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than those appropriated to the Father. A similar remark may be made of artistic representations of it. These are various in form, but are not characterized chronologically like the representations of the Father and Son. The artist in portraying the Spirit seems to have consulted chiefly the taste of his country, or his own fancy. As a general remark we may observe, that down to the eleventh century the dove was the usual symbol of the Spirit, then the honor was divided between the dove and the human form. But to this form no given age, or period of life, is assigned. Thus in the eleventh and twelfth centuries it appears of the age of thirty or forty years, while in subsequent centuries it appears of all ages from that of an infant of a few months to that of an old man of sixty. Whether in the form of a dove or man, the Spirit usually has the nimbus with the cross inscribed, but this emblem or ornament is sometimes omitted, and sometimes the Spirit itself has been forgotten by the artist in scenes in which its presence would seem to be particularly appropriate, as in representations of the Feast of Pentecost.
The three personages, the Father, Son and Spirit, are often grouped in works of Christian art. Thus the whole Trinity appears. This was not very early, as the Trinity in its complete form was of late growth. There exists no really complete group of the Trinity in the catacombs, or on the ancient sarcophagi. We frequently meet with Jesus, but he is either isolated or accompanied by the dove, emblem of the Spirit ; or in the absence of the dove, a hand, recognized as that of the Father, appears placing a crown, or victor's wreath, on his head. The cross and lamb which symbolize the Son, the hand revealing the Father, and the dove are frequently seen in fresco, or sculptured on marble, but they are rarely united in one place or on one monument, and never appear grouped. Passing by a few imperfect sketches previously made, we travel on through eight centuries before we find a complete representation of the Trinity. Between the ninth and twelfth centuries a new element was introduced into the representations of the Trinity, or at least became more conspicuous than before. This was the anthropomorphitic. The ancient Christians, as we have seen, had carefully avoided presenting the Father under the human form, which would
Types of the Trinity.
have seemed to them too much like bringing back Paganism. But that fear had now passed. The Father had taken a proper human figure, though that figure was borrowed from the Son, and the dove of the Spirit had, as before said, yielded its place, at times at least, to the form of a man. Artists now therefore began to depict the three persons as similar and equal, and all in the human form. In a manuscript of the twelfth century the three appear of the same age, in the same posture and having the same costume and expression, so that it is impossible to say, which is the Father, and which the Son or Spirit. In opposition to this complete anthropomorphism which so essentially materialized and divided the Trinity, an attempt was made to present it under the most abstract form, and one which would save the unity, and for this purpose geometry supplied the triangle. During the next, or Gothic period as it is called, that is, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, a further advance was made. The persons heretofore represented as distinct, though sitting on the same throne, as in the manuscript just referred to, are united, the three bodies forming one having three heads. On the other side the geometric illustrations were continued, and improved upon. Three circles were adopted interwoven with each other, each circle containing one syllable of the word trinitas (trinity), and the central space, formed by the intersecting circles, containing the word unitas (unity), - trinity in unity. The subtle genius of Dante occasionally adopted similar geometric illustrations. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries retained all the types, figures and imagery used in former periods to represent the Trinity and exhibit its mystic glories. It was an age of syncretism. The anthropomorphitic trinity is still continued, and exhibits some remarkable characteristics. Thus the three heads are not simply placed in juxta-position, do not simply adhere, but are mingled and confounded, presenting three faces under one cranium. Beyond this, one would think, art could not go, and in attempting some further improvements it fell into the monstrous. Of this Didron adduces some examples which, from their grossness, we must be excused from describing. The Church was at length compelled to interfere, and in 1628 Pope Urban VIII. prohibited the representation of the Trinity under the
form of a man with three heads, or one head with three faces, and similar representations; and Benedict XIV. renewed the decree in 1745.
In the foregoing analysis we are sensible that we have done but imperfect justice to M. Didron's volume, though we have said enough to afford our readers some glimpse of the extraordinary affluence of its materials, brought together with great research from a multitude of scattered sources. To the American student the work opens a subject in a great measure new, and we greatly mistake if among the scholars of Europe its publication will not have the effect of giving fresh impulse to a study, which promises interesting and useful results, not simply as relates to Christian æsthetics, but to the general current of thought and phases of opinion on subjects connected with religion and theology in past ages. To the historian of religion and the Church such a work must afford material aid, and not less to the student of human nature and the human mind. The most valuable knowledge is often gleaned from sources where the superficial observer would least expect to find it. An important part of the history of a nation may be written from its popular songs; and a painting or sculpture on a sarcophagus, or in catacombs where repose the ashes of the buried past; an image cherished with religious homage, the object of tenderness and devotion; ornaments of churches and manuscript illuminations, embodying the ideas of the age, are all things full of significance to him who can read them aright.
