South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
March 10th, 1891
Adelaide, South Australia, Tuesday
My Beloved Angee,
Your long and welcome letter of Jan. 29th reached me here last Saturday – three sheets and closely written – and this does compensate for the lack of letters from dear sons who I suppose are too busy to write me. There is a Dr Birkett residing about 23 miles from here – a placed called Gumerachi and having received a kind invitation from him and Mrs B., I went up by coach last Saturday and spent about five hours with them – they were very kind and came to meet the coach in their own carriage and then drove me to their house. Glad enough I was to get under a roof out of the fierce heat and glare of the sun. He is from Dublin and has a brother there now – they knew poor Sydney Smith very well. It was quite a nice little change for me, but on the return journey, what with heat and dust I was nearly finished and after a bath was glad to lay down at 8pm and did not dress again after. At about 10 the same evening a sudden cyclone storm burst upon the place – my window was open and I could not think what all the roar and noise was about – it was as if the place was suddenly being bombarded. I looked out of my window and thought at first it must be smoke, but it was a blinding cloud of dust and things were flying about the street in all directions. Soon after some rain fell and then a storm of lightning and thunder of a most peculiar character so that I could not get much sleep. I was very thankful however that the next morning (Lord's day) the atmosphere had cooled somewhat. I did not go out in the morning but about 11 – two brothers came to see me uninvited and we bowed together in worship before the Lord – our hearts being the more drawn out to praise Him and to adore His name seeing that so many are now thinking and speaking so lightly of Him. Soon after these left, another called who had come from the meeting – he had with three others of his family withdrawn from their fellowship and I heard that very few were present. They are intending now to have another meeting in a day or two to re-consider their decision. In the evening I went to a brother's house and preached the gospel in which I felt very happy and God blessed one soul with deliverance.
You would be amused to see my arcade biscuit shop – it really looks first class and the merchants are delighted with the goods which they say are simply perfection. I am encouraged too in having had two nice orders from the two best merchants in Adelaide and I hope for a few more before packing up again. It is not like South Africa however and I shall not dwell long in this part, but hurry back among the Zulus again as quickly as possible. The biscuit maker who had a fine stand and a display of biscuits just outside my place here has removed every vestige of it and was brought by another gentleman of whom I rent the shop and introduced to me. I did not however say much to him knowing pretty well the intention of his visit. He admired all my goods and said that if he could make all these fine kinds the merchants would not buy of him, they thought so much more of them if they came from England.
I was sorry to hear that you have had a bad cold too, but trust that long ere this it will have passed away. You must try it and keep up as we say a little longer – my beloved Angee but I do pray that God alone who can hold our poor often fainting hearts up may continue His great mercy to us and grant that we may soon come together again. This will certainly finish all such travels – I do not murmur or complain of my lot for all has been sovereign mercy from first to last but the Lord only knows what my poor heart often passes through but for His sustainment I should sink under all that I am in the midst of. Am very sorry to hear dear Lizzie is so poorly and hope she may be restored again if the Lord will – she has not looked well for some time and on my last visit home I felt that there must be something working badly for her skin to be so shrivelled and so bad a colour. Soon morning without clouds will come for us as the Redeemed of the Lord. That Blessed Saviour was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief – and well knows all that our poor hearts have to taste on the way home to Himself. When I think of His Love even to death and that death one of shame and reproach even the death on the cross – Oh what can we say – no words can ever express what God makes our souls to feel of Him and His worthiness – How one's soul longs for that day when His poor failing but redeemed people shall with one heart give forth a burst of Praise which shall be worthy of what He is. Then He shall see of the travail of His Soul and shall be satisfied. Well may we sing "Thy name we Bless Lord Jesus". What has He given to us that we can through infinite grace even here Bless the Blesser.
I had a nice letter from my dear friend Mr Arundel yesterday from Sydney there is just a chance of my meeting him in NZ somewhere. He was writing Mr Ellis as he received mine and enclosed it to him.
Was expecting a letter from dear Arundel by last mail but suppose he was busy. I used to get nice letters from dear Harry but if he has written any in the last three months I have not received them. Well once more give them each Father's love and to all their dear children how glad I shall be to see all their dear faces once more also kind love to dear Eunice and Eliza at Ilfracombe and all dear friends at Barnstaple and now with much love to your dear self believe me my beloved wife.
Your very affectionate Husband