South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
May 19th, 1891
Dunedin, New Zealand
My Beloved Angee,
We have just arrived here and finding that a mail leaves via San Francisco tomorrow I must avail myself of the first moment to write you. I came up from Port Chalmers by rail this morning (9 miles) and shall have to go down to the wharf on the steamer's arrival up the river, to get all my baggage. Since my arrival here soon after breakfast I have called on most of the merchants and have had a cordial greeting from them all and good reports of our goods and promises of more business, so I shall have a busy afternoon's work to open my show and decorate my sitting room which is very comfortable and a nice bedroom adjoining – only wish you were here to enjoy it with me.
Our voyage has been one of the happiest I have ever had and in the rich mercy of God it has been refreshment for my spirit, soul and body for which I am unfeignedly thankful and I know you will join in this too. My cabin companion Mr Whitehead is a very interesting man and I soon found it[sic] his nationality when we were on our knees, but I have been especially drawn towards dear Mr McNeil the Presbyterian Evangelist – I hardly know when I have ever met such a devoted heart to Christ and one in whom there was such burning love for souls. The Captain gave us permission to preach the gospel last Lord's day and it was told out in simple plain words I assure you and I am sure went with assurance and power and in the Holy Ghost to many hearts and many adversaries came to the front too who would have been glad to have pitched us overboard if they could. Dear Mr McLean and I had a blessed time in prayer together last night and he dear fellow is like a giant refreshed and says he has never had such a time of feeding for his soul.
Last Lord's day evening we reached the bluff – the port for Invercargil – it is a straggling place and not many houses there. Mr McLean knew there was a little primitive Methodist chapel there , the only meeting place for Christians in the town and had promised the minister that if the steamer arrives in time he would come up. So after dinner he went and I accompanied him – the chapel was filled and Mr. McL. Preached the gospel and we had a good prayer meeting after. In his prayer at the beginning he asked the Lord to come in among the people that night with His battle axe and smite them down as guilty sinners in His presence and it really was battle axe work and I sometimes wondered how the people remained; we heard the following day there were many wounded who were wishing Mr McL. would stay a bit. After the meeting we returned with the minister a Mr Ryan to his house to supper with his wife after which we sat around a nice wood fire and had a good time together and they heard a little gospel from my lips which interested them. Mrs Ryan knew one of Arthur's sons called Edgar Petter and had heard a good deal of William's son the clergyman who was in Australia recently. It was rather curious during our ship's stay at Hobart a telegram came on board addressed Mr Petter but I could not make it out and after reading it many times said it was not for me. It said "If my old friend Edgar she will be glad to hear from you – Alice K., P O South Richmond, Melbourne. The names of the passengers are generally given in the papers and I suppose this lady seeing E. Petter thought it might be Edgar and so sent this cable to Hobart after the steamer. Well you may judge what a cheer my visit was to Mr & Mrs Ryan - a dear couple and very simple. I went up to Invercargill the following day 19 miles and returned to the Bluff again to catch the same steamer to this port. The Lord bless you all and help us to keep ourselves in the love of God looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Much love to you my dearly beloved Angee dear Arundel Harry and Emma and all the darling children and all dear friends and believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband.