South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
May 13th, 1891
On board the Union S.S. Co's "Wairarapa"
My Beloved Angee,
We are steaming close to the Tasmanian coast and call at Hobart in the morning staying a few hours on our way to New Zealand, so I will leave a letter there for you which I suppose the next week's mail will carry or you would not have heard for a fortnight. Our ship is very comfortable and the weather all that can be desired. The rest is very acceptable too and I have a singing evangelist for my cabin companion (a Manchester man) and we have another Evangelist on board a resident of Melbourne a very dear fellow who is going to N.Z. for some special work (He is called McNeil). We had a blessed time together at Melbourne the night before I left – nearly all came to a brother's house – a good large one –to tea, after which we had a reading from Acts XX and I was indeed thankful to God for the mercy thus allowed me to be among a little company of true hearts who could commend me to God on my journey remembering yourself too and those dear to me at home. Three of the brethren accompanied me to the ship and our parting was not a very easy one as through grace our hearts have been united in worship and service in a very real way. There was quite a scene at the wharf – probably fifty of Mr McNeil's friends who stood in rank and sang for about half an hour before we moved off. Then we had to back up the river a bit and turn our ship round occupying half an hour at least when we steamed past the wharf again they all still there singing and waving their handkerchiefs and I could easily make out my three friends and we continued saluting one another until the distance closed it all up and henceforth for the little while only to be remembered by each other's hearts as in the eternal bonds of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, until He come.
I am sorry to hear that the Influenza has made its appearance in England again and do trust you may all be preserved. The Postmaster at Melbourne is very kind and has been very attentive in forwarding my letters every week, so that while in New Z. I shall get them about a week after my arrival in Melbourne.
Mr Whitehead the Singing Evangelist is a character – Eliza may have heard of him during her residence there – he is among Wesleyans and has been away for 18 months making a tour through America and Canada and the Australian Colonies. I think he is A.M. (After the Money). He has been telling me about poor Mr Telfer – it appears the President here and the ministry decided that as he had already visited Australia once and made an appeal they were not happy that he should repeat it so no pulpit is open for him which I expect is a great disappointment – he has been visiting some very small villages and Mr. W. says the collections after his expenses were hardly sufficient to pay his railway expenses. Poor man I felt when I saw him in South Africa that as a servant of the Lord his work was not a very happy one. Mark Guy Pearse is here too and that rather eclipses him I suppose.
Well good bye once more my beloved Angee and all our dear ones and commending to you our gracious Father's love and care believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband.