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Church Missionary Society,
HATCHARDS; SEELEYS; AND NISBET.
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BISHOP OF AUSTRALIA
Church Missionary Society's Mission
NOTICES OF ITS STATE AND PROGRESS.
BISHOP OF AUSTRALIA'S VISIT.
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BISHOP OF AUSTRALIA'S VISIT.
THE point to which, under the Divine Blessing, the operations of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand had been carried, made the Committee solicitous to acquire for the Mission the full privileges of a Christian Church, by participating in the benefits of the exercise of the Episcopal Office. With this view, the Committee, in 1836, entered into communication with the Lord Bishop of Australia, for the purpose of engaging his kind offices in furtherance of the object, by a visit to the Mission, at his convenience. The Bishop fully entered into the views of the Committee, and expressed his readiness to promote them so far as his situation would admit. His Lordship drew a distinction between his Episcopal functions as derived from Christ's Commission, and the authority for exercising
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Ecclesiastical jurisdiction derived from the Crown. On this subject the Bishop thus expressed himself, in a Letter to the Committee, dated August 11, 1837:--
The Corresponding Committee here have made me acquainted with the communications which they have received from the Parent Society, expressive of their desire that I should render to them the friendly office of visiting their Missions in New Zealand; and I yesterday had from the Rev. W. Cowper, by direction from the Corresponding Committee, a direct application of the same tendency. I am gratified to find, that, in proposing to undertake the service in question, I have but anticipated the wishes of the Church Missionary Society, and that their views and my own, with respect to the character under which a Bishop may appear beyond the limits of his own Diocese, are so entirely in accordance. Upon the most attentive consideration of the subject, I adhere to the conclusion, that Episcopal jurisdiction can be exercised only over the extent of territory which it may please the King, as Temporal Head of the Church, to appoint for such individual Bishop; but that Episcopal Offices, such as Confirmation, the Conferring of Orders, or Consecration of Churches or Burial-grounds, may
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be allowably fulfilled by any Bishop, wheresoever he shall find a portion of the Church of Christ unprovided for with its own proper superior, by whom these offices should be undertaken.
Circumstances connected with the Australian Diocese delayed the Bishop's departure to New Zealand till December 1838. After his Lordship's return to Sydney, he addressed to the Committee the following interesting communication, in which he fully details his views respecting the Mission:--
Sydney, New South-Wales,
March 28, 1839.
Although several weeks have elapsed since my return from my late voyage, in the course of which I fulfilled my long-cherished intention of visiting the Missionary Settlements in New Zealand, the constant occupation which I have since found in discharging the arrears which had accumulated during my absence, and the necessity of keeping up a correspondence with all parts of the Diocese, have hitherto prevented my forwarding that Report of my proceedings which, I am persuaded, the Society will be anxious to receive.
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Arrival and Reception at the Bay of Islands.
I employ my first interval of comparative leisure in acquainting you, for the Society's information, that I embarked on Wednesday, December 12, 1838, on board H.M.S. "Pelorus," commanded by Capt. Francis Harding; who, at my request, had obligingly consented to afford me a passage to the various points which I was desirous of visiting. On the following day we left this harbour; and on the morning of Friday, 21st December, anchored in the Bay of Islands, having experienced no incident worthy of observation during the passage. The Rev. O. Hadfield--whom, on the recommendation of the Society, I had, at my late Ordination, admitted to Deacon's Orders--accompanied me; and I was gratified by observing the perceptible benefit which his health had already derived from change of climate. The Rev. R. Maunsell, whose station is at Manukau, to the southward, happened at this time to be at the Bay of Islands, on account of the state of Mrs. Maunsell's health; and was so kind as to receive me on my landing, the day following, at the house of the Resident, James Busby, Esq. Several other members of the Mission were also present on the occasion; and I received from all a friendly reception and cordial welcome, which afforded me great encouragement.
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The Rev. Henry Williams, I found, was absent; having undertaken a voyage to the neighbourhood of East Cape, in the hope of composing some serious differences which had arisen among the tribes there, and of preventing their proceeding to extremities, and thereby alarming or endangering the residents attached to the Missionary Stations in the neighbourhood of those contests. The Rev. W. Williams came over from Waimate, as soon as the intelligence of our arrival reached him.
