Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
November 27th 1887
Lahore, Punjab, India
My Beloved Angee,
Your dear and welcome letter brought its usual comfort on my arrival here yesterday morning. The journey from Bombay to this remote northerly part occupied from Wednesday evening 9.30 until Saturday morning 11 – a distance of nearly thirteen hundred miles and gave some little idea of India although the great mountain ranges are a good way East of the line I travelled and I expect to get a sight of these on my way to Calcutta in a few week's time. We were not many miles distant from Bombay before feeling the need of warmer clothing and this increased as we moved northward. It is the night particularly that are so intensely cold and every day and you may judge of the difference to Bombay where my white clothing was almost too heavy, that now at midday and not a cloud in the sky, I am wearing my thickest Jaegers and my thickest Winter clothing and only feeling comfortable.
India is certainly a deeply interesting country and much of it highly cultivated. It appears to be all a level plain, occasionally a range of mountains comes into view – the railways are well conducted and the stations many of them are the handsomest I have ever seen – very wide platforms and planted with as much taste as the terrace of Castle Hill with all kinds of shrubs, trees and flowers, the various colours of which form a beautiful background to the crowds of natives in their various costumes moving about. Every traveller in India, native of European carries his bed with him. I purchased mine just before leaving Bombay it consists of a kind of Eider quilt, beautifully worked and filled (not so soft as the Eider) with wool and when once folded makes a beautiful bed to lay upon and two nice pillows. This I proved the comfort of in the railway carriage. At the proposed conference to be held near hear at Xmas, the brethren invited are requested to bring their beds , this would seem strange in England.
Well on arrival here yesterday Lazarus and I made our way to the chief hotel I had been recommended to and found they were full and could not give me accommodation – I tried another and found all that I could wish for, exceedingly comfortable in every way. I was as hungry as a hunter, but kept my "Garry" until I had been to the Post Office and had called on the brother whose name and address I had. I soon got my letters and began at once to extract the content of yours as the carriage drove to the brother's house. On reaching this I found it all locked up and nobody at home. A native speaking English and living at the Hotel had gone to the P.O. with me and he knew Johnson, the brother and that he preached every Saturday afternoon at a certain place about 2 miles from the Hotel, so I went back for breakfast and a good one I had – 3 mutton chops and some fried potatoes and in the afternoon started for this place again where I expected to meet the brother. The native came with me, but no preacher was to be found. The native I found was a Christian and knew the few gathered ones very well, so he took me to two native brothers and I soon found my company one by one and reached the leading brother among them last – a Mr Homan, a verifier of stock for one of the large railway companies – an Irish brother, but soon found he was taught of God. His wife too a nice person also in fellowship and know Sidney Smith and his wife and very glad to hear of them. This morning at 10 we assembled for the breaking of bread and a very precious moment it was – real spirit of worship and praise and thanksgiving – one of the natives who can understand and read a little English read a part of 1 Thessalonians IV in the Hindoo and also prayed in this language and while of course I could not understand my heart seemed in fullest sympathy with the tone and spirit of it so that I came believing it was of God and to Him and say amen. We were only 7 or 8 breaking bread but there were 3 or 4 other present, some recently converted from Mohamedism. D.V. I preach the Gospel tonight. I was glad to see a letter from Dr. Mackay's wife and singularly enough Peshawar is near hear, further North, and about a day's journey, so that I may see Dr. M's brother.
Lahore is a beautiful place – trees abound in every kind – wide and splendid roads and every house or hotel or public building seems to be built in the midst of a few acres of ground laid out like a park. Fancy Arundel's shop in the midst of a 3 acre park all laid out and at the entrance gate instead of the arms - the name of the firm – only instead of a shop it is a vast bungalow, but built so as to give the appearance of a gentleman's residence. There is a native part of the city that I have not yet seen, but expect to visit it tomorrow, when I shall close this letter. English mail leaves here on Tuesday morning instead of Friday afternoon as at Bombay. Through mercy my health continues good. I fear the hearing I had fever will have given you a few moments anxiety – my note was short from Suez because I was feeling so poorly and did not in that say anything about it, but the next from Aden would have apprised you of it. I hope however if my letter arrived before Mr Robertshaw's cable to Eliza the words I added to it Edward "Capital" will have assured you of my recovery through mercy.
Monday night. We had a very interesting time last night and a good number (for India) came in. Today have been busy with the work and have got one order and expect a few more tomorrow. It does seem so strange to be cold after suffering so much from the heat. There is snow a very little way further North. And now once more with much love to you all, Arundel, Harriett and all their darling treasures. Harry and Emma and their ditto ditto. Eunice, Eliza, Miss Hardie, Mama and Willie, Miss Wilkins, Miss Menzies and all the dear brethren – all mu kindred at Barnstaple and any inquiring friend. Shall think of you all together at 10 Oxford Park at Xmas and hope you may spend a happy time together – give them all a kiss from their Grandpa. Trust you are keeping well and wish much love to you my dearest Angee believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband.