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Church Architecture. No. 7. Middle and Third-Pointed. The transition (or gradual change) from First to Middle-Pointed or Decorated Architecture, took place towards the latter part of the 13th Century. The date is generally computed from the commencement of the reign of Edward I., A.D. 1272; the Early English or First-Pointed style, described in our last number, having prevailed through the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., John, and Henry III. ; that is, for little more than a century.

In the Decorated Style, Christian Architecture is thought to have “attained its culminating point of perfection," -- from which it gradually declined. Its most beautiful and distinctive feature is its windows. The light, wavy, flowing tracery, which springs like foliation from the mullions, expresses an idea of architectural beauty which has never been surpassed. The windows were included sometimes under an Ogee arch, which arch, often cusped and crocketed, and supported on elaborately moulded jamb-shafts, forms a sort of canopy over the whole window.

This style has been sometimes subdivided into the Geometrical, and the Flowing; the window tracery of the earliest period being generally arranged in circles, trefoils, quatrefoils, and other geometrical figures, which, later in the style, were exchanged for more flowing patterns. These latter again gradually developed into the Flamboyant style, at this period very prevalent on the Continent,-so called from the extreme flame-like, wavy, confused eccentricities of its tracery. But in England, the MiddlePointed, at its decline, frequently degenerated into the Perpendicular.

This decline began to be visible towards the close of the reign of the third Edward. The accession of his grandson, Richard II. (A.D. 1377,) is generally fixed as the date of the introduction of Perpendicular or Third-Pointed. Bishop William of Wykeham was one of the first who used it, on a large scale, in his great works at Winchester, Oxford, and Windsor. It is remarkable that the change took place contemporaneously with the religious innovations of Wiclif and the Lollards.

As the Third style dawned,” says a writer on the subject, it began to lose its verticality, its boldness, its reality; mouldings became shallower; pillars more complicated with less effect; roof flatter. Instead of the beautiful variety of earlier work, the same details are repeated over and over again, till the eye is perplexed and wearied; and there is a great disposition to make one side of a building the same as the other,” (an artificial stiffness of uniformity,) “ which is essential to Pagan, and opposed to the true spirit of Christian art. The peculiar sharpness and hardness of outline in foliage and the like decorations, is very

different from the free, bold gracefulness of the preceding styles." (Hand-Book of English Ecclesiology, pp. 24, 30, 31.)

To this description it may be added that, in the grotesque and often indecent figures worked into the corbels, gurgoyles, and the ornamental wood-work on the reverses of misereres, of this period, we have abundant proof of the irreverence of the age.

The distinctive characteristic of Third-Pointed work, is, of course, the perpendicularity of its window tracery. The mullions are carried up to the very crown of the arch, which itself gradually assumed a more depressed and stunted form ; and the lower lights are often stiffly divided up by cross-bars, called transoms, cutting the mullions at right-angles.

Another feature of this style is the square arrangement at the head of doorways, producing what are called spandrils at the corners on either side, filled either with geometrical or foliated mouldings, or often with an heraldic shield.

Elaborated open wooden roofs, as was said before, are the produce of this period," the only feature,” it has been remarked, “in which the style surpasses its predecessors." Indeed, almost all the ornamental wood-work in our Churches is of this date. Panelling, whether of wood or stone, almost covering the roof or walls, is another characteristic.

The style at a later period, in the reign of Henry VIII., was still further debased, displaying a coarseness and vulgarity both in its proportions and design. It is thence sometimes called the Tudor style, and is often characterized by the ornament called the Tudor-flower. Attaining to a still lower depth of deterioration, it was named the Elizabethan or Debased.

And here our papers on this department, may very properly be brought to a close. Our purpose, throughout, has been to touch chiefly, upon leading points, for the instruction of beginners; to give them a sufficient idea of the general character of Church Architecture prevalent at the different periods, to enable them, on entering any one of our old parish Churches, to pronounce at once upon its date, and proceed at once with the study of its details.