Feelings on Ministering in the Chapel at Paihia
On Sunday the 23d, the Captain of the "Pelorus" sent his boat to convey me to the Chapel at Paihia. It is merely a cottage of unpretending appearance; but not incommodiously fitted up. The very appearance of a place of Christian Worship on those shores was marvellous in my eyes, and excited feelings and thoughts of peculiar and earnest interest. There was a degree of repose and quietness in the scene, which seemed to betoken that this was indeed the Sabbath Day: and I am not ashamed of acknowledging myself to be so much under the influence of external objects, as to have felt a calm shed over my mind by the sight of the green turf, and the scent of the sweetbriar hedges which surround this humble temple;
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and I took part in the Service, and preached there, much supported by hopes, which I pray to a God of infinite mercy may be realised, on behalf of the hitherto ignorant and barbarous Natives of this land, many of whom attended the Service.
Fatal Prevalence of Influenza.
The numbers, however, both of Natives and Europeans, present on this occasion, were considerably under the usual average, as I understood; so many being prevented attending as usual by the general prevalence of a disease termed Influenza; which, when we quitted Port Jackson, was raging in most parts of New South-Wales, and in an equal degree throughout the island of Van Diemen's Land. Its effect upon the constitution of the Natives in New Zealand appears to exceed in virulence even that to which the Europeans are exposed; although in the families of the Missionaries, and of the English Settlers in general, very great distress and suffering are occasioned by this very prevalent disorder. In every house there were some disabled; and in some families, every individual was attacked, so as to put a stop to every ordinary domestic proceeding. As it affects the Natives, I shall have further observations to offer upon the subject of this disease, before I conclude this Letter.
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It will be unnecessary to trouble the Society with a detail of my personal proceedings, further than by stating, that during my stay in the Bay of Islands, I made excursions to visit the Settlements at Kerikeri and Waimate; and also to the Kauakaua, where there is a large assemblage of Converted Natives. I officiated again at Paihia on Christmas Day; which completed the 24th year of the establishment of the Mission; my venerated friend Mr. Marsden having landed on the 24th December 1814, and preached his first sermon on the beach, on the day following--the festival of the Nativity. Mr. King, who was then present, is still alive, and in the enjoyment of good health; and recalled that impressive scene with animated recollection. On Sundays 30th December and 6th January, I also took part in the Services of the Missionary Chapel; and on the last of these days, being the day of the Epiphany, and therefore a most appropriate occasion, I, in the same place, conferred Priest's Orders on Mr. Hadfield. * * * * In the Ordination Service I was assisted by the Rev. Henry Williams, who had arrived at home after an absence of two months, the Rev. W. Williams, and the Rev. R. Maunsell. The feelings excited in the minds of all present, on this solemn occasion, were most gratifying; and to themselves, I trust,
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would afford permanent benefit. I was thankful to have such an opportunity given of showing them the nature of our Orders, and our Apostolical mode of conveying the Ministerial Office.
The Rite of Confirmation administered to Europeans and Natives.
