South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand

March 31st, 1891

Perth, Western Australia

My Beloved Angee,

I have not received any letters from England since leaving Adelaide but am expecting to in a day or two. I wrote you last from Katanning and since then I have visited a place called Fork[?] where the two leading merchants both gave me good orders which was a cheer. I left Fork on Good Friday morning for this place for this place the Capital of W.A. It is a vast country indeed and the whole distance of about 240 miles from Albany here is through the bush or it might be called a forest. We occasionally met bush fires and more frequently the ashes of those trees already burned down. Most of the men and women you see in the new settlements are about as rough as the bush in which they live. Occasionally we find a rough saw mill erected in the midst of the forest to saw up some of the useful timber – the wood called Jarrah[1] is very fine, red in colour and very solid and heavy and is largely used for building purposes. The piles of sandalwood piled in all directions are very considerable but the shippers are obliged to exercise great caution in not shipping too much at a time as the price would go down. The early settlers have made or at least many of them large fortunes in Kangaroo skins, but they have become rather scarce owing to the wholesale slaughter that has been going on for years. The skins are highly appreciated in America for making ladies boots. There are extensive gold fields about 150 miles from Fork[?] and the government are now intending to make a line there and there is great excitement among those whose interests are touched as to the route which shall be taken and the starting points. Perth is a fine town and some of the public buildings much larger than any in a city like Exeter. The Central Hall and the Post Office is larger than the Music Hall at Barnstaple – it is a grand building. The climate is very fine as a rule – it has been unusually hot for a little while this summer – last Sunday week the thermometer registered 115 in the shade  - it was well for the people that this excessive heat only lasted for one day – I was at Albany at that time where it was about 95 but the breeze from the sea kept us a little cooler. There are some fine vineyards in this neighbourhood and a bunch of grapes was exhibited in Perth a short time since weighing 16½ pounds. On arrival here about 2 on Good Friday I did not know of any meeting or the address of any brothers – I had heard there was a meeting – so I expected to be here in great quietness through the holidays which last until tomorrow Wednesday. On the Friday afternoon I walked around the town and met a gentleman in the park with whom I had a nice conversation and found that he loved the Lord Jesus. He was astonished that I should ask him a question about this and delighted too and said that in all the years he had lived in the Colony no one had ever asked him such a question before – He lived at Freemantle about 12 miles from here and is the port for this part of the Colony. On Saturday the grocers were opened for a little while so I called on a few and left my card, making some appointments for tomorrow. I then enquired of a policeman if he knew of any company of Christians in Perth called Brethren – he replied yes and pointed to an old man down the street with a wheelbarrow taking up the street sweeping saying, he takes care of the room and will tell you all about them. So I went down to this poor man and got the name of the leading brother called Rogers and soon found him – he with his wife and 5 daughters are from Sutton in Surrey and have only been out here 3 or 4 years – we had a long conversation about our present troubles and was thankful I had called. Mrs R. and two of the daughters are breaking bread as well. Mr R. had not heard much of the affair but was very decided that nothing but bad doctrine could have caused such confusion and division – he then gave me the names of three other brothers living at Freemantle so I went down in the afternoon and called upon them all and remained with them until 10 at night. It appears they all came up to Perth for the breaking of bread. A brother has recently been with them from Melbourne and pressed them to accept the judgement of that meeting which they firmly refused to do feeling convinced from reading Mr Raven's own letter that his doctrine was not according to the word of God. The first brother I called upon was a Mr Rendle from Bridgewater keeping a boot and shoe shop and after this I walked some distance to see a brother of Mr Rendle who is a builder and recently from Teignmouth and well known at Redruth. They both know Henry well and their wives and had heard of me. Well in the mercy of God all their minds agreed in the refusal of Mr Raven's doctrines and they have given me a right hearty welcome. We had a good day at Perth the following Lord's day and all from Freemantle came up. About half an hour before we broke bread one of the brethren living in Perth received a letter from one of Mr Raven's party at Adelaide warning them of me as they had heard of my having gone to Western Australia and saying that I had caused much sorrow at Adelaide – he also enclosed copy of a letter received from Dr Glenny who wrote to Melbourne telling the Ravenites there of the sorrow I had caused at the Cape – I could hardly have supposed that any believer could have written such an untruthful and scandalous paper. Both letters were shewn to me and I said I would sit behind if they wished it, but all said no and saw the wickedness of these letters on their face – they afterwards tore them up in my presence but I had taken a copy of them. They are ill at ease with their new doctrines and I have long since seen that are branded as Corbett was branded. Thank God I am not troubled about their brand but my heart is filled with sorrow when I think of the awful evil power under which they have fallen and have been blinded. Mr Rogers the leading brother living here has been very kind, also Mrs R. and the daughters – two of them with Mrs R. are breaking bread. Mr R. drove me down to Freemantle yesterday and we enjoyed it very much. Today the business is resumed again and I must take up the work again.

