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stand in a certain distant correspondence with the great Lawgiver, Priest, and King, in whom, under the new dispensation, the prophecies met with their fulfilment. Hence do we find Christian art prolific in pictures which prefigure Christ in His character and office. For example: Noah furnishes a type of our Lord, because the deluge was a baptism of waters for the cleansing and purifying of the old world from sin; because the ark which Noah built for the rescue of himself and family is as the church which Christ reared for the redeemed of the children of men; because through Noah came a covenant of mercy to the saved; and because his very name signifies comfort and rest. Thus, in the same manner, Isaac is a type of our Lord, for, as the well-beloved son, he was ready, like a lamb, to give himself a sacrifice. Moses, again, furnishes more abundant materials out of which to fashion an image of Christ the great deliverer. Moses was the head of the old covenant as Christ is of the new. Indeed, the whole Mosaic dispensation-even to its details-may without violence be made to picture forth the culminating dispensation in Christ. blood of the passover, the baptism unto Moses in the sea and in the cloud, the waters from the spiritual rock, which rock was Christ,the lifting up of the brazen serpent in the wilderness, are some of the many characteristics in which the lawgiver of Sinai was the emblem of the Lord fasting in the wilderness, and transfigured on Tabor. Again: Joshua, as leader of the people; David, as the psalmist king, the melody of whose song was like to the angels' Hymn of the Nativity; Solomon, because of his wisdom, whereunto the Queen of Sheba came, even as the three kings who worshipped the new-born Lord of Israel; Elijah, because he was taken up to heaven, even as Christ rose from the tomb, and was lifted from the earth; Job, from his sufferings and his patience; Jonah, as the ficti
tious image of the burial and resurrection of Christ,—were each and all gathered into the kingdom of Christian art, were severally fashioned into pictures which should portray and prefigure the history of our Lord, were made to speak the language of prophecy, to enact the world's great tragedy-the redemption made perfect through suffering.
Art having thus trod the shadowy chambers of prophecy having adorned, and ofttimes encumbered, the Old Testament narrative with myths, legends, and types,-at length, in the fulness of time, the star which shone in Bethlehem was unto art a great light. Christian painting here rejoices in joy unspeakable over the cradle of peace and good-will; she makes the angels who once sported among the groves of paradise, but had fled away at the approach of sin, return, after long estrangement, again towards the confines of earth, to worship before the manger where the young child lay. She calls upon shepherds, tending their flocks by night, to come and see the Shepherd and Bishop of souls; she summons kings from afar to bow in homage before the Lord of heaven and earth; with solicitude and affection she follows in the steps of the mother and the infant driven into Egypt; she watches over the early years spent in Nazareth, while the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God; she goes to Jerusalem, and is in the midst of the doctors in the Temple, when all who hear Jesus astonished at His understanding and answers; she is with Christ in His temptation and baptism, and sits at the wedding-feast when, in the beginning of miracles, the water is made wine; and thus does Christian art follow, pencil in hand, the steps of the Saviour as He teaches on the Mount, as He blesses little children, as He talks with the woman of Samaria by the well, as He multiplies the loaves and the fishes, heals the blind, cures diseases,
raises the dead, and bids Lazarus come forth, till at last the final scene opens with the entry into Jerusalem, to be quickly followed by the agony in the garden and the death on Calvary. These are the themes which artists from age to age have treated-sometimes in humility, and ofttimes in the pride and glory of intellect. Fra Angelico, or Gentile da Fabriano, in trembling fear, scarcely ventures to approach the Madonna, spotless in beauty and purity; in contrast, artists less attentive to the still small voice, painters of genius more impetuous, such as Titian, or Veronese, or Tintoret, or Rubens, with full brush, pour out torrents copious as mountain floods, make the strait and narrow way broad, exalt every valley, transmute the self-denying fast into the luxury of a feast, and change the garment of sackcloth into golden raiments, bright as the rainbow. Thus do we see how the history of our Lord, even to its minutest incidents, has been transcribed in characters homely as a child's primer, and in colours redolent as a paradise of flowers. The area covered is indeed great. Multiply the subjects treated by the number of the artists engaged, each after his individual style, upon this great labour, and then we may perhaps comprehend the length, the breadth, and the fulness of that art which tended our Lord in His birth, ministry, death, and glory.
The subject which fell into the hands of Lady Eastlake was somewhat shorn of its honours by the volumes previously published by her predecessor. Mrs Jameson's work, "The Legends of the Madonna," by anticipation appropriated the charming scenes which lie at the threshold of the history of our Lord, such, for example, as The Annunciation," "The Salutation of Elizabeth," "The Journey to Bethlehem," "The Nativity," "The Adoration of the Shepherds," "The Adoration of the Magi," "The Presentation in the Temple," The Flight into Egypt," "The Riposo,"
and "The Return from Egypt." This is the explanation of the blank in the pages of Lady Eastlake, which, however much to be deplored, became, of course, inevitable. Fortunately the more thrilling acts in the sacred story, commencing with the entry intoJerusalem, closing with the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the last judgment, yet remained intact to give to the final volume of the series crowning import. These events, happening on the confines of two worlds-that world which inflicted the agony and the shame, and that other world in the heavens which promised glory and the
these events, which bore the shadow of the grave, and yet caught brightness from the light of lights, have naturally kindled writers, preachers, and painters into more than wonted ardour. The Crusader endured hardship in or der to save for the love of Christendom those holy places where the promise of the prophets had found fulfilment; and pilgrims and travellers, in all times, have entered the garden of Gethsemane, and walked the way to Calvary, with hearts full to overflowing, and lips eloquent in pathos. Therefore is it that painters, though they knew not the spot, and though studiously regardless of local verities, have eagerly taken possession of these last and memorable days; have laid firm grasp at least, through power of sympathy and spell of imagination, on the successive scenes in our Lord's passion, and held up to view the agony and bloody sweat, the crown of thorns, the cross, the bu rial. And perhaps it is impossible, in the whole range of history, whether sacred or secular, to find, impossible indeed for fancy to conceive of, an epic so touching, so terrible, so sublime. That way to Calvary was the bridge which spanned the abyss dividing two kingdoms; the Christ on the cross was God reconciling the world; the rising from the tomb was the victory over the grave, given as the pledge of immortality. And artists, we
notwithstanding the many infirmities of the flesh, have found grace to portray these scenes in the twofold relation of earth and of heaven. They have been able to give to the finite the extended sphere of the infinite. They have placed a fact in time as seen in the theatre of eternity. They have shed on the sunset of humanity somewhat of the sunrise of divinity. They have thrown into the grave the unquenched embers of resurrection. They have cast into the countenance of human sorrow more than human serenity; and the weakness of the body which would sink under chastisement is upheld by an arm mighty to save.
