United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, France
March 27th, 1899
R.M.S. Majestic, Atlantic Ocean
My Beloved Angee,
We are now getting well across the ocean and have been favoured once more in the mercy of God with beautiful weather. The ocean voyages have always been deeply interesting to me and this is no exception. My cabin companion is a bright Xtian and it has been a mutual joy to us to be together – he is draper residing in Montreal connected with Presbyterians but a real lover of the Word and knows many of the Brethren in his City of whom he speaks highly – there is another person on board I have been much interested in – a coloured man about 45 but pretty much of my own stature as to body – Bishop Grant is his name – he is a Bishop of the African Methodist Church – at 18 he was a slave and was often reminded as a slave of that Scripture "servants obey your masters" but one day after he was set free a man came along bringing another sense of the Scriptures in Matthew II "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you Rest." That word brought the knowledge of a saviour's love and compassion to his heart which was emancipation of another character – dear fellow he has a lovely face and voice and you are soon made to feel that you are in the presence of one taught of God. We have spent much time together and he is always ready to have a talk on the Lord's things and then writes them down so that he might not forget them – he resides in Philadelphia where he has a congregation of about fifteen hundred coloured people and has given me a very cordial invitation to come and stay a few days with him – last night we preached the gospel together in the second saloon – he spoke from that word "come unto me" in Matthew and it was very very sweet and touching I assure you which he had proven the divine character of in his own soul. God gave us a real time and the people were very attentive. Bishop Grant has just been up to Sierra Leone on a special visit and has been travelling a good deal lately. He is very simple and childlike and seems to rejoice in the truth – it has been a great refreshment to my spirit to see the grace of God and such unfeigned faith manifested. He is a great friend of the President's and speaks very highly of Mr McKinley's piety – the President often has interviews with him about the 9 millions of coloured people now living in the South who feel very deeply the contempt in which they are held by the white population and it is thought will seek another land to be away from a white population. We passed an iceberg this morning – the first I have ever seen in all my travels – it was not more than 40 or 50 feet out of the water, but when low are considered more dangerous – everything is very comfortable on board the ship – we are not crowded – about 150 in each of the first & second saloons. I have greatly enjoyed the salt water bath every morning at 7 and feel all the better for it – have not eaten any porridge since leaving home and am feeling all the better for it – the belt is not so tight as it was. I do trust that you are getting along happily – you will have received my letter from Queenstown – I have many times read your message from there by wire – shall add a little more to this tomorrow D.V. and endeavour to get it off by the mail leaving New York the morning we land there – if it goes then you will get it about the 6th of April.
We encountered a gale yesterday but as we were running with it we did not get beyond a good rocking motion – about midday we struck a cold wave very suddenly which gave indication of being near icebergs we had not long to wait and we were abreast of a very huge one about 200 feet high and 800 or a 1,000 feet wide with a table top it was really a most sublime sight. Our big ship gave quite a strong list on account of all the passengers going to one side of the ship – we are today about 500 miles south of our position yesterday which gives us a little more warmth and the sea is gone down a good deal. It has been a most interesting voyage and increases now that the time for parting again draws near. My dear African bishop and I often get together for a talk – he is one of dear mother's type of the early Wesleyan ministers. The Lord gave me great encouragement in London and from Ilfracombe and from my own beloved at home and he has given me abundant blessing and encouragement again on board this ship in meeting so many of His people. To Him be all the praise and glory. Now my dear Angee I must close bearing you up in the arms of faith & prayer to the God of all grace to comfort your heart and mind – much love to our dear boys and their families for whom I continually pray believe me with a double portion of love to yourself my beloved wife ever.
Your very affectionate Husband
29th – 9.30am
We hope to reach N.Y. about 4 and I hope my cable may reach you tonight or most probably early Thursday morning – this letter will not be in time for the mail from N.Y. today but will go by a German mail tomorrow – God Bless you my dear – all is well.