Dear Brethren in America: I am thankful to be able to write to you that I am improving in health. Although I have passed this winter in the city of Wellington which has not a healthful climate because of constant storms and high winds, yet the Lord has blessed me. I was nearly prostrated for some weeks, about two months past.
I had an appointment at Petone and the subject I thought to speak upon was the necessity of growth in grace, but it was taken from me, In its place a most solemn warning was given me for the congregation in regard to the withdrawal of the Spirit of God from the world, and the judgments of God which were plagues of sickness, disasters by sea and by land, destruction everywhere in our world by fire and floods, and earthquakes in "divers places." In the words of Christ: [Luke 17:26-30 quoted].
I felt deeply the power of God resting upon me as I warned the people that the end of this earth's history was soon to close, and we could see the fulfillment of the words of warning of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are indeed in the time which Christ has foretold would be the state of our world.
The Spirit of the Lord was upon me, and from that time I have had physical strength. For a while I was unable to write. My mental machinery was about ready to stop, but it was quickened by the power of God. I praise His
holy name for what He has done for me in giving me the "balm of Gilead," and the healing power of the great Physician.
We see a great work to be done in this field, and long to have facilities to work with. I will speak of Wellington. It is a place where churches are abundant and plenty of ministers. But I have never been in a place where prejudice was so perseveringly and determinedly carried on as it is in this place. This is the capital and great center of New Zealand. A mission should be established here. A church, if ever so humble, should be erected. It will take money to do this.
It is not God's plan, although the gold and silver are His own, to send His angels from heaven to build churches in any town or city. He has made man His almoner, His steward of trust, and the Lord's field is a very extensive one. "But 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" (Acts 1:8). This was the commission given to the disciples, and here has been a place where the people have determined that the banner of truth should not be lifted.
There is a branch of the International Tract and Missionary Society established here, but there is no house of worship. There is no one who obeys the truth, of any means, with the exception of one man, Brother Mountain, and there are none who have a house they own. We have to be dependent upon halls and the church members will not come to these halls. There is a skating rink, where temperance meetings and religious meetings were held in the summer season, but this is owned by a proprietor of a brewery, and all these things are barriers in the way.
Ministers tell their congregations that there is danger of their going to hear the Adventists. They tell them that the Adventists have not any special interest in Wellington, that they have no one who will believe in their doctrines. If they should make some church members believe in their doctrines, where will they go to worship? They have no place of worship. They are only adventurers. They will come to the place and preach their pernicious doctrines, and mislead the minds of the people, and then go away and leave them. Then "where would you be should you be deceived by these strange doctrines?"
And yet God has a people in this place. How can we reach them? Only through a steady persevering effort, carried on judiciously. A humble house of worship should be erected, so the people will know that they are not to be left out in the cold. Many minds are half persuaded, but they dare not make the final decision. Workers are needed, and money is needed to erect a house of worship. If we can get a hold here then the door is opened to get a hold in other cities. Dunedin and Christchurch are prominent places.
Brother Masters and family live in Dunedin, and are doing quite a large work in canvassing for our books. He is sure and safe, and true as steel in his business with the office in Wellington. The money is always ready to be returned when the books are delivered. We have been holding meetings in Elder Israel's house. We have done everything possible to get the people out to the halls, but they would not come.
Sister Dr. Caro, a dentist, came from Napier, a ten hours' journey on the cars, to Wellington to extract my teeth, to prepare the way for an underset of teeth which I greatly needed. There was a minister on the cars
from Ormondville, where Brother McCullagh is laboring, and who opposed him fiercely. He was in conversation with a minister from Wellington, and they were comparing notes. One said that McCullagh was doing much harm in Ormondville, but he thought that he had thoroughly settled the business with him. The minister from Wellington said that there had been a Mrs. Starr and a Mrs. White in Wellington trying to fasten their heresies upon the people. But they warned their congregations not to go in to hear. Well, said the minister from Ordmondville, "I heard they had no success in Wellington." And the reply was, "No, but we find the minds of the people are unsettled, and they managed to get the people uneasy, and they are plying us with questions hard to be answered."
This was the substance of the conversation related by these ministers, that Sr. Caro overheard on the train coming here. And we know that there are quite a number interested and inquiring and "unsettled."
Sr. Tuxford and I were walking out one day when an aged man, venerable in appearance, came toward me with every expression of joy upon his countenance. He grasped my hand and said, "How glad I am to see you. My son just saw you from his grocery store and said, `There is Mrs. White coming down the hill.'" Said he, I did not wait one minute. I rushed out to meet you and speak with you. I heard you preach several times in Auckland. And I thank the Lord your words went right to my heart." The son came up and introduced the aged gentleman as his father. The son is also interested in the truth. He has a license as an exhorter from the Wesleyan church.
I had a favorable interview with the father, Mr. Langford, and his son requested an interview with me. I gave the father Steps to Christ and
Patriarchs and Prophets to take with him to Auckland. His family are bitterly opposed to him. They are Wesleyans, and he is a believer in some other doctrine as well, for he believes in the gifts being in the church. He wrote after his return home that his wife and daughter were reading the books given by Sr. White and they were greatly changed in spirit. We expect that they will attend the meeting in Auckland in October or November.
Then there were several who attended our meetings regularly, who are businessmen. They believe the truth, but are halting, having not decided to obey. If we could have a house of worship we think a church could be raised up here without a doubt. But without one thing to give character to the work here we cannot see how these people will be warned. The ministers are active, and Satan's seat seems to be in this place. But it is too important a place to be yielded without a strong effort, and this cannot be without some evidence. The truth will be vindicated and sustained in Wellington.
I cannot express my feelings. Sometimes I think it is best for me to return to America, for we can do so little. When our people in America shall feel that this field is as important as the fields in America, and that souls are as precious here as there, I think they would not take the whole, or nearly all the money from the treasury to add building to building, and in the face of all our pleading carry so light a burden for these foreign fields, tying our hands so we can work only to the greatest disadvantage. We have nothing wherewith we can make even a start by calling out the people.
Unless something more is done than our brethren have yet done in these fields, I wish to return to America and leave the burden of responsibility
upon the conference. I think a few of the responsible men had better visit this part of the world and get their eyes open and their view extended to see there are many places where nothing is being done. If they should send a few thousand dollars that are being invested where the truth has a firm hold, and give us something to work with, to give us even a standing place to unfurl the banner of truth that others may rally around the standard, it would be wholly in accordance with the commission of Jesus Christ. The important missionary work ought to have more money and more workers.
We have come here to this country, with my workers. This has cost me, personally, an extra two thousand dollars from my own means, besides the large extra expense of the conference to do a work, but without furnishing us the facilities we have earnestly pled for. I entreat of you to extend your vision and broaden your ideas in place of investing so largely in your supposed necessities and swallowing up all the available means in the treasury. Give us something that we may work with in cities where there are not any souls who have an interest in the truth. They must be warned and aroused, and the kingdom of God shall be built up.
God does not purpose to do your work, but He requires that you give some chance that the seeds of truth may be sown in places where the soil has never been broken. The seed sown in these cities will be watered by the Lord of heaven, and there will be an increase. The leaven of truth must be first hidden in the meal before it will leaven the lump. Once get the truth planted in new fields, in cities where they have never heard, and then the increase and progress will follow.
The people know nothing of the truth. They know nothing of the reasons of our faith. They believe what the church ministers tell them. Is there then to be no effort made that they shall know what the truth is for this time? What can be done in these cities, without money, to start the work? If you continually see places where you think you can use means to advantage, must these countries be left and the ground not plowed nor sown? Will the Lord be pleased with this kind of neglect?
The field is the world. America is not the whole world, only a little piece of it. I know there are many calls for means in all foreign countries, but here there is such a condition financially that we cannot depend on means coming from these fields until we have some facilities to till the soil and sow the seed.
I think I shall have to turn my face homeward and go among our churches in America, and see if I cannot arouse an interest that something shall be done. I never expect to return myself to this field, but I can see that some workers, even private families, shall get the missionary spirit and come this way.--Letter 9a, 1893, pp. 1-7. (Written August 1, 1893, at Wellington, New Zealand.)
Appeal to Attend the Camp Meeting --Dear Brethren and Sisters in New Zealand: I have an appeal to make to our churches to attend the coming camp meeting in Wellington. You cannot afford to lose this opportunity. We know that this meeting will be an important era in the history of the work in New Zealand. There should be particular efforts made to get a representation of those who believe the truth to this meeting, for the very reason we are so
few in numbers, and the additional help of everyone is called for. The enemies of truth are many in numbers. On such an occasion as this we want to present as good a front as possible. Let not your business detain you. You individually need the benefits of this meeting. . . .
I fear quite a number will say, It is expensive to travel, and I had better save the money to use in advancing the cause and work where it is so much needed. No, no! God calls for you to take your rank and file, and strengthen the work all you possibly can by your personal presence. Let not one say, I attended the camp meeting in Napier, and that will answer; I will remain and let somebody else go. We want you and the somebody else as well. Let no stay-away argument be used. We have need of every spiritual advantage we can possibly have. We know that believers are scattered, but we want you to make no excuses.
The Lord wants you to come to the meeting and to bring your families, except the little ones who would only tie your hands. Put forth extra exertions. Better, far better, let the business suffer than to neglect the opportunity to hear the messages that God has for you at this time.
You need every jet of light you can obtain. You are acquainted with the truth in a measure, but you ought to become better acquainted with the reasons of our faith. Come with your Bible in your hand, for you ought to have a better knowledge of the sanctifying influence of truth upon heart and character. You cannot afford to lose one such privilege as you are now favored with. You must not now disappoint us. We look to this time as important to have everyone come up "to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty" (Judges 5:23).
We see that the forces of the enemy are strengthening, and that the ministers in every place are making earnest efforts to oppose the truth, and more so in Wellington than any place I ever visited. Everything is said to present Seventh-day Adventists as only a few in number, and inferior in every respect, possessing little influence. And shall we not on this occasion represent the believing rank and file the very best that we possibly can? Will our brethren not come up to the feast of tabernacles? How zealously should everyone guard the way that leads to the city of God! If we treat the work as an indifferent matter, and the army of the Lord is not on the ground to represent the cause and work in New Zealand, God will not be pleased with your neglect. Will you plead excuses, and at such a time?
One of the reasons why we have the meeting in Wellington is because we have put forth much effort in that city, and ministers stood directly in our way by holding their congregations from coming out to hear us. Now we want to get the truth before the people of Wellington, and we want to make the very best impression possible upon them. The only way we could see to accomplish our purpose was to have a camp meeting appointed which would create an interest and call the attention of the people to the truth. We want everyone to come, praying and making God their trust.
These cities must be warned, and should we break down the existing prejudice which ministers of churches have created among the people of Wellington, then we have a key to unlock Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, and other places. The Lord calls you to put on the armor of righteousness, and come to this second camp meeting to be held in New Zealand. Come, brethren and sisters, if you have to make a sacrifice to do so. The Lord will bless you in your efforts.
God holds you personally responsible for the advancement and honor of His cause in this country. Bear in mind God's plan was that His people should assemble together to worship not less than three times a year. The Lord has not signified it to be your duty to do this, but He calls you. He wants you to come up "to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
The Lord has need of you. He does not do His work without the cooperation of the human agent. The truth, God's down-trodden law, is to be uplifted; Christ and His righteousness are to be presented to souls that are perishing. The blindness, the spiritual blindness upon the people today is greater even than when Christ was upon the earth. The help of every man and woman is needed. Let us now rally around the standard, and angels which minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation will accompany you.
