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By Ian Maclaren

Author of "Beside the Bonnie Brier-Bush," "The Days of Auld Lang Syne," etc., etc.


It is the right of every Scot-secured to him by the Treaty of Union and confirmed by the Disruption-to criticise his minister with much freedom, but this privilege is exercised with a delicate charity. When it is not possible for a conscientious hearer to approve a sermon, he is not compelled to condemnation. "There wes naething wrang wi' the text " affords an excellent way of escape, and it is open to suggest efficiency in another department than the pulpit. "Mister MacWheep michtna be a special preacher, but there's nae doot he wes a graund veesitor." Before Carmichael left the West Kirk, Edinburgh, where he served his apprenticeship as an assistant, a worthy elder called to bid him good-by, and spoke faithfully, to the lad's great delight.

"You have been very acceptable, wonderfully so for a young man, and we shall follow your career with much interest. It is right, however, to add, and you will accept this in a right spirit, that it was not by preaching that you commended yourself to our people, but by your visiting. Your sermons are what I might call . . . hazy-you will get a hold of the truth by and by, no doubt—but you have a gift for visitation."

The exact quality and popularity of this gift was excellently stated by the wife of a workingman, who referred with enthusiasm to the edifying character of the assistant's conversation.

"Tammas misses Maister Carmichael juist terrible, for he wud come in on a forenicht an' sit, an' smoke, an' haver wi' the gudeman by the 'oor. He wes the maist divertin' minister a' ever saw in the West Kirk."

It will be evident that Carmichael's visitation belonged

to a different department of art from that of Dr. Davidson. He arrived without intimation, by the nearest way that he could invent, clothed in a shooting-jacket and a soft hat, and accompanied by at least two dogs. His coming created an instant stir, and Carmichael plunged at once into the life of the household. It is kept on fond record, and still told by the surviving remnant of his flock, that on various occasions and in the course of pastoral visitation he had turned the hay in summer, had forked the sheaves in harvest-time, and sacked the corn for market, and had driven a gude wife's churn. After which honorable toil he would eat and drink anything put before him-except boiled tea, against which he once preached with powerand then would sit indefinitely with the family before the kitchen fire, telling tales of ancient history, recalling the old struggles of Scottish men, describing foreign sights, enlarging on new books, till he would remember that he had only dropped in for an hour, and that two meals must be waiting for him at the manse. His visits were understood to be quite unfinished, and he left every house pledged to return and take up things at the point where he had been obliged to break off, and so he came at last in this matter of visitation into a condition of hopeless insolvency. His adventures were innumerable and always enjoyablefalling off the two fir-trees that made a bridge over our deeper burns, and being dried at the next farm-housewandering over the moor all night and turning up at a gamekeeper's at daybreak, covered with peat and ravening with hunger-fighting his way through a snow-storm to a marriage, and digging the bridegroom out of a drift-dodg

ing a herd of Highland cattle that thought he had come too near their calves, or driving off Drumsheugh's polled Angus bull with contumely when he was threatening Mrs. Macfadyen. If he met the bairns coming from school, the Glen rang with the foolery. When Willie Harley broke his leg, Carmichael brought his dog Jackie-I could tell things of that dog-and devised dramatic entertainments Copyright, 1896, by John Watson.

of such attraction that Jamie Soutar declared them no better than the theater, and threatened Carmichael with a skep of honey as a mark of his indignation. As for the old women of the Glen, he so got round them that they would gossip with him by the hour over past days, and Betty Macfarlane was so carried by the minister's sympathy that she brought out from hidden places some finery of her youth, and Carmichael was found by Miss Carnegie arranging a faded Paisley shawl on Betty's shoulders. And was it not this same gay Free Kirkman who trained an eleven to such perfection on a field of Drumsheugh's that they beat the second eleven of Muirtown gloriously?—on which occasion Tammas Mitchell, by the keenness of his eye and the strength of his arm, made forty-four runs; and, being congratulated by Drumtochty as he carried his bat, opened his mouth for the first time that day, saying, “ Awa wi' ye!" So it came to pass that, notwithstanding his unholy tendency to Bibical criticism and other theological pedantry, Drumtochty loved Carmichael because he was a man; and Dr. Davidson, lighting upon him in Hillocks' garden, with the family round him full of joy, would threaten him with a prosecution for ecclesiastical poaching under the Game Laws, and end by insisting upon his coming to dinner at the manse, when he might explain his conduct. Drumtochty loved him for his very imperfections, and follows his career unto this day with undying interest, recalling his various escapades with huge delight, and declaring to strangers that even in his callow days they had discovered that Carmichael was a preacher.


