Gibraltar, India, Malta
December 29th, 1889
My Beloved Angee,
Your letter of Dec. 5th with notes from Harry and Emma reached me here two or three days ago and as you may expect brought a burden to my heart which led me to the gracious Lord Who has taught us to cast them upon Himself. I do trust the dear fellow has by this time quite recovered from the attack of quinsey, the pain of which he has had a previous taste of. I know what a worry it would be to his mind too, to be thus laid down at a moment when the business calls for special attention, but we have to bow when God's hand is upon us in affliction. I do pray that it may be sanctified and made a blessing to him and his household. Trust the next mail will bring tidings of recovery in some measure.
I am very thankful you are being preserved in good health and that the servant is such a comfort to them in Barnstaple. How good of the Lord to so wonderfully sustain dear Harriett and in giving dear Arundel such encouragements in the business. May he graciously continue His mercy to them and to us all and deepen in all our hearts that trust in Himself He is so worthy of, but which our unbelieving hearts are so slow to learn.
Arrived here on Christmas day morning about 8 and was thankful to find accommodation at the hotel. At 10.30 we assembled at Major Jacobs bungalow in the grounds of which there was quite a formidable array of tents – there is quite a large company altogether – between 40 & 50 and one half of them are natives from various parts of northern and central India. Our first meeting was for praise and thanksgiving – the second for prayer and others for reading. We have had three meetings each day – the first in the morning has been in Hindustani but we English brethren not knowing this language have been able to gather up the points that are being discussed. The native brethren do discuss them too with wonderful vigour and they are so simple that they are not considered fools in bringing out their difficulties. It is very touching to hear them in prayer, so contrite and full of thanksgiving for the great mercy of God in not only saving them but in teaching them His truth. A few of them can speak English and it has been a feast for one's soul to hear them when praying to God in our language – marvellous too in our eyes to see what God has taught them in a very little while and with what real purpose of heart they appear to cleave to the Lord and value His word beyond anything else. All the meetings have been very happy and the Lord has been with us in much power for blessing in edification and comfort. The young brother who has recently come out from Devizes called Saunders seems a dear young fellow and is accepted as from the Lord and much esteemed by them all. Major Jacob's devotedness to Christ is really beautiful to behold and his dear wife is with him in heart in all that he does – Col. Beckett and General Haig are also with us – the latter only returned from England a few weeks before.
Dec. 30th (Monday morning)
I wrote the first part of my letter early yesterday morning and now I will tell you about the day we assembled for the breaking of bread at Major Jacobs at 11.30 – there were about 70 present, the greater part of whom were at the Lord's Table. It was a wonderful moment for all our souls in the pouring out of praise and worship, expressed in two languages but in the power of one Spirit and called forth by the Presence of that only worthy One in our midst – our dear brother Major Jacob gave thanks in both the languages and when a hymn would be given out in English if it did not happen to be in the little book containing a few translated in Hindustani, he would translate the hymn to our native brethren before it was sung. At 3.30 we came together again for a reading looking specially into the question of fellowship – the room being again packed. At 6.30pm I preached the gospel in the Y.M.C.A. room and most of the English brethren came and we had a good time. At 8 we met again to continue our reading in Romans 7 going on until near 10 and even then no one seemed in a hurry to go away. The readings have been very profitable and in much liberty. The Conference terminates this evening and I doubt not will have been graciously owned of God for very distinct blessing yet to be poured forth again, through those who have been present, over India generally.
Through mercy I have had a good night's rest and am feeling much refreshed and now Lazarus and I are preparing for the work after a few day's holiday – he has been to many of the meetings. Our brother Mr Ker brought his photographic things and one morning took the whole group - I dare say he will give me a copy of it when ready which you shall then have.
The last day of another year has come and it reminds us how swiftly time is passing and we are borne upon its wings – what mercy for us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ – to know that as loved by Him and washed from our sins in His precious blood our future is assured to us, knowing that we are to be with Him and like Him. This makes the prospect bright for us - the Lord grant that it may be kept so. The Conference terminated yesterday and many left by the night trains for various parts, all refreshed as from the Lord's own presence and to carry the blessing to others. The mail closes today, so that I shall have to post this a day or two before the arrival of the next English mail. I trust you have had some comfort of heart too, although I know you would rather that I should have been at home. Trust the dear children have enjoyed themselves and that dear Harriett has been able to keep up a little for their sakes. I do hope dear Harry will have recovered his painful illness too and shall be glad to receive the next letters trusting in the mercy of God they may bring good tidings. I was thankful to get a good order here yesterday from a native merchant and hope to receive more today. Now my beloved Angee I must bring this to a close with my heart's salutation once more – God even our Father abundantly bless you and all our dear ones and with much love to you and to each of them believe me.
 That is, a Peritonsillar abscess (PTA)
Being very affectionate Husband