“Somehow the statue escaped” – the title of a post by Mac at Light on Dark Water, about a 14th century statue of the Virgin and Child made in the English Midlands, which avoided destruction in the Puritan iconoclasm:


The title of Mac’s post summoned up the mental image of a fugitive statue, sneaking around while malicious Puritan wrecking mobs prowl the area, seeking anything they can smash. So…


I respect the Puritans of old, it must be said – their hard-headed, practical mysticism, immense conviction and bravery; even if their attitude towards art and beauty was lacking. Chesterton, commenting on John Bunyan, said:

The word “savage” used here may, perhaps be misunderstood as indicating an animadversion against Puritanism; I use the word as a compliment. … Religion was indeed preached by the Cavaliers, both before and after the great war: before it, as a very noble scheme of national civilization; after it, as a very ingenious cog-wheel in the political constitution. Between the two rises Puritanism, a naked and roaring giant, announcing that religion is a wheel in no policy, a part of no civilization; a thing as old as fear, and as rapacious as love; that religion is what it really is, a terror, a splendor, a necessity, and a nuisance.

Amen to that. And on the subject of that saved from the wreck – an apropos song for the new year:



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