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W8120 NEWSPAPER CLIPPING of letter about Rev. Calvin's sermon
Mar 9 1912 [approximate date]1
From: Bracebridge, Ontario


Years ago in a western town a man faced a crisis. He was big, clean and lovable, and the woman, though thoughtless, was sweet and appealing. They seemed 'made for each other.' But there was one immovable barrier in the person of her husband. Their little world smiled and nodded in an indifferent way, as one's world so often does, and the husband smiled with it at what he termed their 'harmless' flirtation.

I knew by experience how futile and perhaps how harmful direct interference would be, but I tried in every conceivable indirect way to make my friend see that it could all lead to one thing only--the loss of his manhood. But I failed.

Just at this time we spent a week at a farm house many miles out of town, and on Sunday attended divine service at the little country church, or rather school house where the service was held. I have been sorry ever since that I did not pay more attention to the sermon, but there was a pretty girl sitting opposite me and I guess I forgot to listen.

At dinner later my friend said, "That man may never hold an audience spell bound by his eloquence, but he will win souls to God by his simple truth, which is, after all, the only thing worth while." He spoke quietly, but, looking up, I saw he had been deeply touched and these lines came to my mind. "God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform." Had He in His infinite foresight planned a week-end visit and a sermon in a little country school house as a means of saving one man and one woman?

And so it proved. My friend faced the truth in my room the following night and I shall never forget the look of abject shame in those clear grey eyes as he said: "I love her Jack--other man's wife, and that man my friend. Isn't it rotten? And I knew all the time I loved her, but did not care as long as in the eyes of the world, her name remained unsullied. But yesterday, listening to that sermon, so full of simple absolute truth, twenty years of my life rolled away and I was back again at my mother's knee repeating after her,

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake

"Where would I have been Jack?" he broke off "had I not awakened in time. Of late I have wandered a long way from the simple and the true--from the purifying touch of my mother's arm and the only thing I have gleaned from it all is a bitter taste."

Then followed a fight with self as only heroes make, and in the end he had to run away.

"I know I'm a coward, Jack--right down to the ground but I'd be a bigger coward if I stayed," he said with his whimsical smile, as he boarded an east bound train some weeks later. But he wasn't a coward. In the end he proved himself to be just what he was born to be--a man.

Last Sunday I listened to a sermon by the Rev. Calvin McQuesten and recognized in him the man who had preached to us that sermon in the prairie church--the sermon that I didn't hear.

But somehow this time there was no pretty girl in the case. Why? There are three solutions to such a problem. Number one we shall discard without even naming it, it is so utterly impossible. Number two, that I have allowed the rough edges of life to dull my appreciation of beauty may be a tribute to my grey hairs, but it would be an insult to my common sense, so we shall dismiss it. For number three, that the Rev. Calvin McQuesten has become a better speaker during the past five years. At any rate, I enjoyed his sermon.
Bracebridge, March 19th.

A Stranger.

[Note included in envelope]

They looked unto Him and were radiant. Psa 34:41

"It is not to the honour of our gracious Master that we should sit under juniper trees, hand the harps on the willows, & walk about the world in the shadow- "I wont be unhappy" said a fine old saint, "[?] all I have is gone to God, and I will praise Him, & glorify Him by a happy grace & a radiant life."

This is only a little part of something I found, & I pass it on- it helped me.
A.L.T. [Trigge?]

1 This quotation is actually taken from Psalms 34:5.
This includes W8121.

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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.
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