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W2894 TO MARY ANN [BAKER] WILKES from her father Rev. Thomas Baker
Aug 20 1849
To: Mary Ann (Baker) Wilkes
From: Brantford, [Ontario]

My dear Mary [Ann],1

On Friday I was informed by [Mrs. Kipps?] you wished to see me--Why she did not state. Is it, my child, that affliction has caused reflection that you now feel that "you are verily guilty concerning your father." Then you wish to exprefs2 to him your contrition and ask his forgiveness. If so I fully and freely forgive you.

I am very sorry I cannot be with you to give you religious instruction and consolation.--That I cannot have the melancholy privilege I had with dear Harriett--You must remember the solemn declaration I made you in the presence of Witness [sic] to deter you from doing what I foresaw would be replete with misery to us both. And though you may now wish me to disregard the engagement, I feel that it must be inviolably kept. We can never, Mary, meet on earth--But we must be apart from each other--This is very painful, but it is the legitimate consequence of your own conduct. And I can only deplore what is not in my power to remedy. Now my child, could I disregard my [express?] power to remedy, and such is the shattered state of my [name?] system by truly [?] I [?] though that the [?] [?] of you [?] saved nobody to men that I could safely enter upon.

But why has God permitted this? Why have your pleasures been so short lived? Have you asked these questions? I wish to render you the greatest service in my power and therefore would be faithful. Review the past, my child, twice you have professed to be under religious impressions; and you have turn[ed] your back from God. It may be He is now making a last effort for your salvation--He is chastising you for your profit--that He is now determined his gracious purpose shall be accomplished--That you shall hear and your soul shall live. Do my dear child, face it with God's design--Think of the value of your soul--do think of its danger--do think of the provision which divine mercy has made for its salvation--the willingness of Christ to save. You may recover. Let not the hope of this induce procrastination and lull you with fatal security. Should you be restored, you must shortly die.3 "Obey then I beseech you the word of our Lord which I spoke unto thee, and it shall be well with thee and thy soul shall live"--[?] [?] [?]. He hath said his "[?] cometh & will in us evil cast out." Yes go to him, dear Mary, go with heartfelt contrition, ingenuous [?] and with faith in his "precious blood" and He will receive you. And then, dear child, though we can never meet on earth we shall meet in heaven--shall meet your dear mother and sister.

Do you wish to meet your father? Is affection for him again reviving in your bosom, Alas! That its revival should ever have been necessary, and that it should have been so long delayed. Well though late it affords a melancholy satisfaction to one, who, for you Mary, feels he must go sorrowing to the grave--Grant the only request he [now can?] ask of you, give yourself to Xt [Christ]--go to Him. He is able to [own?] to the betterment all that [?] unto God by him--He bids you come, can you disobey, Oh no my child, you will bow to the saviour's mandate--you will accept his [exortations?] & so be prepared to meet your father in Glory.

That the Christ & [form?] of Xt. [Christ] may be with you and be repaid in all you and to confer its confidence in Xt--on your sister & you and your afflictions, fervently prays your affectionate and deeply sorrowing,

[your mourning crossed out] father

Thomas Baker

[P.S. or added text is almost illegible. It may have been intended to be inserted in the final paragraph above] that upon earth each shall need & learn may open upon your [delighted?] [answer?].

1 This document is likely a rough copy and in places almost impossible to read.

2 Rev. Baker uses the archaic convention of "fs" for "ss" throughout. With the exception of this first instance, we have transcribed using the current convention of "ss" for ease of reading.

3 Mary Ann (Baker) Wilkes (1828-1850?) likely died in childbirth in 1850 (Minnes 2). Her father Rev. Baker had refused to see her as she asked his forgiveness on her deathbed. Her "sin" was that she had married Frederick F. Wilkes, her dead sister's husband, against her father's wishes. At the time "marriage to a deceased wife's sister was unlawful" (Farmer 11; see also W2880) and Baker refused to see his daughter thereafter.

In 1864 Rev. Baker was slandered because of his refusal to see his daughter as she asked forgiveness on her deathbed, see W2855, W2868, W2968, W2975, W2982, W2984, W2986,

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