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Rabbi Saunderson   By: (1850-1907)

Book cover

First Page:

RABBI SAUNDERSON

by

IAN MACLAREN

With Twelve Illustrations by A. S. Boyd

London: Hodder and Stoughton 27 Paternoster Row 1898

To

Mrs. Williamson

OF GLENOGIL

WHO HAS INHERITED

THE GIFT OF WITTY SPEECH

AND HAS LAID IT OUT AT USURY

TO THE JOY OF HER FRIENDS

AND THE

GLADDENING OF LIFE

Contents

A SUPRA LAPSARIAN KILBOGIE MANSE THE RABBI AS CONFESSOR THE FEAR OF GOD THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND LIGHT AT EVENTIDE

Illustrations

He put Jamie's ecclesiastical history into a state of thorough repair

The farmers carted the new minister's furniture from the nearest railway station

Searching for a lost note

The suddenness of his fall

"Some suitable sum for our brother here who is passing through adversity"

"We shall not meet again in this world"

When Carmichael gave him the cup in the sacrament

"Shall . . . not . . . the . . . Judge . . . of all the earth . . . do . . . right?"

"You have spoken to me like a father: surely that is enough"

Then arose a self made man

He watched the dispersion of his potatoes with dismay

He signed for her hand, which he kept to the end

A SUPRA LAPSARIAN

Jeremiah Saunderson had remained in the low estate of a "probationer" for twelve years after he left the Divinity Hall, where he was reported so great a scholar that the Professor of Apologetics spoke to him deprecatingly, and the Professor of Dogmatics openly consulted him on obscure writers. He had wooed twenty three congregations in vain, from churches in the black country, where the colliers rose in squares of twenty, and went out without ceremony, to suburban places of worship, where the beadle, after due consideration of the sermon, would take up the afternoon notices and ask that they be read at once for purposes of utility, which that unflinching functionary stated to the minister with accuracy and much faithfulness. Vacant congregations desiring a list of candidates, made one exception, and prayed that Jeremiah should not be let loose upon them, till at last it came home to the unfortunate scholar himself that he was an offence and a by word. He began to dread the ordeal of giving his name, and, as is still told, declared to a household, living in the fat wheatlands and without any imagination, that he was called Magor Missabib. When a stranger makes a statement of this kind to his host with a sad seriousness, no one judges it expedient to offer any remark; but it was skilfully arranged that Missabib's door should be locked from the outside, and one member of the household sat up all night. The sermon next day did not tend to confidence having seven quotations in unknown tongues and the attitude of the congregation was one of alert vigilance; but no one gave any outward sign of uneasiness, and six able bodied men, collected in a pew below the pulpit, knew their duty in an emergency.

Saunderson's election to the Free Church of Kilbogie was therefore an event in the ecclesiastical world, and a consistent tradition in the parish explained its inwardness on certain grounds, complimentary both to the judgment of Kilbogie and the gifts of Mr. Saunderson. On Saturday evening he was removed from the train by the merest accident, and left the railway station in such a maze of meditation that he ignored the road to Kilbogie altogether, although its sign post was staring him in the face, and continued his way to Drumtochty. It was half past nine when Jamie Soutar met him on the high road through our glen, still travelling steadily west, and being arrested by his appearance, beguiled him into conversation, till he elicited that Saunderson was minded to reach Kilbogie. For an hour did the wanderer rest in Jamie's kitchen, during which he put Jamie's ecclesiastical history into a state of thorough repair making seven distinct parallels between the errors that had afflicted the Scottish Church and the early heretical sects, and then Jamie gave him in charge of a ploughman who was courting in Kilbogie, and was not averse to a journey that seemed to illustrate the double meaning of charity... Continue reading book >>




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