Monday, December 18, 2006

Ministers Behaving Badly. Rev. R. S. Candlish

(the first in an occasional series of anecdotes about ministers behaving perhaps as they ought not)

A theological student at New College Edinburgh when Robert S. Candlish was principal was called to a Church in the Borders. Those were the days when Presbyterial trials were extremely important to a young man seeking ordination. The ordinand was solemnly and rigorously interrogated by the presbytery on those things he was supposed to have learned in College - Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Theology and so on. This poor young man had found Hebrew very difficult, and had forgotten what Hebrew he had ever known. Fearing this ordal before the Presbytery he went to the Principal for advice. Dr. Candlish considered the problem for a moment, then looked up and said in his abrupt manner, "Have ye the Gaelic?"
"Yes, Sir," the young man replied.
"Have ye a Gaelic Bible?"
"Yes, Sir."
"Can ye read it?"
"Yes, sir."
"Well, then," Candlish said with a smile, "A nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse."
With that he dismissed the young man, who took heart. He also took his Gaelic Bible to the Presbytery. At the examination before the Presbytery he was asked to read and construe a Hebrew Psalm. Without hesitating the young man read off the Gaelic beautifully, translated fluently, and passed with flying colours.

(adapted from George Reith, 'Reminiscences of the United Free Church Assembly', (Edinburgh, The Moray Press, 1933) P. 42n.



Blogger Ruben said...

That is a great story. At some point you should put up the one about Spurgeon breaking the windows in his chapel.

7:37 pm  

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