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Father Dallow suggests that this stone may have been the Biddan Stone, or Stone of Prayer, that gave its name to the parish of Bidston. Be that as it may, we have here evidence of the existence of a Saxon church, succeeded by the Norman building, whose dimensions and details it has been the attempt of this paper to recover, together with those of some later alterations made to it. The ground plan A gives the Norman building, the portions shaded with lines show the enlarged windows added in the fifteenth century, or it may be a few years earlier; plan B was that estimated from the few stones discovered before the foundations were explored; plan C gives the geometrical basis which guided the builder in making his plan; the other illustrations give the architectural details of stones preserved by Mr. Webster, and various early and mediaeval grave slabs, restored from fragments found at Upton.
I desire to say a word or two as to the way in which both the graveyard and stones are preserved. A year or two since, the owners of both were accused in the newspapers of treating them with gross neglect. Nothing, indeed, can be more untrue. The stones are kept with the greatest care and appreciation. It is surely easier, in such cases, to do too much than too little. How, then, should we keep such a spot as Overchurch graveyard, a place where praise and prayer are silent, and men come no more at the beginning and end of life, for baptism, or for burial? Surrounded with a neat brick wall, and decked out with bedding plants, and garden crocks, and lounging seats for smokers and nursemaids, with the lawn-mower clattering over the levelled mounds? or, as I saw it last, in the summer twilight, with the thrush piping a Requiem in its trees, and the graves waist-deep in meadow grass? It is not neglected—my own antiquarian curiosity was rebuked by a refusal to allow me to probe its soil for foundations—the fences are carefully trimmed, the grass mown twice a year; surely it is well so left; and in such case I think it ought to rest, a place of which even the most recent memories are already fading, folded in the dreamless sleep of forgetfulness, waiting for the day when earth and sea shall give up their dead, and all things be made new.
AS TO THE EVOLUTION OF PROPORTIONS FROM THE GEOMETRICAL BASIS OF THE PLAN.
The easternmost or sanctuary pentacle contains eight measures of 7 feet and none of 5. Its main angle is 77 degrees.
The second or chancel pentacle contains eight measures of 7 feet and three of 5 feet, two of 10 feet and two of 12 feet (7 and s added). The main angle is 77 degrees.
The first subpentacle in the nave gives five measures of 15 feet, two of 10 feet, and five of 5 feet; the latter being to distinct points in the plan of the building. It gives seven measures of 7 feet, two of 14 feet, and three of 25 feet.
The western nave sub-pentacle gives five measures of 7 feet, three of 14 feet, four of 28 feet, seven of 5 feet, three of 10 feet, three of 25 feet. The main angle of these two pentacles is 55 degrees.
The tower pentacle gives two measures of 5 feet, three of 7 feet, and two of 10 feet. Its main angle is 55 degrees.
The great pentacle, embracing the porch and nave, gives three measures of 15 feet and five of 25 feet, and its main angle is 50 degrees.
The lines drawn diagonally through the centres of the chancel pentacles, and all parallel with the sides of their main angles, give, when repeated, the sides being produced, lozenge-shaped
divisions of 7 feet by 5 over the surface of the plan; and these, subdivided through the angles, evolve parallelograms of 3j£ feet by 2j4 feet. A scale of proportions which is carried through the whole design, being originated in the chancel. All the minor details have already been shown to be subordinated to the same rules, and the plan is made up by taking so many of these proportioned lozenges and oblongs, or fractions of them, as may be needful. It follows, naturally, that the longitudinal and cross measures, as well as the diagonals, being based on this principle, must of necessity fall into the series of measures derived from five and seven, and it is needless to indicate their constant recurrence in the structure.
SANDEMANIANS,' originally called Glasites, were never a numerous body of Dissenters. John Glas, the founder of the community, was Presbyterian minister of the parish of Tealing, near Dundee. In 1728 Mr. Glas was deposed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for holding peculiar theological views, contrary to Church government,2 which resulted in the formation of several congregations agreeing with the Glasite discipline.
In 1755 Robert Sandeman, a Scotch divine, born at Perth in 1723, and Mr. Glas's pupil and son-inlaw, published a series of letters which led to the opening of Glasite or Sandemanian chapels in London and other places in England and also in America.
1 See also Transactions, vol. v., p. 53.
2 In 1727, John Glas published " The Testimony of the King 0/ Afartyrs concerning His Kingdom (John xviii. 36), in which he opposed national establishments.
Among the tenets or opinions of the Sandemanian sect are the following, taken from the RegistrarGeneral's return.3
"The prominent doctrine of the Sandemanians, "on which they differ from most other churches, "relates to the nature of justifying faith, which "Sandeman maintained to be 'no more than a "simple assent to the Divine testimony, passively "received by the understanding.'
"Sandemanians, also, observe certain peculiar "practices, supposed by them to have been preva"lent amongst the primitive Christians; such as "weekly sacraments, love feasts, mutual exhorta"tion, washing each other's feet, plurality of "elders," &c.
In Liverpool, the first or original Sandemanian Chapel appears to have been in Mathew Street, North John Street. "The Stranger in Liverpool," for 1816, mentions that " near the Baptist Chapel "in Mathew Street is the Glasite or Sandemanian "Chapel." When this chapel was erected and the length of time it was used as a place of worship by the sect is uncertain; for we find that from 1821 to 1840 their regular meeting house was in Gill Street, adjoining and forming part of Mr. Bartlett's house, the corner of Pembroke Place.
This plain, unassuming brick building, now partially shut off from the street by a high wall, had a railing frontage and gate entrance, and measured 33 feet by 26, with seat room for 190 persons. From 1840 to 1845 the chapel appears to have been closed for public worship; perhaps from the paucity of attendance of Sandemanian worshippers.
In the latter year, a new denomination held their regular meetings within the building, and continued
3 Vide Hook's Church Dictionary, loth edit., p. 683.