Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

was sinking fast, the Sister went round to Mrs. Lane and Mr. Stanley. Harold could not speak when they came; no need to tell them he was dying. Mr. Stanley led up little Nellie to receive her brother's kiss, saying, “She has just been baptized, and I am her godfather.” Harold looked very much pleased, but the power of speech was gone. Then each stooped down to kiss him, his mother last of all, after which Mr. Stanley read a prayer, and gave the blessing.

Presently the sick child turned his head as if in search of some one, and fixed his eyes on Janie with a pleading look.

“Sing,” said Mr. Stanley softly, “that is what he wants."

Poor Janie seemed quite incapable of complying, her sobs came thick and fast,—then in the stillness there rose in a rich, but modulated tenor, the words sung by the priest himself, —

“ O heavenly Jerusalem

Of everlasting halls,
Thrice blessed are the people

Thou storest in thy walls.
“ Thou art the golden mansion

Where saints for ever sing,
The seat of God's own chosen,

The palace of the King.
“ There God for ever sitteth

Himself of all the crown,
The Lamb the light that shineth

And never goeth down.
Nought to this seat approacheth

Their sweet peace to molest,
They sing their God for ever,

Nor day nor night they rest.
“ Sure hope doth thither lead us

Our longings thither tend,
May short-lived toil ne'er daunt us

For joys that cannot end.
• To CHRIST the Sun that lightens

His Church above, below,
To FATHER and to SPIRIT

All things created bow.And ere the last lines were ended the weary little spirit had left the suffering body, and nought but the memory of the sweet child was left to comfort those who mourned him. Long afterwards was the remembrance of little Harold treasured in the wards of that hospital, and Janie too was missed, for she little knew she had been as a ministering angel in that abode of suffering, bringing hope and comfort to many a desolate heart by the words she sang.

Truly was she one who remembered that “ baptism doth represent unto us our profession, which is to follow the example of our SAVIOUR CHRIST, and to be made like unto Him.”

A MISSION CHAPEL. “Look thy mill go aright with four sails, and the post stand with steadfastness. With right and with might, with skill and with will, let might help right, and skill go before will, and right before might, so goeth our mill aright.”

THESE quaint old words seem somehow peculiarly appropriate to what I am about to tell you-for, surely, no mill ever went so much aright, even after it had ceased to be that for which it was originally built, as the now Mission Chapel of the Holy Cross, once an old windmill. And I am writing this little account—firstly, because I think it cannot fail to be interesting to members of the dear old Church of England; and, secondly, because it may suggest to some one else, in some other part of England, to thus utilise a building, for the highest use, which would otherwise only remain a picturesque object, or a subject for an artist's picture.

In a Surrey parish, at its far end, the necessity of having a Mission Chapel was much felt for the supplying of the spiritual needs of those folks who lived so far from the parish church.

On the beautiful common, nearly in the centre of the houses where the people lived, on the top of a little hill, was a disused windmill, and the turning such into the required use, came into the heads of some good people near, who, with the consent of the vicar of the parish, purchased it for that purpose, and any one seeing the old mill now would admit that the thought of thus turning it to account was surely a Godgiven inspiration.

The mill is, as I said before, beautifully situated, and is about one hundred years old; it is a very handsome one, too, of its kind, and the lower part of it is used for divine service, which is held there every Sunday, with a celebration of the Holy Communion once a month. All the internal arrangements are charming; the most has been made of everything, and it now appears as a truly devotional little place of worship. It is, of course, round, and will hold about fifty people. A

little vestry has been built at the side, and there is a small surpliced choir.

The altar is opposite the door, and an old oak beam, very thick and massive, comes down from the centre of the roof, and from it four smaller ones go to the walls ; on these the candles are arranged for lighting the chapel.

The buttresses, four in number, with the walls, are painted white, picked out with deep red, and on them are red frescoes of scripture subjects, while a text runs the whole way round the top. It is all most artistically arranged, and more decoration is contemplated.

The altar is always cared for, with its flowers and hangings, and, certainly, the people for whom it has all been prepared are much to be congratulated on their Windmill Chapel of the Holy Cross. Its name has a meaning. There once was a chapel so called in the parish, many, many years ago, which was, alas, turned into a mill, and then into an inn, (now known as the Red Cross Inn.) So it was thought the turning the mill into a chapel would be a sort of consecration.

I was first present at service there, on the anniversary of its second dedication, and as I saw it under very favourable, and I think beautiful circumstances, I should like just to mention them.

It happened that the Holy Cross Day fell this year on a Friday, so it was more than usually appropriate. The Mill Chapel was beautifully decorated with heath, fern, ivy, sunflowers, &c., arranged along the old beams, and the service was at eight in the evening, there having been an early celebration.

The walk across the common was very pretty, but when we reached the summit of the hill, and stood up by the chapel and looked back, the scene was really beautiful. It was a clear moonlight night, and the outline of the hills on the left was quite distinct, while below, the common with its gorse bushes and fern stretched for some distance, the lights in the background from the various houses in the parish reminding one of civilization in the almost wild-looking spot. Inside the mill was lighted up, and already nearly full.

The service began with a processional hymn, and evensong was fully choral,—the little chapel being so crowded that many sat in the vestry and porch, and some few stayed outside most of the time. Hymns, “When I survey the wondrous Cross,” “Through the night of doubt and sorrow,” were also sung, and there was something very uncommon and beautiful, yet at the same time very catholic, in singing that last particular hymn in such a building; one went back in thought to the different way in which it had been used, and it seemed delightful to realise that that which had before supplied bread for our bodily wants, was now giving food for the souls of those living around it. The sermon, simple and impressive, was upon the lessons of the Cross, and its daily, hourly influence on Christians—the preacher reminding his hearers that no one could be a true Christian unless he diligently kept the Ten Commandments. Hymn, “Praise the LORD, ye heavens, adore Him,” was sung at the end.

The Mill Chapel was so full, that many of the congregation (I among the number) at the back moved out before the choir, and I shall never forget the effect. The moon was almost full, the sky cloudless, and the old windmill sails stood out against it in the soft light like great protecting arms over all. The door was open, and one looked straight on to the altar, with its vases of lovely flowers and cross, and then the choir in their white surplices moved out, singing words in which we outside also joined,

“ Praise the God of our salvation,

Hosts on high, His praise proclaim,
Heaven and earth and all creation

Laud and magnify His name. Amen."

And one felt, standing out there on such a night, that indeed His creation was admirable and wonderful, and I do not think I shall ever forget the anniversary service of the dedication of the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

A. CAZENOVE.

TO OUR READERS.

It has been for some time matter for consideration with the Proprietors of the Churchman's Companion whether it was worth while continuing its publication. Every new penny Church paper or magazine detracts from the number of its subscribers ; and not only have such periodicals multiplied considerably, but there is a growing tendency to get special interests, like Temperance, Purity, and Boys' and Girls' Societies, represented in the press. The crisis, however, seems now to have arrived when so many good Magazines are published at the

same price as our own. Of course they have no distinctive Church character, but they do not exclude Church subjects. Our periodical has indeed had a longer tenure of existence than any other devoted to the maintenance of Church principles. Several magazines of a similar character started after the commencement of the Churchman's Companion were all withdrawn at a much earlier period.

Under these circumstances the Proprietors of the Churchman's Companion have come unwillingly to the conclusion that it will be more graceful to retire from the competition than to wait the time when a diminished patronage would necessitate the step,—and they do this with the less regret because they feel that the opinions which the Churchman's Companion has consistently maintained during so many years have really won for themselves a very general acceptance, and so they have no fear but that the same progress will continue to be made. At no period has popular literature been in such a healthy state as it is now.

In conclusion, it remains only for the Editor to offer most sincere thanks to the contributors for their able assistance and to all who have in other ways supported the Magazine. We venture to hope that its influence will still live in the good work it has effected among many readers, and that with all who have known it the Churchman's Companion will ever remain as a pleasant memory.

Reviews and Notices. Messrs. Dean and Son (London) have just published various kinds of chromo picture reward books, which are really a marvel of cheapness, considering their excellence both in letter-press and illustrations ; for a shilling we have a packet of little moral stories, each one adorned with six coloured pictures besides the gaily decorated covers ; these are intended for young children. So also are the “Rose and Lily" series, strongly bound in boards, and with a well drawn and coloured illustration on every one of their pages, --some of these, such as “ The Little Traveller,” give a great deal of useful information. Their very moderate price is sixpence, and for the same sum we have some handsome books intended for more mature readers, though equally well illustrated—these contain the story of “John Bunyan's Faithful Wife,” “The Sea King," and many more which are full of instruction and interest. Those collections will be much prized in parish schools and elsewhere as rewards.

The volume of My Sunday Friend (Mowbray, Oxford) for the past year is also a rare shilling's worth of valuable matter, with every attraction which

« AnteriorContinuar »