W7492 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from Ed. C. Austin
c/o Bible Training School
110 George St.,
Jun 1 1904
To: Calvin McQuesten Standoff, near Macleod, Alberta, NW2
I have been wanting to write you for some time but hadn't your address, however the idea occurred to me to write your mother & she has kindly sent me the name of that part of the "wild & woolly" where you are located. At one of the MAK1 meetings Barker read an article by yourself in one of the Winnipeg papers on "Pay day among the Indians." I might remark here that we have had a Payday among the Indians of the MAK tribe. At the last meeting on April 23 which was a final appearance, at least for some time, we paid our fellow brave Hood that ancient & hoary debt in connection with the famous moonlight excursion of many moons ago. I think it amounted to nine dollars more or less. It has been the subject, & at some recent meetings the only subject, of much discussion & also of many resolutions. I wouldn't like to say there was any connection between the paying of the debt & the winding up of the club, but with the moonlight season approaching it was perhaps a wise proceeding & absolutely prevented the possibility of indulging in any further reckless financial operations. The chief difficulty during the past winter has been the preparation of programmes. At some future time when some of the braves of literary talent return, we can perhaps hold a re-union gathering & recall the days of wigwam & pow wow.
Since last fall I have been taking the studies in the day class at the Bible Training School & have found them most helpful in every way. I have not only gained a better knowledge of the Bible but also much help in the spiritual life. The past year has been the most successful in the history of the school. There has been a larger enrolment of students in both day & evening classes & also a larger regular & average attendance. I am glad to say the missionary spirit has been strong. At the commencement of the fall term I was asked to take the leadership of the student volunteer Band; we have met for prayer on behalf of students now in the mission field each Thursday morning from 8.30 to 9.30 & we have also prayed that more laborers be thrust forth into the harvest field & have had answer to that prayer from among our own number. When the fall term began there were 3 members in the Volunteer Band & at the close of the winter term in April there were 18 who had signed the Volunteer declaration or about half of those in regular attendance at the day classes. There were also 3 who became volunteers from the evening class making a total of 21. While there have been deep impressions made by visiting missionaries & others, yet I feel that prayer & study of the Word have most largely influenced those who have become volunteers.
I do not think one can honestly & prayerfully study the Bible very long without feeling the tremendous weight of personal responsibility on those who have named the name of Christ & who only can carry the message of the Gospel to the dark races of the world. We have had visits from Willis R Hotchkiss & Geo. Sherwood Eddy, travelling secretaries of the Student Volunteer Movement, also from Mrs. Howard Taylor of the C.I. Mr. & Mrs. J.C. Lawson of the Industrial & Evangelical Mission, India. I am sending you a little paper in regard to this latter mission & you may know someone whom it would interest. There have been 3 young men from India attending the school & many of the students have become greatly interested in missionary work in India as a result. They graduated in April & are now on their way back to Calcutta & Burmah. At the closing meeting on April 29 eighteen students graduated, 12 from the day class & 6 from the night class. Nine of these are looking forward to work in the foreign field & five including the men from India will DV be in the field this year
It was stated that in 10 years more students have gone out from the school to the Foreign field than from all other schools & Colleges in Ontario & Quebec in 20 years. The number who have gone out is sixty five, during the last ten years. I have not entered on definite work for the summer yet, but hope to do so very soon & may possibly have charge of a mission work in the North West of the City. As far as I know at present I expect to complete the two year course at the school & if so will DV be here next fall & winter.
Recently there was held here a very helpful Bible conference conducted by Dr. C.I. Scofield, & A.C. Gabelein (a converted Jew of New York). In connection with this, circulars were distributed concerning the "Scofield Bible Correspondence Course" which I have been told is a very valuable & helpful course for private study. I am sending you one of the circulars under a separate cover & would recommend you to try it, if possible.
Well I must close or you will get weary of this long epistle. I hope you will write soon & let me know how you are getting on. I would like to take a trip out west. Some time ago I wrote to the Sec'y of our Congregational Missionary Society but they are not able to increase their working force just now. If I can be of any service to you down here at any time don't forget to call on, yours sincerely.
Ed. C. Austin
1 This likely refers to the Moodweyaushkah Club that Calvin & his friends had formed and for which they all took "Indian" names.