Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
April 14th, 1889
P & O S.S. "Verona", Inland Sea, Japan, Lord's Day
My Beloved Angee,
On returning to Yokohama from Tokyo I was glad to find your letter of February 21st which somehow had been delayed a week but am much concerned to find you have taken another cold and so quickly after the one from which you had only recently recovered. I do trust that through the tender mercy and goodness of God the next letter expected at Nagasaki tomorrow may bring tidings of your recovery in some measure at least. You must be very careful through the cold winds of the Spring and take plenty of good nourishing food. Your sorrow at my long absence and I know it is the sorrow of love is a continual burden upon my heart and I am often thinking whether I shall not write to the firm and tell them I am not happy in being away so long and if you feel the strain is more than you can bear I shall certainly do so. I can quite understand all that your loving heart feels about it and perhaps a certain amount of anxiety too and I feel it too I can assure you and but for the resource in God our Father and that Throne of Grace He has established for us and that dear Saviour Who is ever living to make intercession for us at God's right hand, I should long ago have sunk in despair in view of all the responsibilities and risks connected with the travel. These resources of God however which I have so proved have hitherto sustained and cheered my heart and mind, so that I am a marvel to myself when I think how His grace and power have carried me along upon eagle wings and has strewed His manifold mercies all along my path filling me with thanksgiving and praise. In all this I know you are sharing too my dearly loved Angee and I am continually supplicating for all needed consolations for your heart and mind under the trying circumstances of so long a separation. God Who just only wise knows how to make all things work together for good to them that love Him and I trust He may even make this which is so painful to us both yield blessing to our own souls and our children too that shall redound to His glory.
It was as you may suppose a great cheer to dear Brand at Tokyo my dropping in for a few days – he is only about 26 and in many things very much like Arundel – the dear fellow came down to the station with his tutor the morning I left to give a parting blessing. The fellowship we had during my short stay even under the peculiar difficulties connected with language was owned of God for very distinct blessing to us all so that our hearts had been drawn very close to each other. On returning to Yokohama my stay was short and I supped with dear Mr & Mrs Austen and had a reading with them and a few others afterward and was commended of God on my journey by the few saints who were there. Mr Austen then accompanied me to the ship – my old friend the "Verona" still under the same commander Captain Speck who is like father to me in showing every sort of kindness and attention. The steamer is now running only between Hong Kong and Yokohama. I am not quite sure but think my cabin is the same occupied on my recent voyage to Plymouth in her and one of the stewards is still on board who quickly remembered me but all the other officers have been transferred to other ships. The crew is now Chinese.
In a conversation with the chief officer yesterday who is called Andrews from Plymouth and is a very smart and good looking young fellow about 27 years of age, I found that he and a brother were at the West Buckland School in '71 – he fancied he remembered two boys from Barnstaple but was not quite sure, but he had a vivid recollection of Mrs Avery's where the boys would go for a filling up. His brother it appears was expelled from the school because he one day took a plate of meat given to him for his dinner to Mr Thomson, saying that it was not fit for a dog, whereupon the Reverend gentleman ordered him to do a thousand lines which he refused to do with a rebellious spirit – he was therefore expelled and his brother left too only staying at the school about 6 months. It was during the time our boys were there they will probably remember it.
We stayed a day at Kobe and a merchant who had promised me an order fulfilled the same – the day was exceedingly fine which is about the only one we have had all the time I have been in Japan – on my previous call at this place I was introduced to a Dr McFarlane residing there who begged that I would call on my return which I did and had tea with him and his wife. I had been introduced by a missionary and so knowing me to be a Christian he called me into his private room after tea and told me his soul difficulties. I fear however that he loves whisky more than Christ about Whose divinity he professed to be sceptical. I spoke plainly and faithfully to him and asked him to kneel down which he did after locking both the doors of the room and I prayed that God might look upon him in His mercy and deliver him from the fearful power of sin and Satan under which he owned he had fallen captive – his wife seems a nice lady and they have five dear children. Also called upon a Miss Searle who has quite a large mission house for Japanese girls of whom there are about 200 and she thinks one half of them know the Lord. Dear Mr & Mrs Austen gave me the introduction, also the ladies I engaged with from Kobe and Yokohama (American missionaries). During my first visit to Kobe I had noticed a gentleman wearing dark glasses walking up and down the sea front on a beautiful meadow a quarter of a mile in length and for the sake of getting a word with him asked a question about the place and soon found he was blind having lost his sight almost suddenly a few years ago – he is an Englishman – I spoke to him of Christ and His finished work but he seemed satisfied with his own life and said he never wronged any body – well, I met him again on my return and had another long conversation in which he seemed interested – he remembered the voice again and who knows but that it may be the word of life to his precious soul.
We are now steaming through the Inland Sea which is certainly very grand – mountains and hills all around on every side betoken a fearful volcanic upheaving in the past, many of them active enough even now in various parts – one mountain which is generally active is 12 thousand feet high called Fuji – on our voyage to Yokohama we should have had a sight of this had the weather not been very thick.
Nagasaki April 15th
Your welcome letter of February 28 arrived here at 6 this morning and was in my hand on our arrival in less than 2 hours after so that my address was well timed – was greatly comforted to find you were not any worse and shall hope the next mail will being tidings of your recovery – very sorry to hear dear Eunice's eyes are so bad and hope she may consult some specialist about it. Thank Emma for her note and am glad the dear children are getting on so nicely and Margie too. Glad also to hear dear Harry is getting on nicely with his work – tell him it is only a little play compared with his father's but I know it needs sticking too if any good results are to issue. This seems a pretty little place, the land locked harbour is very fine and from my bedroom I could almost imagine myself at Clovelly or Lynmouth.
Arundel seems in good spirits and is getting much encouragement in his business – P.F. send him an order for 4 biscuit stands too and his Aunt Mary thinks well of the collar enterprise and has promised to do all in her power to assist him. D.V. I am thinking to take a steamer tomorrow for Chefoo, Tien Tsun and thence to Pekin – so I shall not have much time to spare here – have called upon the three leading merchants since landing and hope to do a little business this afternoon. The merchants are mostly Americans and as a rule I get on nicely with them. The "Verona" takes on my mail to Hong Kong this afternoon where they are transhipped to a homeward bound steamer and I suppose will reach you in 5 or 6 weeks.
Give my kind love to Eunice, Emma and the dear children and with much love to your dear self once more and dear Harry believe me my beloved Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband