Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 87, 1893

Diary, November 1893. Labors at Napier and Ormondville, New Zealand.

Napier and Ormondville, New Zealand

November 12-20, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4Bio 108.

Sunday, November 12, 1893

On ship Botomhann [?]

We woke in the early morning, but fog and rain obliged us to close the porthole. Emily was quite sick, and I hardly dared to stir, fearing I should be seasick. I was tired enough to sleep after speaking in the morning, and bearing the burden in connection with Elder Wilson in the calling them forward for prayers, and then in engaging in prayer with them. The Spirit of the Lord was indeed with this company, the whole church being identified in the movement; and the anxiety of waiting until a late hour before we could get onto the steamer was very trying to my physical strength. I stood one hour waiting at the landing for the launch to take us off and it was raining hard. I could not sit down, only lean against a pile of lumber. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 1

It was a difficult matter to get our things together to remove them to the launch which would take us to the landing. The rain was just pouring down. We paid half a crown to a porter to help us, in our perplexity, to do up our bundle of bed and bedding which we always have to take with us wherever we go, else I should be unable to get rest because of a crippled hip. Then the long period of eleven months of rheumatism and prostration of the nerves, through over taxation, has made it necessary for me to have to exercise great care with this poor infirm body; but thank God I am not a cripple by any means, although I experience much suffering unless I exercise great care in providing myself, if possible, with an easy bed. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 2

We found when we reached Dr. Caro’s that he was away—called to minister as a physician to a woman, a sister in the faith, whom they feared could not recover. She has passed through the furnace of fire, having married in good faith, in her youth, a man who was found after years of married life was already a married man, his wife in England. She has been working to support herself and children. The eldest, a son, is nearly fourteen years old. She thought she must have him help to support herself and children. As she was about to secure him a place, Sister Caro felt extremely burdened and talked with Dr. Caro in reference to the matter, and they were of one mind that the boy must not be made to work on the Sabbath. He had just given his heart to obey the Lord, and had been baptized. Dr. and Sister Caro adopted the boy as their son. She has a younger child, a girl. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 3

The news has just come that Sister _____ has just closed her earthly history. The boy was sent for to see his mother who was dying. Dr. Caro stood by her bedside from early morning until noon when she died. The boy loved his mother and seems inconsolable. Dr. Caro went to him and kissed him and told him he should find in himself and Sister Caro both father and mother. He will have a good home. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 4

I was much exhausted and lay down and slept soundly for one hour. I felt refreshed. Dr. Caro spoke words of welcome to me to his home. I appreciate his kindness; he has ever made me welcome. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 5

Monday, November 13, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

I have slept well after my battle last night. This is a rainy morning. I have been writing quite busily this morning while others are sleeping. I am anxious in regard to the Pitcairn. If W. C. White had arrived at Wellington, I think he would immediately telegraph to me. It is one week since the vessel left Gisborne and not an intimation of her whereabouts has reached us. Sent telegram to Wellington. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 6

When we arrived in Napier we opened our American mail, which was sent by Edward Hare from Auckland in a package to the purser to put in my hands on the steamer. We found also letters in Napier from America, which we have read with interest Sunday. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 7

The funeral of the sister we have mentioned takes place today. Brother Wilson will officiate. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 8

I attended the funeral. Elder Wilson read important scriptures and made appropriate remarks. The church was full of a mixed company, believers and unbelievers. The Spirit of the Lord came upon me while I was speaking in regard to those who fall asleep in Jesus. I made remarks from (Revelation 20:6): “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” The subduing, melting Spirit of God was upon the entire congregation as I addressed the parents and children of [the one] who lay in her coffin before us. I carried their minds forward to the time when Christ shall come in great glory and then the Lifegiver shall break the fetters of the tomb and all that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and the righteous dead shall come forth to a glorious immortality. The Lord grant this event may be sanctified to the good of the afflicted ones and to every member of the church. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 9

Thank the Lord a telegram has just been received: “Pitcairn arrived in Wellington Sabbath afternoon, November 11.” Telegram says, “Encountered calm and tempests. All well.” I praise the Lord that He has preserved the missionary ship from accident and harm and all on board are well. A large letter was received from Oakland. Sister Caro read to me letters from her son and one from Pomare, the Maori, and from Sidney Lyndon of the Melbourne school. Very interesting letters. Elder Wilson and wife go to Hastings tonight. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 10

Tuesday, November 14, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

Slept well during the night for which I feel grateful to our heavenly Father. Thank the Lord for pleasant sunshine. The rain is over. It has rained quite steadily here for four days. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 11

Wednesday, November 15, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

Slept well during the night. Had much writing to do and more letters to read. We engaged the accommodation of Brother Stephens’ horse and sulky and rode out one hour before dinner. I am feeling exhausted for the want of a pure, bracing atmosphere. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 12

In afternoon we took the omnibus which was packed full on the inside and outside. We were to visit Sister Wilson. Her husband is not a believer. He is in the shoe business, manufacturing shoes and exporting shoes from England. He does not keep the Sabbath. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 13

