MEMOIR
Of Sr. MARIA MAGDALEN HASTING, MISSIONARY in LABRADOR,
who departed this Life at NISKY, February 5th, 1851.
Periodical Accounts, Vol. 22(1856-8), 1-5

I WAS born March 6th,1770, at Kleinwelke, and brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord by my parents, whose name was Schneider. My father, one of the founders of that settlement, which was commenced during the Seven Years War, would frequently relate us to the wonderful deliverance vouchsafed by the Lord in those troublous times, telling us that he had joined the congregation, with the fervent prayer, that the Lord would provide him always with bread and salt, that he might remain with his people. He ended up admonishing us always to be content with little, and to depend on the Lord's blessing. Of my childhood I still remember the gracious drawings of the Holy Spirit which I experienced, and the rich blessing which I derived from the monthly prayer-days and annual festivals of the children. The jubilee-festival of the children, August 17th, 1777, is a day which I shall never forget. The late Br. Loskiel, who was then the minister of the congregation, was much concerned for our spiritual welfare, and spoke very impressively to us on the everlasting covenant which Jehovah has made with His people. I was so deeply affected, that I shed many tears during his prayer, and vowed to the Saviour, to be and remain His property, entreating Him at the same time, to hold His hand over me, that I might never prove unfaithful. A general awakening had taken place at that time, both in and out of the congregation, in consequence of the searching discourses of Br. Loskiel; and his sermons during the Passion-week were particularly blessed to many. Soon, however, indifference and lukewarmness came over me; this caused me much pain. One day, having to commit to memory the hymn-

"Most awful sight! my heart doth break,
Oh, it can ne'er my mind forsake,
How Thou for me hast wept and prayed."

the Lord so powerfully impressed my heart with the sense of His great love, that I was enabled to renew my vow to love Him supremely. Thus I spent the years of my childhood happily, made satisfactory progress in the school, and found special pleasure in learning texts by heart, and hymns from the new edition of our Hymn-book. On March 25th,1782, I was added to the class of elder girls, and on the following 30th of June, received into the congregation. On this occasion, I made a surrender of myself to the Lord. On Maundy-Thursday, 1783, I partook, for the first time, of the Lord's Supper, with the congregation, under a deep sense of my poverty, and the unmerited favour of the Saviour./2/

I was thus led to prize very highly the priviledge of having been born and brought up in the congregation, where I was favoured to enjoy so many blessings in the daily assemblies of the Brethren and Sisters. Hence I deeply felt for children of God from the neighbourhood, when they had to return to their homes after a short visit in the settlement, though they often expressed with tears their strong desire, to be numbered among its inhabitants. My dear mother departed in the year 1786, having delivered to me and her other five children the solemn charge: "Children, abide in Christ; love Him above every thing, and let it be your chief concern, to obtain the assurance of eternal life." I wept much, and would gladly have followed her into eternity, as I had no more pleasure in the things on earth, and felt in my heart a fervent love to the Saviour; but I was divinely comforted by the Daily Word appointed for the day of her happy departure: "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you."
On May 4th, 1788, I was added to the company of Single Sisters, when I earnestly prayed our Saviour to render me a true virgin, caring only for the things which belong to the Lord. My father marrying a second time, in the year 1791, I removed into the Sisters' House, with the heartfelt prayer, that the Lord would grant to me His daily help to earn my bread. And He made me willing to engage in every labour assigned to me. At first, we were obliged to learn wool-spinning, and I experienced, that the Lord is able to bless the smallest earnings, and is ready to answer the most trifling petitions of His children. To relate only one instance. It happened on a pay-day, that I had not sufficient money to pay for my board. I made it a subject of prayer. Soon after, a Sister brought me some work to finish for her quickly, and the payment amounted just to the sum which I wanted to pay for my board. Our Saviour's poverty on earth often proved a comfort to my heart. I lived happily in prayerful communion with Him, and yet I felt a strong desire in my heart to be assured of my salvation. I therefore entreated our Saviour to grant me this blessing. One night, when I lay prostrate before the Lord in prayer, as one of the appointed intercessors of the congregation, I had such a feeling of joy pervading my heart, as I have never before experienced, and perceived Him as near to my soul, as if He were standing before me. On this occasion, the words "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness," were deeply impressed upon my mind and heart; whenever I afterwards was made sensible of my infirmities, I clung in faith to the faithfulness of my Saviour, who was my all in all. The discourses of Br. Baumeister, who was then minister at Kleinwelke, proved a great blessing to me.
In the year 1800, I received a proposal to enter into the state of holy matrimony with the single Brother John Hasting, who was then on a visit in Europe from Labrador, and to serve with him in that Mission. This unexpected call humbled me deeply, and a sense of my unfitness for the office made it difficult for me to come to a decision. I therefore prayed our Saviour to shew me clearly what to do. The texts for the day on which I received the proposal proved remarkably instructive to me; they were: "Then shall ye discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not:" (Mal.iii.18);/3/ and "If any man will serve me, him will my Father honour, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him:" (John xiii.20, and xiv.23). These words helped to induce me, in reliance upon the help of the Saviour, to accept the call, however painful the thought of leaving the congregation and my friends. On February 25th, we were married by Br. Baumeister, after a very impressive address from the words of the day, "God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid:" (Is. xii.2). Towards the end of May, we set sail for Labrador, but our voyage was so much protracted by storms and ice, that we did not reach Okak till August 25th. Thankful to the Lord for His gracious protection, we stepped on shore, and were cordially welcomed by the Esquimaux. I cannot express the feelings which pervaded my heart, at the sight of these poor people. Sorrow filled my breast, and my fervent prayer was, "O that many, yea all, may become the reward for the travail of my Saviour's soul!" I at once conceived great love for them, and when I said to them the words "naglik pagit" (I love thee) which my husband had taught me, they cried again and again, "we love thee also, and you all." Few of them were at that time believers, most of them were heathen, and hence the desire was very great among us Missionaries, that the Lord would command His blessing upon the preaching of His Gospel. Many were the prayers which ascended to the Throne of grace, and gracious was the answer to our united petitions. My first business, besides the usual domestic duties, was to copy the Hymn-book, which existed only in manuscript, and to teach the Esquimaux women the hymns and tunes. This gave me much pleasure, and greatly promoted my feeling at home among them, especially when I saw, that they felt an interest, and that the Lord granted His blessing. In 1802, my husband fell dangerously ill of a bilious fever, which caused me much anxiety, and prompted the fervent prayer, that the Lord would approve Himself as the good and almighty physician. He heard my prayer, and that of our fellow-labourers, and blessed the means for his recovery. In 1804, we removed to Nain, where we found a more numerous congregation. In the following year, our son Henry was born, and we dedicated him to the Lord as his property for ever. In the year 1805 the great awakening among the Esquimaux took place; it was, in truth, a refreshing time, and much blessed to my own soul. In 1808, the Lord presented us with our second son, Christian Lewis. In 1810, we accepted a call to Hopedale, and in the following year, we sent our eldest son to Europe. In the year 1813 we obtained permission to pay a visit to Europe. On account of the war, we were obliged to stay in England over the winter, and to take our younger son to Fulneck, where his elder brother was already in the school. Here we enjoyed much love from our Brethren and Sisters, and friends. Towards the end of May, 1814, we set sail for Labrador, with Br. Lewis Morhardt, and arrived safely at Okak, August 1st, proceeding thence to Hopedale, the place of our destination. But the health of my dear husband now began to fail, and we were obliged to request our dismission. Leave being granted, we left Labrador in 1817, and arrived, in October, in London. In December, we sailed for Hamburgh. As we approached the land, our vessel ran aground near /4/Neuwerk in the evening of December 19th. In this condition, we were obliged to continue, till, on the morning of the 21st, the storm abated, and boats came alongside to take us on shore. I cannot describe my feelings at this time, when we expected every moment to perish. The Lord granted me resignation to His will, for my own person; but, on account of Br. and Sr. Meisner's daughters, who had been entrusted to our care, I could not help calling upon the Lord to save us. And when we were at length permitted to land, I was ready to fall down, and publicly to present the thank- offering of a grateful heart. [For an