Gibraltar, India, Malta

November 19th, 1889

On board the P & O "Oriental" West of Post Said

My Beloved Angee,

Your letter arrived all right at Brindisi last Sunday evening or rather about 1 on Monday morning and was very sorry to hear that you had taken cold again but do trust it will soon pass and not give you much chest trouble. The one enclosed from Dr Eitel is very interesting and I am glad you thought of taking a copy and sending it to Mr Rubie. I left Dr. E's long letter with Mr Oliphant who promised to return it to me at Brindisi but it has not been delivered which I regret. I left my address with the agent in case it should arrive after the steamer left. It was a crowd indeed coming on board on the arrival of the mail at Brindisi – about 60 I hear – so that our ship is now full – only one came to my cabin – a young officer in the Guards and you may judge of my joy when I saw him bow the knee before getting into his berth – he is a very nice gentlemanly fellow, but I judge is either a Roman Catholic or a very high churchman and I think was saying a prayer from a book as I notice he keeps it under his pillow. I spoke to him in the morning and said how thankful I was to have a man as a cabin companion who bowed the knee, but he never answered a word. We talked for an hour or more this morning in our bunks but I could not find out his soul's whereabouts although I spoke plainly enough of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is going to India for a 4 month holiday. Lord Radstock[1] also came on board at Brindisi and is with Canon Wilberforce, wife and daughter with whom he is friendly – the Canon is a Puseyite but is said to be evangelical. I have not yet had any conversation with Lord Radstock. Do not feel much drawing of heart toward the Quaker missionaries – Mr Sessions keeps temperance work much to the front and is a red hot politician of what is called Liberalism and thinks it is the duty of every Christian to take part in politics – I have simply replied from the Word – it is a strange mixture indeed. He appears not to have an idea of anything like dispensational truth and like a Wesleyan supposes the world is to be made better and ultimately converted. My young Greek friend who is called Angelo continues to interest me greatly and there is some ground for hoping that God has opened his blind eyes.  I spent a long time with him again last night and repeated the story of John 3:16 and the gipsy boy. He was much touched with it and I think was made to feel in his conscience that he had never yet thanked God for His great love in the gift of his only Begotten Son – the One Who had been lifted up for our sins. I kept that one verse before him in all its depth and simplicity and I trust the spirit of God was working in his heart and conscience with it. At 10 we said good night and reminded him that there were yet 2 hours left of the day and trusted that before it closed he would know the reality of being brought out of a perishing condition and to have his feet upon the Rock. This morning I met him again and on asking him if it was all settled he answered very decidedly yes, it is all settled and Jesus is my Saviour and I am now upon the Rock. The dear fellow then said tremblingly – I cannot talk about it like you but I know it is real I see it all now – his face shewed that a joy of which this poor world is ignorant had filled his heart. We have been reading Romans 4 and 5 part of the day. May the Lord preserve him – there is great interest awakened in the Scriptures which I am thankful to see and he said to me this morning I shall read through that book now. It has been a cheer to my heart in the midst of the terrible levity and tumult prevailing on board. During our stay at Brindisi last Lord's day he walked out with me for an hour or two and was asking many questions about the virgin Mary and seemed greatly surprised when I told him there was not a word in the Scriptures to support an object of adoration or in the place of an intercessor – she was blessed among women, but needed a Saviour as much as we did and the Scripture never speaks of her having been raised from the dead or that the Holy Spirit was sent down to glorify her – all this was mere human tradition which ever darkens the truth and leaves man free for all his cunning craftiness in keeping the mind darkened and thus falling under his power. The dear fellow is filled with thanksgiving for having met one who could speak to him simply of all these eternal realities.

We had a very rough night last night and it was been bitterly cold today and all of us will be glad to get into warmer climes which will soon be, as we expect to reach Port Said tomorrow where I purpose posting this letter.

Near Aden November 25th

The purpose above referred to was hindered I am sorry to say and I dare say you will have been expecting this letter for many days. I have been in my cabin for five days with a severe cold and a sore throat. It has been quite an epidemic on board since we left Brindisi and many of us were laid low with it during the same night – over thirty cases altogether so that our Doctor has had a busy time of it altogether. He has been most attentive and my cabin steward has attended to me early and late and done all in his power for my comfort. Well through mercy I am well again and able to sit at the table, but my throat has been so swollen and painful that it was with much difficulty I could swallow beef tea. I was much afraid that my chest would suffer but through mercy it never touched anything below the throat, nor yet developed into a head cold. It produced a good deal of fever and great pain in the head which continued many days and nights. I never had a similar experience in the throat and it causes an enquiry from the Captain as to what can have caused it, as everyone was alike. Tomorrow morning D.V. we expect to reach Aden and by the following Lord's day morning, Bombay so that our voyage is drawing near to a close. I do hope you have not been suffering much from the cold you took in London. The Lord preserve and comfort you my beloved Angee – much love to all our dear ones Arundel and Harriett, Harry and Emma and the darling little ones and our many dear friends and believe me my dearest wife.

Ever your affectionate Husband.


[1] Granville Augustus William Waldegrave, 3rd Baron Radstock (10 April 1833, London – 8 December 1913, Paris). See further Harold H. Rowdon, "Waldegrave, Granville Augustus William, third Baron Radstock (1833–1913)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, May 2006, accessed 19 August 2012 (subscription or UK public library membership required); Lord Radstock and the Russian Awakening. David Fountain. Southampton: Mayflower Christian Books, 1988.  ISBN: 0-907821-04-9.

<<< Previous | Top of page | Next >>>