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A letter from Philip Newaka to Rev. Richard Taylor at Augst 18, 1846

Patea, Augst. 18, 1846.

“Friend Mr. Taylor,

“I salute you; great is my love to you. Friend, this is my thought to God, at the commencement of my turning to Him. I was not mistaken in praying for the Holy Spirit to take up its abode within my heart, for I remembered the word of Christ in the 13th of St. Luke and 24th verse, ‘Strive to enter in at the strait gate,’ therefore I have striven in prayer, and the Holy Spirit has entered into my heart. I have seen the greatness of my wickedness; my heart has been filled with sorrow; my sins have made me to stink in my own estimation; my heart has been bitter with sin; my heart was ashamed before God, but not before man; but I was ashamed in the sight of God. I saw hell opening before my face; my heart feared the anger of God towards me, my heart acknowledged that it was just; my heart said to Him, Just is Thy wrath towards me for the greatness of my sins; Thy wrath is not an unjust wrath; it is right that my spirit should be sent to hell. His word came to me, ‘Come to Me thou who art burthened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.’ My heart responded to Christ; I went sorrowful on account of His death; my heart was satisfied with the atonement made for me; my sins were taken away; I was buried in His death. Then, first, the Spirit consented to my spirit that I should become a child of God; my heart was born anew by the Holy Spirit; my heart was enlightened by the Holy Spirit; my heart gained the fruits of the Spirit; these are the fruits of the Spirit: ‘love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, quietness, temperance: against page 46 such there is no law.’ (Gal. v. 22, 23.) The followers of Christ have crucified the flesh. Friend, my fear of the anger of God is taken away, my only fear is the temptations of the devil. I cannot cease from fearing his temptations. I remember the word of Christ to His disciples. He said, ‘Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’ Paul also has a word in 1 Thess. v. 16; ‘Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing.’ (19 v.) ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ (21, 22 v.) ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. xv. 58.) Also Jude, 20 verse, ‘My beloved friends, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.’ Friend, these are words to be treasured up in my heart all the days I live in this wicked world; this truly is my fortress, my defence, and flag, and my rest. Friend, I am jealous with a godly jealousy, for I have compared myself to one espoused as a chaste virgin to Christ, but I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so my mind should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor. xi. 2, 3.) Friend, my heart cleaves to Christ as the oyster adheres to the rock and cannot be plucked off by man, so my heart cannot be plucked away by temptations. Friend, I know this world is not my permanent abode.”

The termination of this letter, with the name of the writer, are both lost, but whatever may have been the real state of the heart, I think it evidences a considerable acquaintance with Scripture and the grand outlines of redemption through Christ. I possess several similar letters, and these were selected at random.

The following is an extract from the same Piripi, written a year later than the former:—