world where I was born; and you are so well acquainted with the general history of that country, that I may enter upon them without preface.

It must have originated long before, and I cannot pretend to an exact chronology ; but I can just remember the time when it began to wear a look of importance, which was while I was quite a child, living with my grandfather. There was, as you know, a great deal of wheat grown, and very good too; and the government took pains to keep ир. both the quantity and the quality. But it was not easy to preserve it from adulteration and deterioration. Besides, the people naturally wished to have as much as they could get for their money; and being better judges of the quantity than the quality of what they got, they were frequently put off with very inferior, and even injurious articles. For I need not tell you that bad flour is cheaper than good, and smutty or grown corn cheaper than what is clean and in good condition; nor need I observe that when men have once come willingly, and knowingly, and habitually, to sell a bad article at the price of a good one, they will soon add to its intrinsic badness all the evils of manufacture which fraud can devise and artifice conceal. In short, it was found necessary to protect those who did not know how to protect themselves; and therefore the government formed a company with a royal charter, opened stores through all the provinces, and appointed licensed agents to be the sole distributors all over the country. This was very well meant, and it seems to me that it was very right; but I suppose nothing ever did please everybody, and some people very soon began to grumble. Some said it was an invasion of their liberties, by virtue of which every man had a right to bake bread if he pleased, and eat it or not as he liked. And not only so; some said they could make it much better, some that the government bread was positively bad, some that it was even poisonous ; and very odd it was to see how personal circumstances helped the matter on when once the idea of an opposition was started. One old gentleman who visited my grandfather used to make it his continual topic. His chief complaint was that the government bread was so very crusty. Whether it was, I am sure I do not know; but certainly he was; and I often wondered that my grandfather did not tell him so. But he was a man that hated strife, and did not like to hurt his friend's feelings by telling him, what was the plain fact, that the fault was in his teeth. My grandfather was still more teased by a maiden sister, who was nevertheless a very good old lady in many respects. She used to complain very pathetically that the government bread did not agree with her, and certainly she did not get fat upon it, though I believe it would have puzzled all the doctors in the world to define the nature of the disagreement. But, whatever it might be, she was quite after year?

sure of the fact; and so she kept a Dutch oven in her bed-room, and nothing delighted her so much as to get a few friends to come in a private way, and drink a cup of tea, and eat home-made bread. He used sometimes to argue with her about breaking the law, and so forth; but it was obviously fruitless, and never got further than, “ It is of no use, brother; it does not agree with me.' There was another friend who used to come and talk to my grandfather, whom I verily believe he did not understand; or else he did not choose to say all that he thought. For my own part, I could never make out what he was driving at; and yet he said (and I believe very truly) that he represented a very large class. He added (and I believe that both he and they thought so), that they understood him, and felt with him. But I could not comprehend the nature of his grievances. For instance, he came in one day and found a quartern loaf on the table, stamped with the government W., and so he began : “ Now, my dear Sir, I do wonder at such a man as you~I appeal to your own judgment, and good taste, and good feeling—is it not an intolerable oppression to make people eat that bread?” “It will do them good," said my grandfather. “I don't doubt it may, Sir; I dare say the bread is very good bread; but that has nothing to do with it. What right can any government have to make the people eat loaves of that particular form, size, and weight, and marked with that particular stamp, day after day, and year

r?" “ What have you to say against the form ?” said my grandfather. “Nothing," he replied. « The size ?" “ Nothing.” “The weight ?" “ Nothing ; nothing in themselves; what I object to is, the arbitrary imposition.” “And what harm does the stamp do ?" said my grandfather; “it is merely a certificate that it is fine bread, made of the best flour.” “ Aye, that is just it,” replied his friend, " that is just the way; what business has the government, or anybody else, to certify anything about it? Cannot they let people judge for themselves? No; there is that tyrannical, overbearing spirit, that must tamper and domineer in everything, so that even when it pleases God to give, and preserve to our use, the fruits of the earth, it will not let us enjoy them without actually swallowing their paltry certificate. I do not doubt that it is fine white bread of the very first quality; but they have no right, and it is unbearable oppression, to make that assertion with their iron stamp, and then thrust it down my throat.” “Well," said my grandfather, “I really do not quite understand you; have you any doubt that what stands in that plate is a quartern loaf?" “ None whatever,” said his friend. " Then you would not object to say so ?” “Certainly not.” “You would have no objection to write on a slip of paper, There is a quartern loaf on the table'?" “ None whatever." “ You would attest it by your signature ?"

“ Most willingly.” « And if I were to write the same words you would sign them?” “ Not for the world, my dear Sir; not for the world; I could not possibly do it.” “ H'm !” said my grandfather, as he generally did when he did not know what else to say.

It would be tedious to detail particular cases, but it may be easily supposed that plenty of people who heard such talk as I have given

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