Monday, June 11, 2007

A Wanderer: Donald Fraser. VII.

Returning to Canada after his fund-raising visit to Europe, Donald Fraser entered once more into the business of the pastorate in Montreal. He also co-edited a magazine 'the Canadian Presbyter' with a friend in the ministry. It was at this time that Fraser attempted to venture into authorship with a little book called 'leaves from a Minister's Portfolio'. It was not a success and Fraser lost fifty pounds by it.
Towards the end of 1858 a call came to Donald Fraser from the Free High Church at Inverness, the town of his birth. While he was happy in his work at Montreal, Fraser was beginning to feel the strain after seven years. And he did love his own country, Scotland. It also seemed to him that he would be of more use to the Church at large in Scotland than he would be in Montreal, where it was only a matter of time before he burned out under the pressure of the work.
So he weighed up the pros and cons of accepting the call, he prayed over it, and at last he accepted. The Presbytery of Montreal sanctioned his translation on 9th December, but owing to the bad travelling conditions on the Atlantic in winter, it was not until the February of 1859 that he left Canada for Scotland.
Montreal bade him a fond fare-well, with a pulic breakfast marking his last morning in the city where he had ministered for over seven years.
Fraser never lost his love for Canada, and throughout his life afterwards he keps an interest in the Dominion. Yet, looking back on events, he firmly believed that it was God who had called him to go from Montreal to Inverness.
The Frasers, now with two children, a son and a daughter, found the crossing from Portland, Canada, to Liverpool cold and boisterous. It was near the end of March wwhen they finally arrived in Inverness, and Fraser could enter into his ministry at the Free High Church.
The Free High Church of Inverness was at that time the only Free Church in Inverness that held all its services in English (though there were several other congregations). Archibald Cook of Daviot, a noted Highland minister of the period, preached and presided at the induction service of Donald Fraser on 24th March 1859. He preached from Acts 20.28, 'Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock.' The next Lord's Day Fraser was, according to custom, 'introduced' to the people by Rev. James Munro of Rutherglen. After that he entered fully into the work of the ministry at Inverness.

Of which more, God willing, next time



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