I pitied the poor horses, only two of them to draw a heavy load of eighteen persons up a steep grade to the hilltop. I really feared the horses would begin to back and leave the load to run back, but we were landed safely, and we were so thankful. We believe angels of God helped the horses. We found a pleasant location at the home of Mr. Wilson. Had a pleasant visit with his wife. In the evening, at half past six, Mr. Wilson came home, and we visited with him. He was obliged to go back to his business in the evening. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 14

I introduced the subject of the Lord’s claims upon us. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added.” [Matthew 6:33.] I sought to impress him that the Lord called him to do His service, that he was to consider himself the Lord’s property by creation and redemption. All the powers of his mind that he put into his business, every reasoning ability, all aptitude and sharp thinking, were given him of God and were needed in the Lord’s service. We had a season of prayer with him and his wife, and then returned in a hack to Dr. Caro’s. Oh that men would only give to the Lord that which is His due! What an army of faithful soldiers would stand under the banner of Jesus Christ! 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 15

Thursday, November 16, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

Slept well through the night. Sister Dr. Caro, dentist, prepared an easy seat for me and had me employed in reading to her testimonies which I had sent to Battle Creek to Professor Prescott, and to all our schools, in regard to the amusement question in match games and football. The light was given me that these things were not having an influence to help the students in the perfection of Christian character or in scholastic perfection. The dean of the English church came in to have teeth filled, and we had to suspend operations. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 16

Although it rained all day, we called a hack and made a visit to Brother and Sister Stephens. We had one hour and a half’s profitable conversation and a season of prayer and returned to Dr. Caro’s. Then Sister Caro kept me by her side to fit my teeth until 9 p.m. Took a bath, was refreshed, and retired. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 17

Friday, November 17, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

I awoke at four a.m. Find it is still raining. We leave today for Ormondville, to spend Sabbath and Sunday and then Monday leave for Wellington. We ride, for the first time since coming to New Zealand, in first-class compartment. We find it will be best when Emily and I travel alone. It is not wisdom for me to expose myself, as I have done on this journey, and when I am so wearied that I must have rest, although first-class accommodations cost more money. We had a very comfortable time on the train three hours and a half. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 18

Brother and Sister McCullagh were waiting for us at the station. We arrived ten minutes after two o’clock, and we were quite hungry enough to eat our dinner, which was very relishable. A very pleasant room was secured for us in the house next door to Brother McCullagh, and I lay down to rest—thoroughly in need of rest. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 19

We found all preparations being made to occupy the meetinghouse on Sunday evening. It is a neat, nice little chapel and will stand as a significant memorial that God has a commandment-keeping people in this place, Ormondville, and the house is to be dedicated to God free of debt. The men who have accepted the truth have done nobly. They have worked day after day for thirty-two days and not a penny have they received for their labor. Everything has been done with a willing heart and with a ready mind. The lot on which the church stands, the lumber which has been brought from the forest, and every part of the material has been given gladly as if it were a privilege. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 20

Oh, how thankful these believers all are, now that they have a place of their own in which they can worship God, and the key cannot be demanded of them by those who would close every avenue possible where the truth could find an entrance. That act, to close the door of the only place where they could assemble to worship the Lord on the Sabbath, was a good thing indeed for our people who have been converted to the truth. They were compelled to do something and do it at once. And their energies and will were stirred to such a fervor that it has brought practical results which they—the church—are proud to look upon. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 21

We rode two miles and a half in a trap with Brother McCullagh to call upon a family named Wilkinson. He does not observe the Sabbath. Sister Wilkinson and daughter have great love for the truth. The daughter is fourteen years old. She plays the organ in church. She is a very enterprising young girl, but they are very poor. The rain which they have had in abundance has kept the team from drawing lumber, which has brought them in strait places. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 22

Saturday, November 18, 1893

Ormondville, N. Z.

The rain commenced to fall last evening, and it rained all night and is pouring down this morning. At the breakfast table the subject was up, Shall we give an appointment for Norsewood? When we were here about two months ago an appointment was given that I would speak to them on Monday night, but the rain was pouring down fast and strong all day and all night and it was considered not advisable for me to risk the exposure. Brother McCullagh and Willie went. They had no covered conveyance and their wagon sat in the rain, waiting grease and in the providence of God it was close by the Ammonson’s, who owned the wagon. Brother McCullagh’s sulky was there. They had to unharness and fasten the horse to the sulky and go on. One hundred were out to hear and men and women had walked three miles through the woods to hear Mrs. White. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 23

We decided I must meet with them this time and talk to them, that notwithstanding the unfavorable appearance, I must not disappoint them. So the appointment was given out. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 24

Sabbath the meeting was held where it had been, and the little chapel was full. The Lord gave me much freedom in speaking. My remarks were from 2 Peter 1. The whole chapter is excellent to be presented, full of light and power. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 25