“Dear old Abbey,” she ex. “What is my niece thinking of?". claimed in delight, “ well might said Sir Henry Milton, kindly, as mamma love it so much, from little he found Ellen in the gallery, ex- children she has taught us to think amining one of the old family of it with reverence." portraits.

“And you are not disappointed “I was thinking,” replied Ellen,

with this first view of it?" asked “of what my aunt said last night, . Sir Henry. when she told me that was the Disappointed, oh no, uncle, and picture of my great grandmother, to see it reflected in the lake, beauwho died in the year 1850;—of tiful as it is in reality, it appears how thankful she was she had not still more beautiful in the calm lived in those days, when the water." Church in England was so sadly “I have often thought,” said Sir divided, so little obeyed.”

Henry, " that a less earthly and “ And you wish to know more more holy light is cast around the on that subject ?

reflection, as it thus blends with Yes, uncle.”

the spring, such a change as our “You shall, my child, but not spirits may undergo when they now; it is a great subject to begin blend with holier things above." upon, and the Abbey bell is ringing, They had reached the porch, and it is only five minutes to seven, so were joined by Lady Milton, and fetch your bonnet."

the rest of the household, in them“ The Service, here,” remarked selves a large congregation, only Ellen, “is an hour carlier than is one or two of the servants taking it customary in towns.”

by turns to remain at the house. " In agricultural districts,” re- The Church was full, the Village plied Sir Henry, “the rule' is to School was there, young mothers suit the hour of prayer to the with their children, the old and labouring classes, and to fix the infirm, and many a stout labourer, time at about half an hour before all loved to join in prayer at the they begin work. Willingly should matin hour. The rich deep tones the few rich accommodate them- of the organ swelling with the loud selves to the many poor in this Amen, and the simple tones of the particular.”

Gregorian Chants, could not fail to The Abbey of Walton was a draw their hearts above. beautiful old building, and more The short and carnest service than ever beautiful did it appear at was over in half an hour, and Ellen this season of the year, when the still lingered to look around her. rich autumnal tints of the virginian “You seem unwilling to leave the creeper twining round the ancient Abbey,” said Sir Henry, " would mullions, contrasted so well with you like to walk round it before we its sombre architecture.

return to breakfast." Ellen walked with her uncle In a low tone Sir Henry answered through the orangery, and across the whispered observations of his the lawn which separated the Ab- niece, for whether the Service was bey from the house.

going on or not, he always felt a


deep reverence for the consecrated and also the pride shewn by the house of God.

rich in this matter, had its effect on At breakfast, Ellen enquired their poorer brethren. I heard of what changes took place in the a cottager, who, when asked why venerable building at the time she never went to Church, said she it was restored. “ Mamma has did not choose to go, to be made a often told me," she continued, spectacle of to the rich.' This," " that my grandfather restored it continued Sir Henry, was one of when she was quite a child." the many evils which called forth

“Yes,” said Sir Henry, "We were your aunt's observation, when children at the time, the Abbey had shewing you the old picture, but not been used for Divine Service for this was a very minor evil.” many years; the roof was in a sad "I do not think I should have state of dilapidation, letting in the thought it so minor,” said Ellen, rain; the aisle was divided into “ I love to see the poor mixing with irregular shaped pews"

the rich in the House of God, and • Pews!” interrupted Ellen, to feel with that ancient poet,

pray describe to me what they George Herbertwere like!

*All equal are within the Church's gate."" Many of them were quite rooms, “ It is nine o'clock," observed with doors, and curtains all round; Lady Milton, rising from the breakour family pew was within the

fast table, “and I have a little Altar-screen, twenty feet wide, commission for you, Ellen, if you with a carpet and curtains, and a fcel inclined for a drive with your fire-place; but as the Communion uncle this morning.” Service was never said there, it was “I shall be only too glad,” was merely a show place, and the old the reply. house-keeper was very proud of “ You will see a lovely part of telling how much larger the family the country,” said Sir Henry, “and pew was than any other.”

we shall arrive at our destination “ And the poor where did they at half-past ten, the hour when in sit?” enquired Ellen.

former days many of our fashionable “ There were seats such as we

forefathers had only just finished all have now, down the middle breakfast, some not even began,”.. aisle for the poor.”

