W7428 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Fred H. Terry
Aug 18 1903
To: Calvin McQuesten Montreal, Ontario
From: Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Ontario
My dear McQuesten,
I do not know how I am to speak of my remissness in not writing to you for so long, perhaps I had better not say anything, & throw myself on your forbearance instead. You acknowledged my last letter so I have no excuse.
How are you & how are things going with you? I trust all is well. Having let so long a time pass since last I wrote, I hardly know where to begin to speak of my concerns. The situation suggests the sensations one feels in a game of "blind man's buff," where after being blindfolded one is turned round & round & then left standing uncertain of the whereabouts of what one wishes to lay hands on, & in which direction to make a start.
I will not speak of my studies for there is nothing finished or complete in them. I am climbing at present. It will be more profitable if I talk of your old friends & tell you something of the Central Ch.
The Gartshores you know are at Roches Point, this will not be news for I heard two of your sisters had been staying there with them. I had a few days in Mr.Gartshore's office recently; his office assistant was away & he did not wish the office to be left without anyone there, as he is so frequently out. I went down & did odds & ends for work, & enjoyed the experience of a little business life again. I have tried several times to get some work for parts of my day, for my studies do not necessarily take my whole time, but so far, except for the few days I was with Mr. Gartshore have not been able to find anything. Mr. Gartshore introduced me to an accountant through whom I hope to hear of something later on. I have paid several visits to the Gartshore's, their home is a very pleasant one & they are people I am glad to know.
I go to your friends the Crombies sometimes. Miss Alice Crombie was looking forward to going away for a little holiday this week. She has not been very well for some time. What a bright earnest Christian she is. Mr. Gordon I do not know very well yet. He & Mrs. Gordon were kind enough to invite me to their house for dinner a few weeks ago. It was the first time I had been there. He is a fine fellow. I have had a class at the Central Sunday School for a few months, & I meet other of your friends there. I go to the C.E. sometimes though I have not joined the society.
Dr. McTavish is away in Muskoka with his family & we are having Mr. McNicholl, the assistant minister. He is a good preacher & a fine man. He is much liked by the Central people. I suppose you knew him when you were here. He would be a student then. In addition to the work at the Central Ch. he is one of the faculty at the Bible Training School.
I saw a little of your brother before he left for his vacation & hope to renew the acquaintance when he comes up again in the Autumn. At one of the prayer meetings I met a fellow named Smedley, whom Mr. Gordon said had followed you at the Mission. He is going out to the Nijer (by this time he may have gone) as a missionary in connection with the Industrial Mission. If you have not heard of this before you will be interested to know of it.
Mr. McNally resigned the organistship a short time ago & Mr. Harry West a brother of Miss West, Miss Crombie's friend has the post now.
I have not been out of Toronto this summer, except for Sunday School picnics & a day at Niagara. I enjoyed my trip there immensely. I think the Canadian Falls wonderful & beautiful beyond words. I shall be glad to have another visit there. I took the Gorge route & saw both sides of the river. The day was a beautiful one, bright & warm & sunny with blue skies & white clouds, so I could not have had a more picturesque visit.
Toronto looks very pretty with its green trees & lawns. It has more beauty in the summer than the winter. I don't grow quite reconciled with its flatness. I always long for the heights, somewhere to climb to from which there is a view of the country all around. I have always loved the hills, & a place without them leaves me unsatisfied. But Toronto is a pleasant place withal & I should think the longer one lived in it the better one would like it.
At the present time I am feeling very well, I am growing acclimatized, at first the change from a more to a less bracing place did not suit me at all, & my work & everything else suffered in consequence. We have had what I consider a beautiful summer. People say it has been a hot one, but I cannot remember any wholly hot days & not many showery ones & we have had some very lovely ones, sunny & bright.
Where are you spending your holiday this year? If you pass through Toronto I hope you will let me know. I should like to meet you again, & hear something of Montreal & my friends there. How is Erskin getting on? I hope you have been having helpful times spiritually. The best things of life belong to the Christians. I have had Rom. 6:11 (RV) in my thoughts lately. How much there is in "alive unto God in Christ Jesus," it takes in all that exposition of character in 2 Pet.1:3-8. "Reckon yourself dead to sin but alive to God." "Because I live," Jesus says "ye shall live also."
My long letter must come to an end, for it grows late. I hope I have not wearied you. Wishing you every good wish, believe me.
Fred H. Terry
[P.S.] Do you ever hear from H. Forbes? He has been spending his holiday at Honey Harbour; Georgian Bay with David Gibson. Please remember me to the Brontes & any friends of mine you meet.