Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
February 23rd, 1888
Madras, Thursday 9 am
My Beloved Angee,
Yesterday was a mail day and a very busy one generally – it so happens here that the English mail arrives the same day and this is a special pleasure because of tidings from home, so the pleasures and the duties all crowd in together. I sent P.F.&Co. a good budget which will make them glad I know, but they sent me a wopper and no mistake, 13 folios all pretty closely written – 3 of them the ordinary letter and the remaining 10 a special document referring to a lot of fresh lines they are sending me as an experiment and a long cable code, so that I may be able to report of them after their arrival. Was much comforted to get dear Emma's letter and the enclosure from Harry, who I am sure is getting on splendidly and evidently working with good will. What mercy it is for us all that God has so wonderfully ordered for us all, although as far as you and I are concerned it is to be separated for a little season but I doubt not that even this is working together for good to us. It seems just the thing for Harry and the young Stones & Carrs will soon get to esteem him as he makes his worth known to them.
We had a very interesting time again on Monday evening – a good number came out, mostly Eurasians (mixed blood) who are very numerous in Southern India. I spoke from the parables in Matthew XIII. It was all new to them and one lady who was asked by a brother if she followed it said that I had turned everything upside down. She had always been taught that the leaven meant a good thing. Last night about 25 came to tea at a brother's house and afterward we had a reading. There were three preachers (local) present and we had a regular battle over some important truths and some of those who opposed it at first acknowledged they had never seen the truth before. It reminds me very much of the work at St. Austel. The Wesleyans are rather frightened as on Monday night they had a cottage meeting directly opposite where I was preaching and their singing was very distracting. "Hold the fort" was well piped by them, but I think the Word of God gave some of their walls a shaking last night.
February 24th, Monday 2pm
It is getting very warm again and as P.F.&Co. have requested me to await arrival of sample I am thinking to run up to Bangalore for a few days next week – it is cooler there and I hear it is a lovely place. We had another interesting meeting at the Hall last night and the interest is very marked. This morning early I visited with a native brother two native Christians in their homes and in one of them it was indeed a picture of cleanliness and order. A family of 7 all converted and they were having morning prayer just as we called – two or three of them have been coming to the meetings. The mother was a nice person and bore the mark of knowing a Saviour God on her face. The father is a missionary in Calcutta and the oldest son, a choice young man, is also engaged in the Lord's work under the London Missionary Society and highly educated has M.A. affixed to his name.
Lord's day February 26th 10 am
This morning at 8 we came together around the Lord's table and once more proved the blessedness of His presence in our midst – the wife of our brother who had been away for a few months from the Table was happily restored and in her place again – last Lord's day her husband today herself – the Lord has really blessed him and they know it and are filled with thanksgiving – this afternoon D.V. I baptise two households of those in fellowship but who have never seen the truth as to the place of the household until recently. We had a very interesting meeting on Monday evening and many own to having received light upon the truth and we quite hope there are some that will be obedient to the word and come out boldly for and to Christ – Received a note yesterday from a Deacon of the Baptist chapel asking me to conduct the service there this morn at 7.30 – many of them are attending our meetings – I sent a note thanking him but declined. It is deeply encouraging to see the interest God has evidently kindled in Madras and I doubt not much blessing has been received. What a witness of Christ's present love and care for His Church.
Monday February 27th 10.00 pm
Was glad to get inside the mosquito curtains after returning from the meetings last night – the rest and sleep were very sweet I assure you, doors and windows wide open and then it was tolerably cool. Through mercy am feeling well this morning and enjoyed my breakfast and if you had seen it you would have said it was not a very bad one. Received a letter from George Petter's son near Bangalore who wants me to come up. Also received a splendid order from Calcutta promised me as leaving there.
Well, I only think how you would have been interested to have seen the two children I baptised yesterday all Eurasians but some whiter than others. In the evening too it was so interesting to see the people – one young native Christian and his new native wife were about the loveliest couple I ever saw in my life – both Christians – he dressed in European attire – his wife I can hardly describe her attire – it seemed to be a lot of beautiful pink colour veils over her head and shoulders and some kind of a skirt with what appeared to be a gold belt around her waist – but their faces although black were pictures of beauty and they seemed very intelligent and to enjoy the truth – they have been to many of our meetings. I shall not soon forget Madras. Tonight we have another meeting – indeed we have had a meeting of some kind every night since I arrived and what is better than all the Lord has greatly blessed many precious souls and some have been much offended – so it was, and must be to the end.