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these, and common sense must lead him to reject the third idea concerning windows, as contrary to the doctrine of which they are said to be the symbol or explanation; notwithstanding the bold, but gratuitous assertion, that this is “the primary idea shadowed forth in every one of the styles of architecture,” and that “ we must retain it as the groundwork, or we shall be in danger of mistaking the true meaning of ancient church architects." (lxxxix.) For those who do retain it must first have got rid of a more valuable thing-common sense.

The sacramental notion concerning symbols, which is that generally entertained by the Romanists, is the very opposite of the figurative or fanciful; for it is based upon the assumed reality of all forms and objects of a symbolic character. Yet, by that strange inconsistency which we often observe in the meeting of extremes, the figurative symbolists unconsciously adopt into their system much of the Romanist reality, and therefore the latter expect them very soon to go all lengths with them in the sacramental principle; and the Romanists, who ought, by the sacramental principle, to have rejected everything figurative, have adopted wholesale all the conceits of Durandus, and of every other fanciful writer upon the subject, provided only that these conceits fall in with, or do not seem to contravene, the Roman system. But many

of the explanations which they receive do really contravene their system, and are in themselves contradictory; and these give them little trouble, for they are salved over by blind obsequiousness to the clergy.

The sacramental notion concerning symbols does contain a principle, but it is a principle which does not apply to them as symbols, and therefore becomes as vague and unsatisfactory as the figurative notion; because it does not apply in every case without exception, and applies with greater force in some cases than others, supposing it to be true in any case. For the principle being, that things thus employed, thus used as symbols, have a force and efficacy in them, which other things of the same kind have not, it follows that the things themselves have undergone some change by being so employed, or that a sacramental influence is imparted through them to those who thus employ them. And in either case it is the presence of the power of God; divine power alone can change the nature of the thing, or impart, through a mere thing, a sacramental or divine influence. But, this being the case, man cannot command the presence of God-man cannot impart at will a saeramental character to a thing by calling it sacramental: it needs the appointment of God to make a thing sacramental, because, in order to its being so, his presence is necessary. And none will be absurd enough to carry this the whole length of symbolism, or say that God is present when the windows of a church are of one shape, and is not present when they are of another shape--that he is present in cruciform churches, and not so in those that are square. The principle evidently will not apply.

It remains, therefore, that the typical is the only true notion concerning symbols which will meet all the conditions of the case, and stand every test. All things are not typical or symbolic ; for if it were so, none could be truly and exclusively so. But the greater number of things being not so, and nothing in its natural state being so, God hath selected certain things, and put them in certain forms, to constitute types of coming events, and taken certain things as sacramental to make them peculiar channels for imparting peculiar blessings of a spiritual and heavenly character. And this, not by a communication of a new nature or inherent virtue to the things, so as to render them anything like the talismans and charms or amulets of the heathen ; but by spiritual grace, to be apprehended only by the spiritual, and that only through faith, and not by the bodily senses. Things in general are left to the taste, or fancy, or common sense of all mankind, while certain things are selected to be typical of spiritual things, or to become channels of imparting sacramental grace to the Church.

Looking at Church architecture and Church furniture in this sober way-regarding it in general as only matter of taste, and as becoming symbolic only in certain cases selected by God to convey some special instruction, or impart some peculiar blessing, we seem to arrive at a solution of many difficulties, a correction of many errors, and a source of much profitable instruction to the Church ; and we cannot discover any other rational way of considering the subject.

God hath endowed all men with reason, and the capacity for distinguishing between right and wrong in morals and conduct ; because any deviation here is a deviation from truth, such as will incur guilt and deserve punishment--for there cannot be two kinds of truth, and the deviation from truth is falsehood and actual crime. But it is not so in matters of taste. All men are not endowed with equal perceptions in this respect; some men appear to be totally incapable of distinguishing between true and false taste: and the capacity, even in those who have it most decidedly, is often much improved and greatly enlarged by assiduous cultivation.

And as with individuals, so with the arts themselves; looked at as a whole, they have been improved by cultivation, but they began in what is familiarly termed genius. Men did not first lay down rules and principles, and then begin to write, and build, and paint; but in writing, and building, and painting, the men of talent showed themselves and they produced works which served as models for others : and then, from these works, men of inferior genius might deduce principles and rules which would enable them to do more than they could otherwise have done, and which principles would enable men of equal talents to surpass the works of their predecessors. Homer, in writing poetry, followed the impulse of genius, and left the “ Iliad” as a work from which others may learn rules and principles of poetry.

There is no greater mystery in architecture than in any other art. They all minister to the wants and desires of man, and, to be acceptable, must become refined in proportion as mankind advance in refinement. Utility, or adaptation to the purpose for which things are intended, is the foundation of good taste in architecture, as in all other things. Utility, being kept constantly in view, will prevent the introduction of decorations which interfere with the primary use of the building, or which divert attention from the purpose which originated, and the end to be accomplished, or the service to which it will be dedicated. The same architect may build both churches and palaces, both equally good in their kind; but they will be good only in proportion as he remembers, in all his plans and decorations, that he is in the one case building a church, and in the other a palace, and gives play to the very different associations connected with the one and the other.

