The New Zealand Evangelist
After a winter unusually mild, and a spring, so far as it had gone, rich in promise as to flowers, fruits, and general vegetation— after a year remarkable for lovely weather, and for the absence of storms, earthquakes, and elemental commotion,—after a period of profound peace, great activity, and unprecedented prosperity; all at once the pent up elements above and below have burst forth; the common and special agencies of destruction have been let loose; and the plough-share of ruin has been driven right through the settlement. In close succession we were visited with two, or rather three south-easters, the most violent by far that we have had for years: the wind blew something like a hurricane, and the rain often descended in torrents; out-door occupations were necessarily suspended, and in-door employments were sadly interrupted; as few houses were proof against the incessant battering of the hostile elements; at every hole, crack, or crevice where moisture could enter, the water came oozing through or pouring in; the fire and water struggled doubtfully for the ascendancy on many a hearth, and so searching was the ordeal that few houses sustained the character of being fully waterproof. From the quantity of rain that fell, floods were severely felt in some locallties, and feared in many more. While the storms continued, our hearts trembled and our prayers ascended for the safety of those exposed to the dangers of our rugged shores; and although, so far as we have heard, the accidents have not been so numerous as we dreaded, yet our fears were by no means groundless: the Master of the Fisherman was struck by the boom, fell overboard, and was lost, south of Mount Egmont; the Harriet Liethart was wrecked near Wanganui, but providentially no life was lost; three of our Wesleyan Missionary brethren, Messrs. Hobbs, Kirk, and Stannard, with the families of the two latter, narrowly escaped. The south-easter, however, would have past away without any special notice, as things of course, now and again to be expected, and for which we are tolerably prepared, but a deeper and far more durable impression has been produced by the phenomena that followed.