South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
January 3rd, 1891
My Beloved Angee,
Your welcome letter of Dec. 4th reached me at Newcastle during my few days holiday and I assure the scarcity of news you refer to does not abate my interest in your epistle one iota. That which is always paramount for any hearing is that you are well and happy and our dear ones. We returned to this place yesterday morning at 8am leaving Newcastle by train at 7pm on new year's day. The new year greetings in this country are very profuse – the people appear to be jubilant – it makes quite a sight at the station before starting and a few of the greetings came to my lot[?] from some merchants and others I had become acquainted with during my stay. A gentleman called Goodricks with his wife were also staying at the hotel at Newcastle – I think he is a solicitor residing at Durban. Mrs G. was sitting next me at a table and we soon discovered that we were Devonshire people and she had a sister living at Barnstaple the wife of a Dr. called Lane or Lean and were well acquainted with Dr. Budd. Mr. Lane took over some other doctor's practice I believe. They were nice people and gave me a very pressing invitation to call upon them at Durban where they are shortly returning. Mr G. came down to the station to see me off I was well cared for with Lazarus in charge of all my luggage and Mr Goodrich who was very kind in seeing my carriage provided with bedding &c. for the night. We had a beautifully cool night – the perfect climate and the beautiful scenery all around was simply enchanting as far as this world is concerned – I had the full benefit of a magnificent sunset with a very brilliant afterglow and the sun rise soon after four after which all sleepiness was gone and I went through the form of a very simple toilet about five refreshing the body with a few biscuits, a banana and a little weak whisky and water in the absence of tea or coffee. A bottle of water and the corner of my pocketkerchief served for washing my face and then I had a real time again in pouring out my heart to God in thanksgiving and praise in the remembrance of His manifold mercies toward us all through another year of our pilgrimage through this world. The previous evening I sang all the hymns I remembered and when I could not get hold of the tune I had to get one of my own composing as I went on. There were no Greek scholars near so I was not afraid of any criticism – how much I should have enjoyed to have sung all these with you and our loved ones at home. On reaching this place in the morning dear Jones and a brother called Bull from Durban were at the station to meet me. All business is suspended for four days so that we were free to spend a nice time together. I go to their house every afternoon and remain until 9 or 10 – last evening we had a nice company in for a reading and a good time was granted us in pondering over the 4th and 5th of Romans – there were several Wesleyans present and we felt the Word was a blessed one for establishing the heart in grace which God says is a good thing. I really enjoyed the time and one lady who had walked 2 or 3 miles was much blessed. I was much refreshed too this morning on reading Romans 9 and the 5th verse especially "Whose are the fathers, & or whom as concerning the flesh Christ came who is ever with God blessed forever, Amen." How delightful to the heart this to see the beloved apostle if he touches the humanity it is not to dissect it as our high church party are doing but he at once bounds in his spirit right up into His highest glory as God over all Blessed for ever. It is one person who is God over all and man.
My last mail from P.F&Co. have caused me some little perplexity – I mentioned in writing from Port Elizabeth that if I had known S. Africa was such a good market for our goods I should certainly have suggested spending a year in the country. In reply to this they leave it to my discretion to do whatever I feel is best and to still further postpone the visit to Australia if I think well. I have however got samples and my letters now gone on to Adelaide and Melbourne and after weighing and praying over it I am purposing to give up Madagascar and the Mauritius for the present to go to Cape Town for Durban and take a direct New Zealand steamer calling there for Hobart. I should probably get through the work there and be able to return to S. Africa by June in time to visit the ports to collect Xmas indents and God willing to set my face toward home in August or September. I am thinking of sending Lazarus back to Bombay from Brisbane, as the expense of taking him to Australia and back will be very heavy. I do not suppose he will care to leave me but I do not want to make my expenses too burdensome – this is a fearfully dear place, I mean South Africa altogether.
Durban, 8 am
Your welcome letter of Dec 4th to hand and we have just returned from Maritzburg where I had a very pleasant time. God willing I leave here on the 8th for Cape Town where I take the S.S. ‘Arana' direct to Hobart. I feel that this will be my best course to take instead of via Madagascar and the Mauritius. Lazarus quite appreciates what I have said to him about the expense of going further with me and will be glad to get home to see his children – I certainly never saw a more perfect servant in my life. It has been a happy time together and I shall be very sorry to part with him. He is very busy now putting all my clothes in order for the voyage. I shall have about four days to stop in Cape Town from which port I shall post you one more letter, but yours to me arriving by future mails will be sent to me at Melbourne. Have also received letters from Henry – Blackmore & Sanch and Mr Rubie with a lot of papers from Mr Raven's side of the question. One thing is pretty evident that the party spirit increases like the raging of a fire and where will it end? It is the most solemn spectacle to contemplate that I have ever seen – a perfect Babel of confusion and I cannot but believe that the whole thing is the first of the wretched human reasonings and hair splittings that have prevailed among us for years past. Mr Rubie mentioned that Arundel has been in London and found encouragement in his business for which I am thankful. Lazarus send best compliments to you and all the children. Much love to dear Arundel and Harry and Emma and all the darling children – all dear friends and a double portion for yourself and believe me my dearly beloved Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband