Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 59, 1893

Visit to Paremata

Wellington, New Zealand

August 8, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 12MR 72-76; 4Bio 100-104.

We left Wellington July 27 to go to Paremata. We thought a change would do both Emily and me good. Elder Israel accompanied us, one hour and a half’s ride. We passed through eight tunnels. The scenery was odd and romantic. Much of the road on this line is through a gorge, very deep in many places. Then we would see nice little farms in the valleys, and then again steep mountains and waterfalls. We were soon at our journey’s end, and Sister Martha Brown came to the station for us with the horse and trap—a two-wheeled cart—to take us one mile to the house. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 1

This station is close by the bay, and many large, choice fish are caught here and supply Wellington and Napier, and intervening towns. Boxes full of fish were standing on the platform, and boys were waiting for purchasers. We drove up one mile in a short time to Sister Brown’s, and received a hearty welcome. Their home is located on a rise of ground where they can have a plain view of the waters of the bay. The house is surrounded with high mountains and hills. There are trees and shrubs and cultivated flowers in abundance, and they have flowers the year round. The house is large, with very large rooms. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 2

The husband and father is dead. Sister Brown has had twenty-one children. Thirteen are still living; the youngest is eight years old. The mother looks quite young. The father was just my age when he died. The mother was twenty years younger than her husband, who has been dead eight years and a half. This family have an interesting history which I cannot relate here; have not time. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 3

The most interesting part to me is that after laboring ten days to present to them the precious value of truth and great blessing of being children of God and having Christ as our personal Saviour. Monday morning at one a.m. I was awakened repeating these words, “While it is called today .... Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the day of provocation.” Hebrews 3:13, 15. In the night season I had been in different companies bearing a message to them. I was in the family of Sister Brown and was instructed by the angel of God to call them to a decision by speaking to each one of the children by name. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 4

Isabella was one who had much influence in the family and she is twenty-two years old. When we had family worship I addressed myself to Isabella: “Will you give your heart to Jesus? Will you cut the cords binding you to the world, its pleasures and attractions, and leave the service of Satan and be a follower of Christ?” She said, “I will.” She has been very worldly. She has attended parties of pleasure and dances and the ten days’ visit, the talks morning and evening, the earnest supplications to God in behalf of the family, had not been fruitless in her case. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 5

Next was Alex, the only boy at home, and who was obliged to bear many heavy responsibilities for a boy of sixteen. He was of quick understanding. I addressed myself to Alex. I said, “Will you decide this morning to confess Jesus Christ? ‘With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ [Romans 10:10.] All heaven is interested in this family. Will you this very morning choose to be a child of God and engage to serve the Lord Jesus to the best of your ability?” He responded, “I will.” 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 6

Victoria was a girl of fourteen years, looking like a woman grown. I addressed her by name: “Jesus says to you this morning, Victoria, ‘Follow Me.’ Will you obey His voice? Will you enter the school of Christ to learn of Him?” She responded decidedly, “I will.” 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 7

“Charlotte, I am sure you wish to be a child of God. You wish to learn of Jesus. You love the Lord Jesus. Will you confess that you love Him?” She responded, and now my heart was broken before the Lord, melted with His love, and we had a thanksgiving morning service. It was a precious season to us all. Emily followed me in prayer, then Martha Brown—who has been a believer some length of time—then the mother, who has seldom prayed, offered her tribute of praise and thanksgiving to God. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 8

We parted with that family feeling under the renewed obligation to honor and glorify God. We felt our interest identified with these precious souls. Three of the children, all unmarried, are [away] from home on a farm rented to them by their mother. In the night season I was shown that little company and the course which they were pursuing. The young men were playing cards and drinking intoxicating drink. I arose about two o’clock a.m. and wrote out the scene and as soon as I can will have it copied for them to receive the warning from God to them. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 9

The Lord sent us to Paremata to do this work, and although we had made our decision to leave the Thursday before, it rained so hard we could not go, and then Friday we went in the rain one mile to the station and waited more than one hour in the trap in the rain for the cars. There had been a washout. A bridge washed away, and there were many landslides and the train could not get through from Palmerston to Paremata Station where we were waiting. We returned in the rain to Sister Brown’s, having to transport all our luggage back again. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 10

We decided our work was not done and felt reconciled to the delay. We spent Sabbath with the family, and I labored hard to present before them the important crisis that is just before us, when there will be two distinct parties—the one elevating the standard of truth, the other trampling under foot the law of God and lifting up and exalting the spurious sabbath. The world’s favor is no chance matter. It is God’s great plan that the Sunday question shall be agitated and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment be exalted as the Lord’s memorial sign of the creation of the world, and that a knowledge of truth upon the Sabbath question shall be brought before many minds as a witness. This brings the first-day sabbath question and its weak foundation before the world. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 11

I presented the truth in all the solemn importance I was capable of doing. The Lord impressed hearts, and it was indeed a most important meeting. I commenced at 11 a.m. and continued until about two o’clock, presenting the truth as much as I could in that time. In the evening I had another opportunity at family worship. Monday morning all the children at home decided to be Christians and then we felt we could go home free, having done all that we could do for that family. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 12

