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Symbolism:. Mr. Gwilt's remarks on this subjecf, "written for insertion in his Appendix,
are subjoined.
Invested with much of the character of chivalry and romance, the medi-
seval period has been often stated to have expressed in matter its spiritual impressions.
The aspiring vertical lines of its monuments ha.ve by some been considered types of
aspiration after the Divinity. This may or may not have been the case, but there am
not be other than an indisposition to believe in symbolism, when there are so many
forms in nature whose imitation, or the study thereof, would lead to the same results.
Holding symbolism in churches as an idle conceit, not much will be said on that subject
but a few specimens of the nonsense it induces may as well be set down. The venerable
Bede, for instance, says that the walls of a church are a symbol of the Christian wor-
shippers that frequent the edifice. 'Omnps parietes templi per circuitum omnes sanctse
ecclesise populi sunt, quibus super fundamentumChristi locatis, ambitum orbis replevit.'
The venerable scribe, be itobserved, is speaking of Solomon's temple. Again, in respect
of doors, we have
Ostium autem templi Dominus est, quia nemo venit ad Patrem nisi
per ilium,' &c. As to the windows, they are symbols of the saints and spiritual wor-
Fenestrse templi sunt sancti et spirituals.' To come, however, to recent
symbolisms, we find that the moderns have discovered that tlie principal entrance of a
church is a symbol of our entrance into physical and moral life
; that the tympanum, or
gable-like form, over the great western porch (whose origin is the Greek pediment, but
raised to conform with the character of the style), is a symbol of the Holy Trinity ; the
great rose window at the western end of a church is, from its circular form, accounted
a- symbol of Divine Providence! At Amiens, the four rose windows have been con-
sidered symbolical of the four elements! In respect of the towers, that on the left is said
to represent the ecclesiastical and spiritual hierarchy, and that to the right, order, that
is, the civil or temporal power ! and generally, where four horizontal divisions occur,
the lower one is symbolical of the cure, the next upwards of the dean or archdeacon, the
third of the bishop, and the fourth of the archbishop. Should a fifth horizontal divi-
sion occur, the primate is the type. So in the right hand tower, the lowest compart-
ment represents the mayor, and in succession upwards appear a count, a duke, a king
and if the tower be covered with a spire, no less than an emperor appears. One is
almost surprised that there is no symbol to represent the Suisse of the continental, nor
the beadle of our churches in this country. The interior of a church, according to the
symbolists, affords some further curious features of mysticism. The principal entrance
is at t\\efoot of the Cross, because, by the use of the feet (i.e. travelling) the Gospel
was preached ! What is called canting heraldry surely does not equal this. The nave
is said to represent the body of the faithful ! The ceiling over the altar is accounted a
symbol of heaven, and the chapels round the altar are said to represent the aureola round
the head of Christ ! But it is scarcely worth while to waste more time on the conside
ration of such absurdity, where the things have been ingeniously fitted to the types,
instead of the converse. There is, however, one other point connected with the subject,
which has been recently revived, and a few words must be expended in notice of it."
This is the vesica piscis.
Symmetry. (Gr. "Xw, with, and Merpw, I measure.) A system of proportion in a build-
ing, from which results from one part the measurement of all the rest. It also conveys
the meaning of uniformity as regards the answering of one part to another.
SysTYLE. (Gr.) A colonnade or portico, in which tho iuter-columuiatioa is equal to
two diameters of the column.
Taberk. A provincial term for a cellar.
Tabernacle. (Lat.) In Catholic churches, the name given to a small representation of
an edifice placed on the altar for containing consecrated vessels, &c.
Table. In perspective, the same as the plane of the picture, being the paper or canvas on
which a perspective drawing is made, and usually perpendicular to the horizon. In tho
theory of perspective, it is supposed to be transparent for simplifying the theory.
glass works and among glaziers, it is a circular plate of" crown
glass, being its original
form before it is cut or divided into squares. Twenty-four tables make a case.
Table or Tablet. (Lat. Tabula.) A flat surface generally charged with some ornamental
fio-ure. The outline is generally rectangular, and when raised from the naked of tho
wall, is called & projecting or raised table. "When not perpendicular to the horizon, it is
called a raking table. When the surface is rougli, frosted, or vermiculated, from being
broken with the hammer, it is called a rusticated table.
Tablet. The same as Table; but is applied usually to a wall slab or nianumentil
A term used by tho Scotch builders to denote the coping of tho walls of very