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The Parish Church

( Originally Published 1915 )



One of the elements in the expression of beauty mentioned in the table on page II is that of associations. These may be historical or patriotic like those that cluster around Independence Hall in Philadelphia, or they may be personal. Memory often comes to the aid of architecture helping to make it seem beautiful. To many the village church with its peaceful cemetery is a sacred spot. Its stones are hallowed through association. The wedding, the funeral, the Christmas tree, the Sunday-school class, and perhaps meetings outside the doors all mingle in our love for it.

In England many of the parish churches possess real architectural beauty. They are not rich and grand like the cathedrals but a small building may have a distinctive beauty of its own. In our own country many of the country churches are dignified and harmonize with the village street and the country landscape. Some of the early American spires were designed by Wren himself, and hundreds are more or less copied from them. " The greatness of Wren," says H. H. Bishop, " is as conclusively shown in St. Stephen's in Walbrook, as in St. Paul's Cathedral. His steeple in Bow church is almost as famous as his great dome."

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