Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
December 31st, 1887
My Beloved Angee,
Your dear and welcome letter of Dec. 1st to Calcutta was received on my arrival here this morning from Patiala – also one from Arundel & Harry, Harriett & cards from each of the dear children – it was a cheer for which I lift my heart in thanksgiving to God even our Father, for the mercy that preserves you all in health.
The Lord gave us a season of refreshment at Patiala and all the meetings through the week were marked by real earnest enquiry for the truth and deep interest in that which the Lord brought before us. Major Jacob is a man of God and it is beautiful to see the devotedness of heart to the interests of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love and care he shews toward those who are Christ's. Col. Haig too who is in fellowship, but alone, about a hundred miles from Patiala was also with us and is nicely taught in the Word – altogether we were 14 I think and when you consider the great distances and in many places it is just one brother and sometimes the brother and wife only in fellowship, it was a good number to get together. Among these were three native brethren and only one of them knowing a little English, so that dear Major Jacob would often interpret to these in Hindustani what had been said and often prayed in their language too after doing so in English. The first meeting on Lord's day was singularly sweet as I told you in my last, the Lord as it were coming into our midst and saying "Peace". He afterward ministered to us in his love and grace – one of the meetings each day was engaged by our reading of the Colossians which I think was greatly owned of the Lord in blessing to a few young souls who had not yet seen union with Christ and it was also stirring up by way of remembrance for others' minds who in measure had known it. Then in addition to this, the subjects of Redemption, Deliverance, Union, The Church as the body of Christ and the Home of God came up for a morning meeting and our evenings were generally an open meeting. There was liberty and freshness throughout and dear Mrs Jacob left nothing to be desired in her loving care and bountiful provision for our bodies. Most of us slept in tents out on the plain – dear Mr Pile & I were together in one & it was our first experience under canvas. The nights were very cold but we had plenty of clothing and had a very keen appreciation of the comfort of a cup and a little toast about 6.30 every morning. I must say I trembled a little when I saw my quarters first, but soon got accustomed to it – and we were both sorry when Friday came to pack up and leave it. Through mercy our health was good. The young brother called Waite residing in Calcutta was there – this was the brother who gave the list of all the meetings in India sent me from Bristol where he had visited last Summer and which Arundel copied for me. It is really wonderful how the Lord has ordered it so that I seem to know nearly all of them in the North West part of India – The dear brethren I visited at Peshawar wrote Major Jacob during the Conference to say the two brothers who had got into difficulty and had been away from the Table for many months were both restored and taking their place inside again – we were all very thankful for this mercy of the Lord.
This seems an interesting place – we travelled through the night and reached it early this morning – young Waite, Mr Pile and another Bro. came as far as Delhi with me and then went together in another direction – have called on a few of the leading merchants and got appointments with them all on Monday. Trust Delhi will yield some fish for the basket too. The country around is very fine – the plains extending miles and miles away in every direction with tens of thousands of trees – I visited the fort this afternoon in which the late King of Delhi's palace is – its magnificence baffles any power of mine to describe. They certainly had architectural ability and skill in carrying out the most marvellous detail in the way of carving and inlaying various coloured marbles to form flowers and wreaths in white marble, that I have ever seen, and the proportions of every part seem to be so perfect. Poor man, he had to quit it all during the late mutiny when the place was stormed and taken. He is now in Rangoon a prisoner. The wall around the city is very interesting and all the marks of the deadly conflict are still apparent at one of the gates. There is also a very large mosque at Delhi which I looked at.
My servant gets on very nicely and is a great comfort in many ways – Lazarus enjoyed the time at Patiala and came in to the prayer meeting in the morning occasionally. P.F.&Co's letters are very encouraging nearly every mail bringing good reports from the Colonies from the merchants who have received the goods I sold and are writing for more. Shall soon be getting down to Calcutta now and after visiting Madras shall push on to Rangoon, Moulmain and Mandalay, going down to Singapore to get a steamer for China. However I go on by the day and sufficient for that is the evil thereof. The Lord graciously keeps my heart and mind in peace and so I go on trusting in Him and rejoicing too a little bit. How good He is to preserve you all and although a good many miles are between us, yet you and all our dear ones seem very present to my heart. Let me hear of dear Mr Robertshaw's movements – I trust he is well – I used to esteem him now I love him believing there is a work of God wrought in his soul. I purpose dropping the dear boys a line and now with much love once more to you my dearest Angee, Eunice and Elixs and all dear friends believe me
Your very affectionate Husband.
Give my kind love to Mr Shapland – Gant Blackmore, Miss Wilkins and all the brethren.
Love to dear Mary & Martha when you see them – also Minnie and Nellie & H. Hartop.