Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
December 9th, 1888
Poona, India, Lord's Day
My Beloved Angee,
I left Bombay yesterday for this place and found the leading brother at the station to give a loving greeting on arrival soon after 7 – he drove me to the hotel and promised to call again in the morning at 7.40 for the meeting at 8 – a very small company and very poor and yet rich as taught of God of His love and grace to us in His Beloved Son. This evening at 5 it is arranged to preach the gospel in some hall which I have not yet seen. Greatly enjoyed the few days at Bombay – Mr Mackrow is living in a tent for the present as is common for many at this season and you would be rather surprised to see him comfortable and cosy as can be made – his wife is now with him and three children also a Miss Duval a companion for Mrs M. also in fellowship. I dined with them on Friday evening and we enjoyed the time together – was also with them the previous night and Mr Pile was then with us – a brother of Mr Mackrow's was at Ellis's school with the boys, but this is not the soldier I met in Calcutta, that is another brother.
Marquis of Landsdowne - [image source: Wikipedia]
of Dufferin and Ava [Image source: Wikipedia]
Bombay was decorated very profusely in honour of the new viceroy's arrival and is kept up for the departure of his predecessor Lord Dufferin who returns to England by this next mail. Your letter, arriving in Bombay tomorrow or next day will be sent on to Madras where I hope to reach on Friday or Saturday – on my way I purpose calling at a large military station called Secunderabad - so far as I can now see I shall spend my Christmas at Bangalore, but hope to reach Calcutta by the end of the year.
James Street c.1880, an important shopping district in Secunderabad [image source - Wikipedia]
Major Jacob has invited brethren to attend another conference and I promised him I would be present D.V. if I possibly could, but do not see that it is possible. Should have to travel both ways about 4 thousand miles and that is rather more than I am up to.
Arundel told me in his last that Shapland and Petter are opening a retail shop in Barnstaple – Godden being their agent. I am sorry they have judged this necessary and I have written Henry to tell him so and saying that I wished he had given me some intimation of it before hand, as I certainly would have advised Arundel to sell off his stock so that they may have had the premises and have prevented so unseemly a thing as is now before the world, as well as that which may occasion strife and render it still more difficult for dear Arundel to earn bread for himself and family. If they had done it in London I could have understood it but to do it in a place like Barnstaple I cannot comprehend the wisdom of. Nor does it commend itself to my conscience as being the wisdom that cometh from above. I pray for them and am sure that I only wish them good, but somehow their course of late is rather strange and I fear the spirit of the world has laid hold of them all and has become their masters. To avoid the strife I feel for myself that I would let them have the retail trade of North Devon and look to God for another spot – you and Arundel can talk it over and if it commends itself to you all I certainly would advise putting the business on the market. I fear none of them have much appreciation of fellowship or they would certainly have a little more consideration for the feelings of others and acting toward them in a way that must hinder the fellowship with one another. I told Henry I did not wish to judge them in what they considered was right in the management of their business but under all the circumstances I felt that he might have given me an intimation of it and an opportunity of retiring. Well I desire to leave it all in His Hands Who doeth all things well, but nevertheless feel strongly what an awful thing it is when principles that are destructive of all those graces the Spirit of God would cherish in us His redeemed ones are allowed to obtain possession of and master us so that while our mouths may still be uttering the truth, our hearts and ways are the denial of it. May God in His mercy save us all from this. Don't speak of it to others outside. The Lord may graciously come in and act on the matter and as we sing sometimes "His every act pure blessing is – His path unsullied light." - D.V. will furnish this tomorrow before leaving.
Dec. 10th 7 am
I hope to leave here by mail this evening and as there is some doubt about my being in time to post this from my next stopping place, will leave it here to make sure. We had a nice meeting last night about 20 came and D.V. I speak again this evening from 6 to 7 and my train leaves at 8 for a 22 hour ride – visited several believers with Mr Connor the leading brother yesterday afternoon – some who were at the table but had been absenting themselves for little petty quarrels with one thing or another. Running away from the Lord's table is all wrong even if there are present those whose ways grieve us and with whom fellowship is hindered – Poona seems a beautiful place, such profuse vegetation and flowers and very fine climate. Trust you are all keeping well in the cold of the Winter - I shall soon be testing some of it too, when I get round into China. Once more with much love to you my dearly beloved wife and all our dear children and friends believe me.
Your very affectionate Husband
 Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne (1845-1927).
 Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (1826-1902).