MATENGA TE MATIA.
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MAORIS OF BY-GONE DAYS.
MATENGA TE MATIA.
(N.Z. Church Chronicle, July 1896.)
MATENGA te Matia was a chief next in rank to Te Whatanui. He was a hard man, not perhaps cruel, but not very considerate of the lives of others. When Te Rauparaha incited Ngatiraukawa to attack Ngatiawa in September, 1839, just before my arrival, Te Matia was the man he enlisted to organise the war. The celebrated Te Whatanui was, rather against his inclination, committed to it. They were repulsed. On their retreat they were pursued. Te Matia was one of the first to retreat, and suggested to Te Whatanui that they should hide in the bushes, which he declined, saying that he would die standing. It should be noted that Te Matia was lame, and could not walk fast. He lost by this expedition and its results. He occasionally, on Sundays when I had prayers with and preached to the converts, came for the purpose of making a noise and interrupting us. On one occasion this interruption went rather too far. On the following Monday I walked to his abode for the purpose of remonstrating with him. I found him in his garden with several of his people. But he took no notice of me. So I sat down on the ground and thoughtlessly took up a piece of kumara and bit it. This was on my part an infraction of a tapu. It afforded him an opportunity, which perhaps he had been looking for, of ridding himself of me and my proceedings. He rushed at me with his tomahawk, and was about to strike me as I sat on the ground, when his daughter, the wife of Te Whatanui's eldest son Te Roha, and Morowati, son of Kiharoa, an important chief, immediately came and placed themselves between me and my assailant, placing their hands over my head so that it became impossible for him to strike me without first striking them. Others then came forward. After some time his rage abated, and he sat down.
I then endeavoured to explain that I, as a foreigner, who had not been long among them, was not aware that I was doing anything offensive. But before I could finish my explanation the Maori priest, Hereiwi, who had gone through his karakia making the kumara ground tapu, interrupted by pronouncing a curse upon me which was necessarily to lead either to my death, or to my removal from Otaki. I told him his curse would neither affect my life nor influence my proceedings, but was more likely to injure him. I then left them. In the
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evening several of my friends came to me in very low spirits. They wanted to know what I intended to do, and what I thought would be the effect of the curse. I assured them that I should take no notice whatever of the curse, but should go on with my work as usual. They expressed a fear that, having been degraded by the curse, no one in future would pay any attention to what I said or taught. They then left me. Early next morning I went to Waikanae. On my return after a few days' absence, I learnt that Hereiwi had died during the night after the affair in the kumara garden. This produced a profound impression on the natives, who attributed his death to his cursing me. In vain I endeavoured to explain that I had heard from some Englishmen who knew him that he had been suffering from a complaint in his lungs, and that his death was occasioned by the rupture of a large blood-vessel. Not altogether convinced they resolved not to meddle any more with me, but to allow me in future to disregard all their tapu ceremonies, and go where I liked. After that Te Matia and I were on friendly terms, at least we lived in peace. Many years after that Te Matia was baptised and named Matenga, and became a regular communicant. He took an active part in building the Otaki Church, and lived as a peaceable man. Gradually his health failed him. He said, as he could not leave his house, he wished me to administer the Holy Communion to him there. He was very reverential and calm. He then said he had no wish to recover health or prolong his life; that he felt prepared to die; that he had been liable to do wrong under temptation; he distrusted himself, and wished to die in his present frame of mind. He died a few days after.
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(N.Z. Church Chronicle, August 1896.)
I FIRST met Te Rauparaha in 1839. He was then living on a small island within a few fathoms of Kapiti. It seemed strange to see a man who had recently instigated the Ngatiraukawa tribe to attack the Ngatiawa tribe who were at Waikanae about five miles distant from him, living securely with his wife and a few slaves without any fear of being molested. His mana was a sufficient protection. To have injured him would have been to involve the whole of the natives on both sides of Cook's Strait in war. He was at that time about seventy-five years of age. He was rather below the average height, but strong and active; he had an aquiline nose and rather small eyes. His features plainly indicated intelligence and strength of will, cunning and cruelty, though I subsequently learnt that his cruelty only exhibited itself when serious obstacles stood in his way. He originally came from Kawhia. His name was known throughout New Zealand for the various wars he had been engaged in, and the ability he had displayed in overcoming obstacles and recovering from disasters had made him famous everywhere. On several occasions he related to me adventures connected with these wars which were very remarkable, as affording evidence of his marvellous resources. I will only mention one. Once during his wars with the natives of the South Island he was surprised when in his canoe by a party in several canoes which pursued him and gained upon him. On passing a point of land he observed a few rocks, and a large quantity of sea-weed on the surface of the water. He immediately pulled towards these, filled the canoe with water, allowing only enough of the heads of the party to enable them to breathe, to appear above the water. He let his enemies go on their way, imagining that they were in pursuit of him, and then, having floated his canoe, stood across the Strait and reached home safely. But his ready resource in a difficulty was not always exercised in so innocent a manner. On another occasion (I did not hear this from him) when pursued, in order to lighten his canoe, he threw into the sea those of his slaves who were unable to afford any assistance in paddling it.
I need not say more about his adventures, there being a good deal already recorded as to his wars in works on New Zealand. But what few people had an opportunity of understanding as well as I had, was his great ability. I had many opportunities of hearing him relate his past history, and the various wars he had been engaged in, as well as his contrivances to out-wit or
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elude his enemies. I lived in a whare a few hundred yards from the old Pa, near the mouth of the Otaki River. Sometimes in an afternoon he would come and knock at my door and ask whether I was disengaged, and if so could we have a talk. He said that in the Pa they only talked about pigs and potatoes, and he got tired of it. This did not suit the petty sovereign whose occupation was gone. He would then go back to very early times and relate the state of the various Maori tribes--their relations to one another, and their wars. I had often heard discussions on the advantage in Europe of maintaining the balance of power in order to prevent one nation being overpowered by others, and the advantage of this questioned. To hear this old man talk, and learn how he had on several occasions managed to play off one tribe against another, and thus preserve his own independence and maintain the security of his tribe, was most astonishing.
He was always, from my first interview with him, courteous and civil. How far he would have been so had not his only son Tamihana Katu, and his nephew Matene te Whiwhi, been cordially co-operating with me, I am unable to say. He often gave me assistance, but never, though he occasionally came to church and remained during the whole service, professed belief in Christianity, or desired to be baptised. When it was resolved to build a good church at Waikanae, as totara for some parts of the building could not be obtained there, he agreed that it should be procured from a forest preserve of his at Otaki. He went there with me and selected some of the finest trees. He encouraged his people in their work. As it was impossible to complete our work there that day we determined to pass the night in the forest, and we prepared to sleep there comfortably by the side of a large fire which he had kindled. He said he did not sleep much and would take care to keep the fire well supplied with fuel. He sat talking for a long time, and seemed greatly pleased that we had felled one good tree suitable for the ridge-piece of the church of his former enemies--the Ngatiawa. As I sat by the fire with this old man--the rest of the working party had gone to a distance that we might be quiet--I could not but reflect on the inscrutable nature of man. There was, it was evident, a humane side of the character even of a man who had the reputation of being the most desperate, and unscrupulous of his race. He never deceived me, and always placed implicit confidence in the truth of all I said. I must now conclude. Some years later Sir George Grey who had ascertained that his sympathy with his nephew Te Rangihaeata, who was in open rebellion, had become dangerous, apprehended and detained him on board a man-of-war. He did not resent this, as he knew it had saved him and his people from trouble. He subsequently died at Otaki.
APERAHAMA TE RURU.
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APERAHAMA TE RURU
(N.Z. Church Chronicle, September 1896.)
ONE of the most interesting natives, at least among the older men, who ever came under my notice was Aperahama te Ruru. He was the chief of Ngatihuia, and lived at Pakakatu, at the mouth of the River Otaki. He was about fifty years of age when I first met him in 1839. He was a fine handsome man, with a reputation for great courage. During a war on the southern island, on one occasion when his tribe was retreating before the enemy, he at a narrow pass stood alone to resist them, and thus rallied the fugitives. The description given to me of this and other feats of courage reminded me of Homeric heroes. No chief received me and the Gospel message which I brought with more consideration and cordiality. He was greatly pleased on hearing the New Testament read, and asked whether I thought he would be able to learn to read. I gave him a primer to begin with. With a little assistance from a native within a month he could read fairly well. I gave him a New Testament, and to my surprise within two months he could read it aloud intelligibly. In due time he was baptised, and acted as lay-reader to his people. His whole subsequent life was consistent with his Christian profession. He never, unless prevented by some insuperable obstacle, failed to be present at morning and evening prayers. During many years he lived near the present church at Otaki; and frequently would ring the bell in the morning while younger people slept. His wife in many respects resembled her husband. She was the most dignified and courteous Maori woman I ever saw, and was besides a thoroughly consistent Christian. Their only son was taken by Bishop Selwyn to S. John's College, Auckland, where he was educated. Shortly after he returned to his parents he died. It need hardly be said that Aperahama was highly respected by all who knew him. Certainly no one who had known him--a man celebrated in old time for courage and high character, and subsequently for his blameless Christian life during a long period of years--could give much credence to the hasty assumption of those who constantly pronounced the Maori race incapable of becoming a Christian people.
Shall I be excused if I venture to recall, and give expression to, some of the thoughts that passed through my mind when I became well acquainted with the man of whom I am now writing? I have alluded to the superficial judgments pronounced by persons having little sympathy with uncivilized races. I have attempted at different times to read what has been written as to the character of the Maori in books on New
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Zealand. But after reading a page or two I have usually closed the book. All I have found has been a general description of the genus savage, which would equally apply to any other race as well as the Maori. No attempt has been made to mark any of the peculiarities of the latter, or to point out in what respects he differed from others. The most striking peculiarity of the race, which no careful observer could fail to notice, is the very great variety which is found even among the members of a small tribe. Each man thinks for himself. This may account for their courage, their self-reliance, and their independence; all these were remarkable in this chief of Ngatihuia. There is another feature of their character which is rare among savages, and which has been overlooked by many who have written of them, I allude to the fact that they were not a revengeful people. I am aware that the contrary to this has been very frequently asserted and commonly taken for granted. Their many savage tendencies had, indeed, under excitement, full scope in their wars. But when peace was once concluded revenge did not rankle in their breasts. They met their former enemies on good terms until some new cause of quarrel occurred. I must restrict my remarks and not enlarge on a wide subject. It is not my intention to do more than mark one other characteristic of the race which was very prominent in Aperahama, and which afforded me the greatest encouragement in my work, supplying as it did a basis on which to , build in giving religious instruction, I mean the existence of a sensitive conscience. I do not wish to be understood as suggesting that conscience is not universal in man. But persons well acquainted with Asiatic races, especially those of India, inform us that these will tell a falsehood quite as readily as speak the truth whenever they think it may suit their purpose, and are unabashed when the falsehood is detected. This was not the case with the Maori when I first became acquainted with him. He was far too courageous and independent to tell a lie. Forty years ago both Chief Justice Stephen and Mr. St. Hill, the Wellington Magistrate, told me that they had never known a Maori wilfully deviate from the truth in any evidence they had given in court. Here I may mention this remarkable fact, that Maketu the first Maori who was tried for murder, declined to plead "not guilty" in court, until it was explained to him that it was necessary that he should do so to allow the proceedings of the court to go on. I am quite aware that this is all changed now. They have learnt in the Native Land Courts that those who can tell the most bare-faced lies often obtained the largest awards of land.
My attention was called to the fact that Maoris had sensitive conciences, and were well aware that there was a distinction between right and wrong, by Mr. Brown, a man of considerable
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talent who kept a store on a small island within a few fathoms of Kapiti, before the Government was established in this country. He was a phrenologist and professed to base his opinion on an examination of their heads. I was glad to have an opinion I had already formed fortified by his, but I valued it from a different reason from that which he assigned to it. He was dealing extensively with them, and gave many of them credit in perfect confidence that they would always fulfil what they promised. Their honesty in dealing which he asserted, supported by the fact that he was carrying on a lucrative business, was more convincing to me than his phrenological examinations. In laying stress on this aspect of their character I must guard myself from being supposed to imply that they were guided by any high standard of moral conduct. All I wish to convey is, that they had a standard, and that they had consciences--rather sensitive--which testified to the discrepancy when there was any deviation in conduct from the standard of moral right to which they had attained. They certainly did recognise veracity and justice to be right and obligatory and therefore to be observed. Of course the strength of this faculty varied almost indefinitely in individuals; but it existed. Having ascertained this I found that I had something on which I could work. Here were a people free from any conventional theory of morals, certainly uninfluenced by any utilitarian theory, whose consciences bore testimony to the duty of being truthful and just. Their minds were evidently capable of being led to perceive that there was an invisible Being who knew the thoughts of their hearts, whom they had offended whenever they had departed from the standard of right which they recognised, and to whom, therefore, they must be responsible. An opening was thus perceived for the teaching of Christian truths which could find access to hearts in some respects prepared to receive them. More than one Maori has told me how unsatisfactory they found their lives to be, they felt that they were living without an object. They perceived in the moral teaching of the New Testament what commended itself to their minds; they perceived in its special doctrinal teaching on redeeming love and spiritual help what commended itself to their needs. The recollection of Aperahama te Ruru has led to these reflections. Here was the chief of Ngatihuia, a man exercising a good deal of power and authority among his people, whose whole previous life had been connected with heathen customs and superstitions, who, on having the teaching of Christianity brought to his notice, accepts it with all his heart. He asks for no evidences of its truth. It comes to him as light shining where darkness had previously dwelt, and is seen by the eye of the spirit within, once dormant though not dead, to come from the Being to whom he is responsible. I must now end. He sub-
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sequently studied the New Testament diligently, and lived as a consistent Christian. I am not aware that he in any respect lost: caste in the estimation of the chiefs who stood aloof from the Church, his fame as a former brave warrior precluded this. I need only add that there were others like him, whose names I well remember, who gave proof that they had consciences bearing witness to the fact that there was a law within which they had failed to obey, and were led to humble themselves on hearing the Gospel, and submit themselves to its teaching and guidance.
REV. RIWAI TE AHU.
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REV. RIWAl TE AHU
REV. RIWAI TE AHU.
(N.Z. Church Chronicle, December 1896.)
I VENTURE to send a few recollections of one of the younger men who came under my notice on my arrival at Waikanae in 1839. A large part of the Ngatiawa tribe lived there. I found in this tribe several remarkable old men; but they did not differ much from those Ngatiraukawa chiefs about whom I recently sent you some notes. Te Ahu was perhaps the most interesting native whom I ever knew. He was a fine handsome young man about 20 years of age. He had learnt to read and write from Ripahau, a Ngatiraukawa who had been carried off as a slave many years before to the Bay of Islands, and had there come under the instruction of missionaries. Ripahau on his freedom being granted had brought some fragments of the New Testament and the Book of Common Prayer on his return to his people. He had not been baptised. Ngatiraukawa declined to pay any attention to what he told them of Christianity. He came on to the Ngatiawa. Some of the young men of this tribe, as well as Ngatitoa, readily listened to what he said and forthwith learnt to read and write. They obtained paper and ink from Englishmen in the whaling stations on the island of Kapiti. Te Ahu was brought to my notice by the principal chief as a man who could write and who had copied prayers from the Prayer Book and passages from the New Testament and had circulated them among his people. This was my first acquaintance with a man who from that time forward worked heartily with me till the close of his useful life. I must mention an incident of his life when a child, which, seemed to have led him to think more seriously than most children are wont to do, and which possibly prepared him to attend to the Gospel even when he had heard only a few of its doctrines and precepts. When about 10 or 12 years of age he -went with his parents and the other members of his family across the Strait to Okukari in Queen Charlotte's Sound. While there he was taken by one of his relations some distance further up the Sound to a place near Picton. On his return he heard to his dismay that his parents availing themselves of fine weather and a fair wind had started for Waikanae, assuming that he would follow with some of his relations in whose charge he was left. He sat down and wept not knowing what to do. However an Englishman told him not to despair for that in a few days he would take him in his boat to Waikanae. This promise he faithfully fulfilled. But on his arrival there he was told that nothing had been heard of the canoe in which his parents were, in fact it had been lost. He was then overwhelmed with grief. His relations however were very kind to him, and he was brought up with their own children. In due
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time he became cheerful like others. This was his story. In after life he looked back on it as an event which to a certain extent led him to reflect and to recognise God's gracious care in preserving him to hear the Gospel, to accept its truths, and to work with others in extending the knowledge of it both to his own tribe and to neighbouring tribes. I have on former occasions ventured to call attention to some of the better, but little known characteristics of the natives. I cannot refrain from directing attention to the fact that an orphan child, of whatsoever age, never failed to find some relation to take charge of it. It was received into the family and shared with others in all that the family possesesd. It is true the food of all was plain, and, except at some seasons of the year, plentiful; the clothing doubtless was very scant. Still the fact remains that the orphan was sure of a home.
Te Ahu was a member of Ngatikura, a sub tribe of Ngatiawa, of which Reretawhangawhanga, the father of William King Te Rangitake, was the chief. On my arrival they at once made arrangements to accommodate me in the Pa which occupied five or six acres of land, and which at that time contained about a thousand men. About half that number had recently crossed the strait in order to assist their brethren if again attacked by Ngatiraukawa, whom they had repulsed a few weeks before. Te Ahu undertook two things, to teach me to speak Maori correctly, and to teach all who were willing to learn to read and write. I need not express an opinion as to how far he was successful in the former effort, but there can be no doubt as to his success in the latter. He soon got together about 200 adults, besides women and children, who regularly attended morning school. I had brought a good supply of printed primers and slates. It was essential that school should not interfere with necessary work. We began in the month of January, and we usually met for school soon after five o'clock in the morning. Whenever I was not absent on a visit to other places I attended school. This was preceded by morning prayers. For fifteen years Te Ahu carried on this school. He had able assistants, one H. Ngawaraki, a cousin of his, was as efficient as himself, but he died early. Still, Te Ahu was the head on whose energy depended the efficiency and success of the school. I need hardly say he received no remuneration for his work; it was all done from his earnest wish to benefit others. Nor did his work end here. He insisted on crossing the strait with me in my boat to establish schools among portions of the tribe living in Queen Charlotte's Sound. This we did at Okukari at the south entrance of the Sound and at several other places there. After three years we reckoned that at least 2000 persons had learnt to read and write in our schools.
Te Ahu was not baptised till some time after my arrival. My
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superficial knowledge of the language and consequent inability to explain Scriptural doctrines to my own satisfaction occasioned some delay. In due time he and several others were baptised. His consistent conduct was noticed by all who knew him. I remember that on one occasion Te Rauparaha, the chief of the Ngatiraukawa, some of whose tribe got into trouble and were likely to come into conflict with the government, came to me with a request that I would allow Te Ahu to act as his messenger to the magistrate as he felt quite sure that he would strictly follow his instructions, and that he knew no one else in whom he could place the same confidence. This duty he discharged entirely to Te Rauparaha's satisfaction. This struck me as a marvellous instance of the influence of character. Here was an old chief noted for being unscrupulous and utterly untrustworthy, recognising goodness and high character in another, and that other belonging to a different tribe. I only need add that the Englishmen at the whaling stations at Kapiti habitually looked to Te Ahu for advice or assistance whenever they got into trouble while trading with natives. Notwithstanding his energy he was of a mild and patient disposition, not allowing obstacles or the perverseness of those whom he was endeavouring to benefit to disturb his equanimity. After his baptism I appointed him to be lay reader at Waikanae, where during my frequent visits to Otaki and other places he regularly conducted Divine service. Although a large proportion of the people in the Pa professed to desire instruction, there were some who now and then gave trouble; I invariably found that he had exercised the influence he possessed with judgment. I felt little anxiety when absent, feeling confident that he would act wisely in any difficulty.
The Bishop of New Zealand having formed a high opinion of his abilities and of the work he had done, early in 1855 took him to Auckland in order that he might study for the ministry. There he was placed under the direction of Archdeacon Kissling. He possessed many advantages of which he made good use. Sir William Martin, the Chief Justice, took great interest in him, and being well acquainted with the Maori language gave him regular instruction. In 1856 he was admitted to the order of Deacon. He accompanied the Bishop in one of his visits to the Melanesian Islands, which greatly pleased and interested him. He told me that in one small island--I forget the name--the people spoke Maori which was quite intelligible to him, so that he could converse freely with them. The same year he returned to Waikanae. But at that time its population and that of its neighbourhood had been very much reduced, as large numbers had returned to Taranaki, the country from which they had come many years before in order to trade with the ships that visited Kapiti. It was therefore arranged that he
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should live at Otaki where I was. So pleased were Ngatiraukawa to have amongst them one who bore such a high character that they at their own expense built him a comfortable house. Here he lived and worked visiting the people in the various villages from Waikanae to Manawatu. His work was highly appreciated. I especially valued his assistance at the time when the Rev. C. Volkner was murdered at Opotiki, and when the Hauhau fanaticism was disturbing the minds of many. Here I venture to express an opinion on the value of a Maori ministry. However accurate our English missionary's knowledge of the Maori language may be, he cannot follow the working of a Maori's mind as one of his own people can. He cannot sympathise with his prejudices, or see the subject under consideration from his point of view. He reasons with him at a disadvantage. I have become more thoroughly convinced of this by what I have observed since the time I refer to, I have come to the conclusion that a native ministry is essential in all missions, and that to obtain such a ministry ought to be the ultimate aim of all missionary efforts. Riwai te Ahu was much distressed at the progress made by the Hauhau superstition and the war that occurred in some parts of the country. This aggravated the complaint in his lungs which was gradually undermining his constitution. Still he worked on for some time in a weak state until his death which took place in Otaki.
I must add a few words more as to his latter end. For some weeks before his death he was confined to his bed. As he lived near me I saw him daily. I arranged to administer the Holy Communion. On my return to my surprise I found he had risen and dressed himself in his black clothes. I expressed a hope that he had not fatigued himself too much. He simply replied,--"I felt that it would be to dishonour my Lord not to make the effort."--At the conclusion he returned to his bed and never rose from it again. Shortly afterwards I was obliged to go to Wellington to attend the Synod. During my absence he had fallen into a swoon. My wife daily visited him. Once recovering for a few moments he said he should not die till my return. A few days after I came home, he died. This occurred on October 8th, 1866. On the 11th he was buried. Bishop Abraham having come from Wellington to attend the funeral, when a very large number of Ngatiraukawa, Ngatiawa, and Ngatitoa were present to show their respect to the memory of one who had laboured so faithfully among them.
I append a translation of an inscription on a brass plate in the Otaki Church to the memory of "Rota Waitoa, of Ngatiraukawa and Riwai te Ahu of Ngatiawa. They were baptised by the Rev. O. Hadfield, and were the two first Maori clergymen ordained by the Bishop of New Zealand. They were taken to those who sleep in Christ in the year of our Lord 1866."
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(N.Z. Church Chronicle, February, 1896.)
AS most of our readers are acquainted with the Native Church at Otaki, it is needless to give a detailed description of it but merely to say that it is built in Maori style and entirely by Maoris.
The ridge pole, 86 feet long, and the pillars are each the trunk of a tree, and the walls alternate slabs of wood and panels of kakaho, or toe-toe stalks and narrow battens laid across with strips of flax. Each of these panels took a long time to make, and was very tedious work. The pillars and slabs are stained with red kokowai, and the battens with dark green, which, with the straw-coloured flax, form a good combination.
There had been a smaller Church built in the same style at Waikanae, but the Otaki natives determined to have a better and a larger one.
The first trees for the Church were cut in 1844, at Ohau, about eight miles from Otaki. Bishop Hadfield, who was then the Resident Missionary there, went with a party of natives to fell the trees. The natives, who were excited about their work, at once began to fell, and two beautiful trees were broken to splinters in falling. I his created great distress, and cast a gloom on the work. Mr. Hadfield then suggested that as they had sacrificed two trees that they should allow him to superintend the felling of the next, to which they agreed. He then had a bed made of branches for the trees to fall on, and they cut the tree for the ridge pole, which fell on the bed prepared for it in perfect condition. This pleased the natives very much, and they proceeded with the work till all the trees required for the building were cut.
They were then taken to Otaki and laid on the ground where the Church was afterwards built. Each tree had to be drawn by the natives (there being no bullocks there in those days) from the bush to the beach, and along the beach to Otaki, a distance of eight miles.
Soon after this, in 1845, Mr. Hadfield was seized with severe illness and was in Wellington for four years on what was supposed to be his death-bed.
Nothing more was done about the Church until 1848, when the Rev. S. Williams was appointed to the charge of the district by Bishop Selwyn. The trees were on the ground all overgrown with hutiwai. The building of the Church was then begun under Mr. Williams' supervision. It was a lively scene; men and women all at work from early dawn to dark, the men working at the pillars and slabs which were all smoothed by adze, not cut by machinery, and the women working at the lace work for
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the panels. The Government engineer who was then in charge of some of the Public Works estimated the labour of the Maoris at the then low rate of wages as at the least £2,000. The Maori labour was all voluntary. There was some money collected from natives and English, but no grant was received from the C.M.S. or any other Church Fund.
In November 1849, Mr. Hadfield returned to Otaki, his health having been quite restored. At this time the inside of the building was finished, not the outside nor the flooring. The natives wished to have an opening and thanksgiving service, and prepared the Church by making a number of flax mats to lay on the floor. At that time the Maori population was very large, and the Church was well filled. All were pleased to welcome back their Matua. It was some little time before the Church was ready for regular services, and in 1852 the Bishop of New Zealand held his first confirmation there.
The seats were not put in for some years, as the natives preferred sitting Maori fashion on the floor.
The altar rails were carved by several different men, each taking a certain number to carve.
There may be seen there on one of the pillars at the east end a brass plate to the memory of the Rev. Rota Waitoa, of Otaki, and the Rev. Riwai te Ahu, of Waikanae, the first natives who were admitted to Holy Orders by Bishop Selwyn.
The Church underwent thorough repair in 1884, and being all built of totara it is hoped that it may last many years.
Though the Maoris built the Church, and have ever since had regular service in it, they have always been quite willing for their English friends to have the use of it for their services, and thus the residents of Otaki have had the free use of the Church, and have not like all other districts, had to build a church and provide for the clergyman's stipend before they could enjoy the blessing of regular Church services.
MEETING OF NATIVES AT OTAKI.
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MEETING OF NATIVES
MEETING OF NATIVES AT OTAKI.
(N.Z. Church Chronicle, March 1886.)
A MEETING of natives interested in Church work was held here on the 9th February, being the fortieth day of the year, to commemorate the establishment of the Mission on this coast, forty years ago. The clergy present were, besides his Lordship the Bishop, the Rev. James McWilliam, of Otaki; the Rev. Rawiri te Wanui, of Otaki; the Rev. H. te Herekau, of Manawatu; the Rev. Pineaha te Mahauariki, of Wairarapa; the Rev. Arona te Hana, of Whanganui; the Rev. S. Williams, of Napier; and the Rev. R. Burrows, of Auckland, Secretary to the Church Mission Society. There were about 500 natives present, including a number of chiefs from up the coast as far as Patea, up the Whanganui river, and Napier. Most of the visitors arrived at Otaki on Saturday the 7th, and, consequently, there were large congregations at both services on Sunday. At the morning Service the Bishop preached a most eloquent, convincing, and impressive sermon on the stability of the Word of God. He alluded in feeling terms to the first preaching of this Word by himself on the coast forty years ago, in weakness of body, but in faith. The seed then sowed had taken deep root and spread around, and had withstood the many enemies which Satan had raised up against it, and was at this day, a well-rooted, healthy plant, which ought to continue to grow in strength and beauty, bear fruit, and send forth the good seed to other lands. There were over 100 communicants. The Rev. S. Williams preached in the evening on the duty of giving in the Gospel's cause, and especially of supporting their own clergy. He reminded them that hitherto they had done very little in this way, and he took blame to himself in not sooner Raving taught them this duty, and he exhorted them forcibly to enter heartily into their new work.
The ceremony on the 9th began with morning service. The Rev. S. Williams again preached on the same subject in a most warm and spirited manner, and was listened to with wrapt attention and interest. At the conclusion of the service the whole company marched to where a pole, shaped like an obelisk and surmounted by a cross, had been erected to commemorate the occasion. First, in order, went forty men dressed in white, who each on reaching the monument deposited a large stone at its foot. The ceremony at the pole was arranged entirely by the Maoris and was conducted in a very reverential manner. The forty men and forty women dressed in white stood near the pole. As soon as the stones were deposited they sang a hymn and said the 136th, 148th, and 150th Psalms, after which they sang another hymn and one
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of the Maori deacons said a few prayers. The leading chiefs then gave addresses on the object of the meeting. Then the several collectors for the Native Clergy Endowment Fund brought what had been collected and handed it to the Rev. J. McWilliam. The sum hitherto collected was found to be £620 10s. 6d., only £12 of which had been given by Europeans. After this the whole company were invited to partake of a feast provided by the Otaki natives and spread in the large hall at the College, and when it was over the speaking was again resumed in the large meeting-house of the village, which had been splendidly done up for the occasion, re-shingled and painted without, and painted, figured, varnished, panelled, and matted inside. The principal speakers were the Bishop, who contrasted the state of the natives on his arrival here in 1839 with their present quiet, peaceful, and secure condition; the Rev. S. Williams, who answered a number of objections and difficulties raised by one or two of the speakers, who had a leaning to Hauhauism; the Rev. J. McWilliam who explained the real objects of the meeting, which was simply to thank God, for the gifts of the Gospel to which He had enabled them to hold fast during the forty years past and to pray for a continuance of His Spirit for the future. Renata, from Napier; Mete Kingi, from Whanganui; Taurua, from Patea; Ihakara, from Manawatu; and several others also spoke.
On this occasion was also unveiled a monument to the memory of the chief Te Rauparaha, the chief who led from the north the tribes now inhabiting this coast. It consists of a foundation of brick-work into which is fixed an ornamental iron railing, a base of two large masses of Melbourne bluestone dressed, a comical pedestal of white marble, tapering shaft also of marble, and a life-size bust of Rauparaha, tattoed and feathered with ponamu pendant at the side. The memorial pole and this monument stand within the same enclosure, and will be quite an interesting ornament to the village. They also represent the past and present state of the natives. They have been transformed in forty years from savage blood-thirsty cannibals to quiet, peaceful, and comparatively civilised Christians.
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REV. PINEAHA TE MAHAUARIKI.
(N.Z. Church Chronicle, October 1895.)
IT is with regret we record the death of the Rev. Pineaha te Mahauariki which took place at Masterton on the 6th September last. He was the son of Te Mahauariki who was a chief of some note of the Ngatiraukawa tribe, and grandson of Kiharoa, a chief and warrior of great renown. He was baptized when a child in 1842 by the Rev. O. Hadfield. In 1851 he was selected by Bishop Selwyn from among the boys in the Otaki School, then in charge of the Rev. S. Williams, and taken to S. John's College, Auckland, where he remained about a year. He then returned to Otaki. In 1858 he was appointed lay-man in the Manawatu district, where he did good work, and was highly respected. A few years later timber was collected for a new church at Moutoa, but the war which arose out of the King movement, though not directly affecting this part of the country, more or less distracted the attention of the natives; the work therefore flagged, and some men of those who cooperated in it withdrew. He then undertook to prepare the whole timber himself, with the assistance of two or three of his younger relations. This he proceeded to do. His energy soon attracted others, and in a short time the building was erected. The character and resolution he then showed, proved him to be qualified for higher work. In 1875 he returned to Otaki to study for ordination, under the Rev. James McWilliam, and on the 17th of December, 1877, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Hadfield, then Bishop of Wellington. He was then appointed to the Wairarapa districts, where he had the benefit of the Rev. A. Knell's advice and guidance in his work. On All Saints' Day, 1886, he was ordained priest by the Bishop of Wellington, assisted by the Rev. Samuel Williams, Rev. T. L. Tudor, and the Rev. A. O. Williams. Two other deacons were admitted to priests' orders on the same day--Rev. E. T. Ngara, and the Rev. Arona te Hana. For some years he laboured faithfully in the Wairarapa district; but, latterly he suffered much from asthma and bronchitis, and consequently, more especially in the winter, could not work with much regularity. He was a very humble-minded man, and perhaps in the discharge of his duties hardly aggressive enough. The following is a translation of a letter to Bishop Hadfield on the occasion of his resignation.
To our Father the Bishop,
Greeting to you, your wife and your daughters who are living with you. I have received your letter. I and the people here
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REV. PINEAHA TE MAHAUARIKI
were filled with love to you when they heard that you were to cease to be their Bishop, and great was the sorrow, but it must be. All the old people of Ngatiraukawa have died in the faith, you alone are left to us, and now you will cease to visit us; but God will protect both you and us in the years that are to come. It is well. We shall think of you living at Marton. I shall be returning to Wairarapa as soon as I feel stronger. These are our farewell words to you and your family.
From your loving son,
(Signed) PINEAHA TE MAHAUARIKI.
He was able to be present at the consecration of the present Bishop of Wellington in January last, and expressed himself as well pleased that there was a new Bishop.
SERMON ON THE MAORI MISSION.
SERMON ON THE MAORI MISSION.
(N.Z. Church Chronicle, July 1885.)
"Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name."--Acts xv, 14.
THESE words were spoken by St. James at a council held at Jerusalem for the purpose of considering the relation in which Gentile converts to Christianity stood to Jewish converts. The question arose out of the sudden reception of Christianity by many of the heathen. S. Peter related the part he had taken in the admission of the first converts into the Church. It was after the statement made by Simon Peter, that S. James, who presided over the Church at Jerusalem, spoke the words which have been read. What he lays stress on, is, that in the case of Cornelius and his household, "God did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his Name." The full meaning of these words, and the important truth they involve, are not generally understood, the consequence of which has been that much disappointment has been experienced by many who have laboured for the extension of the Church in the world.
It is very generally thought, and very frequently said, by persons who have not gone very deeply into the subject, that Christianity has failed in its purpose; and further, which is a part of the same subject, that missions to the heathen have
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failed. But this requires consideration. Before we can be in a position to say positively that any scheme, or plan, or dispensation has failed, we ought to be quite certain that we thoroughly understand what its purpose was,--what it was intended, or, perhaps we should say, expected to accomplish.
Now, what does a patient study of the New Testament teach us? Assuredly it records our Lord's Command to his disciples to "preach the Gospel to every creature." There can be no room for doubt as to the duty of the Church to fulfil that command. But does it lead us to expect that the gospel message will be very readily or generally received? Does it even encourage us to think that it will very generally produce those effects in the hearts of all who accept it, which its intrinsic excellence ought to produce? Does it, in other words, authorise us to expect that it will bring peace of mind, and holiness of life, to all who profess to be Christians? Assuredly this is not what would occur to the student of Scripture as the probable effect of Christianity. Is not, in fact, the very reverse of this foretold? Are we not warned to expect wars, and strifes, and divisions? Are not individual Christians warned that they must expect "persecutions," and even opponents among the members of their own "households?"
Much, indeed, of the language of the old Prophets would lead us to look for a reign of peace in the world; but their real meaning, when carefully considered, is found to have reference to a future world. Assuredly the language of our Lord and of the writers of the New Testament paints no such glorious future in this world. Of the children of Israel it is promised "a remnant shall be saved." But it is to the heathen that the words before us refer: "God is visiting the Gentiles to lake out of them a people for his Name." It is this fact on which I wish you to reflect. The Gospel must be made known to "all." Christ's command in this matter is unqualified. It is his command to go and "preach the Gospel to every creature," which is the missionary's warrant to enter on his work. Still, we are nowhere led to suppose that the Gospel message will be universally accepted. It was intended to be, and it is, effectual in all who receive it into their hearts, and submit themselves to the Holy Spirit's sanctifying influence. In considering this and kindred truths, it is needful ever to bear in mind, that man is a free agent: that it is in his power to reject God's gracious offer of love and mercy. We cannot venture to pry into the mysteries of God's counsels. Nor should we profit by any such attempt. But he knew the end from the beginning. And what we learn from S. James's words is, that he is "visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his Name." We are not warranted to infer from this, that such people will be either few or many. But we do learn this fact, that his people--true converts--his adopted
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children in Christ, will be a people gathered in from the heathen nations, and not those nations at large. If this be the truth as it is stated in Holy Scripture, what right have fallible men to pronounce Christianity a failure? Or, what justification have they for asserting in the most peremptory manner that missions have failed? The promise was, "My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." It may be quite true that greater and more manifest results have been expected and looked for from missions. But there is no scriptural justification for such expectations.
These considerations are not uncalled for, or unnecessary in reference to the subject before us. But the real question which should interest us, and which indeed concerns us to-day, is this--has the gospel, as a matter of fact, produced any beneficial effects on the aboriginal people of these islands? Has the preaching of the gospel been "the power of God unto salvation" to many who have believed it? Has it pleased God to make it efficacious in many hearts? Has he visited this people to gather from among them a people for his Name? I think he must be a very bold man who will venture to assert that no such result followed the promulgation of the gospel here among this people. Those who are most competent to form an opinion on the subject, who understand their language, who knew them before they were brought under the influence of Christian teaching, who knew what they were then, and what many have become since, express in no uncertain terms their strong conviction that their religion has produced a most mighty effect on their lives.
But, besides, it is undeniable that Christianity has been the means of effecting very beneficial collateral results. And are we not justified in hoping, that these beneficial effects on the people at large, may be, in God's providence, the means towards a much larger ingathering into the number of Christ's faithful people.
If it be objected, that among the best of the converts we do not find such a high standard of Christian conduct as ought to manifest itself in the followers of Christ; the truth of this objection may be admitted without materially affecting the question. What is more universally recognised than the fact, that old habits, and more especially bad habits, are among all people with great difficulty put off? Old habits and prejudices cannot be discarded at once. Again, the enormous difficulty of grasping the full force of the teaching of the holy Gospel, stands in the way of those whose language was almost utterly devoid of terms fitted to deal with the spiritual truths and mysteries of our holy religion. This alone must have had a tendency more or less to retard their progress in the Divine life. However, in
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this matter we are not competent judges. Indeed we are strictly commanded not to judge one another: we cannot see the heart: "To his own Master each man standeth or falleth."
