South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
August 19th, 1890
Cape Town, South Africa
My Beloved Angee,
I did not get a letter from you last week but hope to receive one by the next mail due here within days. There is not much change in my daily routine of work in this place – the business keeps me busy every day and though the goodness of God has been very encouraging in spite of the testimony from many who said it was impossible to break down the prejudices in this market – we have also had an agent on the spot for nearly three years who was not successful. You can understand therefore what cheer it is for me to leave a good batch of indents to send home tomorrow as the fruit of one week's labours and I purpose going on for at least another week. How good is the God we adore we may well sing, that His grace can come down even to our business difficulties and open doors in these matters that would otherwise be closed. My heart can in truth say to Him be all the praise and glory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The climate here is very fine – most days are without a cloud and the sight of the Table Mountain is always a grand view. It is a beautiful sight when a white cloud covers the top of it and the people speak of this saying the table cloth is being spread over the summit. You would be amused to see the Malay women in their bright dresses and huge crinolines. It appears they adopted this fashion about a century ago and have no idea of giving it up, so that the contrast between European ladies and the Malays is rather startling. Their heads are wrapped in a very large bright coloured silk shawl brought around the lower part of the face covering the neck and mouth and leaving only the upper part of the face on view. The old East India Company imported these Malays into the Cape about a century ago and the present generation of them speak the Dutch language, but beside these there is a mixture of Kaffers, Africans Malays and Indians where distinct nationalities are lost. The houses of Parliament in Cape Town are a fine block of buildings and the walls in the neighbourhood of it are beautifully laid out. I generally have a walk somewhere around the foot of the Table mountain every evening between 5 & 6 and enjoy it very much. Most of the trees are now bare as it is their winter season but I am told and can easily believe it that when the foliage comes out in the Spring and Summer the sight is very fine.
The meetings continue very happy and the saints are greatly refreshed and full of thanksgiving in their prayers for the little keep[?] and encouragement brought to them. They have been much cast down with a local trouble and some of the leading brothers have told me that the meetings have been so depressing of late that they hardly knew what to do – liberty and power seemed to have gone so that you can understand the joy and freshness now that the Lord has graciously sent a word of comfort to them. The meeting on Lord's day morning was really very happy – our hearts delighting in the Lord's presence and glorying in Him who is so worthy of all our hearts.
The gospel too in the evening was a cheer to us all and was used for refreshment especially to the saints although many unconverted were present to whom I was especially speaking. Mr Elliott has invited me over to tea with him again this evening at Wynburg and wanted me to return early in the afternoon so that he might have taken me for a drive around the country but I am too busy for this especially as it is mail day tomorrow. He is very kind and he is made glad too for all the refreshment the Lord has so graciously brought in, although he seemed at first ready to put to prison the poor thing used of God to bring it.
August 19th. 10 pm
Have just returned from Wynburg and have spent a very happy time with Mr & Mrs Elliott and their family – they drove out about four miles to call upon another family in fellowship and after spending about half an hour there returned to tea. At 7.30 was the usual reading at which a good many strangers were present, we read the third chapter II Timothy. Mr E. walked to the station with me and here I am now in my bedroom and biscuit showroom remembering that tomorrow is mail day, so felt I had better finish my home letters tonight. Mr E. has invited me over to Wynburg on Lord's day morning and is indeed very kind – thus I continue to prove the goodness of God to me in a strange land. For the last week I have been sitting at the table in our hotel with a gentleman who was a little too far away for conversation, but yesterday we had a little talk and again this morning at breakfast. In the afternoon he was passing my room and called in and we exchanged cards. Singularly enough he had taken lunch with Mr Elliott and was relating some little incident of my travels to him mentioning my name which he had ascertained at the hotel. He then found I was known to Mr Elliott who told him of my intention to go over to Wynburg with him this afternoon. This gentleman is called the Rev John Brevner and is the superintendent of Education in the Orange Free State. He gave me a very hearty invitation to some friend of his in the capital of that state in the event of my calling.
I suppose Emma and the dear children are with you at Ilfracombe and do hope they will all have benefitted by the little change. Until this journey I have usually brought all the dear children to God together in my prayers but now my heart loves to mention all their names – Daisy, Mildred, Olive, Harold, Muriel, Graham, Angee & Hilda. I am sure God will bless them and the instruction they are receiving day by day so that they may grow up under the nurture and admonition of God.
Give my kind love to Henry and Zoe, Eunice and Eliza and all my dear friends at Barnstaple, Mary and the dear children and Martha and also Mr Shapland and all the dear saints at Ilfracombe. And now my dear Angee with much love to yourself and our dear children Arundel and Harry believe me my dearly beloved wife.
Your very affectionate Husband
Aug. 20th – all well – great encouragement in the business.