Another duty, scarcely less edifying, devolved on me, in administering the Ordinance of Confirmation to about twenty young persons of European parentage, and to double that number of adult New Zealanders, Converts of the Missionaries. In the case of the former class, there could be no doubt of their being suitably prepared, and grounded in the rudiments of Religious Knowledge, as required by our Rubrics; consisting, as they did principally, of children of the Missionaries themselves, or of those who were living in habits of close intimacy and intercourse with them. The appearance of these young persons was pleasing and interesting; their demeanour unassuming; becomingly serious, without any mixture of affectation; and their almost total unacquaintance with the world giving them a simplicity of manner which forcibly attracts esteem. It was also gratifying to observe the readiness of the parents to present their children for
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the reception of this becoming Ordinance; proving, that they had not, through long disuse, lost their feeling of the advantage which even the most spiritually-minded may derive from the faithful and pious use of external Services. It was not possible for me to decide, with equal certainty or confidence, upon the actual fitness, in point of preparation, of the native candidates; but they were carefully and perseveringly examined by the Clergymen, as to their degree of acquaintance with the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Commandments: they were living in all apparent godliness and honesty, under the constant observation, it may be said, of the entire Mission; and no evil heart of unbelief had betrayed itself among them: and they drew near in a very earnest and humble spirit, desiring to partake of this rite as a means of grace; the nature of it having been previously explained to them in the fullest terms. I therefore--with, I trust, not a misplaced confidence--laid my hands on them, receiving from them the personal ratification of the promises made in their baptism; and I regard the day, on which this full admission of them into the fold of Christ took place, as marking a very memorable era, both in my own life, and in the annals of the New-Zealand Church. God grant that they may indeed
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daily increase in His Holy Spirit more and more, until they come to His everlasting kingdom! The Service of Confirmation was translated into the New-Zealand Language, and a sufficient number of copies printed at the Mission Press, preparatory to the day of that ceremonial. The same was done with regard to the Form for Consecrating a Church-yard; and I employed it in the consecration of the burial-grounds, both at Paihia and Kororarika. I likewise appointed the Rev. Messrs. Williams to act as my Surrogates, for granting marriage-licenses; the want of which is very inconveniently felt, and affords encouragement to the irregular celebration of marriage-rites, which it is desirable not to have introduced.
Visit to the Stations on the Thames.
After departing from the Bay of Islands, we proceeded to the River Thames; where I found Mr. Fairburn established as a Missionary, and, with the aid of his wife and daughter, imparting instruction to a large number of Natives, both male and female. At the particular desire of Mr. Fairburn, I confirmed his children. I also baptized an infant, born of New-Zealand parents, who had been given by its mother, before her death, to the charge of Mrs. Fairburn; and a middle-aged native woman, then lying in a state of great exhaustion and apparent danger
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on a sick bed: she had long known the way of Salvation, and had much desired the privilege of Baptism, which she now received with a meek and quiet spirit. The hut in which this took place was pretty full of Natives, who appeared to look with much interest on what was being done: they were very quiet, and respectful. I read the Baptismal Service in their own tongue; with sufficient correctness, I trust, to make myself intelligible among them;--and if so, God may graciously permit their remembrance of that occurrence to turn hereafter to a profitable account in His service. It was my earnest wish to have visited Tauranga, where the Rev. A. N. Brown is stationed; as well as Manukau, Waikato, and other Stations to the Southward; including the East Cape, where it is proposed, on the arrival of the Rev. R. Taylor from Sydney, to form a New Establishment: but Captain Harding felt, that, from the nature of the service he was upon, he could not with propriety prolong his absence from Sydney to the extent that would be necessary to accomplish all this; and therefore on the 11th of January we sailed from the Thames for Norfolk Island, which also I proposed to visit.
Conclusions formed on a view of the Mission.
Having rendered this short account of the
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principal incidents during my residence in New Zealand, I shall now offer to the notice of the Society those conclusions, with regard to the present state and future prospects of their Mission, which I was enabled to form, through the exercise of my judgment upon all which presented itself to my observation. In thus proceeding, I shall use great plainness of speech.--It is in my power, I think, effectually to contradict the assertions of the adversary and the scoffer, who have sometimes gone the length of affirming that the attempt to Christianize the people of this nation has been a failure,--that nothing has been done. On the other hand, I shall not suffer my admiration of that which has really been effected, to hurry me into an unqualified approval of every thing connected with the establishment of the Mission, or the operations of the Missionaries; nor to deter me from pointing out any particulars in which I think there is room for improvement.
Testimony to the Missionaries.
First, with regard to the Missionaries of the Society, I must offer a very sincere and willing testimony of their maintaining a conversation such as becomes the Gospel of Christ, and the relation in which they stand to it, as the professed guides and instructors of those who are
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by their agency, to be retrieved from the service of sin. Their habits, of life are devotional: they are not puffed up with self-estimation; but appeared, to me, willing to learn, as well as apt to teach: and among themselves, they appear to be drawn together by a spirit of harmony, which is, I hope, the sincere effusion of their hearts; prompted by that spirit, of which love, gentleness, and goodness, are among the most delightful fruits. It is upon the continuance of this spirit among themselves that I raise my principal expectations of their continued success among the Natives. Without unanimity, there can be no successful combination of their exertions; nor is any blessing upon them to be hoped for, such as has hitherto visibly attended them, and in a very ample measure.
Very considerable Number of Converts.
At every Station which I personally visited, the Converts were so numerous, as to bear a very visible and considerable proportion to the entire population; and I had sufficient testimony to convince me that the same state of things prevailed at other places, which it was not in my power to reach. As the result of my inspection, I should state, that in most of the Native Villages, called Pas, in which
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the Missionaries have a footing, there is a Building, containing one room, superior in fabric and dimensions to the native residences; which appears to be set apart as their place for assembling for religious worship, or to read the Scriptures, or to receive the exhortations of the Missionaries. In these buildings generally, but sometimes in the open air, the Christian Classes were assembled before me. The grey-haired man and the aged woman took their places, to read and to undergo examination, among their descendants of the second and third generations. The Chief and the Slave stood side by side, with the same Holy Volume in their hands; and exerted their endeavours each to surpass the other, in returning proper answers to the questions put to them concerning what they had been reading. These assemblages I encouraged, on all occasions; not only from the pleasure which the exhibition itself afforded, but because I was thus enabled, in the most certain and satisfactory way, to probe the extent of their attainments and improvements. The experience thus acquired, has induced me to adopt the habit of applying the term "Converts" to those alone, for many such I found there were, who, in the apparent sincerity of their convictions, and in the sufficiency of their information, compared
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with their opportunities of acquiring it, may be considered Christians indeed. They have, as the Society is probably informed, the whole, I believe, of the Liturgy in their own language; accompanied, for several years past, with portions of the New Testament.
Testimony to the Translation of the New Testament.
But a very great work has been accomplished, in now providing them with a Translation of the whole Volume; copies of which are distributed to such as are likely to employ them well, as rapidly as, with the limited means in their possession, the Missionaries are able to have them bound. This Translation will ever remain a monument of laborious and well-directed piety. My acquaintance with the language was not sufficient to enable me critically to judge of its fidelity to the original; but, in my conversations with the Rev. W. Williams, the principal agent in this great work, I availed myself of every opportunity to ascertain the exact literal rendering of any passages which chanced to be the subjects of our immediate attention: and upon inquiring, which I did very closely, into his reasons for adopting particular words or phrases to express the sense of the original, I was gratified to
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find that he was invariably prepared with a reason; and my impression is, that where there were conflicting reasons, each carrying weight, he had generally given the preference to that which deserved it.
Improvement of Character in Converted Natives.
In speaking of the character of the Converted Natives, I express most unequivocally my persuasion, that it has been improved, in comparison with the original disposition, by their acquaintance with the truths of the Gospel. Their haughty self-will, their rapacity, furiousness, and sanguinary inclination, have been softened--I may even say, eradicated; and their superstitious opinions have given place, in many instances, to a correct apprehension of the spiritual tendencies of the Gospel.
The remaining Evils of their Character to be more vigorously reformed.
