Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 59a, 1893

Tenny, G. C.

Long Point, Paremata, near Wellington, New Zealand

August 3, 1893

Previously unpublished.

Elder G. C. Tenny
Battle Creek, Michigan

Dear Brother:

You have kindly written several letters to me, for which I thank you. I have been purposing to write to you every mail, but the many things arising in the Colonies that needed attention called for letters, and I have written quite a number. When we drew near the time for the American mail to go, I was pressed almost beyond measure, and could not write to you. Willie and I have had anxious desires that you should return to this country, for you had acquaintance with the people and places; but when Elder Olsen thought you could be so great help to him, I thought it might be best for you to remain in America. We feel the need of help here, but Elder Olsen needs help also. Where is our help coming from? We have been pleading for the conference to send Elder Corliss. We did not write to him personally, for I thought that was not the proper way to do, so we sent appeal after appeal for help both of money and of men; but as yet we have no assurance of anything. We feel sad. 8LtMs, Lt 59a, 1893, par. 1

I have had some thoughts that I would not remain here much longer. Our two years will soon be completed, and as yet neither means nor men have been sufficiently furnished. The opposition, the prejudice, and [the] resistance against the truth is so strong here in this large city of Wellington, and Satan’s efforts so determined that truth shall not enter, I am doubly sure that the Lord has a people here. If we can only find an entrance here, we know there are many honest souls that will come to the light and accept the truth. But what can we do? Nothing without a place of worship. Must souls perish because efforts are not put forth to get access to the people? The halls are very expensive. Tents cannot be pitched in Wellington. Camp meeting cannot be held here, for there is not safety for tents. The circus company pitched their tents here in Wellington, and their tents were torn into ribbons by strong winds. 8LtMs, Lt 59a, 1893, par. 2

The work is extending in America; but shall this part of the world, of English speaking people, be left out of the planning and reaching of our conference? Shall not the Christian reformation go forward here? I have set before our people our necessities. But the treasury is drained to add continually to the conveniences and building up of the work in America where our people have a powerful influence. What can we do unless we can make a beginning in these cities? Are the means raised by God’s people to be absorbed wholly in America? I answer, No. Means ought to have been in these fields and these cities worked years ago; but watchmen have been asleep as to what was required in these cities. Are we to make a retreat? Are we to give up now? When we read of the outpouring of the Spirit in America, we consider the words of Christ just before His ascension, “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.” [Acts 1:8.] 8LtMs, Lt 59a, 1893, par. 3

We are watching and waiting, expecting to see a more thorough, decided missionary spirit which will take families out of Battle Creek and out of the churches and send them forth to labor in the fields all ready for harvest. This part of the field needs to be worked. Shall we give up Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Auckland as hopeless enterprises? Shall we give up Melbourne and the cities of Australia, where there are many honest souls, and pour all the means and efforts upon American cities? It seems as if I could hear the words that were addressed to the apostle, “I have much people in this city.” And it was a most forbidding outlook: a city given up to all appearances, to unbelief, skepticism, infidelity and heathenism, and the most profligate that was upon the earth. I know God’s will is not done in this mater. Time is narrowing up. 8LtMs, Lt 59a, 1893, par. 4

The same spirit of opposition in regard to the Sunday law will make as deep a mark here as in America. “God’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, his ear is not heavy that it cannot hear.” [Isaiah 59:1.] But who is it that has the Lord’s money? All the efforts we can make are useless without money and workers. We must not have our hands tied. It is so essential to get the leaven into the meal, and Satan is making his super-human efforts to keep the leaven out by keeping the door closed. I feel intensely over this subject. Shall the warnings and the good news, the glad tidings of great joy, of what is truth be proclaimed to the people? Christ by the virtue of His blood that cleanseth from all sin is drawing them to obedience, and no one is at work in these places. 8LtMs, Lt 59a, 1893, par. 5

“Be instant in season and out of season” is ringing in my ears, to gather in a harvest of souls. [2 Timothy 4:2.] Truth must be proclaimed from the fullness of a believing heart and reveal that he is earnest and means what he says, and I have no doubts as to the issue of there being something broader and more costly, than has as yet been put forth. I cannot sleep nights. Supplications are constantly ascending from my heart day and night to the throne of grace for the Lord to send money and workers; but now I am beginning to think I must go back to America and stir up our people, for they are altogether to nigh-sighted [nearsighted]. They cannot see the wants afar off, where there is not scarcely a thing to show or give character to the work. I am contemplating the matter as to what shall be done. I may soon be on my way to America, for I am very far from accepting the situation that all the means, or nearly all, is used in America, where the truth has every possible advantage to be known. But here we cannot make even the first move in our cities. 8LtMs, Lt 59a, 1893, par. 6