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The chief ground of the good Scotchman's complaints, whom I spoke of in my last, was that there was no English Church for him to attend. “You are a Presbyterian,” I said. "No," he replied, “I belonged to the Church of England in Scotland." The answer somehow pleased me. I told him there was an English Church attached, I believed, to the British Embassy at Copenhagen. He said he had inquired there of several English people, seamen and others, who did not know where it was, or if there was such a place. Indeed such ignorance is almost excusable, if they had not, as I have, Murray's Hand-Book to guide them. That useful work points out the said Church in these words"In Store Kongen's gade No. 51, there is a shabby little chapel in which service is performed every Sunday according to the rites of the Church of England, by the Chaplain of the Embassy. The service commences at eleven o'clock."
I had not even seen this notice, however, when I found my way some time ago into the chapel maintained in Copenhagen as the representative of the English Church. Alas! for the impressions which such representations of the religion and the Church of England are calculated to produce, not only here, but almost everywhere on the continent. A cold, cheerless, neglected place; with a floor of bare, uneven flags ; a rude painted pulpit and reading-desk, a bare table for the altar, and sundry brown boxes, containing in one a man standing with arms in an angle, the hands holding an open book; in others a few women of decent aspect, probably from the seamen's quarter, but not one of what are termed the higher classes, though, I think, a single table d'hôte at most of the hotels would supply more Great Britons than there were persons then in that chapel. The Embassy was, -I know not where; perhaps out of town.
Certainly in the sight of other nations, our spiritual pomp and expenditure appear in a singularly scanty ratio with that of our temporal. The great nation of England maintains her dignity in the establishments of her Ambassadors and foreign ministers in all respects except that of their religion. Copenhagen is not the only city where our ecclesiastical respectability contrasts rather painfully with our secular representation. In Stockholm there is no Chaplain to the Embassy; no chapel whatever. And what is to become of the few sheep in the wilderness who reside in such places ? They are left to their own tender mercies; that is, if they will collect a certain sum annually, government will give them something more to pay the priest who is to minister to them; and even if (which is not always likely, considering that Mammon is the ruler of most men) even if they do this without the influence and guidance of their church, only see what strange sort of cofiventicles are opened for their worship, in the sight of the people among whom they dwell! Perhaps such a chapel as this; perhaps the use (if in a Roman Catholic land) of some dissenting place of worship; perhaps a hired room. And if that money is not collected, the people who were
the children of our church become aliens, and their children grow up without its sacraments and benefits, or receive those of another communion. Our zeal in making converts is known to be great; our keenness in looking into what other churches do, is known and seen to be extreme; our liberality in sending forth missionaries is undeniable; but still, how very indifferent-alas ! how very miserable, the Church of England must appear in the care of her own who are scattered abroad among the nations of the earth!
Would that some of its Bishops would make a tour of inspection among these continental offsets of their Church; so many charges of inconsistency might not then be brought against our religion. Its services might then be performed in temples in some degree conformable to their dignity; its rites and its sacraments be duly administered to many who are rendered aliens by neglect; and, more especially, its children might then possess what, without the presence of a Bishop, they must, however well cared-for in other respects, be deprived of-the holy rite of confirmation.
On our way to the English chapel I had seen the well-known church of Copenhagen, called Vor Frue Kirche, or the Church of our Lady, well
known, because it was adorned by Thorwaldsen, and contains his beautiful statues and bas-reliefs. Chaste and beautiful as the interior of this church truly is, I never can divest my mind of the idea that I am in an elegant museum, or some very peculiar reception-room. The building wants the characteristics of a church; the altar itself strikes me as being more like the place of a throne; there is nothing to inspire that impression of being within a sacred and hallowed fane, which a less elaborately adorned church, built on different principles, imparts. The dim religious light, indeed, appears to be in general abhorrent to the eyes of the Northern Lutherans, and might not be adapted to the statuary of which this building is made the depository.
Yet the Danes may well be proud of their great sculptor. Perhaps the colossal size of the figure of our Lord, over the altar, in the attitude of benediction, prevents it from being seen to as much advantage within the church, as the cast of that splendid work is seen in the hall, called the Hall of Christ, in the Museum. But the proof of beauty and of perfection is there, for the longer one gazes upon it, the more does the silent majesty of that calm face steal to the heart. The statues