Project Canterbury

The Country Parson's Wife
Being Intended as a Continuation of and Companion for Herbert's Country Parson

By Louisa Lane Clarke

London: J. Hatchard and Son, 187, Piccadilly;
Sold Also by Henry Redstone, Guernsey, &c., 1842.

Chapter I. The Parson's Wife

The Parson's Wife is a dignity, a deaconess in the church of Christ; in privilege a fellow helper with the workmen in the Lord's vineyard; by preferment the chosen companion of the man for whom God saw that it was not good to be alone; and by her profession she is one unto whom the eyes of every wife and mother should look for an example of godly living; as reflecting in her daily walk and conversation the light of holiness which she receives from Heaven, and as a worthy member of her husband, who is her head, even as Christ is head unto the church.

She is one who walks quietly in the pastor's footsteps, ministering to him first in those offices to which women are especially consecrated, namely, care of the body, in weariness and weakness and pain; comfort to the mind in trouble and perplexity and sorrow. Ministering also to her household as one who holdeth a place of trust in sweet subjection to her lord, and in meek authority over those who are under her. And ministering to the saints, under the direction of her husband, sharing thus the weight of honourable labour which is laid upon him; and doing that which oftentimes he cannot do, by reason of his many duties, and be cause that in himself there is not that capability of action in matters which God has seen fit to commit more entirely to the care of women; such as, for instance, attention to the sick, the management of children, and the guidance of young women, which a pastor, however good and zealous he may be, can hardly undertake with the tenderness and care and judgment of a pastor's wife, as being both a woman and a mother herself.

She is also a double life unto him. By her and through her his day is as good as two; in which he performs so many more duties, takes a more extended sweep of action over his parish, and lays up a greater store of those good works which are of great price as the evidences of his faith, and shall be had in remembrance when a crown of two-fold glory is theirs in the kingdom of eternity.

Project Canterbury