It is indeed a pleasant sight to see so large a number of children uniting with their parents in keeping the Sabbath. Brother Wood is an intelligent man. Himself and family were non-professors, were converted from the world. Brother Ammonson and family were converted from the world into the truth; Brother Finch and family were also worldlings. These attended no church and they are intelligent men. Brother Finch is a master carpenter. He worked thirty-two days on this new chapel, which will be dedicated tomorrow. The church members number twenty-six and others are on the deciding line; whether they will step over on the Lord’s side and keep His commandments or not remains to be seen. We believe they will. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 26

In the night season my heart was uplifted to God in earnest prayer that He would so move upon the hearts that the truth would gain a decided victory. There have been men who have been inspired with the spirit and attributes of Satan to counteract the work of the Spirit of God in Ormondville and Norsewood. These men have manifested such bitterness, such unreasonable enmity and hatred against both the message and messengers presenting the truth, that the people have lost confidence in their religious representations and they know they have not the spirit of gentlemen, much less Christians. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 27

I have faith the Lord will work, that souls will not always be deceived in this place by the false shepherds. It has rained hard all day but light is shining into the hearts of believers. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 28

Sunday, November 19, 1893

Ormondville, N. Z.

Oh how we longed for pleasant weather but the rain continued to come down—not as heavy as heretofore, yet it rained. Brother _____ came five miles to Ormondville for us in his covered hack, and Elder McCullagh, Emily, and I were conveyed to the place of meeting [Norsewood]. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 29

Quite a goodly number were assembled, and the Lord gave me His Holy Spirit to talk in the demonstration of the Spirit. There was much tenderness of feeling and many tearful eyes. Some wept all through the meeting. The Spirit of God gave freedom of speech. I spoke from 1 John, first four verses, and great solemnity was in the congregation. I gave them the message of warning and explained the love of God in giving His only begotten Son to our world, not to save men in their sins but to take away the sin of the world through obedience to the truth. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 30

In the evening the dedication of the church took place in Ormondville. The text was in Acts, first chapter—the commission given by Christ to His disciples. [Verse 8.] I stated plainly, distinctly, that we were Seventh-day Adventists, and our reasons why we kept the fourth commandment just as it is given us by the Lord of heaven, and I read the fourth commandment, which is an explanation of our faith. We keep the seventh-day Sabbath, an institution given after the world was made in six days. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 31

The Lord made the heavens and the earth and rested on the Sabbath, and sanctified the day of His rest—which was the seventh day, not the first. Exodus 20:8-11; 31:12-18. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 32

The fourteenth chapter of John, first three verses, show that Jesus proclaimed His second appearing, and after the ascension of Christ, angels from heaven proclaimed that the same Jesus they had seen ascend into heaven should so come in like manner as they had seen Him go into heaven. We believed in the words spoken by the angels, and the signs of the times foretold that Christ’s advent to our world was nigh, even at the door. This is the explanation why we are Seventh-day Adventists—simply because we believe the Scriptures. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 33

The congregation was large. The seats were full; and if it had not been for the continuous rain, many more would have come than could have found a place in the house. The evening was clear and beautiful. Brother McCullagh offered the dedicatory prayer, in every way appropriate. The little vine of God’s planting is now to be left alone and yet not alone, for the Lord Jesus will meet with them when they assemble in their house dedicated to Him free of debt. Twenty dollars was lacking; I made a donation of the amount lacking and the church is free from debt. Brethren, the Spirit of the Lord is in this, that on this occasion we dedicate this church to the worship of the God of heaven and earth. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 34

Monday, November 20, 1893

Ormondville, N. Z.

I feel this morning very thankful to God for the precious sunshine. The rain has ceased. I was unable to sleep much last night, not because of sorrow but because my heart was welling up to God with joy and praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for His great goodness and lovingkindness to the children of men and His great love manifested to me. I was much exhausted when I came to this place, but I have had strength given me to speak upon the Sabbath and to speak at Norsewood Sunday forenoon, at Ormondville in the evening, and I know that the Lord is good and I praise His holy name. His mercy endureth forever. Strength came to me as soon as I stood upon my feet to speak and it was as if the everlasting arms were beneath me. I bless and praise His holy name. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 35

We feel that a great victory has been gained for the truth in Ormondville. The church just organized, with a membership of not a large number—about fourteen—will have the addition of several more as soon as they receive baptism, and will number twenty. And several are upon the point of decision. Oh that God will give many moral courage to decide to obey the truth! This is an occasion of the manifest glory of God. Brother McCullagh and all were anxious I should attend the baptism, about ten miles distant. Thinking it would be a blessing to me as well as a gratification to the brethren and sisters in Ormondville, I consented to go. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 36

The sulky was rather trying for me as it was keeping one in perpetual motion. We were obliged to walk over the very rough ground, slippery because of recent rains. Six were baptized; three young children were included in the number. All passed off pleasantly. The stream was a swift current, caused by the recent rain, but all were thoroughly buried to rise to dedicate themselves to God and to walk in newness of life. God grant them His grace that now, having been buried with Christ in baptism and having risen in the likeness of His resurrection, they will ever seek those things that are above where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. The membership of the church is now twenty-six. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 37

We took a hasty dinner and at half past two p.m. stepped on the train. 8LtMs, Ms 87, 1893, par. 38