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Internally it consists of an oblong; three sides of which are surrounded with columns; the fourth side being a semicircle. The first order of columns supports a second, which forms a gallery, and on which a flat ceiling rests. In the upper columns, the rules laid down for a basilica by Vitruvius have, it is said, been carried out. In most cases, however, except with regard to plan and proportion, the rules of the ancient architecture were neglected, and when the treasures of the Pagan city were pressed into the service of Christianity, columns were erected at hazard, without any regard to the suitableness of their bases, capitals, or entablatures, utility no doubt being first thought of, rather than beauty of detail. But the Church can never for long make use of anything without stamping it with her own impress. Thus we find that even in the time of Constantine another aisle or transept was added at the end of the building, the semicircle or apse being still retained as its termination. In this way the sign of the Cross became distinctly visible; and the faithful were enabled to realize more vividly the great symbol of their redemption. Then, too, the upper galleries of the ancient Pagan basilicas were suppressed, and in their place a wall pierced with windows was raised upon the columns of the nave.* Sometimes, as

was also the case in the decline of Classical architecture, this wall was supported by round arches resting upon the columns, thus leading the way for the substitution of the rounded vault for the flat roof. In the north of Europe the pointed arch-I have neither wish nor time to enter into the vexed question of its origin-was afterwards preferred to the round, while the intersection of transept and nave had already prepared the way for the dome and the lantern, according as either the round or the pointed arch was adopted. The sixteenth century brought with it the revival of classical tastes, yet although attended with very great evils, the Church, as a writer in the July number of this Review, who is evidently a warm admirer of Gothic architecture, has pointed out, threw herself to a certain extent into the movement, in order to confine its influence within its proper channel, and to prevent it from overflooding and destroying, instead of fertilizing Christendom. Nay, it was at this very period, that without wishing to exclude other styles of architecture, the Holy Roman

*As, for example, in the Basilica of S. Paul, fuori le mure, and in the old Basilica of S. Peter, which was superseded by the present church. In these churches the aisles were double, and nothing could be more beautiful than the effect of the insulated columns, as may still be seen at S. Paul's. So striking is it, that few, perhaps, have entered that basilica without supposing it to be longer even than S. Peter's.

Pontiff thought fit to raise over the tomb of the Apostles that mighty and glorious temple-the mightiest and most glorious, surely, which the world has ever seen, or will ever perhaps see again, and which few will deny is the noblest expression of the strength and majesty and harmony of proportion of the Church which our Lord has founded upon the Rock-the relics of B. Peter himself, resting beneath its mighty dome. From what has been said, therefore, it can, I think, hardly be denied that in every style of architecture which the Church has made use of, the leading idea of the Basilica, that is to say the "nave," which the Holy Roman Church at once instinctively seized upon as typical of herself, the bark of Peter, ever tossed to and fro upon the troubled sea of this present wicked world, has been preserved, while the form of the Cross added to the nave clearly is an inspiration of her own. I said just now that the great Basilica of S. Peter's-for notwithstanding all its deviations from the style of the early Basilica, it is still called by that name is the noblest expression of the strength and majesty and harmony of proportion of the Church of God; and oh! surely no one who was present at the Council of the Vatican, or who even heard or read about it, could have failed to see how perfectly the very material building harmonized with the strong and majestic living Church of the living God, ever perfect in all its proportions, ever in harmony both with God Himself, and with the wants of men. Who could have looked up into that glorious dome, and read there the words: "Tu es Petrus et super hanc Petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam," without making such an act of faith, as he never had made before, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church? Who could have seen the Vicar of Christ, the living Peter, seated with the Episcopate of the whole Christian world over Peter's tomb, without feeling how wisely his predecessors had chosen the style of architecture for the great typical Church of Christendom? Now this thought naturally leads me to speak of the chief characteristics of Italian Church architecture, before turning to its suitableness for our modern wants in this country.

That the Gothic style is beautiful, most beautiful, most majestic, most heaven-inspiring, I gladly allow. No one can love or admire Gothic more than I do. That it expresses some of the noblest thoughts of the mind of man, who was made in the image of God, I willingly concede; but that it combines in itself, as is the case with Italian church architecture, speaking generally, strength, grandeur, and harmony of proportion, in the latter of which, as it appears to mealthough I must here confess that I am no architect-the

essence of the noblest architecture must be placed, I do not, cannot admit. Of course there is only one S. Peter's in the world-but the three characteristics, strength, grandeur, harmony of proportion, combined together, belong more or less to the Italian style in general, and, so far as I can see, in a greater degree to the Italian style than to any other. The architecture of old Egypt was mighty and sublime, but beauty was wanting. The temples of Greece were of perfect beauty and proportion, but strength and grandeur were wanting. The great medieval cathedrals were beautiful and majestic, but neither strength nor unity were the leading features. Enter a Gothic cathedral or abbey, whether York, or Canterbury, or Westminster, or Amiens or Cologne, and say whether the unity of the mighty whole is the first impres sion made upon the mind. The eye rests upon the beauty of some pointed arch, or upon the glories of some painted window, or upon some exquisitely carved shrine or altar-piece, but the grandeur of the whole, the unity of the whole, is lost sight of amidst the multitude of details. Enter, on the other hand, some Italian church-I do not say S. Peter's, or any of the great basilicas of Rome, or even such a church as S. Andrea della Valle, or S. Carlo in Corso, or S. Ignazio-but say of the more ordinary churches, although unprovided perhaps with the dome-the grandest feature of the Italian style-and far from free from many faults of detail, and the mind is filled at once with the idea of strength and unity. The eye has no time to rest upon the details, nor does it ever occur to any one, I venture to say, to observe whether the windows are round or square, or even-at least for a long time-to notice whether the walls are of marble, or the pavement brilliantly reflective, or other features splendid, or the altars costly, or the capitals of one order or another, or the vault gilded. The perfect unity of the whole so fills and satisfies the mind as to cast a deep feeling of peace over the whole man, and thus to fit him in a very special way for the worship of his God. Add to this that the harmony of proportion and the unity resulting therefrom, are best adapted for modern Church architecture, because typifying the perfect unity of God's Church, which never perhaps was shown forth in so marked a way as in our days. If the Holy Roman Church, rising from the Catacombs, chose the nave of the Basilica as the most fitting tyye of the bark of Peter riding in safety over the waters of persecution; if the architecture of the Middle Ages may fairly be said to represent the heavenward aspirations of the earnest-minded Northern races, and of Christendom in its glory;. not less fitly, at least in my poor judgment, does Italian architecture

typify the marvellous unity of God's Church in these latter days. But let us look a little deeper into the matter.

We are often told that one of the chief glories of Gothic architecture lies in its symbolism. The triple aisle, the five aisles, the cruciform design, the spire, and the arch which point to heaven, all these, it is said, are suggestive either of holy doctrines, or of heavenly thoughts. True, but neither the triple aisle, nor the five aisles, nor the cruciform design, are peculiar to the Gothic style; for as we have seen, they are but the result of the impression, which the Church has stamped upon almost every style of architecture which she has employed for her own service, and to the greater glory of God; while if the symbolism of the spire and pointed arch be wanting to Italian architecture, the want is more then compensated by the grandeur of the dome and rounded vault, so significant of heaven, which is to be the Church's everlasting home. It may be urged, perhaps, that not every Italian church can have a dome, for if the writer of the article on "Gothic Revival" be correct in his estimate, the cost of such a church will be from three to five times as great as a Gothic one; but then it may be answered that not every Gothic church can have a spire, as we know too well from our experience of the stunted towers which now in so many places disfigure England. As for the rounded vault, I can conceive no reason, although I speak with great diffidence, why its symbolism cannot be, to some extent at least, preserved by a rounded wooden roof, just as the open wooden roof of Gothic churches preserves the symbolism of pointed architecture. Or, again, if the early Basilica style be preferred-why, instead of a flat, expensive, highly decorated roof,-which after all is no necessary accompaniment of the Basilica-should not the open and even pointed roof still to be found in some of the existing examples both at Rome and Ravenna be adopted? But I shall afterwards again touch upon this point. What then is the chief characteristic of Gothic and Italian architecture? Of the former, I answer at once that it is "mystery," as shown forth not so much in its general design, for this, as we have seen, is common also to Italian architecture, as in minuteness of detail. In every true Gothic church there is always something more than we can take in at one glance of the eye, or by one grasp of the mind. Our minds therefore remain always searching after the hidden. Everything, no matter how minute, is symbolical. The images of our Lord and the Saints are not representations of our Lord who came in the flesh, or of the Saints, who were men of like passions with ourselves. They are as if "clothed with white samite, mystic, wonderful." So too the true painted glass of the

Middle Ages gives us gleams, as it were, many-coloured and mystical, of the heaven where our Lord and our Lady and the Saints are dwelling. The foliage of the sculpture is not the foliage of earth, the fleurs-de-lys are not the lilies which we love to place on our Lady's altar in the months of summer, nor are the animals introduced into the sculpture the animals of this world. The rood-screen, whether heavy or light, it matters not, or the metal grylle, which separates the nave of the church from the sanctuary, speaks to us at once of the hidden mysteries of the hidden God; for as the writer on Gothic revival remarks, "they impart a look of intricacy and sacredness to the sanctuary, without giving that isolated appearance which is so painful to some." All this is right and proper in such a style of architecture, because it represents one side, and that a most true one, of Christian thought and feeling. The sacraments are hidden mysteries, and God has called Himself a hidden God, and this is true, not only of the earlier dispensations, but also of Christian times. But there is another side of Christian thought and feeling, no less true, which is I think bettter expressed by Italian architecture, and to this I must now turn.

I come now to ask what is the chief characteristic of the Italian style. It is twofold-unity and openness of revelation. We will take the latter first. The mysteries of the Christian Church are no doubt hidden mysteries, for we can never realize the fulness of their efficacy in this world, and God too is a hidden God, for now we see through a glass darkly, and it will only be in Heaven that we shall see Him face to face; but it is no less true, that all the sacraments are open wells, from which all who thirst may drink, aud that our Lord has rent in twain for ever the veil which separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place, and from the inner and outer courts having opened for us a new and living way into the Holies, so that even the least, and poorest, and lowliest of His children, as members of a Royal Priesthood, may enter in where He, our great High Priest, has gone before. See how beautifully all this is expressed in Italian architecture. The main features of Christian symbolism, which the Church has evidently wished to stamp upon all buildings consecrated to her worship, are preserved, and these are recognized with ease; but neither eye nor mind is attracted, or rather distracted, by the symbolism of minute detail. No screen of any sort separates us from the Holy place, so that the eye takes in at one glance the unity of the whole building, with its wide open sanctuary, and the altar, where the Son of Man is ever walking among the

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