Their chief remaining vices appeared, to me, to be indolence, duplicity, and covetousness. The source of all these may probably be found in the ability of the Missionaries and other Europeans to supply their limited wants, in return for a very moderate amount of labour; and it is a natural, perhaps necessary, consequence, that they should anxiously desire the possession of
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articles so strange, and at the same time so valuable to them, as the Europeans have to offer; as well as that, through their prevailing anxiety to obtain those much-coveted conveniences, they should adopt a fawning and submissive air toward those who have the means of bestowing them. They retain too much--considering what intercourse they have enjoyed with the English--of their native lounging and dirty habits. I do not think that we met with a single instance, during our stay, of one man who had done a fair day's work, according to an Englishman's reckoning; but they sit about from morning till night--I am speaking of the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands--and occupy themselves, most perseveringly, in doing nothing. In the Thames, I thought, or hoped, that I saw symptoms of a more industrious disposition. I did not scruple to inform the Missionaries of my opinion, that they were to blame in suffering their followers to continue this degrading and mischievous course. Their disposition to allow slovenliness and neglect to prevail, was manifested even in some of the Places of Worship, and in their Native Villages, which were slovenly, and even filthy, in a degree which excited my regret and displeasure. The Missionaries allege, that they cannot insist upon a reform of these admitted
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blemishes, without a risk of disgusting and alienating the Natives, who delight in dirt and disorder. But it appears to me, that this is a short-sighted policy; more likely, than not, to confirm the nation in habits of the kind here alluded to; and which must be broken off, before the New Zealanders can ever form a community worthy to be ranked among civilized Christian Nations. They can labour well, it is evident, if properly trained by the influence of superior understandings, and encouraged by the personal example of those to whom they look almost as Beings of a superior race. They are of a joyous, yet reflective turn; pleased to be instructed; humble in listening to exhortation; very quick and ingenious in tracing the analogies of Religion by comparing spiritual things with spiritual; amenable, apparently, to the use of those outward forms which are necessary to conduct all things with decency and order; yet sensible, so far as I could judge, that these did not form the substance of Religion, but that it was something altogether different. Some of them, I think, are deeply and unfeignedly devout. Such I noticed, especially, at the Kauakaua and Maraetai: though I ought by no means to deny the occurrence of proportionate instances at the other Stations.
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Rapid Diminution of the Natives.
The great problem at present, I think, is, how they may be preserved, to form a Christian Nation; for such, if they be preserved, they assuredly should become. But, in mournful sincerity of heart, I express my own opinion, that their numbers have diminished in a fearful ratio since our first connexion with them; and that unless preventive measures can be suggested, the race is wearing out, and will, at no very remote period, altogether disappear. The Missionaries refer to instances throughout the country, where the numbers of Natives are less by one-third, or even one-half, than they were on the first establishment of Europeans being formed. It presented itself to me as a most remarkable circumstance, that wherever we went, the children were very few; very few, indeed, compared with the number of adults; and compared also with the proportion of children among the Missionaries themselves, who have generally large families.
Difficulty of ascertaining the causes of this Diminution.
To what causes this disparity could be attributed, I was diligent in endeavouring to ascertain; but came away without receiving satisfaction. The effect of wars is spoken of, as
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accounting for the diminution of the population. But any one, who reflects for a moment, must be sensible that the wars of the present generation are mere bloodless skirmishes, compared with the combats of their forefathers. The introduction of fire-arms has tended much to abate the effusion of blood. Formerly, the hostile bands marched front to front, and with their native weapons almost every man slew or wounded his opponent; so that the slaughter was quite tremendous. But now they are, generally speaking, content with firing from a distance, without doing one another much harm. I was assured, indeed, by an eye-witness of some of the latest conflicts in the Bay of Islands, that he had known many thousand shots to be fired, and, as the result of all this, no more than five or six on each side to be wounded. It seems, indeed, very clear, that the population was greatest when wars were most sanguinary; and is declining most rapidly where wars are nearly extinct. The practice of infanticide I hope, and believe, does not prevail among any who are Christians by profession; but in their native state, there can be no doubt that it does prevail. I think that the very infant which I baptized had been saved from death by its mother s hands, through the interposition of Mrs. Fairburn, giving clothing
