Gibraltar, India, Malta
December 11th, 1889
My Beloved Angee,
Your very welcome letter of Nov. 21st is to hand early this morning and my heart was filled with comfort and thanks to find that you were once more safely sheltered at home. Glad also to find that the cold you had taken had not touched your chest. I have not received any letter from Arundel so had not heard anything of dear Harriett until your letter was opened. The Lord graciously continue His tender mercy and goodness toward her. Sorry to hear dear Mr Shapland had been so poorly and trust a little rest at home will soon restore him. The mail this morning also brings a nice letter from the works – the firm being "much gratified" at my visit to Malta. A letter also from Mr Oliphant which fills me with thanksgiving, in that he has withdrawn a paper he had circulated which had given to many and to my heart too great pain while it attempted to define the divine from the human life of our adorable Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, made in the rich grace of our God and Father everything to us for time and eternity. Altogether the comfort your dear letter and all the others brought to my heart this morning so loaded it with the sense of the goodness of our ever gracious God that I could only fall down before Him and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ weep for joy and thanksgiving for the mercies He thus makes us to prove – mercies which all our praise excel.
I have been plodding on with the work day by day and this has not been without much encouragement and I shall have a nice batch of indents to send home by the next mail. It is exactly the old difficulty at the beginning over again and need the quietly keeping on. Many merchants here who have previously given me good orders have repeated them and make no complaint, a few others complain that our goods do not keep so well.
We have had a happy time together at our meetings and it has been a special comfort to the few saints here to see a few brethren from other parts dropping in – Mr & Mrs Tienes and yesterday another called Heasulie[?] returning from Europe after a year's leave whom I met two years ago at Madras. Lord Radstock was announced to preach at the Y.M.C.A. last Monday evening so I went – their large room was very full. After prayer, a hymn and speaking for a few minutes he came down from the platform and walked over to the end of the room where I was sitting and asked me to come up and preach to the people – I did not feel free to do so as I knew the people had come to hear him, so he went back again. After the meeting I spoke to the Secretary and said I would be glad to preach the gospel any evening through the week if the way was open and it is arranged that I shall do so next Friday evening. Lord R. has been over to Poona and had a good time there he tells me – preaching in the theatre to 600 people. He is very nice in his spirit and spoke very kindly to me saying it had been a great pleasure to him to meet and that is heart was much drawn to me. After the meeting was over he took hold of my arm and asked me to walk to the hotel with him. He is now gone to Benares and Calcutta and then goes to Lahore and neighbourhood where I may meet him again. We spoke very plainly to each other and I never felt more convinced in my life than I do now, after the many conversations with him that he is not in the line of God's testimony for the present moment – he ministers the truth to people as though nothing had happened and seems not to see the plain testimony of Scripture as to the falling away and the working of the spirit of error. God is sovereign and I doubt not He uses him to carry words of comfort to His beloved people in the prison houses of men's systems and I told him so, but thought it a greater work to expose the prison and to bring them out of it into a place where the Lord Himself could be in the midst of the two or three gathered together in His name. The Lord grant that many to whom He has revealed His mind in the Scriptures may be led to seek out the flock of God scattered and spread as they are all over the world – this is where we have failed and it becomes more and more plain to me, that while we have had the truth, there has been little heart to carry it to others whose portion it is as much as ours – God grant that He may give all our hearts exercise as to this. It has taken quite a burden off my heart since getting Mr Oliphant's letter and I do pray that the gracious Lord may override all the trouble in His unfailing mercy for real awakening and blessing to us all, so that we do not become a prey for the enemy again to scatter.
Lazarus continues to be a great comfort and help to me – he is a regular expert at the work and that which would otherwise perplex me, especially among the native merchants, is all made plain. Since writing the first sheet or so of this letter in the morning we have spent many hours in the Bazaar and have received some very good orders, so that I am greatly encouraged on every side and I know this will give you and the dear children pleasure to hear. It will also witness to you the faithfulness and mercy of God in hearing and answering your prayers on my behalf. I am thankful to hear what you say about dear Mr Robertshaw and trust he may soon be restored – give him and their Eliza my very kind love. I was glad just to get a sight of their faces before leaving London. Sorry to hear dear Emma has got a bad eye and hope it may soon get well again – my love to her and dear Harry and the dear children and Margie. Tell dear Arundel I hope he will find time to write me a few lines every week as before. My love to him and dear Harriett and all the dear children. Love to Mary and Martha and Maurice and Nellie and Harry Hartop[?] – tell Mary the shirts and pyjamas are the best coverings my body has ever had – Lazarus keeps two shirts going – the one I wear today is hung out in the sun tomorrow, so that it is perfectly dry for the next morning – all my clothing is very convenient and the marks of a wife's love and care and continually before me. My outfit and samples too are a great improvement on previous arrangements.
If you think little of your letter writing gift, I think very highly of it – very – very. Now my beloved Angee you must cheer up – I understand all that your loving heart feels, but the Lord will surely reward you for sparing me for a little while and has He not been good to us? Much love once more to your dear self and dear Eunice and all the dear brethren and believe me.
Ever your very affectionate Husband
All well – much encouraged