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gionist, indeed, who fancies that a candlestick placed on the Altar of God is Romanism; or the erection of the sacred symbol of our profession is idolatry; may sneer at the care and expense bestowed upon the Holy of Holies within this Church; but he is little competent to judge of the feelings of the pious donors. He may think, that a worm-eaten table, and a green cloth, discoloured with age and damp, are good enough whereon to celebrate the highest of all Festivals, while his own table may groan with all those sumptuous decorations which he denies to the Altar of the Lord. But let him attend the services of this Church. He will see nothing of religion. made comfortable and luxurious to the worshippers, while more sacred objects are neglected. He will see no idle loungings, no impatient vacuity of countenance; but amongst high and low, rich and poor, he will observe the same reverence and humility, the natural fruit of due attention to holy things.
But we have occupied so much space on the more important particulars respecting this Church, that we have only left enough for a brief account of the edifice itself.
It occupies a situation on the new road leading from the Castle hill to the westward, and overlooking the old town on the south. The building extends east and west along the road, having the west end joined to some high building; at the east end, which is open, a flight of steps descends to the lower ground behind, which forms a terrace for the school-yard. A lofty and commodious school-room has thus been obtained under the Church floor; the space under the Chancel, however, is not so occupied, but closely built up. Between the west gable of the nave, and the adjoining building, there is a space of 15 feet, which forms the porch and a gallery for the children of the school, 150 in number, for whose accommodation this arrangement, from the limited extent of the ground, was found requisite. This loft, or gallery, is divided from the nave by three pointed arches, resting on circular columns.
The whole length of the Church, which consists of a nave and chancel, is 81 feet, of which the chancel is 21 feet: it is 23 feet in width, and divided from the nave by a lofty pointed arch, springing from single columns. The roof is constructed with arched timbers, and the floor laid with encaustic tiles. On the south side is a small vestry.
The nave is 28 feet in width: the roof constructed with open
timbers the seat benches are of stained deal, and with the gallery will accommodate 500 persons.
The style of the whole is early English, with triple lancet windows, after the pattern of Warmington Church in Northamptonshire.
The Altar is of stone, and of elaborate workmanship, covered with richly carved foliage, and displaying the sacred Monogram, the Agnus Dei, and the Pelican in her piety. It is also provided with exceedingly richly wrought vestments. The eastern window of the chancel is filled with stained glass of a very rich and chaste design, exhibiting, in the upper compartment of the centre, the Crucifixion, with St Mary and St John on either side; and underneath a figure of St Columba, between St Andrew and St Paul. The remaining portions are filled with representations of various scenes in the life of our Blessed Lord.
A very elegant and beautiful rood screen divides the Chancel from the nave. It is of carved oak; the lower part close pannelled work ; the upper, open arched work; above which in the centre, rises a magnificent cross. The pulpit is of stone, with carved mouldings, principally of the ball flower, the favourite decoration of the style in which the Church is built.
The entrance to it is by steps from the
The Font, which is large, and stands, of course, near the entrance, is richly carved. It is supported by a large central pillar surrounded by smaller detached shafts. The pattern was from the Church of All Saints, Leicester.
Divine service takes place every day in the year; on week days at 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. On Sundays, days commemorative of the Saints, and other festivals enjoined by the Church, there is full service at the usual hour, and celebration of the Holy Eucharist, which is always according to the Scottish use.
ST MATTHEW XIII. 52.
TRANSLATION OF HYMN FOR THE
QUE STELLA SOLE PULCHRIOR.
BY THE REV. B. D. WINSLOW, M.A. 'To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.'
WHAT Star is this that now shines MOTHER! I am sometimes told
More brilliant than the day?
Now prophecies of ancient Seers
And while without the Star excites,
Their fearless love brooks no delay;
At the Almighty's call.
So Christ, when thou our souls dost draw,
By thy clear star of grace,
Praise to the Father, who is Light,
R. K. T.
By the wanderers in the dark,
To the blinded sons of strife,
She hath precious words of life.
Led me through life's thorny ways,
Weeping by the blood-stained cross,
So thou win the Lamb who died.'
Mother! can I ever turn
From thy home, thy peaceful ark,
ST AGATHA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR.
She was the daughter of an illustrious and wealthy house in Sicily, and was famed for her beauty, and gentle amiable manners. But her love was consecrated to God from her very earliest youth. Quintianus, the consular of Sicily, as the governor was then called, admired her exceedingly, and the holy virgin retired to Palermo to avoid his importunity. As it often happened in these days of heathen cruelty, his love was turned into hatred when he discovered that she was a Christian. She was seized and brought to Catania ; and all the way thither she could only weep and pray to the Lord to strengthen her for the conflict which awaited her. Every means were tried during the space of a month to prevail on her to forget her vow; but
she was supported by continual prayer, and at last came off victorious from this lingering martyrdom. She was privately examined before Quintian as to her faith, and confessed Christ with undaunted firmness, declaring the service of the Lord Jesus to be the highest nobility, and the truest freedom. She was then sent to prison, to which she went joyfully, recommending herself to God, and entreating His aid. The day after, she was tortured on the rack, and suffered with calmness and constancy. When her breasts were cut off, she mildly reproached the inhuman Quintian with the remembrance of his own infancy, and with the tenderness of his mother. She was then led back to prison, and all sustenance and medical aid were denied her.
