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St. 3ut)e^0






Ralph Connor





Copyright, 1906, 1907, by John Watson

Copyright, 1907, by The Sunday School Times Company

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, 1907

Nachliruck verboten, Uebersetzungs Recht vorbehaltbn


'X'WELVE years ago, to while away the hour of a
journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow, I bought
The British Weekly and began to read, at first idly,
then with interest, and at last with delight, a story
entitled "A Lad O' Pairts." " Read that," I said,
thrusting the paper into the hands of my Scotch
professor friend in Glasgow. He stood up at the
mantel, but had not gone far in his reading when,
"Jean," he called to his wife in the next room,
"come in here and listen to this ; " and with eager,
almost fervid enthusiam he began again, and read
till, unawares, his voice failed, broke, and I dis-
covered him with shamed face looking at us through
tears. "I know him," he cried, when he had done.
But loyalty forbade that he should tear aside the
veil his friend had hung over his name.

A few minutes later, however, apropos of nothing
in particular, he introduced the name of John Wat-
son, of Sefton Park, and I knew that I had dis-
covered the author of " A Lad O' Pairts. ' ' Through
the following months I learned to watch for The
British Weekly, and, with many, to love his people,
Domsie and Drumsheugh, Marget and Geordie
Howe, Donald Menzies, Lachlan Campbell, Mrs.



Macfadyen, Dr. Maclure, and the rest. I love
them all still, and ever shall.

Now, with another book by Ian Maclaren in my
hands, comes the startling message that he is no
longer with us. I turn the pages and, reading, I
find myself renewing my emotions of twelve years
ago. Here is the same pawky humor, the same
kindly searching satire, the same shrewd analysis of
the theological, logic-chopping, conscience-ridden,
terrible Scot. Once more, as twelve years ago, I
am conscious of that sudden rush of emotion, as the
drill in the hands of this master of his art, piercing
through the stubborn granite of canny worldliness,
of rigid theological formalism, reaches the living
spring of tenderness. As I turn the pages I dis-
cover new friends among Carmichael's flock, worthy
to stand with those others I discovered twelve years
ago : the old Inquisitor, Simeon Mac Quittrick,
of the deUcious seven ; Colonel Roderick MacBean,
a new type ; the inimitable, majestic Mrs. Grimond ;
the soft-hearted Angus Sutherland ; Murchieson,
with his heart of limestone and lava.

Alas, he is gone from us ! Only a few weeks ago
1 bade him farewell. He is gone from us, but his
children are with us still, and for his sake, as for
their own, we shall ever love them.

Charles W. Gordon.
("Ralph Connor.")



Prologue : The Wisdom of Love 3

A Local Inquisition 19

A Soldier of the Lord 45

An Irregular Christian 71

Nathanael 97

A Domestic Difference 123

A Ruler in Israel 149

The Power of the Child 175

Her Marriage Day 201

Righteous Overmuch 225

Euodias and Syntyche 249

A Faithful Steward 299


Iprologue : ITbe TOi0^om of Xovc

prologue :
Ube XIGlisOom ot %ovc

It was the custom in the Free Kirk of Dmm-
tochty that the minister should sit in the pulpit
after the service till the church had emptied. As
the people streamed by on either side, none of
them would have spoken to him, nor shown any
sign of recognition, for that would have been
bad manners, but their faces softened into a
kindly expression as they passed, and they con-
veyed as by an atmosphere that they were satis-
fied with the sermon, (li the minister, on his
part, had descended from the pulpit and stood
below in his gown and bands, shaking hands with
all and sundry, and making cheery remarks, the
congregation would have been scandalized, and
would have felt that he had forgotten the dig-
nity of his office. He was expected to keep his
place with gracious solemnity, as a man who
had spoken in the name of the Lord, and not to