Carmichael had occasional fits of order, when he repented of his desultory ways, and began afresh with much diligence, writing out the names of the congregation with

full details-he once got as far as Menzies before he lost the book-mapping the parish into districts, and planning an elaborate visitation. It may have been an accident that the district he chose for experiment embraced Tochty Lodge where the Carnegies had just settled-but it was natural that his first effort should be thorough. There were exactly ten Free Kirk families from Tochty Lodge eastward, and some of these still speak with feeling of the attention they received, which exceeded all they had ever known before or since.

"It wesna that he sat sae lang as a've heard o' him daein' in the heich Glen, but it wes the times he cam"," Mrs. Stirton used to expatiate, “maybe twice a week for a month. He hed a wy o' comin' through Tochty Woodthe shade helpit him tae study, he said-an' jumpin' the dyke. Sall, gin he didna mak a roadie for himsel' through the field that year! A' wudna say," she used to add in a casual tone, "but that he micht hae gi'en a cry at the Lodge, but he cudna dae less, passin' the door."

Carmichael was astonished himself at the number of times he was obliged to see General Carnegie on business, of one kind or another. Sometimes it was about the Flower Show, of which the General had become a patron; sometimes it was the Highland Games, when the General's help would be of so much use; sometimes it was the idea of repairing the old bridge; sometimes-and Carmichael blushed when it came to this to get the General's opinion on a military question in the Bible. The least he could do in laying such a tax on a good-natured man was to bring a book for his daughter's reading, or a curious flower he had

picked up on the hill, or a story he had heard in his visiting. Miss Carnegie was generally gracious, and would see him on his way if the day were fine, or show him some improvements in the "Pleasaunce," or accompany him to Janet's cottage to have a taste of that original woman's conversation together. It came upon Carmichael at a time that he was, inadvertently, calling too frequently at the Lodge, and for a week he would keep to the main road, or even pass the corner of the Lodge with an abstracted air—

for he loathed the thought of being deflected from the path of duty by any personal attraction—and used to change the subject of conversation after Janet had spoken for half an hour on Kate.

People were speculating in a guarded manner regarding the possibility of news, and Janet had quarreled furiously with Donald for laughing such unworthy rumors to scorn, when the parish was almost convulsed by the historic scene in the Free Kirk, and all hope of a romantic alliance was blasted. Archie Moncur, elder, and James Macfadyen, deacon, were counting the collection in the vestibule, and the congregation within were just singing the last service of their first psalm, when General Carnegie and his daughter appeared at the door.

"Has service begun?" whispered Kate, while her father reverently bared his head. "I'm so sorry we are late, but you will let us in, won't you, and we shall be as quiet as mice?"

"A'll open the door," and Archie explained the geography of the situation, "an' ye 'ill juist slip intae the manse pew; it's in the corner, wi' curtains roond it, an' naebody 'ill see ye, naither minister nor people;" and so Carmichael went through the service, and had almost reached the end of his sermon before he knew that Kate was in the church.

She was very conscious of him and keenly observant of every detail—his white silk hood thrown into relief by the black Geneva gown, his fair flushed face touched with tenderness and reverence, a new accent of affection in his voice as one speaking to his charge, and especially she noted in this Free Kirkman a certain fervor and high hope, a flavor also of subtle spirituality, that were wanting in Dr. Davidson. His hair might have been better brushed, and his whiskers were distinctly ragged-but those things could be easily put right; then she tossed her head in contempt of herself. It had come to a fine pass when a girl that had carried her heart untouched through Simla should be concerned about the appearance of a Highland minister. The General was well acquainted with that proud motion, and began to regret that they had come. It was Davidson's blame, who had sent them to hear a good sermon for once, as he said, and now Kate would only find material for raillery. He tugged his mustache and wished that they were again in the open air.

When the sermon came, the occupants of the manse pew composed themselves for fifteen minutes' patient endurance, after the well-bred fashion of their Church, each selecting a corner with a skill born of long experience. They were not, however, to rest in peace and detachment of mind till the doxology (or its corresponding formula in the Scottish Kirk) summoned them back, for this was to be a quite memorable sermon for them and their fellowhearers and all Drumtochty.

Carmichael had been lecturing through Old Testament history, and, having come to the drama of Elijah and Jezebel, had laid himself out for its full and picturesque treatment. He was still at that age when right seems to be all on one side, and a particular cause can be traced down the centuries in all lands and under all conditions. For the most part of two days he had wandered over the moor in the bright, cold November weather reconstructing the scene in Israel on Scottish lines, and he entered the pulpit that morning charged with the Epic of Puritanism. Acute critics, like Elspeth Macfadyen, could tell from Carmichael's walk down the church that he was in great spirits, and even ordinary people caught a note of triumph in his voice as he gave out the first psalm. For the first few sentences of his sermon he spoke quietly, as one reserving and restraining himself, and gave a historical introduction which allowed the General to revive some ancient memories of India without interruption. But Kate caught the imperial tone of one who had a message to deliver and was already commanding people to listen. She was conscious of a certain anxiety, and began to wish that she were in front and could see his face, instead of only the side of his head. Then Carmichael threw back his hair with the air of one taking off his coat, and plunged the congregation into the midst of the battle, describing Elijah's

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forgetfulness of self, profound conviction of righteousness, high purpose for his nation and devotion to the cause of Jehovah, till Burnbrae and the Free Kirkmen straightened themselves visibly in their pews, and touching so skillfully on the Tyrian princess in her beauty, her culture, her bigotry, her wiles, her masterfulness, that several womengreatly delighting in the exposure of such a "trimmie nodded approval. Kate had never given herself to the study of Old Testament history, and would have had some difficulty in identifying Elijah-there was a mare called Jezebel, of vicious temper-but she caught the contagion of enthusiasm. If the supreme success of a sermon be to stimulate the hearer's mind, then Carmichael ought to have closed at this point. His people would have been all the week fighting battles for conscience' sake, and resisting smooth, cunning temptation to the farthest limits of their lives and in unimaginable ways. Kate herself, although a person quite unaffected by preaching, had also naturalized the sermon in her life with much practical and vivid detail. Carmichael was Elijah, the prophet of the common people, with his simple ways and old-fashioned notions and love of hardness, only far more gentle and courteous and amusing than that uncompromising Jew; and she-why, she would be Jezebel just for the moment, who had come from. . . India into the Glen, and could bring Elijah to her feet if she chose, and make him do her will, and then. . . . The girls in the choir before the pulpit noticed the look on Kate's face, and wondered whether the Carnegies would join the Free Kirk.

Carmichael had an instinct that he ought to fling over the remaining four pages of his sermon and close the service with a war psalm, and he told me when I was staying with him last week that he sacrifices the last head of his sermon almost every Sunday in his city pulpit. But he was only a lad in Drumtochty, and, besides, was full of a historical parallel, which, after a scientific illustration, is most irresistible to a young minister. No one had ever seen it before, but of course Elijah was John Knox, and Jezebel was Queen Mary of Scots, and then Carmichael set to work afresh, with something less than conspicuous success. Scottish people are always ready for a eulogium on John Knox in church, or on Robert Burns out of church, but the Reformer is rather the object of patriotic respect than personal devotion. Netherton snuffed in quite a leisurely way,

and the women examined the bonnet of the manse housekeeper, while Knox stood in the breach for the liberties of Scotland, and when Carmichael began to meddle with Mary he distinctly lost the sympathies of his audience and entered on dangerous ground. Scots allow themselves, at times, the rare luxury of being illogical, and one of the occasions is their fondness for Queen Mary. An austere Puritan may prove that this young woman was French in her ways, an enemy to the Evangel, a born and practiced flirt, and art and part in the murder of Darnley. A Scot will not deny the evidence, and if he be thrust into the box he may bring the prisoner guilty, but his heart is with the condemned, and he has a grudge against the prosecutor. For he never forgets that Mary was of the royal blood and a thorough Stuart, that her face turned men's heads in every country she touched, that she had the courage of a man in her, that she was shamefully used, and if she did throw over that ill-conditioned lad, well . . . "Puir lassie, she hed naebody tae guide her, but sall, she focht her battle weel," and out of this judgment none can drive an honest Scot.

"Yon wes a graund discoorse the day, gude wife," Jeems hazarded to Elspeth on the way home, "but a' thocht the minister wes a wee hard on Queen Mary; there's nae doot she wes a Papist, an' micht hae gien Knox a bit twist wi' the screws gin she cud hae gruppit him, but a' dinna like her misca'd."

"A've heard him wi' ma ain ears crackin' her up by the 'oor, an' a' canna mak oot what set him against her the day; but he's young," remarked Elspeth, sagely, "an' wi' his age it's either saint or deevil, an' ae day the one an' the next day the ither; there's nae medium. Noo maist fouk are juist half an' between, an' Mary hed her faults."

"Ma word, Jeems," continued Elspeth, with much relish,

"Mary wud sune settled the minister gin she hed been in the kirk the day."

'Aye, aye," inquired Jeems, "noo what hud the hizzie hae dune ?"

"She wud juist hae sent for him an' lookit wi' her een, an' askit him what ill he hed at her, an' gin that wesna eneuch she wud hae pit her handkerchief tae her face."

"Of coorse he cudna hae stude that; a' micht hae gien in masel'," admitted Jeems, "but Knox wes stiff." "Maister Carmichael is no a Knox, naither are ye, Jeems, an' it's a mercy for me ye arena. Mary wud hae twistit Maister Carmichael roond her finger, but a'm judgin' he 'ill catch it as it is afore mony days, or ma name's no Elspeth Macfadyen. Did ye see Miss Carnegie rise an' gae oot afore he feenished?"


"Div ye mean that, Elspeth?" and her husband was amazed at such penetration. Noo, a' thocht it hed been the heat; a' never held wi' that stove; it draws up the air. Hoo did ye jalouse yon?"

"She wes fidgetin' in her seat when he yokit on Mary, an' the meenut he named her 'our Scottish Jezebel' the Miss rose an' opened the seat door that calm, a' knew she wes in a tantrum, and she gied him a look afore she closed the kirk door that wud hae brocht ony man tae his


"Jeems,” went on Elspeth with solemnity, "a' coont this a doonricht calamity, for a' wes houpin' he wud hae pleased them the day, an' noo a'm sair afraid that the minister hes crackit his credit wi' the Lodge."

"Div ye think, Elspeth, he saw her gang oot an' suspeckit the cause?"

"It's maist michty tae hear ye ask sic a question, Jeems. What gared him mak' a hash o' the baptism prayer, and return thanks that there wes a leevin' father, instead o' mither, and gie oot the 103d Paraphrase? Tak' ma word for't, he's wishin' by this time that he'd lat puir Mary alane."

It was just above Hillocks' farm that the General overtook Kate, who was still blazing.

"Did you ever hear such vulgar abuse and . . . abominable language from a pulpit? He's simply a raging fanatic, and not one bit better than his Knox. And I . . . we thought him quite different . . . and a gentleman. I'll never speak to him again. Scottish Jezebel! I suppose he would call me Jezebel if it occurred to him."

"Very likely he would," replied the General, dryly, "and I must say his talk about Queen Mary seemed rather bad taste. But that's not the question, Kate, which is your conduct in leaving a place of worship in such an . . . unladylike fashion."

"What?" for this was new talk from her father. "As no Carnegie ought to have done. You have forgotten yourself and your house, and there is just one thing for you to do, and the sooner the better."


Father, I'll never look at him again . . . and after that evening at Dr. Davidson's, and our talking . . . about Queen Mary, and . . . lots of things."

"Whether you meet Mr. Carmichael again or not is your own affair, but this touches us both, and you . . . must write a letter of apology."

"And if I don't?" said Kate, defiantly.

"Then I shall write one myself for you. A Carnegie must not insult any man, be he one faith or the other, and offer him no amends."

So Donald handed in this letter at the Free Kirk manse that evening, and left without an answer:

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were going to Muirtown Castle to-morrow for a visit; but Janet had not lost hope.

"Do not be taking this to heart, my dear, for I will be asking a question. What will be making Miss Kate so very angry? it is not every man she would be minding, though he spoke against Queen Mary all the day. When a woman does not care about a man, she will not take the trouble to be angry. That is what I am thinking; and it is not Lord Hay that has the way, oh no, though he be a proper man and good at shooting."


College friends settled in petty lowland towns, and meeting Carmichael on sacramental occasions, affected to pity him, inquiring curiously what were his means of conveyance after the railway ceased, what time a letter took to reach him, whether any foot ever crossed his door from October to May, whether the great event of the week was not the arrival of the bread-cart. Those were exasperating gibes from men who could not take a walk without coming on a coal-pit, nor lift a book in their studies without soiling their hands, whose windows looked on a street and commanded the light of a grocer's shop instead of a sunset. It ill became such miserables to be insolent, and Carmichael taught them humility when he began to sound the praises of Drumtochty; but he could not make townspeople understand the unutterable satisfaction of the country minister, who even from old age and great cities looks. back with fond regret to his first parish on the slope of the Grampians. Some kindly host wrestles with him to stay a few days more in civilization, and pledges him to run up whenever he wearies of his exile, and the ungrateful rustic can hardly conceal the joy of his escape. He shudders on the way to the station at the drip of the dirty sleet and the rags of the shivering poor, and the restless faces of the men and the unceasing roar of the traffic. Where he is going the white snow is falling gently on the road, a cart full of sweet-smelling roots is moving on velvet, the driver stops to exchange views with a farmer who has been feeding his sheep, within the humblest cottage the fire is burning clearly. With every mile northward the Glenman's heart lifts; and as he lands on his far-away little station he draws a deep breath of the clean, wholesome air. It is a long walk through the snow, but there is a kindly, couthy smell from the woods, and at sight of the squares of light in his home, weariness departs from a Drumtochty man. Carmichael used to say that a glimpse of Archie Moncur sitting with his sisters before the fire as he passed, and the wild turmoil of his dogs within the manse as the latch of the garden gate clicked, and the flood of light pouring out from the open door on the garden, where every branch was feathered with snow, and to come into his study, where the fire of pine logs was reflected from the familiar titles of his loved books, gave him a shock of joy such as he has never felt since, even in the days of his prosperity.

"The city folk are generous with their wealth," he was saying to me only last week, when I was visiting him in his West End manse and we fell a-talking of the Glen, "and they have dealt kindly by me; they are also full of ideas, and they make an inspiring audience for a preacher. If any man has a message to deliver from the Eternal, then he had better leave the wilderness and come to the city; and if he has plans for the helping of his fellowmen, let him come where he can get his agents and his laborers.

"No, I do not repent leaving the Glen, for the Divine Hand thrust me forth and has given me work to do, and I am not ungrateful to the friends I have made in the city; but God created me a country man, and "—here Carmichael turned his back to me-"my heart goes back to Drumtochty, and the sight of you fills me with . . . longing.

"Ah, how this desiderium, as the Rabbi would have said, comes over one with the seasons as they come and go! In spring they send me the first snowdrops from the Glen, but it is a cruel kindness, for I want to be where they are growing in Clashisgarden. When summer comes, people praise the varied flower-beds of the costly city parks, but they have not seen Tochty woods in their glory. Each autumn

carries me to the harvest-field, till in my study I hear the swish of the scythe and feel the fragrance of the dry, ripe grain. And in winter I see the sun shining on the white sides of Glen Urtach, and can hardly keep pen to paper in this dreary room.

"What nonsense this is!" pulling himself together; "yes, that is the very chair you sat in, and this is the table we stuck between us with our humble flask of Mosel wine of a winter's night . . . let's go to bed; we 'ill have no more good talk to-night."

When he had left me, I flung open my window in search of air, for it seemed as if the city were choking me. A lamp was flaring across the street, two cabs rattled past with revelers singing a music-hall song, a heavy odor from many drains floated in, the multitude of houses oppressed one as with a weight. How sweet and pure it was now at the pool above Tochty Mill, where the trout were lying below the stones and the ashen boughs dipping into the water!