Make every effort to get your friends to come, not in your place but to accompany, to stand on God's side, under God's command. At the very best our numbers will not be large, but if the individual members of the church will come to the Wellington camp meeting, with a mind and will to work to the best of their ability, God will do the rest. We cannot but see the schemes and working of the enemies of our faith. Let the prayers go forth from unfeigned lips, "Hear, O our God; for we are despised." "Think upon me, my God, for good." "Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hand." (Neh. 4:4; 5:19; 6:9.)
We must use every power with which God has endowed us to make this meeting a success, and every way adapted for all who shall come to the meeting. The work of the Lord is above every temporal interest, and the Lord's cause,
in any case, must not be misrepresented by those who claim to believe the truth. Watching, waiting, working, is our position. There need not be any fainthearted ones. There will be unbelief and accusers in Wellington, but we fear them not if the Lord God of Hosts shall be with us. Every soul needs now to awake out of sleep, to put on the whole armor.
There is great need of personal religion and family piety, and then there will be a clear understanding of the part each one will be called to act in the grand and important work of building up the cause of God in our world, and vindicating His downtrodden law, and uplifting the Saviour as the "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
We want the Holy Spirit of God, that our works shall be consistent with our faith. Oh, what a work, what a sacred work is before us. The parents need enlightenment, a divine touch, that they may understand their work in the home life, to send forth from the home sanctuary Christian children, morally trained and educated to let their light shine forth to the world. We need to understand in regard to the work to be carried forward in New Zealand. There need to be subdivisions of labor combined with harmony of aim and execution of the work which is to be set in operation.
Each one is to concentrate his energies on the portion of the wall he is required to build, that no labor may be lost, that there may be no jostling of the workers, no crossing one another's path on the part of the workers, and that the laborers together with God shall put forth consecrated tact to do their utmost without waste of means or energies, each individual rejoicing in the success of his fellow workers, with a full sense that they are cooperating to the advancement of the cause of truth under the generalship of Jesus Christ.
"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building" (1 Cor. 3:9), each strengthening the hands of the other. It is full time that our brethren and sisters made an advance move. We will meet every form of opposition. Every hindrance will be placed in the way of the work, for history will be repeated. It is not evidence that the enemies and opposers of the truth want. They have fierce hatred of the truth itself, for they cannot controvert it. There are organized and sleepless adversaries from without who are determined to stop the work of God, but let us move forward with well-concentrated effort amid all the discouragements. We must reach the people. The reproach cast upon God's messengers must be counteracted, and it will be.
I again urge you for the truth's sake, for Christ's sake, to come up to this meeting. Elder Olsen will be at the meeting and other helpers from America, and we want a heavenly sitting together in Christ Jesus, and a rich reward in blessing will come to the people. I leave these lines with you, and beg of you response. We want to see the salvation of God. There must be a waking up among believers. Each may be so imbued with the spirit of the work that he will be a Nehemiah, possessing holy energy and faith and hope, thus strengthening one another's hands, depending wholly on God, the great and mighty Worker.--Letter 8a, 1893. (Written October 31, 1893, at Gisborne, New Zealand.)
Bring Your Children to the Camp Meeting --Dear Sr. Brown and Household: We sincerely hope that you will not lose this opportunity of attending the meeting brought so near your own door. Come, mother and children, and
Sister Lounge. We want to enjoy this holy convocation with you. Bring all the children you can spare from the home place, for this meeting is that which you all need to strengthen and confirm your faith, and you want to hear the message which God has for you. Come and let us meet with God on this encampment. We are amid the perils of the last days, and you need to understand, every one, what you must do to be saved.
Be sure and bring the younger members of the family. You will never regret the expense or the trouble. It is seldom you will be favored, and perhaps never, with such an opportunity. May the Lord make you earnest and willing and glad to come up to this meeting. Come one and all, who can. You can and must come, Sister Brown. You need all the help and all the strength you can possibly gain to help you in your lifework.
God bless you and give you a heart to obey the prompting of His Holy Spirit is my earnest prayer.--Letter 74, 1893. (Written Nov. 28, 1893, at Wellington, New Zealand.)
The Camp Meeting Is a Success --Dear Bro. and Sister Smith: I send you in this envelope a letter written at odd times, as events occurred and purposing to copy it, but I send it as it is. With it I send a copy of a letter for a family with whom we labored most earnestly. Since coming to this meeting we are told that the husband has kept the two last Sabbaths. We thank the Lord for this. One of his sons was baptized the last Sabbath that we were in Gisborne. Still another son has taken his position since the father closed his shop on the Sabbath and one more son, fifteen years old, has decided to be a Christian. The father and mother and two daughters
and three sons are in harmony in the truth. There is still another son, twenty-two years of age, at home who has not taken his stand. I shall address a letter to him sometime during this meeting.
Yesterday afternoon Elder Olsen arrived, looking well and feeling rested after his long trip on the water from Africa to New Zealand. You may be assured we were very much pleased to greet Elder Olsen. He spoke under the canvas meetinghouse last evening. All say they were much pleased and grateful to hear him. On Sunday, I had freedom in showing our colors on which were inscribed the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. I told them that we were Seventh-day Adventists, and the reason of the name which distinguished us from other denominations. All listened with deepest interest. In the evening the tent was full and the grounds around the tent were full of people. They listened to a most solemn discourse from Elder Wilson. The camp meeting is a success. It is a marvel of wonders to Wellington. Meetings have been held for one week. This camp meeting will give character to our work, and do much to counteract the falsehoods that ministers have framed for others to repeat.
The camp looks nice. We have the reception tent furnished by Sister Tuxford as nice as we have in America. The tents are all new, some small and some large, made by the brethren in Australia. The weather has been beautiful, but today it rains. But the tents are nearly all erected. Some are coming whom they did not expect. The Lord is in the encampment. The Spirit of God is moving upon the hearts of believers and unbelievers. Visitors are pouring in to wonder over the admire the well-fitted-up tents which are to be the homes of those camping on the ground.
Well, I must close. I cannot write letters to America this week as I would be pleased to do. There are constantly arising matters which demand attention. Letters have to be written, and visiting has to be done, and much talking in meeting, much traveling, packing and unpacking beds and bedding, and I cannot tax my powers more than I have done. I must not get my mind in a worry, but keep it calm and peaceful. The Lord is helping and blessing me. I think of you and your family often, and do so hope every precious soul . . . will be united with the family who shall be prepared to see Jesus when He shall come.--Letter 75, 1893. (Written on Nov. 30, 1893, at Wellington, New Zealand.)
Reminiscences of the Wellington Camp Meeting --Dear Children: We are now on the deck of the Wairarapa , alongside the wharf. . . . Elder Olsen is to be shown now something of Auckland. We thought we would study economy. The same conveyance that will take us to ride will take us to the house of Edward Hare where we will be entertained, probably until we shall leave Auckland. We will have to leave Auckland harbor, I understand, Sabbath noon. We can hold meetings with the church this evening and tomorrow forenoon, then resume our position on the boat. The carriage takes us for our drive from the boat and saves us five shillings, going both trips in one. There are very fine drives about Auckland.
We were all just about used up when we came on board. Our meetings at Wellington were three weeks of solid labor, and I had spoken in Gisborne eleven times, in Napier once, and at Ormondville and Norsewood three times before this meeting in Wellington. We have not recovered from the strain
yet. Elder Olsen was the main worker in Wellington. He was much liked by all who heard him. Dr. M. G. Kellogg was also much liked. He dwelt upon health questions and was a real help in the meetings.
I have told you how difficult it was to get any hearing in Wellington. The prejudice that has been created by false reports from the clergy has made congregations afraid of Seventh-day Adventists. An expensive effort was made to reach the people, but with little result. It was not thought it could be possible to have tent meetings and camp meetings in Wellington. The circus tried it with great loss. The winds are quite severe, coming up sometimes very, very tempestuous. Many of the circus tents were strung to ribbons soon after being pitched.
