South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
April 27th, 1891
My Beloved Angee,
I found your welcome letter here on arrival three days ago bearing date March 19 bringing good tidings once more to my heart filling it with thanksgiving to God even our Father. It lifts one burden too to hear that Arundel's business is prospering so nicely. I am sure he is doing all he can to make it so, but knowing from our own concern what the difficulties are in this day of fierce competition it makes me tremble when I hear of new enterprises especially when my hard worked for earnings are concerned in it. It has been my continued prayer to God that He would graciously keep the dear fellow so that he may be able to provide for the need of his household and faith expects the petitions be present and which His grace encourages us to believe that He hears. I did not do any business in Ballaratt – the population are mostly of the working class and the shops are very common as a rule and sell only the cheapest kind of things and the few high class concerns prefer to buy our goods through a large firm here who stock the finest character of goods. This firm gave me a splendid order on my first visit and have bought in continually since and both the partners have been with me and my samples all the morning and are making up a grand order, selected about 60 kinds of the finest things we make, so I am encouraged again. They do the cream of the trade all over the Colony and can get their price – they are also large wine and spirit merchants - both Mr Fetcher and Mr Chester are men about my own age and old fashioned sort of people like your husband and I do not know one of my oldest friends in England who have ever shown me more kindness than they have shewn me. Mr Whitaker and I visited many of the saints at Ballaratt and some were glad to see us and got clear Ravenism – one brother who thinks highly of the doctrine opened the door of his house and on seeing Mr Whitaker well known to him shut the door in our faces and this manifested the heavenly character of the doctrine. Mr Whitaker returned here with me and very kindly invited me to his house to stay altogether but it would not have suited my business – the company separate from the evil one going on peacefully and others are coming out – I never enjoyed the Lord's presence at the breaking of bread more in my life than I did yesterday and we all felt the sense – a Dr Walton of Dublin has been out here for a few months and is living about 100 miles North of this, so Mr Whitaker wrote and asked him to come down for a few days and he came – you may remember his writing me just before my last start for India about a young lady living near Amritzar in the Punjab he wished me to visit if possible. He is very decided about Mr Raven's doctrine and knows him well and I was much interested to hear of the conversations he has had with Mr Turpin, Mr Alfred Trench and Raven on this matter. Mr Stewart here is a very advanced pupil of Raven and does not hesitate in saying that J.N.D. was all wrong in saying that Eternal Life is Christ and that he – J.N.D. - was very unguarded in many things he wrote. A brother called Noel in London has written one of the best papers on the subject which has appeared I have dropped him a line and asked him forward you two copies – one for your own perusal and one for Arundel which I hope he will read carefully. Captain Barton refers to this paper in one of his letters remarking that it has been very helpful to simple souls.
Now you are speaking of finer weather and we are dropping into Autumn here and some days find a fire very acceptable, so what a difference. I hope to get away in about a week to New Zealand and shall very soon finish up now and return home once more if the Lord will and no school boy ever had greater joy in the prospect of it than I have if God peradventure grant us the mercy – so Uncle Stevens has gone home at last – his life has been a beautiful even testimony for Christ all through and I have distinct remembrance of it for over fifty years – the memory of the just is blessed. I purpose writing dear Aunt Susan – Mr Grasswallis[?] was soon taken away poor man – I noticed him particularly when last at home as failing – I think he was a believer, but never coming out much on the Lord's side – how could he when so actively engaged in politics.
Harry Marquite[?] dropped me a correspondence for what reason I know not – I was much comforted by the last letters I got from him and hope he is in good health bodily and spiritually and getting on satisfactorily with the business. I expect to find it necessary to stick pretty closely to the work. He would be much amused if he could see my sample room here at the hotel – a nicely furnished sitting room with chiffonier, side and centre tables mantelpiece, sofas easy chairs all called into requisition to display our tins and cards and it looks very brilliant I can tell you. Then I have a beautiful bedroom adjoining so that it is very comfortably "fixed up" at the Grand Hotel and Coffee Palace.
Dr Walters and Dr Whitaker have just called upon me and being dinner-time remained and had the meal beside tasting a great many of my samples. Dr. W. returns to the bush this evening and has some thought of settling for practice at Perth and Fremantle. It is rather a difficult matter for a Dr. to find a spot where he can drop into a town where the people are ready and willing to support him right off.
Patience is needed until his ability is known and appreciated and during this time the pocket is more disposed to empty than fill. It has greatly amused and interested me to hear him relate the various battles in conversation he has had with J.B.S. and others over the new doctrine – two of his sisters are with it and two against it. Was sorry to hear that it was thought hardly probable that poor Arthur Shapland would recover – is he really out of his mind? What a terrible trial it must be for his wife and his father too – enough to weigh him down I am sure. I wish they had been willing to go on a little more quietly and with a smaller burden than they have now got to carry. However I do trust they may be able to grapple with it but can quite understand how necessary it must be for all hands of them to keep a tight trace.
I feel very thankful for the "little job of work" the Lord has given me to do with the biscuits and through his mercy keeps my spirit happy in it and my mind in peace. Am very thankful you are preserved in good health and that the dear children are all well – breakfast at 7.30 a.m. sounds like business – it will be a wholesome discipline for the dear little ones. I was up soon after day break this morning – unpacked and spread out all my samples before breakfast so Father and poor Grandfather is able to work too and is very thankful for it – mind I am not fishing for compliments, but am afraid it looks like it. Well mail day has come again and must now close with much love to you my beloved Angee and all our dear ones and believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband
I was glad to find in your last letter that your long waiting time for my letter was ended.