Impossible!” said Ellen, whose “Quite forgetting," observed whole life had been spent under a Lady Milton, the Apostle's in- different system. junction, 'If there come to your “It was but too true," continued assembly a man in a gold ring, &c.,

Sir Henry, “but this state of and ye have respect unto him that things was gradually altered by the weareth the gay clothing, and say voice of our Mother Church, calling unto him, Sit thou here in a good to her children to attend her Mornplace, and say to the poor man, ing offering of prayer and praise.". Stand thou there, or sit here under “ Was there ever then a time,” my footstool ; are ye not then par. enquired Ellen, “when the Daily tial in yourselves.: S.James, ch. ii.” Morning Service was neglected ?” And the disregard of the Bible

“ There was, alas! a time when precept,” said Sir Henry, was not

this great blessing was almost unthe only evil; the Church accom

known, though it had continued modation that was lost by these unbroken in the Jewish and Chrislarge pews, prevented many of the tian Church since the beginning. poorer classes from finding room, | In England there was a sad forget

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fulness on the subject, but God, in “Most extraordinary!" exclaimed His mercy, did not suffer it to de- Ellen. “ Then the daily prayer, part altogether from this branch of weekly Communion, the fasts and His Church. In the middle of the vigils, the festivals, the comfort of nineteenth century a revival took confession, the power of absoplace. Holy men were raised by lution, the same Catholic, unalterthe Hand of God to labour earnestly | able points of faith, were the for the cause, and to devote their privilege of Churchmen, in that whole energies to restore true day the same as they are now in Church principles and discipline. ours." They met with sad disappointment They were indeed, Ellen, and I and opposition, but many persevered must tell you that two Churches at nobly to the end; some in despair least set a noble example, in res. forsook the communicn of the Church toring the Daily Communion which of England. Could they but have is now to be found in so many known that their hearts' best wishes places. But these privileges few would be fulfilled, as they are at would then acknowledge, many this day, they would have been cavilled at them, and many wer3 supported under their trials, and quite ignorant that such thing3 contented to have lived without the formed part of the teaching of consolations they desired, in the their Church. And what is more hope that their children's children surprising, it was not merely those would see that day.

whose careless lives made them “One of the most beautiful wri- opposed to religion that did so; ters of that time, in a Sermon on but also holy and devout persons, the Daily Service,' answered most who could not see in this beauforcibly, every objection that could tiful system and discipline of be urged on the subject. And in our Church, the blessings it was his own earnest language, reminded formed to bestow. But if you had his brother Clergy that, Where- told them that they did not love soever there is a Church, an Altar, the Chnrch of England they would and a 'Priest, there God' looks for have been astonished at such an His daily homage, and there He accusation.” will hallow by large gifts of daily “ But I would have told them benediction, the souls of the two or this,” said Ellen, “for surely if three who wait upon Him. He they had loved her, they would reminded them also that once the- have obeyed her better." world waited upon the Church,' “ Certainly,” said Sir Henry, and that a little firmness might soon 6 such was the true test of love restore this state of things again. repeatedly given us by our Blessed Gradually things did alter, the feasts, Lord, li a man love Me, he will and fasts, and festivals and prayers keep My words.' Strange indeed, of our beloved Church, long though it was, that people should not have they had been neglected, became remembered, that one of those acknowledged, valued, and strictly words was to · Hear the Church,' followed by her true children. and that, moreover, that word was And great were the blessings that spoken by Him just before He gave accompanied this change.”

us that precious promise which the “Uncle, I must ask you one

Church daily pleads, (in the prayer question, was the Prayer-book of St. Chrysostom), for the constant changed?"

cbservance of her services, "Where No," replied Sir Henry, “not | two or three are gathered together, in one single iota."

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