W3117 TO THOMAS H. BAKER from his father Rev. Thomas Baker
Oct 20 1877
To: Thomas H. Baker, St. George, Ontario
From: 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Mr. T.H. Baker.
My dear Son,
Yours of the 3rd Inst. was duly received; and in reply permit me to say though I shall ever mourn the many deaths in my family and the total extinction of my hopes; it is yet some consolation if the living are led to pray "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom", and to obey the command of the Saviour "Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."
I have reason to hope Alfred, in his long affliction, sought and found Salvation in Christ-- May the "Father of the Fatherless, and the Judge of the widows in his holy habitation" take his destitute family under His paternal care."
With reference to yourself I have long and daily prayed, and shall continue to pray to God to bless you and your family, --draw you and them to Christ,--make you a sober god-fearing Christian man,--caring for your family,--seeking to provide things honest in the sight of all men,"--diligent in business,--"fervent in spirit serving the Lord,"--keeping your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile."
May you never abandon your skeptical notions,--study, with prayerful earnestness, your Bible, fervently desiring The Spirit of Truth to guide you into all Truth,"--"With the heart believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth make confession unto salvation,"--that thus you may endeavour to remove any evil impressions your improper utterances may have made on the minds of those who heard them.
You speak of meeting me at Princeton as "unfortunate." What made it so? Your refusal to do what I then thought, and still think you ought to have done: and which I am persuaded an ingenuous mind would have done. At our last meeting in Toronto your behaviour was very discreditable to yourself, and most insulting to me, and was followed up with a letter full of abuse and insolence.--At Princeton when you offered me your hand I should have been wanting in self-respect had I not required an apology. The time had come when the very offensive course of conduct you had been long pursuing towards me, and sometimes Mrs. Baker, could be tolerated no longer without a dereliction of duty to myself and to you. I hoped the meeting you as I did would teach you the necessity of putting some restriction on "the unruly member"; the too free use of which having done you much injury. You turned away from me in silence, and now after some fifteen months you write "I have concluded that my filial duty required that I should address you, and express my sorrow if by any fault of mine I have been the occasion of this unseemly and unnatural state of affairs: at the same time I beg of you to accept the appearance of my sincere regret for any thing I might have said or written to you unbecoming or derogatory for a son to address to his Father."
In reply to the above I must say that it was by perpetrating a series of wrongs, during a period of thirty years, you brought about "this unseemly and unnatural state of affairs": and concerning which you say "if by any fault of mine I have been the occasion."--Unless you are perfectly oblivious of the past, or have a mind of such moral obtuseness that you are incapable of discerning obliquity in any thing you have done, or may yet do, which is hardly probable, your memory and conscience must testify to the correctness of the above. And if your expression of sorrow and assurance of regret is an admission of it, I at your request accept the same, and the unseemly and unnatural state of affairs is ended.
That by chance "we may meet again, if probable I think not desirable unless there could be some certainty that there would not be a repetition of circumstances such as led to former feuds, namely, a demand or request--a refusal--insult and estrangement. It is proverbial "Relations are best apart." I am sorry to have proof of this in my own family.
With kind Christian regards to you, Wife and daughters, and wishing you and them every blessing needed for Time and Eternity, I am, dear Son,
Your sorrowing Father,
1 See W3114 for Thomas Baker's letter to his father Rev. Thomas Baker.