South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand

May 9th, 1891

Melbourne, Australia

My Beloved Angee,

Your very welcome letter dated April 2nd arrived yesterday with an enclosure from Dear Daisy – their visit to London will be deeply imprinted on their young memories. Now that you are beginning to feel the Spring  we are having a taste of Winter in this hemisphere – regular English weather, dull, wet and cold, - quite a change from the sunny time I have had of late, but I get on through waves and storms, sunshine and cloud and in some feeble measure through grace enjoying His presence from whose face all the Glory of God now shines, though once marred more than any man's – was not much surprised of Edwin Petter's illness – he looked so feeble when I last saw him – trust the Saviour, God has given for our deep need as sinners, was made known to him – a wonderful moment for the soul when the truth of what God is in the person and work of His Beloved son and what we are as undone and lost first breaks upon it. No wonder there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth – perfect love coming forth in answer to the work on the cross to meet a poor vile sinner and make a leper clean so as to be meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. I do trust the dear fellow may have tasted that the Lord is gracious and if still in the body he may give a testimony to the giving and forgiving love of a saviour God. I have had a better week's work than I expected and have received some first class orders for our most expensive things. The enamelled tins I expected to do well with no one cares to look at but all our best goods in 2d tins I have sold very freely to the best firms. I went over to Geelong on the 6th and returned again yesterday – the best merchant gave me a nice little order so that my visit was not in vain. It is about 45 miles from Melbourne by steam boat and was a very pleasant trip, but afterwards became wet and cold. Mr Whitaker went with me and we had a nice time with many of the saints the two evenings we were there and they gave me a hearty welcome in spite of having been warned not to receive me by the resident clergy[1] of Melbourne. "I set have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it" proves that the master keys are held by the Mighty One although an adversary dares to shut or attempts to. Well I keep on praying for all who I believe have fallen under an evil power – I do not desire to have anything but love in my heart for all saints but I abhor the evil doctrines which have deceived so many – I send you a copy of a letter of Capt. Barton's recently written to a brother in Dublin and you will see what he says about it. Through the Lord's mercy many are getting delivered in these parts and several brethren still with Mr Stewart are coming to see me this afternoon and I have to meet many more this evening who have desired to see me – one of the leaders wished to be present too but I have refused to meet him.

Hope to leave here on the 12th for New Zealand and shall hope to reach Sydney by about the time you will receive this or a week or so after. Shall be thinking of home by that time if it please God to grant us the joy of seeing one another's faces again – it has been a long separation indeed and yet how swiftly the time has passed, but God has been very good to me – indeed He is good and what my poor heart fears when I felt I must depart from iniquity – even that I should meet any with whom I could have fellowship, yet the contrary has been true and never in all my travels have I met with brighter saints or had more unhindered fellowship than since going outside that which I am deeply concerned has become a leprous house and where the Lord's presence could not be and while I am assured of the truth of this, yet I do not deny that in the Sovereignty of God He is over all the ruin and wreck and His mercy and faithfulness remain for every saint of God upon the earth wherever they may be. I have often heard my dear mother refer to a conversation she had with Mr East who told her that he knew the very moment he received a thought that made him a Unitarian and I doubt many now have not a conception of how possible it is to be deceived by specious human reasoning on that which is divine and so fall into error. The only safeguard for any of us is to "Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning".

Trust that you might be led aright in the matter of the house – I know you do not like a lonely life in the country so it is no good my suggesting a house away from a town – I shall be quite happy with whatever you may think best. Sorry to hear you have had a touch of Rheumatism in the back – I have had it for a few days in both my shoulders but it is better today – at Gellong it was really difficult for me to move my left arm, the pain was so acute. Was glad to get a long letter from Henry giving am interesting account of the time he was snowed up in Cornwall – it must have been a fearful storm. The morning papers here report the wreck to two vessels on this coast during a terrible gale last night, and some lives lost – we did not however feel much of it here – the squatters are of course glad enough to get the rain.

My stock of clothing sadly wants renewing – flannel shirts are so much shrunk and as for my stockings they are picture to behold – I wish the launderers would repair as well as wash them – I need hardly have brought any white clothing as I have not required it more than one or two days at the Cape – the white shirts I brought have not once been opened. Henry asked me if I cannot do some business for them in these parts but my time and mind are so fully occupied that I could not add another straw to my load. Never in all my past experience have I had to work so hard, that I assure you I am really feeling the need of a little rest, our systems so soon "run down". God graciously keeps my mind in peace and I get good rest at night. I manage to "pick a bit" in the way of meals and take a little wine now and then, but shouldn't I like to get some of Mary's fried potatoes and bacon and some of that nice brown bread and butter – I suppose Mr Raven would say this is not "new creation", nor is it, but it is some of the good things of the Old that God is still going on with and will until the new heavens and the new earth shall take their place. The grace and redemption which has made us meet for that scene where no sin can ever be, sustains us now in a world where sin has ruined everything and how blessed to remember the words of Jesus "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but keep them from evil".

The Lord continue all His gracious care over you and all our dear ones and with much love once more to you my beloved Angee and our dear children and their little ones believe me.

Being very affectionate Husband

May 11. All well.


[1] To call the Brethren oversight in Melbourne "resident clergy" would be especially insulting given the extremely anti-clerical nature of the Brethren movement.

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