Monday, July 6, 2009

The Wit of the Irish Methodist - C.H. Kelly. Candidates for the Ministry

Charles H. Kelly was for fourteen years the Secretary for the Committee for the Examination of Candidates for the Wesleyan Ministry. In this role he had many interesting - not to mention amusing - experiences. Here is one:
"A minister once told me, after his son had failed twice, that the July Examination Committee 'might be composed of men of good intention, but they were not men of dicretion; they did not know when they had a young man of remarkable, exceptional ability before them. The idea of rejecting my son! Why, he fills the chapels when he preaches; crowds go to hear him!'
"I assured him that I was not surprised to be told so; and that, if he was within reasonable distance, I would go myself to hear what he would say next.
"'What has he said?' the father asked.
"'Well, he told us that the Epistle to the Hebrews was remarkable for its account of our Lord's transfiguration on Mount Horeb, and for Peter's exclamation, 'Let us build here three tabernacles.' He also said, 'the Apocrypha is an amarous Jewish poem,' and that 'rivers flow from oceans to interiors,' illustrating this by the river Thames, which rises in the German Ocean, flows through the Isle of Thanet, past the city of Rochester to London.' Yes, he gave his examiners much wonderful information; very interesting, quite new and original."
Needless to say the young man was not accepted for the ministry.

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