Illustrations of Baptismal Fonts

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London, 1844 - Fonts - 248 pages
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1844/ n.p / Inner Annexe L

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Page 9 - ... eye to guess at its probable antiquity. For it is manifest that the date of the church in which it may be placed is the most unsafe and unconvincing evidence that can be followed in deciding that of the font. The sanctity rightly and reasonably attached to the consecrated instrument of a Holy Sacrament, caused the careful preservation of fonts unchanged by centuries of rebuilding and alteration. Thus we cannot doubt that a considerable number of fonts now exist in England wherein the Saxon infant...
Page 25 - ... ordinary cases without the use of lead. Hence, in part at least, arose the use of wooden covers, which were not, as some suppose, mere useless ornaments, but designed to keep the water always fresh and clean. The reason assigned by Lyndwode is propter sortilegio — to avoid magic influences. The earlier Fonts were covered with a flat board, fastened down by staples fixed in the stone, and projecting above the upper margin. These very frequently remain, though the covers have long disappeared...
Page 9 - ... is every reason to believe that the Stone Font in Staunton Church is of very early date, and of very primitive workmanship. There is no reason why it may not be pre-Norman; and as it bears no distinctive Saxon characteristics it might even go back to a still earlier period. Mr. Paley remarks that " a rude block of stone hollowed out at the top, with scarcely a moulding or a particle of sculpture upon it, requires a practical eye to guess at its probable antiquity. For it is manifest that the...
Page 12 - ... must conclude that though some part of the baptismal rite was performed before entering the church, the Font itself was never placed in so inconvenient a place ; especially as no vestige seems ever to have been observed of such having once been the fact. We may here remark, that little reliance must be placed on the kind of stone used for the Font differing from or agreeing with that of the church, as furnishing an evidence of coeval date : for many quarries which supplied rag or small ashlar...
Page 30 - Churches, p. 92. tween two nave piers. The typical signification of proximity to a doorway, entrance into the Church by Baptism, is well known. If a Font is found anywhere eastward of the centre of the nave it is almost sure to have been moved from its original place. At Milton near Cambridge it is against the chancel arch, and appears long to have occupied that unusual...

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