« ÎnapoiContinuați »
one's strength. And quickly, the glare, roar, grime, and heartless haste of the city left behind, the mild, dim light, the church-yard silence, and the holy pictures will be able to weave their influence about one. The figure of the Good Shepherd will seem a pictured parable of personal application; and tired eyes, raised in grateful prayer, will read the message on the ceiling as if the words had been spoken by a voice from heaven. So the wayfarer, to know himself and God alone, will pass further into the silence.
Far at the distant altar end of the inner chapel, and not yet painted, is to be shown the vision of St. John at Patmos of the risen, glorified Lord. The description of it in the opening of the Apocalypse is to give the key, and here will be the words, "Lo, I am with you all the days. This will represent the culmination of the decorative scheme. The spandrels on either side of the arch in which this vision is to be already picture the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The cry of the watchman has startled them from their sleep. On
the right of the vision the wise virgins are
seen going forth from the Bridegroom's house in gladness, each with her lighted lamp, to welcome His coming. On the other side, the foolish virgins who have come too late and have found the door closed have cried in vain, Lord, Lord, open to us. They hear the words, I know you not.” Three steps lead to the raised
floor on which the altar stands. One is of white marble; one is red; and one is black. On each is written a verse from Scripture. The red stands for the blood of Christ, which can save from sin and death exemplified in the black — and render pure and snowy as in the white. All down the long side walls, unbroken by windows, are a series of paintings, and on the entrance wall, above the arch of the small organ loft, are yet others. These represent the creation of man (in the spandrel to the left of the loft), the union of man and woman, and their praise of the Creator as on their first night they beheld, in the fading daylight, the increasing glory of the stars; and then, beyond, other groups show the expanding purposes of holy matrimony. Details in the
The prophets, of whom not all are yet in place, are: Enoch, caught up from a world that flows with rivers of blood; Noah, a preacher of righteousness, clad in white vesture, a dove laying the olive branch on his heart; Jacob, in prophetic trance, aged and blind, but of princely power, pronouncing the blessing on Judah; Moses, standing upon a peak of Sinai, with the tables of the Law; David, leaning upon the corner-stone of the Temple, with a plan of its inner courts; Elijah, clad in goatskins, with the knife of the sacrifice in his hand, appealing earnestly to the people; Isaiah, the prophetic vision of the nativity above him and an overthrown wine-cup at his feet; Jeremiah, with the yoke about his neck; Ezekiel, shaven, and bearing in his hand the trumpet of a watchman to the house of Israel; Daniel, in princely scarlet, a chain of gold about his neck, beholding in his old age the vision of four great beasts issuing from the storm-tossed sea; Jonah, rising from the jaws of the sea monster, in foreshadowing sign of the resurrection of Christ; Joel, clad in sackcloth and crying in passionate attitude, while a red moon is setting in a darkened sky, “Rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord ”; Zechariah, with priestly head-dress; and Malachi, looking at the long line of prophets who have preceded him, while the morning star is gleaming before him, and the sun, rising on the horizon, proclaims the dawn. Each of the figures has many details of treatment that invite thought and scrutiny. They are reproduced by the artist
from those which he had made for the mo- beneath an olive tree, tells of the love of saics and glass in the chapel of Eaton Hall. God; St. Paul, aged with his sufferings, the Duke of Westminster having granted stands as the mighty preacher; and then permission to do this in order to facilitate St. Stephen, one foot placed triumphantly progress in the work. On the pilasters on the cruel heap of stones, turns his
small designs subsidiary to the sweet face upward to behold the vision of prophets which they flank, and under the Jesus waiting to receive him.
The pifigures of the prophets other subjects are lasters on this wall contain small figures, treated in small scale; such as Abraham such as the centurion Cornelius beside the about to sacrifice Isaac, which is given figure of St. Peter, and Aquila and Prisunder the figure of Jacob; Aaron on the cilla beside that of St. Paul. Of the subDay of Atonement, which is under Moses; jects treated in the medallions and small and the Man of Sorrows" under the spaces below the apostles, the one which figure of Isaiah. There are also small is under the figure of Bartholomew has a medallions, each with its special meaning, special interest. The artist has borrowed while surmounting the row of the proph- the conception from a design of Rossetti ets is an angel series. Here also each that was never finished, entitled “The figure is distinguished; that over David, Passover in the Holy Family.” The orifor instance, being a warrior angel sheath- ginal drawing is in the Taylor Museum at ing the sword of Divine vengeance, and Oxford, and Mr. Shields, in incorporating that over Noah bearing the last trumpet, the design in his own series in the Chapel which he awaits a signal to sound. In of the Ascension, says that he does so beoblong panels of the frieze are scenes cause it fits so perfectly in his scheme at from the Old Testament.
that point and to bear witness of his lovIn the glorious company of the apos- ing memory and admiration of the artist. tles” on the north wall several of the The frieze on this wall includes an angel figures are also taken from the designs in series in which each figure is again disthe chapel of Eaton Hall. An effort is tinctive, that above the painting which made generally to avoid conventional represents St. Thomas when testifying of treatment. St. Andrew, shown as the the resurrection showing, for example, an lad with five barley loaves and two small angel clad in the tints of sunrise, crowned fishes, looks, as he yields them up, with with wheat, and gazing at a butterfly that wondering reverence into the face of rises from its chrysalis. The angel carries Jesus. Beside them lies one of the twelve a banner of victory. In five oblong panels large baskets. St. Peter, standing with of the frieze are pictured incidents illushis feet fixed firmly on a rock, holds in trating the teaching of Christ. one hand a fish and in the other the piece The subjects which on this wall alterof money that he has found in its mouth; nate with the figures of the apostles are St. Philip is in a ploughed field, a basket taken from the Gospels, and represent of wheat seed at his feet; St. John, the incidents in Christ's life. The first, howexile of Patmos, soars over sea and stars ever, is a lovely conception of the Annunon the wings of an eagle as symbol of the ciation. On the south wall, four subjects Holy Spirit; St. James, as the first of the which are given with the prophets are apostolic martyrs, bears a palm branch taken from the Acts of the Apostles, the and an empty cup; Bartholomew, in secret artist finding justification for this mingling confession, is beating his breast; St. of times in his wish to represent the intiThomas, as an old man, is bearing witness mate connection of the prophets with the to the resurrection of the Lord by the days which they foretold. Two of the personal evidence given to himself; St. subjects relate to St. Peter and two to St. Matthew, neglecting the tax money at Paul. his feet, turns with joy to a heavenly mes- Enough has been said to indicate the senger and writes, “The Kingdom of God highly thoughtful quality of this work in is at hand.” St. James the Less, erect in fig- the Chapel of the Ascension, its intellecure and with upright mien, puts his finger tual as well as purely emotional and on his lips and points to the picture in the sensual appeal.
appeal. Perhaps at times it space below, representative of true reli- seems to the careful student as if too gion; St. Jude, under a tempestuous sky, much had been crowded into a picture, as proclaims the judgments of God; St. if its obvious meaning were too insistently Simon Zelotes, leaning on a pilgrim staff emphasized. In the case, for instance, of the angel above the figure of St. Thomas, God's unfailing love. He will scarcely were it not enough that the banner of distinguish its elements of harmony. victory be borne; was it necessary that Art's concealment of art in conjunction of the angel be also crowned with wheat, tone and blending of part will be the that its garments be of sunrise colors, that symphony's highest triumph. Unconthe wonder of the butterfly and chrysalis sciously he will pass from the yearning should be introduced? One must remem- invitation on the outer wall to its justificaber, however, that the artist was com- tion in the words on the ante-chapel's pelled to determine the direction of each ceiling: from the epitome of the chapel's separate line, to decide on each tint that lesson in the figure of the Good Shepherd, was to be a component of the color com- which is at his right hand on entering, to position, and so, filled with his subject and the inner chapel's illustration of Biblical conscious that his pictures were to be the history's full revelation of the love of sermons of the chapel, was tempted sorely God. From the creation of man, behind
to put meaning into each detail. In a view of the chapel as a whole these minutiæ do not impress themselves. The visitor entering it for the first time, or the second, does not make the careful critical examination we have made. That is reserved for later visits, longer studies. The wayfarer for whose comfort of heart and rest of mind the chapel was lovingly erected will gain, on entering it, only the one general impression which the whole decorative scheme is meant to give. For him the separate pictures will be but voices blending in a chorus that praises
him, down through the line of prophets
CHARLES MULFORD ROBINSON.
