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Apr 6 1918

[First Confessional Essay]1,2

The Charter of Liberty [April 6, 1918 to December 1918]

Saturday, April 6, 1918, Whitehern

I have determined this day to make a stand against sin on my rights bought by the blood of Christ. Because he died, sin shall not have dominion over me (Rom. 6).

Sunday, October 27, 1918

On Friday after a prolonged period of defeat by my besetting sins, unclean thinking and slothfullness [sic], having been reduced almost to despair, I was enabled to take my stand on IJohn 1:9 "If we confess our cleanse...all." ["If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"].

Although I felt no immediate sensations, the unclean thoughts ceased to flood my mind. I spent the forenoon in prayer and reading Bonar's3 "God's Way of Holiness"; and despair left me. In the afternoon I was enabled to employ my time usefully about house and garden with a clean mind.

In the evening I was I was enabled to maintain my devotions and to continue reading Bonar. Devoted Saturday morning & evening to Bible, prayer and Bonar, calling on Mrs. Leslie in afternoon. My peace of mind continued. Today, (Sunday) there being no church service on account of Influenza,4 I devoted forenoon to Bible prayer and meditation and was conscious of decided mental quickening and hopefulness for future work.


I thank God for more than two weeks of deliverance from unclean thinking and to a great extent from slothfullness. Although I have not actually accomplished much, I have not felt myself chained by a sluggishness which I could not throw off.5


On this the day after the close of the War, I pledge myself that when my book, "The King Of Fighting Men"6 is published I will give one-tenth to the Work of the Lord and one-tenth to War Relief and kindred objects. For I know that of myself I can write nothing worth while.

Dec 1st

I thank God for continued peace of mind in believing, freedom from unclean thinking and from depression.


After a terrible battle with unclean thoughts, God has again delivered me.

1 For the second confessional essay, see Box 14-082.

2 Rev. Calvin McQuesten's diary is bound in red leather with a gold clasp and lock. He wrote his diary in two parts. At the front of the diary, from page 1 to page 155 he made dated notations beginning in March 1915 and continuing, with gaps, until September 1924. This front section demonstrates his deeply religious nature and his strong social conscience. It outlines his "Order of Prayer," and provides prayer lists for some of the Hamilton soldiers at war, and patients at the Hamilton Tuberculosis Sanitorium, where Rev. Calvin was the semi-volunteer chaplain from 1920 to 1950.

At the back of the diary beginning at page 386 and continuing to page 279, Rev. Calvin wrote two confessional essays dated April 1918 to December 1918, and May 1933 to July 1933. These confessional essays illustrate Rev. Calvin's profound sense of sin and his need for redemption. The essays provide detailed examples of Rev. Calvin's periodic struggles with "disturbing excitement," "slothfulness" and deep depression, followed by spiritual renewal.

The two confessional essays appear here in their entirety. Excerpts from the daily entries at Box Box 14-002, Box 14-014, Box 14-018, Box 14-040.

3 Horatius Bonar (1808-89) Scottish hymn writer, born in Edinburgh. He was minister at Kelso (1837-66) but joined the Free Church of Scotland and was minister at Chalmers Memorial Church in Edinburgh from 1866. He wrote well-known hymns such as: "Glory be to God the Father," "Here, O my Lord, I See Thee Face to Face," and "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" (CBD 176).

4 The Influenza epidemic after World War 1, the "Spanish Flu," was raging through the city.

5 Calvin suffered from periods of intense excitement followed by periods of depression and "slothfulness," which is one of the seven deadly sins.

6 The Table of contents of Calvin's book can be found with letter W-MCP2-3b.035, and the first six chapters of "King of Fighting Men" have been included on this site.

For Chapter 1, see Box 04-028.

For chapter 2, see Box 04-029.

For chapter 3, see Box 04-030.

For chapter 4, see Box 04-031.

For chapter 5, see Box 04-031.

For chapter 6, see Box 04-033.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.