« PreviousContinue »
same class of models, one might thedrals called Gothic are rather suppose that really no costly church Norman, distinguished, in common ought to be built, or can ever again with what is called on the continent be admired, unless it is made to the Byzantine or Romanesque style, look like some old English exam- by the prevalence of the semicircuple; and that the imitation is only lar instead of the pointed arch. As the more to be admired if the origi- to the rest of the nominally Chrisnal was constructed piecemeal at tian world, it is said there is not a successive times, and hence had a Gothic church in Rome, and not propriety which in truth never can many in all Italy. With all their be transferred to any copy. We culture in the arts, the people of that need not say that we have no dis- country are said to disparage this relish and no prejudice of any sort sort of architecture as savoring of against Gothic architecture; barbarism. And beyond the 'temclaim to enjoy the best specimens poral estates' of the Pope, the church we have seen of it as highly as any of Rome—that holy mother' or of those who admire nothing else: 'erring sister,' as the Oxford clique but we will not confine our compla- call her according to the end they cency to this as the only true ec- have to answer-shows no distin. clesiastical style, any more than we guishing favor towards this style. would shut up our sympathies withSt. Peter's is her boast and model, in any one communion as the only which is as unlike York Minster as true • spiritual house.' Some per- one stupendous structure can be unsons have fallen into a way of speak- like another erected originally by ing about it, from which one would the same church for the same pursuppose it had been prescribed or at poses. Then if we go back into anleast commended some where in the tiquity, Gothic architecture where it writings of the primitive fathers, if has flourished most, is not half as not in the New Testament. It is old as Christianity. As one writer sometimes called (not by scientific observes, the first hymn arose from architects, yet by those who ought a Christian assembly not under pointto know better) ecclesiastical and ed arches, but, as soon as buildings even Christian architecture, as if no could be erected for the purpose, in other style had been appropriated, structures copied, like some now or reckoned suitable by the world at seen in Rome, mainly from the anlarge, for ecclesiastical or christian cient Roman basilica. The ante
Such phraseology is certainly Nicene church, so much lauded in sectarian or at best national, rather some quarters for its catholic purithan catholic. The Gothic is not, ty, knew nothing of the architecture and never has been, the prevailing which in the same quarters is extolstyle of architecture in Christendom led as the ecclesiastical. But this at large. It belongs mainly to Eng. style is said to have had its birth unland and parts of France and Ger. der Christianity, and hence from it, many. Even within those limits, some of the most noted churches,
as of the Puritan sort, infortunately not as for example St. Paul's cathedral, suspecting that he was tus disparaging are not Gothic but rather Greek or a well known church in London, St. Roman structures variously modi.
Martin's in the fields,' from which the fied,* and parts of old English ca.
Center church was taken by Mr. Town.
I The church of the Puritans,' (Dr. ---
Cheever's,) in the city of New York, is Within a year or two a writer in said to be in the Romanesque style. That Blackwood's Magazine, giving an account style, and what is properly called in Engof his visit to New Haven some years land the Norman, are sufficiently distinct ago, sneers at the architecture of the Con- from the Gothic, yet equally removed gregational churches on the public square, from any Greek order.
and to be congenial with the main height, and by mechanical contriideas of the Christian system, so as vance one part surmounts another to to be itself properly called Christian. a great comparative elevation; and So far as time is concerned, the besides giving the pleasure of ingesame distinction belongs to all the niously overcoming difficulty in the inventions and discoveries made in construction, the whole has an air of Christian countries—the press, the loftiness, grandeur and natural sosteam-engine and gunpowder. The lemnity, and sometimes of grace origin of Gothic architecture remains combined with vastness. In the a disputed historical question. It Greek architecture on the other has been traced, plausibly enough, hand, the lines are for the most part in part to an anti-Christian source horizontal, and the proportions of all in Saracenic examples, and ultimate the parts are nicely adjusted both ly to the avenues and arches of for- for strength and effect on the eye; ests with their interlacing boughs, the whole making the impression of as also the foliage of the capitals of solidity or massiveness, and repose, Corinthian columns is said to have and serenity; the Doric order hay. been suggested by leaves acciden- ing also the charm of the utmost tally growing about and embracing simplicity, and the Corinthian of a stone placed upon a plant. Then rich yet chastened decoration. Now as to its congeniality with the Chris. the most critical minds, and the tian ideas, the same thing may be world at large, have for ages geneaffirmed with truth of all good ar- rally acknowledged this effect of the chitecture, or of all those styles and Greek orders to be quite congenial orders which in the lapse of time with the spirit of Christian worship; have commended themselves to the and such testimony avails more than cultivated judgment of mankind. the affirmation of any dogmatist. Every kind has its own predominant Nor is it of any moment that the character and expression, and is felt same architectural effect was once to be accordingly congenial with allied with pagan worship; for the some chief idea or class of ideas in persons who make this objection find the Christian revelation, as also in no difficulty in edifying themselves the nature of man. Comparing or with certain ceremonies which the rather contrasting a Greek and a Catholic church borrowed from the Gothic edifice, each being a favora. idolatrous rites of heathen Rome.* ble specimen of its kind, an obser. At the same time we make no ques. ver finds the difference pervading tion that the different effect of the every part, extending to the minu- Gothic style in those countries where test device or ornament, and carried it has been tried, whatever pagan or out into the general effect; each barbarous origin may be assigned building rising as it were from one to it, is also congenial with the spirit conception of the mind, according to of Christian worship. The two ef. its own laws enlarging itself, and by fects, however diverse, ally them. coherence and unity coming to that selves with different elements in reharmonious result which is called ligious truth, and different sensibili. (according to the position from which ties of the human mind. We only it is described) either the expression or impression of the whole: as iwo
* Newman in his Treatise on Christian kinds of trees grow by their respect. Romanist,) acknowledges that many cer
Doctrine, (written before he became a ive laws each into its proper beauty. emonies, and some that are retained in For example, in Gothic architecture the church of England, were in fact thus the lines are perpendicular or else appropriated by the Catholic church as
late as the fourth or fifth centuries. Not slanting, the curves intersect one an.
