Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Lt 125, 1893

Hall, Sister

Wellington, New Zealand

July 31, 1893

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister Hall,

I am beginning to feel that it will soon be time for me to return to America. My two years are nearly up; and yet if our urgent supplications and entreaties had been heeded, and proper help sent to us, I would have remained here another year if necessary. We have put in the time well. I have worked hard as ever I did in my life. When for eleven months I was suffering pain and anguish, I wrote twenty-two hundred pages of large letter paper. It was God’s plan that I should be tested with suffering. It was His plan that I should have the experience I did have in that long affliction. And my time was well employed. My right hand was not sick. That remained firm and true to hold the pen and trace the lines that the Lord by His Spirit constrained me to write. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 1

I have been this winter in Wellington. It has rained about every two days, but we have had some beautiful days. Measles, mumps, and bronchitis combined are carrying to the grave many children. And I cannot wonder when I see little girls from nine to twelve years of age with skirts reaching within two inches of the knees, and their limbs covered with one thickness of thin stockings. The smaller ones from two to five years of age have their little socks reaching not halfway to their knees, leaving many inches of bare leg exposed in this rainy winter weather, heavy winds blowing about their limbs. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 2

I see little children of four years going and coming from school dressed in this style. The boys are still more exposed. Their little pants come halfway from their hips to their knees—the larger boys wear stockings, but the smaller boys’ limbs are entirely bare halfway from the hips to within a few inches of the ankle. The part of the body most remote from the vital organs that require the greatest amount of covering is left perfectly naked. Where is the common sense of the people to dress their children in this cruel deathly fashion? But it is the style. Mothers must be ignorant of the laws of health and life or such things would not be. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 3

The tenement we live in has not one particle of plastering on it. In the adjoining tenement they have all been sick with measles, and the mother is down with rheumatic fever. Now what means all this? They have no air in their home—the windows are never opened—the curtains seldom lifted, and the impure air is breathed over and over again—this is the custom. O, they need a voice lifted to teach them that they are abusing themselves and putting out the lamp of life that God has given them! 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 4

I wish we had fifty missionaries in this country (New Zealand and Australia), workers to show the people what causes so much sickness. I see little children sitting and lying on the wet ground that has been saturated with a three days’ rain. I see men and women walking in the wet and mud with thin shoes, but well clothed about the chest. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 5

We have no house of worship to call the people to, no place except halls, and these at large cost. And we seem to be staying in this country with, as it were, no facilities to work with. Our hands have been so tied that we cannot do a fiftieth part of what we might do if we had the facilities you have in America. O, it seems sometimes I can scarcely contain myself I feel so deeply over this state of things! Money is found to extend and enlarge in America wherever they please, but here in this country, where there must be a beginning, and where nothing can be done to give character to the work without money and workers, we have not the article. Not a place even to meet and worship God. This is terribly against us. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 6

The prejudice in these cities is deep and satanic. There are many honest souls here, but how can we reach them? We cannot go into the churches—we can get into the halls by paying a high price, but we cannot get the people. There are many minds stirred, but the ministers tell their congregations that Seventh-day Adventists are only adventurers. Where is their house of worship? Should you leave your home, your church, where could you find a home? They will go away from here and all the interest will die down, and you are left out in the cold. Thus minds are unsettled. Many are inquiring, “What is truth?” But the ministers so present matters that nothing can be done to reach them without money, without workers. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 7

I want to go home. I am tired of this feeling of anguish of soul, and agony of mind. Hands tied. Can do so little. But I have done to the very best of my powers, both in money and labor, and now I will be willing to come home and give the field and the responsibility into the hands of the conference, that when they get waked up and ready to do something they will do it. But we will not be here to be benefited by their tomorrow movements. I know God is not glorified with any of this kind of management, and I feel loth to leave the field, but our being here can do little without facilities, and without suitable workers. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 8

I am pained to trace these lines, but I have come to the point [where] I cannot consent to remain in this field barehanded, unfurnished with provisions for these fields that need so much done for them, where we cannot get standing place, and all the needed facilities and money bestowed on home missions where the work has character, where the people are known, and where the truth is established. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 9

If this is the way our people design to spread the gospel and unfurl the banner of truth in foreign fields, God pity the unenlightened. It will take a temporal millennium to do the work of publishing the truth to all nations, countries and climes. I feel almost bowed down with a weight of sorrow too great to be approached by our brethren and sisters in America who stand [at] the head of the work, if I shall judge them by what has been done while we have been here pleading, imploring, and begging for helpers and for means, and foreign missions must suffer. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 10

I leave this subject with keen pain of soul I cannot express. I want now to come home. I want not to go to Africa or any foreign fields. It seems it would kill me if I see the destitution I have seen here in this field, and watch and wait for our brethren to do, but watch and wait in vain for some means to make a beginning. But everything is swallowed up in America by making enlargements. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 11

I am through now. Forgive me, Sister Hall, forgive me, but I felt I must say what I have. Let others see this if you please. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 12

But I am coming home. 8LtMs, Lt 125, 1893, par. 13