And among these associations it cannot be forgotten that God is to be honoured and his will is to be consulted in the erection of a church, that all things therein may promote and invigorate, and nothing may distract or deaden, the worship and service of Him; whereas in the erection of a palace we need only regard the taste and feeling of men. This brings in a new element, which is that which is meant by symbolism; and it raises the question, how we may honour God and consult his will in the matter, and assure ourselves that we are not dishonouring him and following our own wills, or a corrupt and depraved taste. It certainly would be acting thus wrongly, if we imitated heathen temples, however beautiful in themselves, when such imitations continually brought up heathen associations to our thoughts--or even if they turned aside our thoughts from the proper occupation of all our heart in the worship and service of God. The prohibition of idolatry in

the second commandment not only prohibits the gross idolatry which was prevalent in the time of Moses, but everything which is put in the place of God and turns us aside from him : and now, when we are worshippers in spirit, anything which distracts the spirit of a Christian congregation becomes, in their case, tantamount to a breach of the second commandment. God provided for this want, and guarded against this danger, in the typical and symbolical worship which was instituted for the children of Israel, He left not the forms to their taste and judgment, but prescribed them, in all their details, with great exactness; and it was made as incumbent upon Moses to embody these instructions in the tabernacle which he built, as it was to obey any of the other commands which he received at the same time and under the same awful sanctions. Over and over again it is repeated—“See that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” And St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, refers to this as evincing God's providence in thus exactly prescribing the symbols of the Christian mysteries, and as a proof of the faithfulness of Moses in obeying most scrupulously that which the Lord had commanded. We might, therefore, infer, that if such symbols were required in Christian worship, they would be prescribed with equal minuteness in the New Testament, and would be given in command to us, as those of the Old were to Moses. But, so far from it, St. Paul teaches us, when commenting on the Mosaic ritual, that all these things had decayed, become obsolete, and were ready to vanish away. And his comments render it, in fact, impossible that he could have entertained the idea of their continuance, since he argues that the most important of all the symbols, and that which formed the crown of all the rest—to which they all had respect, and without which they had no point or meaning—the holy of holies and its furniture—is transferred to heaven; and there, at that throne and mercy-seat, Christ, our High Priest, now intercedes for us. And this being removed, it does not appear how any of the others can be, with any propriety, admitted in the Church.

The most magnificent of temples was that built by Solomon at Jerusalem ; and Mr. Wilkins has supposed that it furnished the plan and proportions according to which some of the most remarkable of the heathen temples were constructed; as those of Palmyra and Pæstum, and even the Parthenon, Solomon also built a palace, no doubt as magnificent in its kind as the temple was; but there was this remarkable difference, that in building the palace he followed his own taste or fancy, but

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in building the temple he had inspiration to guide him, for the
plan of it had been revealed to his father David, and this plan
ħe gave to Solomon, together with a charge to execute it, and
great store of materials collected for that purpose.
David gave to Solomon, his son, the pattern of the porch,” &c.;
“all this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing
by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern......
be strong, and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be
dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee :
he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished
all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.” (1 Chron.
xxviii. 11-20). This is what we understand by symbolism,
and the authority we require for its adoption.

Symbolism, in its true sense, is nothing short of inspiration ; it is God using forms to reveal spiritual truths, which truths are declared by word in other cases; and it requires the same presence of the Holy Spirit to express these truths by symbols, as to utter them in words. But the truth to be made known was Christ and the Church-a truth prefigured even in Adam and Eve, as declared by St. Paul (Eph. v. 32), and forming the substance of all succeeding revelations, whether verbal or symbolical. The full meaning of these things the prophets themselves could not know, as they are known in the Church, for not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things (1 Pet. i. 12); and we, having the reality, not only understand the symbols, but are able to dispense with them altogether. Both the tabernacle and the temple, in their various parts and the accompanying services, prefigured the coming realities of the Christian dispensation; as we are continually taught throughout the New Testament, and especially in the Epistle to the Hebrews. And as, when the reality is come, we might infer that there would be no further use for the symbol, and as St. Paul speaks of the whole Jewish service as then decaying, waxing old, and ready to vanish away, so it requires stronger reasons than any which we have heard to convince us that such symbolism has any place at all in the Christian Church. Besides, what right have men, who stand up for the importance of symbols, to choose among them what symbols they will introduce, and omit the others? The symbols of the law are one whole, to be taken entire, or to be entirely omitted; those who contend for real sacrificial altars should, in consistency have a real victim, and fire and wood—they should slay the lamb again and sprinkle real blood, and burn the fat upon the altar; for it is with reference to the reality of these acts that the other symbols were ordered.

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