vol II date / index
St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, A.D. 1336. St. Procopius, A.D. 303. Sts. Kilian, Colman, and Totnam, A.D. 688. St. Withburge, 10th Cent. B. Theobald, 13th Cent. St. Grimbald, A. D. 903.
Every one must have been struck by the great number of new churches erected within the suburbs of the metropolis, and the novel forms of their steeples; yet few have been aware of the difficulties encountered by architects in their endeavours to accommodate large congregations in edifices for public worship. Sir Christopher Wren experienced the inconvenience when the fifty churches were erected in queen Anne's time. He says, "The Romanists, indeed, may build large churches; it is enough if they hear the murmur of the mass, and see the elevation of the host, but ours are to be fitted for auditories. I can hardly think it practicable to make a single room so capacious with pews and galleries, as to hold above two thousand persons, and both to hear distinctly, and see the preacher. I endeavoured to effect this, in building the parish church of St. James's, Westminster, which I presume is the most capacious, with these qualifications, that hath yet been built; and yet, at a solemn time, when the church was much crowded, I could not discern from a gallery that two thousand were present. A moderate voice may be heard fifty feet distant before the preacher, thirty feet on each side, and twenty behind the pulpit; and not this, unless the pronunciation be distinct and equal, without losing the voice at the last word of the sentence, which is commonly emphatical, and, if obscured, spoils the whole sense. A French is heard further than an English preacher, because he raises his voice, and does not sink his last words. I mention this as an insufferable fault in the pronunciation of some of our otherwise excellent preachers; which schoolmasters might correct in the young, as a vicious pronunciation, and not as the Roman orator spoke; for the principal verb is in Latin usually the last word; and if that be lost, what becomes of the sentence?"
Evening Primrose. Oenothera biennis.
Dedicated to St. Elizabeth.