The Review and Herald

606/1902

1892

February 9, 1892

On the Way to Australia

Visit to Honolulu

EGW

November 12, about 2 P. M., we went on board the steam-ship “Alameda,” at San Francisco, Cal., for our long voyage across the Pacific Ocean. About twenty-five of our friends came to meet us at the boat and say good-by. Soon the last parting words were spoken, and at four o'clock our good ship left the dock, and steamed out of Golden Gate against a strong head-wind. The restless sea rocked and tossed us about, quite to the discomfort of the passengers, most of whom soon retired to their state-rooms. For a time we felt inclined to lie quietly in our berths. After the first day, however, we had very pleasant, smooth sailing. The captain said that he could hardly remember having had so pleasant a voyage. RH February 9, 1892, par. 1

Our vessel, though comparatively small, and not so elegant as many of the Atlantic boats, was thoroughly comfortable, convenient, and safe. The officers were kind and gentlemanly. We had about eighty cabin passengers, and forty in the steerage. Among the former were about eight ministers, several of whom were returning home from the great Methodist Conference in Washington. Religious services were held in the social hall, twice each Sunday, and occasionally on deck for the steerage passengers. RH February 9, 1892, par. 2

One week from the time we left California we reached the Sandwich Islands. The scene presented to us from the steamer as we approached Honolulu, was very beautiful; the mountains rising at a little distance from the water's edge, and clothed with the rich green of the tropics, and the city, in its setting of palms and other tropical trees, appeared especially attractive to us after gazing for seven days on the boundless expanse of waters. We were met at the wharf by friends living in the city. Men, women, and children greeted us so heartily that we could not but feel at home among them. We were glad to welcome these dear friends, and especially glad to meet again Elder Starr and his wife, who had been laboring among the people, and speaking in the churches, by invitation, with good effect. RH February 9, 1892, par. 3

After a short visit in the family of one of our brethren, we were taken to ride about the city and a few miles beyond the suburbs. The business part of the town is very indifferent, but the residences are fine, with broad verandas, and surrounded by green lawns, which are beautified with all kinds of tropical trees and flowers. On our way we saw beautiful avenues of royal palms, vines and trees, shrubs and hedges brilliant with flowers; cocoa-palms laden with the brown, heavy-looking fruit; bread-fruit and mango trees; fields of pine-apples and patches of taro, the staple food of the natives, with many other strange plants and trees which I cannot even name. RH February 9, 1892, par. 4

For six miles back of the town the road gradually ascends a mountain valley, to the “pali,” or precipice, an interesting point, both for its historical association, and for the fine landscape view which is obtained from it. Standing on the rocky edge of the precipice, we look down 1,200 feet, while on either side the bare, rocky summits tower to a height of 3,000 feet. Below us lies a rich green plain, dotted with rice and sugar plantations, and hills around which the brown road winds in and out. Beyond all is the broad blue sea, the white surf breaking along the shore. RH February 9, 1892, par. 5

It was near the head of this valley, about the eighteenth century, that the last native chief of the island made a stand with his forces against Kamehameha I., who was trying to bring all the islands under one government. The chief's forces were defeated, and fleeing up the valley, many were driven over the precipice, and dashed to pieces on the rocks at its base. It is said that the bones of these unfortunate warriors are still to be found scattered on the plain. RH February 9, 1892, par. 6

We took our lunch on a pleasant, grassy spot overlooking the valley, and returned to the city, feeling that the day's excursion would be ever remembered with pleasure. RH February 9, 1892, par. 7

Then a few hours were spent at the home of a merchant in the city, whose wife has attended our meetings with much interest, and whose little daughter spent some months at our college at Healdsburg, Cal. The wife was among the friends who had met us at the boat, and I had called on her a few moments in the morning on our way to the “pali.” I then bowed in prayer with them, at her request, placing my hands upon the heads of the little ones, and invoking God's blessing upon the mother and her children. RH February 9, 1892, par. 8

Our steamer was not to leave Honolulu till past midnight, and at the earnest desire of our friends I had consented to speak in the evening. The hall of the Young Men's Christian Association was secured for the purpose. Only a few hours’ notice of the meeting could be given, yet a goodly number were assembled, among them many who were actively interested in temperance and Christian work. I spoke from 1 John 3:1-4, dwelling upon the great love of God to man, expressed in the gift of Jesus that we might become children of God. The Spirit of the Lord was present with us. At the close of the meeting we were gratified to make the acquaintance of some of the leading members of the Young Men's Christian Association. Many spoke gratefully of the help that Elder Starr had rendered them. They expressed their regret that we could not remain longer, and gave us an earnest invitation to stay and labor a few months with them on our return to America. We too regretted that we must leave so soon. RH February 9, 1892, par. 9

We were grateful for the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the few brethren and sisters in Honolulu, and we thought of the probabilities and possibilities before those who believe the truth, if they would be faithful witnesses for God. The words of Christ just before his ascension to heaven mean much to every one who shall accept the truth as it is in Jesus. He said: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” All the followers of Christ are to be witnesses for him. Every one who receives the precious treasure of truth is to impart of the same to others. RH February 9, 1892, par. 10

But the truth is often presented in such a manner that it does not have the influence it otherwise would have. A controversial spirit is encouraged. Many dwell almost exclusively upon doctrinal subjects, while the nature of true piety, experimental godliness, receives little attention. Jesus, his love and grace, his self-denial and self-sacrifice, his meekness and forbearance, are not brought before the people as they should be. The errors existing everywhere have, like parasites, fastened their deadly poison upon the boughs of truth and in many minds have become identified with it; many who accept the truth teach it in a harsh spirit. A false conception of it is given to the people, and the truth is made of no effect to those whose hearts are not softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit. RH February 9, 1892, par. 11

Many weave so much of their own spirit into the presentation of truth, that the truth has the appearance of bearing the impress of man. In dealing with those who are in error, they argue, argue, and contend, and thus obscure the beauty and sacredness of truth, because their own hearts are not sanctified by it. The spirit of debate, of controversy, is a device of Satan to stir up combativeness, and thus eclipse the truth as it is in Jesus. Many have thus been repulsed instead of being won to Christ. RH February 9, 1892, par. 12

It is essential for all to discern and appreciate the truth; therefore it is of the greatest importance that the seed of the word should fall into soil prepared for its reception. The question with us individually should be, How shall we sow the precious seed of truth so that it shall not be lost, but spring up and produce a harvest, that sheaves may be brought to the Master? How shall the great truths contained in the holy Scriptures be presented so as to win the people to obedience? RH February 9, 1892, par. 13

The teacher of truth needs first to learn his lessons of the Great Teacher. Christ assumed humanity, that he might touch humanity. He became as one of us, and he would have his under-shepherds come as close to the people as possible in sympathy and love, and yet not sacrifice one principle of truth. There are subjects we can dwell upon that will not arouse a combative spirit. Preach Christ and him crucified. There are very many groping in darkness. The cry of the soul is, “What must I do to be saved?” In every congregation there are souls starving for their portion of meat in due season. If the word is rightly divided, these souls will receive just what they need. The gospel of Christ must be preached in its simplicity. But a teacher cannot communicate that which he has not. In order to confess Christ, he must have Christ abiding in his own heart. In words and deeds there must be a visible representation of Christ. RH February 9, 1892, par. 14

Men may speak fluently upon doctrines, and may express strong faith in theories, but do they possess Christian-like meekness and love? If they reveal a harsh, critical spirit, they are denying Christ. If they are not kind, tender-hearted, longsuffering, they are not like Jesus; they are deceiving their own souls. A spirit contrary to the love, humility, meekness, and gentleness of Christ, denies him, whatever may be the profession. We deny Christ when we speak evil one of another. We deny him in foolish talking, in jesting, and joking. We deny him when we have a foolish spirit, criticising our brethren. We deny him in seeking to be first, seeking honor one of another. We may deny Christ in outward appearance, by gratifying a proud heart, by lifting up the soul unto vanity, by uncourteous behaviour. RH February 9, 1892, par. 15