Carmichael once, however, lost all love of the Glen, and that was after Kate flung herself out of the Free Kirk and went on a visit to Kilspindie Castle. He was completely disenchanted, and saw everything at its poorest. Why did they build the manse so low that an able-bodied man could touch the ceiling of the lower rooms with an effort and the upper rooms easily? What possessed his predecessor to put such an impossible paper on the study, and to stuff the room with book-shelves? A row of Puritan divines offended him a wooden, obsolete theology-but he also pitched a defense of Queen Mary into a cupboard-she had done enough mischief already. The garden looked squalid and mean, without flowers, with black patches peeping through the thin covering of snow, with a row of winter greens opposite the southern window. He had never noticed the Glen so narrow and bare before, nor how gray and unlovely were the houses. Why had not the people better manners and some brightness?-they were not always attending funerals and making bargains. What an occupation for an educated man to spend two hours in a cabin of a vestry with a dozen laboring men, considering how two pounds could be added to the Sustentation Fund, or preaching on Sunday to a handful of people who showed no more animation than stone gods, except when the men took snuff audibly! Carmichael was playing the spoiled child-not being at all a mature or perfect character, then or nowand was ready to hit out at anybody. His bearing was for the first and only time in his life supercilious, and his sermons were a vicious attack on the doctrines most dear to the best of his people. His elders knew not what had come over him, although Elspeth Macfadyen was mysteriously apologetic, and in moments of sanity he despised himself. One day he came to a good resolution suddenly, and went down to see Rabbi Saunderson--the very thought of whose gentle, patient, selfless life was a rebuke and a tonic.

When two tramps held conference on the road, and one indicated to the other visibly that any gentleman in temporary distress would be treated after a Christian fashion at a neighboring house, Carmichael, who had been walking in a dream since he passed the Lodge, knew instantly that he must be near the Free Kirk manse of Kilbogie. The means of communication between the members of the nomadic profession is almost perfect in its frequency and accuracy, and Saunderson's manse was a hedge-side wood. Not only did all the regular travelers by the north road call on their going up in spring and their coming down in autumn, but habitués of the east coast route were attracted and made a circuit to embrace so hospitable a home, and even country vagrants made their way from Dunleith and down through Glen Urtach to pay their respects to the Rabbi. They had careful directions to avoid Barbara— expressed forcibly on five different posts in the vicinity and enforced in picturesque language, of an evening-and they were therefore careful to waylay the Rabbi on the road, or enter his study boldly from the front. The humbler members of the profession contented themselves with explaining that they had once been prosperous tradesmen, and were now walking to Muirtown in search of work-receiving

their alms in silence, with diffidence and shame; but those in a higher walk came to consult the Rabbi on Bible difficulties, which were threatening to shake their faith, and departed much relieved-with a new view of Lot's wife, as well as a suit of clothes the Rabbi had worn only three times.

"You have done kindly by me in calling"-the vagabond had finished his story and was standing, a very abject figure, among the books-" and in giving me the message from your friend. I am truly thankful that he is now laboring in iron-did you say?—and I hope he may be a cunning artificer.

"You will not set it down to carelessness that I cannot quite recall the face of your friend, for, indeed, it is my privilege to see many travelers, and there are times when I may have been a minister to them on their journeys, as I would be to you also if there be anything in which I can serve you. It grieves me to say that I have no clothing that I might offer you; it happens that a very worthy man passed here a few days since most insufficiently clad, and . . . but I should not have alluded to that; my other garments, save what I wear, are . . . kept in a place of .. safety by my excellent housekeeper, and she makes their custody a point of conscience; you might put the matter before her.


"Assuredly it would be difficult, and I crave your pardon for putting you in a . . . difficult position; it is my misfortune to have to-day neither silver nor gold;" catching sight of Carmichael in the passage, "this is a providence. May I borrow from you, John, some suitable sum for our brother here who is passing through adversity?"

"Do not be angry with me, John "--after the tramp had departed, with five shillings in hand and much triumph over Carmichael on his face-"nor speak bitterly of our fellow-men. Verily theirs is a hard lot who have no place to lay their head, and who journey in weariness from city to city. John, I was once a stranger and a wayfarer, wandering over the length and breadth of the land. Nor had I a friend on earth till my feet were led to the Mains, where my heart was greatly refreshed, and now God has surrounded me with young men of whose kindness I am not worthy, wherefore it becometh me to show mercy unto others," and the Rabbi looked at Carmichael with such sweetness that the lad's sullenness began to yield, although he made no sign.


