Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)

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Lt 79, 1893

Lindsay, Harmon

Wellington, New Zealand

April 24, 1893

This letter is published in entirety in 1888 1171-1182.

Mr. Harmon Lindsay
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother,

We received your letter yesterday, and I will write a few lines this evening. The American mail reached us yesterday. Elder Olsen sent us a good long letter, giving us a full history of the doings of the General Conference. I am thankful that the Lord has wrought for His people. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 1

I received a most thorough and hearty confession from Leroy Nicola. I knew that the Lord had shut me in with him at that Minneapolis meeting, and the spirit that he and many others possessed was plainly revealed to me. My heart is rejoiced that he has yielded to the influence of the Holy Spirit. It has taken four years of striving of the Spirit of God to bring him to this. I understand that Brother Morrison, Madison Miller, and others are coming into the light where they may be a blessing to other souls. “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” [2 Peter 1:16.] 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 2

I am thankful, and rejoice that I can go from place to place and bear the message the Lord has given me. I considered it no small thing for me, in my condition of health compassed with infirmities, to come to New Zealand. We came in the best time of the year expecting to remain only three months. We find this a delightsome climate; we think it wholesome also. This is autumn; winter begins in June. We have not seen any snow since we have been in these Colonies. I am much better pleased with what I have seen of this country and climate than what I saw in Australia. Napier, where we held our camp meeting, is a very pretty place nearly surrounded by water. It has hills and mountains, and some plains. Many have their houses up in the mountains. Some of our people have their houses up on these hilltops, and have fruit trees, and their premises are adorned with most beautiful evergreens, mostly pine. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 3

Our camp meeting in Napier was excellent from the commencement to the close. Several decided to observe the Sabbath for the first time, and some who had left the church came back. One man named Anderson said, “The testimonies of Sister White drove me out of the church. I have been disconnected from the church three years. I bless God I came to this meeting, for I have heard the testimonies and believe them to be of God. It is the testimonies that have brought me back to the church.” He requested baptism and was as happy a man as there was upon the ground all through the meetings. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 4

I was strengthened to speak seventeen times—once in the Theatre Royal, and had a good hearing, and this removed a great deal of prejudice, and we had a good attendance from outside. After the tent was taken down, I spoke twice in the Adventist church, a neat, commodious building. The Sunday after the camp meeting we had an appointment from Hastings, a town fourteen miles from Napier. Hastings, a small town, is situated in one of the best farming districts of New Zealand. Hastings is a little inland, and is more sheltered from the sea breezes than Napier is. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 5

When camp meeting was first proposed for New Zealand, they thought Hastings the place, but finally decided to have it at Napier because more of our people live there. The ride from Napier to Hastings was very pleasant; the road was as level as the floor, so to speak, and several miles of it near the sea side. I spoke in the theatre to a good congregation who listened with deepest interest. The discourse was well received. There are but very few Sabbathkeepers there, four I believe. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 6

About a year ago Brother Glass moved his family to Hastings from Napier that he might seek to do good in unfolding the banner of truth. There must be in such places as this a tent meeting to arrest the attention of the careless and unconcerned in the community. Hastings is a very pretty place, and if a church could be raised up there it would strengthen the church already organized in Napier. There are other small towns in the vicinity of Napier that have had nothing done in them. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 7

Thursday, April 13, we left Napier for Palmerston. It was six-hours’ ride in the cars. There are a few Sabbathkeepers in Palmerston. Four years ago there was an effort made by Elder Robert Hare in Palmerston, and the people turned out in a wonderful manner to hear. If right plans had been made, there might have been many souls brought to the truth. Bother Hare was not working in the right lines, his main purpose was to get the largest kind of a congregation by fanciful preaching, which differed vastly from the preaching of John the forerunner of Christ. Many signed the covenant, but when he left it was demonstrated that they believed in Robert Hare, were attracted to the man and not to Jesus Christ. Many who signed the covenant were unconverted, and when left alone they withdrew their names. But in the last four years the population has doubled, and another effort must be made and a meeting house built. This is a necessity in most places in this country. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 8

I spoke to the Sabbathkeepers on the Sabbath and tried to comfort the little flock. I spoke words to the children, a few not of our faith were present. I felt the blessing of the Lord while I was trying to bless others. Sunday I spoke in the Theatre Royal to a good audience, and they appeared to be interested. The Lord strengthened and blessed me. On Monday W. C. White and Emily and I took the cars for Wellington. Elder Starr and wife remained a week longer to work with our people. We had very pleasant, sunshiny weather in Palmerston; but soon after we boarded the train it began to rain, and it has been raining ever since; and now it is the 24th of April. We find in Wellington a good home in the mission. We expect to return to Napier in a month, and may call at Palmerston, and another small place in our way to Napier. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 9

Sabbath I rode out in the hack six miles to Petone accompanied by Sister Tuxford, the secretary of the New Zealand Track Society, and Sister Israel and Emily. Brother Israel and W. C. White went on the cars. We had rain, and when we reached the hall there were but few people, but when they saw the hack stop at the door of the hall they flocked in and we had a good congregation for the Sabbath. I had a most earnest, fervent season in speaking to them. I afterwards learned that four were present who once kept the Sabbath. Petone is a manufacturing village. They have a woolen factory where they make several grades of tweeds, blankets, and shawls, and the ordinary flannels. They have car shops on a small scale. But the freezing works are of considerable importance, that is where they freeze the mutton in great quantities. Frozen mutton is one of the chief exports of New Zealand. We drove to Petone on Tuesday, and I spoke in a large hall in the evening to the public. There was a large attendance. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 10

Brother and Sister Starr have been with us two weeks, but in another week they expect to be on their way to Melbourne, to be there in time for the school opening. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 11

It is difficult to know the best way to work in many of the places we visit, especially when they have had work done in them that amounts to but very little. We find many obstacles to be met and overcome, which thing we could not possibly do in our own strength or in our own finite judgment. We feel not discouraged, for why should we? The Lord has given us large and rich promises fitting for every circumstance and occasion. Here is one: “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (our weakness and inefficiency); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” [James 1:5, 6.] 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 12

This is the work, and we as individuals are required to do our part. And we have God’s pledged word that He will do His part in our necessities. “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” “For the promise is unto you and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” [Acts 1:8; 2:39.] We find that Palmerston and Wellington have been poorly worked. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 13

The churches have so little spirituality that some of the people long for some power that they dimly discern is for them, but they know not how to find it. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 14

Satan entered into a man by the name of McAlpin, who claimed to believe the truth, to go to the promising field of Palmerston and seek to personate some other man and give some theatrical performance. After the people had paid their entrance fee they recognized that it was McAlpin (and not Dr. Terry whom he endeavored to personate) and he was near being mobbed. He was recognized by his speech, for he stuttered a little. The fraud thought to be practiced on the people by a Seventh-day Adventist has left its stigma upon the whole fraternity. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 15

Then comes another man corrupt at heart, professing to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, trying to deceive the people courting was his business. He acted over the course of George Ballow, and here again is the course brought into disgrace. Now, those who have received the truth have been a very objectionable class, but the belief of the truth is doing a wonderful work for them in transformation of character. Brother and Sister Starr made their home with one family by name of Mr. Morice. His wife keeps the Sabbath and Mr. Morice talks in this way. “I cannot keep the commandments of God. The fifth commandment bids me honor my father and my mother. I cannot do this. My father gave his children no chance for education. I can not read, (yet he is the proprietor of a large shoe store). My mother is now dead but she was a confirmed drunkard, and has given me a hereditary appetite for liquor, and I was born with these quivering, trembling nerves” (his hands and head are constantly trembling). “And how, he asks, can I respect Father or Mother?” He has children smart and intelligent. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 16

This man and his wife attended our camp meeting at Napier, and they heard the truth presented day after day, and it took a wonderful hold upon them. She had kept the Sabbath but they found that they had everything to learn and must begin at the lower round of the ladder. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 17