Satan has gained many victories over the professed followers of Jesus through their unchristlike spirit and behavior toward their brethren who do not agree with them, and toward unbelievers. The discussion of doctrines has not resulted in bringing union, but variance. A bitter spirit has been cherished, bitter words have been spoken. The words of the True Witness should be carefully studied by all: “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love,”—grown cold, unsympathetic; hardness of heart has taken the place of brotherly, Christlike love. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” This warning should be heeded by every church in our ranks. New elements of Christian life must be brought into the church. Love for Christ means a broad, extended love for one another, that love which is now so sadly wanting. The lack of love leads to the lack of respect for each other, and the neglect of true courtesy. There is criticising, fault-finding, reporting words spoken in confidence, and using these to second the accusations of Satan, who is ever busy in sowing distrust, jealousy, and bitterness. Why do the members of the church run so readily into this evil work, overlooking the precious things? Why do they not speak words of approval and encouragement to one another, and thus water the precious plant of love, that it may not die out of the heart? RH February 9, 1892, par. 16

We must awake; we must consider humbly and attentively the words of the True Witness. Shall these words, which present such solemn consequences, have their designed effect? Are they to be lost upon the church? If we do not manifest toward one another the tender, pitying love of Christ, we show that we do not appreciate the wealth of love that Jesus has manifested to us at such an infinite cost to himself. We show that we do not love Jesus, when we do not love those whom he has given his life to save. Shall we who profess to be Christians, engage in the work of weakening and discouraging those whom we should strengthen? God has united us in a sacred brotherhood, and if we understand and appreciate this, we shall move with great carefulness toward all who are seeking to follow Jesus. RH February 9, 1892, par. 17

All who have the Saviour dwelling in their hearts will feel a yearning for fellowship and communion with one another. There will be no drawing apart. The Spirit of Christ abiding in our hearts will be attracted to the same Spirit in the hearts of our brethren; and there cannot but be oneness. The heart where Christ is a cherished guest will flow out in love to all the objects of his love and compassion. But this love does not grow of itself; we must cultivate it by daily receiving of the grace of Christ. The Lord Jesus accepted his disciples, not because they were defective in character, but notwithstanding their defects. We must draw near to our erring brethren and help them. RH February 9, 1892, par. 18

The Lord Jesus sought ever to keep before his disciples their responsibility in the world. He tells them: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” The saving salt is the pure first love, the love of Jesus, the gold tried in the fire. When this is left out of the religious experience, Jesus is not there; the light, the sunshine of his presence, is not there. What, then, is the religion worth?—Just as much as the salt that has lost its savor. It is a loveless religion. Then there is an effort to supply the lack by busy activity, a zeal that is Christless. There is a wonderful keenness of perception to discover defects in a brother or sister, and make these prominent. We are professedly commandment-keepers; then let us obey the commandments of God, the law that is love. Then like David we can say, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” RH February 9, 1892, par. 19

Let every professed Christian read frequently and carefully the John 14:1, 15th, 16th, and 17th chapters of John. Read with a heart determined to understand the teachings of Christ, and to be a doer of his word. RH February 9, 1892, par. 20

The Spirit of God, as it comes into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal. What promise is less fulfilled in the church than that of the endowment of the Holy Spirit? Here is our greatest need. Let the spirit of controversy be put away, and let us seek for the living testimony of the Spirit of God. The teacher must be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Then the mind and spirit of Christ will be in him, and he will confess Christ in a spiritual and holy life. He will give evidence that the truth he has received has not been merely in theory, but that he has been sanctified through the truth. He can talk of Christ and him crucified in language that savors of heaven. He can present the will of God to man because his own heart has been brought into submission, and has been glorified by the Spirit of God. The sun of righteousness is risen upon him, that he may reflect its brightness to the world. RH February 9, 1892, par. 21

The Lord is willing to help all who are searching for truth, and when any believer is asked the reason of his hope, let him answer with meekness and fear, having his own soul full of love to Jesus and to his fellow-men. His activity, his self-denial, and self-sacrifice will represent the Pattern, Christ Jesus. Those who teach the truth as it is in Jesus will not dishonor it or betray sacred trusts. They will beautify the truth by presenting its Author. Holding close to Jesus by the hand of living faith, they lay hold of souls for whom Christ died. With a wisdom that is divine, they draw souls to Christ. Thus they become a savor of life unto life; and if faithful to the end, they will walk in the heavenly courts side by side with those they have been instrumental in saving, and by the side of Jesus the Redeemer. RH February 9, 1892, par. 22