Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8 (1893)


Ms 84, 1893

Diary, August 1893. Labors at Hastings and Napier.

Hastings and Napier, New Zealand

August 15-28, 1893

Portions of this manuscript are published in 4MR 102; 4Bio 104-105.

Tuesday, August 15, 1893

Hastings, N. Z.

I arose at three o’clock and worked as busily as possible to get ready to leave at quarter before six. Emily worked all night in packing. Brother Mountain was very kind to us and assisted us Sunday and helped us to the depot. Ten hours drive on the cars was a long journey for me, but Emily made everything as comfortable for me as possible. We came to Palmerston, dreading the change of cars when we had so much baggage and no man to help us, but we were happily disappointed. Brother Simpson was on the platform. He had just come in from another direction and thought he would come down to the cars to see if there was anyone he knew. He was overjoyed to meet us, and the few minutes we were waiting he was telling the good news of his success in personal labor in Boxton. A mother and daughter had decided to keep the Sabbath. The Lord had blessed him in his labors, and he seemed to be enthused with the Spirit, full of joy for the success of his labors. He helped us on board and he was a great help to us. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 1

There were many Maoris on board the cars, some very nice-looking people. They had been attending some conference. One man, I think, was a Maori minister. He had his books slung over his shoulder exactly like the whites, and he was dressed in ministerial garb. Then a few stations on we saw for the first time the ceremony of salutation—the rubbing of noses. It was a novel sight. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 2

At Ormondville Brother McCullagh brought us a pitcher of hot milk which was very thankfully received. We met Brother Anderson here, and he says he is not much better, poor man. The place is very low and wet. We could see them but a moment. We reached Hastings a few minutes after five o’clock, and Elder Wilson and wife were awaiting our arrival. We were taken in a hack directly to his home and were very thankful that the day’s journey was in the past. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 3

Wednesday, August 16, 1893

Slept well through the night. It is a beautiful day. I see so much to be thankful for in my case. The Lord is my Restorer. I am able to kneel down now. I feared I might not ever be able to bow upon my knees in prayer. For more than one year I was unable to bend the knees to kneel down, but I am gaining all the time in health, for which I praise the Lord who is so good to me. His mercies are seen every day. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 4

We are trying to get settled today. In the evening there was social meeting in the home of Brother Wilson. Twenty-five were present. I spoke to them with great freedom. Three not in the faith were present. A mother and daughter by the name of Hyde were here. The mother stated to Sister Wilson that her son, a barber in Wellington, sent her Daniel and Revelation and Great Controversy as a present. So this is an evidence that some whom we do not know are interested. I believe the leaven of truth is working silently in the city of Wellington, and the Lord will yet have a people there to lift the standard of truth. Several have embraced the Sabbath here in Hastings. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 5

A man and wife, excellent whole-hearted Christians, have just seen the light on the Sabbath question and embraced it. They had been so deeply prejudiced against Seventh-day Adventists that they would not come out to the tent. Ministers had warned and misrepresented [Seventh-day Adventists] until they felt that it was dangerous to have anything to do with them. Sister Blackwell was taken quite sick. Sister Wilson went to see her and gave her treatment and relieved her, then she could reach her by the presentation of the truth. Both herself and her husband are fully decided to observe the Sabbath. They will use their talents to a purpose. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 6

One man is almost decided and the Lord is working on these human minds, reaching them through personal labor. There is no great excitement, but just watching for a chance to introduce the leaven of truth into the hearts of the people. These social meetings do more than preaching to ripen off the work, bring hearts close to hearts, and educate them to profess the truth, to lift the cross, to be witnesses for Christ. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 7

Received a telegram that Brother McCullagh’s daughter was worse. Now was the time for me to speak. I wrote them some very plain words of reproof in regard to their daughter, that their educating and training of her was not right. She would be no recommendation to them, but her perverse ways and the management of the mother would certainly have a counteracting influence on Brother McCullagh’s labors. This was a great cross for me to lift for I am certain that the mother will not accept the caution and warning given her. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 8

Thursday, August 17, 1893

I arise at four o’clock and prepare to write. It is a clear, cold morning. Devote the day to writing. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 9

Friday, August 18, 1893

Rise early and prepare to go to Napier on the half-past one o’clock train. We reached Napier in about forty-five minutes. We were pleased to meet Dr. Caro and Sister Caro, dentist. They both seemed as pleased to see me as if I were their mother. Both had letters from their children, and after Sister Caro read her letter she called for his, but he said, “No, I want to read that letter to Mrs. White myself,” and he read the long, interesting letter from his son Ned at Battle Creek. We had a very pleasant visit with them. We tried hard to get off letters for Melbourne. We could only get off a few. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 10

Saturday, August 19, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

Arose at four o’clock and wrote some matters pressing on my mind. At half past ten a.m. walked to the church in Napier and spoke with great plainness. I felt constrained by the Spirit of the Lord to present warnings and arouse them to see their danger in not aiming to reach a higher standard. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 11

The house of worship was full and Brother Everston [?], who has through God worked to get the truth before the Maori students, was present. Several have taken their stand. One is on his way to America and others intend to go to the Melbourne school as soon as they can do so consistently. These young men have been brought to the light through one who was separated from the church, we suppose, too hastily. There is a necessity for every one to be very careful how they move in turning souls away from the fold. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 12

The word seemed to reach hearts and in the social meeting which followed the discourse many testimonies were borne. Oh, how we long to see spiritual growth! The kingdom of God is progressive and embraces all true subjects, even the smallest disciple and apparently the weakest of those who will walk in the light and grow in accordance with the spiritual advantages they receive, growing up into Jesus Christ their living Head. Not one is stationary; it is advancing and growing else it is retrograding, backsliding, pretension and not genuine godliness. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 13

The seed of truth that is not nourished and cultivated does not spring up and grow and soon loses its power to germinate, for although they still bear the name of Christians, they make no advancement in piety, in improving the entrusted talents. As they receive no spiritual nourishment that they may grow thereby, they become dead branches and the world, with its amusements and attractions, is the atmosphere most congenial to them. These become stumblingblocks; having a name to live, they are dead. They disperse no light, because they do not have their lamps trimmed and burning. They dishonor the religion of Jesus Christ. They have no strength from God to engage in the spiritual warfare, not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. They have never put on the armor of God, ever crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 14

After the discourse given we think the words, spoken entered into good and honest hearts and will be acted upon. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 15

Sunday, August 20, 1893

Hastings, N. Z.

Arise this morning and write industriously until time to prepare for meeting. After the Sabbath August 19, we stepped on board the train for Hastings. The only car for any passengers—second class—was filled, with few exceptions, with Maoris. Many of them were heavily loaded with drink. There were a few white men, and one of these was as boisterous as the Maoris who were very rough and boisterous, yelling, stomping and some smoking. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 16

I began to be very nervous. My head ached and all this uncouth behavior and ungainly performance seemed to weary me so much I had to make an effort to center my mind on Jesus and ask for His grace to sustain and comfort me. Exactly opposite us sat three Maori young men who were quiet, intelligent-looking lads. They struck up a song in English and with clear, musical voices sang of Christ and the pardoning love of God to sinners. Oh how refreshing! It was indeed as cold water to a thirsty soul. They sang hymn after hymn and I thanked them for thus doing. They stated, pointing to the boisterous Maoris, “They are showing their colors and we must show our colors.” Thank the Lord that there are the precious among the vile, the servants of the heavenly King among those who are servants of the prince of darkness. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 17

These young men volunteered to help us from the car with our baggage, and we could only thank them. They may be of that number upon whom the leaven of truth is working. They told us they had to walk twenty miles that night to reach the college which they attend, and it was then about eight o’clock. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 18

Sunday I spoke in Odd Fellows’ Hall. There was a small company out and several not of our faith. I spoke to them above one hour with much earnestness, for the subject seemed of importance to me, and I knew it was of vital importance to those who were listening. I also spoke in the evening to a roomfull in the hired house of Brother Wilson. I had much freedom in dwelling upon practical godliness; the fifteenth chapter of John was my text—the subject of the vine and the branches, the importance of bearing fruit to the glory of God. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 19

Brother Wilson left for Napier; walked the whole thirteen miles to speak to the church in the evening. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 20

Monday, August 21, 1893

Hastings, N. Z.

