Gibraltar, India, Malta
January 22nd, 1890
My Beloved Angee,
I have been thinking very much about you since hearing of your wonderful preservation in the railway accident and can picture the panic that the passengers must have been in on finding the carriages off the line in such a spot – I suppose from the newspaper report you were all taken back to Morthoe and from there sent to Barnstaple on the new line just constructed. Am very thankful you did not attempt to leave the carriage as this would have increased the peril a hundredfold. I do hope you are none the worse for the moments' fright but am sure it must have been a great alarm for you.
It was quite a green spot for me last Lord's day at Sukkur with the dear Homan's and we had a nice Gospel meeting at their house in the evening after which he drove me to the station and my bed was soon made up in the carriage and through mercy I slept well and had a very comfortable night. We reached Zuetta at 6 the next evening and it was not then very cold, but the following morning the weather had changed and we had a day's rain and strong cold wind, making overcoats and wraps very necessary. Lazarus and I started off after breakfast in our carriage, partly open, with all samples to look about for some business. On my last visit I did very well here and this time have done much better and what is so specially encouraging is that some have written for goods since, so that it has fairly put our mark upon its legs. Merchants are very kind too and glad to see me again and ask all sorts of questions about my travels.
I wrote Col. (late Major) Hunt from Karachi telling him of my purpose to spend a few days at Zuetta and would be glad if there was an opportunity for preaching the gospel to any soldiers. He sent a note last night saying he was glad I had come and a meeting was announced for this Wednesday evening and he has promised to call and drive me to the room. He is just leaving Zuetta and all his goods are to be auctioned tomorrow or he would have invited me to his house to stay. Trust the Lord may grant us a good time. We leave here again tomorrow morning at 8 for Lahore which involves about 48 hours continuous railway travelling. Today it is very cold but bright and the hills around us are partly covered with snow which fell last night. At about 11 last evening we had a regular hurricane of wind for about an hour – my mud hut seemed pretty staunch and we had a nice wood fire all the night so that with my rugs and blankets &c. &c. I kept pretty warm and within two yards of the fire. In these latitudes Lazarus is a very welcome morning visitor with Choto Hazere.
9pm. Have just returned from the meeting. Dear Col. Hunt drove to the Bungalow for me at 6.30 and had invited a few officers, who have been and there was a good company of soldiers also present. Col. Hunt had had a little notice of the preaching printed and sent around – he is very simple and true and much regrets having to leave the soldiers for whom he had great love and care. He says he has greatly enjoyed the word to night and I trust the Lord may own it for much blessing to many. His health has not been very good of late, so that he now proceeds to England and says he will be glad to see his loved ones at Bournemouth. What a privilege has been granted to me to speak the word of the truth of the gospel in these remote regions – a great mercy to have heard and believed it for one's own soul and a great joy just to tell it out in present freshness of heart given in the rich grace of God too. Lazarus has once more done the packing up work again except my bed, that is left for another night's use and he has also furnished the Tiffin basket for our two day's and two night's journey. D.V. I purpose to finish this letter at Lahore where I expect the next mail, so will say good night and God Bless you my dearly beloved wife.
Lahore, Jan 27th
Was very thankful when the long journey came to an end on Saturday morning and the station was a gay scene indeed as Prince Albert Victor arrived at the same time. When my English letters were handed to me I was sorry to find there was none from you or any other home correspondence which was a great disappointment. I trust in God however that all it well. Mr & Mrs Homan and their four little daughters were all at the Sukkur station as I passed on Friday morning and I felt it was very kind of them to come before breakfast. You will be sorry to hear that Lazarus is sick – the poor fellow complained a little on the way down from Zuetta and was not looking well so that on Saturday he rested and I was hopeful would have recovered. This morning however he was still looking ill and the whites of his eyes being very yellow I suspected it was jaundice and so took him to the native hospital where the doctor at once confirmed my suspicion. He seems very downcast dear fellow and before taking him we knelt down together for a little prayer commending him to God. The doctor at the hospital is a European and thinks that as it is probably caused by the cold of the extreme northern parts just visited he may recover in a few days – he has promised to look carefully at his case and will call at my hotel in the afternoon and let me know what he thinks of it. If he is likely to recover in a few days I shall wait for him. Mrs Jacob is much better and was able to be at the meeting yesterday morning. The Lord gave us a good time in the gospel in the evening, first in Methodist Episcopal Chapel where I preached on my last visit and afterward at the Y.M.C.A. room again. On Friday as we were journeying a respectable young fellow, a native speaking English came into my carriage and after some hours conversation was brought to Christ and confesses His name and we both knelt down in praise and thanksgiving to God and Father for His mercy. The previous night a guard of a train near Mooltan was killed in a moment in a railway accident and this young fellow had been telegraphed for from another part of the line to come and fill his place and was, with his wife, who was in the next compartment, now on his journey to Mooltan. He owned that he had a Bible but had not read it for many years and also said that it was the first time anyone had ever spoken to him about these things. It seemed a very helpful case – God grant that it may prove itself to be His own work. The guard who was killed was an avowed atheist, a Scotchman[sic] and this young fellow was a professed Christian but as ignorant of the gospel as a heathen man. I gave him a few nice little books for which he was very thankful. It was very interesting to find that about 12 months ago he heard Mr Homan preach the gospel and remembered the words "Thy sins are forgiven thee" and now he knew this for himself. I shall write dear Homan about him. Lord Radstock is here and preached at the Railway Theatre last night. He kindly sent his love to me, by one of the ministers yesterday and asked me to call upon him this morning which I have done but found him not at home – this hotel is full and he could not get any room here so is staying with one of the missionaries – he was visiting Peshawar and Rawal Pindi last week.
Jan 28th. Have just returned from the hospital to see poor Lazarus who is looking very ill and I fear will not be well enough to start with me tomorrow. It is very sad for him and for me as I hardly know how to move without him, but of course shall be obliged to get another servant if the poor fellow is laid up long. The doctor says that the natives from Bombay cannot stand the northern climate and the jaundice is a very common disease among those who come from warmer regions. I see by the telegrams that you have had some serious storms in England and that this influenza epidemic is becoming very general in England too. I think it must have been something of that kind that touched so many of us after leaving Brindisi on the voyage out. I send by this mail two photos with groups taken at the conference, also printed notes of some thoughts expressed at the meetings by one and another. Am anxiously looking for this week's home letters at Delhi as I did not get any by the last mail. Now with much love once more to dear Arundel and Harry, Harriett and Emma and all the darling children and all our dear friends believe me my beloved Angee with a full portion for your dear self.
Being very affectionate Husband