Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
May 29th, 1889
My Beloved Angee,
I returned from Hankow last night and received your letter of April 18 on calling at the P.O. this morning with the very sad and painful intelligence of dear Mrs Shapland's death under such distressing circumstances. It must be a very deep trial for dear Mr Shapland and the two boys especially and calls forth deep sympathy from our hearts and prayer that our God Who alone is our refuge and a very present help in every time of need may graciously sustain their confidence in Himself at such a moment. I write Mr S. by this mail.
Am sorry you have renewed your cold again and hope it will not be so troublesome as the former ones – sorry too to hear of Eliza's wrists and cannot gather from your letter what it can be but hope it is nothing very serious. I have not had much to complain of in the way of sickness hitherto through the mercy of God, but have been feeling a little poorly for the last 5 or 6 days – on the way down from Chefoo I got a little sore throat – the pains appeared to be neuralgic and in a day or too my chest was affected and some difficulty in breathing – I did not take much notice of it until about 300 miles up the Yangtze River when it became very bad and produced spasms of the heart. On reaching Hankow I sent a note to Dr Griffith John of the London Mission (a D.D.) to whom I had introductions and I know from a friend he was expecting me, to say I was poorly and asked him if he would kindly send doctor down to the steamer to see me. He was quickly on board bring[ing] a Dr Gillison also belonging to the mission who ordered a chair to take me up to Dr John's house where I remained for the day and Dr G. examined my chest and heart and came to the conclusion that it had arisen from the loss of nervous power and a slight attack of angina. There was no valvular disease but my heart was very weak and he advised entire rest and forbad any more addressing large meetings. I think however the worry I get in connection with all my baggage has exhausted me more than speaking which is a pleasure. Dr J. was exceedingly kind and would have been glad for me to remain for a few days, but I felt anxious to return here as quickly as possible and therefore left again the same evening (Saturday) and arrived here last night (Tuesday). Through mercy I am feeling much better, but acting on Dr Gillison's advice I consulted another Dr here this morning who made a careful examination of my chest and came to the same judgment as the other as to the cause of it and advised the cessation of preaching and taking the travel as easy as possible – if I did this he said it would be much more beneficial to be voyaging on a good steamer than resting in one place. So God willing I will go on as quietly as possible, but if after returning from Southern Siberia (for which place I start from here next Saturday June 1st D.V.) I am still feeling poorly I shall return home but I trust in that mercy so wonderfully granted me hitherto to sustain me to the completion of the journey if the Lord will.
Shanghai May 31st
Your welcome letter of April 25 is just to hand and it is always better than a meal or the choicest wine to hear from you that you and all our loved ones are well. Thank the Lord I am feeling much better and have just taken my ticket for Siberia and hope the rest and cooler weather in those regions may be used through mercy to strengthen me – with regard to the house arrangements I am quite happy in leaving it entirely in your hands. I shall be quite contented to live in one of our houses in Barnstaple if you are, much as I like Ilfracombe, but if this can be let and you can see a nice little house anywhere on the level at Ilfracombe so much the better.
The dear brethren here have been very kind and seem to have been refreshed in their souls – it is getting very warm and my experience hitherto has been that it suits me better than the very cold.
Now with much love to you and all our dear ones once more believe me my dearly beloved Angee with a double portion for yourself.
Being very affectionate Husband
Shanghai, June 1st 1889
Tomorrow is your birthday my beloved Angee – God bless and preserve you to enjoy many more if He will – we can sing – we'll praise Him for all that is past and trust Him for all that's to come.
Through mercy I am feeling much better and the irregularity about the heart's action has ceased.