account of this shipwreck and their merciful preservation, see Periodical Accounts, Vol. vi, p.442] After staying three weeks at Altona, and being strengthened in soul and body by the kindness of the Brethren and Sisters, we continued our journey in January, 1818, and arrived at Kleinwelke, February 3rd. Here we were cordially welcomed by our relations and our Brethren and Sisters. As soon as my husband's health was sufficiently restored, we accepted a call to serve the Society in Breslau and its vicinity, in reliance upon our Saviour's help. The Lord graciously blessed the labours of my dear husband, and secured for him the goodwill of the clergy, and of many persons of rank both in town and country. We derived special pleasure from our visits to Count Reuss XXXVIII of Stonsdorf, and Countess Reden at Buchwald, who always approved themselves as true followers of Christ, and sincere friends of the Brethren's Church. The kindness of Count Reuss, which we enjoyed till his happy departure on April 10th, 1835, was continued after his death by his family, and has proved a comfort to me in my old age. May the Lord reward them with the choicest of His blessings. We experienced also much kindness, and derived much spiritual comfort from our intercourse with the family of Count Stollberg at Peterswaldau, and from our visits generally among the dispersed children of God; and as often as we visited the congregation at Gnadenfrey, we felt refreshed in spirit, and encouraged in our service. In the year 1824, we removed to Nisky, to take charge of "the Diaspora," in the vicinity of that settlement. On October 31st, 1836, it pleased our Saviour to take to Himself my dear husband. That was a painful trial indeed. Many, very many tokens of His help and faithfulness the Lord had given us, during the thirty-six years of our /5/ union, both in Labrador and in Europe. These remain unforgotten; and I shall never be able sufficiently to thank Him for all His mercy. As often as I ponder over these His benefits, I sink down at His feet, and would gladly spend whole hours, pouring out before Him all my grateful thoughts and feelings. My only wish is now, that the rest of my days may be spent in communion with Him; and it is my constant prayer, that my dear children and grandchildren may all flourish in the courts of my God, and ripen for His glorious, heavenly kingdom.
The following testimony is borne to her life and character by the congregation, in whose fellowship she spent the evening of her days:
Our dear Sr. Hasting was a respected and honoured member of our widows'-choir and of this congregation. Her simple and child- like faith, her prayerful communion with our Saviour, her lively interest in the weal and woe of the congregation and each member, conciliated for her the esteem of all who knew her, whether of high or low degree. The furtherance and extension of the Kingdom of God was a special object of her intercessory prayers, and the Diaspora, in which she had served with distinguished blessing, both with her late husband and when left a widow, lay very near her heart. The many instances of help vouchsafed by the Lord in trying circumstances, and the gracious answers to her petitions, vouchsafed in matters comparatively trifling, connected with the cares of this life, rendered her conversation particularly edifying. As a special gift of our Saviour, may be mentioned her excellent memory. She knew most of the hymns of our collection by heart, as they followed in regular order, and she was a living record of all important events, both in the congregation and in the Mission, which she had served,-so that she could always be consulted with advantage, on subjects relating to the oldest times. Her chief delight was daily to feed on the Word of God, both at home and in the assemblies of the congregation. When a dear friend advised her, shortly before her departure, to take more care of herself, and especially not to go out in the evening, on account of the increasing difficulty of her breathing, she replied, "There is no spot in the whole world, where I am so happy as in the house of God." In her last short illness, she was resigned to the Lord's will, very patient and loving, and truly thankful for every care, assistance, and attention bestowed upon her. On February 3rd, 1851, she received, at her own request, the blessing of the Lord for her departure; and on the 5th, towards evening, she departed, during the singing of a hymn, having attained to the age of 80 years and 10 months.
(Text made available by Dr. Hans Rollmann. Keyed in by Pamela Andersen)