W0712 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her friend Elisa Chappel
Mar 8 1834
To: Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten, Brockport, New York
Dear Sister in Christ
Your kind epistle of Oct was gratefully received to which an immediate reply would have been given had not the hope of being furnished with something interesting with regard to the goodness of God in establishing our labours in opening an Infant School in Chicago prevented an earlier answer.
God has indeed permitted me to see the desire of my heart accomplished in regard to this object. I have never more clearly seen the Lord going before and causing difficulties to give way before a little child than in the present case, by opening such an effectual door and by giving favour in the eyes of those who must otherwise have opposed Thanks to his name "the hearts of all are in his hands."--Upon my arrival in Aug all was dark as midnight. Nothing but a belief that God had bidden "Go forward" could have induced me to have remained a week in Chicago. [The?] little village all bustle and business not a shed unoccupied. Indeed I was told that could other obstacles be surmounted it would be impossible to obtain a school room for weeks perhaps months. I had nothing now to do but look up unto him who had I doubted not brought me in this important field.--
I was kept in this posture for several weeks when I was permitted to see God move upon the hearts of many of the most influential energetic men of the place and cause them to do much for our establishment without whose efforts it could not have been effected. A Meeting was called. A board of [?] appointed (one of which is a principle [sic] member of the catholic church in this place). A room was soon obtained and our school opened upon the 2nd of Dec which now consists of about 30 dear children whose parents although able to sustain their children in school cannot lead them to Jesus for they know him not "when to know [aright?] is life eternal". Could I express all my Father's goodness! His sustaining power and grace to help in every time of need? You would with me exclaim Grace Grace! The spirit of God is evidently moving upon some of these Infant minds 2 or 3 of whom exhibit most clearly the power of the Father to "reveal himself to babes". One dear little boy (not 4 years of age) whose mind is remarkably clear upon being told that he must pray that God would [never?] let him think bad thoughts said Oh! the blessed saviour wont let the devil come in to my heart any more! Could you have witnessed the simplicity of faith in Christ as then [expressed?] to keep that which he had given to him you would have felt the expression as a most powerful reproof for unbelief. I have never felt so intensely upon the subject of the immediate conversion of children as during the present winter. And never have I so fully realised the simple force of those fearful words of our master "According to your faith be it unto you". What responsibility thrown back upon the parent the teacher and the church who by unbelief may forbid these and rob God of the most precious jewels of earth.
"Jesus shall feed his flock like a shepherd he shall gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his own bosom". What a promise. Why does not the church [claim?] it and by bringing in all these prove the Lord and see if he will not take the [?] from the mighty". "Lord increase our faith".
God has done much by way of laying a foundation in this polluted place he will I trust bring these mighty men in sin to bow down at his footstool. The growth of this place is perhaps unparallelled. But few who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. There are a few gathered from all parts of our country who are here united in strong cries and tears for the redemption of those around them. The [Home?] Miss Society sustain a minister of the gospel here. The Baptist [Home?] Miss Soc [?] the two Infant churches with their Pastors are going forward feebly but unitedly with the design to honour God even where Satans [sic] seat is. Great affiliation to the truth. This is a delightful country needs only the rays of the sun of righteousness with the renovating power of the saints to make it as the Garden of the Lord. Can christians be at ease in their exiled houses and permit this fair portion of the heritage of Jesus to lie waste or rather to be occupied by a vanquished enemy? When will [Sion?] arise and shine believing that in the name of her King she is commissioned to claim the heathen for an inheritance and the uttermost part for a possession? Shall the followers of Jesus Christ the Christian saved from the dominion of death think or speak of self denial when souls are to be saved? What is all that can be sacrificed! Master give the word and let the company of those who publish it be greatly increased. My soul is moved within me in view of the wants of this broad and dark valley.
Christians should without delay hasten to occupy it. It opens to the man of business the mechanic and [?] an opportunity of providing not only for his own but alsoe [sic] for his neighbours good. I hope M. King has not abandoned his benevolent design of doing something [immediately?]. He will be the better prepared for this work I trust by the change in his situation. I would tender my sincere thanks to Brother Moses King for his kind PS. in your letter. His kindness cheers and please say to him that a "cup of cold water in the form of an epistle would not lose its reward" if given for the masters sake. I wish much to hear from them. What are their plans and what new discoveries in the walk of faith. I trust a teacher will soon be sent for this place. As the school is now fully established I wish much to give it up into the hands of a competent [teacher?] it is a most important field. My health is very poor for a few days peculiarly so. I have been wonderfully sustained God has does manifest himself as all and in all. "My Shepherd I shall not want". Rember [sic] me affectionately to all the dear sisters in B. Your kind husband with yourself will often remember me and the dear [grant?] by which I am surrounded. Pray without ceasing! Live wholly for God. Is the prayer of your Friend--
[Written up left side of page:] Do write me immediately and beg M King to do the same.
[Written on back:] I write in great haste at a late hour. My time all occupied. You will pardon although you cannot read it with ease.
Mrs. Margarette McQuestian [sic]
1 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.