Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
March 2nd, 1889
Hong Kong Hotel, Hong Kong, China
My Beloved Angee,
We arrived here on the last day of February and then within about 36 hours of it encountered a storm and it became very cold so that all the beautiful sunshine and heat are now behind us and our climate is like a dull cold day in March at home. I feel the change very much and I see that further North the cold is still more intense. The last letter I wrote is still here and I suppose will go by the same mail that carries this – we should have arrived several hours before the departure of the English mail but the bad weather kept us back and we saw the vessel steaming out of the harbour just as we entered it. Your getting a double portion by this mail will be some little compensation for none by the last. Hong Kong is a fine well-built place on the side of a very steep hill – the shops and buildings and main streets are very good and have an English stamp – the harbour too is very fine and is a busy place with shipping from all parts – the hotel I am staying at is also excellent both for food and accommodation, but I am no sooner unpacked and all made tidy and my show spread out to the best than it is time to pack up again. The continual whirl of this tries me more than anything else but it is no use letting the traces get slack. I intend leaving all my light clothing and as much other baggage as possible here until my return from Japan and the North, as I shall require arctic regions clothing now for a couple of months. It is interesting to see the industry of the Chinese the women work the boats about the harbour and many of them you may see pulling or rather pushing the oar with a baby tied up in a bundle on their back – the youngsters head is exposed but all the rest of the child's body is bagged. The waiters at the hotel are all dressed in a light blue kind of night shirt only with a[sic] plenty of room for the movements of the body – white stockings and shoes and a black skull cap on their shaven heads – they look very clean and mostly speak English. I have the best room I have been in since leaving home – it is just such as I had at the Palace Hotel at San Francisco – well, it is very acceptable to my body I assure you to get a few nights quiet rest now and then. It is quite a change too for me to have anything like a covering in the way of a blanket after the broiling I have had of late. What a mercy it is that God so graciously preserves my health in the midst of these extremes of climate. The warfare with my Ritualistic friend continued after closing my last letter but he made an apology for the bad language he had used to me. Poor man I do not think he has ever known what the grace of God is or his need of it – he appears to be self-satisfied with what he can do for God and never has had any sympathy with "running down man" as some do. He quite refuses the application of Romans III to the enlightened people of this age. However I trust he had heard some things that stick to him. The dear young fellow from Japan was very fresh and bright and could see the hollowness of the Ritualist – he once said I see that Christianity without Jesus filling the heart makes a man more wicked and he is not far wrong. There were two brothers going to Shanghai that I had some nice conversation with – one of them is an iron merchant residing there and has promised to give me any help in his power. I meet many who are very kind and from whom I pick up very valuable information.
The Lord in His great goodness has opened a door in Hong Kong for His truth - it has been a very remarkable ordering of His grace that I should be thrown among certain persons who for some time have been much exercised in their souls before the Lord. In my next D.V. I will give you all details about it, but I trust the Lord will soon have a company around Himself in this vast country.
God has prospered the business here I am thankful to say – the leading house sent in their manager to see my samples this morning and has given me a splendid order for all high class goods and seem disposed to take up our goods entirely both for retail and wholesale. Thus you see I get encouraged and cheered on all side and I know this will rejoice your heart too and the dear children's.
I am purposing to move on to Shanghai by the English mail arriving this evening, so must bring this to a close although I have a good deal to tell you about the Lord's wonderful work here – the like of which I have never seen before in all my journeyings – D.V. I will give you a full account of it in my next. It is not so cold as when I arrived but the cool is refreshing both by night and day and through mercy I am in good health. Shall hope to spend a little more time here on my return.
I do hope the change will have proved beneficial to your health enabling you to throw off the remains of your cold – shall hope for good news on this score by the mail due this evening. The Lord keep you and all our dear ones simple and confiding in His love and in His Power – He is able to feel for us down here as He has passed through it all – tempted in all points like ourselves apart from sin and He has overcome the world and is The Victor, and it is His strength in us each victory gains – much love to you once more my dearly beloved wife and our dear children and their dear wives and all the beloved little ones and believe me ever.
Being very affectionate Husband
Love to dear Eunice who I hope will also benefit by the change.
Your welcome letter Jan 31 just received – very thankful to hear your cold is better. All well.