South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand
May 27th, 1891
Christchurch, New Zealand
My Beloved Angee,
Your welcome letter of April 9th came to hand this morning and I am thankful it continues to bring good tidings of the mercy and goodness of God over you all. My letters have been addressed to Greenclose, Ilfracombe lately, but you will no doubt have arranged with someone to forward them to Barnstaple during your stay there. Am very thankful to find that you have now accumulated enough to pay off the mortgage on the Victoria Road house and suppose Arundel will have given Gauman the legal notice. Am very glad to hear Harry is getting on so nicely with his work and that all is working smoothly now without friction. I had a good time at Dunedin for my business – customers were glad to see me again and the amount of the sales was quite double that of my previous visit which was very encouraging. Through the Lord's mercy I had a nice time too with a few of the saints who gave me a warm greeting and showed great kindness and hospitality in spite of Dr. Glenny's slanderous letter sent to every meeting in the Colonies endeavouring to prevent their giving me a welcome. It has turned heavily upon himself instead of doing me any injury. There are many who have now withdrawn from the Ravenites in Dunedin and the neighbourhood. On my way overland to this place last Saturday I stayed for a short time at Omaru where 5 others are standing apart. Dr. G. had recently visited the place and the sheep discerned so distinctly the strange doctrine that he taught them during his stay that they were soon quite clear of its evil character and so withdrew. On arrival at Christchurch two dear brethren were at the station to meet me and spent a little time with me at the hotel.
You may remember my remarking some weeks ago that nearly the whole of the meeting here have been preserved from the strange doctrine – (90 out of 120) nothing was more used of God to save them than a visit for a month, first by Captain Bagshaw and when he left Dr Glenney came for the same time. The saints, among whom are many godly with taught souls in the truth, all noticed something very strange in the ministry of these servants of the Lord and they were told of it continually. Of Mr Raven's doctrines they knew but little and they became very concerned about them, and then got his papers and looked carefully into them which resulted in their being rejected as unscriptural and very dishonouring to the Lord Jesus. When they had thus acted some brothers came from Wellington and flooded them all with various papers seeking to justify Mr Raven and denounced them all as having a false Christ in their midst but they stood firm through God's mercy. They knew the voice of the Good Shepherd too well to be deceived by the voice of the stranger. They had written to many around the country who came in for the Lord's day and the following day being a public holiday so that we were a good room full. It was a day of gladness for our souls indeed and we had a real taste of the fellowship the Holy Ghost alone could give our hearts around that blessed worthy one our Lord Jesus Christ while we remembered Him and once more announced His death until He comes. In the afternoon I addressed a host of children and their parents and never felt happier at this work in my life – I read a nice lot of poetry in Dr Burton's Gospel Magazine (Echoes of Mercy) called Minnie's birthday which we all felt the sweetness of in our hearts. Many of the dear children remembered my visit 4 years ago and it did my heart good to talk a little simple homely language to their young hearts. The room was well filled again in the evening for the gospel and all our souls were refreshed. On Monday we came together for a day's meeting many saints coming from other parts. The morning meeting was for prayer and there was much liberty and supplication and intercession – abounding too with thanksgiving for mercies which all our praise excel. We had some refreshment for our bodies too at the room and commenced the afternoon meeting at 2.30 an open meeting which we all felt to be good and profitable – the mutual faith and love and confidence in God and in one another was very sweet - they have been for many years a very united meeting and you may well think what a cheer this was to my spirit in the midst of the awful and terrible havoc Mr Raven's vagaries have caused. What a fearful responsibility rests upon Mr Stoney's shoulders and C.H.M.'s too poor man – only fancy these two men who have been standing for God and His truth so many years, signing a paper written by Mr Anstie of Kingston and circulated all over Germany without any foundation whatever - positively false as Capt. Barton has said. It only shows what a terrible blinding power there is in the spirit working among this party. I had intended sending you a copy of Captain Barton's letter but have not had time to copy it. His testimony is very decided and his facts are unimpeachable.
Our Monday evening meeting was a good one too through mercy – as the brethren wished it I gave an address – we all went home that night very happy in contemplating the varied activities of the love of God, even the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yesterday morning I had to buckle too once more at unpacking and fixing up all my samples again and God does continue His mercy in this respect wonderfully and merchants are coming in and doing a nice business with me again and are glad to see me. On Tuesday evening I took tea with some friends I met at Rangiora[?] on my last visit – a place about 12 miles distant but who are now living here. Dr. G. had said "dreadful things about me" to them about my visit to South Africa but they did not believe the untruth and it only served to let their love flow out more freely than ever. We all met again at the room last night for 2 hours, talking together of the doctrines especially and seeing how contrary to the Scriptures they were and it was a time of establishing for all our souls in the present truth. Tonight we have had a reading again and it is purposed to have meetings every night during my stay, so that I do not get much idle bread to eat.
D.V. I move on to Wellington next week and then Auckland where there are a few in separation from this evil, so that in the mercy of God I have not been without the truest fellowship with some in nearly every place I have visited since withdrawing from the meeting at Cape Town. Shall soon be getting across to Sydney now. Your husband is a rover is he not? But travelling days will soon be done – God in His mercy preserve us and grant us if it please Him the joy of seeing each other's faces once more and with much love to the dear children Arundel and Harry and Emma and all the darling little ones – all dear friends and a double portion for yourself believe me my beloved wife.
Being very affectionate Husband