He exact date when Yuletide became ing to the birth of Christ as the event that
an established season of feasting is consecrated it. The correct date of Christ's
not known, but long ago, when the birth is unknown, nor was the day observed heathen gods still ruled the minds and as Christmas until two hundred years after lives of the Teutonic tribes, certain cere- his birth, but Yuletide had been observed monies customarily took place from the fire hundred and fifty years before, the 14th of December to the 6th of January. Persians keeping holiday very much as The people believed that tie sun's wheel, we of the present day. Then Rome took Jul, paused in its course and rested after up its observance, and borrowed customs its yearly round, a belief easy of credence from Egypt, Persia, and Greece, adopting to the minds of far Northern people, as also the mistletoe and its rites from the the sun did not rise above the horizon Druids. Julius, pope of Rome in 400 A. D., at that season. For these three weeks fixed upon the 25th of December as being there was Yule peace, all feuds were the day of the winter solstice, and to redropped for the time, and solemn sacri- place the pagan rites and festivals the fices were offered to ensure the fruitful- Church introduced grand masses or Christness of fields and animals. Relics of masses. Gradually came Christmas carthese ceremonies are still observed in ols or Christmas hymns, then Christmas some parts of Hessen. At midnight of trees and a revival or survival of the pagan the 24th of December the village youths rites used with a Christian significance. parade the streets and proclaim the ad- Christmas now has come to mean simply vent of the days of peace. During the the day, whereas formerly it was a searemainder of Jul everything must rest, Our English ancestors observed the neither wagons nor spinning-wheels may holiday for twelve days and nights, finbe used, lest harm should overtake the ishing with Twelfth Night. In Ireland flocks and fields.
the little altar is kept up, with its candles The Icelanders by law and ancient cus- and decorations, until «Little Christmas tom date the beginning of their year from Day,” two weeks from Christmas, and Yule Day; they also count a person's from the poems of Herrick (whose authoryears by the number of Yules in his life, ity on ancient customs is undoubted) the just as a Chinaman reckons his age by the Christmas decorations may be left until number of New Year's Days he has seen. Candlemas Day, the 2d of February, when
The English revert to the ancient Saxon they must all be taken down unless the feasts on the 25th of December, when a inmates wish to see a goblin for every great wassailing and feast was held in leaf left on the wall. One poem says honor of great Thor, the anniversary be
« End now the white loaf and the pye, ing known as the “Mother Night,” as the
And let all sports with Christmas dye.” progenitress of all other nights in the
Another poem commences — year. The distinctive names for this fes
* Down with the rosemary and bayes, tival were Gule, Gwyl, Jul, or Yule,– the
Down with the mistletoe, belief of the learned being that these
Instead of holly, now upraise terms expressed the idea of a wheel or
The greener box for show.
The holly hitherto did sway ; circle, embodying the central idea of a
Let box now domineere holy day. Gwl in Welsh and Geol in Saxon
Until the dancing Easter Day
Or Easter Eve appeare." signify holy day, and seem to be interchangeable with Yule or l-ol, signifying The use of evergreensat Christmas comes ale,— the foremost ingredient in early from the Romans, who thus ornamented Saxon or English feasts.
their temples during the feast of Saturn, Christmas, a variation of Christ-mass, while ivy was universally used in feasts owes its name to the fact that in the Greek in honor of Bacchus. The ancient Druids and Roman churches a mass in honor of hung green branches and mistletoe over Christ's birth was celebrated on that day. their doors as a propitiation to woodland In many languages the word for Christmas sprites; they used also to cut green trees means birthday, as the French word Noël, and carry them into their houses to prothe Italian Natale, and indirectly the Ger- tect the spirits of the forest and streams man Weihnachten, or sacred night, allud- from the death-dealing winds, thinking