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,