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great window opens up there between stupendous walls of rock that plunge sheer down into the sea. This window frames, for one half the horizon, one of the grandest views in Scotland. But from the height above it the eye can see all around the horizon-and nothing can exceed the magnificent sweep of sea and shore which it embraces. Eastwards Ben Cruachan and the shoulder of Ben Nevis appear in view. In the south-west the rocky ramparts of Scarba and the twin Paps of Jura alternately appear and disappear through their wreaths of clouds. Due west the dark blue line of Colonsay breaks the monotony of the Atlantic billows at their utmost verge. And northwards the shores of Mull, with their near basaltic cliffs and distant far-extending headlands, slope up to the lofty cone of Ben More in the interior. That wide horizon to the monks of old must have been a transfiguration scene in which the most varied effects of light and shade, peace and storm, would be constantly displayed. Every sound would be in harmony with the transcendent vision; and after the still small voices of the wind on the height and the wave on the shore would come at intervals through the solemn silence thus accentuated the thunder roar of the vexed whirlpool of Corryvreckan; and the spectator would be irresistibly urged-like Elijah at Horebto cover his face with his mantle before the greatness of God.
MR. SEMPILL'S SETTLEMENT.
T was a great relief to the congregation at Kirjath-jearim Chapel when they saw Mr. Sempill at last settled in its pulpit. The difficulties which they had experienced in filling up the place of Mr. Glendinning, their late pastor, had not only damped the enthusiasm of their members, but had bred party divisions that threatened to break up the flock altogether. So long as Mr. Glendinning lived there had been no congregation in the whole connection more compact and harmonious than that of Kirjath. The worthy man was its first pastor. Half a century before, he had commenced services in a wooden barn by the wayside for those who thirsted after more evangelical doctrine than that preached by the Established Church of the day. The few who at first gathered round him were not of much social account in the district; and Mr. Stickler of St. Simonie's, the minister of the parish, cracked many jokes at the poor appearance of the dissenters and their place of worship. The Cave of Adullam,' the City of Refuge,' were epithets by which Mr. Stickler was wont to speak of Mr. Glendinning's meeting-house, and following up the latter idea he dubbed the chapel Kirjath-jearim,' a name which ever afterwards continued to cling to it. Mr. Glendinning's sermons, however, were more successful than Mr. Stickler's jokes, and before long a considerable congregation collected at Kirjath, comprising not a few well-to-do farmers and tradesmen from the neighbouring town of Simonie. By and by the timber tabernacle gave place to a substantial stone and lime building, while a comfortable two-storied manse supplanted the little thatched cottage that had been the first home of the pastor and his family. And when the railway passed through the district, and the engineers laid down a station close to the chapel, the prosperity of Kirjath was completed and a considerable village soon sprang up, which from the lack of any other local designation called itself after the name of the chapel.
Mr. Glendinning's death was a great event in the annals of Kirjath. While he lived, both office-bearers and congregation had been kept in strict subjection to his will, whether in matters of doctrine or of discipline. Men like Deacon Lundie, the lawyer in Simonie, who liked to take the lead in church matters, sometimes thought that Mr. Glendinning arrogated too much power to himself, and that more deference should be shown to the opinions of the officebearers; but in the end the minister had it all his own way, for the mass of the congregation was ready to subscribe to whatever views he chose to put before them. And every one admitted that Mr. Glendinning had a good right to rule in Kirjath; and that if he was
occasionally inclined to be dictatorial, it was nothing more than was to be expected. He it was who had gathered together the congregation, who had received every member into the Church, who had raised the money for building the chapel and manse, and who had procured endowments from various denominational funds. And yet there were people in Kirjath who grudged Mr. Glendinning his authority, and who would fain have delivered the church from his assumptions, had not the majority stood loyally by their pastor whenever controversy
When the grave closed over Mr. Glendinning and his funeral sermon had been duly preached by Brother Dudgeon of Drywells, the deacons of Kirjath began to feel the importance of the responsibility that now devolved upon them. This was the first opportunity that Kirjath had enjoyed of choosing a minister, and every office-bearer was determined that their choice should be such as would do credit to Kirjath in the eyes of the connection. Equally resolved was each that The himself should have the leading voice in the selection, and that Mr. Glendinning's successor should be a man imbued with his own individual ideas of doctrine and Church government. It was not long, therefore, before symptoms of discord manifested themselves; and hot blood was raised even at the first meeting.
'I'm all for deliberation,' said Mr. Lundie, the lawyer. We can give a good salary, and we ought to get a good man. We're twenty pounds better than Drywells, and our manse is the best in the Church any way round about. I am not a man that sets more by gifts than grace, but I think we might get a college man for the money.'
'What signifies carnal learning unless a pastor has got the spirit?' snuffled Mr. Sandison, the chemist, who professed a greater degree of evangelical fervour than his fellows, and who was always denouncing the worldly wisdom of Deacon Lundie's counsels. It was not upon college men that the Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost. Give me a man with the Spirit, who can read the word of God, and I don't care though he had never been inside a school or college all his days. Knowledge only puffeth up, and makes a pastor give himself airs.'
'What we want is a man which understands the congregation,' put in Mr. Teape, the clothier from Simonie, who had a nephew newly licensed as a preacher. It takes a stranger months before he gets at the souls of his flock, and then there is always people which lays their hands upon him, and makes him cliquish. In my opinion a local connection would be a qualification.'