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for the child; the want of which would have led to the desperate determination of destroying it as soon as born. If it were not this very infant, yet I am quite sure that an instance of that nature was related to me, and mentioned as having many parallels. Cannibalism, among those who associate much with Europeans, and especially among those under instruction by the Missionaries, may be considered as extinct. I believe that the people whom I chiefly saw had no more disposition to devour one another, or any one else, than the same number of our own countrymen would have felt. How, therefore, to account for the perceptible and unceasing diminution of their numbers, I am utterly at a loss. The epidemic which was raging while I was there, and which had visited them in former years, appeared, undoubtedly, to lay very serious hold upon their constitutions; rapidly prostrating their strength, and, I have no doubt, laying the foundation of other fatal disorders. So deeply was I impressed with the persuasion that deficiency of proper nourishment formed one very sensible cause of their falling victims to this insidious disorder, that I solicited Captain Harding to leave with the Missionaries such stores of flour, sugar, and rice, as could be spared from his ship, engaging to replace the same on
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our return to Port Jackson; and I left a small supply of money for the purchase of similar articles, and of animal food, for the use of the sick and convalescent. These measures were adopted in conformity with the judgment of Mr. Ford, the surgeon attached to the Mission, and of the surgeon of the Pelorus, T. H. Nation, Esq.; who most obligingly, at my request, visited and prescribed for the sick, and furnished a supply of medicines for the most urgent cases. On my return hither, I preached a Sermon in St. James's Church, Sydney, on behalf of the suffering people whom I had visited; and the same thing was done at St. Philip's Church, by the Rev. W. Cowper. The amount of the Collections was sufficient to cover the entire expenses which had been incurred by me; and to enable us to despatch a further small supply of medicines and necessary comforts, which I earnestly hope will fulfil the benevolent purpose of those who charitably furnished the means of supplying them. My opinion is, in a few words, that the general state of health among the Natives is not satisfactory; that there is some cause, not very obvious, by which their constitutions are undermined; that the investigation of that cause has not been pursued with due energy, or attention to system; and that the wants of the Natives, in point of clothing
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warmth, and comfort, especially during the winter season, deserve and demand the attention of the Church Missionary Society, and of its charitable supporters, who can feel for the situation of these, their destitute Brethren.
Pressing Need of more Missionaries.
It will probably be expected by the Society, that I should offer some remarks upon the constitution of the Mission, and its adaptation and probable sufficiency to accomplish the great and holy purposes of its establishment. I have already spoken my sentiments as to the general character and deportment of the Missionaries; in which observations, I should wish it to be understood, it is my intention to include the Lay Catechists no less than the Clergy. All appeared to me, so far as I was able to judge, to be animated by a good spirit, and a desire, according to their several abilities, to work the work of God. I am, however, in duty bound to state my persuasion, that the present Missionary Body is inadequate to the successful prosecution of that work and labour of love upon which their cares are bestowed. Indeed, they do not occupy, to the uttermost, even their present limits; and these require to be extended day by day, so that the necessity for additional help is becoming constantly more
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urgent. The Society has been informed that Mr. Hadfield was added to their number while I remained; and since that time the Rev. R. Taylor has proceeded to join the establishment. The services of one of these gentlemen must, however, be absorbed by the charge of educating the sons of Missionaries; and the other will be required to institute a new Missionary Station at the East Cape, where there appears to be a most favourable opening. The Mission, therefore, within its present limits, will continue as inefficiently supplied with Clergymen for Missionary purposes as before; and it is most earnestly to be desired, for the sake of the high and eternal interests which are at stake, that this deficiency should not be suffered to continue. The Natives have now, to a certain extent, been christianized, through the power of the Holy Spirit accompanying the efforts of their Teachers; and have hitherto lived in that simple and confident reliance on the truth and sufficiency of the doctrines taught them, and in that spirit of dutiful reverence for their Teachers, the continuance of which was most earnestly to be desired; as such principles, united with liberty to search the Scriptures, would best have insured to them the enjoyment of the peaceable fruits of righteousness. But it is easy to foresee, that this portion
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of Christ's flock cannot long continue; if it be even now exempt from the aggressions of that spirit, concerning which, no less truly than of the Gospel, it may be said, that its sound is gone into all lands, and its words unto the ends of the earth. * * * * If we are to contend successfully, it must be by a prudent use of those means to which God has promised and annexed His blessing, for the propagation of Christian Truth; that is to say, we must not spare the agency of the Word, the Ministry, and the Sacraments; accompanying them with our prayers, that they may be attended by that grace and power, through which alone they can be made effective instruments to build up this people in our most holy Faith, as it was once delivered to the saints.
