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Miscellany: St. Peters Church At Rome

Miscellany: St. Peters Church At Rome image
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f Tfío follpwng; cötïmqtc oí tlic dimeiMons of i'cic immense struelure, froin 'JIt;iiII:8 Letters lV mi Italy," Words an imprefsivc view oí ' thnl uni ivnllcJ Iriumph of ircliiiociure. the vast nnd inngnificcnt grandeur of the edilice, ;ill biniil ir works ol modern nrt dwindlc into comparativo nsigniikancu ] Now for a chapter of stat istias; 1 halo Iheni, bul in no othcr way can you get. an idea oí" the size of St. Peters. 1 will not give you fcet and inchcü, butsay that if Trinity Chtircb, Now uvk, i.Wiiiishcd on the plan with which it wascoininenceil, you could pile about twclvc of them inlo St. l'ctcr's and have considerable room left for walking about. Py taking ofi' ihe slcoples, you could arrangë two rnw.s of them in the Churcl), three in a row, then dapon the stce)Us agivin under ihe dome, and thcy wouUl reach u triile more than half way to the top. You conld put two chinche.-; lifce the Trinity under the dome, and have the cutiré nave pf llic Church and botli the sido aisles wlmlly uiioccüpicd. Ttïke thi-ce A'stor houses and place them lenglhwise, and thry would extend the lcngili of St. Petcr's- makc a doublé row óf them, aml théy would fill it half way up to the roof, pretty snug. Thirty or fórty. córarnbn churclics c.iilillie :-towcd away in it without much in.ühle, and the four columns Ihaf support the domo are cach largor tiian anórduiary dwrlling hoüae. But this ís notliiiJT - tbc marble - the staluary - the costlv tonubs - the architecture - the art are indcscribable. [The procero oí" illuminating this n: I fabric on the great ilays of the Cliurcli, with iis ap)ciiranee and elieel, U thua cranhically delinaied :}1 was t) viiry to givo you in töy last, a.descripüon of Uio closing np of Kuiter Siuxluy. Il is ;i principie ia all Cali lic ceremonies, ncver to wind olY gradual I y as i o lo IVequcntiy the case among tlic Proteslanis, but to brave the lasl. dLsplay the most magnincenl pf all. Tlms, on Eastcr Sunday, tlie dooing up of Moly week, the Papn] Ihvqno crowds its entire pomp into its ceremonies, nnrl , during the day, the interior of St. Pctcr'ö ha$ done its utmost to magniiy his [Iqiijiess, so at niglit the exterior must do its slmrc of glorification. This great building, covering several acres, is illuminntedon its entire outer :u fic It is causcd by su.speuding four thousand four hundred lanterns uppn it, covering it from the dome down. To accopipHsh thi:.-, men have to he lel l.)vu with ropes over everyediiice, and lelt dan-ling there ftr morethanan hour. Imoiu i!k: bousQ of the chureh, they look like insects creeping over the surfaoe. Hanging down theprecipitous sidos oHhe immense dome, i standHigfourUjindrcd föet high ia lhoair,_y is altcnded wllb so much danger, th!fl cighty, men cmplo ed in il, always i ceiyq extreme unclioa befurc thcy I lompt it'. The kist saern ment is taken, ; and their accounts seüled both for this . Vorld and the ncxl, so that doath after all, wóuld nol be so greal a ealamity. Tlie )è muil aïnuSC Üie [iccple, and glorify his rcign, ÜlOUgh he liav.anl human lile in duing it. F.ut he has magnanimiiy tö secure the sufferör in thö npxt world. lfa repe break, the man is crushcd inlo ashajielepo massonllie pavi'incnt below, hissoul immediately ascends to oue ofllie most iuvored seats in Parailisc. He feil ('rom Gods Churoh- lic lied in Ihe altèmpl to illuminate il, and in ohediencó lo ( Jods vii-egerent on earlh. IIow can the man help baing savcd ! Mul to make assurancG douUy sure, the Pope give.s him a passporí with Iiis own hand, which declares St. Peter w ho sits by the et lr.-lial gales, will nu :-,l f'ully reo;.;ui:..e. - Thisib very kind oj" tlie Pope. li' he killsn man, he sends him to hcaven, and secures him a recompense in the ncxl world for all he has lo:-,l in this. 