I arise at half past four and am not feeling well. Speaking three times Sabbath and Sunday was too much for me. I am exhausted today. Oh, may the Lord give me wisdom to use the health and strength given me with prudence! The Lord is good; praise His holy name! He will strengthen and support me. I did not think I would be able to speak without my teeth. It has been six weeks since the teeth were extracted. Sister Dr. Caro will in two weeks furnish me with a temporary under set. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 21

Brother Wilson returned with a horse for us to use. We must have a carriage, which will cost us about four dollars per week; but we must have it, if it costs a larger sum, for we have to have cabs to go to the cars, cabs to go to the meetings, and the car fare to Napier, which more than covers the expense of the carriage and keeping the horse. This is a settled thing. We cannot do without the horse and carriage, expensive although it may be. We must divide our labors between Napier and Hastings, and Sundays there are no trains running; and if both places are served we must have a conveyance in our own hands to go and come as the work of God demands. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 22

There is need of a meeting house being erected in this place—Hastings—and there cannot be efficient work done without it. The ministers tell their people, “These are only transient men, carrying doctrines to break up the churches, and then they leave them to get along as best they can.” Erect a house of worship and we will not be dependent upon the little halls without chairs or seats except hard benches without so much as backs to them. But where is the money coming from? This pains my soul. God has entrusted the money to some ones to be used for just such purposes as building necessary houses of worship. A church will soon be organized here and a meeting house must be built, if ever so humble. We see no other way to get a standing place, to lift the standard of truth. The false shepherds have every advantage to obtain hearers. We must have some advantages if we unfurl the banner of truth in this country. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 23

We were rejoiced to hear that Brother Iverson was at the Sunday night meeting and has promised he will keep the Sabbath. He has given it up and was employed by the college which is twenty-five or thirty miles from Napier. This means he loses his situation. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 24

Tuesday, August 22, 1893

Hastings, N. Z.

I thank my heavenly Father for a good night’s rest. My head is still not free from pain, but I am thankful for the relief I do have. It has rained all night and is raining this morning. The weather has been quite cold. The snow lies heavy upon the tops of the high mountains, and this is felt in the valleys. This rain is not a cold, but a mild rain. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 25

We have had some anxiety in regard to our leather telescope traveling trunk. It was not with the luggage in the freight train. We have instituted special inquiries, giving definite directions in regard to the trunk, but nothing has been learned in reference to its whereabouts until today. It has been found at a station just below here, and I am glad it is found, for much manuscript was in it, and clothing of no special value except to ourselves. We do not wish to have to purchase and make new garments. We have no time to do this. I thank my heavenly Father that the trunk has come safely, and that our cause for anxiety no longer exists. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 26

Have written many pages today. My whole day has been occupied in writing out testimonies to those who need to be reformed in many things. I am very tired this evening. My heart was drawn out in earnest prayer to God for wisdom to know just what course to pursue to reach souls ready to perish. I would bear in mind the words of Christ to John which he was to write to the church in Sardis: “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” Revelation 3:1, 2. Neglecting to watch our opportunities and discern the necessities of our fellow beings is in the sight of God a sin. Christ identifies His interest with suffering humanity and in (Luke 10:25-28) we have the principles clearly defined—what it means to keep the commandments of God. It is to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. The question was asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The above is the answer. Said Christ, “This do and thou shalt live.” We are to act as the good Samaritan acted; we are to be wide awake to see how we can bless humanity and work in Christ’s lines. Oh, I long to be constantly improving in efficiency. We do not want the queen of the south or the men of Nineveh to rise up in the judgment and condemn us because we have had great light, great opportunities, and did not improve them. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 27

Wednesday, August 23, 1893

We are having pressing writing, not only for the next American mail but for the workers and the churches in New Zealand. Yesterday I wrote much. I was passing through a crisis physically and could not sleep until past two a.m. I awoke about six and thank the Lord that I had a few hours’ sleep. I am very weak this morning. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 28

The moon shone brightly in the night, but a distinct circle was surrounding it. It commenced raining again. This morning it is cloudy but with some prospect of clearing away. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 29

I have written this day four pages of letter paper to Sister Brown, four pages to Sister Tuxford. I feel a deep interest for the Brown family. I know that if they receive proper help in their isolated condition, they will be a church in their own home to reflect the light of truth to others. My heart is drawn out for that family. I feel that now is their time to be wholly on the Lord’s side, to have determination of purpose, to be settled, rooted and grounded in the faith. The providence of God held us in Long Point, Parramatta, ten days which were days of labor for me and I believe the angels of God were working upon the hearts of the family. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 30

Thursday, August 24, 1893

I thank the Lord I was able to sleep until 4 a.m., and after dressing and prayers commenced my writing. Mail closes today. We have had no rain, but it is very windy. All have worked very diligently to get off the large amount of writing which needs to be done, and yet we make very slow progress. If I had a calligraph writer, I could accomplish much more than I now do; but I am almost destitute of workers, and I am distressed greatly over the situation. Time is passing and my manuscripts have to wait, wait, wait, because Emily cannot possibly work upon them and get them copied. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 31

We rode out today. The weather is unsettled but not raining. I enjoyed my ride out. The roads that have been worked are not bad. The roads unworked are very bad. I find myself weak and shall not go, I think, to Napier. Oh, may the Lord direct and counsel me. I want to move in faith. I want perfect trust in my heavenly Father. Christ hath promised to be my Restorer. I have written two pages to Elder Israel, twelve pages to the family of Sister Brown. May the Lord work upon the hearts of the absent children, as well as those who are at home, is my prayer. I am looking unto Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of my faith. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 32

Friday, August 25, 1893

I awoke at half past three o’clock and wrote several pages before breakfast. These are very busy days, for we expect to leave this place—Hastings—for Napier, if the Lord will, to attend Sabbath meetings in Napier. It is a cloudy sky, yet not raining. The moon has shone brightly through the night. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 33

Elder Wilson, Emily, and I rode to Napier. I thought it was thirteen miles but learned it was 14 miles. I had been very much tired after speaking upon the Sabbath at Napier and twice upon Sunday at Hastings. I had an ill turn which nearly prostrated me. We decided to go as far as we could, and if we could not proceed because of my infirmities to return; but every mile we proceeded onward, I improved in health and strength and the journey was pleasant. The appearance was of rain. We had some little sprinklings and called at a village half way to purchase an umbrella. They had none in the store, but kindly loaned us an umbrella. We had no use for it. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 34

We passed a most beautiful garden. There was a tree twenty feet high which was filled with beautiful flowers, purple and white combined. I called it the tulip tree. I saw one like it in America, near Memphis[?]. Then there were beautiful camelias that were very pleasant to look upon. We thought we would, when we had more time, enjoy the privilege of examining the rare and precious plants of the garden. The roads were excellent and we reached Napier in less than two hours and a half. The horse is not fast but seems to be constitutionally lazy; but we were thankful to enjoy the benefits of the outdoor air although we had not the sunshine. We were thankful to get all settled before the Sabbath. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 35

Dr. Caro received us very kindly and informed us his wife was doing some missionary work. We were pleased to [see her] soon return. Sister Caro had a letter just received from one of the Maori boys who had received the truth and been baptized at Napier. He expected to go to America with Pomare, who was to become educated as a native medical missionary. His father was in the legislature in Wellington. He gave his consent that he should go, but someone opposed to our faith wrote to the grandfather, who has in his guardianship the means left the boy by his mother, and he refused to let him have the money. He was unable to follow out his purpose and became discouraged; but a letter from Sister Caro aroused him to see his danger, and he repented and made humble confession to God. The letter will be read to me on the morrow. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 36