Another man and his wife were at the meeting at Napier. He had been in a responsible position, doing the highest duties as a police officer. He has been convicted, and accepted, the theory of the Sabbath; but his duties have to be done on Sabbath as on any other day, and arrests made. Now the inquiry is, What shall this man do? His wife is the mainstay of the little flock at Palmerston. He attended the camp meeting and was deeply wrought upon. He is educated and of good intelligence; his library contains the best of histories and authors. But he was a card player and a gambler, and when his wife supposed herself well situated, she found herself and five children without shelter, her property gambled away, and her husband’s bills flowing in from every quarter for settlement. He has left gambling and given up drinking. He received as his wages $25.00 per week, but he has been reduced to $13.00 per week, and he has sent in his resignation because he cannot keep the Sabbath and hold his situation. He knows nothing but the horrors of debt. They have not known what economy is, and now this particular case is being closely watched by the world, to see what the truth will do for such a man. What can we do with him? The canvassing field is open to him, that is all the chance we can see. This, and much more of the same order I might relate, has befouled this field. We are going to do that which heavenly wisdom will point out to do. This wisdom we must have or we can do nothing. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 18

I see the design of Satan is to put such apparent objections in the way that this field shall be left in his possession, and under his control. Now it must be taken from his hand. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 19

The words of Christ to the self-righteous Pharisees were these: “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” [Matthew 21:31, 32.] They did not repent, even when they had seen the great reformations wrought in healing the sick, in [the] transforming power of truth on human characters. The difficulties mentioned are the ones to be met in almost every place; but not in so manifest a form as in Palmerston. We think Satan has made his seat in that place to work out his deeds, that the laborers shall be discouraged and give it up. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 20

This place, Palmerston, is an important railway center. We must seek for wisdom of God, for by faith I see a strong church in that city. Our work must be to watch, and to pray, to seek counsel of the One Wonderful and Mighty in counsel. One mightier than the strongest powers of hell can take the prey from Satan, and under His guidance the angels of heaven will carry on the battle against all the powers of darkness and plant the standard of truth and righteousness in that city. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 21

I was visiting below in the room of the International Tract Society. Elders Starr, W. C. White and Israel and Mrs. Tuxford and Mrs. Starr were present. We have been consulting in regard to what can be done for this city. It is an important center and scarcely a soul in it who loves the truth. Petone has a little flock of 11 who keep the Sabbath. We are devising ways and means to get [a] hold here, if possible. Our brethren have been searching for a place to hold meetings in. The theaters and halls present so many objectionable phases that we think we shall use the skating rink, which has lately been used for religious and temperance meetings. We can secure it for three pounds, ten shillings (about $17.50) a service. They will try to get it for less, if possible. If we get a place to hold forth the Word of life, it will cost money. God will make a place for His own truth to come to the people, for this is the way He has wrought. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 22

We have thoroughly advertised. I am to speak Sunday afternoons in the rink building and Brother Starr holds his Bible studies in the evening. How we long for workers. If in this city one or two would locate, with their families, a work on the same plan as Brother Shireman did, lift the standard of truth in an inexpensive way, and working quietly in different lines, many, many souls would be saved. Here is a work to do, prejudice is tremendous. Canright’s books have been circulated freely, and this has barred the way; but I am on the ground now and the Lord will give me the message to bear to the people who are walking in darkness and have not the light. Truth will triumph; God lives and reigns. We have a living Saviour who in triumph proclaimed above the rent sepulchre of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 23

Brother and Sister Anderson have been laboring in Ormondville, about 100 miles from here, with good results. He is laboring among the Scandinavians. If the Lord will, I shall spend some little time with them. A letter came from them last night. Sister Anderson writes that her husband is very sick with the rheumatism, and he thinks of leaving the work in her hands for a while, while he visits the hot springs. He contracted the rheumatism in the bush (woods). Where he now is, the location is wet, and he is in consequence a great sufferer. He is an excellent laborer. I met him in Napier, and he told me I was the one who sent him to school in Healdsburg, paying his expenses to obtain an education. I was so thankful to see the result of this investment. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 24

There is a most earnest call for us to visit Kaikoura. They have no minister. Brother Peaap is their leader. He begged of me to furnish them with reading matter, and for the discourses he heard me preach in Napier. I gave him some to use now. I cannot feel it my duty to go to visit them, because there is only one means of going there, and it is by a little boat, which is obliged to anchor here a week or two, sometimes, until they have a smooth sea because of the treacherous harbor at Kaikoura. Yet I dislike to say no to such urgent invitations. They have a number of sons and, I think, two daughters. Two of the sons are at Healdsburg College, and two, I expect, will attend the Melbourne school. These boys are almost giants in height, and are robust. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 25

They tell us Kaikoura is healthful and beautiful. They will send down their children to meet us here if I cannot go. They have built them a neat little church, and their membership is twenty-five. We see so many places to visit we know not what we shall do. To call upon all would take many months. Wherever I speak Canright’s works are killed. I feel deeply over this field. How much time we should spend here is a question. If we do that which looks as if we must do, to get a right mold upon the work, we shall not see America very soon. We have made only a beginning. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 26

Last winter when we saw that we must have a school to meet the demands of the cause, we were put to our wits ends to know where we should obtain the funds. I was suffering with prostration of the nerves, and suffering from rheumatism. Our rent was $23 a month and water bills extra, and other expenses were still added to this, aside from buying of food. A carriage had to be purchased, and although secondhand, it cost me $200. Nothing but what was easy of access and comfortable would be of any service to me then. And even to ride only a short distance was at times next to impossible. My hips and spine caused me such keen suffering, almost beyond endurance. The keeping of a horse, and sickness, increased our household expenses so that it dared not hardly be estimated. But to return to the school question. Some thought it would not be done; yet we knew that it must be started in 1892. Some thought all that could be done was to hold a short institute for the ministers. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 27

We knew that there were many youth who needed the advantages of the school. While we were in such deep perplexity as to how we should be able to make a beginning, the same plan was suggested to Willie’s mind that was suggested to mine, and that, too, on the same night. In the morning when he came to tell me his plan, I asked him to wait until I told him mine which was that we use the royalty of the foreign books sold in America. Although in pain, my mind was exercised over this matter, and I prayed earnestly to the Lord for light, and it came. You know that I could not well use the money that is set apart for other purposes. Of the royalty above referred to, I invested $1000 to be used when most needed. But five hundred dollars must be used as a fund to bring to the school students who cannot and will not come unless they have help. Willie said, With this statement to place before the board, we shall have their influence to sustain us. Thus our school was begun. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 28

It was a blessed, profitable school. It was a pronounced success. Those who ought to have sent their children to school the first term waited to see if it would be a success. We had to accept the situation and leave our brethren to walk by sight and not by faith. In thus doing they lost a precious experience. Had they exercised faith in this advance movement, and invested of their means to help develop the work, they would have received a rich experience and a precious blessing in moving forward, advancing as God had sent them help to extend and build up and strengthen the work in these countries. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 29

There are to be a large number who will attend the school from New Zealand the coming term. I wish I could have a larger fund to draw upon, and send some young men and women who greatly desire to attend school. I can help a few and must let the rest wait. I am so sorry to do this, but the Lord knows all about it. I believe He will put it into the hearts of His stewards to send us that which we need—workers and money to advance the cause in all its branches—but my special burden is for young men and women in this country to receive the advantages, Bible lessons and religious instruction, and become transformed in character. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 30

Never was a time when economy should be practiced as now. Satan is wide awake while men are sleeping who ought to be vigilant sentinels. Now is the time to work as never before. Christchurch, a large and beautiful city, has never been entered. The same is true of many smaller places in New Zealand. Yet we hope these places will not be entered until the work can be done judiciously and with thoroughness. The Lord will surely work for His people in New Zealand. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 31

I rejoice in the completeness of the character of Jesus Christ. He was a compassionate and sympathizing high priest. “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted. He is able to succour them that are tempted.” “We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.” [Hebrews 2:17, 18; 4:15.] O, to only consider how easy it is for hardness of heart to take possession of us! Jesus, the Pattern for humanity, must know from painful experience all about a wounded spirit and a broken, bleeding heart, and a burdened, perplexed, and tempted mind. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 32

In this school Christ was taught. In this school we are to be disciplined and trained and learn to sympathize with the suffering ones of humanity. If we tell our peculiar trials to our friends, we know by the cold response and listless inattention that they know not what we mean. They have not been tried in just that way. Their life may have been one of self-caring and self-indulgence. The care, the perplexities, [that] have darkened the brow of the tired has not been felt by the friend; the sorrow that has eaten into the soul has never touched his. Now the sympathy growing out of identity of circumstances he has not. But Jesus knows all about the strength of temptation, sorrow, and grief. Then let us always tell Jesus all. 8LtMs, Lt 79, 1893, par. 33