W-MCP6-1.414 TO MARY BAKER MCQUESTEN from her son Rev. Calvin McQuesten
Aug 18 1910 August 18, 1910
To: Mary Baker McQuesten [Gravenhurst, Ontario]
From: Glenhurst, Saskatchewan
My dearest mother,
As the young man I had counted on to bring my mail last Saturday failed me, I did not get your letter of Aug. 5th till Tuesday, but was delighted to hear the cheering news of Ruby's improvement and Marion Robinson's visit. Rainy weather is particularly stupid in a small summer cottage, I think where most of your room is outdoors; but it was fortunate that you had Tom and Marion with you to break the monotony.1
By last mail I also received the August number of the Westminster, the Record and Record of Christian Work, for which I am most obliged, and also a copy of the British Weekly from Mrs. Davidson, containing that article on Gladstone's religious awakening which I thought of unusual interest and value, and have cut out and kept.2 When you get to the bottom of things you find that the religious motive is the great secret of the power of nearly all great men. I was specially interested in what it said about his access of energy in connection with this experience. With myself, I have found that the amount of energy which I have depends more upon my spiritual condition than anything else, even physical health. 3
In regard to our prayers for Ruby's recovery, I was much struck yesterday with a remark of Bruce's in his commentary in Mat. 8:10 that "a notable characteristic of Jesus, is His delight in signal manifestations of faith." Surely when Jesus shows such delight when people expected great things of Him, we ought not to hesitate to cherish and express such expectations.4
On Monday and Tuesday we had our first taste of fall weather, cold and raw with frost in some places, but yesterday and today are warm and sunny again.
Will close now as I expect to drop Ruby a line also before next mail.
With best love to all,
Your affectionate son,
1 For more information on Ruby's illness, Consumption (tuberculosis), see W6135, and for Ruby's biographical sketch, click on "Family" on the Home Page, and then on her picture.
2 Likely, William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98), "the great Liberal statesman." He is remembered for his studies in Homer and his political writings, such as, The State in its Relations with the Church (1838), Vaticanism (1875) and Gleanings of Past Years (8 vols., 1879, 1890). John Morley's Life of William Ewart Gladstone was published in 1903 (OCEL 335). The Whitehern library contains the 1905 edition of the latter in two volumes and The Vatican Decrees (1875).
3 Calvin is deeply religious but he is not a robust person, he was born with a diability in his left hand and arm and on his left side. He also suffers from depression and has inherited the family "nervous condition." Calvin's mother, Mary, described this condition in varying degrees in her husband Isaac, herself, and two of her children, Calvin and Edna, referring to it as an inherited condition: "a nervous temperament like we have" (W5665) "at the very center of the nervous system" (W8734). Mary also suffered from a "nervous heart," "palpitations" and "blind turns" (W6053).
Also see W4288 and Footnote at W5307. See Calvin's biographical sketch by clicking on "Family" on the Home Page and then on his picture.
4 See Box 12-405, in which Mary writes that she wishes that God would heal Ruby.
This comment helps to account for Mrs. Mary McQuesten`s zeal in connection with the Christian Presbyterian Missionary work. She felt that she had a personal relationship with God, and believed that her decisions were guided by Him.