Lt 31b, 1893

Lt 31b, 1893

Haskell, S. N.

Napier, New Zealand

March 21, 1893

Previously unpublished.

Dear Brother Haskell:

We arrived here Sunday forenoon. We left Kaeo Wednesday about two o’clock, after remaining there three weeks. We were to leave one week earlier, but Edwin Hare sent us a telegram that the boat we were to take from Auckland would not accommodate us, for they were to leave the very time that we would take the Clansman to sail to Auckland. We were all disappointed, and W. C. White and Brother Starr set at work to contrive some way to go by land to reach that boat. The boat left Auckland earlier by several days than they had been appointed to sail, and our staterooms were secured. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 1

But all the planning and arrangements were not considered of any value, for impossibilities were too apparent. We decided that the providence of God had hedged up our way, and we must make the very best of the time possible that we should remain in Kaeo. The Lord did truly order things, for at the time that we designed to take the boat, there was a fearful storm came on, and the boat from the harbor to Auckland had a terrible time of it. The boat from Auckland likewise had a most dangerous passage to Napier, and I am told that even the old sailors were some of them very sick. So the Lord did have pity on us, and in His providence we were saved from a most terrible experience. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 2

Our stay another week, we hope accomplished some good, the work was left in a better state. We were able to obtain the Methodist Wesleyan Chapel, the first Sunday, in which to hold our first meeting. Sabbath we spoke in the little Seventh-day Adventist church, and the little chapel was filled. Sunday afternoon the Wesleyan Methodist chapel was granted us on condition that the collection be given to the Wesleyan Methodists, and this we readily agreed to do. Well, the house was filled, every seat was occupied, and chairs were brought in. The platform round the pulpit was filled with children, and all seemed to listen intently and seemed astonished at the words spoken. Our burden of message was justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ imputed to every repenting, believing sinner. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 3

When Brother Starr’s appointment came, the house was as well filled in the evening as in the afternoon and evening the Wesleyan minister held forth. These meetings were awakening an interest in the community, and many came from the harbor. In the midweek, meetings were held nearly every evening either at Kaeo or at Father Hare’s house. I spoke nearly every evening that we could get an attendance. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 4

Brother and Sister Starr started [out] to ride twenty-five miles on horseback, to visit Sister Starr’s relatives, and remained away Tuesday and Wednesday. W. C. White has a meeting in Kaeo upon the subject of missions, and those who mentioned the matter to me said he did exceedingly well. W. C. White and I had a meeting in Father Hare’s house, where I felt called upon to speak plainly upon living sanctified through the truth, and the danger of the Word not profiting those who heard it, not being mixed with faith in those who heard. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 5

The second Sabbath we had the Wesleyan chapel, the meeting was excellent; the house was not filled, but the presence of the Lord was there. I called for those who wished to give their hearts to the Lord to come forward, and those who wanted to seek God earnestly to come forward. Well, we had a large number of the children of Sabbath-keepers, and among them the three youngest children of Father Hare, from twenty to twenty-three years of age. This was a very interesting meeting, for the Spirit and the power of God was manifest. Two young men, brothers, rode over twenty-five miles, and their uncle came with them, and one came from another direction forty miles, on horseback—five noble young men. They all, without anyone saying anything to them, came forward, and they were deeply moved. One is studying for the ministry. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 6

Meetings were held to instruct these souls, but, oh, how difficult to get them where they could be instructed. Important meetings then were appointed, but one would remain away upon one flimsy pretext, like “putting up grape jelly;” another said they did not think the meeting would amount to much, and one had one excuse, and another another. They cost precious appointments. This meeting made a deep impression upon the outsiders, and they would come out to hear, I think, with far greater interest than those who claimed to believe the truth. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 7

One not of our faith, sister to Wesley Hare’s wife, came to me after meeting, and grasped my hand with tears running down her face, saying, “I live up to the harbor where you left the boat to take the small boat for Kaeo. I felt impressed to go to Kaeo. My husband was sick, and I left him with the children, taking one small lad to take care of the baby in the boat.” And she rowed the boat six miles to attend the meeting on the Sabbath. She said, “I would not have missed the meeting for anything. I felt so strongly impressed to come, and I shall never forget this day.” 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 8

The relatives of Sister Starr by cousinship, the two young men and the uncle, were so glad that they came. We think all will take their position on the truth. But who will have the wisdom to know how to treat these precious souls? Not a soul in Kaeo. They have no love for souls and no watchful care for souls. [They are] all shut in and wrapped up in their poor little selves, dwarfed in spiritual things. If they were ever converted, they need to repent and do their first works. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 9

Two of the daughters of Father Hare were baptized, and we hope that they will honor the Lord; but what can be hoped for in these cases in the midst of such a class who really know nothing of practical godliness? What does it mean, what does it mean? There is one thing certain, the outsiders know now the contrast between the little family church in Kaeo and the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which bringeth salvation. We are sure that if that family were not a stumbling block to souls, a large number would decide to take their stand for the truth. I told them I had little hope of them unless they were, in the providence of God, emptied out of Kaeo. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 10

March 15 Metcalfe Hare took us in a small boat to Whangaroa, and we called upon Martha Hare, who married a Lawrence. We see that if there was a proper influence exerted, Lawrence would embrace the truth. We called on Major Soane, who married a daughter of Father Hare, and a sister to Lawrence’s wife. The prejudice was so thick we could hardly breathe. Major inquired of Brother Starr of them appointing a meeting on their prayer meeting night. Brother Starr said he did not know anything about its being their meeting. Well, he said Joseph Hare knew, and it was not the right thing to do, and he did not like it. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 11

Well, I spoke to those assembled, and the Lord gave me freedom, and suddenly the atmosphere cleared, and a greater change is seldom seen as was revealed during that meeting. Afterward, a deacon of their church was so affected he could scarcely speak for gratification and joy. Brother Starr followed me and spoke right to the point. Major Soane followed him and spoke in the highest commendation of what he heard. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 12

Metcalfe was overjoyed, and he thought it the best meeting he was ever in. He wanted to know why Sister White did not speak like that at Kaeo. Brother _____ answered, “She did, and those outside of our family expressed the same gladness and satisfaction which you expressed tonight. You were not hearing for self, but for others, and you were not blessed. Your hardness of heart and unbelief closed the door, so that God could not do anything for you.” Next morning Major Soane and Lawrence took us to the steamer and did everything in their power to help us. Major Soane had several talks with Brother Starr in going to Auckland. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 13

Well, I must close up this letter. Do not let any of this description of the irreligious spirit of the Hares come to Mother Hare’s son or any of the Hares proper, for it may make trouble. Love to Sister Haskell. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 14

I must send this without copying, and I have a great mind not to send it at all; but I fear you will be disappointed, so here it goes in the envelope. You may let Brother and Sister Ings read this, for I cannot write them. In labor, in meetings, and riding in the boats, and writing a long communication to Brother Peter Wessels of twenty-five pages, I have strained every nerve and muscle, so must say, 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 15

God bless you. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 16

Love to Sister Haskell. I am in such a hurry I can scarcely write. After reading this, hand it or mail it to Elder Olsen, if you please. 8LtMs, Lt 31b, 1893, par. 17