Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 140, 1893

White, W. C.

Gisborne, New Zealand

October 16, 1893

Portions of this letter are published in 3MR 411; 4Bio 106-107.

Dear Son Willie:

I received your letter this morning, written on board Pitcairn, dated October 8. I am glad for what you say in regard to Brother and Sister Anderson having a good room on the Monowai, and that they were of good courage. I am glad to read your letter to the California Conference Committee, and to the managers of the Rural Health Retreat. I have written to Dr. Maxson and wife, and also to Sister Ings, in regard to Brother Anderson. I have sent you one letter from here. I wish so much that Dr. Kellogg could be here while we are here, but this cannot, I suppose, be brought about. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 1

Will it not be a good thing to have Carrie Gribble be at the Melbourne meeting? Would it cost too much? Would it leave a wrong impression on her mind? I merely suggest the matter and wish you to think of it. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 2

In regard to our being here, we found things in rather a low state. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 3

We have just returned from a five-mile ride, Elder Wilson and I, riding out in company alone for the first time. Emily and I have ridden out every day. Emily could not go today. Last Thursday we had the privilege of a two-seated buggy just like the one we hired at Hastings. Sister Bruce, Brother and Sister Wilson in the carriage, Emily on horseback, and a lad of twelve years accompanying on horseback. We rode out by the riverside and had a little picnic. We had a very pleasant time, gathered a lot of dock greens and returned. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 4

We have Mr. Wade’s two-wheeled trap and we have nothing to pay for it. They send a lad with it for me. We have to pay seven shillings whenever we attend meeting, to and from, if we employ a carriage. We had to get this conveyance from a livery stable to come from boat to Sister Bruce’s; now we pay nothing, but give the horse a feed occasionally. The interest from outside has not been much—a good congregation Sunday evening, the day we came, smaller attendance since. We thought we would strike out on a new line. We would have Sunday afternoon services, an open-air meeting. We did not know how it would come out. Brother Wilson has worked diligently, having morning meetings and evening meetings. I spoke Sunday night, October 8, Thursday night, October 12, and Sabbath, October 14. But the appearance was the same course would be pursued as at Wellington. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 5

Brother Wilson and Brother Alfred Wade secured the paddock just back of [the] post office. There was one large willow tree. Under this a platform was made and the organ and stand placed on the platform. Lumber for seats was right in the yard, costing nothing for their use. Well, we had a crowd—men, women and children. There were hundreds out and some commenced smoking, but I kindly asked them to desist and at first they would not, but after a little they did so. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 6

The Lord helped me to present temperance from the Christian standpoint. I spoke over one hour and the attention of the audience was all that you could ask. Children were as quiet as if they had taken a dose of morphine. Many were standing on the outskirts. Many seemed deeply interested and stood behind, a little at one side of the platform, sharp, keen-looking men. Quite a number of Maoris were present, first-class people who listened with deep interest. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 7

Well, it was a success. Sister Bruce says it is altogether the best advertisement of our people they have ever had in Gisborne. Brother Wilson gave his appointment in [the] Seventh-day Adventist chapel, and they had a good congregation and Elder Wilson, Sister Bruce says, did well. She whispered in his ear, “Please talk slow,” and he thanked her. We are so glad for this meeting in the open air. No noise, no confusion, all moved off with decorum and solemnity and many remarks were made of great satisfaction. We shall try this again before we leave. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 8

Now comes the horse race in two days. This will continue three days. Nothing can be done for the outside until this bewitching scene is ended. Sunday we shall secure a good place, either in Theatre Royale or in some grove or the same paddock. There needs to be labor here. We have felt very much burdened, having impressions that we must do something to break down this barrier of unreasonable prejudice. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 9

Sabbath we had a most precious meeting, and our hearts were softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit of God. Nearly all were in tears, and the presence of the Lord was with us. Brother Wilson has worked hard to get hold and stir up the people who need it so much. Brother Glass’ son, also Brother Smith and wife, were down on Sabbath and first day. We think Elder Wilson is doing good work. Mr. Bruce is expected to come for his wife Thursday and take her with him to the country; then we will be left alone. 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 10

Willie, will you please get me a couple of quires of the fine-ruled letter paper you purchased for me in Auckland when we were there? From, 8LtMs, Lt 140, 1893, par. 11