THE AURA OF THE EDIFICE.
[To THE EDITOR Olt THE "SPECTATOR."]
Sra,—The article—so admirable on the whole—on the above-mentioned subject in your last issue did less than justice to the aura of the chapel. Granted the wondrous impressiveness of the "high embowed roof" and "storied window," such help is not essential to worship, as every one knows, and as witness more than one reference to acts of worship under war conditions by your esteemed contributor, "A Student in Arms." Nay, bareness of outline and absence of ornament in a building used for worship have a certain fitness, as helping to throw the mind back upon the direct object of attendance there. What says Charles Lamb ? "The Abbey Church of Westminster hath nothing so solemn, so spiritu- ally soothing, as the naked walls and benches of a Quakers' Meeting." When Baxter or Bunyan was preaching, one thinks the aura of the place would not be lacking in an air of devotion, nor that of the chapel that knew the voice of Dale or Maclaren. But church or chapel, we come back to the old cry : "Who will chew us any good ? Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us I "—I am, Sir, &o., Nox-CoN.
[We agree. There is nothing more soul-shaking than the thought of the bright, pure, spiritual flame burning in the humblest, barest surroundings. Compared to it the high-arched nave and the fretted roof seem gross material things. Those "who rolled the psalm to wintry skies" had more of the true spirit than the men whose devotions were stimulated by the sweet singing in the choir or the pealing organ's note of praise. But granted that—and we grant it fully—it must be admitted that when the personal spiritual spell is not being east the church has the better of the chapel in the matter of its aura.—En. Spectator.]