Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
December 4th, 1888
My Beloved Angee,
Have got into the melting climate once more reaching this place about 8 this morning and for many hours before that felt my clothes beginning to stick. Was very glad to get your welcome letters at Ajmere on Saturday – the missing ones too and this week's mail I found on calling at the P.O. this morning. The dear childrens' likenesses are very good – do not think I ever saw better for children – wish I had the other sex in the same style. My heart goes up to God continually for them all and with thanksgiving too for His gracious care and goodness in preserving them all.
My letter from P.F.&Co. this morning referred to the Persian Gulf and while they are sorry I have missed it yet they think I did right under the circumstances before me and the time it would have taken to go - so after a few days rest here (rest after a sort) I shall make for Madras and Calcutta.
The last week was a very blessed one through the Lord's mercy – my letter seven days ago was from Allahabad where we had a good meeting for the one night I remained. On Wednesday, the next morning George's wife and her fine little boy came down to the station to see me off and George's younger brother Harry also came and travelled as far as Cawnpore with me on his way to visit his parents at Lucknow, not having seen them for several years. while he has been near Bangalore on some railway work – he is like his mother and not much of a Petter in appearance.
Leaving Allahabad about 10am Wednesday morning I reached Agra about 2 on Thursday morning and was glad enough to reach the bungalow and get on the stumps for a little rest. Our business was encouraging in nearly every place and being now known to merchants was sooner got through. I had a look at the Taj this time as I had not an opportunity on my last visit – it is a wonderful sight indeed and it is said if the whole of it had been built of solid gold it would not have been as costly as it now is – made so by the carving and precious stones so profusely used. However grand as it was I was privileged to see something much grander and more enduring in the evening. There is a dear brother and sister living at Agra and we came together for a reading in the evening and they invited a young gentleman living in the next bungalow who came – he was not converted but God in His great love and mercy conquered him before we separated so that we had the joy of hearing him give thanks to God for having given him eternal life and to understand that this was to know that this was to know the Father, the only living and True God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent – he is called Huggins born in India, but parents natives of Honiton, the mother only alive, the father having been dead for 20 years. It was great joy to us all and we were singing praising until near 11 o'clock. The next morning a Friday I left Agra at 10 and reached my next point Ajmere at about 2 on Saturday morning. After getting through the business I got up to dear Mr Goodburns at 6 for a reading with them – you will remember my calling upon them on my last visit when his wife was in bed with a broken arm and she has broken it again since that while at Simla during the hot weather. Well we had a nice reading from Romans VIII although we did not get beyond the first 3 or 4 verses – Miss S. had invited three lady friends who came and one was the minister's wife who contended rather when we were speaking about the law, but she bowed to the truth and wished her husband had been present and he would have been only he that he had to prepare his sermon for the next day. I had been much exercised as to whether I should spend the Lord's day at Ajmere or about 200 miles further on at a place called Abu Road where a very dear brother and his wife live called Ker – he is the chief engineer for all the railway system in that district. I had a great desire to spend it with both of them but this seemed impossible, but God brought it about - dear Mrs Goodburn suggested that we should go to Abu Road and Mr. G. was quite ready for it – and sent Mr Ker a wire to say so. I left their house soon after 9 on Saturday evening promising to meet them at the station at 1am Sunday morning and then returned to my bungalow and got 2 hours good sleep and at the appointed time we met and again made ourselves as comfortable as possible in our respective compartments. We reached Abu Road at Noon and found dear Mr Ker at the station giving us a very hearty welcome. – we were soon inside his bungalow which is one of the most comfortable I have ever seen in my life I think and the surroundings are a very paradise so far as this world can give them. Well there was a nice breakfast ready for us which we enjoyed – we broke bread together in the afternoon and the fellowship for those who from their isolation are so deprived of it was very sweet I can tell you – so simple but so real. A Saviour's love and beauty filling every heart, so that out of the abundance a sweet savour of Christ went up to God the Father. After the meeting Mr Ker wrote the little slip enclosed and sent one of his native servants all around to the European residents and it seems it is the custom for all who get it to sign the paper adding "seen", so that Mr Ker knows the servant had done his work. About 21 came to the meeting and the Lord helped me to speak of Himself and His finished work. The day of Christ will make manifest if anything of God was wrought. We trust there was. On Monday we had a nice walk around the grounds and gardens and Mr Ker who is skilful as a photographer operated on one of his guests. They have five young children and Mrs Ker is a very nice lady and very bright and happy in the Lord. Mr & Mrs Goodburn returned in the afternoon – I left again at 12 noon for Bombay, arriving here at 8 this Tuesday morning. You will understand how sweet a night's rest is in a proper bed after all the railway travelling by night, although I am getting accustomed to it now and can manage to sleep better than at first – sorry to hear that Helena is so poorly and should fear that marriage is hardly wise under the circumstances although she may improve in this new relationship.
Dec. 5th 7am. Mr Pile who has recently returned from England came in and sat with me for an hour last night, he looks all the better for his holiday – the damp and heat of Bombay is very different to the dry climate of the North – my body is having a taste of every variety and seems soon to adapt itself to the changes and what a mercy that it is so. Glad to hear too you are getting on so well financially as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Dec. 7th – must now close as it is mail day – have done some splendid business here this week which is cheering – much love to you my dearly beloved wife and all our dear children and once more believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband
My servant has improved a good deal and is now getting to my hand – Lazarus is here and came flying into my room on Tuesday morning just as I was preparing for my tub – loving enquiries for Masas family and about the business – Nana looked a little thoughtful.