Rabbi Saunderson eBook

Ian Maclaren
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about Rabbi Saunderson.
through the wealth of allusion and quotation, all in the tongues of the learned.  Then he dealt with the theology of Mr. Erskine of Linlathen, and showed how it was undermining the very foundations of Calvinism; yet the Rabbi spake so tenderly of our Scottish Maurice that the Presbytery knew not whether it ought to condemn Erskine as a heretic or love him as a saint.  Having thus brought the court face to face with the issues involved, the Rabbi gave a sketch of a certain sermon he had heard while assisting “a learned and much-beloved brother at the Sacrament,” and Carmichael was amazed at the transfiguration of this very youthful performance, which now figured as a profound and edifying discourse, for whose excellent qualities the speaker had not adequate words.  This fine discourse was, however, to a certain degree marred, the Rabbi suggested, by an unfortunate, although no doubt temporary, leaning to the teaching of Mr. Erskine, whose beautiful piety had exercised its just fascination upon his spiritually-minded brother.  Finally the Rabbi left the matter in the hands of the Presbytery, declaring that he had cleared his conscience, and that the minister in question was one—­here he was painfully overcome—­dear to him as a son, and one to whose many labours and singular graces he could bear full testimony, the Rev. John Carmichael, of Drumtochty.  The Presbytery was slow and pedantic, but was not insensible to a spiritual situation, and there was a murmur of sympathy when the Rabbi sat down—­much exhausted, and never having allowed himself to look once at Carmichael.

Then arose a self-made man, who considered orthodoxy and capital to be bound up together, and especially identified any departure from sovereignty with that pestilent form of Socialism which demanded equal chances for every man.  He was only a plain layman, he said, and perhaps he ought not to speak in the presence of so many reverend gentlemen, but he was very grateful to Doctor Saunderson for his honourable and straight-forward conduct.  It would be better for the Church if there were more like him, and he would just like to ask Mr. Carmichael three questions.  Did he sign the Confession of Faith?—­that was one; and had he kept it?—­that was two; and the last was, When did he propose to leave the Church?  He knew something about building contracts, and he had heard of a penalty when a contract was broken.  There was just one thing more he would like to say—­if there was less loose theology in the pulpit there would be more money in the plate.  The shame of the Rabbi during this harangue was pitiable to behold.

[Illustration:  Then arose A self-made man]

Then a stalwart arose on the other side, and a young gentleman who had just escaped from a college debating society wished to know what century we were living in, warned the last speaker that the progress of theological science would not be hindered by mercenary threats, advised Doctor Saunderson to read a certain German, called Ritschl—­as if he had been speaking to a babe in arms—­and was re-freshing himself with a Latin quotation, when the Rabbi, in utter absence of mind, corrected a false quantity aloud.

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Rabbi Saunderson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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