Glory In Stone

The great age of Christian faith fulfilled its passion of spirit in the soaring vaults and glowing glass of the Gothic cathedral

The glorious west front of the great cathedral in Lincoln, England, was found some years ago to be leaning out of plumb. It was tilting at the terrifying rate of one inch every sixteen days. More, two of the angelic trinity of bell-towers were discovered to be in danger of collapse. At risk of their lives, masons temporarily shored up the structure which Ruskin had called the most precious piece of architecture in the land. But $600,000 would be required for the permanent rescue job (by the delicate operation of grouting with fluid mortar).Read more »

“the Wall Of Separation”

The Founding, Fathers never did agree about the proper relationship between church and state. No wonder the Supreme Court has been backing and filling on the principle ever since.

THE SUPREME COURT has been busy of late scrutinizing the “wall of separation,” a figure of speech attributed to Thomas Jefferson. It is not like the ugly Berlin Wall, built of concrete blocks and topped with broken glass and barbed wire. Rather it is more like a double-mirrored screen. Persons standing on either side discover whatever preconceptions about the First Amendment they may have brought with them. Read more »

Sporting Glass

The largest Gothic cathedral in the Western Hemisphere has the strangest stained-glass windows in the world

TO A CASUAL OBSERVER , the first window on the north face of New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine looks as traditional and reverent as stainedglass windows the world over. But viewed up close, the fourteen thousand pieces of glass reveal scenes of baseball, fishing, and golf—almost as if to remind worshipers of the fun they might be having if they weren’t in church. Much of the credit for the window’s unconventional design belongs to Elizabeth Manning, daughter of William T. Manning, Bishop of New York from 1921 to 1946.Read more »

Zion In The Forest

Roger Williams liked Indians and almost everyone else, and he founded a colony that gave our freedom a broader horizon

There is a legend about Roger Williams that is exceedingly popular among Americans. There is also a truth which is slowly emerging from the welter of fancies. The truth is less simple than the legend, for most legends are oversimplifications. But it has some even more dramatic aspects than the beloved myth and it accords better, too, with the mental development of the normal human being. If it dims the halo of this pioneer of American liberty, it gives him a warmth, a nearness to ourselves that we could hardly feel while he stood on the pedestal.

Read more »