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offering high commissions to any shipping house that would load them at even two thirds the regular price per ton; and so the carrying trade was demoralized at a time when labor and materials were still too high to build new vessels to advant‘ige. This continued from 1865 to 1871-a long and somewhat discouraging period, it must be admitted.
But nothing could cure it; nothing but mere lapse of time, and the destruction of the older vessels so afloat. By 1871 this time had come, and the new demands set ship-builders to devising means for renewed work. In 1872 they got to work, naturally and easily, and the year just closed has a good account to render of every form of ship-building in the United States adapted to the present order of things. New vessels on the Delaware have made a splendid growth, such as no Clyde experience can exceed, and their prospects for 1873 are exceptionally brilliant. Still more satisfactory, in one sense, has been the renewal of wooden shipbuilding in every yard of the East, from Boston to Calais, and the construction there of some two hundred vessels of an aggregate of seventy-five thousand tons of the best new forms for trade in that section-chiefly three-masted schooners. And so quietly has this work been taken up and carried forward that it bursts upon us in statistical results in the first instance, and in a general expression of exultation over work already don—not a promise of something which some disaster might still defeat in execution.
This is the briefest summary of ship-building history as a fact ; but of its literature, as we may call it, or of its reports and investigations in Congress; its declamatory writing in the newspapers and reviews; its agitations in boards of trade and commercial conventions, we have a far different and less satisfactory record to make. To those who read these essays only, and never looked-up the facts, the ship-building question doubtless appeared to be one of those great, fundamental errors of the time, on which, if the policy of the country were not changed, the country itself would be made a wreck. Several public-spirited Eastern gentlemen, with the aid of New York editors and a powerful body in Congress, had joined in making a fearful case of this, which, for magnitude and for the imminence of its dangers, seemed at times within the last two years to threaten overwhelming disasters. If we have really passed the turning point for the better, it may do no practical good to here rehearse the painful story so often told us, or to renew the poignant sense of danger with which many of us were filled as we read Mr. Lynch's report in the House, or heard some one tell of (for surely no man read the proceedings) the debates in the great commercial conventions called by the Boston board of trade.
And now, ship-building having restored itselí in pursuance of the most natural and even necessary principles, perhaps we may say that a flavor of free-trade propagandism all along appeared to penetrate and inspire the most that has been said and done about ship-building for the past five years. For ourselves—the conservative element of the country-our attitude was passive and depreCatory of the promised calamities, rather than disposed to deny anything that might be construed to be against the revival of shipbuilding. Indeed, we were willing to concede almost anything that would secure a return to prosperity, only show us certainly what that thing was. The chief point of attack was the tariff; this, it'was always said, must be got out of the way, or ship-building would never revive. Doubting the necessity for such extreme measures, we only argued as to this question of necessity; we did not refuse to sacrifice even this, if it were proved to be really necessary. Never were assailed people so passive as we have been; and now, as the light lifts on the background, down in Maine, we see that all the contest in the case was conducted by a few outlying skirmishers; the real shipbuilders have been at home at work all the time, and a handsome account for the whole year 1872 they now render to us, with great satisfaction, and not a word of complaint against anybody or any law.
Suppose, therefore, that we hereafter take the representatives of this interest from the ship-yards themselves, and dismiss the orators and declaimers altogether. The future was never so full of hope. In Maine they are certain of doing more and better work in 1873 than in any year of the past ; and on the Delaware the promise is even far greater. Several of the finest iron steamers ever built are near completion, and two or three times as many are set down for their place as soon as these are off the stocks. At Philadelphia, Chester and Wilmington there are great works established, and contracts of the most important character are proposed for nations of the East, as well as for the ordinary transAtlantic trade.
Very soon we propose to give a complete list of these vessels of our section of the Union, and to copy, at that time, the summary for the East, which the papers of Maine have just now published.
PICTURES OF CHRIST.
C ROM its rudest beginnings in the very earliest times, art has T ever been the devoted handmaid of religion. All ancient art was but the necessary outgrowth of the religious feeling of mankind; and in proportion as this feeling was gross or spiritualized did it leave its impress upon art. To this may be attributed the high degree of excellence attained by the Greeks in sculpture and architecture.
But it is Christianity especially that has called forth the highest service of art. It is to the inspiration of Christianity that we owe the sublime and soul-entrancing strains of Bach, Palestrina and Handel; as well as those immortal conceptions which have glorified the names of Michael Angelo, Raphael and Da Vinci. What else could have inspired those poems in stone, the Gothic cathedrals of the middle ages—that miracle of beauty, the cathedral of Milan ; the cathedral of Strasburg, that opus gloriosum of Erwin Von Steinbach, and many others.