having the book at hand, we can not reother as if all aspiring to greater fer to the place.
complain of the exclusive partiality or less of one or the other, which which many persons of taste now though of later date have a characcherish for the one, as in past times ter and expression of their own. for the other. Let us have both. The imitations of the old Norman The solemnities of the Apocalypse, churches, and those that are called such as the opening of the seals, and Romanesque, are at least akin to the the pouring out of the vials, and proper Goihic, while such churches
the great white throne,' and the as St. Peter's and St. Paul's, though voices as of many waters and of on the whole very unlike any Greek mighty thunderings, and the dead, temple, are yet modifications of small and greai, standing before Greek or Roman forms, and derive God—these things we might feel from them their predominant effect. with the most fearful interest when Among all the diversities of what proclaimed under Gothic arches, may properly be called ecclesiasti. sounding through long drawn aisle cal architecture, something may be and fretted vault.' Paul's commen. found adapted to all the varieties of dation of charity,* and our Lord's Christian sentiment, and possibly last affectionate discourses to his dis- some outward form answering to ciples and intercession for them,t every inward type of Christian charwe could hear uttered not less suit acier and experience. However ably from beneath the Greek entab- this may be, we are sure that a cathlature, perhaps under the dome of olic liberality of sentiment ought to St. Peter's. Paul's discourse of the prevail on this subject as really as resurrectionț is so full at once of on any other, and will conduce more the solemnity of death and the cheer- to improvement in church building ful hope of the redemption of our than any exclusive or bigoted prebody,' that by reason of the one el. ference adopted by a fashionable ement or the other, it can not fail 10 clique or a religious sect. harmonize with either kind of ar- We add the wish that those conchitectural accompaniment. The gregations in our large cilies which gateway of a cemetery in either erect churches worthy of being lookstyle is found to comport with the ed at, would make them easier of place, in one aspect or another, and access to strangers, at least by the for the same reason either style is help of a notice on the building or found to be essentially appropriate a sexton in the vicinity. Travelers to a place of Christian worship. in Europe tell us that on the contiAnd what we have here said of nent houses of worship are accessi. Greek architecture in its several ble at any time. In this particular proper orders, and of what is strictly they are symbolically evangelical, the Gothic style, may be applied al- as we are taught ihat so to those modifications of either, * The happy gates of gospel grace and those styles which partake more Stand open night and day.'
And herein we are obliged to con* 1 Cor. ch. 13. John, chaps. 14–17. clude with Sterne, • They do these * 1 Cor. ch. 15.
things better in France.'
We can scarcely conceive of a form and sound of words, in tracing more valuable contribution to the lit- their derivation, in defining their erature of a country, than a good meaning, in sketching the change of dictionary of its language. He who each term from its primitive physi. prepares such a work, performs a cal sense to the remoter abstract service which entitles him to the idea, and in marking ihe nice shades gratitude both of cotemporaries and of thought expressed by peculiar posterity. His labors are identified uses, such a work performs the office with the preservation of the language of a general instructor. Carried in its beauty and vigor, and its trans- moreover, to its proper extent, as mission as correct vehicle of illustrating, in many cases, the sig. thought, from age to age. A good nification of phrases and the force dictionary indeed, is an embodiment of idiomatic expressions, and as giv. of the knowledge of a people—a ing the synonyms of the tongue, and sort of fac simile of the intellect establishing the legitimate use of and heart of the nation whose lao- words by reference to authorities, or guage it unfolds. In settling the by examples from approved writers,
a dictionary imparts information, in An American Dictionary of the Eng.
a limited compass, of more imporlish Language; containing the whole Vo. tance than any other literary procabulary of the first Edition in 2 vols. duction. It constitutes an encycloquarto; the entire Corrections and lmprovements of the Second Edition in 2 pedia, in its most condensed form. vols. royal octavo; to which is prefixed In it the essence of all learning is an Introductory Dissertation on the Ori included ; and the more encyclope. gin, History, and Connection of the lan. diacal its character, if not too exguages of Western Asia and Europe, with an Explanation of the Principles on which
tended in bulk, the better for general languages are formed. By Noah Webster, use. L., D., member of the American Pbilo. He who would produce such a sophical Society in Philadelphia, &c. &c. General Subjects of the work: 1. Ety entire treasures of learning, embra.
work must possess or command the mologies of English Words deduced from an Examination and Comparison of Words ced in the language of which he of corresponding elements in Twenty proposes to give a synopsis. His Languages of Asia and Europe. II. The mind must be of the widest reach, true Orthography of words as corrected by their etymologies. III. Pronunciation
and his taste of the most delicate exhibited and made obvious by the Dio susceptibility. He must be characvision of Words into Syllables, by Ac- terized by a love of research, by centuation, by marking the sounds of the accented vowels when necessary, or by
clear views of science, by refinegeneral Rules. IV. Accurate and Dis. ment of thought, and by an apprecriminating Definitions, illustrated when ciation of every species of intellec. doubtful, or obscure, by Examples of their Use, selected from respectable Authors, learned term must be precisely ex.
tual beauty. The technical and or by familiar Phrases of undisputed Authority. Revised and Enlarged by Chaun. plained, the evanesceni idea seized cey A. Goodrich, Professor in Yale Col with a view to give it form and col. lege, with Pronouncing Vocabularies of oring, the tenuous conception stereoScripture, Classical and Geographical Names. Springfield, Mass. Published typed, so that its image may be by George and Charles Merriam, corner ever afterwards recognized. Few of Main and State streets.
minds are adequate to such a task, The same Work abridged in one vol. ume royal octavo. New York: Harper
or rather no single mind is able and Brothers, Publishers, 82 Cliff street. to do it perfect justice ; and the 1847.
most thoroughly furnished one can
be supposed capable only of an ap- and living, moreover, in that period proximation to the completeness de. of the world when there was a suffi. manded. It requires rather a com- cient preparation in the labors of bination of the talents and acquisi- others, for the accomplishment of tions of many minds, directed to such a design. Johnson made a that one point-an accumulation of great advance upon Bailey in the the labors of generations, supplying accuracy and fullness of his defini. the materials and shaping the course tions; and yet tried by the standard of study, so as to produce a work of the present day, no small part of which shall answer fully the great Johnson's definitions appear very
de. end in view.
ficient in logical precision and disAnd yet singularly enough, the criminating exactness. He defined, labors bestowed upon lexicography to a great extent, by a mere enume. in the English tongue, appear to ration of synonyms, though on morhave been very inconsiderable, be. al and literary subjects, he very offore the time of Johnson. Extend. ten made admirably clear and dising through the long period from criminating statements. In the few Chaucer to that illustrious philolo scientific terms which he introdugist, during which the prose of Hook- ced, he is usually vague or erroneer and Bacon, and the poetry of ous. A telescope, according to him, Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton, is “a long glass by which distant attested the raciness, the strength, objects are viewed.” Coral is “a and the harmony of our language, plant of a stony nature." Flame is no work of any celebrity, ascertain- “ light emitted from fire." ing the orthography and defining the Hence the necessity which existmeaning of its terms, appeared. ed after the time of Johnson, and Bailey's Dictionary of the language especially after an interval of more in 2 vols. octavo, is scarcely an ex- than sixty years, for a new dictionception; much less the work of ary of our language. A work was Philips, the nephew of Milton, quaint- needed on a more enlarged plan, ly entitled, A New World of Words. and of a more scientific structure; Even Johnson's production, though giving fuller analogies, and nicer, great for the times, and great as the more logical definitions; and emlabor of one man, supplied the de. bracing the numerous improvements sideratum but in part. No one ac. in the language, caused by the proquainted with the subject can fail to gress of society, and the advancesee, that even his herculean intellectment of knowledge and the arts. borne up by a herculean frame, was It was reserved as an honor for one incompetent to grapple with all the of our own countrymen, to conceive difficulties of the task. And in the the true idea of a dictionary in its masterly preface to his dictionary, completeness, and to supply the obhe has ingenuously and beautifully vious deficiency, in an age when a acknowledged the fact. It needed new order of things began to preless the general scholar, the pro- vail, and the intellect of the world found thinker, and the fine writer, was awakened to unwonted efforis. to prepare a vocabulary of terms, Noah Webster, imbued with an earwith their derivations and definitions, ly love of all knowledge and particthan a person trained up in that par- ularly of philology, having enjoyed ticular study, directing all his efforts a professional training which allowto that one point, having that single ed him to rest in none but clear and object in view as the end of his lit- logical definitions, gifted with a mind erary labors and acquisitions, laying of unusual discrimination and vigor, under contribution for its attainment and impelled by a desire of honorthe whole energies of his intellect, able fame and usefulness, embarked Vol. VI.