April 3

Mail day has come once more and I must bring my letter to a close. I received my batch of English letters yesterday and was thankful to hear that you were all well and going down to spend a little time with dear Eliza and afterward in our own cottage. I knew dear Lizzie's funeral would be a trying circumstance for Henry and am sorry Charlie should have treated his father in the way he has for many years past and I have often thought on the natural obstinacy and selfishness of his character and abundant conceit that any course his father may be led to take was almost sure to find Charlie in an opposite one. I know Henry was unwise in the marriage settlement and that has deepened the alienation, but God is over all and will I doubt not make all things work together for good painful as it is, as I doubt not both Charlie and his father love God and I never suspected the depth of the iniquity of Ravenism as I have seen the development of it in Australia. It is little removed from Unitarianism but it knows how to clothe itself and adapt itself to the company it may be in – you say sing the same hymns – but this it will not do, there are very few in our book the elite of the party could sing – one notably – Called from above and heavenly man by birth – no full-fledged Ravenite would sing as they deny we are thus made heavenly by birth – it is necessary to accept Mr Raven's theology and party to be this. I always thought to be heavenly to the truthful  and kind and Christ-like, but it seems that it is not so from the print displayed here.

Mr Monteith's and Gen. Haig's influence have swamped India and the letters and extracts recently published would puzzle a stranger especially Gen. Haig's – to know whether it was teaching Budhism [sic] or Christianity.

Thro' mercy have had a very happy time here and Mr. Roger's and his party have been very kind and God has prospered the business here beyond all expectation again. D.V. I go on to Freemantle in a few hours and from there take steamer in a few days for Adelaide. Am very thankful I came to Western Australia – and now my beloved Angee I commend you to that God whose mercy and goodness we have so proved in the past and to the Word of His grace. When that is in our hands and its faithful and gracious words are speaking to our hearts and consciences, our souls have to do with God whose voice it is and all is stable and abiding and our Saviour Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever, may he help us to keep ourselves in the love of God. With much love my dearest Angee,

Being very affectionate Husband

Copy of Mr Glenny's Letter

Wellington, N.Z. Feb. 19th 1891

My Dear Brother,

I have just received news from the Cape and the brethren there wish to let you know in Australia that Mr E. Petter (of Peek Frean & Co.) has been with them and caused great sorrow. When he landed he professed to have no fellowship with division and so he was received. After they had interviewed him on the subject as he had a letter of commendation from Mr McAdam and while with them he professed to great help and confessed if he had been in England he would have been out of fellowship. From Cape Town he travelled over the colony and had access to the meetings and they were refreshed by his preachings. Then he returned to Cape Town and at once took up a hostile attitude and wrote a long letter to the meeting withdrawing himself and also returning the letter of commendation which they had given him. At the same time he went and had a meeting with one man who had left the meeting professedly in fellowship with Mr Lowe and his party and another who was put away some years ago – and another man who is away from the Lord, with their wives. This last acts shews where Mr Petter is in his own soul. I heard Mr P. left for Australia and also New Zealand.

Yours in Him
Geo. W. Glenny


[1] Eucalyptus marginata – see further here.

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