We look with eagerness for the remaining portion of M. Didron's work, which is to contain an account of what art has done not only for a inultitude of inferior personages and allegorical beings, but for the Virgin Mary and for Jesus as he exhibited himself to the world during his earthly life; the representations hitherto described referring to him as one of the persons of the Trinity, and thus belonging to what the author calls a “History of God,” the specific title of the present volume.
Subjects for the Pulpit.
ART. IV. - SUBJECTS FOR THE PULPIT.
No one can fail to be struck, we think, with observing the very considerable space and opportunity, which are given to the pulpit for influencing the public mind. A lecturer who should address the same class, twice a week, the year round, and year after year, would expect in process of time, certainly in the course of their whole life, to give them a great deal of information and the most complete and systematic views of the subject committed to him. If his subject were religion, he would expect to instruct them thoroughly in its great doctrines, natural and revealed; in the origin and history, in the genuineness and authenticity, the interpretation and import of the sacred volume; in the principles of moral truth, or in moral philosophy; in Ecclesiastical history, in the illustration which Christianity has received from the lives of its confessors and martyrs; and in short, in everything belonging to the sphere of his ministration. Instead of this, it is well known that the main, the almost exclusive object of the pulpit, and especially of the modern pulpit, is religious impression.
Now we give the highest importance to this object. Religious impression, - to make men feel what they do know, rather than to teach them what they do not know,is, we admit, the most important object of the pulpit. To this we are willing to give up a large portion of the labors of the pulpit; nay, to this as the ultimate end we would devote all its laburs. But we maintain that this great end requires the appropriation of a larger space than is usually given to religious knowledge.
And this we maintain on two grounds. In the first place, all right religious impression depends on knowledge. We grant indeed, that all men possess that knowledge which is the chief foundation of virtue and piety. But it certainly will be admitted on the other hand, that, other things being equal, the more a people has of general religious knowledge, the more it knows of religious history, antiquity, criticism, philosophy and biography, the more likely it is to be a religious people.
In the next place, we say that one impressive discourse in a day, in illustration and enforcement of some spiritual
and practical truth is all that a congregation can well digest and improve. Nay, we believe that one discourse of this nature is all that most preachers can effectively deliver. Especially if the interval between the two services is only two or three hours, the preacher is likely to come to the second service in such a state of exhaustion, that he must make a feebler impression than he did in the morning, and thus weaken the general effect of his labors. We have known serious hearers to reason upon the matter in this way, and to say, and with the highest admiration of the preacher, “I have received from him the highest and most delightful impression of the truths of religion that he can make upon me, and I do not wish to resort to a feebler administration at the same hands.” But if we suppose that the preacher can collect his forces, and deliver himself as earnestly and powerfully in the afternoon as in the morning, still we should doubt the utility of it. The morning impression, if it be not weakened, is liable to be disturbed by the evening impression; and the effect is likely to be — that worst effect of preaching - a vagueness, a confusion of mind, that prevents the hearer from remembering or feeling anything distinctly; so that the day after, perhaps, he will not have enough of the matter left with him, to be able to tell you either the text or the theme.
What we would propose, therefore, is, that the morning service should be directly and wholly given up to religious impression, to the impression of some spiritual truth upon the heart and conscience; and that the afternoon or evening service should be devoted to communications of a different character. Indeed, we should be willing that the whole character of the two services should possess a marked difference. Let the morning service be “a holy convocation unto the Lord.” Let it be the chief season of public worship. Let there be readings of the Scriptures, and prayers liturgical or original, and discourses and meditations; and let them all conspire immediately to some practical end; and let all the people come up to this convocation, feeling that each one has a part to take in the service as much as any other, and all, scarcely less than the preacher himself. This, we think, is as much of active and devout public worship, as it is expedient to ask of a