South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
October 27th, 1890
Port Elizabeth, South Africa,
My Beloved Harry,
I have been thankful to receive all your letters and papers from time to time, also one from dear Mr. Lowe last week. It is mail day and I shall not now have time to write you all that in my heart but will do so by the next or following mail as I know you will be expecting to hear from me. For the moment I will briefly say that while at Cape Town a paper of F.E. R[aven] in which he appeared to acknowledge frankly that "the Eternal life was even in the Son with the Father" removed a great difficulty from my mind and I was willing for a few days to think that perhaps after all he had been misunderstood. Beside this I found myself among a company F.E.R's teaching had not touched and felt the reality of the Lord's presence in the midst. This led me to write Arundel saying that I did not feel I could follow those who had gone out, although the sympathies of my heart were still with them believing they were standing for the truth and resisting that which if even it was the truth was so obscure as not to be recognised as such and was considered error. My mind was soon changed when about a week after I saw F.E.R.'s statement as published in the Tunbridge Wells notice denying distinctly that Christ was "that Eternal Life which was with the Father before the world was". Any confidence I had been willing to have in him was from this moment broken and I felt I could not trust any answer or explanation he may give. My letters to Angee and Arundel since then will show that my conviction of the evil character of his teaching and the whole system connected with it is not of God. In every meeting I have visited I have privately to leading brethren who have referred it always protested against it as not of God. On Saturday last Mr Ord's paper arrived and I judge will be owned of God to make the real questions at issue plain to the simplest soul. After reading it two of the leading brethren here called upon me – I had just returned from a place about 180 miles in the interior and I feel I could no longer forbear to speak out plainly and told them that I was quite convinced that the whole system was satanic. They were much concerned.
The next morning Lord's day another leading brother called just as I was leaving to go to the meeting and I told him what I felt about it. Well the Lord granted us a real time in His blessed presence and I spoke a little from Rev[elation] 1. The outburst of what the grace of God has filled the apostles heart with – "unto Him that loveth us and hath washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests to God His Father to Him be glory and dominion for ever" and this brought out in the midst of the church ruin and the judgements announced – also His power to one who in the presence of that blessed Saviour and Lord whose eyes were as a flame of fire could fall at His feet as dead. This and this alone was of any value to God and this and this alone would give the soul to discern quickly any insult to the One Who is the object of the Father's love and into Whose hands all power is given. A good time too was granted to us in the gospel and after this several of us met at a brother's house and our meeting was finished at about 11 by singing "How good is the God we adore". I gave the leading brother Mr Ord's paper and he has called upon me this morning deeply concerned and had no idea of the serious character of this trouble. He has asked all the brethren to come together this evening to hear Mr Ord's paper read and has also sent a message to the brethren at Uitenhage where I have just spent a happy time with the saints to come down so that they might hear it also. Raven's letters to Mr Barker are deeply solemn. God thus manifests the fruit of this so-called heavenly truth in morals far below an upright man of the world.
Will you please send me a dozen of Mr Ord's pamphlets and I will pay you on my return – my address now will be Post Office, Durban, Natal.
My kind love to dear Mr Lowe and all the brethren with him also dear Zoe and yourself and believe me my beloved son.
Very affectionately and in eternal bonds, Edward.
My letter is private – read it to any you please but do not let it be copied. I shall have to say something publicly to the saints here but in this as in all also there is a moment when the right time comes.