W-MCP2-3b.051 TO MRS. MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from her son [Rev.] Calvin McQuesten
Jul 30 1904 Saturday
To: Mary Baker McQuesten 'Whitehern,' Hamilton, Ontario
From: Stand Off, Alberta
My dearest Mother,
What a lot of news you had to tell me in your last letter. It was most interesting. I was particularly glad to hear of Horace Brodie getting the year in Paris. He was a very hard working fellow & I always liked him. Besides that, I think they were even more poverty stricken than our family, and it will be quite a lift. It is the making of a Quebec lawyer to get a chance to study in Paris, for he can study the Code Napoleon, which is the greatest civil code in the world and is used in France and Quebec, at its fountain head and he can also perfect his French, without which a lawyer cannot amount to much in Montreal.
I think in fact have really made up my mind, that I shall go back to Varsity this fall. Although I have not figured it out exactly. I ought to have about $250 coming to me from the Knox Society when we settle up, which should more than put me through this year. Try as I will think of other things, the conviction grows on that my place is in the ministry and I cannot see that I have any choice in the matter. I confess I rather dread going back to the college grind again, but I am sure that God will give me strength for this as He has for other things.
So you are at the weeding again, you little wretch. I think I shall have to instruct the girls to lock you up.
On Thursday I went into Macleod to attend the first of the new Presbytery of Macleod, quite a historic event, and I enjoyed the occasion immensely. The members of this Presbytery seem to me to be a particularly fine set of men. I do not mean to say that they are so wonderfully gifted though even in this respect they have nothing to be ashamed of. But they seem to have such a fine spirit, so frank, natural & unpretentious and so free from any suspicion of self-seeking. Those I had not met before were as friendly as they could be to me, and Mr. McPhail of Pincher Creek & Mr. Farrar of Frank both invited me to visit them. We have the best men in this country.
The Methodists are ignorant and the Anglicans are churchy and self-centred. During the time I boarded in Macleod, I met the Anglican clergymen, Mr. Tyner several times. He is a young married man about my own age, and I thought he would have been glad to take me up as a possible congenial acquaintance in a place where he must find congenial acquaintances extremely few. Yet he never so much asked me in the most conventional manner, to come and see him.
Last week he stopped at Mr. Webb's for dinner one day along with Rev. Mr. Gale, who has charge of the Indian Mission 10 miles from here, and is also quite a young man. They were friendly enough and I cannot say that they put on any airs at all; yet I instinctively felt that they took no interest in me and looked upon me as one quite apart from themselves. The longer I live the more thankful I am that I was born & brought up a Presbyterian.
Did you notice Prof. McFadyen's article on "Differences of the truth," in last weeks Presbyterian.1 It is so typical of the Presbyterian position. I am enclosing a marked copy to Mr. Tyner.
By the way, I took a photograph of the members of Presbytery & also of the church & manse, and as they turned out very good I am sending them to the Presbyterian for presentation. Was rather sorry I could not be in the group myself, & could not be at both ends of the gun myself.
With best love,
Cal. [Calvin McQuesten]
1 Prof. McFadyen is one of the proponents of the "higher criticism" in Presbyterian teaching (see W5283, W-MCP1-1.025).