Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a precocious piety...

Francis Greenwood Peabody was the son of Ephraim Peabody, Minister at Kings Chapel from 1846 until just before his death in 1856. Francis was six years old when his father died and in his "Reminiscences of Present Day Saints" he bemoans the lack of memories he has of the "gaunt figure in the high pulpit of King's Chapel. This memory remains:

"The only vivid recollection which survives of worship during my childhood in the beautiful old church is of so frivolous a nature that it should perhaps be resolutely forgotten; yet it persists in recurring whenever, after seventy years, I glance upward to the noble Corinthian columns and their ornate capitals. Round the ceiling of the chancel are ranged a series of projecting and decorated brackets, know, I believe, in the language of Greek architecture, as modillions; and the intervening spaces seemed to the discerning eyes of a little boy created to serve as stalls where one might keep a stud of imaginary horses. Perched on a high cricket and propped against my mother's knees, my eyes looked upward with a fixity and rapture of gaze which may have indicated a precocious piety, but which was in fact watching my chariots, as they emerged from their little stalls and raced round the track laid out on the ceiling of the entire church. In so entrancing and exhilarating an occupation no sermon seemed too long, and my only apprehension was that the closing hymn might be announced before I had safely stabled my panting steeds."

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