South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
September 8th, 1890
Wellington, Cape Colony
My Beloved Angee,
Your welcome letter of August 14th was received Sept. 4th and was the only English Communication that the mail brought for me. It was therefore doubly and kindly appreciated. You will see from the above that I have at last moved from Cape Town and thus far my experience shows that I have left the centre of business and have not found any here, where the dealers are mostly Dutch and draw their supplies from Cape Town. I purpose leaving again in the morning for Worcester and a place called Beaufort West which is a large place I am told so that I hope to get hold of some more business there.
I left Cape Town at 7.40 a.m. this morning (Monday) and quite a company of Brethren came from various parts of the Town to give a parting word of brotherly love – they have all been much refreshed and in these days of ruin and confusion the fellowship God in his mercy has vouchsafed to us has indeed been a real solid comfort to all our hearts. Last Friday there was a tea meeting at the large Hall at which nearly all the saints in fellowship both at Cape Town and suburbs were present – Mr Elliott and some of his family from Wynberg were also with us – at 7.30 after the tea there was an open meeting at which many outsiders were present. The Lord gave us a very real time of blessing, the like of which we have not had of late years in England and how could it be with such bitter envying [?] and strife and confusion as prevails there now. We may err in our judgement as to the cause of it, but He whose eyes are as a flame of fire knows where the root of it lies.
Sept. 9th (Wellington)
Have had a good night's rest which I was needing – everything here is so primitive, the population is mostly Dutch and the industry grape growing. The vines are planted in the fields, a few short spurs like bullock's horns growing about a foot or eighteen inches above the ground and in these the new shoots bearing the fruit grow out every year. The wine is delicious and tastes like the blood of the grape. Very choice fruit is also cultivated such as peaches, gooseberries which is manufactured by these Dutch farmers into preserves – neatly tinned and sent to various parts of the colony. The quality is very delicious and the country and climate are simply beautiful. The spring foliage and fruit blossoms are just bursting out which enhances the charm of the country. The lofty mountain ranges on all sides makes one desire to dwell in the midst of it for a little while.
Our start from Cape Town yesterday seems to have impressed Lazarus very much – on retiring to rest last night he began to speak about the very kind people that came to the station to say good bye to master and it appears after they had left my carriage they passed by the one Lazarus was sitting in and all of them (14 or so) shook hands with him too which I did not see. I do not ever remember such a time of blessing as the Lord granted to us at Cape Town – a moment never to be forgotten by either of us. James Sobey's brother came to the Lord's day morning meeting (he is a fine warm-hearted fellow among the Wesleyans) and he said he was never in such a meeting before where the power of God was so manifest or where there was such liberty and where the person and glories of our Lord Jesus Christ filled every eye and heart and it was so indeed. He came to the gospel again in the evening with his brother and the same power was again present and I never remember such a moment as was granted to us again and we had the largest company we have yet seen. How it does tell out what God is to us and how ready He is to smile upon us and be gracious if we can only humble ourselves under His mighty hand and hear from Him by His Holy Spirit of The worthy One in Whom is all His delight. It is when we are near enough to that dear Saviour to feel the throbbings of His unchanging love, that there will be confidence and love going out to one another. Man's wretched theological notions will not work either of these. The pure word of God is as perfect as Himself and the Spirit by whom it is given can alone bring it home in such a way that it abides to accomplish its own sanctifying work and to form us after the likeness of the One Who has redeemed us. I have been much interested in that dear young brother whose parents from Hammersmith have recently visited Ilfracombe and of whom you speak in your letter. He landed on a Friday and commenced seeking a situation at once and by the following Tuesday had obtained one with one of the best drapers. He is very comfortable with his employers. I asked him one evening to dine and we spent a nice time together and in prayer. He is sitting outside but attends all the meetings and the brethren feel much interested in him. I do not know whether his parents broke bread at Ilfracombe, if so the Ilfracombe meeting is definitely outside now, which I should deeply regret. We had a sister from Bournemouth at Cape Town last Lord's day commended by Mr Ord. She says that they do not like Mr Raven's teaching but many think there is no ground for division and this is what I feel more and more although now it has taken place God alone can come in to stay its destructive work and deliver and preserve His Beloved people.
Ceres, Sept. 9th, evening
We left Wellington this morning and are now landed in this place which is a summer sanatorium and is certainly a lovely spot. The drive in a cart about 10 miles is through a mountain pass and is said to be one of the most beautiful bits of scenery in South Africa. It is very much like the drive from Lynmouth to Watermeet[?] only more rugged & much longer. I find no merchants however doing sufficient business to import - we move on again in the morning to Worcester and Beaufort West. The weather is very fine and the peach blossom is certainly a picture to behold. Ceres is built in the centre of a plain surrounded by mountains. The houses are very new and comfortable looking with a plenty of trees growing on either side of good wide roads. The mail closes early in the morning so must finish up my letter tonight. I pray for special comfort for your heart my beloved Angee and trust in the tender mercy and goodness our God that you receive them. Once more with much love to you and all our dear ones believe me my dearly beloved wife.
Being very affectionate Husband