Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 1919 undated.

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 1919 undated.

Friday eve
12B F Lines
Bulford Camp
Salisbury Plain

Dear Mr. Payne,

Thank you so much for your letter. You do speak Plainly – make me understand, & take in exactly what you mean! I have prayed to God earnestly, to give me strength to fight the temptations I experience here, & I mean to go straight in future & with the good God’s graces I know I can. Before I only knew that while temptation was out of my reach, then I only then could I go straight – but now I have turned – with your wonderful help – to my Saviour who died for me & my babies to save us from our sins.

Mr. Payne, you say in your letter that “the passionate feeling of a “supposed” love, for a married man must be absolutely put away!” Do you know how hard that is for me to do? & beside it is not a “supposed” love. One cannot make oneself love a person at a minutes notice, & I simply cannot love my husband now – never having loved him in the first place. I married him for a name for my baby girl and now I have learned to my cost that it was a very wrong thing to do. Because I love another man so very much but it’s a real love of a woman for a man & I cannot put it away easily. He has gone right out of my life because he said that if he stayed here seeing me often the inevitable was sure to happen & he loved me too much to disgrace my honour & name, the name which a man gave me to save my babies honour & mine, out of the kindness of his heart. So the man I love, as I shall never love anyone else on this earth, had gone, and I pray to God that I may never see him again although I want him very much,& I’m suffering very much. I can see now that God has punished me through that man because all the evil I had done before. But believe me Mr. Payne I never really loved until I met “him” and when I did love it was to love blindly passionately, & hopelessly. But I will love my Saviour Jesus more. I simply must love Him, for what did He do for me? “From each idol that would keep me saying “Christian love me more”!

Yes dear friend I have considered the solemnity of the promise I made in Gods house in May 1918. And now I am going to (with God’s help) keep to those words “Unto your life’s end”. For now I am trying to walk with Jesus I dare not turn back. “Remember Lot’s wife.”

You ask me if I was entirely free from blame that my husband left me. Yes – I can honestly say I was. I implored Roy to take me out with him when he went in Dec 1918. But he would not listen to me. Although I did not love him I respected him & admired him for the thing he had done for me, & I dreaded being left alone, with all those miles of sea between us. But anyway he would not take me. He went over to Melbourne to be demobbed, & then was either coming back the following summer or was sending for me & the children when I was fit to travel after John’s birth. But he never did either, & things drifted on & I had no money from him, so Dad made enquiries at A.H.Q. for his particulars etc! Well there was a lot of red tape until we heard that he was a married man when he enlisted in August 1914. So Dad wrote & taxed him with it & he admitted in a letter to me that that statement was true only that his first wife died whilst he was in France before he married me! But he did not tell me that he was a widower before we were married. Anyway they – the H.Q. – are still enquiring at Melbourne re: his war gratuity for me, so if he has still got a wife and in Adelaide I shall know through the gratuity. It takes months to find out anything in the Colonial army! We simply cannot understand why he has never, ever since he left sent me any money. He said in one or two of his letters that he did send me £30, & £20 odd but I never received either so we all believe he never did send them.

If in time we find out he is married I don’t know what I shall do. Oh my babies – I love them so very much & if he is not my husband what shall I do. I thank you so very much for helping me to find my God for now I can go to Him & ask Him to show me Light to do the right thing. I only hope that my lover never comes back into my life because oh Mr. Payne, I’m still weak in his direction & I’m afraid of myself. If Roy is not my lawful husband, I cannot marry “him” because he is already married, although not happily so. So I have a lot to pay for all the wickedness I have done, & I’m paying heavily.

Perhaps you have never loved only to loose, but if ever you have you must know what I am suffering. Please don’t think I’m whining for pity. I don’t want pity. It’s my punishment & I must bear it, but oh it’s hard! Hard! But I have made up my mind that if Roy is my lawful husband, I will keep my marriage vows & keep true to him always. But if he is not. “Shall the woman go down?” NO a thousand times no. I went down once & it ruined my life, & I forsook God & now He has called me back to him. So there’s One at least I can turn to in sorrow.

I hope I can get to Church Sunday Eve if Dad goes I cannot leave too as the baby cannot be left alone with Mother, but perhaps Dad will stay in with him. Then Mother & I can go to church.

Have you left my dear old Christ Church for good? I simply cannot imagine any other vicar there but you.

You are God’s good man to me, & oh if only I could be so utterly faithful & good to my Master as you are, how happy I would be. But I can lead a clean good life now through your kind words & the kindest words you have written were! “think what it will be, if they one day rise up & call you blessed & that you not only set before them the love of Christ but liked to make them good & make them happy”. Oh God bless you for those words dear friend. You don’t know what a comfort that letter is to me. I am utterly thankful I wrote to you in the first place & now I will ask God for his goodness & loving kindness to forgive all my past sins & let me walk in His holy ways.

Pray for me – good night – & thank you.

From yours very sincerely

I Harris.

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This entry was posted in 1919.

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