The Night Terrors IV

MacDonald 001


With rumblings and rustlings and the shutting of many books, everyone sat down again; but I remained standing before the table and heard the judge’s voice spill down over me from above:

“Let the counsel for the defense come forward,” he said.

A few members of my family timidly approached the chancel. They had no formal representation. Instead, one by one they mounted the pulpit, which had been made to serve as the witness stand, and spoke a few words on my behalf.

One of them had brought along a wheelbarrow load of boxes – boxes full of my notebooks, papers, and manuscripts of every kind. Depositing these before the bench as evidence, he said, “Your Honor, this man is a scholar and teacher. He has led many Bible studies.”

A white-wigged, black-jacketed clerk at a desk to one side of the table took note of this, looking unimpressed.

Another of my defenders took a sheaf of papers from one of these boxes and laid it directly on the clerk’s desk.

“He also aspires to write,” he said.

The clerk raised his black, bushy eyebrows and frowned.   Then he instructed the bailiff to take the manuscripts to MacDonald and Bunyan in the choir loft. I saw with what eagerness and good will those two venerable authors received my writings; with what an honest display of hopefulness they opened them and examined their contents. But it was not long before they returned them to the bailiff with looks of bleak disappointment.

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