I will venture this morning to depart from my usual custom, and ask you to let me direct your thoughts for a few minutes to what the state of the natives of these islands really was only a very few years ago,--I mean within the memory of many now living. It is true these people had some good qualities. There was nothing mean or cowardly about them: they were independent and self-reliant. They were, however, under the influence of degrading superstitions. They were cannibals. They maintained slavery in its most abject form: the life of a slave was entirely at the mercy of his master. I have known a slave killed, almost before my own eyes,--killed for the most trifling offence, and this without exciting any indignation. Infanticide, when I first came among them, was practised by parents apparently without any feeling of compunction whatever. I have known a newly-born infant to be buried alive by its parents. Human life was not valued very highly. My own life was once attempted by an enraged chief, when I was with difficulty saved from the strokes of his axe by the efforts of a youth, a relation of his, and his own daughter, who screened me from his violence, my offence being that I had interfered with a superstitious practice. But why do I refer to an almost forgotten fact? It is for the purpose of illustrating my subject. This very chief, a man who had been long noted for his reckless and violent conduct, who would have taken my life without hesitation, subsequently became a devout Christian, not only helping me by his influence with his people, out becoming a regular attendant at church and at the Holy Communion. When I administered the holy communion to him in his own house a few days before his death I found him in a peaceful frame of mind, strong in faith, patiently awaiting his summons to another world. A son of those cruel parents of whom I have just spoken is now the most efficient deacon in the diocese. I will mention one more, an old chief--a man of great influence, but remarkable for his restless activity--always in trouble himself, and giving trouble to others. He was converted and was baptised. He became completely changed, ceasing to trouble others, and desiring only to be at peace with all. He was visited very shortly before his death. He had previously taken leave of all but a few friends, having, as he said, done with this world. What fell from him was remarkable: "Hitherto I always thought Christ was in heaven looking down upon us here: but last night I obtained a new view of him: I found that Christ is here below with his people, as well as in heaven, speaking peace to me."
It would require but little effort of memory on my part to recall many, very many instances of similar faith in Christ having pro-
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duced marvellous and lasting effects on the lives of converted natives belonging to that class of men and women apparently the most hardened. But it is needless to do so. I would rather confine myself to saying, that in hundreds of instances, I have known converts whose faith, and general consistency of life to the last, have satisfied me that their religion was the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. But perhaps a fact, which ought to speak for itself is, that the work of the Church among the natives of this diocese is--with the exception of two English clergymen--entirely carried on by the ministrations of native deacons and lay readers, the former, whose whole time is given to their work receive small stipends, the lay readers look for none.
I sometimes wonder why so little interest is taken in the native church. It ought to be regarded as a special sphere of work provided in God's providence for us who dwell in this country. To promote its well-being ought to be deemed by us a privilege. If "a cup of cold water" given to a disciple of Christ for his sake will not be forgotten by him, surely to help forward the salvation of these people recently emerging from heathenism must be acceptable to him. Does not apathy on the part of many among us in this matter seem almost unaccountable? It cannot arise from any reason that could be distinctly assigned: I mean no sincere Christian could really deny the obligation he was under to help forward the religion of these people. It must rather be attributed to thoughtlessness, than to absence of good will. It is doubtless occasioned by an inability to estimate the difficulty which impedes the progress both in religion and social habits of a people so different from ourselves. There is a want of intellectual apprehension of the vast difference that necessarily exists between the civilised man, brought up among a people who have been for many generations civilised and Christian, and those, who, however sincere in their religion, still bear about them the marks of that barbarism and that heathenism which they have inherited from a long line of ancestors, and from which it is so difficult to divest themselves. But the Christian should endeavour to overcome such prejudice, and to emancipate himself from its deadening influence. Englishmen are apt to speak of these people as men of an inferior race, unfitted for civilisation, forgetting that a Greek--Aristotle, for instance,--spoke in the same contemptuous way of the race from which we have sprung, as irreclaimable barbarians. I sometimes think we should have more respect for the Christianity of the native people, if we were better acquainted with what is actually recorded in history of its slow progress, and very slight influence on the lives of our forefathers before the conquest.
We ought also to bear in mind that this great difference existing between a civilised and an uncivilised race led a few
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years ago to conflicts most disastrous to the progress of Christianity. We trust that these are now at an end; and that any ill-will arising out of these has died away; and that we shall now do what lies in our power to repair the past by encouraging and promoting all efforts for good among the natives. There can be no doubt whatever that the Hauhau superstition, which took possession of a large number of the natives, was a direct result of the war with them: it was an attempt on their part to have a religion which should be independent of the white man. It is fast dying out; but it has left evils which ought to be met and dealt with, and now can be met and remedied, unless by delay we lose the opportunity.
I must make one further remark. When assistance is asked for the native church it is sometimes objected that they are now in a position to help themselves. This can hardly be deemed a satisfactory reason for declining to discharge an admitted Christian duty. Would not the same objection apply to many analogous matters? Might not the same objection be urged against "homes" and "refuges" and many other similar attempts to help those who could well help themselves, were it not they were morally incapable of realising their obligation to do so? Is not the moral and religious deadness in all these the reason why benevolent persons came forward to assist them? Obviously the same principles should guide us in dealing with the religious wants of these people.
What is specially needed at the present time is to extend the native pastorate. There is a good Theological Training Institution at Gisborne, available for young natives, from all parts of the country, who are preparing for the ministry. This, although the students are not so numerous as could be wished, is working satisfactorily. In this Diocese, not only are the native pastors inadequately provided for, but more are urgently required. May I venture to hope that your offerings to-day, towards the Maori Mission Fund, will afford a proof that you deem it both a privilege and a duty to assist in helping forward the work which our Lord and Master has entrusted to us, who have been earlier called into his vineyard, and who, in God's providence, have been led to take up our abode in this land.