[Note 6, Chapter One, in print version]
The continuing attempt on the part of High Church designers, architects, and clergy to make worship a complete aesthetic expedience that would appeal to all of man's higher nature later in the century drew many Aesthetes and Decadents into both the high Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-52) , John Ruskin, and the Cambridge Camden Society (later known as the Ecclesiological Society) were the seminal forces in this aspect of the Gothic Revival. See Phoebe Stanton, Pugin (London, 1971); James E. White, The Cambridge Movement, the Ecclesiologists and the Gothic Revival (Cambridge, 1962); Shirley Bury, Copy or Creation, Victorian Treasures from English Churches Catalogue of an exhibition organized by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the Victorian Society (London, 1967); Victorian Church Art , Catalogue of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 1971).
Just as both old and new adherents of the High Church party scorned Evangelical emotionalism and hymns, the Evangelicals, in their turn, scorned Puseyite aestheticism. Ryle, for example, pointedly contrasts High and Low Church approaches to religion:
There are thousands of religious books published in our times, in which there is everything except the Cross. They are full of directions about sacraments, and praises of the Church. They abound in exhortations about holy living, and rules for the attainment of perfection. They have plenty of fonts and crosses both inside and outside. But the real Cross of Christ is left out, ["The Cross " in A New Birth, p . 21]
George Eliot's "A College Breakfast Party, (1874) presents the common view that such High Church aestheticism had little to do with true religion and often proved an adolescent fad. Her main character is attracted to Hinduism one day and the next,
Finding the fount of grace in sacraments,
And purest reflex of the light divine
In gem-bossed pyx and broidered chasuble,
Resolved to wear no stockings and to fast
With arms extended, waiting for ecstasy;
But getting cramps instead, and needing change,
[Became] A would-be pagan next.
Print version published 1980; web version 1998