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Rev. W. White to Rev. John Butler.
July 13th, 1823.

My Dear Brother and Friend,

I cannot neglect the present opportunity of writing you, without exposing myself to the cutting reflection of appearing to slight the great kindness which you manifested in leaving your family and home to accompany us to some place where we might fix our residence and set up our standard in the name of the Lord, and in exposing yourself to all the wet and cold, and plodding in the dirt, in erecting a house in which we might screen ourselves from the inclemency of the weather. I shall ever retain a grateful sense of your kindness, and should an opportunity offer, most readily return it. We felt your absence, but the Lord has been with us to protect and bless us.

You will learn by the bearer of this, that Mr. Leigh has been very ill—is a little better, but very poorly. I have been working very hard since you left us, and am surprised that I am as I am, having been exposed almost every day to the wet, and with exertion bathed in perspiration. We have got into your house, and are very comfortable. I have put a chimney up at the west end in the back side, and a window in the front. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh live in the lower room, Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd in the west end upstairs, and having got almost everything from the tent, we hope to have it down in a few days. We have been surprised at not hearing from you. And I have been much disappointed at not seeing Saml., but hope that nothing has happened to you to cause this disappointment. It affords me some pleasure that I perceive in myself a capability of learning the language, and hope ere long, to be able to tell the wretched creatures by whom we are surrounded that Christ died for them, and to invite them to partake of the blessings of His saving grace. This is our errand to New Zealand, and this being our object, till some advances be made towards its accomplishment, I shall feel discouraged and cast down. I hope the Lord will bless you and your family, and make you a blessing. I begin to feel my ability in shooting. It would appear strange to some people for a missionary to make a boast of this; but in New Zealand it is necessary and profitable. Having laboured very hard the former part of last week, for a change, and by way of recreation, I went out on Friday to shoot pigeons—shot ten and two ducks, which will supply us with fresh meat for three or four days. This is profitable as well as necessary, as pigs are difficult to get without muskets and powder.

When I tell you it is now late, and I am tired and sleepy, you will excuse this scrawl. Please to make my kind respects to Mrs. B., Mr. and Mrs. Samuel, and Hannah. I shall expect all the news you can page 283 give me by return of the bearer, and none will be pleasing than to hear of your prosperity and happiness in the work of the Lord.

I am, my dear brother,
Your affectionate fellow-labourer in the vineyard of the Lord,