The removed sentences:

That is the abuse and fallacy of Romanism, by which the true spirit of Christian offering is directly contradicted. The treatment of the Papists' temple is eminently exhibitory; it is surface work throughout; and the danger and evil of their church decoration lie, not in its reality — not in the true wealth and art of it, of which the lower people are never cognizant — but in its tinsel and glitter, in the gilding of the shrine and painting of the image, in embroidery of dingy robes and crowding of imitated gems; all this being frequently thrust forward to the concealment of what is really good or great in their buildings. Of an offering of gratitude which is neither to be exhibited nor rewarded, which is neither to win praise nor purchase salvation, the romanist (as such) has no conception.

LE adds: The note (No. 3 at the end of the text in eds. 1 and 2) was as follows: 1 “‘To the concealment of what is really good or great.”’ I have often been surprised at the supposition that Romanism, in its present condition, could either patronise art, or profit by it. The noble painted windows of a St Maclou at Rouen, and many other churches in France, are entirely blocked up behind the altars by the erection of huge gilded wooden sunbeams, with interspersed cherubs.”

The MS. adds:

— “painted red and white. And for the pageantry of Romanism which is said to have so overwhelming an effect upon the faith of many, the chief impres- sion it has always produced on me has been that of wonder that, considering how much depended on it, it should be so marvellously ill-managed for effect." In the MS. the passage, “in the gildings . . . gems,” ran “in the gilded doll and painted puppet, in the faded riband nd dingy lace, in the theatrical robe and imitated jewel,” while the earlier portion of the note is as follows:

While I admit it to be a question whether art has ever promoted true religion, I have a right to oppose the idea of its having been made efficient in the advancement of abstract Romanism. I am surprised at its not being more frequently observed that real art is of no service to the Romanist. Give him the best and most precious picture in the world, and though he will indeed use it as a piece of furniture behind his candles, and smoke the top of it and drop wax over the bottom of it, yet, as an idol, or even as an historic representation, it is of no use to him whatever until he has cut a hole in it, and put real pewter crowns on the heads of all the saints in it. Give him a Pieta by Michael Angelo, and he will put it in a niche out of the way where it will never be seen; a group of wooden images from the estab- lished makers with real lace dresses on them, and highly painted, is what he wants for practical purposes. The noble painted windows of the east end of St Maclou, St. Vincent, St. Patrice, and other churches in Rouen are concealed behind gilded wooden carvings from twenty to thirty feet across, representing square rays of the sun of the size of oar blades, piercing volumes of smoke, with bunches of suspended cherubs."


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Last modified 13 July 2010