The Auld Kirk – Souter Davie

In the nyneteent centurie, Scots wes still uised i the poupit bi sum meinisters, an i thae days, hell-fyre sermons war the order o the day, an meinisters warna blate about singlin oot parteiklar members o the congregation for public flytin.  The’r a whein droll stories anent incidents in the kirk langsyne, an sum o thir war recordit in a buik cawed Thistledown publisht bi Alexander Gardner in 1895.


Ae minister wes wairnin his congregation that i the tyme ti cum the wad be “weepin an wailin an gnashin o teeth,” an whan sum o the aulder members o his flock pyntit oot that they haed nae teeth in thair heids ti gnash wi, they war gien the solemn aunsir, “Teeth wul be provydit.”


Sum o the characters that leeved syne haed a style an kest o mynd that haes nou passed awa.  Ane o thaim wes preachin a sermon on the text, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish,” an ti impress on his hearers the solemn truith in this ensenyie, he gaed on, “Ay ma freins, binna ye repent ye sal aw perish, juist as shuirlie as A’m gaun ti ding the guts oot that mukkil blue flee that’s lichtit on ma Bible.”  Houevir, whan he lifted his haund for ti clour the lyfe oot the flee, here it bizzed awa, smertlyke.  Syne he dirdit the buik wi his neive wi aw his micht and raired out at the tap o his vyce, “Ma freins, the’r a chaunce for ye yit!”


Anither meinister, frae Aiberdeenshire, that wes preachin on the sleikitness an ill-trickit weys o Satan, stappit aw at aince in the mids o his sermon an exclaimed, “See him sittin thare i the crap o the waw!  What sal we dae wi him, ma brethren?  He winna hang, for he’s as licht as a feather; naither wul he droun, ma brethren, for he can soum like a cork; . . . but we’l shuit him wi the gun o the Gospel.”  Syne he pat himsell in the poseition o a bodie pyntin a gun at an objek forenent him, eimitatit the bellum o a shot, an cryit out, “He’s doun lik a deid craw!”