^^c 5-3

St. Jude's

turn the church into a place of conversation. If
he rose, and, leaning over the side of the pulpit,
asked a mother how it fared with her sick daugh-
ter, or stretched out his hand to bid a young
man welcome after years of absence from the
glen, this rare act was invested with special kind-
liness, and the recipients, together with their
friends, were deeply impressed^ When old Bell
Robb, who brought up the tail of the procession,
used to drag a little in the passage with simple
art, arranging her well-worn shawl, or replacing
the peppermint leaves in her Bible, in order that
she might get a shake of the minister's hand,
no one grudged her his word of good cheer, for
they knew what a faithful soul she was, and
how kind she was to blind Marjorie. And if the
minister had a message for Bell to carry home
to Marjorie, and Bell boasted that she never
went empty-handed, the glen was well content,
for no one in its length and breadth had suilfered
so much as Marjorie, and none was so full of
peace. Donald Menzies would sometimes stand
at the pulpit-foot upon occasion till the minister
descended, but those were days in which his

The Wisdom of Love

soul had come out of prison, and he rejoiced
upon his high places. Otherwise they departed
quietly from the house of God. Then the min-
ister went up through the silent church to his
little vestry, and it was his custom to turn at
the door and look down the church to the pulpit,
imagining the people again in their pews, and
blessing in his heart the good men and women
who were now making their way by country
roads to their distant homes.

To-day John Carmichael sits in the pulpit
with his head bent and buried in his hands, for
he has been deeply humbled. When he was ap-
pointed to the Free Kirk he knew that he could
not preach, for that had been faithfully im-
pressed upon him in his city assistantship, but it
was given him during his first six months face
to face with the critics of the glen to learn how
vast was his incapacity. Unto the end of his
ministry he never forgot the hours of travail
as he endeavored to prepare an exposition and a
sermon for the Sabbath service. He read every
commentary on the passage which he possessed,
and every reference in books of dogma; he

St. Jude's

hunted literature through for illustrations, and
made adventurous voyages into science for anal-
ogies. There was no field from which he did
not painfully gather except conventional relig-
ious anecdotage, which in even his hours of de-
spair he did not touch. Brick by brick he built
up his house, and then on Sunday it would tum-
ble to pieces in his hands, and present nothing
but a heap of disconnected remarks for the con-
sideration of the people.

This morning he had come to a halt trying to
expound the dispute over meat ofifered to idols
in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, and he
had omitted one head of his sermon and the
whole of the practical application, simply because
he was nervous and his memory had failed. But
he could not conceal from himself that if there
had been any real unity in his thinking, and if
he had been speaking at first hand, he would not
have been so helpless. The people were very
patient, and had made no complaint, but there
was a limit, and it must have been reached. Be-
sides, it was not honorable or tolerable that a
man should undertake the duties of a profession

The Wisdom of Love

and not be able to discharge them. It was now
evident that he could not preach, and it did not
seem likely he would ever be able to do so, and
as in the Kirk no man can ever have the most
modest success or the narrowest sphere of labor
unless he can produce some sort of sermon, his
duty seemed plain. He had not chosen the min-
istry of his own accord, but had entered it to
please one whose kindness he could never repay.
His action had been a service of piety, but it
had been a mistake in practice, and one thing
only remained for him. During the week he
would consult the only person affected by his
step and resign his charge. The people troop-
ing by, with nothing but friendly thoughts of
him, could not guess how bitter a cup their min-
ister was drinking, but the sound of their foot-
steps fell upon his heart like drops of fire. There
were other fields open to him, and he might live
to do good work in his day, but his public life
had started with a disastrous failure, and as long
as he lived he would walk humbly. When the
last of the congregation had left, and there was
not a sound except a thrush welcoming spring

St. Jude's

with his cheerful note, and caring not that win-
ter had settled down upon a human soul, Car-
michael rose and crept up the forsaken church,
a broken man.

And as he stood in the vestry, his chin sunk
on his chest, and resolved to wait there for a
little lest a straggler should be loitering about
the manse gate, some one knocked at the door.
It was the elder who, of all the session, was
chiefly loved and respected. As soon as Car-
michael saw his face, he knew as by an instinct
why he had come and what he was going to say.
If there was any difficult task in the congre-
gational life requiring both courage and delicacy,
it was always laid on Angus Sutherland, and he
never failed to acquit himself well. Never had
he come on a more unwelcome errand, and Car-
michael felt that he must make the course as
smooth as possible, for, without doubt, the elder
had been sent to make a just complaint. It
required a brave man to come, and Carmichael
must also play the man, so he pulled himself to-
gether, and gave a courteous and, as far as he
could, a cheerful welcome to the good elder.

The Wisdom of Love

"It is good weather that we are having, sir,"
began Angus, speaking English with the soft
Gaehc accent, for he was a West Highlander
who had settled in the glen. "It is good to see
the beginning of spring. We will be hoping that
the spirit of God may make spring in our own
hearts, and then we shall also be lifting up our
voices. But I must not be detaining you, when
you will be very tired with your work and be
needing rest. Maybe I should not be troubling
you at all at this time, but I have been sent by
the elders with a message, not because I am bet-
ter than my brethren, but only because it is my
fortune to be a little older."

Carmichael knew then that he was right in
his anticipation, and he asked Angus to say what
was given him frankly, and to make no delay.
And he tried to speak gently and humbly, for
in truth his own conscience was with the elders,
and, as he believed, their embassy.

"You may not know, sir, but I will be telling
you, that after the service is over, and the peo-
ple have gone out from the house of God, the
elders speak together below the big beech-tree,

St. Jude*s

and their speech will be about the worship and
the sermon. You are not to think," added Angus
with a gracious smile, "that they will be criti-
cizing what is said, or hardening their heart
against the counsel of the Lord declared by the
mouth of his servant. Oh, no ; we will rather be
storing up the bread of God, that we may eat
thereof during the days of the week, and have
strength for the way."

Carmichael assured Angus that he knew how
fair-minded and kind-hearted the elders were,
both in word and deed. And he braced himself
for what was coming.

"This morning," continued Angus, "the elders
were all there, and when we looked at one an-
other's faces, we were all judging that the same
thing will be in our hearts. It was with us for
weeks, and it was growing, and to-day it came
to speech. We knew that we were not meeting
together as the session, and it is not business I
will be coming with ; we met as the elders of the
flock, and it is as your friend that I am here in
much humility. But it is not easy for this man
to say what has been laid upon him."


The Wisdom of Love

Carmichael was sorry for him, and signed him
to go on.

"You were chosen, I will be reminding you,"
said Angus, with a gracious expression on his
face, "by the good will of all the people, and it
was a very proud day when the clerk of the Pres-
bytery stood in his place and said that the call
would be left with the elders, so that all the peo-
ple might be having the opportunity of signing
it, and I stood up and replied to the reverend

gentleman, , it is not necessary; they have

all signed.' Oh, yes, and so they had, every
man and every woman that was upon the roll.
And the young people, they had written their
names, too, upon the paper of adherence, every
one above sixteen years of age. And the very
children would be wishing, that day, that they
had something to sign, for the hearts of the
people had gone out towards you, and there was
one voice in every mouth, "Blessed is he that
Cometh in the name of the Lord."

Carmichael gave Angus to understand that he
would never forget those things while he lived,
and that he prayed God that he might be a better

St. Jude's

man for the people's confidence in him. But his
heart was beginning to break as he thought of
their bitter disappointment, and the trust which
had failed in his hands.

*'It is six months since you entered upon your
ministry among us, and you will not be angry
with me if I am saying to you that you are very
young to have so heavy a weight upon you, for
there is no burden like the burden of souls. And
the elders will be noticing, and so will all the
people, for they are not without understanding,
in Drumtochty, that you are giving yourself with
all your mind and all your heart unto the work
of the Lord. The people are seeing that what-
soever talents the Lord has been pleased to
give are laid out at usury, and they are judging
you very faithful, both in your study and in
their homes. But," softening his voice till it
was like a whisper at eventide, "you are very
young, and the ministry of the Lord is very ardu-

Amid all his sufifering Carmichael could not
help admiring the courtesy and consideration
with which Angus presented the petition of the


The Wisdom of Love

session, and he asked Angus to declare at once
all that was in his mind.

"So the elders considered that the full time
had come for their saying something to you, and
I was charged by them all to wait upon you in
this place, and to say unto you on behalf of the
elders of the flock, and all the flock which is
under your care" (and now it is impossible to
imagine the tenderness in his voice), "that we
are all thankful unto God that he sent you to
be our minister, and that we are all wondering
at the treasures of truth and grace which you
will be bringing to us every Sabbath, for we are
being fed with the finest of the wheat. Oh,
yes, it is not the chaff of empty words, but the
white bread of God which is given unto the peo-
ple. And the very children will have their por-
tion, and will be saying pleasant words about the
minister as they go along the road."

Carmichael was as one that dreamed, for no

man had ever spoken of his preaching after this

fashion. This strange thing also happened, that

while a minute before the manhood in him had


St. Jude's

been strong, it now began to weaken and fail,
and Angus still continued:

"The elders will also be noticing that your
words are heavy-laden with the greatness of the
truth, and that you are sometimes brought to
silence as it has happened unto God's prophets
in the ancient time. We will all be wanting to
hear everything that the Lord has given unto
you, and to lay it past, even to the smallest grain,
in our souls, and so if at any time it appears
unto you as if some part of the message has
not been given, we would count it a great kind-
ness that you should go over the truth again,
and if it would be helping you to meditate for a
space we would all be glad to sing a psalm, for
we have plenty of time, and it is good to be in
the Kirk of Drumtochty during these days."

Carmichael was learning that hour that kind-
ness takes all pride even out of a young man, and
turns him into a little child. As he could find no
words, and indeed was afraid that he had no
voice wherewith to utter them, Angus went on
his way without interruption, and came to the
end in much peace.


The Wisdom of Love

"There was just one other thing that the
brethren laid upon me to say, and it was Donald
Menzies who would not let me go till I had
promised, and you will not be considering it a
liberty from the elders. You are never to be
troubled in the pulpit, or be thinking about any-
thing but the word of the Lord, and the souls of
the people, of which you are the shepherd. We
will ask you to remember when you stand in
your place to speak to us in the name of the
Lord, that as the smoke goeth up from the
homes of the people in the morning, so will their
prayers be ascending for their minister, and as
you look down upon us before you begin to
speak, maybe you will say to yourself, next Sab-
bath, they are all loving me. Oh, yes, and it
will be true from the oldest to the youngest, we
will all be loving you very much."

Angus Sutherland was, like all his kind, a very
perfect gentleman, and he left immediately, so
gently that Carmichael did not hear his going.
When the minister passed through the garden
gate half an hour afterwards there was no man
to be seen, but the birds on every branch were

St. Jude's

in full song, and he marked that the hawthorn
had begun to bloom. And that is why John Car-
michael remained in the ministry of Jesus Christ,
most patient and most mindful of masters.


H 'was the kindness of Dramtochiy
thai made Carmichaet strong for
his loork in St, Jude^s/'

Ian Madaren,

H Xocal Unqufsitton

His first service in St. Jude's Church was over
and Carmichael had broken upon his modest din-
ner with such appetite as high excitement had
left; for it is a fact in the physiology of a min-
ister that if he preaches coldly he eats vora-
ciously, but if his soul has been at a white heat
his body is lifted above food.. It had been a
great change from the little kirk of Drumtochty,
with its congregation of a hundred country
people, to the crowd which filled every corner
of the floor below and the galleries above in the
city church. While the light would that Sunday
be streaming into the Highland kirk and lighting
up the honest, healthy faces of the hearers, the
gas had been lighted in St. Jude's, for the Glas-
gow atmosphere was gloomy outside, and when
it filtered through painted windows was as dark-
ness inside.

There is no loneliness like that of a solitary
man in a crowd, and Carmichael missed the

St. Judc's

company and sympathy of his friends. This
mass of city people, with their eager expression,
white faces and suggestion of wealth, who
turned their eyes upon him when he began to
preach, and seemed to be one huge court of
judgment, shadowed his imagination. They were
partly his new congregation and partly a Glas-
gow audience, but there were only two men in
the whole church he knew, and even those he
had only known for a few months.