'Vc ignoiMiit creaturc. who is willing lö undertake the perilous operalion fr tlie sake oía few dollars whereuith to föcd bis childrcn, believes it all njld fqarlcssl swings in mid hcaven, Avheie ihe yieldliig öf a sííartd öf-tHé rope would precipítate biin whcre the very fói'm oi'hnmanitv would be crushod out of him.Bulonc foirgets all llnV in looking at the illiiminatibfts, which it i.s impbssibïc lo describe. Thcrc are twb illuminalions. Thefirst iscalled the silvcr oue, and coininenccs about eight o-U)ck in the cvening. These foiir thousand four hündi-ed látíips; oi'C sci arrangeil as lo rcvcal the entire architecture oí the building. Evei-y column, cornice, frieze, window - all the details ot the biuhliiiu;. and the entire structurey are revealed in a soft, clear light, prodacihg ari cfiect intlescribably pleiising, yet uttcrly bewildcring. Itsecms an imtnense alabaster building, lit from within. The long Unes of light made by tiic columut-, with 'the shadWiB between - the Ixauinulnice glittcring over the darknass under it - the magniiicent semi-circular colonadèè all inherent with liglit, and cvery onc luiiiilredand nincty-lwostatues along its top surtnounted with a lamp, and tho immense dome rising over all likc a mountain of mollen silver, in the deep darkness around, so com])letcly delude tho éenses. Ihat onc can think of nothing but a fttbrjc suddenly lighted and hung in inid licavens. This effect, howcver is givcn only wlien one stands at a distance - tho Pincian hill, the spot from whieh lo view t. All around is buried in di'cp d;nkncs, except that stcadily shining glory. Nota sound is heard to break the stíllness, and you gaze, and gaze, cxpecltng cvery moment to sec the beautiful visión fade, but still it ishines caliiily on. This illumination lasts from eight to nine, and just as the bell of the Cathcdral strikes nlne, i'ix!iiig its loud and solemn pual over the city, a thöusand fpur and sevénty-five torchos, are sudtlenly kjadlcd beside the lanterns. The changc is inslantancous and almost lerriiic. The air seems to waverto and fro in the j den light - shapc and form are for a moment, and the visión which just charmed our senses is mclted and llowing togethcr. The next moment old St. Peler's igain dcaws its' buf ning outlinc against the black sky, and stands likc a mounUun oltorches in the deeg night, with a liery loss burning at tlie top. Ilow the gloriousstructurc burns, vet uneonsumcd ! The dames wrap it in theïir fiurce cmbruce and yet not a single detail is lo,t in the cnllagration. Thore is the uobk Cacado in all its harmony, and ycton lire. Thcrc are the imnüenöe colonadcs waver ng ii) the light, changed only in tha tlicvarc Dow cacha red marble shaft.-The síiiUies öland unhaimcd, and all ftcry figures. The domo is a vast fncball )i the darkneap, yct ils dislinct outlinc remains as clcar as at the iirst. The whole niighty edifice is there built all of ilame - columns, frieze, cornicc, windows, domes, cross - a temple perfect in evevy part, flashing, swaying, burning in mid heavens. The senses grow bcwildcred in gazing on its brilliancy, and thejudgnient pronounces it an optical illusion, unical, fantastical. Yet, the next moment it. stands correctcd - tlial is St. Pcter's flaming, unwasted, in the murky heavens. afterhourit bhv.Coon, and the last torch isyet unextinguii-hcd uhen thegray twilight of morning opons in Ihe cast. - Tliis you sriy i i a glorioöêf'spèctibló ; y ■ but it ís Sal balk éveiiïng - ihc sïfccé ï of the apostle- the spiritual heul of the chui'ch - the vicc-gereul of (!odon carth har, sanclilicd the Sabbat h ly this glurii.ii ; lhiininalion in honor of the Sou of (;.l!:Uv'hat a prcposlerous idea, what a maghifiWÊêèt folly ! And do you think the inodern Kommi isso complete a fooi as lo bclicvc in the propriety and religión of all this ? By no nieans. lïe admires and ehióvs the spectade. tlicn sneers wheri