Moreover," and the Rabbi's voice took a lower tone, "as often as I look on one of those men of the highways, there cometh to me a vision of Him who was an outcast of the people, and, albeit some may be as Judas, peradventure one might beg alms of me, a poor sinful man, some day, and, lo, it be . . . the Lord himself in a saint," and the Rabbi uncovered his head and stood a while much moved.

"Rabbi," after a pause, during which Carmichael's face had changed, "you are incorrigible. For years we have been trying to make you a really good and wise man, both by example and precept, and you are distinctly worse than when we began-more lazy, miserly, and uncharitable. It is very disheartening.

"Can you receive another tramp and give him a bed?— for I am in low spirits, and so, like every other person in trouble, I come to you, you dear old saint, and already I feel a better man."

"Receive you, John? It is doubtless selfish, but it is not given to you to know how I weary to see your face, and we shall have much converse together there are some points I would like your opinion on—but first of all, after a slight refreshment, we must go to Mains: behold the aid to memory I have designed"-and the Rabbi pointed to a large square of paper hung above Chrysostom, with "Farewell, George Pitillo, 3 o'clock." "He is the son's son of my benefactor, and he leaves his father's house this day to go into a strange land across the sea: I had a service last night at Mains, and expounded the departure of Abraham, but only slightly, being somewhat affected through the weakness of the flesh.

"There was a covenant made between the young man and myself that I should meet him at the crossing of the

roads to-day, and it is in my mind to leave a parable with him against the power of this present world."

Then the Rabbi fell into a meditation till the dog-cart came up, Mains and his wife in the front and George alone in the back, making a brave show of indifference.

"George," said the Rabbi, looking across the field and speaking as to himself, "we shall not meet again in this world, and in a short space they will bury me in Kilbogie kirkyard, but it will not be in me to lie still for thinking of the people I have loved.

"So it will come to pass that I may rise-you have ears to understand, George-and I will inquire of him that taketh charge of the dead about many and how it fares with them.

"And George Pitillo?'

"Oh, it's a peety you didna live langer, Mr. Saunderson, for George hes risen in the warld and made a great fortune.'

"How does it go with his soul, Andrew?'

"Well, you see, Mister Saunderson, George has had many things to think about, and he maybe hasna hed time for releegion yet, but nae doot he 'ill be turnin' his mind that wy soon.'

"Poor George, that I baptized and admitted to the sacrament and . . . loved, exchanged his soul for the world." The sun was setting fast, and the landscape-bare stubble fields, leafless trees, still water, long, empty road-was of a blood-red color fearsome to behold, so that no one spake, and the horse chafing bis bit made the only sound. Then the Rabbi began again.

"And George Pitillo-tell me, Andrew?'


'Weel, ye see, Mister Saunderson, ye wud be sorry for him, for you and he were aye chief; he's keepit a gude name an' workit hard, but hesna made muckle o' this warld.' "And his soul, Andrew?'

“Oo, that's a' richt; gin we a' hed as gude a chance for the next warld as George Pitillo, we micht be satisfied.'

"That is enough for his old friend; hap me over again, Andrew, and I'll rest in peace till the trumpet sound.'

Carmichael turned aside, but he heard something desperately like a sob from the back of the dog-cart, and the Rabbi saying, "God be with you, George, and as your father's father received me in the day of my sore discouragement, so may the Lord God of Israel open a door for you in every land whithersoever you go, and bring you in at last through the gates into the city." The Rabbi watched George till the dog-cart faded away into the dusk of the winter's day, and they settled for the night in their places among the books before the Rabbi spoke.

It was with a wistful tenderness that he turned to Carmichael and touched him slightly with his hand, as was a fashion with the Rabbi.

"You will not think me indifferent to your welfare because I have not inquired about your affairs, for indeed this could not be, but the going forth of this lad has tried my heart. Is there aught, John, that it becometh you to tell me, and wherein my years can be of any avail ?" "It is not about doctrine I wished to speak to you, Rabbi, although I am troubled thus also, but about you remember our talk."