When he rose to preach, with the heavy pall
of the city's smoke and the city fog encompass-
ing the church, and the glare of the evil-smelling
gas lighting up its Gothic recesses, his heart
sank and for the moment he lost courage. Was
it for this dreary gloom and packed mass of
strange people that he had left the sunlight of
the glen and the warm atmosphere of true
hearts ? There were reasons why he had judged
it his duty to accept the charge of this West End
Glasgow church, and selfish ambition had cer-
tainly not been one, for Carmichael was a man
rather of foolish impulses than of far-seeing pru-
dence. He had done many things suddenly

A Local Inquisition

which he had regretted continually, and for an
instant, as he faced his new environment and
before he gave out his text, he wished that by
some touch of that fairy wand which we are ever
desiring to set our mistakes right or to give us
our impossible desires, he could be spirited away
from, the city which as a countryman he always
hated, back to the glen which he would ever
carry in his heart.

While vain regret is threatening to disable
him the people are singing with a great volume
of melody :

Jerusalem as a city is compactly built together;
Unto that place the tribes go up, the tribes of God
go thither:

and his mood changes. After all, the ocean is
greater than any river, however picturesque and
romantic it be, and no one with a susceptible
soul can be indifferent to the unspoken appeal of
a multitude of human beings. Old and young of
all kinds and conditions, from the captains of
industry whose names were famous throughout
the world to the young men who had come up
from remote villages to push their fortune, to-


St. Jude's

gather with all kinds of professional men ad-
ministering justice, relieving suffering, teaching
knowledge, were gathered together to hear what
the preacher had to say in the name of God.
His message would be quickly caught by the
keen city intellect and would pass into the most
varied homes and into the widest lives, and there
was an opportunity of spiritual power in this
city pulpit which the green wilderness could not

As he looked upon the sea of faces the depths
of Carmichael's nature were stirred, and when
his lips were opened he had forgotten every-
thing except the drama of humanity in its trag-
edy and in its comedy, and the evangel of Jesus
committed into his hands. He spoke with power
as one touched by the very spirit of his Master,
and in the vestry the rulers of the church re-
ferred to his sermon with a gracious and encour-
aging note. He walked home through the
gloomy street with a high head, and in his own
room, and in a way the public might not see,
he received the congratulation he valued more
than anything else on earth. For Kate was


A Local Inquisition

proud that day of her man, and she was not
slow either in praise or blame as occasion re-
quired, being through all circumstances, both
dark and bright, a woman of the ancient High-
land spirit. She was not to be many years by
his side, and their married life was not to be
without its shadows, but through the days they
were together his wife stood loyally at Car-
michael's right hand, and when she was taken he
missed many things in his home and heart, but
most of all her words of cheer, when in her hon-
est judgment, not otherwise, he had carried him-
self right knightly in the lists of life.

His nerves were on edge, and although it
mattered little that he was interrupted at dinner,
for he knew not what he was eating, he was not
anxious to see a visitor. If it were another
elder come to say kind things, he must receive
him courteously, but Carmichael had had enough
of praise that day; and if it were a reporter
desiring an interview he would assure him that
he had nothing to say, and as a consolation hand
him his manuscript to make up a quarter column.
But it was neither a city merchant nor a news-

St. Jude's

paper reporter who was waiting in the study;
indeed, one could not have found in the city a
more arresting and instructive contrast.

In the center of the room, detached from the
bookcase and the writing table, refusing the use
of a chair, and despising the very sight of a
couch, stood isolated and self-contained the
most austere man Carmichael had ever seen, or
was ever to meet in his life. He had met Cal-
vinism in its glory among Celts, but he had only
known sweet-blooded mystics like Donald Men-
zies or Pharisees converted into saints, like
Lachlan Campbell, the two Highland elders of
Drumtochty. It was another story to be face to
face with the inflexible and impenetrable subject
of Lowland Calvinism. Whether Calvinism or
Catholicism be the more congenial creed for
Celtic nature may be a subject of debate, but
when Calvinism takes hold of a Lowland Scot
of humble birth and moderate education and
intense mind there is no system which can pro-
duce so uncompromising and unrelenting a par-

Carmichael always carried in mental photo-

A Local Inquisition

graph the appearance of Simeon MacQuittrick
as he faced him that day — his tall, gaunt figure,
in which the bones of his body, like those of

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