Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
December 24th, 1888
My beloved Angee,
I left Madras last Friday evening, arriving at this place early on Saturday morning and found myself quartered in the same room I occupied on my last visit. One of the brethren at Madras accompanied me and is staying with a friend and another brother came up on Saturday evening so that we were three from Madras. The Lord has been working among a few here of late which the brethren at Madras have known and have been much interested in – one young brother and his wife especially whose hearts have very manifestly been prepared of the Lord to come out to the name of a rejected Christ. They remind me very much of dear Soby and his wife. The Madras brethren both being very happy about them the table was spread on Lord's day morning and we all remembered the Lord and sang His praises and trust it was a sweet savour of that precious Name to God our Father – another sister, a widow, would also have been present but was kept at home through the sickness of a child – she is a widow called Edge whose husband was a minister among open Brethren – we had many meetings in her home on my last visit and she has in heart and spirit been with us ever since. In the evening the little cottage where we broke bread was filled and today being a half kind of holiday we came together again for a reading at eleven this morning and for two or three hours this evening and purpose the same again tomorrow, Christmas day – there are several others much exercised and we trust the Lord may work Himself with them in deliverance from the traditions and systems of men.
It has been a sort of Christmas market here today when the natives make a special display of fruits and vegetables and meat. This is in a very large field or plain around which tents and booths are erected and decorated with every conceivable colour which with the profusion of colour always abounding in the native dress made an exceedingly pretty sight. On Saturday I got one of the native merchants to lend me an empty shop to display our samples, so Rana and I started off early this morning before breakfast to see to its being brushed up a bit and to lay out our Exhibition of P.F.&Co. manufacturers and a very good show it is and you would smile to see how capitally we utilised some of the odds and ends that lay about the place for fixtures – we had to hire a few tables and chairs in the market and the proprietor was as keen a man of business (a native) as you may find in England and I expect finds lending furniture on hire a very profitable business. I have an appointment with a native firm tomorrow at 9 a.m. so that some of P.F.&Co.'s representatives will be doing business on Christmas day – well I shall picture you all at 70 High Street and can well enter into the delight of all the dear children and shouldn't I like just to give a kiss all round – God willing I shall get your letter in Rangoon in about a month I suppose giving me all particulars. May He continue His great mercy and goodness to us all and may the remembrance of His great love in the gift of His only begotten Son every be calling for thanksgiving from our hearts to Him.
The climate and surroundings of this place are very beautiful as you have heard from me when last here and the change from Madras is considerable so that I have been very careful to put on a little extra clothing to avoid taking cold. Your letter this week is at Calcutta or rather will be in three or four days and I have written to have them sent on to Madras, so that I shall not receive this week's mail until next week. Shall soon be out of India again and shall not stay long in Burma or Singapore but push on as quickly as possible for China and Japan if the Lord will. Shall be very glad too to get a little voyaging by sea as the continuous railway travelling by night is very trying - it has been a marvel to myself how I have been able to keep on with it and I know that our precious God and Father has given me strength and joy too in a very abundant way and to Him be all the praise and glory. Tomorrow the conference begins at Major Jacob's at Ambala and I know he will be disappointed on hearing that I could not be present – the last meeting was a very happy one for us all and I should have been thankful if I could have reached Calcutta a week earlier I might have been with them – my work in the South however was not finished and I could not ‘go in peace' and leave duties neglected. The distance was too great to contemplate a journey there and back again. I do trust the Lord may lay it upon the hearts of some of the home labourers to come out to India. It is rather significant and rather humbling to us I think that with all the blessed acquaintance with the truth we have been privileged with, how little missionary fire is found among us – may the Lord stir up our heart and kindle some – I feel from the prayers that are going up to God from many of His own that He is surely going to visit India with a great wave of blessing from Himself – the field is indeed white unto harvest. I have often wished dear Alfred Mace could come out – I believe the Lord would give him many Baltimores and surely Bangalore would be one of them and the earnest of it has been given. Soon the sowing time will have passed and the harvest of redeemed ones will have been gathered into His garner – the Father's house above – the dear boys must be content with reading Mother's letter this week – the mail goes out tomorrow, so I have written you tonight fearing engagements might hinder my writing so fully tomorrow and I would deprive your heart my dearly beloved wife of the small comfort a letter may be to you. The Lord comfort you – He has done it and will ever continue to do it – until you and all His beloved ones are with Himself above where nothing that He gives shall then comfort but He Himself will fully satisfy all our renewed natures can ever desire. Once more with much love to you all and all our beloved ones believe me my dearest Angee.
Being very affectionate husband
Have just booked a nice order from the native merchant. There is a Colonel Woodhouse staying at the hotel who called this morning, hearing of our purposed meeting and will be with us. I think he is with open brethren. God bless you all.