genial, witty, and humorous divine for some
time occupied the position in the parish church of St. Johnís, formerly so
ably, eloquently, and zealously filled by Dr. Chalmers. As specimens of
his ready wit the following may be given :ó
When the late Rev.
Dr. Cumming, minister of Crown Court Presbyterian Church, London, was at
the zenith of his popularity as a preacher, some forty to fifty years ago,
he paid a visit to Glasgow, and was both much talked about as well as run
after in order to see and hear him. One evening, at that time, Dr. Gillan
was present at a party, where a lady was asked to discourse some music for
the delectation of the guests. She pled that she did not know what to
play, upon which Dr. Gillan, who was near her, remarked:
"Oh! just play ĎSaw ye Johnnie
coming,í as that seems to be all the rage just now."
When the doctor proposed to his
second wife, she said:
"I am not able to fill the late Mrs.
"I ken that fine," replied the
Doctor, "but ye mann just do your best."
When he removed from the parish of
St. Johnís to that of Inchinnan, his predecessor, Dr. Lockhart, left
behind him at the manse, among other things, a number of MSS. sermons and
lectures, intending to remove them when he returned from a continental
tour. In a letter to Gillan he expressed a hope that the MSS. were kept
free from damp. Dr. Gillan, in reply, assured him tható
"The MSS. were all very dry,
especially the sermons."