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I HAVE been asked to prefix a few lines to these Journals of my beloved father. I count it a very great honour to do so. 'It pleased God ... to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen,' said the greatest of all missionaries. These words of S. Paul provide the motive which prompted the author of these Journals on the 11th Feby., 1850, to forsake a prosperous mercantile business, and, with a young wife and family, sail to the land of the Maori.
In the veins of Thomas Samuel Grace there flowed the blood of the Huguenots, a stream that, in the words of another, 'has enriched every race with which it has come in contact;' and the young missionary inherited the spirit as well as the blood of the French Protestants. Nothing but the merest chance--so at least it seemed at the time--prevented him in 1865 from sharing with his friend, Charles Volkner, the honour of a martyr's death. But although, in the providence of God, he was spared for further usefulness, that, in a very real sense, Thomas Samuel Grace laid down his life for the Maoris, the records of this book show; and its publication is a tardy but thankful recognition of that fact by those who delight to do honour to his heroic spirit.
How imperfectly his work, with its many trials, hardships and disappointments, was done, the servant whose labours are made apparent in these pages, would have been the first to acknowledge. He was a humble man, and knew well that, while to him was committed the Evangel of Jesus Christ as a heavenly treasure, it was held in a 'fragile vase of clay, in order that the exceeding greatness of the power may be seen to belong to God, and not to originate in us.'
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But, making full allowance for imperfections which, in some measure, mar the work of every servant of Christ, it can unhesitatingly be said that the labours of Thomas Samuel Grace and Agnes, his devoted wife, at Pukawa, Lake Taupo, take a high place among the many and noble individual efforts of missionaries in the 19th century.
It is a source of consolation to know that, if unfailing devotion to duty, a love for the purity and spirituality of the Divine message; if a determination, pursued by unflagging zeal, to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ; if patient toil and undying love for the souls of those committed to his care, count for anything, the life which was freely given will be found again at the appearing of the Chief Shepherd; for of few men can it be more truthfully said than of Thomas Samuel Grace, 'He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.'
A. V. G.
[LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS]
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REV. T. S. GRACE . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece
TIDESWELL CHURCH, "THE CATHEDRAL OF THE PEAK,"
DERBYSHIRE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv
MRS. GRACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
A VIEW OF PART OF LAKE TAUPO, TAKEN FROM THE
MISSION STATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
TE HEUHEU, TAUPO CHIEF . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
THE TAUPO MISSION STATION . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
REV. C. S. VOLKNER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
THE GRAVE OF THE REV. C. S. VOLKNER AT OPOTIKI . 140
MRS. VOLKNER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
THE CHURCH OF ST. STEPHEN THE MARTYR, OPOTIKI . 144
CAPTAIN FREEMANTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
THE TAURANGA MISSION STATION . . . . . . . . . . 257
REWI MANIAPOTO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272
THE GRAVE OF THE REV. T. S. GRACE IN THE FORT
CEMETERY, TAURANGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
THE GRAVE OF MRS. GRACE AT BRIGHTWATER, NELSON . 312
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READERS of the following letters and journals of the late Missionary, Thomas Samuel Grace, may like to know something of his ancestry; also something of the family of his intrepid wife, Agnes, who, throughout his stormy and eventful life of toil on behalf of the Maoris, was his wise and loyal adviser and helpmate.
Thomas Samuel Grace was born at Liverpool on the 16th day of February, 1815. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes three Huguenot families--Grace, De Laurence and De Caux--sailed together from France for England, the first finding a sanctuary in Cheshire,
To this Huguenot family, Grace, the writer of these journals traced his descent.
Agnes Grace was born on the 3rd of July, 1825, at Whitehaven, Cumberland.
Three Northern families--Myers, Longmire and Fearon--for many generations dwelt on bordering lands and became closely allied by marriage; the result being the building up of a strain famous for its hardihood and courage. Agnes Grace came of this stock, and was a Fearon.
It is many years since they laid down their lives in the "Vineyard," and, that no inaccuracies may appear, we have thought it best that the letters alone should tell the tale of "toil and endeavour." We think that thus they will speak more eloquently, and our hope is that they will, by themselves, be sufficient to assure readers how brave were the hearts and noble the purposes of those Christian men and women, who carved their way into the wilds through many sorrows and adversities, and so won the great privilege of being among the first to carry the Living Page to the Maoris of New Zealand.
C. W. G.
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The following letter, dated 3rd March, 1879, is the last written by the Revd. T. S. Grace; but, as it contains a brief account of his early life prior to entering the service of The Church Missionary Society, it will not be unfitting if it is recorded first.
C. W. G.
3rd March, 1879.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I intended to write to you long ago but when mail time came I have been either from home, or have found myself with as much as I could do; however, I feel now that I must procrastinate no longer, as I may never have the opportunity of writing again.
Since I left England I have gradually, but steadily, grown worse and now am reduced to the last stage. The doctor gives me no hope of recovery, but says that I may linger a while.
I am very feeble and hardly able to take enough food to sustain life.
Whether I may be spared a little longer I know not, but, in any case, it seems that my work has come to an end. I should indeed like to labour on a little longer for the dear Maoris, but our Heavenly Father knows what is best, and I have to feel thankful that He has given me a son who is able and willing to take up my unfinished work; and who will, I trust, with the Divine blessing, be able to do it very much better than I could.
The first thing that I desire to tell you is, that I look back to the time I was in England working under your direction with the greatest pleasure. Those days I number among the happiest in my life.
I have generally found that when men work hard themselves they are more considerate of others. It has been, indeed, a great pleasure to me to have been for a short time a fellow labourer with you in the blessed work of striving to extend the Saviour's Kingdom in the dark strong-holds of the Devil.
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I pray that the great Head of the Church may give you strength and energy to enable you to work on.
There are many kind people that I met with while travelling about England. To these I would very much like to write, but I cannot do so. Pray do remember me most cordially to any who may enquire after me.
I now wish to fulfil a promise that I made to your clerk, Mr. Bailey, a few days before I left England for New Zealand.
He gave me a paper which I was to have filled in, but, being very busy at the time preparing for my departure, unfortunately the paper got mislaid. To the best of my recollection your object was to know something of the education and antecedents of your missionaries.
I suppose by this time you will have classed me amongst those who were reluctant to give the required information. However this may be, my own case is briefly as follows:--
My early education was that obtained at an ordinary grammar school 50 years ago, and which, as I was put to business early, did not amount to much! During my teens I improved myself a great deal, but, on arriving at the age of twenty, business had to take the precedence of everything, for the circumstances of my parents had become reduced, and I was the elder of two sons.
At the age of twenty-one I was called upon to be the chief supporter of my parents and a maiden sister; but I was greatly blessed in my work, and, when a little more than twenty-four, found myself the principal of my former employer's business.
At this time I had a strong desire to give myself to Missionary work, and, accordingly, I entered upon my new sphere of business with a fixed determination that, if I were able to provide for my parents and complete my education, I would offer my services to the Church Missionary Society. Prosperity followed, and, about the year 1842, I communicated my wish to the Revd. F. Barker, now Bishop of Sydney, who spoke on my behalf to Mr. Davis, one of our old clerical secretaries, with whom I had interviews in Liverpool, when it was arranged that I should write to the C.M.S.
By the end of the four years I had succeeded in business
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far beyond my expectations, and I found myself at the head of a daily increasing lucrative business. Accordingly, I handed it over to my brother and brother-in-law, and sent in a definite offer of my services to the Society. At their wish I went in March, 1844, to read with the Revd. W. Sharp at Cromer, where I stayed till November of the same year. I was then directed to proceed to London to see the Secretary of C.M.S.
I stayed at Islington and there saw Mr. Venn.
I had only six months before become engaged to my present wife; but, when the rules of the Islington College were put into my hands, I found that such a step was not allowed. I at once saw Mr. Childe and informed him how matters stood. I afterwards saw Mr. Venn and proposed to study at St. Bees instead of Islington.
Much as I liked the tone and feeling of the College, I felt that the necessary restrictions and confinement at Islington would test me very much after the active sort of life I had been leading, and I really thought that in all probability my health would suffer if I studied there. Mr. Venn quite agreed, but suggested that, instead of going to St. Bees, I should hasten my marriage and go out at once to New Zealand to be ordained there by Bishop Selwyn. Accordingly I left Islington at the end of December and hurried on my marriage, which had been arranged should not take place for two or three years.
I was married the following July, 1845, and immediately wrote to the Society to say we were ready to depart when, to my great disappointment, I received a letter to say that the war in New Zealand, together with matters connected with Bishop Selwyn, rendered it desirable that I should go out ordained, and suggested that I should follow my original proposition of going to St. Bees. This caused me a good deal of trouble, and some delay.
However, I went with my wife to live near St. Bees, and obtained a tutor and entered the College in August, 1846, from which I was ordained Deacon, in June, 1848, by good Bishop Lonsdale, to the Curacy of Tideswell in Derbyshire.
I had made the Bishop acquainted with the fact that I had offered my services to the Church Missionary Society,
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TIDESWELL CHURCH, "THE CATHEDRAL OF THE PEAK," DERBYSHIRE.
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and that I wished to be set at liberty as soon as possible. The June following I obtained full orders, and, the December following, the Bishop very kindly gave me permission to leave, and, about a month afterwards, furnished me with a very favourable testimonial which Mr. Venn desired to be allowed to copy. I at once communicated with the Society, and, on the 11th February, 1850, we sailed with two children for New Zealand.
We had a very long and bad passage, but, by God's mercy, we arrived safely.
I hope what I have said will meet the object of the paper put into my hands.
My dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
(Sd.) T. S. GRACE.
Church Missionary Society,
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