THE reverend brother and biographer
of the late minister of the Barony Parish Church states that, "Although at
one period he occasionally wrote his sermon seven times before he preached
it, there were years during which he seldom wrote any discourse fully out,
but preached from notes in which the sequence of ideas was clearly marked.
These notes, though often joted on Saturday afternoon, were the result of
constant cogitation during the week." The following anecdote is appended
as a note
"He was once preaching in a district
in Ayrshire, where the reading of a sermon is regarded as the greatest
fault of which a minister can be guilty. When the congregation dispersed,
an old woman, overflowing with enthusiasm, addressed her neighbour:
"Did ye ever hear onything sae graní?
a sermon?" But all her expressions of
admiration being met with a stolid silence, she shouted:
"Speak, woman ! wasna
"Ou aye," replied her friend
sulkily, "but he read it."
"Read it !" cried the other with
indignant emphasis, "I wadna hae cared if he had