We can easily believe that the spirit by which alone the artist may worthily treat the passion of our Lord is given to few. And themes which thus bow the soul in reverence, cannot but be desecrated by unhallowed touch. Emotions lying too high for this world, and too deep for earthly tears, can find expression, if at all, only in words heartfelt and few, or through forms and colours chastened and solemn. The rhetoric of the tongue and the blandishments of the brush have no place here. And therefore those artists prove themselves most worthy of the heavenly mission who intrude least of themselves, who are least ostentatious of the resources of their art, who, in fact, like the evangelists, overawed with the consciousness of the great truths to be spoken, sit down and find utterance in the simplest of language. Thus it is frequently that the earlier masters in a school, coming with less of guile, bring into their treatment more of spiritual unction. Yet must we acknowledge that the scenes in the passion of Christ have a power to subdue painters otherwise of obdurate heart, and to regenerate the pencil often given up to mere carnal allurements. In such cases do we feel indeed how it is that the wrath of man may praise God, and that even in the world of art, out of the greatest of
sinners may come, not only the greatest of saints, but the grandest of painters. If, indeed, the impetuosity of unbridled genius be but turned from its perversity, how will it not rise to a full tide of inspiration, and fill the desert, the waste and the foul places of the soul, with fertilising flood. The painters, in fact, who, in the degeneracy of art, indulged in the profligacy of a brush which ran unruly riot, sometimes brought to the treatment of subjects imposing wholesome restraint an impulse and a power which, in more timid days, were necessarily unattainable. It was as when a mighty wind filled a house, or rushed over sea or across the forest, great was the noise, and terrorstriking the grandeur. Tintoretto is one of those men unto whom inspiration came as a whirlwind, and he has left works which bear the tempest's mark. Veronese was another artist whose genius was prodigal and golden as autumn; and when he touched upon the passion of our Lord, as in the panoramic pictures in Dresden, he showered down, as did the kings of the East, rich gifts at the Saviour's feet. Rubens, again, in the two great paintings in Antwerp, gives the same proof that scenes such as these sanctify an artist, and raise him above his ordinary level. Compositions of this character, portentous in pomp and circumstance, thunder like the Hallelujah Chorus; pictures of an earlier date, painted by the school of spiritualists, speak in voice gentle and low, like the witness of truth within the conscience.
Renan, in his recent work, borne down by the curse of scepticism, from which eloquence gives no deliverance, says that at the crucifixion of Christ the historian's task is ended. With an audacity almost beyond parallel, he adds that the belief which grew up in Christendom in a risen Saviour is but a memorable proof of the unquenchable power of love within the human heart. Thanks be unto God, art,
unlike philosophy, falsely so called, never put to the question the miracles which confounded the wisdom of the wise. Artists, impelled by the genius which is strong in the trust of a little child, threw themselves not only into the grave of a crucified Saviour, but rose, as it were, with Christ into glory. The French sceptic is denied, as we have seen, an entrance into the kingdom of light. But the world's painters, true to the best intuitions of universal humanity, have entered on the life beyond life, have given the works of their hands, in testimony of a risen Christ, to the building up of the mansions in the heavens, to the peopling of the regions of the sky with the redeemed of the Lord, a blessed company who, clothed in white raiments, and with palms in their hands, bow before the throne of the Lamb. Inexpressibly beauteous and consoling are these works in Christian art, which take from death its sting, and from the grave its victory,—a series commencing with the declaration of the angel unto the women at the sepulchre, "He is not here, for He is risen as He said." During the few remaining days on earth, Christian art, pursuing the Biblical narrative, seeks the risen Saviour as He talks with the disciples on their journey unto the village, joins Him at the supper of Emmaus, makes note of the apostle's incredulity, draws nigh as Jesus stood by the Sea of Tiberias, listens to the charge given unto St Peter, and, finally, beholds the open clouds as the Saviour ascends into heaven, where He sits on the right hand of the Father.
