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“Chronicle” we see at a glance what its character was. It had a choir, the glory of which surpassed that of Westminster. It had a grand nave of no fewer than twelve bays. It had transepts of five bays each. Moreover, the only cathedral church that could pretend to rival its pier arches was that of Norwich. The nave measured 90 feet in height and 260 feet in length. Beyond this stretched the transept, and the choir, which extended fully 260 feet in length. The choir vault equalled all the stately height of Westminster. Moreover, bearing in mind that the perspective of this magnificent church terminated in a rose window, which was more exquisite than either of those that now delight the gazing eye in the transepts of Westminster Abbey-bearing also in mind that this window, "richly dight,” cast "a dim religious light" through the seven tall graceful lancets which filled up the entire eastern end, the reader can pardon the pride with which the London citizen of the pre-Reformation epoch regarded the fane. Among the numerous cathedral churches throughout Christendom Paul's had justly the preeminence. Eclipse was first, and the rest were-well—nowhere.
Nor was the external appearance of this mighty church unworthy of its internal appearance. The tower rose to a height of 235 feet, on a square with sides that measured as many as 50 feet in length. This square displayed externally three two-light windows, each of which was 60 feet in height. Above these rose another story, which was lighted by a similar range of windows nearly half as high. The joy and pride of the noble structure was the spire, which soared like a tongue of golden flame into the blue heavens above all others.
Thus roughly, but yet, we believe, accurately, have we sketched the general aspect of Old St. Paul's. We have now something to say concerning Paul's Cross, which, as Dean Milman truly says, was “historically part, and an important part of the cathedral.”
Long before this Cross became a magnificent and almost un. rivalled rostrum, it had been the rendezvous of the assemblies, or what are sometimes designated the “folk-motes," of the denizens of the City of London.? In later times it was the pulpit orator's paradise.
It was rebuilt by Bishop Kemp, after the Wars of the Roses, and for centuries, by reason of its imposing grandeur and consummate gracefulness, ranked as one of the chief ornaments of London. Its position, according to Dean Milman, was at the north-east corner of the Cathedral, and it is conjectured by this learned writer that it was
Fergusson's History of Architecture, iv. c. ii. ? Annals of St. Paul's Cathedral, 1869, p. 62 ; Sparrow Simpson's Old St. Paul's, 152-155. NO. 1949.
originally erected, like other crosses, at the entrance of the church. yard, in order to impress upon all comers the need of complying with the salutary practice of praying for the repose of the souls of such persons as lay buried in the ground adjoining.
Paul's Cross was at first the pulpit of London. By degrees it became the pulpit par excellence of the Anglican Church. Then it became a power in the land. Thither it was that even in the depths of the most inclement winters the London populace resorted, to be convinced or persuaded by sermons. What the press is to the London public of to-day, St. Paul's Cross was to the public of the preReformation era. The pulpit was generally open to both sides --to the firebrands of both ecclesiastical parties. The pulpit might resound with the cautious theology of Canterbury one day, and with the wildest doctrines of Geneva the next. One sermon might be such as would have been as sweetest music to the ears of Sir Thomas More. Another would be such as Calvin himself would have found scarcely a period to disapprove. In short, Paul's Cross exercised a most extreme, a most powerful, as well as a most prompt empire over the mind of the nation.
It was at Paul's Cross that Cardinal Campeggio was publicly congratulated, and it was there during the seven ensuing years that the question of the divorce of Catharine of Aragon was argued for and against. It was there, when Henry VIII. made his final and irreparable breach with the Vatican, that preachers waxed painful and eloquent in defence of the royal supremacy. It was there that Bishop Gardiner and Robert Barnes thundered against each other over the Sixth Article, set forth by their tyrannical master. It was there, when Edward VI. ascended the throne, that Nicholas Ridley, so soon to suffer martyrdom for the faith once delivered unto the saints, inveighed with all the fury that he could summon to his aid against the worship of pictures, the adoration of saints, and the use of holy water. It was there, when "Bloody Mary” ascended the throne, that a riot once broke out which seriously imperilled the lives of both preacher and hearers. Dr. Gilbert Bourne, the preacher, was inveighing, as a nominee of Queen Mary, against Bishop Ridley. "He preaches damnation ; pull him down, pull him down," was the cry which broke at once from a hundred throats. Fortunately Bradford, renowned for the devoutness and sincerity of his Protestantism, appealed to the mob. “Let every soul,” said he, quoting the words of St. Paul, “ be subject to the higher powers." But the fray did not abate. The obnoxious preacher was dragged by his friends to St. Paul's School, and the mob dispersed only on the approach of the
mayor. Such was the ordeal that the preacher at Paul's Cross had sometimes to face. All, during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, the discourses of the preachers at Paul's Cross were largely attended, and vigorously applauded, by the motley crowds who assembled—hail, rain or sunshine-to hear them. Paul's Cross stood intact until the reign of the martial Saints, by whom it was demolished. To people so fond of improving all occasions, it might be supposed that the Cross would not have been an eyesore.
The Zeal of the Land Busies, the Boanerges Holdforths and the Sergeant Bind-their-Kings-in-Chains, however, called to mind that doctrines which were not to be found either in the pages of the Old or New Testament had constantly been preached at Paul's Cross, and the remembrance of this impelled them to cry “Down with it, down with it even to the ground.” When the Restoration came, then came also a desire to re-introduce the Paul's Cross sermon; and whereas this sermon had formerly been preached without the Cathedral, it was now preached within it. In those sermons, which are preached Sunday after Sunday in the evening to large and attentive congregations at the present time, the antiquary may still detect the ring of the old Paul's Cross sermons. Here, as elsewhere, the old order has changed and given place to new.?
We often hear it said in the present day that those who frequent our churches and cathedrals are singularly wanting in a due and becoming reverence for the sacredness of such buildings and their separation from profane uses.
But this is by no means peculiar to the age in which we live, and it must be added that in this respect matters in "the good old times” were ten thousand times worse. It was then the custom to hold law courts, fairs, and even markets, within the walls of churches and cathedrals. These structures were the recognised places for eating, drinking, working and sleeping. Plays and interludes were acted within their walls, and priests and people seemed to consider them peculiarly adapted for church ales, Whitsun ales, and drinking bouts-a state of affairs which contrasted singularly with the apostolic dictum, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” It may be doubted, however, whether any public building was more shamefully desecrated in this way than Old St. Paul's. Posterity, or rather that section of it which is accustomed to behold in our cathedral churches a Pharisaical regard for propriety and decorum, may well stand aghast when it reads of St. Paul's in the days of our Tudor sovereigns.
1 Diary of Henry Machyn, ed. Camden Society ; Foxe's Acts and Monuments, vi. 41, 392.
? There is a well-executed view of the Cross during sermon time in Wilkinson's Londina Illustrata, vol. 1.
As early as the reign of Edward the Third petty dealers commenced to expose their wares for sale under the walls of the Cathedral, and the more sacred the day was the more active the market was.' Through the nave and through the aisles, even while the choir and clergy were chanting the solemn strains of a penitential litany, the hum of buyers and sellers waxed noisier and noisier. Rag Fair and Petticoat Lane are the only districts of modern London which could at all compare with what in mediæval London was familiarly termed " Paul's Walk," or the “Pervyse of Paul's." The house of prayer became literally, and not figuratively, a house of merchandise and a den of thieves. The money-changers entered the walls and drove out the worshippers. The summits of the pillars, their rich tracery work, and their elegant cornices were the coigns of vantage of pigeons, jackdaws, and birds of every dye and hue. There the London apprentices daily resorted with bows and arrows for the purpose of shooting the birds, and of engaging in games that were suited to any place but the walls of an ancient cathedral. The beautiful and costly painted windows were treated with but scant respect, and the gambols ceased only when the scandal became meritorious for the thunders of excommunication. The Reformation imposed a temporary restriction on the perversion of St. Paul's Church, but when the storm had blown over, and comparative tranquillity had been restored, things went on as before. The metropolitan cathedral became a metropolitan market. To such base uses as it was put to, we do not know where to look for a parallel While many citizens regarded the church as a fashionable place of resort, others regarded it as a trysting-place of friends, and others again as an exchange for the transaction of business and the celection of news Adrertisements of all kinds, secular and sacred, corered the pillars and the walls of the nare, which were criticised and discussed in the loudes of tones by the passers-by. But while the authorire strained at garats, as so otien happens TET STIowed came's Aa arrrentice who entered the church whoc es removing his ca; or a gaudint we forgot te dobis bead-gear, vas promptly
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sixteenth century came the Reformation, and though St. Paul's Cathedral felt the influence of that great movement so far as matters of doctrine were concerned, the abuses of which we have spoken flourished as gaily as before. Wherever Reformation extended, it certainly did not extend to the correction of abuses within the Cathedral. The right of way which the public had established was rigidly adhered to, even when that bright occidental star Queen Elizabeth, of most happy memory, was sent to rule and reign over England. Brewers drove their lumbering drays, drawn by clattering teams of heavy horses, through the sacred precincts from north to south and from south to north. Bakers marched to and fro bearing loaves of bread on their heads, and sometimes came in on their carts. Mules, horses, and dogs, went backwards and forwards, and gloried in the short cut. From time to time attempts were made to suppress these abuses, but all proved abortive, with the exception of the ingress of the four-footed beasts, which in dusty weather raised clouds much resembling those of the summer threshing-floors spoken of in the Book of Daniel.
Queen Elizabeth, scandalised at the profanation of which St. Paul's was the scene, and at the riots which often took place within its hallowed walls, determined to abate the nuisance. Knowing that fine and imprisonment were insufficient to deter the offenders, she resolved that a pillory should be erected in the churchyard, near the official residence of the Bishop of London. Soon an offender graced this pillory with his presence.
A certain lewd fellow of the baser sort, forgetting the respect which was due to the house of prayer, created a disturbance, and was promptly nailed by his ears to the pillory post. The next step which Elizabeth took towards the cleansing of the temple was to issue an enactment against all buying, selling, shooting, bargaining, and chaffering during the time of Divine service. But this only partially removed the evil, for whenever Divine service was not being performed, Paul's Walk was as noisy as ever it had been. There walked those who loved darkness rather than light; neither came to the light lest their deeds might be made manifest. There, though the beasts of the field were excluded, every other abomination was admitted. There went the idle, the splendid, and the gay. There, when everybody else was at the ordinaries, went those who could not afford to pay for a dinner, to dine with Duke Humphrey, who by a popular error was transferred from his tomb in St. Albans Abbey to one that was occupied by a Beauchamp in St. Paul's. Duke Humphrey, while in the flesh, had loved good cheer, and was never so happy as when he was dispensing the