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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Rev. Dr. William Anderson and the widow's friend


THE following characteristic story of this popular divine who was minister of John Street U.P. Church from 1822 till his death in 1872, is told on the authority of his sometime colleague, Rev. Dr. A. Macleod, afterwards of Birkenhead:—

In the course of reading the 15th Psalm he paused at the words, "He putteth not out his money to usury," and said:

"There was once in this church a poor widow, and she wanted £20 to begin a small shop. Having no friends, she came to me (her minister); and I happened to know a man, not of the church, who could advance the money to the poor widow. So we went to the man, the widow and I, and the man said he would be happy to help the widow. And he drew out a bill for £20, and the widow signed it and I signed it too. Then he put the signed paper in his desk, and took out the money and gave it to the widow. But the widow, counting it, said:

"‘Sir, there is only £15 here.’

It is all right,’ said the man, ‘that is the interest I charge.’ And as we had no redress we came away. But the widow prospered. And she brought the £20 to me, and I took it myself to the office of the man who had lent it, and said to him:

‘Sir, there is the £20 from the widow.’

"And he said, ‘Here is the paper you signed, and if you know any other poor widow I will be happy to help her in the same way.’

"I said to him, ‘You help the widow! Sir, you have robbed this widow, and you will be damned, if you do not repent !


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