Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Making the best of a bad wife.

Rev. James Fraser of Alness was one of the most pious and godly ministers in the Highlands in what Dr. Kennedy called the 'Days of the Fathers'. He was greatly esteemed, and his writings are still read today. But, like the Apostle Paul, Fraser of Alness had a thorn in the flesh - in his case, an unbelieving wife. She did her best to make her godly husband uncomfortable, refusing to obey him in any way. Sometimes she wouldn't even cook for him! Fortunately for Mr. Fraser, he had godly friends, some of whom actually arranged a secret 'food dump' for him beside his usual evening walk!
Mrs. Fraser refused fire and candles to her husband's study in the winter evenings, which in Ross-shire is one of the cruelest things a woman can possibly do. Fraser paced the floor in order to keep warm, and he wore a hole in the floor by his walking. Fraser's fellow-ministers knew about this, and at a Presbytery dinner one night the toast 'to our wives' was proposed.
"You will, of course, cordially join in drinking to this toast?"
"So I will, and so I ought," Fraser replied. "For mine has been a better wife to me than any one of yours has been to you."
"How so?" they all exclaimed, amazed.
"She has sent me seven times a day to my knees in my closet, when I would not otherwise have gone, and this is more than any of you can say of yours."


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