« PreviousContinue »
1. He went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron ; and Psal. cx. 7. Ile shall drink of the brook in the way; which is no support for the painter's fancy.
XX¥iļ. Some painters represent Christ scourged with rods, others with thongs or scourges, Matt. xxvii. 26. Mark x. 76. Luke xii. 33. That the former are wrong is clear, from the word in the text peyenšv, Matt. xxvii. 26. Mark xv. 26. and necesszõv, Luke xvii. 33. which denote scourges, noi rods. It is said that the Jews used only, seðurges, Buxtorf, Syn. Jud. c. xx. And though the Romans used rods, witness that form, L. lictor colliga manus, caput obnubito, VIRGIS CADITO; yet this form was left off in time, Cic. pro Rabirio Cos. and scourging was introduced in later ttmes. Sciendum est, Pilatum Romanorum legibus judicium ministrasse, quibus sancitum erat, ut qui crucifigitur prius FLAGELLIS verberetur. Rieh. Montacut. Orig. Eccles. tom. 1. part. post. p. 390, from Jerom. But this Artist does not seem to know that flagellum denoted a twig as well as virga,
In this scene of the scourging, two executioners are represented as performing the act; whereas, according to the Ronan custom, only one was employed, as appears from the form before cited; and according to the Jewish likewise, as Buxtorf shews from the Mishna. According to which likewise the pillar, to which the crimimal was bound, was only about a cubit and a half; not of that length in which it is usually painted.
XXVIII. Some represent Christ and Simon the Cyrenean both bearing the cross at once, expressly against the Narration in Matt. xxvii. 52.
In some pictures the cross on which Christ is crucified, is represented like a capital T, with the upright beam not projecting above the transverse; which, though it was the form of some crosses, was not so of our Saviour's, according to Justin Martyr; and see Lipsius de Cruce.
Another mistake is committed when they represent the feet of Christ fastened to the cross with one nail only ; i. e. with three nails in all, two through the hands, and one through the feet: whereas Irenæus, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Nonnus in Paraphr. p. 230, ver. 87, expressly mention four nails. And the same method is attested by Plaatus;
Ego dabo ei talentum primus, qui in crucem excurrerit, Sed ea lege, ut atsigantur, bis pedes, bis brachia, 3 Kg
The two malefactors (ill called thieves), who were crucified with Christ, are represented generally with their bands and feet tied to the cross : but why their hands and feet should not be represented nailed likewise, no reason can be assigned. Nonnus is express, rárłgous calilumos. See Montac. Orig. Eccl. tom. par. ii. p. m. 593.
A small seat was in the iniddle of the upright beam, as Justin Martyr likewise testifies; but is usually omitted by the painters of the Crucifixion.
The soldier who pierced the side of Christ is generally painted on horseback; contrary to the express testimony of John, an eye-witness of the fact, xix. 34. E TW spalvotar λογχη αυτα την πλευράν ένυξε.. The word τρατιώτης, by itself, denotes only a fool-soldier, and the spear noyx" was not the weapon of the horse. Justly therefore does Salmasius blame Xaverius the Jesuit for following this error in the History of Christ, published by Lud. de Dieu. See Salm. ep. ii. ad Bartholin. The former of these two reasons is a good one, but the latter not so; for in the latter times the horse used acryn as well as the foot: Josephus,
•.. φέρεςι δε οι μεν περί τον έρατηγόν επιλεκλοι πεζοί λοσχην κ' ασπιδα, ,Ουδενί δε όπλω διαλλάττωσιν οι περι τον σρατηγόν επικρι Tαι ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΤΑΙΣ YΛAΙΣ ΠΙΠΕΩΝ. See Scholius in Hyginum, c. xii, p. m. 297.
xxix. In the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, Acts ii. 1. some painters represent the Virgin Mary in the midst of them; that she may, as Beza observes, appear the Queen of the Apostolic College.
Tongues in the shape of fire are likewise represented as sitting on the heads of the Apostles : but, according to Ursinus, Analect. lib. vi. c. 38. the fiery tongues were seen, üpanoar, in the mouths of the Apostles; and what is said to sit or rest upon them was the Holy Spirit, which immediately follows, according to the Hebrew construction (or rather the fire which is just before mentioned]: And tongues, as of fire, were seen distributed amongst them, and it (the fire] rested upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. This in my opinion, is so forced a construction, that I recommend to the painters to keep to their old copies.
xxx. Paul, at bis conversion, is usually represented on horseback, and falling from his horse at the heavenly vision, Acts ix. 2. But it is more probable that he was travelling on foot, otherwise his sudden fall from a horse
would have endangered his life. His companions, it is said, stoop speechless, ver. 7.; and ver. 8. that they led him by the hand. Had he been on horseback, they would more probably have set him on his horse again.
xxxi. Painters represent Christ prostrate before the Father, supplicating for our salvation; whereas the Scripture represents him as sitting on the right hand of the Father. See Rom. viii. 26. 1. John ii. 1.
xxxn. Why Death is usually painted like a skeleton, with an hour-glass and a scythe, we know not. It is not the figure of Death in the Apocalypse, ch. vi. 8. or of Death among the ancients, which was that of a beast with large teeth and crooked nails.
xxxn. Christ coming to judge the world is represented sitting on a rainbow; taken
no doubt from the Apocalypse, iv. 3. Compare with Matt. xxv. 31. But it cannot be Christ who sits on the throne in the Revela; tions ; for he is represented by the Lamb, cap. v. 7, as all commentators agree.
XXXIV. The women who washed the feet of Jesus with her hair, Luke vii. 38, is represented falling down at his feet, when the text said she stood at his feet.
xxxv. The sons of Zebedee are represented as chil dren,
By the LORD CHANCELLOR BACON.
a preacher preach with more care and meditation
preaching; but soundly indeed, ordering the matter he handleth distinctly, for memory, deducting and drawing it down for direction, and authorising it with strong proofs and warrants) it is censured as a form of speaking not becoming the simplicity of the gospel, and they refer it to the reprehension of St. Paul, of the enticing speech of man's wisdom.
Now for their own manner of preaching, what is it? Surely they exhort well, and work compunction of mind, and bring men well to the question, Viri, fratres, quid faciemus? But that is not enough, except they resolve the question. They handle matters of controversy
weakly, and as before a people that will accept of any thing. In doctrine of manners there is little but geneFality and repetition. The word (the bread of life) they toss up and down; they break it not; they draw not their directions down ad casus conscientiæ, that a man may be warranted in his particular actions, whether they be lawful or not; neither, indeed, are many of them able to do it, what through want of grounded knowledge, what through want of study and time. It is a compendious and easy thing to call for the observation of the sabbath-day, or to speak against unlawful gain: but what actions and works may be done upon the sabbath, and what not; and what courses of gain are lawful, and in what cases; to set this down, and to clear the whole with good distinctions and decisions, is a matter of great knowlege and labour, and asketh much meditation and conversing in the Scriptures, and other helps, which God hath provided and preserved for instruction. They forget that there are sins on the right hand as well as on the left; and that the word is double-edged, and cutteth on both sides, as well the profane transgressions, as supers stitious observancés. Who doubteth but that it is as unlawful to shut where God hath opened, as to open where God hath shut; to bind where God hath loosed, as to loose where God hath bound? In this kind of zeal, they have pronounced generally, and without difference, all untruths unlawful; notwithstanding that the midwives are directly reported to have been blessed for their excuse to the Egyptians; that Rahab is said by faith to have concealed the spies; that Solomon's selected judgment proceeded upon a simulation, and that our Saviour, the more to touch the hearts of the two disciples, made as if he would have passed Emmaus. Farther, I have heard some sermons of mortification, think, with very good meaning, but apt to breed in men rather weak opinions and perplexed despairs, than the filial and trüé re pentance which is sought. Another point of great in convenience and peril is, to entitle the people to hear controversies, and all kinds of doctrine. They say no part of the council of God is to be suppressed, nor the people defrauded; so that the difference which the apostle maketh between milk and strong meat is confounded, and his precept, that the weak be not admitted ufo questions and controversies, taketh no place: But, most of all is to be suspected their manner of handi
ling the Scriptures: for whilst they seek express Scripture for every thing, and have deprived themselves and the church of a special help and support by embasing the authority of the fathers, they resort to naked examples, conceited influences, and forced allusions, such as do mine into all certainty of religion. Wheresoever they find in the Scriptures the word spoken of, they expound it of preaching; and they have made it, in a manner, of the essence of a Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to have a sermon precedent; they have, in a sort, annihilated the use of liturgies, and forms of divine service, although the house of God be denominated principally domus orationis, a house of prayer, and not of preaching. . As for the life of the good monks and hermits in the primitive church, I know they will condemn a man as half a papist if he should maintain it as otherwise than profane, because they heard no sermoos. In the mean time what preaching is, or who may be said to preach, they move no question; but (as far as I see) every man that presumeth to speak in a chair is a preacher. All these errors and misproceedings they fortify and intrench by an addicted respect to their own opinions, and an impatience to hear contradiction or argument: yea, I know some of them who would think it a tempting of God to hear or read what inay be said against them.
God forbid, that every man who can take unto himself boldness to speak an hour together in a church upon a text, should be admitted fora preacher, though he mean never so well. I know there is a great laưjtude in gifts, and a great variety in auditors and congregations; but yet so as there is below which you ought not to descend. For you must rather leave the ark to shake as it shall please God, then put unworthy hands to hold it up\Vhen we are in God's temple, we are warned rar ther lo put our hands upon our mouth, than to offer the sacrifice of fools. And surely it may be justly thought, that amongst many causes of atheism, as schism and controversies, profane scoffing in holy matters, and the like; it is not the least, that divers do adventure to handle the word of God who are unfit and unworthy. Herein í would have no man mistake me, as if I did extol curious and affected preaching; which is as much on the other side to be disliked, and breedeth atheisin and scandal as well as the other: for who would not be offended at one that cometh into the pulpit, as if he came upon the stage to play parts or prizes?