W-MCP2-4.020 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN, ESQ. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Mar 3 1904
To: Thomas McQuesten 41 Isabella St. Toronto, Ontario
My dear dear boy,
The weather is really the most exciting topic at present and from all accounts it was even worse with you on Monday. Here it sunned, hailed, and rained till by evening it was like walking through coarse salt. By morning it was a frozen mass, so Willie Stuart was not able to clean it and he found two men for me, they were just 3 ½ hrs. at the job and do you know they actually want $1.50 each. Of course I would not pay it, but I finally paid $1.00 each, just fancy $2.00. I really watch the weather with fear and trembling. Last night it thundered and lightened and the rain poured down. This morning it is fearfully windy and has been snowing but hope it will blow over. It really has been a terrible year but I am thankful to say our coal is lasting out and I think it will do us the season. I am sure it is an answer to my prayer that it has lasted like the widow's curse. I often think of many things, how long they have lasted and how we have been saved from any severe illness which would necessitate doctors and nurses and now-a-days these expenses are enormous. We really never can be grateful enough for all the merciful ways in which God has provided for us as a family. When I looked over my accounts at the beginning of the year, I could scarcely believe it myself, but all we had to live on last year after taxes and water rates were paid were $830. not quite that indeed. From Bold St. had a little less than nothing. I just felt so thankful, for I realized more than ever how wonderfully God had provided for us, for we had never wanted for anything, indeed there are many things we could do without, if we only thought so. Mr. Chisholm can let us have any extra money we want he says and by June I shall have quite caught up, so you let me know just when you want some more money. Am enclosing the $10 to-day. Would you like me to settle for your coat, the bill has come in again?
Yesterday Mr. Begue took Hilda and Helen Locke for a sleigh-ride. Kate
Colquhoun went away last evening as a nurse to General Hospital, New York. Emily expects to go this month. Miss Buchanan asked Hilda to meet them at lunch Monday but it was such a terrible day Emily telephoned they couldn't go, so it had to be given up.
Ruby's last letter was full of her Chinamen. They have sixteen converted men now in the class and they are very earnest. When she went in on the Sabbath her two men were talking about another who said he loved Jesus but did not know what to do. So Leung Set said, he told him "to come to the Bible Class and speak for Jesus and tell the other boys." O if all who know Christ would just act on this principle, so many seem ashamed of their religion and keep it to themselves. Dr. Herridge has been preaching such fine sermons on the opportunities of life and the self-respect that makes one realize one can be of some use and would despise to simply drift along the current. Ruby says his sermons seem just like a bugle call. I am sorry I did not suggest to you the idea of teaching a Chinaman on Sabbath Day, it would not have necessitated previous study (for as you are you have quite enough of study) and you would have being doing a little for the sake of your Master. I can see if one does not get into the way of doing Christian work when they are young, they very seldom take it up when they are older. I felt so unhappy myself about being idle on the Sabbath that I have commenced with two or three teaching some Jews. The are Russians poor fellows, but he knows a little German and the little I remember helps me to make him understand. We are just teaching them to read, we have a room at Y.M.C.A. and go on Monday and Friday evenings too, as they wanted more lessons than once a week.
Well, dearie, I hope you will not study too hard, Dr. Ellis ought to put in a good word for you, he was a great friend of Prof. Vander Smissen as well as your father, but he was always very quiet and not a talker, but a nice man. Mrs. Ellis was a Miss Mickle, a sister of Harry Mickle, she was nice too, but very quiet, never strong. I am glad you met them. It will be very unfair if professors let any more personal feeling influence them in decision. Must just do the best you can and trust God for the rest. With much love my dearest.
Your loving mother