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"About the maid, surely; I cannot forget her, and indeed often think of her since the day you brought me to her house and made me known unto her, which was much courtesy to one who is fitter for a book-room than a woman's company.

"She is fair of face and debonair, and surely beauty and a winsome way are from God; there seemed also a certain contempt of baseness and a strength of will which are excellent. Perhaps my judgment is not even because Miss Carnegie was gracious to me, and you know, John, it is not in me to resist kindness, but this is how she seems to me. Has there been trouble between you?"

"Do not misunderstand me, Rabbi; I have not spoken one word of love to . . . Miss Carnegie, nor she to me; but I love her, and I thought that perhaps she saw that I loved her. But now it looks as if . . . what I hoped is never to be," and Carmichael told the Queen Mary affair.

"Is it not marvelous," mused the Rabbi, looking into

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"It was not fitting that Miss Carnegie should have left God's house in heat of temper, and it seemeth to us that she hath a wrong reading of history, but it is surely good that she has her convictions, and holdeth them fast like a brave maid.

"Is it not so, John, that friends and doubtless also . . . lovers have been divided by conscience and have been on opposite sides in the great conflict, and doth not this show how much of conscience there is among men ?

"It may be this dispute will not divide you-being now, as it were, more an argument of the schools than a matter of principle; but if it should appear that you are far apart on the greater matters of faith, then . . . you will have a heavy cross to carry. But it is my mind that the heart of the maiden is right, and that I may some day see her in your home, whereat my eyes would be glad."

The Rabbi was so taken up with the matter that he barely showed Carmichael a fine copy of St. John of Damascus he had secured from London, and went out of his course at worship to read, as well as to expound with much feeling, the story of Ruth the Moabitess, showing conclusively that she had in her a high spirit, and that she was designed of God to be a strength to the house of David. He was also very cheerful in the morning, and bade Carmichael goodby at Tochty woods with encouraging words. He also agreed to assist his boy at the Drumtochty sacrament.

It was evident that the Rabbi's mind was much set on this visit, but Carmichael did not for one moment depend upon his remembering the day, and so Burnbrae started early on the Saturday with his dog-cart to bring Saunderson up and deposit him without fail in the Free Kirk manse of Drumtochty. Six times that day did the minister leave his "action" sermon and take his way to the guest-room, carrying such works as might not be quite unsuitable for the old scholar's perusal, and arranging a lamp of easy management, that the night hours might not be lost. It was late in the afternoon before the Rabbi was delivered at the manse, and Burnbrae gave explanations next day at the sacramental dinner.

"It wes juist ten when a' got tae the manse o' Kilbogie, an' his hoosekeeper didna ken whar her maister wes; he micht be in Kildrummie by that time, she said, or half wy tae Muirtown. So a' set oot an' ransackit the pairish till a' got him, an' gin he wesna sittin' in a bothie takin' brose wi' the plowmen an' expoundin' Scripture a' the time.

"He startit on the ancient martyrs afore we were half a mile on the road, and he gied ae testimony aifter anither, an' he wesna within sicht o' the Reformation when we cam tae the hooses; a'll no deny that a' let the mare walk bits o' the road, for a' cud hae heard him a' nicht; ma bluid's warmer yet, freends."

The Rabbi arrived in great spirits, and refused to taste meat till he had stated the burden of his sermon for the morrow.

"If the Lord hath opened our ears, the servant must declare what has been given him, but I prayed that the message sent through me to your flock, John, might be love, for it hath pleased the Great Shepherd that I should lead the sheep by strange paths. But I desired that it be otherwise when I came for the first time to Drumtochty.

"Two days did I spend in the woods, for the stillness of winter among the trees leaveth the mind disengaged for the Divine word, and the first day my soul was heavy as I returned, for this only was laid upon me, 'vessels of wrath, filled for destruction.' And, John, albeit God would doubtless have given me strength according to His will, yet I was loth to bear this awful truth to the people of your charge.

"Next day the sun was shining pleasantly in the wood, and it came to me that clouds had gone from the face of God, and as I wandered among the trees a squirrel sat on a branch within reach of my hand and did not flee. Then

I heard a voice, 'I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.'

"It was, in an instant, my hope that this might be

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