Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Chapter 10—(1893) Evangelism—The Struggle for a Foothold

Of Wellington, and of New Zealand in general, Ellen White cried out almost in despair: “God has a people in this place, and how can we reach them?”—Letter 9a, 1893. Writing to the churches in America, she said: 4BIO 99.1

The city abounds in churches; and I have never seen a place where prejudice was stronger or opposition so perseveringly and determinedly carried on. I was reminded of the prejudice of the priests and Pharisees in the days of Christ. 4BIO 99.2

At Wellington a branch of the International Tract and Missionary Society had been established, but there was no house of worship. We were dependent upon halls, and the people did not attend meetings in these halls.... We tried to hold meetings in Elder Israel's house. We did everything possible to get the people out. We circulated notices, leaflets, tracts. Workers went from house to house, sowing the seed upon ground that had hitherto proved unfruitful. 4BIO 99.3

To the utmost of our ability we labored to create an interest in this place, and at no small outlay of means; and yet the prejudice seemed like a granite wall. A few times we had a moderately large congregation, but the people seemed afraid of us. We worked on, however, trying to do our part as faithful messengers, for we had a message to bear of the utmost importance. Though our efforts showed no manifest results, I remembered that of Christ it was said, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged.” We need the mind of Christ to enable us to work in His lines.—DF 28a, “Experiences in Australia,” pp. 424, 425. 4BIO 99.4

She explained how the ministers had told their congregations that there was danger in going to hear the Adventists. “‘These people,’ they said, ‘have no special interest in Wellington. Few will believe in their doctrines. They have no one to represent them here. If they make you believe in their doctrines, where will you go to worship? They have no place of worship. They are only adventurers.’”— Ibid., 425, 426. They characterized the teachings of Seventh-day Adventists as “satanic doctrines” that would mislead the people. 4BIO 100.1