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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Rev. Mr. Bell's "Words in season"


THE late Rev. Mr. Bell, minister of one of the dissenting churches in Glasgow, was a man of vigorous intellect, very peculiar in the style of his expressions, and fearless in his exposures of vice or the semblance of sanctity, nor could any excel him in taking the wind out of the sail of clerical foplings. Instead of eulogising indiscriminately the sermons of those who might occasionally occupy his pulpit, he would mount the rostrum after the service was concluded, and point out what he considered defects, expose errors, and give additional emphasis to passages that met with his approbation.

Mr. Bell was one day lecturing his audience on improper indulgencies in their social entertainments, in the course of which he remarked:

"Nay, my friends, to such a height has indulgence in inebriating liquors gone in our time, that it is a common boast with many how much liquor they can carry without affecting their reason. This is a boast, my friends, that might come well from the mouth of a brewer’s horse."

Mr. Bell took for lecture one forenoon the passage from Luke on the birth of our Saviour, quoting with emphasis the words:

"Because there was no room in the inn" (Luke, chap. ii. v. 7.).

He said: "My brethren, I may be allowed to remark, in passing, that there is in the inns as little room for Him yet as ever there was."


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