'At any rate let us look about us,' urged Mr. Dickson, the cornmerchant; let us invite probationers to come and preach-we can get 'em for a guinea a head, and their railway fares won't come to much. As for feeding and putting them up, I don't mind taking that upon myself; my house is handy for the station.'
'Umph!' retorted Mr. Lundie, who thought he detected in the corn-merchant's proposal a scheme for bringing candidates under his own influence. There will be no difficulty about showing hospitality.
But I've been thinking that it would be perhaps better if any qualified member of the congregation were asked to cast about him and select a candidate or two. I am going up to Glasgow in a week or so, and will be happy to be of any service that lies within my poor ability.'
'And in the meantime let's give Mr. Glendinning's widow the minister's salary,' said bluff Mr. Lyon, the farmer of Broomknowes, who had been elected a member of the deacons' court rather because he was the most liberal subscriber to the funds of Kirjath than that his spiritual aptitude for the office was at all conspicuous. The Kirjath folk need not be shabby-when the plate is empty we can fill it again; and if we don't show our Christianity by providing for the widow and orphan, it don't matter much what sort of a minister we get.'
'There are objections in the way of Brother Lyon's proposals,' interposed Mr. Lundie. 'We have not only ourselves but the rest of the Church to consider, and though we might afford to be liberal in the case of Mr. Glendinning's widow, we must pause before we set up a precedent that less able congregations might find it difficult to follow. Am I to understand, then, that it is the pleasure of the meeting that I make inquiries during my absence for a suitable minister?
Mr. Teape would have urged the expediency of preferring a pastor who knew the souls of the Kirjath folk,' and Mr. Dickson again remarked that candidates could be most conveniently put up at his house, it was so handy for the station; but as Mr. Lundie's proposal was ostensibly a less selfish one, it was formally carried, and the writer was deputed by the congregation to look around him for a man of parts and piety to fill the vacant pulpit of Kirjath.
Then began the troubles of Kirjath-jearim. Mr. Lundie brought back with him Mr. Prosser, a gifted young graduate of Glasgow University, who had won prizes without number, and who would have been content to accept Kirjath as a perch upon which he might fledge his wings for soaring to a higher summit. But this young divine's theology was of too advanced a type for the sober believers of Kirjath. Some other rival for the vacant pastorate obligingly sent to each of the office-bearers an essay which Mr. Prosser had published to demonstrate that Moses was not responsible for all the writings that have been handed down to history under his name. An attempt might have been made to get over this scepticism about the authorship of the Pentateuch, as relating to a matter under the old dispensation, but Mr. Prosser in his first sermon to the Kirjath flock unluckily let drop some doubts regarding the personality of the Devil, a being who occupied too prominent a place in the creed of the congregation to be thus slighted with impunity. Mr. Prosser's chances were consequently lost, and though Mr. Lundie had as good as promised him the charge of Kirjath, the young preacher departed in disgust out of their coasts.
Then Mr. Dickson, the corn-merchant, brought forward Mr.
Laidle, whose chief claim to the consideration of the congregation was the success which he had achieved in raising money for the various schemes of the Church, and who brought with him many testimonials from eminent divines to the effects which his preaching had produced upon the pockets of his hearers.
Mr. Lundie, however, in revenge for the defeat of his own candidate, formed a party and drove him from the field; and the pursestrings of the Kirjath congregation were saved from the relaxing influence of Mr. Laidle's oratory.
Next Mr. Teape's nephew was allowed a chance, and party feeling soon ran higher than ever. Mr. Lundie and Mr. Dickson having each failed to put in his own man, of course did their best to oppose young Mr. Teape's candidature; but there was a large number of members who by friendship and family connections were disposed to give him a trial. The contest between the Teapites and the anti-Teapites soon became too bitter to be confined within the narrow limits of Kirjath. The doctrine and morals of Mr. Teape were warmly assailed by the one side, and as stoutly defended by the other, not merely in the penny weekly paper of the district, but in the columns of the Evangelical Record,' the chief organ of the denomination. If a 'Lover of Truth' lauded Mr. Teape's eloquence and orthodoxy the one week, a 'Hater of Humbug' was sure to come to the front on the following Saturday with a cutting criticism upon the candidate's latest discourse. One week 'Querist" asks the editor of the Record' whether it was or was not the case that the person who aspired to take charge of the souls of the Kirjath congregation had been flogged when a boy by Mr. Licklittle, the pedagogue of St. Simonie's, for using the name of the d-l in a light and irreverent manner, and whether at the same period of his career he was not in the habit of employing such expressions as confound it' and blast it' in his conversation. In the next issue of the same journal Vindex' tells the editor that it is of no consequence to Querist' whether the reports mentioned be true or not, as he was not a member of the Kirjath congregation, and never would be admitted to that body until he had given proofs of an intention to abandon his profligate and irreligious ways. When the Teapites threatened to prevail, the antiTeapites, with Deacon Lundie at their head, spoke of establishing a rival meeting to Kirjath in the Freemasons' Hall at Simonie; when the balance of power inclined to the anti-Teapites, the others declared that if any other pastor were forced upon them they would go over to the Free Kirk, or would walk the half-score and odd miles that lay between them and Drywells. Whichever faction prevailed, schism seemed inevitable, and the connection was threatened with the disruption of one of its most prosperous congregations. It was in vain that the neighbouring brethren sought to interpose their good offices; such interposition only ended in their taking one or other of the contending sides and spreading the quarrel to their own charges. It seemed equally in vain that Brother Dudgeon of Drywells prayed