Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/28

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xviii
PREFACE.

the undertaking entirely, or else to apply the care and pains, by which alone anything satisfactory could be produced.

Valeat quantum.

A. H.

Of the Illustrations to this volume it may be mentioned, that the object has been to offer examples, as far as possible, which have not been previously published; and though others of much interest might have been added, it must be remembered, that the success of this publication is as yet very uncertain. For one plate, that of Wigsell in Salehurst, Sussex, the subscribers are indebted to the kindness and liberality of the proprietor of the estate, Sir S. B. P. Micklethwait, Bart., of Iridge.

Rottingdean; Dec. 1850.

Note. To show that, although the interest and feeling now extensively diffused respecting the proper attention due to the preservation and the internal arrangement of our churches is certainly a revival, such subjects were not utterly forgotten, whatever might be general appearances, I indulge myself with subjoining two extracts from a work, which was recently brought to my notice.

"It is earnestly to be wished, that our churches were as free as those of the Continent, from those vile incumbrances" (namely, pews). "The warmth, which is afforded by them, might be more efficaciously and cheaply obtained by double doors, or by stoves. They are not only grievously injurious to architectural effect, and frequently conceal or deface the venerable monument, and the sepulchral tablet, but they also give rise to petty jealousies and disputes, very discordant indeed with the feelings, which ought to prevail in us, on entering the temple of That Being, who is 'no respecter of persons.'" (Disquisitions by Frank Sayers, M.D. Norwich, 1808; 203, 2d ed.)

"Having concluded the remarks, which I had to offer on this subject, I hope I may here be allowed to enter my protest against, what is usually termed, the beautifying of churches. This ingenious process is commonly performed by bespattering the walls and columns of the building with abundant and repeated showers of whitewash ; by which the finer carved work, and the ancient mural inscriptions are most successfully obliterated; by forcing the sepulchral brasses, and other tablets of the dead to yield the places, which they had obstinately retained for centuries, to a trim, new pavement ; by overwhelming the faded splendour of the screen, and the sombre gloss of the oaken pulpit with the more enlivening tints of yellow and blue; by substituting a clearer glass to that which is dimmed by the armorial bearings of founders and benefactors, or by the gloomy forms of martyrs and of saints; by uniting in a close, though very unexpected concord, the most ancient and the most modern styles of building and ornament; and finally by exalting, in a conspicuous part of the holy fabrick, the names of those illustrious Ædiles, under whose happy ministration the pious work was brought to entire perfection. Surely the reparation of our churches is not necessarily attended by such consequences as these ; all, that is to be aimed at, is simply to preserve the building and its appendages, as much as is possible, in their original state; to restore what is decayed; to protect what is endangered; and to prevent mischief, instead of doing it." (Ut supra, 212.)