By Angela Wittman
“It pleased God of his great goodness, early to incline my heart to seek him, and bless him that I was born in a land where the gospel was at that time purely and powerfully preached; as also, that I was born of godly parents and well educated. But above all things, I bless him that he made me see that nothing but the righteousness of Christ could save me from the wrath of God.” – Mrs. William Veitch (Marion Fairlie)
Marion Fairlie was born in Scotland in 1638, and married William Veitch, a non-conforming minister in 1664. It has been reported that her friends tried to persuade her from marrying the young minister as he had been ejected from the pulpit for not being licensed by the bishop to preach, and for having “opinions hostile to prelacy”. Instead of listening to her friends’ advice, Marion chose to cast her all upon the LORD and to trust in His providential care. She then began a life of hardship, separation and persecution as the wife of an “ejected minister” in Scotland.
After only two years of marriage, she and her husband experienced their first separation. Due to her and her husband’s involvement and sympathies with the Scottish Covenanters, they eventually had to flee Scotland and sought refuge in England.
Before each of William and Marion’s ten children were born, she devoted them to the Lord, and after they were born, she was careful to pray for them and teach them about God.
Marion was known for her deep personal relationship to Christ. During the periods of separation from her husband due to imprisonment or exile, she leaned heavily upon the LORD. His Word was truly a lamp unto her feet and a light unto her path. She was known to wrestle in prayer for her husband and children, and to not relent until she was sure she had obtained the Lord’s blessing. Once her husband had been arrested, and Marion spent a great deal of time in prayer for his release. She would not relent until she felt assured that her husband would be returned to her. She then traveled in inclement weather to visit her husband in prison and tell him she was sure the Lord would obtain his release. The future looked rather bleak from a human standpoint, but through the eyes of faith it was bright to Marion. Her husband was eventually released, with all charges dismissed. One of his fiercest persecutors was found frozen in a river, never to trouble the Veitch’s again.
In Marion’s diary and correspondence with others, there is no hint of complaint or regret for her marriage to William. Instead, she left a legacy of gratefulness to God for His care and faithfulness in fulfilling His promises to her, and a testimony of trusting in nothing but the righteousness of Christ.
(The resource for this character sketch is the book “Ladies of the Covenant” by Rev. James Anderson.)