South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
September 13th, 1890
Beaufort West, South Africa
My Beloved Angee,
Your welcome letter of August 21st came to hand yesterday and I was hoping would acknowledge the receipt of my first letter from Cape Town. I can understand how long a time it must have seemed to you to be without a letter from me but after the first you will get the regular weekly letter which I know are a comfort to you and the dear children as yours are to me. I have been addressing them c/o Arundel not knowing whether you have left Ilfracombe. Am thankful to hear from dear Emma that they have all enjoyed their visit so much. We only remained in Ceres for one night but thoroughly enjoyed the little time there. A sister in the Lord from Ramsgate, Mrs Millward, who with her husband came up to Faversham the nights I was there gave me a small parcel and a gold ring to take out for a sister residing in this place. The parcel contained a child's frock and a few little things for the only daughter of Mrs Millward's sister's son – it happened to be the first birthday and quite a demonstration was being arranged at a public building in honour of the event, so that the arrival of the parcel a few hours before the party assembled was considered singularly opportune and gave as you may expect great satisfaction to all. I was invited to be present but did not feel free to accept it as it was mail night and I had other fish to fry. The next morning he came up the hotel and gave me an order through his London house and Lazarus and I and the show were soon packed up in a cart to go down over the mountain to the Ceres Road station where I had as on the previous day a bread and cheese dinner in a rough barn like place and the greatest delicacy in the world could not have been sweeter. We then took train for Worcester where we stayed a night and received a good indent from the only merchant who imported direct. In the afternoon at 4 we started for another stage about 4 hours distant climbing over a mountain range of wonderfully fine scenery to a place called Towers River. At the Worcester station I met Mr Telfer who was bound for Kimberly but stopping from the night to lecture at Towers River we travelled together. On arrival I found a little hotel on the station was quite full and some were sleeping on the tables. This was not a bright prospect to be on top of a mountain range and no bed – however I got a good supper and a young fellow at the station living very near offered me a sofa bed I very thankfully accepted. On entering the room there was another young fellow there for the night who offered me his bed in the same house and he would take the sofa, so I got a good bed after all and was up again at 5.30 the next morning to catch a train for this place which we reached safely at 5.30 pm. In the morning at the Towers River station a dear brother in the Lord called McKemp stepped out of the train seeing me on the platform drinking a cup of tea. He wanted a few days change and before leaving Cape Town said he should come up and stay at Beaufort West with me, so it was cheering to meet each other. There is a small gathering here who had heard of the Lord's goodness to us at Cape Town and were on the look out for a visit – we had a prayer meeting last night and there appear to be very real faith in God for a real blessing. We have a meeting this Saturday evening and the Town Hall has been lent to them for the gospel tomorrow. D.V. I move on to Kimberly on Tuesday and shall be able to add a little more to this before leaving.
Sept. 15th, Monday morning
A good number came to the room on Saturday evening mostly believers but some were not converted so that which was suitable for each was ministered. Yesterday was a glorious day – the morning meeting very blessed. I wish some of the wise and intelligent in England could see the unfeigned faith and simplicity of the saints here, it would be a wholesome lesson for them – they have no idea of letting me sleep here, for a meeting was arranged again for the afternoon when I gave an address to believers which the Lord has saved for help and encouragement to the saints and many others from the sects who came. After the meeting I visited a young lady dying of consumption and was made to feel the reality of that which is passing away and also of eternal things – she had made a profession of being converted some time ago but did not understand the need of being entirely converted and so thought she might go on with the world and its varieties. God was now making her feel that nothing short of being whole hearted for Christ would do for God or would bring solid peace and joy to her own soul. She was filled with thanksgiving for the visit. A dear sister in fellowship called Mrs Thwaite knew her very well and I went with her. The Town Hall was crowded in the evening and I hear quite a number were outside listening who did not get in. The Lord helped me to tell out His message and the day will declare with what results. This evening D.V. I preach the gospel again in the room as the Hall was engaged or we might have had another meeting place.
Beaufort West is a nice place and the budding of the trees and the various fruit blossoms makes the town look very lovely. All around it, however, are barren mountains and wilderness where thorns abound and such as I have never seen before. On Saturday afternoon our brother McKillup from Cape Town and I walked out in the country where a lot of Hottentots are located in their mud huts and living in their own natural habitat. If I had not seen it I could hardly have believed that any human beings could be so degraded, but all efforts to raise them seems of no avail – they prefer this hut to a clean comfortable dwelling. The Kaffirs are a very much higher stamp. Hosts of consumptive people come here for the beautiful dry climate – they are without a drop of rain for months together frequently.
God has graciously given us encouragement in the business and tomorrow D.V. we move on to Kimberly, which will involve one night in the train.
The kindness shewn to me on all sides is very great, so that the Lord does make all grace abound according to His ability to do it, so that I lack nothing in a certain way. I know this is a consolation you and the dear boys will share with me. May He minister them abundantly to you my dearly beloved Angee and our dear children and grandchildren and once more with much love to you and to them each one believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband