Many thoughts such as these passed through my mind, chiefly associated with her. For I could not think how to think about Mrs Oldcastle yet. And the old church gloomed about me all the time. And I kept lifting up my heart to the God who had cared to make me, and then drew me to be a preacher to my fellows, and had surely something to give me to say to them; for did He not choose so to work by the foolishness of preaching?—Might not my humble ignorance work His will, though my wrath could not work His righteousness? And I descended from the pulpit thinking with myself, “Let Him do as He will. Here I am. I will say what I see: let Him make it good.”
And the next morning, I spoke about the words of our Lord:
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him!”
And I looked to see. And there Catherine Weir sat, looking me in the face.
There likewise sat Mrs Oldcastle, looking me in the face too.
And Judy sat there, also looking me in the face, as serious as man could wish grown woman to look.
One little matter I forgot to mention as having been talked about between Dr Duncan and myself that same evening. I happened to refer to Old Rogers.
“What a fine old fellow that is!” said Dr Duncan.
“Indeed he is,” I answered. “He is a great comfort and help to me. I don’t think anybody but myself has an idea what there is in that old man.”
“The people in the village don’t quite like him, though, I find. He is too ready to be down upon them when he sees things going amiss. The fact is, they are afraid of him.”
“Something as the Jews were afraid of John the Baptist, because he was an honest man, and spoke not merely his own mind, but the mind of God in it.”
“Just so. I believe you’re quite right. Do you know, the other day, happening to go into Weir’s shop to get him to do a job for me, I found him and Old Rogers at close quarters in an argument? I could not well understand the drift of it, not having been present at the beginning, but I soon saw that, keen as Weir was, and far surpassing Rogers in correctness of speech, and precision as well, the old sailor carried too heavy metal for the carpenter. It evidently annoyed Weir; but such was the good humour of Rogers, that he could not, for very shame, lose his temper, the old man’s smile again and again compelling a response on the thin cheeks of ihe other.”