The creed of our English Church, which is indeed a summary of Christian art, carries, like art itself, the history of our Lord into the shadowy future. On every Sunday morning do Protestants give their assent to the belief that Christ "shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead whose kingdom shall have no end." This is the faith which
painters and sculptors have celebrated in the grandest of all compositions-Last Judgments. Fra Angelico, Orgagna, Luca Signorelli, and Michael Angelo, have put forth their utmost power to magnify this consummation of all things-that day of wrath, yet of redemption, when man to judgment wakes from clay. With this theme Lady Eastlake fitly ends 'The History of our Lord,' a story which, as we have seen, was taken up in the eternity of the past, and is here laid down only when it reaches the eternity of the future. This history, then, we all gratefully admit, receives an amplification never known before. One deficiency, however, has been felt, which, we trust, may yet be supplied. The sermons in stones engraven on the fronts, and proclaimed indeed upon every wall of Gothic churches and cathedrals, have not been made to swell the testimony of ages to Christian verities. Here are stores which, long closed as a sealed and despised book, shall now be opened to give to Christian iconography an accession of grandeur and erudition. We all know how thronged are the arches and pinnacles of our middle-age churches with statues of prophets, fathers, saints, martyrs, and the winged host. Why, this very subject of which we have just spoken, the Doom or the Last Judgment, is to be seen multiplied a thousand-fold over cathedral doors, which thus, as the entrance from the world without to the church within, are made to speak the words of the Judge of the whole earth, "Come, ye blessed of my Father; and depart, ye cursed." These bas-reliefs are easily brought within the sphere of literary history by that most faithful of chroniclers, the truth-giving photograph. As we now write, there lie before us these sun-printed transcripts of the west portals of five churches in France, and the number might probably be multiplied by ten, on each of which is set forth the ecstatic vision seen by
St John in the Apocalypse, with the signs and the wonders which prophets foretold should come to pass in the last days. Christ, on a throne encircled by rainbow glory, is seated in the midst of the assembled multitude of earth and heaven, who wait the coming doom. Round about the throne are the four mystic beasts and the elders and the angels of God. And they that sleep in Jesus rise to life eternal; they, too, who died in sin, awake and rise at the archangel's trumpet-but weighed in the balance, they are given over to everlasting torment, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. Nothing in the whole range of art is more appalling than this literal rendering, this visible and tangible transcribing, even on the mercy-door, of that doom which shall make the earth to shake -nay, not the earth only, but also heaven. The fires wherewith Dante wrote, thunders like to which Milton spake, even denunciations which came as outpourings from vessels of wrath, have fashioned these rough-hewn stones into desperate vigour. He who denies before men, him will I also deny before my Father and the holy angels." Christian art also denies him in the presence of the Church and in the assembly of the saints.
The sacred and the legendary art which, as we have seen, encir cles the History of our Lord,' ought to be used by each one of us as the means of high mental culture. This art is not only art: it is religion it is poetry. At this sacred fountain fed from the sky, the modern painter and sculptor may quench the thirst for that divine knowledge which shall give to his works a spirit not of earth. On the banks of this stream may the Christian pilgrim, torn by the thorns that lie in the way, find rest, and gather for his wounds many a healing herb; on its margin, too, shall the poet linger weaving garlands, and murmuring melodious songs; and as the river rolls onward to the sea, the sage walks by the swelling
wave while it mingles in the broad waters of essential truth and unclouded beauty. Furthermore, let us all remember as we partake of the benefits, that Christian art is not only a gift to past ages,—it is equally a promise reserved for present and future times. Firm is our persuasion that the day will come, though the signs of its advent are as yet but dimly seen, when Christian art shall reach to a majesty and a beauty which hitherto the world has not witnessed. For art, indeed, as for each human soul, there are prophecies yet unfulfilled. No coming work of the human hand or intellect will perish for lack of knowledge; but even at this present time, art is blighted and withered from want of faith-not from want of faith in dogmas dead, but from want of trust in truths which, living, are to genius a well of life. There is then, we say, reason to hope that the day shall appear when art will cast off the outer crust, which is of the earth, earthy, and be bright as the light, and pure as a fire kindled on an altar of sacrifice. Whether or not there shall come an outward millennium such as some men have curiously defined, we care not to inquire; but that there shall come in the progress of the human race a period when the love of the true, the beautiful, and the good, will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, is for all who in the mean time watch and work a steadfast and a consoling persuasion. This is the hope and the prophecy which for art, awaiting like all things a final fruition, remain as yet unfulfilled. And of this at least we may be sure, that whensoever, in the language of the prophet, wisdom shall like the light of the sun be sevenfold, even as the light of seven days, then will Christian art, purged from dross and cleared from. the fogs of superstition, wax in strength and loveliness, and shine with clearer light just as it approaches nearer to the fountain of light.