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rail. It is impossible for any one to convey in language an adequate impression of the magnitude, massiveness, and majesty of the ruins of Furness Abbey. They must be seen to be realized. Architecture rises here into the highest forms of sublimity. The Abbey stands in a secluded valley, hidden from public view by rocks and trees, and a river, as usual, flows near the ruins. What scenes were witnessed here during the Middle Ages. How imposing must the sight have been when the monks passed along these spacious aisles chanting their sublime litanies. These massive walls, broken columns, and ivy-clad windows make an impression on the mind which can never be lost.
After staying at Morecambe a week, one begins to long for a sight of the Lakes. The immediate surroundings of Morecambe are soon exhausted. It is true there is Heysham, with its strawberry gardens, its capital sixpenny tea, its old church, containing some ancient relics, its rugged precipitous rocks, its strange coffins cut into the solid block of stone,-these are all interesting sights, but they can all be seen in one afternoon. Having scoured pretty well the neighbourhood. of Morecambe, the next impulse is to be off to the Lakes. Many visitors to the sea-side, whose time is limited, just catch a glimpse of the Lakes by going with the excursion train, which leaves Morecambe Station daily in summer time, at eight in the morning. This train proceeds to Windermere, by way of Kendal. At Windermere you take omnibus for Bowness, where you get on the steamer for Ambleside. At Ambleside you can take the omnibus again for Grasmere, just catch a glimpse of the Lake, the old church, Wordsworth's tomb, and get back time enough to meet the steamer in the evening on its return for Bowness to meet the excursion train. If you have only one day to give to the Lakes, you cannot do better than take this excursion. The ride by rail is remarkably cheap. You ride something like 80 miles for half-a-crown. If the weather be fine, the beautiful scenery will amply repay you for all your trouble. I saw the lakes for the first time in this way, and had no reason to regret my preliminary visit. But as a matter of course you have to hurry over the
ground in visiting the Lakes by an excursion train. You can linger nowhere, and see nothing to advantage. One day's visit only sharpens the appetite for a fuller view of this enchanting country. Having by a first hasty visit just caught a bird's-eye view of the Lake district, I managed afterwards to spend four whole days in the neighbourhood, and I shall endeavour to give some of my experience during those four days. I wish it to be understood that I have not seen the whole of the English Lakes; it would require at least a fortnight to go through and inspect the whole of the Lake district.
On a Thursday afternoon last August, I left Morecambe Bay for Lancaster. Having walked across this ancient county town to the Castle Station, I took a ticket for Grange-the train started from Lancaster about five in the evening. The train runs nearly the whole of the way on the sea beach, and you catch beautiful glimpses of the capacious bay as you pass along. The evening was beautifully bright. Finding that it would not be convenient to proceed farther that night, I determined to stop at Grange. This latter place is remarkable for its picturesque beauty. It is sheltered from the north and east winds by precipitous and overhanging lime-stone rocks. It has been called the Torquay of the North. The magnificent bay stretches out before you. The place so sheltered from the bleak winds has become a favourite residence for invalids. The rocks rising in the back ground are covered with trees, shrubs, a variety of ferns, and wild flowers. Later on in the evening the stillness of the place was solemn and impressive. Standing on a rock overlooking the bay, I could hear nothing but the call of the sea-birds, and a subdued hum which seemed to come from the opposite coast. Across the water I could see a number of glimmering lights, which reminded you of the seven stars as seen through a mist. These dim lights were the lamps which line the new pier at Morecambe on the opposite side of the bay, a distance of eleven miles.
Morning having come, and a glorious morning it was,-I started to walk to Newby Bridge, a distance of ten miles. I had been told that the walk was an exceedingly fine one, and I was not
disappointed. I left Grange about nine o'clock. As you leave the village for the lakes, you pass the magnificent new hotel, built on the southern side of a sloping hill, and having behind it a plantation of fine trees. Nearly all the hills about Grange are covered with wood, which impart a great beauty and attraction to the place.
Passing from under the shades of these beautiful trees, you come at once into the characteristic scenery of the country. Bold hills and precipitous mountains rise up on every hand. These rugged hills, or fells as the people call them, form the leading. feature of the scenery till you come to Newby Bridge. This bridge is at the foot of the lake Windermere, and gives the name to the inn and few houses found there. At some little distance to the right of the Swan Inn, there is a turning in the road, and seeing the lake before me, I concluded that this road led to the ferry, but not feeling quite sure I asked a boy whom I met he, without informing me that I was wrong, pointed to the omnibus which stood in the front of the Swan Inn, and said that was going to the ferry. I walked on to the inn, had some refreshment; and, on inquiry, found that the 'bus would be half-anhour before it started. As the distance to the ferry was not quite a mile, and thinking I could save sixpence, I determined to walk on. Supposing that the road on which I had already gone a short distance led to the ferry, I did not ask again, but walked on expecting soon to find a turn which would bring me down to the water edge. But I was doomed to disappointment. After walking on for several miles, I found that I was on the wrong side of the lake. There was no help for me; I was obliged to walk to Bowness, a distance of eight miles from Newby Bridge, before I could get on the steamer. Under some circumstances I should have enjoyed this walk very much, but the heat was more intense than it had been any day during the summer.
Bowness is a place of considerable importance. It is one of the principal landing places on Lake Windermere. Many beautiful villa residences adorn the sloping banks leading down to the water. The church yard contains a monument to the memory of Richard Watson, Bishop of Landaff, the author
of the "Apology for the Bible." He died in 1816, at the age of 79. Not far from Bowness are the charming grounds of Elleray, once the residence of John Wilson, better known to the literary world as "Christopher North." He settled down here during the earlier part of his married life, and lived on terms of friendship with Wordsworth and other literary celebrities.
At Bowness you take the steamboat for Ambleside, which is situated at the head of the lake, a distance of about four miles; these four miles give you the finest part of the scenery on Windermere. Several islands come into view. The lake is broad, the hills are bold, and the mountains in the distance lift up their rugged heads. Ornamental dwelling places look forth from between the green woods in great beauty. On your left Wray Castle is a prominent object, and attracts the attention of tourists. To your right, at that part of the lake where the waters reach their widest extent, you see a marble cross on the edge of the lake, with the wavelets dashing against it. I was told that it was to celebrate the memory of a young gentleman from Sheffield, who lost his life here while boating on the lake. You pass the fine hotel at Lowood, said to be a favourite spot of Earl Russell. Leaving this hotel Ambleside comes at once into view. There are a few houses at the waterhead, but the town itself is about a mile from the top of the lake.
Ambleside may be regarded as the Southern metropolis of the lake district, as Keswick is of the North. It has a market place, and contains 1,600 inhabitants. The most conspicuous objects are the new church, which occupies a central position, and the clergyman's house, which stands high up on the hill side.
The old part of the town and the old parish church are to your right as you pass from the Lake head through Ambleside. It was evening when I reached this place, and hearing that the town was full of visitors, I jumped on the omnibus and went on to Grasmere. This is a favourite ride with
all travellers. You pass through Rydal, and see to your right, up in the trees, the little church where Wordsworth used to worship, and the chimneys of the house where the illustrious
poet spent the greater part of his life. About a quarter of a mile farther on, you come to Nab Cottage, where Hartley Coleridge spent several years of his unhappy life, and where he died. The house is now let to visitors, and is generally occupied.
Passing this cottage and Rydal waters, you soon reach Grasmere. Grasmere is almost central in the lake district, and by some is regarded as the gem of the country. The lake is not large like Windermere or Derwent Water, but remarkable for its exquisite beauty. There is a small island nearly in the centre of the lake. This lake
is almost entirely surrounded with mountains. The only openings are the road that leads to Keswick and the road that leads to Ambleside.
Grasmere is celebrated as being the first home of Wordsworth in the lake district. The cottage to which he brought his wife in 1802 is still standing. Having got acquainted with the coachman on my first visit to Grasmere, I found him now a very intelligent companion, and he directed me to a nice clean cottage, where I put in for the night.
(To be continued.)
THE IDEAL CHAPEL: HOW TO GET IT.
THE first objection, apart from the expense, that will be urged against the proposals concerning the Ideal Chapel contained in the March Magazine, will be, that of dissenting churches so large a number are in country districts or in small towns, and consequently that there would not be room enough for each church to have its separate organizations without great loss of power and subsequent failure. In such a case the various congregational churches might unite their efforts and resources for the attainment of those ends which are strictly undenominational. This would
prevent the unseemly rivalry which sometimes manifests itself where the number of small charitable interests is unduly multiplied. One cause of much jealousy and heart-burning would thus be removed. If the equal co-operation of the Established Church could be secured, all true men would rejoice. The difficulty would seem to lie in combining the congregational system inherent in this scheme with the parochial system of the Establishment, and the dissenting democracy with a clerical hierarchy. If this or any similar fusion of diverse churches were to take place, the buildings necessary for these combined operations should be separate from any of the chapels, and should form a distinct group by themselves. But, as a preliminary step, each church would have to accept, in its individual capacity, articles of association forming a legal basis of combined management and a just settlement of rights and privileges.
We have now to revert to the cases of larger churches-those churches which have sufficient strength to stand by themselves. Of the churches of the General Baptists as recorded in the New Con
Undoubtedly in the 46 churches each with 50 members or less the "struggle for existence" is great; it is, however, to the credit of 24 of them that they shew contributions to the Foreign Mission. Apply. ing the same test to the 37 churches with 100 members or less, we find 25 contributing to the same fund. But it is obvious that where the average number of members is under 100, a church could not undertake all the works described, especially when a large allowance has to be made for poor members, and in many cases for several members belonging to the same family. But any church, willing to make the attempt of accomplishing this large sphere of labour, would not necessarily attempt all at once. Having made its arrangements and settled its plan of action, such a church would allow the practical working out of its plans to develop with increased numbers and increasing means.
But the question of expense must always occupy a prominent place in the consideration of those who take a leading and
responsible part in public affairs. It has been stated on high authority that the average annual contributions of the London Baptist churches for all objects connected with the church, but exclusive of seat rents, is twenty shillings per member. This does not of course represent fairly the actual contributions of members. The actual average contribution is really less, because non-members certainly furnish a considerable portion of the funds. We are acquainted with at least one church that contributes more. This church is chiefly composed of middle class or small tradesmen, mechanics, and servants. After deducting the very poor members, the average contribution about forty shillings a member including seat rents, or about thirty shillings a member excluding them. Correcting these amounts for the difference between London and provincial wages, they would be thirty-two shillings and twenty-four shillings respectively.
A few facts, collected for another purpose, will illustrate the monetary condition of people belonging to the same classes as the majority of dissenting congregations. An average London mechanic, earning say thirty shillings a week, will spend on smoking (yet not be an inveterate smoker) about twopence a day-nearly £3 a year. If he drinks beer (without being a drunkard) he will spend from eightpence to tenpence a day in addition. Thus, beer and tobacco together cost from fourteen to seventeen guineas a year. If his wages are less, he spends less. The man earning twenty shillings a week would spend not more, perhaps, than half the above amounts. A clerk or other young man of the middle classes, "without brances," spends about the same amount on smoking but a penchant for cigars costs about £5 instead of £3 per annum. His expenses in drinking, though very differently incurred, are often fully as much as those of the artizan. His tailor's and haberdasher's bills vary with his calling and his fancies. What are the luxuries of shopkeepers and of the middle classes generally, and what these luxuries cost, the readers of this paper will judge best for themselves. It should be observed that the annual totals do not take any account of loss of work; the proportion to the annual income will, however, remain about the same. It will be then not far from the mark to say that of those earning in London thirty shillings a week, or in the provinces twenty-four shillings a week, a very large number (without being inveterate smokers or drunkards) spend a fifth of their income on these two luxuries only.
We do not say that the artizan
portion of the Christian church spends as much as this on these luxuries, nor that those who do so live in any respect as they should do in order to secure health and propriety. Nor do we rank ourselves amongst those who advocate asceticism as a royal road to virtue and true manhood. These figures are given solely with a view of illustrating the financial resources of the non-capital class.*
But we would further inquire how these large amounts come to be spent. At no period of the year could one in a hundred of these people give ten shillings at a time without depriving themselves or their families of rightful dues. It is obvious that every facility is offered for spending; the separate sums are small; they are spent at regular or nearly regular intervals, and the places where they can be spent are close at hand. Those also who know anything of Benefit Societies know how large are the sums accumulated in the course of the year by legitimate societies, with perhaps not more than 300 or 400 members, each paying a few pence weekly. Let the same principle be applied to church organizations, and we should venture to hope for somewhat similar results.
The plan we would suggest would take some such general form as this. Let each member or subscriber pay a certain definite weekly amount to be fixed by himself according to his own estimate of his resources. Then let the neighbourhood in which the members live be subdivided into smaller districts, to each of which a collector should be appointed to call upon all the subscribers in that sub-district on a certain day in each week. Let one collector's accounts be audited every week, and the amount paid by each subscriber entered into a general ledger against the subscriber's name. If any should prefer paying his subscription directly to the auditors, he should be at liberty to do so; but in any case each subscriber should hold a receipt scrip, in which the collector or auditor should credit him with the amount paid. It might be found unadvisable to trust to the voluntary collectors; in that case a paid collector should be employed upon commission, and he, in like manner, would render his account to the auditors week by week. The secretary of the church would supply to each collector the names of new comers wishing to have a sitting, or to subscribe to the charities of the church. The rights of every subscriber, whether a member of the church
*For an elaborate analysis of this subject, see "Wages and Earnings of the Working Classes." By Professor Leone Levi. London, 1867.
or not, would include a claim upon one or more sittings in the chapel, and the privilege of voting in the distribution of the money. Instead, therefore, of a large number of collections, and a number of small interests struggling with each other, we shall have a general fund which will be apportioned by the contributors as they deem most expedient. This will not exclude special spontaneous contributions to any object in which any contributor or other person may have a great interest. It would be well if in considering what he can afford regularly, each subscriber were to conscientiously bear in mind the claims of special and unthought of objects of charity. It would also be desirable to retain the boxes, to be found now in most chapels, for the voluntary offerings of those who do not regularly subscribe, or for the additional love-offerings of those who do. It is hardly necessary to point out that such a plan as this by no means involves the surrender of special services advocating the duty of maintaining, or in defence of, missions and other efforts of philanthropy. It would simply do away with the unseemly begging which too often suggests ideas remote from that genuine disinterestedness which we know most generally is really at the back of these appeals.
From the analysis of the General Baptist churches previously given, and by comparing this with the Handbook, it will be found that nearly all the largest churches, and the greatest number of those having over 100 members, are situated in large towns, or in manufacturing districts. The meaning of this is, that in these churches comparatively few of the members are dependent upon the low wages of agriculturalists; the great majority are townsmen of different classes, as professional men or tradesmen, or they are factory hands, mechanics, or servants. To all these classes the particulars of luxurious expenditure, which have been previously given, will apply, and if those statements represent actual facts, the following can hardly be considered an extravagant estimate of the capabilities of a town church of 300 members. Such a church would have a chapel with from 600 to 700 sittings, and the average congregation would be about 450. We should estimate the number of subscribers at 250, representing 400 sittings. If, as we have seen, many in the class of life similar to that occupied by these 250, spend 5s. a week on two luxuries only, we might hope that an average of 1s. a week of that sum would not materially cripple their resources. If the average weekly subscriptions was 1s., the total annual amount subscribed by this church of 300 members would be £650.
In places where the various dissenting churches combined together for the promotion of non-sectarian objects, the same result would be obtained at considerably less expense. If the Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans had each a church of 230 members in a small town, they would each be able to effect, financially, an equal amount of denominational work, as the foregoing list implies, and at the same time to combine their forces for the non-sectarian efforts.
We venture to think that under such a system as we have attempted to indicate, each church would become a Home Mission station of the highest order. It would be a centre of beneficent influence, and would be felt by non-religious men to be a necessity of the neighbourhood. At the same time, we think that the old-standing societies of the Connexion would be largely advantaged, and that without the unseemly dragging of laudable enterprises through the mire of a begging misnamed voluntaryism.
The great difficulty will always be felt in the first start. The question suggests itself-must we submit, in order to lay our foundation, to the questionable expedients of bazaars," bricks," begging appeals, and even lotteries and raffles? We cannot but hope that the day is coming when these things shall give way to a more organized and effectual system of charity. It would certainly appear that the assistance of building funds, centenary funds, and so forth, should be afforded in these first efforts, even in the purchase of the site. There are, however, few churches that cannot, amongst the friends and acquaintance of the congregation, obtain sufficient really voluntary offerings to enable them