“Moderator,” the old man apologized in much confusion, “I wot not what I did, and I pray my reverend brother, whose interesting and instructive address I have interrupted by this unmannerliness, to grant me his pardon, for my tongue simply obeyed my ear.” Which untoward incident brought the modern to an end, as by a stroke of ironical fate. It seemed to the clerk that little good to any one concerned was to come out of this debate, and he signalled to Doctor Dowbiggin, with whom he had dined the night before, when they concocted a motion over their wine. Whereupon that astute man explained to the court that he did not desire to curtail the valuable discussion, from which he personally had derived much profit, but he had ventured to draw up a motion, simply for the guidance of the House—it was said by the Rabbi’s boys that the Doctor’s success as an ecclesiastic was largely due to the skilful use of such phrases—and then he read: “Whereas the Church is set in all her courts for the defence of the truth, whereas it is reported that various erroneous doctrines are being promulgated in books and other public prints, whereas it has been stated that one of the ministers of this Presbytery has used words that might be supposed to give sanction to a certain view which appears to conflict with statements contained in the standards of the Church, the Presbytery of Muirtown declares, first of all, its unshaken adherence to the said standards; secondly, deplores the existence in any quarter of notions contradictory or subversive of said standards; thirdly, thanks Doctor Saunderson for the vigilance he has shown in the cause of sound doctrine; fourthly, calls upon all ministers within the bounds to have a care that they create no offence or misunderstanding by their teaching, and finally enjoins all parties concerned to cultivate peace and charity.”
This motion was seconded by the clerk and carried unanimously—Carmichael being compelled to silence by the two wise men for his own sake and theirs—and was declared to be a conspicuous victory both by the self-made man and the modern, which was another tribute to the ecclesiastical gifts of Doctor Dowbiggin and the clerk of the Presbytery of Muirtown.
The Rabbi had been careful to send an abstract of his speech to Carmichael, with a letter enough to melt the heart even of a self-sufficient young clerical, and Carmichael had considered how he should bear himself at the Presbytery. His intention had been to meet the Rabbi with public cordiality and escort him to a seat, so that all men should see that he was too magnanimous to be offended by this latest eccentricity of their friend. This calculated plan was upset by the Rabbi coming in late and taking the first seat that offered, and when he would have gone afterwards to thank him for his generosity the Rabbi had disappeared. It was evident that the old man’s love was as