The New Zealand Evangelist
Nelson — Ordination of a German Minister.—
Ordination of a German Minister.—
On Sabbath, the 12th August, the Rev. John W. C. Heine was ordained to the office of the ministry, and appointed to the pastoral charge of the Lutheran congregation in Nelson. The Rev. J. F. W. Wohlers, from the Island of Ruapuke, in Faveaux's Straits, conducted the service. He began by reading his Commission, issued by the Right Rev. Dr. Kliefoth, Superintendent at Schwerin, in the Grand Duchy of Meaklenburg. He addressed Mr. Heine and the Congregation respectively, and went through the usual forms and services. Nearly all the Germans in the settlement were present, and many had come from a great distance. Mr. Wohlers chose for his text, 2 Cor. v. 18, “God hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,” Having explained the import of reconciliation at some length, he addressed the congregation in the following manner, “Your pastor will preach to you this doctrine, He will shew you how your page 137 sins may be forgiven, how you may be reconciled to God, and how you may go to heaven. O my dear friends! do you not feel the importance of this matter? Forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and being made heirs of eternal life. What is the world with all its pleasures—with all its sufferings? How vain the one, how short the other, to those who have their heart in heaven, and who know that they are reconciled to God! This happiness your pastor will show you how to attain. But you must expect him also to warn you of your dangers, and reprove you if you go astray; you must not be offended at his doing so. Love will compel him to do this, and fear, least your souls should be lost. Suppose you see a man approaching a pit or a precipice, you tremble for his safety; humanity compels you to warn him of his danger, and to be earnest in your endeavours to turn him into the path of safety. If the man should be offended at your well meant endeavours, it would only show his ignorance and folly-Love to your souls, and a solemn sense of his duty, will impel your pastor to warn you of the sinful dangers to which you may expose your precious souls. You yourselves have chosen him to be your pastor. He has accepted this call as coming from the Lord—He will now be responsible for your souls. He himself must one day appear before his master, and give an account not only for himself but for you also. Do you think it will be a light matter to be asked, where is this man, or where is that woman? They were committed to thy care. How have they been lost? O my friends, perhaps you never thought what a heavy charge your pastor is this day taking upon himself. When a mother carries her babe on her bosom, she may feel her heart glow with pleasure; but a sword may pierce her soul when she looks upon the infant, and thinks of the vicissitudes of life, the snares of Satan, and the spiritual dangers which her child must encounter in passing through this world. There is much sweetness and comfort in bearing our congregations upon our heart, in our solemn supplications page 138 before the throne of Grace; but the thought of our responsibility becomes a load that almost crushes us to the dust, when we think that you are committed to our charge, and that some, possibly many of you, may be lost! O my dear friends, I entreat you to make a good use of the advice and instructions of your minister; Oh! I hope and trust that your life—your words and actions—will be in accordance with your Christain profession; that so your pastor may be enabled to discharge the duties of his ministry with joy and not with sorrow, and have many, many for a crown of glory in the day of the Lord Jesus. Amen.”
The number of Germans in and around Nelson is nearly 200. The Lutheran Church has sent five missionaries to New Zealand; three are ordained to the ministry, and two are unordained assistants. The Rev. Mr. Heine is stationed among his countrymen in Nelson. The Rev. Mr. Wohlers with an assistant, is stationed among the natives and Europeans in Faveaux's Straits, and the Rev. Mr. Riemenschneider was formerly on the Mokan river, but is now with an assistant stationed south of Taranaki. The ordained ministers have been about five years in New Zealand.