Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
January 11th, 1889
My Beloved Angee,
As there is some doubt about our reaching Calcutta in time for the next homeward mail I will not run the risk of disappointing you of your usual weekly letter, so will write before embarking on board the "Alan Drummond" steamer which will sail either this evening or tomorrow morning – I am going on board this afternoon.
Have spent every evening with the few gathered ones here and have had a time of much cheer with them over the word – one night we had preaching at a nice large room in one of the suburbs as I told you in my last. The wife of one of the brothers, Mrs Fullham has sent me up some nicely cooked food during the last 2 day – I had mentioned how unsatisfactory it was at the hotel, that I have really dreaded when meal times come and if I sent my servant to the market it was no better, so dear Mrs Fullham's care was much appreciated.
Charles Stanley in his new book Mr Stone has sent me with his love in the Lord, refers to having a rice pudding out of a brown dish one day for dinner – I dare say since I have been in Madras as well as in many other parts of India a cold rice pudding in my bedroom is all I have had for dinner for 4 nights out of the 7 and I prefer it to anything else. You can hardly imagine the filth of this place, that often while walking along the streets I am obliged to urge[?] just as if I was sick, so that while I have had much joy in the Lord and happy fellowship with the saints, I could have wished myself out of Madras many days ago – the only marvel is how they keep free from plague and it is no wonder when any disease like cholera and small pox breaks out that they are swept away by hundreds.
D.V. I shall soon be getting into China now and P.F.&Co. in their last submit if I thought well of it going right through Peking to be present at the Emperor's wedding to make a gift – they mention that this takes place in February so that it will not be possible, but I have told them I will get through Calcutta and Rangoon as quickly as possible and get through to the extreme North of China to begin with if they wish it, and in that case work back through the various ports. There will be some difference in the climate there and here, but I shall be glad to get into a colder latitude, it will be a nice change.
Rana gets on pretty well and I shall take him on to Calcutta and Rangoon at any rate, as I may change and do worse. Do not think I shall take him into China.
I have recently read the life of Samuel Hebich that German missionary I have related an anecdote about sometimes "Where's your Bible?" – it is rather curious that our neighbour Mrs Dobbie is one of his converts – it seems that one day after Hebich knew her husband the general, he called and on seeing Mrs D. asked her if she had given her heart to the Lord Jesus? She replied I hope so – he that said I did not ask you what you hoped I want to know if you have given your heart to the Lord Jesus and she again replied that she thought she had – have you had your breakfast to which she answered yes – "You self-confident woman! Why did you say you hoped so or you thought so. How dare you be so confident as to say yes! It led to her conversion. You would find the book very interesting if you could get it.
Talk about roughing it – how it puts all our little feather bed sort of service in the shade. How very remarkable it is that there should be so little missionary spirit among brethren. The Lord may yet speak to some about it. Certainly India is a field white unto harvest. I am very glad to see in December "Voice of the Faithful" that Mr Turpin's question has brought forth a distinct answer from J.B.S.[?] as to whether babes have eternal life – it would do Mr Reynolds[?] of Burford the world of good to come out to India instead of writing essays on that Eternal life – the poor ignorant navvy who after his conversion went home and told his wife of it and said they must have some prayer before going to bed and who after kneeling down found he did not know what to say and after a little pause took off his fur cap lying on the table and shouted to the top of his voice "three cheers for Jesus" gave a better display from his heart of eternal life, than many of the fine spun theological discourses we have had among us of late on this subject – However 'tis a mercy that there are many true and sound minded men among us who have seen through it and rebuked it – well I did not intend to write much but I see the paper is filled up, so with much love once more to all our dear ones and to yourself my dearly beloved wife believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband.