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The old roof has been retained, the plaster having been removed, and hoarding substituted, and the tie beams cut away. This roof is of steep pitch, and covered with tiles; the aisle roof is also open, but of flat pitch, and leaded. The Church is built with Bargate stone, with quoins and other dressings of Bath stone, and the harmony of colour in these materials is particularly good. The lower part of the steeple is of stone, the belfry stage, however, and the spire are of timber, and the latter is covered with oak shingles. There are delicate wooden spire lights, and a number of circular openings cusped in the belfry. The bells have been re-cast, and the peal consists now, we believe, of six. The carving has been executed by Mr. Phillips, of London. The stained glass is from the manufactory of Mr. Hardman, and most satisfactorily maintains his high reputation. The west window, which contains in a large circle in the head S. Michael and the Dragon, and in the four lower lights very beautiful figures of the four Evangelists, is, as a piece of rich and brilliant, yet harmonizing colouring, one of the most effective we have seen. Another window in the east end is also filled with stained glass. The children are all seated in the aisle, and in which the seraphine has been very judiciously placed. The font is of Romanesque character, and designed and carved, we believe, by one of the daughters of the Incumbent. The chancel, which, as we have said, is very small indeed, is screenwork of simple character, in oak, some five or six feet into the nave, and is fitted on either side with stalls for the use of the officiating Clergyman, in saying prayers, and, we presume, for the choir. The pulpit, which is entered from the chancel stalls, is of oak, and placed in the north-east angle of the nave.
All the seats are open, very simple in their design, and uniform throughout. The main entrance to the Church is by the tower, and as this is entirely free of seats, the effect of spaciousness which it gives is very pleasant. The works have been executed from the designs of Mr. G. E. Street, the Diocesan Architect of Oxford. The Church is warmed with hot air, by Messrs. Haden, of Trowbridge. The great want of the Church is a chancel more commensurate in scale and character with the Church which has been added to it.
“ The cost of the erection of this sacred edifice is £1,327 12s. towards which £900 were raised by subscriptions, and £200 by Church rate, leaving a deficit of £227 12s. This balance, we are informed, was reduced to the extent of about £100, the amount of collection in the Church on Thursday.”
In our last number, we mentioned Mr. Fish's Lecture on Plain Song, delivered to the Oxford Society. It is very brief, but very practical, simple, yet cogent in its statements, and we should be glad to learn that it commands the circulation it merits. In meeting the accusation that those of us who contend for Plain Song, are opposed to what is called higher class music, Mr. Fish says :
“ First I think we shall help people to understand what is our object in advocating Plain Song, if we explain what it is not. An idea has gone forth, that because we plead for the use of this music in our Services, we consequently exclude all other. No wonder, then, that those who have thought so begin to get alarmed. They lay hold of the wording of one of our Papers, and ask, 'Do you call Bird's, Bow down Thine ear; Tallis's, If ye love Me ; Farrant's, LORD, for Thy tender mercies' sake, -spurious ? No; these, and the school of Church Music, of which they are the type, claim our highest regard and veneration, not merely for their great intrinsic merits, but because we recognize in them the embodiment of the same principles of musical science, and the same system of scales as in the more simple, but equally expressive Plain Song."
Mr. Fish next alludes to the authority and antiquity of Plain Song, and concludes with the following sensible remarks
“ These then are the circumstances we have to meet, the competency of our congregations to sing music presenting a strongly marked melody, and their inaptitude to join in what is commonly set before them. Now I think Plain Song meets these circumstances. Its essential is melody, (not necessarily unison,) a firm vigorous melody, a melody not polluted by male voices, but strengthened, improved, made more telling and hearty by the addition of them. It is within the compass of all voices, as you must have observed. Its execution necessitates no close study or careful musical instruction. It is emphatically the people's Church music. Do not think I am saying anything against harmony. We must have that also ; it will be best supplied by the organ, or if there is not one, by the trained voices of the choir. But let the melody be well supported, and the harmony a minor point. I might say much of the value of Plain Song (especially for the Psalms) as a means of musical recitation ; any of you must have noticed in chanting these Psalms how readily each syllable and word finds its true emphasis and expression, a result the Anglican chant has utterly failed to produce. Chanting is musical reading; it must be flexible and accommodate itself to the ever varying rhythm of the Psalms. Sound must give way to and illustrate sense, which cannot be if we are shackled by bars and fixed rules. This, then, has been our object in the formation of this Society; and that it has not been unsuccessful is evident from the fact that we already, short as our career has been, number nearly eighty members, amongst them representatives from most of the Parish Churches in Oxford. And it is a source of great gratification, not merely that a few lovers of antiquity and æsthetics, but that all classes, University and City, Parish Priests, and College Tutors, have combined to aid in so practical a purpose.”
The Bishop of Graham's Town has issued a characteristic and stirring appeal in behalf of his diocese, which we trust will secure him somewhat of the aid so much needed. Mr. FLOWER has published a vindication of the National Society, against the charges of Mr. Girdlestone, and the Church Education Society. Mr. PYE's Ecclesiastical History, will, we hope, find acceptance in many quarters, as we admire the temper and spirit in which it is written. It is dedicated by permission to the Bishop of Oxford. The Sensibility of Separate Souls, by CALEB WEBB, is in the main a very thoughtful book; and though we cannot agree with all the statements contained in it, we are rejoiced to find such a subject handled, and thank the author for his explanation of many passages. The right of the Baptized to be present at Holy Communion opens out a wide subject of controversy. For ourselves, we are at one with the author, and think that he has treated his subject with great judgment and discrimination, and those of our readers who peruse the pamphlet, cannot but be struck with the force of the arguments. England's real Strength in time of War, is an admirable Sermon, by Mr. HUTTON; and A Few Words to the Girls we have left behind us, is by far the best little tract we have read for a long time : it cannot be too widely circulated.
Notices to Correspondents. PRESBYTER.-We cannot agree with Presbyter, but are, on the contrary, delighted to see our people do that of which he complains, as it tends much to reverence, and increased devotion. As to his second, we know no tract of the nature he mentions, but think that the best one is the impression made by the Priest himself. At least, we find it so.
A YOUNG CHURCH WOMAN should receive in the open palm of her hand. We wish this custom were more generally observed than it is, as it would prevent much irreverence.
Delta is thanked, and heartily, for his contribution to the Kingskerswell Parochial School. If our readers knew the peculiarities of this parish, they would each and all send a mite, and cheer the heart of one who, for seven years past, has endeavoured to contribute to their amusement and edification. We may say, in the words of a great Bishop, to whom they are known, “yours is indeed a peculiar case.''
INQUIRER. We are drawing up a list of books, of the nature required, and when complete, we shall publish it.
Various contributions have been received. Those from S. E., Rev. R. L., J. M., and C. B., are respectfully declined with thanks.
D. L. C., arrived too late for us to give the opinion he wished.
“Firel bring me fire! Stand close, and urge the foe!
Jove gives us now a day worth all the past !
“Is the danger, then, so very imminent ?" inquired Leontius (some two hours later on the same night) of a withered old man, with whom he was shut up in his tent alone.
“ Most imminent; most deadly;" replied the renegade Baltazar, chief astrologer to Mahomet, spreading a parchment, inscribed with a horoscope, on the table ; " It is clear to every one. Look for yourself, my lord! In one hour from this time a most deadly sign will stand in the House of Life. Observe here, again, in the sextile, and in the secundan !"
“Is there no hope ?” asked Leontius, turning very pale. “Nay, that I said not," answered the astrologer. This I say,—that seldom or never have I beheld a more malignant conjunction of the planets: and there are some things in it which puzzle even me.”