Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 38, 1893

Labors in Kaeo

Kaeo, New Zealand

March 8, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 8MR 84-85.

We have been in this place fully two weeks, and must remain one week longer to bind off the work. We intended to leave for the harbor this morning, and take the steamer for Auckland tomorrow morning; reach there Friday, and take the boat for Napier; but on Monday we received a telegram from Auckland that the boat left for Napier the seventeenth instead of the tenth. This put us back one week. I think that this delay was in the providence of God, for we would have left the work here unfinished, and there is not one here who is educated to be a laborer together with God to save souls. All are novices in this kind of work. We feel deeply, but they do not seem to know how to do service for God who has bought them with the price of His own blood. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 1

I have spoken the two Sabbaths and Sundays, and four times in the evening. On the first Sabbath we held the meeting in the little chapel built for Seventh-day Adventists. Sunday afternoon we secured the Wesleyan chapel, and I spoke to the people. The house was crowded to its utmost extent, and benches and everything available was pressed into service. The little bench before the pulpit, and the platform, were filled with children. The Lord gave me freedom in speaking, and there was the very best of attention. Elder Starr spoke in the evening. He has done good service wherever he could get the people to come. Our meetings during the week have been mostly in the house of Father Hare. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 2

Last Sabbath we secured the Wesleyan chapel for meetings through the day. There was not a large outside attendance, but some were present and deeply interested. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 3

Brother and Sister Starr had ridden on horseback twenty-five miles out in the country to visit relatives of Sister Starr, and so arranged that two young men and their uncle came to the meeting. One came about fifty miles on horseback, the others twenty-five. Brother Starr spoke in the forenoon and I in the afternoon. I called upon those who wished to give themselves to God to come forward. After a little time quite a company responded. Among these were Else Hare’s children, Father Hare’s two youngest daughters and youngest son, Joseph Hare’s two eldest children at home, and Brother Salt from one of the islands. The latter had received the truth under Brother Reed’s labors, but was still using tobacco. He knew but little of the truth, but was keeping the Sabbath. He came to find work, and will send for his wife as soon as he can obtain the means. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 4

Well, before the season of prayer the two young men, Sister Starr’s relatives, noble-looking, healthy, intelligent, came forward, also the uncle. These souls that had not been in such meetings seemed to be deeply impressed. One of these young men is about six feet in height and well proportioned. His brother, older, is not quite so tall. The latter is studying for the ministry under an aged minister to whom someone is sending the Echo. The young man reads the paper to the old preacher and he says he is pleased with it. We mean that these young men shall be students at our school. They have five brothers, all fine young men. We expect that two of them will, in response to a telegram, be at the meeting next Sabbath. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 5

The Spirit of the Lord was present in our meeting. Its softening, subduing influence was felt; there was a breaking up of the fallow ground of the heart. Nearly the whole church came forward. Among them were the brother of Brother Brighouse, Lizzie Hare, his wife and Jennie Brighouse. We had a season of earnest prayer, and the Lord came very nigh. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 6

At the close of the meeting I was introduced to several. One woman with two little children grasped my hand. She was the sister of Wesley Hare’s wife. She said, “I was impressed this morning that I must take the boat and come down the river to this meeting.” Her husband was ill, but she left him in the care of the children. She brought the baby and the older little boy to take care of the baby while she rowed the boat six miles. She said, “I was very tired, but oh, how glad I am that I came! Oh what a meeting this has been! I was never in such a meeting before.” She came forward, and I know that the Lord blessed her. Her husband had expressed fears that a storm might come up, and there might be another flood. She assured him that she would watch every indication of the weather and turn homeward at the first sign of a storm. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 7

Well, our hearts were made glad by this meeting. We praised the Lord with heart and soul and voice. The Methodist minister who preached in that house was present through it all. This is the revealing of the willingness of God to work if we will only let Him work. If we will clear the King’s highway, we shall see the salvation of God. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 8

The two young men and their uncle were deeply moved. The uncle said to Brother Hare, “It is of no use to try to express my thankfulness for this meeting.” He left one pound with us as an expression of his gratitude. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 9

Money is not very easily obtained in this part of the country. We praise the Lord as we see the influence the truth has upon hearts that have not had the light. If all lived up to the light, their appreciation of the truth would increase more and more; they would drink in the precious streams of water from the open fountain, and would be refreshed and ever refreshing others. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 10

On Sunday the Wesleyan chapel was crowded; every available seat was brought in, and at last an old chest in the hall was dragged in as the last resource. I spoke upon temperance from the Christian standpoint, and all listened with intense interest for two hours. Some said that ended their tobacco-using. Brother Salt was very anxious to have a copy of the discourse, as were also the two young men, and they shall have it as soon as we can get it written off. The Brethren Hare tell us there were men in the meeting on Sunday who had not attended service for years, and some were affected to tears. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 11

On Sunday night Brother Starr spoke in the Wesleyan chapel, which was crowded to its utmost capacity. This was a joint meeting. W. C. White spoke first, then the Wesleyan minister said some good things, but his talk was spiritless; then Elder Starr spoke upon the simplicity of genuine faith, the precious evidences that Christ has given of His willingness to save all who come unto Him. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 12

This meeting was a complete success; everyone was pleased. The Lord was moving upon hearts. Oh, how little interest has been manifested in this place to save the lost sheep, and to bring the lambs to the fold. Temporal interests supply the themes for conversation in the home, and supplant the themes of eternal interest. The needs of the soul, the precious things of the Word of God, its promises, admonitions and reproofs, its warnings, consolations and encouragements, are fading away before the more absorbing interests. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 13

Everyone in the home circle needs to have his lamp constantly replenished with the oil of grace, that the light may be kept brightly burning, and not go out. The human affection should not become weakened, but stronger, purer, more elevated, refined, and holy, as it draws its supply from the divine source, the full and complete love of God. Why is the mind so freely and readily engaged on every other subject, while the highest, holiest, grandest subject that can engage the human mind is neglected? 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 14

In the family, religion is not considered of as much interest and importance as temporal, earthly things. Its blessed work, the divine influence, is greatly wanting in the home life. Family association should have an uplifting, sanctifying power; then will the religion of Christ acquire its proper character in the home; then will the privilege of family worship exert its upbuilding, divine influence, instead of standing solitary, as one act performed at certain times. The whole heart will become a reservoir of the divine love and grace, in words and actions giving evidence of habitual communion with God. The very thoughts will be brought into captivity to Christ. Hope, sympathy, brotherly love will spring up in the heart and will flow forth in all the associations of life. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 15

I feel it my duty to bear a plain, decided testimony to the believers in Kaeo. They need, oh so much, to be awakened. They do not know what it means to have a burden for the souls in their own borders. They do not know what it means to seek for the perishing ones out of Christ. They do not see why they need to go to camp meeting. The common duties of life are all-absorbing, and it does not meet their inclination to go out from their work and homes, and be put to inconvenience to obtain light and strength through seeking the Lord with their brethren. We are working to arouse them. May the Lord help us. 8LtMs, Ms 38, 1893, par. 16