The many representations of our Blessed Lord in painting, and in engravings and photographs copied from them, have so familiarized us with the conventional type of features given to Him by artists, that we are forced to the conclusion that they may all be traced to a few common originals. Christian art dates from a very early period.
On the authority of Eusebius we are told that St. Luke added the profession of a painter to that of a physician, and that he painted a portrait of Christ as well as several Madonnas. Although ainong the Jews carved images and those who made them were held in the greatest detestation, yet it is said that Nicodemus, the same who came to Jesus by night, was by profession a sculptor, and that he carved the image of Christ which is still worshiped at Lucca, and to which allusion is made by Dante in the Inferno :
“Here the hallowed vision saves not.” But undoubtedly the most authentic of the early portraits of our Lord are now among the most carefully guarded treasures of the Vatican, in antique mosaics, wall paintings, basso-relievos of marble taken from Christian sarcophagi, fragments of glass, seals, gems, etc. All these interesting memorials of ancient Christian art were removed here from the catacombs, which were closed and all access to them forbidden by Pope Damasus, A. D. 365, so that they must all be of an age prior to that. Tertullian, who wrote about A. D. 160, speaks as if it were in his day, and had been for some time past, the common practice among Christians to ornament the chalice and other eucharistic vessels with portraits of the Saviour and His apostles. Many specimens of these have been preserved. Some of them are of gold, most of them of glass, in rich colors, green, blue, lilac and scarlet, enameled with gold. Besides these, the lacrymatories or tear-vessels, in common use among the Christians in the catacombs, were generally adorned with sacred portraits or monograms; and little metal images of our Lord were laid upon the breasts of the dead. It seems that a favorite mode of depicting the Saviour was in the character of the Good Shepherd. Sometimes He is in the midst of His flock with the seven-reeded pipe of Pan in His hand. Again He is seen with the lost sheep on His shoulder taking it back to the flock. In one instance He is represented performing the miracle at Cana of Galilee, turning the water into wine ; in another raising Lazarus from the dead.
Sometimes He is represented with all the attributes of youth, sometimes in the maturity of manhood ; but in all-sculpture and painting-the artist gives the same cast of countenance, the oval features, the flowing, waving hair, parted in the middle, the pointed beard, the straight nose, and above all the same loving, gen. tle look. From this we would argue that the type of features with which we are so familiar in pictures of our Lord is not merely the ideal creation of the artist's mind, but the very semblance of those features which veiled His divinity while He walked here upon earth, in mortal form. It is scarcely probable, considering the intense and passionate devotion with which He inspired His followers, that no one of the n all would atte npt to figure Him in some shape or other. So that we may safely conclude that as there was in the first place the living model to copy from, the pictures thus taken, with tradition, guided the artist for the first two or three centuries.
One of the mosaics now in the Vatican differs materially from the other representations of our Lord, and is probably the work of a heathen artist. Here He is depicted as a heathen philosopher with a Roman toga, and sitting on a curule chair. Another image of our Saviour, of which there is mention in ancient times, was that in possession of the Emperor Alexander Severus, who wishing to have in his lararium busts of the representatives of all religions, placed it beside those of Orpheus and Apollonius of Tyanea.
After the time of Constantine, when Christianity had become the religion of the empire, and there was no longer any necessity for Christian art to bury itself in the catacombs, it “emerged above ground,” as Lord Lindsey observes; and then so distinctly was Byzantine art identified with Christian art, that in time the two terms became synonymous. And now the original conception of the person of our Lord was handed down from one generation of painters to another, until at last it degenerated into a dry, hard mannerism, devoid of beauty and grace. The Byzantine Madonnas and Christs are characterized by stiffness and lankiness, and by the duskiness of their coloring. However repugnant they are to our truer instincts of art, they cannot fail to be interesting from the fact that they influenced in a great measure the early Italian painters, Cimabue, Giotto, Perugino and Raphael, who by the force of their genius once more infused into painting the freshness and beauty of a new life.
The revival of art in Italy which began in the 13th century, nd which reached its highest perfection in the 16th, was but the outgrowth of the religious enthusiasm and devotion of that period.
True, the overthrow of the Byzantine empire, in 1204, and the consequent influx of Byzantine artists into Italy, gave an impulse
to declining art in the west ; but this was a subsidiary, not the predisposing cause; for without the intense religious feeling which pervaded the whole of Italy at that time, art would never have blossomed forth in such peerless glory.