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Glance at the Universe
Gleanings among the Sheaves
Grandmamma's Conversations on the
Hailing a Wherry
Hints on Classical Tuition
Hints on Scripture Reading and
Science Elucidative of Scripture
Simultaneous Method of Teaching to
History of Modern Europe
Holy Women of Old...
Stop and Think
Story of Little Alfred
How to Nurse the Sick
How Young Men may become Great
Illustrated Pocket Critical and Ex-
Kitto's Cyclopædia of Biblical Liter-
Labour among the Navvies
Life of our Lord upon the Earth
Little Crowns, & How to Win Them 430
Madagascar, its Mission and its
Mary Markland, the Cottager's
Manual for Sunday School Teachers 505
the Rev. W. Griffiths
Missions in Western Polynesia
Moses or the Zulu
The Unpreached Gospel an Em-
The Wandering Sheep
Thoughts of Sunshine in Sorrow
The Separating Flood
The Sabbath School
The Two Apprentices
The Way Home...
Thy Kingdom Come.
Three in Heaven
Vindication of Bishop Colenso...
My Ministerial Experiences
Nature's Normal School
Near the Cross
Was he a Hero?.
Watchwords for the Church Militant 180
What hath God wrought?..
Notes on the Gospels
Whose Child are You?
Old Margie's Flower Stall
Workers and their Work
On doing what one does with one's
Words to the Wise
Worth Her Weight in Gold
Our own Fireside
Our Village Girls
Pastoral Recollections and Sketches 110
Adult Classes, how to Teach and sus-
Albion Schools, Bethnal Green
STONEHENGE, in its present aspect of ruin and disorder, gives but a faint impression of its pristine sublimity and grandeur, and yet enough remains to enable us in idea to recover and replace the majestic proportion of the whole. Its ancient name was Choir Gaur, which may be translated, be translated, a circular high place of assembly. The Saxon term, Stonehenge, by which we know it now, means only "the hanging stones," and would naturally occur to a spectator as he gazed in astonishment at its lofty imposts. The plan comprises two concentric circles,and within them two imperfect ovals, forming a cell or sanctum. The outer diameter of the largest circle is 109 feet, and four cubits broad, and the interval between the uprights two cubits wide. The entire circle consisted of thirty stones, crossed at their tops by thirty others, meeting in a kind of architrave; each upright was to be nine cubits high, but at the entrance which faces the north-east, the interval is rather greater. According to modern phraseology and actual computation, the height of the stones on either side the entrance is a little more than thirteen feet, the breadth of one seven feet, of the other six feet four inches, and depth of the transverse over them two feet eight inches; the width of the entrance is five feet. Of the original thirty uprights, seventeen remain. The stones are irregular in form and size, but many of them show
the marks of tools. Eight feet from the interior of this circle is another circle of much smaller stones, rude and uneven in shape; we may assume their proportions to have been half of those in the outer series; they had no horizontal coverings or imposts. Their number, when complete, was forty, and traces of twenty may yet be found. The sanctum of the temple was a space bounded by twothirds of a larger oval, and of an interior smaller oval. The great oval was composed of ten upright stones, capped by five horizontal stones, so as to constitute five sets of trilithons; the uprights rise in height from sixteen to twenty-one feet, the imposts are sixteen feet in length, and not continued beyond the ends of the uprights. Four trilithons remain standing, one fell at the close of the last century, and where it fell its fragments lie Titanic ruins. The small oval consisted of nineteen stones, and eleven of these we still may trace; the inner oval, like the inner circle, was unprovided with any architrave, but the stones of the former were taller and less rugged than those of the latter. Within the sanctum or cell is an altar stone, fifteen feet in length, prostrate on the ground. Beside the circles, ovals, and altar, there are five smaller detached stones, making the entire number that entered into the composition of the building 140. The width of entrance into the cell, left by the incompleteness of its elliptical boundaries, is forty-three feet. The altar-stone faces the entrance into the temple, at a distance from it of fifty-seven feet. The outer circle was constructed of surface stones, or, to adopt the provincial phrase, sarsens-blocks of sandstone that lie strewn about the chalk downs of Wiltshire. The stones of the inner circle are granitic, and must have been brought a considerable distance. Exterior to the outer circle, and 100 feet from it, is a ditch or trench, surrounding the whole, except that, opposite the entrance, it divides into two parallel lines to form an avenue indicating its approach; the trench is flanked on its outer side by an agger or rampart of earth, which has a circumference of 369 yards. It is a distinction between the religious and military works of the ancient British, that in the former the ditch is inside, and in the latter outside, the agger. The avenue runs north-east and south-west, and the entrance of the temple is directed towards that point of the heavens where the sun rises at the summer solstice.
Half-a-mile to the north of Stonehenge is a race-course or hippodrome, extending cast and west for nearly two miles; it is bounded and enclosed by two ditches 200 cubits asunder, or between 300 and 400 feet. At the eastern extremity is a mound of earth running across the course, supposed to be the place set apart for the company who witnessed the race.
Stonehenge has the aspect of having been built at different periods. Mr. Warner started the idea that the Belge having taken this part of the country from the Celts, proceeded to raise a monument of rival magnitude to that of Abury. It is possible that there may have been a primitive Celtic temple to the sun, and that round this the Belgæ erected a larger and more elaborate structure. The conception and completion of the larger and loftier circle has been supposed to denote the civilization of a later age; while the fact of its materials having been drawn from the immediate neighbourhood, has been alleged as an argument that the artificers were not in undisturbed possession of the territory. Assuming, however, as we have a right to do, that Stonehenge was essentially of Druidical origin, we may also believe that in its finished form, if not in its more rudimentary features, it was the latest as it was the grandest of the religious erections of the order; it was the great high sanctuary or metropolitan temple of the realm, the Pantheon of national worship.
A few miles only from the ancient city of Sarum, it has imparted a name of its own to a town more closely adjoining, for the stones of which it was composed were the petræ ambrosiæ, the anointed stones of the Greeks, the ambers of an earlier epoch, such as that which Jacob set up for a pillar, pouring oil on the top of it, vowing a vow and saying, "This stone which I have set up for a pillar shall be God's house." By the word amber was implied something solar and divine; a monument in Cornwall is still called main. amber, or the hallowed stone. The proper anointing material with which stones were consecrated to a religious character and office was the oil of roses, ambrosia, a term applied by the heathen poets to the food of the gods. Hence the parish in which Stonehenge is situate has received the name of Ambrosebury, or Amesbury, though subsequent superstition has made it the shrine of a fabled St. Ambrose. It has been no uncommon thing with the Romish chroniclers to canonize an idea, and then to record the doings of a saint called into existence by their own imagination. Amesbury is distinguished in modern times as the birth-place of Joseph Addison.
The stupendous temple of Abury, (or Avebury,) six miles from Marlborough, is in a state of far greater dilapidation than Stonehenge; but man, rather than time, has been the destroyer. Through the skill and perseverance of antiquarian explorers, especially of Dr. Stukeley, the plan of the work has been successfully traced. Stonehenge was simply circular; Abury represents a serpent with wings transmitted through a circle. The circle, as the figure of the sun, the great natural emblem of the Divine person, became