A very favorable place was secured, enclosed by a high fence, with a gate which was securely locked every night. This was a great protection from winds and from intruders. Nothing superfluous was arranged in the large tent. There were nature's own treasures of flowers and growing ferns --plenty of large choice bouquets. There was a reception tent, furnished by Sister Tuxford--mostly with her own furniture. She also furnished oilcloth for the floor. The book tent was in a portion of this tent. It was nicely prepared and very attractive. The tents were all newly made in Australia and transported to Wellington and are to be taken back for the Australian camp meeting.
We had much fear lest we would have a very slim attendance, but we were happily disappointed. From the first to the last there was a good appearance of congregation of the best class of our own people who fed on the bread of life during the meeting. Evenings there were good-sized congregations
of outsiders. The camp meeting was such a marvel of wonders that everybody who could get to the campground came and visited it. All were delighted with the order and the thoroughly nice work which was manifested on the grounds.
The tents are floored and carpeted. Elder Israel's tent was a square, roomy tent. A section was reserved for my special benefit, then a center room was curtained off, then next there was a curtain between Elder Israel's bedroom and the center room. Here I was perfectly at home. Besides this we rented two convenient rooms within two minutes' walk of the ground. We were well situated.
But the very best of all is that we have had good, large, respectful audiences and a very large number of people now understand what we do believe. The discourses have been close, plain, and thorough upon present truth, appropriate and applicable to our time. The people listened as if spellbound. The large tent had been spliced in the middle with new canvas, making the canvas to cover double the space of last year. The citizens were impressed with this meeting as nothing else could have transpired to impress them. When the winds blew strong there would be many looking with wonder to see every tent standing unharmed.
Brethren Wilson and Kellogg and your mother had the labor to perform the first week, but the Spirit of the Lord came into the meeting and hearts were moved. Outside attendance was excellent on Sunday and evenings. The most plain testimonies were borne from the first. I felt when speaking on Sabbath and Sunday afternoons that the trumpet must give no uncertain sound. I showed them plainly I had a message from the Lord that the Sabbath of the
fourth commandment meant much to them and to us, in reference to the manner in which we treat it. To the obedient, it is a sign of their loyalty to God, not only for the Jews, but for all people, the whole posterity of Adam through all time.
At first the congregation could not be accommodated with seats, but plenty of seats were secured after the initial meetings and all seats were filled. Many were standing inside the tent and outside. Thus it has been evenings and Sundays. The third angel's message has been heard--proclaimed with a loud voice. Elder Wilson has done splendidly in his discourses and the people listened to the truth. It was the camp meeting which was a living notice to Wellington. One young man heard of the meeting by accident. He is about thirty years old. He has embraced the truth and has been baptized.
I think I wrote you about a family by the name of Brown whom I visited --a large family twenty miles from Wellington. I remained with them ten days and all who were at home pledged themselves to be Christians. One daughter has returned home. The mother, a very remarkable, pleasant woman, has been the mother of twenty children. Several are dead. She came the first part of the meeting. They rent a farm and the rent money comes quarterly, but for this once no rent money came in its season. I was very close in money matters, but I said, "This family, many of whom had never heard of a discourse except from myself on that visit, should have the chance to attend this meeting. Well, the mother and three youngest members of the family came--Alex, sixteen years old, and the two girls, one fourteen and the youngest nine. I advanced two pounds for them to come to the meetings. These children remained with the mother, were baptized, and returned to
their home and sent the older members--four grown daughters from seventeen years of age to thirty. These were all united with the Wellington church after their baptism. They have a church now at Long Point, Parramatta, numbering nine of their own household.
A very nice elderly lady has been living with them six years--a widow. She has a very nice house and a little farm, but rents it. She is a member of the State Church. She received the Sabbath and came to the meeting to be baptized. All were baptized and returned home happy in the truth. Twenty-two were baptized at this meeting.
I must stop writing for we now leave the boat.--Letter 121, 1893, pp. 1-4. (Written Dec. 15, 1893, at Auckland, New Zealand.) White Estate Washington, D.C. April 28, 1891