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ART. I.-Hints on Glass-Painting. By AN AMATEUR. Oxford:
John Henry Parker. 1847.
A WORK of such pretensions as the one whose title stands at the head of this article, devoted entirely to the subject of glasspainting, suggests at once more than one important reflection independent of and previous to any judgment of the merits of the work itself. In the first place it is an indication that the spirit of revival in matters of ecclesiastical decoration is not extinct nor waning; in fact, although in some cases eccentric and extravagant efforts, resulting from the uncertainty necessarily attending the first steps of a radical change, may have given an uninviting aspect to the movement, there is enough of right and solid principle in it to ensure it some stability. We say it is an evidence of continued progress in ecclesiastical taste, because, however general the application of stained glass to ornamental purposes may be, there can be no doubt that the actual demand for its use in churches, as well as the higher quality of the work required, points out all secular employment of the art as secondary and subordinate. As for the taste itself, it may be stigmatized as visionary and unreal, or as dangerous and seductive; all such assaults it will survive, and its strongest symptoms of health and vitality consist in the daily extension of its influence among persons too much opposed in views to have adopted it as a party watchword. The charge of unreality rests on the belief that acts of church-restoration and adornment have only in view the indulgence of a taste or humour. Now if by this is meant a purely selfish indulgence, we do not believe the case is a common one where the sacrifice is liberal. If, however, its opponents mean merely that the enjoyment of the result, apart from a sense of duty, more than repays the devotion of a church-restorer, we will only say that the weakness, if it be one, is at least too amiable to be discouraged. If we knew any man who thought it worth while to sell that he had and give to