Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Ministers Behaving Badly. William Robertson

William Robertson of Irvine had quite a sense of humour, as readers of our April Fools' Day post will have noticed. Charles Jerdan tells a number of anecdotes about him in his Scottish Clerical Stories. We present a few:
He once told a friend that he had long been puzzled about the significance of the weathercock on the top of a church spire. But, he added with sly humour, he had at last reached the conclusion that when the Roman Catholics put St. Peter at the head of the Church, it was natural that they should also put the cock on the top of the steeple.

On one occasion Principal John Caird, of the University of Glasgow, had been occupying his pulpit [illustrated at the head of our previous post - H.H.]. Next day the two ministers were walking together down the main street of Irvine, when Dr. Robertson noticed a young woman, who was a member of his church, coming towards them. She was a domestic servant, who had been on an errand, and was carrying a plate with a pat of butter on it. The pastor left his friend for a moment to speak a kind word to the girl. When he returned, Dr. Caird said jocularly, "Is that one of the pillars of your Church?" "No, he answered, she is only a flying butt'ress."

When he was told at a friend's table about a young minister, the cost of whose education at the University and the Theological Hall had been defrayed by the sale of the produce of a hennery, he remarked that in that case he would be "a lay preacher."



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