United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, France
July 5th, 1899
Christchurch, N.Z. Wednesday
My Beloved Angee,
My heart and mind were both cheered & relieved to receive your letters of May the 12th & 18th on Saturday last – the earlier date arriving about midday bearing a penny stamp only and got through without being observed when it should have borne a 2½ stamp – the other arrived in the evening with two penny stamps being over the ½ oz and should have had two 2 ½ d stamps for which I had to pay 1/. I expect Mildred thought the postage here was the same as Canada but it is not so. However I would gladly have paid a sovereign each for them. It has been a long time to wait for myself and for you too and now you will get the one posted last week via Suez by the same steamer carrying this as the bags via Suez failed to make the connection in time with the Sydney mail and it was publicly notified that they would now be sent via Frisco. Another mail from England via Frisco arrived at Auckland yesterday so that I may expect some more in a few days at Dunedin for which place I leave here tomorrow. I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling so poorly and do hope that you will have derived much benefit by another visit to Ilfracombe. I hope you will not undertake the journey either to Bristol or London much as I should like you to spend a little time with the dear children – you must wait until I return for this. Can quite understand how dear Mildred will enjoy to see her father and mother and all the brothers and sisters – trust she and they may enjoy it. Trust too dear Martha will have enjoyed the little time at ‘Combe – very sorry to hear of dear Lizzie's illness and do pray that she may be brought through the affliction and preserved to her household to continue to be a comfort and solace to them all – sorry too to hear of our Mary's having been so poorly – please give my kind regards to her and say I hope she will soon be well again.
I have been here just a week today and through the mercy and goodness of the Lord He has been pleased to give me a time of much cheer and encouragement and a very special season of refreshing among the dear saints – in the gospel and among the dear children.
Except on Saturday afternoon when I did a little visiting and spent the evening quietly with dear Mr Childs and his family we have had meetings at the Hall every evening since my arrival – the place is generally full in spite of continual rain which has fallen freely nearly every day and especially on Lord's day. I have hardly ever seen greater interest manifested – one family drove in from the country about 10 miles on Lord's day morning – the wife with a young baby in her arms – they remained for the prayer meeting on Monday evening and for the gospel on Tuesday and were driving back again last night after 9 o'clock – I should like you to have seen the Hall on Sunday afternoon – it was packed very full and the faces of the dear children seemed fixed with attention even the youngest. I spoke from II & III of Genesis – our first parents, the fall and Cain & Abel. You will be able to judge of how even some only 6 years old grasped the simple truth when you see the batch of letters they have handed to me since – Mand[?] and Winnie Herriett are at the head as far as merit – their papers are a perfect marvel of memory. Mandy is now 17 – she has won a scholarship of £40 since my last visit and took 5 of the best prizes away from the High School just recently and is considered one of the best in the school. Her parents keep a small grocery store and the Father has recently got his mind into a great difficulty with regard to the use of wine at the Lord's supper – the feeling in N.Z. is very very strong against alcohol in any form and thousands through the colonies are pressing for the sale of it being prohibited by the Government – Mr Herriett has been reading some of their literature in which they contend that the two Hebrew words for wine in the Old Testament means good wine which is unfermented and the other bad wine which is intoxicating – he has said some very serious things to some of the brethren about it – well I have had many talks with him about it and am thankful that he has acknowledged and withdrawn these bad things he had said about the wine and I hope he is in some measure delivered from the erroneous interpretations that unregenerate men have attached to the word. No reader of the word can fail to discern that what is condemned is the abuse of it, not the reasonable use of it as a creature of God. Mr Herriett has shown a nice spirit in the matter to me and although I felt led to speak very sharp things to him he received it kindly and I do trust the spell he was under has been broken. The one scripture harped upon in Proverbs XX – "Wine is a mocker and strong drink raging and he that is deceived thereby is not wise" – the latter part of the verse they do not care so much for which is really the key to the understanding of the first part.
The business has been very good for P.F. and I have done a little for my Leed's firm and some for the Litchden St art Pottery. And now my dear Angee I must close this note and you know all my heart's desire for you which I am continually supplicating our Father who is the source of every blessing and mercy. Be of good cheer my beloved wife and with much love to your dear self and all our loved ones believe me ever.
Being very affectionate Husband
I will write dear Mildred and Daisy by this mail if possible if not by next.