United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, France
June 27th, 1899
My Beloved Angee,
You have had to wait a long time for a letter but I shall have to wait longer – none has yet reached me in N.Z. and I fear will not until the arrival of the next Frisco mail in about 10 days – well we have both to wait patiently and I trust the Lord graciously keep your mind in peace. I wrote to you last from Napier which place I left just one week ago yesterday. Have had a good time for my business at Wellington – very good – indeed this has been the character of it all the way through so far and I trust may continue. I spent several evenings with Mr & Mrs Lover and there were a goodly number added to the meeting since my last visit. We have had some very refreshing meetings together – Mr. L. is a little peculiar in some things and Mrs L. is very active in visiting and other ways bringing her into a good deal of prominence which is rather trying to some in the meeting but there is a nice spirit in the minds of some leading brothers who have a true knowledge I think of the ground of our gathering. This is a mercy and a comfort as the others lean pretty much with the open brethren and when removed from Wellington will I fear have a very feeble connection if any with those they are now breaking bread with.
We had a beautiful passage from Wellington to Lyttleton last night – the sea smooth and not much wind – it is a 13 hour trip from one port to another – on our steamer's arrival this morning about 8.30 our dear brother Childs was on the Wharf to give me a greeting & helped me in getting up my baggage to the station – we had an hour to wait for the train and retired to the waiting room before a nice fire which was very acceptable and had some talk. They have given me my old quarters at the hotel which are very comfortable – a sitting room and a bedroom adjoining so that I have every comfort through mercy. Since my arrival have been around to make some calls which have been encouraging.
The Winter here is in name only – we had a very windy day in Wellington last Sunday but all the week beside was fine – just cold enough but not too cold. I suppose this City will occupy me a week and then I shall not be long in getting to Tasmania and Melbourne – was thinking this morning that you may be in Ilfracombe again for a little change – I hope you will if you desire it, although I expect our little cottage is beginning to look its best. There is a mail tomorrow via Brindisi which I am sending this by but our regular Frisco mail in 8 or 9 days time will get to England only 2 days later than this.
It looks as if there would be war at the Cape so I expect this will prevent my returning that way and I shall be home all the sooner.
I saw Albert's friend at Wellington – the manager of their business for this Colony – he was very kind and I dined with him one day at his Club. I met him with his wife at Auckland and lodged at the same hotel with them. The business of this Colony is very prosperous and it is no wonder when you see the land and how heavily it is stocked with its millions of sheep and other cattle – I should hardly think there is a country like it in the world. It is a veritable paradise for the working man with their 8 hours a day and good wages with all the necessaries of life very cheap and very good meat, butter, bread, fish and every kind of vegetable. I think if you were a good sailor I should like to bring out all the tribe for their sakes – rather late in the day for us.
Well my dearest Angee I trust you are preserved in good health and bearing up under your trial - I often wonder at it, such a strange path for me to have been led in – it must have been the Lord's doing and He alone has sustained and kept me up in the midst of it all not leaving my heart without joy.
Suppose the dear children are thinking or will be thinking about their holidays – I leave you quite free to do as seems good to you in this matter – you must not be burdened with too many visitors but if you think it well to send them a little help you can do so with our kind love – I continue to bear them up in prayer before God and can give thanks for the mercy and goodness which has hitherto preserved them. The Lord abundantly bless you my beloved wife and with much love to dear Mildred and Martha and our household and to all our loved ones in Bristol and London believe me my beloved Angee ever your very affectionate Husband.
All well – sharp frost last night – we had a nice meeting at the room – very glad to see each other's faces again.