In four days after, Agatha was again tortured, and on being remanded once more to prison, she raised her hands and eyes towards heaven, and thanked her Lord for having given her strength to endure every torment, and for having taken from her all love of the world and of this passing life. And she prayed, that if it might be, He would now take her to Himself, to enjoy His abundant mercy. Her prayer was heard, and she sweetly fell asleep in the Lord. The people buried her with great honour. Quintian no sooner heard of her death, than he hastened to confiscate her goods. But the anger of Almighty God followed him, and he was drowned in crossing a river.
St Agatha received the crown of martyrdom on the 5th of February in the year 251, during the Decian persecution, which began towards the end of the year249.
'Of the love of the heavenly life,' says St Gregory, 'Solomon well says, Love is strong as death; for as death destroys the life of the body, so the desire of eternal life kills the love of earthly things. For not even that Saint, whose birthday we this day celebrate, could have died in her body, for the Lord, unless she had first died in mind to all earthly desires. For her soul being raised up to the height of virtue, despised tortures, and contemned every reward. She stood before armed kings and governors, stronger than the striker, higher than the judge. What shall we, rude and enervated as we are, say, when we see maidens going to the heavenly kingdom through the sword; we, whom anger overcomes, whom pride puffs up, whom ambition disturbs, and luxury pollutes? If we cannot attain that celestial kingdom through the war of persecutions, let this be our shame, that we will not follow God through peace. For to none of us does he say at this day—Die for Me; but only, Kill in thee all forbidden desires. We then, who will not in peace subdue the desires of the flesh, how shall we be able in war to conquer the flesh itself for the Lord's sake?'-From the Pathway of the Just.
It is reported in the Bohemian Story, that St Wenceslaus, their king, one winter night going to his devotions in a remote church, barefooted in the snow and sharpness of unequal and pointed ice, his servant Podavivus, who waited upon his master's piety, and endeavoured to imitate his affections, began to faint through the violence of the snow and cold, till the king commanded him to follow him, and set his feet in the same footsteps which
his feet should mark for him. The servant did so, and either fancied a cure, or found one, for he followed his prince, helped forward with shame and zeal to his imitation, and by the forming footsteps for him in the snow. In the same manner does the blessed Jusus; for since our way is troublesome, obscure, full of objection and danger, apt to be mistaken and to affright our industry, He commands us to mark his footsteps, to tread where his feet have stood, and not only invites us forward by the argument of his example, but he hath trodden down much of the difficulty, and made the way easier and fit for our feet. For he knows our infirmities, and Himself hath felt their experience in all things, but in the neighbourhoods of sin; and, therefore, He hath proportioned a way and a path to our strength and capacities, and, like Jacob, hath marched softly, and in evenness, with the children and the cattle, to entertain us by the comforts of His company, and the influences of a perpetual guide.—Bishop J. Taylor.
SALVATION ONLY IN THE CHURCH.
Let not them think that they are in the way of life and salvation, if they will not obey the Bishops and Priests; for in Deuteronomy the Lord God says: ́ And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest or judge, whosoever he shall be, in those days, that man shall die, and all the people shall hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously.’— Chap. xvii. 12, 13. God commanded them to be slain who did not hearken unto His priests, and obey the judges appointed by Him for a season; then, indeed, they were slain with the sword, when the carnal circumcision was yet in force; but now that there hath begun to be a spiritual circumcision among the faithful servants of God, the proud and contumacious are killed by the spiritual sword, in that they are cast out of the Church. For they cannot have life out of it, because the house of God is one, and there cannot be salvation for any, except in the Church. But that the undisciplined perish, in that they neither listen to nor obey wholesome precepts, holy Scripture testifies, saying, 'An undisciplined person loveth not one that reproveth him. And they who hate reproof shall be shamefully consumed.' Prov. xv. 12, 10. Therefore, that none be consumed and perish for want of discipline, endeavour, dearest brother, as much as you can, to rule the brotherhood by wholesome counsels, and advise each one to his own salvation. 'Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, by which we enter into life;' Matt. vii. 14; but exceedingly great is the reward when we have passed through unto glory.-St Cyprian.
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO PRAY?
Concerning the times of prayer there is nothing prescribed at all, save simply, 'to pray always' and 'everywhere.' (St Luke xviii. 1; 1 Tim. ii. 2.) But how everywhere, when we are forbidden in public?* Everywhere, he saith, where opportunity, or even necessity, hath given occasion. For it is not accounted an act contrary to the commandment in the apostles, who in the * Vide St Matthew vi. 5, 6.