Saturday, August 26, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

I arose early, and by the light of a candle, after seeking the strength and wisdom which cometh alone from God, wrote out some important lessons to mothers in regard to the way of educating their children. The neglect of parental training is making our world as it was in the days of Noah, when wickedness of its inhabitants become so great the world was swept of its moral pollution by a flood. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 37

I spoke at half past ten o’clock to a well filled house. Many not of our faith were present. My subject was, “As it was in the days of Noah,” etc. [Luke 17:26.] The Lord gave me much freedom of spirit. Although all my under teeth have been extracted, yet I can speak quite distinctly. This was a surprise to me, for I did not expect to be able to speak at all before the public. The congregation was in tears during the discourse, and I sincerely hope a good impression was made. The presence of the Lord was in the meeting. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 38

I was led out to present before the congregation the perilous times in which we are living, and the danger of being found unprepared for the Lord’s appearing, the church doing very much after the practices of the world. And in the denominational churches there are smooth sayings and crying, Peace and safety. When sudden destruction will break upon the world they will be unready. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 39

We have no knowledge of the day or the hour of Christ’s coming, but “as it was in the days of Noah,” Christ declares, “so shall it be” prior to His second appearing. [Verse 26.] Wickedness in Noah’s time had reached such proportions that God sent them a message of warning that in one hundred and twenty years He would punish the inhabitants of the world by a flood and destroy them all. Noah preached, but he was laughed to scorn. Directed of God to build the ark, he was mocked. They saw that immense boat built on dry land for the safety of all who would believe and enter the ark, but they dwelt upon the fact that they had had no rain, and it was a fanatical proposition that there would be rain. But their unbelief did not prevent the fulfillment of the message. The rain came and the wicked inhabitants perished in the waters of the flood. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 40

When the warnings are given in this age, as in the days of Noah, they will say, It is impossible. “Ah Lord God! They say of me, Doth he not speak parables?” Ezekiel 20:49. But when the world is absorbed in its pleasure loving, its amusements, its gains, its traffic, its moneymaking, its dishonest practices, when it is as Sodom steeped in its iniquity, luxury, extravagance, wine-drinking and reveling, robbing the poor of sustenance, and when the Christian world are lulled in a blind, deluded slumber of security, when ministers are crying, “Peace and safety,” then sudden destruction cometh upon them. [1 Thessalonians 5:3.] As a snare shall it come upon all who dwell on the earth. As in the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. They will be eating and drinking, planting and building, till the day overtakes them as a thief. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 41

Sunday, August 27, 1893

Napier, N. Z.

I slept some through the night and felt grateful to my heavenly Father for His goodness and mercy to me. Wrote very diligently a portion of the day. I slipped and fell heavily on my back on the waxed floor, which has increased considerably the pain in my back. In the afternoon rode out—Sister Caro, Emily, Sister Huet [?], and I. We had a pleasant ride of one hour. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 42

In the evening I spoke again upon the second advent of our Lord and Saviour. There was a very solemn sense of the judgment before me, and I presented to parents the solemn responsibilities resting upon them to educate and train their children for the future, immortal life. I felt very deeply over the condition of our youth. They have not been brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 43

Monday, August 28, 1893

We were again in the business of moving and rolling up bed and bedding, and were on our way in the carriage for Hastings. Had impression taken in morning for upper set of teeth. This detained us until after dinner, and we did not get away until about three o’clock. We missed our road, and went round by Havelock, which was about three miles farther. Here we were under the necessity of lighting our lamps, as it was quite dark and we had four miles yet to travel. We reached the home of Brother Wilson in safety. 8LtMs, Ms 84, 1893, par. 44