The Organ Lamp.
When the sacred singer wrote; “While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return,” he did not refer to a patent petroleum lamp store in the lower compartment of the church organ. The function of kerosene in an organ is practical rather than emblematic. It is placed there and kept burning not to give warmth to religious music, nor to keep the shakes out of the pedals, but rather to keep dampness out of the instrument and setting the bronchial tubes into a wheeze of asthma. But sometimes it holds out to burn and set tire to the church, before the quickest vicar may return with the hose company and the extinguishers. Three miles from Tavistock stood Lamberton church, a grand but musty old English pile, which, last summer, received the last touches of the restoration of the period. A brand new organ was put in, and in wet weather a lamp was kindled under it. The sexton trimmed this lamp about 8 o’clock on the evening of November ig, two hours afterwards the organ was discovered to be in a blaze. The vicar rode into town to fetch the Firemen, but before they arrived on the ground the church was in flames and beyond recovery. A fine chime of six bells was destroyed ; memorial windows were shivered, and ancient monuments blackened and cracked ; the granite pillars fell, and before midnight the tower was a shapeless ruin.