W4126 TO THE INDEPENDENT CHURCH AND CONGREGATION AT PARIS from Rev. Thomas Baker
Aug 13 1841
To: [Congregational Church Paris, Ontario]
From: Cold Springs, Ontario
I beg here to inform you, that having received from the Congregational Church at Brantford a unanimous invitation to become their Pastor, after having consulted several of my Ministerial Brethren, then felt it to be my duty to accept it, and that in consequence my Pastoral relation to you must cease at the expiration of my present half-year's engagement, 31st inst.
As many of you are well aware that I have refused prior solicitations from the Church at Brantford, and as all have a right to ask, why now resign? I cheerfully give my reasons.
On my return from Toronto, I was informed that you wished the erection of the place of worship which after several meetings, and very much that was exceedingly painful to me, had been determined should be commenced next spring, to be further postponed.
To this I was totally averse, because I thought the interests of Religion had already suffered through your tardiness:--that the generosity of the "Colonial Society," which had kindly aided those who had preached the Gospel to you ought to have been met long before by such an act of liberality on your part on the erection of a comfortable and commodious Place of Worship:--That in this aspect you are behind every other Congregation of this denomination in this Province, you are the only people who have allowed a year to pass away without the effort required of you and which I was encouraged to expect when invited to become your Pastor.
It was also well known that I had pledged my self to leave if the measure was not carried into effect in the time proposed. Therefore, the request to postpone it for the third time, placed me in a very painful dilemma. If I continued your minister, I must either break my vow, or urge you in opposition to your expressed wish, to proceed. The first I could not do--the second would have been imprudent: for what prospect would then have been to me of ultimately succeeding? From these statements, I think, it must be obvious to you that the necessity of dissolving my connection has been forced upon me.
With fervent prayer for your Spiritual prosperity, and tender of such services as I may be able to render you, compatible with my new engagement,
I am, respected friends,
Yours in the Gospel,
P.S. If you approve, I will endeavour to obtain the Rev. Mr. Wall's services alternately with mine as often as possible until you obtain a Pastor: which I pray may be speedily, and that he may be "one after God's own Heart": who shall be able to arouse you to take that course which I have urged upon you in vain: and which I am convinced is Spiritually necessary for the establishment and prosperity of the cause of God among you.
1 Rev. Thomas Baker is Mrs. Mary Baker McQuesten's father and this letter illustrates his inflexible patriarchal character.
See W2827 for the origin of some of the money for the new church building, donated by the Church of Friends in Kingston, Ontario