Never, never was there a time when our hearts were more in earnest than now. The work is great; the time is short; the end is near. The rebuke of God is upon all self-sufficiency. We must walk humbly before God and depend wholly upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Clothed with the garments of Christ’s righteousness, we may then appear before God. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 13

A bare assent to the truth is not of saving value to any soul. The submission that arises from conviction will be revealed by the self-surrender of the will. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10. While the understanding consents to the truth, the receiver trembles at the Word of the Lord. Preparation may be made only at the throne of grace. Our tapers can be kindled alone at the altar of God by the holy fire. As we approach His altar He puts us under the guardianship of the Holy Spirit, who leads us in the paths of holiness and peace, who takes the things of Christ, the precious words falling from His lips, and conveys them in living power into the obedient heart. The molding process of the Word of God places upon us the perfect image of its Author. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 14

I hope and pray that those who read these lines may not be careless and think they can wait their own time and opportunity to suit themselves. God has given you knowledge, light, opportunities, and privileges. Shall the knowledge of God, which Jesus Christ came from heaven to impart, remain in our possession through our life as a dead letter? Shall we trifle with the letter from heaven which shows us the prescribed condition of salvation? “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 15

We must serve God with true devotedness and Jesus will be found of us to be a whole Saviour, saving to the uttermost all who come unto Him. Complete in Christ! Praise the Lord! Praise His holy name. The truth will make us free and free indeed. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 16

In much love, 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 17

Ellen G. White.

August 5, 1893

Long Point, Paremata

I am convinced that the Lord is moving upon hearts in Wellington. I was trying to impress upon the minds of those with whom I was conversing that the Spirit of the Lord was surely at work upon the hearts of many honest souls in Wellington. I fully believe the leaven has been put to work in the hearts of those not of our faith. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 18

August 3. I was speaking [in the night season] to a company of those interested in the truth. Oh, how earnestly I entreated them to search for the truth as for hidden treasures. I was awakened. I prayed the Lord to lead me that I might gain souls as sheaves to bring to the Master. I was again in most earnest labor for souls that were ready to perish. They seemed to be in peril. Temptations were surrounding them and these temptations came in such a matter-of-course way that they suspected not that the arch deceiver was tempting them to their ruin. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 19

Sabbath day what a burden was upon my soul for the [Brown] family! We had services. I spoke most earnestly from (Isaiah 58), bringing out the Sabbath question, dwelling upon (verses 12-14) and on Exodus 31:12, 17. I presented the foundation of the Sunday—its being converted by the Roman power into a sacred day, and how nearly all Christendom had turned from the holy commandment, the fourth precept of the Decalogue—the day upon which the Lord rested, the day He sanctified as the day of His rest. He instituted the seventh day as the Sabbath, the memorial of creation, that the Lord God should ever be reverenced and worshiped on the seventh day and no servile work should be done therein. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 20

I felt the Spirit of God resting upon me in a special manner and I talked to them from 11 a.m. until about two o’clock. I felt the constraining power of God upon me and I knew that hearts were feeling deeply. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 21

August 8, 1893

Wellington, New Zealand

We were successful in reaching home yesterday at one o’clock p.m. We thought in the morning we had the promise of a beautiful day but a change came and it showered. We decided to go, thinking we might reach the depot between showers, and we did—almost. One load of bedding and trunks were wet. The passengers did not get wet. We had a little of the shower but were thankful the cars were on time. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 22

We entered the second class, as is our practice, but found it the smoking car and it was full of Maoris dressed in deep mourning as though just going to a funeral. Two men were lighting their pipes, preparing for a smoke. We inquired for another car, but they opened a small compartment; it was full, without one chance for anyone more. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 23

Meanwhile Emily had obtained the favor (if it can be so called) of riding in the car containing the freight. This was a small box-like concern—not like freight cars in America. She put my spring seat on some of the freight boxes and my roll of bedding at my feet, well protected with canvas. I really had a good seat. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 24

Two or three men came in farther on, a box of dogs was put in, and a roll that smelled very strongly of fish, but as we had plenty of air we did not consider these things much. Soon gentlemen and ladies came in. We numbered seven women and about the same number of men, but we got along much better than I supposed we would at first. The women would get seats on the freight somewhere. The men stood, with few exceptions, and how the rain poured! When the cars stopped or started it would throw those sitting or standing so that if they had not held on to something they would have fallen on the floor of that wet, dirty car. All treated us with the greatest respect. We were thankful to get home any way, after making this third trial. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 25

We were pleased to step from the car onto the platform and find Elder Israel waiting for us. We were soon seated in a nice coach, the two miles were quickly passed over and we reached our home. We were warmly welcomed by Sister Tuxford and her mother, who came with her on her last visit to Napier. We were all three of us—Martha Brown, Emily Campbell, and I—decidedly hungry, and a very appetizing dinner was welcome. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 26

We got off some mail for Melbourne to Fannie and Marian, and I was too tired to do more. We had a visit with Elder Israel and Brother Mointani, giving them some history of our ten days’ visit at Long Point, Paremata, and making some plans to help them, for they will obtain no help unless someone from this place shall visit them. We counseled together in regard to leaving Wellington for Napier as soon as the roads should be safe, and laboring in connection with Brother Wilson and wife in Napier and Hastings. There are quite a number in Hastings just balancing either for or against the truth. 8LtMs, Ms 59, 1893, par. 27