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When fell disease our frame pervades,
A. A. DIXEY.
“For 1 reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” -Rom viii. 18, 19.
God of love, and joy, and peace
S. PIRAN IN THE SANDS. The engraving which prefaces our present number represents one of the most interesting relics of antiquity connected with the British Isles. It is copied, by permission, from a neat pocket volume, recently published, entitled “ Perran-zabuloe,” by the Rev. W. Haslam, B.A. resident curate of the place so named, which is an extensive parish on the north coast of Cornwall, about six miles from Truro.
A singular and melancholy history attaches to the secluded spot so graphically brought before us in the accompanying illustration. It pictures the ruined oratory of S. Piran on the sands, situate in the parish abovementioned; a structure of very high antiquity, and connected in a remarkable manner with the early history of Christianity in Britain. Mr. Haslam assumes, as we think with very good reason, that it was erected in the fifth or sixth century of our era, by the British Christians, before many of the corruptions of Romanism had obtained a footing in our island ; and is almost the only specimen extant of the religious architecture of that period. In addition to the interest which attaches to this structure in its association with the propagation of British Christianity, it possesses other claims upon our notice from its romantic history. For ages it had lain entirely buried beneath
accumulations of sea sand, and was only exhumed in 1835, to be again covered up in the same manner. " An old parishioner,” says Mr. Haslam, “ tells the writer he was the first who saw any portion of the old church. About fifty-five years ago he came to a spring in the immediate neighbourhood to drink, and from thence he saw the end of the church, just appearing above the summit of the sand hill.” About thirty years afterwards, it is recorded that both ends were visible, and at the period already mentioned, the entire remains of the building were laid open to view by the spirited exertions of a gentleman residing in the neighbourhood.
The arguments from which Mr. Haslam deduces its remote antiquity are very ingenious, and far more satisfactory than we should have supposed possible, when we consider the
very distant era to which they refer; whilst all that has been urged against them appears unworthy even of passing notice.
In Domesday book, which is not only an authentic, but early record in such matters, having been compiled by order of William the Conqueror in the eleventh century, Perran-zabuloe is mentioned under the name of Lanpiran, a term of neither Saxon nor Norman origin, but evidently British; lhan, or lan, being well-known to signify “church” in the latter language. At a period, therefore, long prior to the Norman conquest, and while the place was still possessed by its original British population, there appears to have been a church there - Lan Piran, or Church Piran, being a name as clearly indicative of the fact, as in our own days are those of Church-Stretton, in Shropshire, or Church-Eaton, or Eccleshall, in Staffordshire. Nor does the record referred to prove merely that there was a British church at Perran Zabuloe ; it proves also that it was dedicated to Piran, an Irish saint, who is recorded to have crossed over to Cornwall in the fifth