At the close of his Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture (1843), which saw publication the same year as the first volume of Ruskin's Modern Painters, Pugin, a Catholic convert, emphasizes several points, the first of which shows that, like many Victorian believers of all denominations, he shortly expects some sort of apocalyptic change; the second, that Protestantism is the child of Satan. His anti-Protestantism is the mirror image of much English anti-Catholicism of the period. — George P. Landow

We must shortly prepare for some wonderful change to be worked, either on the side of God or of Satan; for those who are really animated with Catholic feeling will never remain satisfied with the mere shadow of antiquity; and Protestants and infidels clamour loudly against the trifling return to mere decorum that has already been accomplished in certain places.

The via media is rapidly narrowing on those who tread that dangerous and deceptive road: it will soon be utterly impracticable. Two paths will then present themselves for choice: this returns to England's Church, with her priests, her altars, her sanctuaries, and her ancient solemnity, communion with Christendom, and part with her glorious saints and martyrs of old; that, on to the conventicle, with its preaching throne and galleries, the divisions of dissent, and portion with heresiarchs and blasphemers. The hour is at hand when ambiguous expressions and subtle evasions will no longer shelter or conceal. Men must stand forth the avowed champions of Catholic truth or Protestant error; and blessed indeed will they be who, at the hour of trial, fail not, but, counting all loss as gain in the cause of Christ, apply themselves to the holy work of England's conversion, like blessed Austin of old, strengthened and supported by that rock of Peter which cannot be moved, and against whom the world and Satan shall never prevail. [158]


Pugin, A. Welby. The Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England. "Republished from the Dublin Review." London: Charles Dolman, 1843.

Last modified 20 March 2007