In my conferences with the Missionaries, I found but one opinion prevailing as to the necessity of an immediate increase of the number of Clergymen. Many Stations are, from necessity, left without a resident Minister; and the occasional visits which may be paid cannot be of that frequency or that duration which are necessary to make them fully profitable. The administration of the Sacraments is neither satisfactory to those who officiate; nor so serviceable, it may be feared, as it ought to be, to those who partake of them; because the parties, being associated only during a very
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brief interval, are comparatively unknown to each other: and there cannot be that feeling of confidence on the one hand, nor that knowledge of individual character on the other, upon which the benefit of pastoral superintendence principally depends; neither can the services of Lay Catechists effectually supply the void between such Ministerial visits. * * * * The Church of England requires to be planted there, in the full integrity of its system; its Ordinances administered by a Clergy duly ordained; and the Clergy themselves subject to regular Ecclesiastical Authority. I beg it may be understood, that I do not make these observations with any reference to the Lay Missionaries now in the employment of the Society; all of whom, so far as I can venture to pronounce a judgment, have proved themselves zealous and faithful men. * * * * In considering the means of augmenting the number of Ordained Ministers, some consideration was given by me, in conversation principally with the Rev. Messrs. W. Williams and Maunsell, to the practicability of admitting any of the Catechists to Holy Orders. I confined myself to expressing my conviction of the eligibility of this proceeding, under certain supposed circumstances; but forbore to pledge myself, until I should have an opportunity of consulting the feelings of the Society upon the subject, and of profiting by their
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knowledge of the character and attainments of the individuals who might probably be proposed to me as candidates for the sacred office.
The warm Interest taken by the Bishop in the Mission.
I am happy in thinking, that, by my late visit to the Mission, a foundation of regard and confidence has been laid between the members of it and myself, which, through the Divine Blessing, may tend much to facilitate any future proceedings connected with, its extension. Upon any subject concerning which the Society may be anxious to consult me, I shall always be prepared to offer the most candid opinion, and to give the best advice in my power. My heart and hope are fixed earnestly upon the success of this holy undertaking; the fruit of which, I trust, will be to spread abroad the knowledge of the Truth, and to bring many souls to eternal salvation, happiness, and glory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Praying earnestly that the endeavours of the Society may be blessed to the establishment of His kingdom in the hearts of men,
I remain, &c.
W. G. AUSTRALIA.
Missionaries' Address to the Bishop.
On occasion of the Bishop's Visit to New Zealand, the Missionaries of the So-
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ciety presented to him the following Address, dated Paihia, Jan. 5, 1839:--
We, the Clergy and Catechists labouring in connexion with the Church Missionary Society in this part of New Zealand, beg, on the part of ourselves and our Brethren, to express to your Lordship our high sense of the favour conferred upon us by your visit to this country. We hail, with much thankfulness, the landing of the first Protestant Bishop on these shores; and we trust that your pastoral advice and exhortations, under God, will be made instrumental in promoting the cause of Christianity, both among the European and Native Population.
Though dwelling in a country independent of Britain, and which still, for the most part, is in a state of barbarism, we rejoice that the intimacy of union between ourselves and the Church, of which your Lordship is a Prelate, is unimpaired. Nations may draw boundary lines of separation, but the Church knows no distinction between Jew and Greek, Englishman and New Zealander; and although our civil relations be different from those of members of your Lordship's immediate Diocese, yet we are thankful that the way is now open for us to look to your Lordship for all the benefits and privileges belonging to our Church, and which
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your Lordship has so kindly undertaken to afford. Indeed, contemplating your Lordship's visit at the present juncture, we cannot but recognise the kind Providence of our Heavenly Father; who, when he had removed the respected and beloved Founder of this Mission, inclined your Lordship to take a paternal interest in its welfare.
We much regret that your many engagements and other circumstances do not allow your visit to be extended to the whole of our Stations, and that the sickness now prevailing will not permit us to place before you satisfactorily the real state of our Mission.
We trust, however, that your visits to this island will be renewed, and that your Lordship may have abundant reason to rejoice in the progress of that work which is now but in its infancy.
Praying that your Lordship may be returned in safety to your family and to your Diocese, through the guardian care of our gracious Master, and that an abundant blessing may continue to rest upon your labours, we remain, &c.
H. WILLIAMS. R. MAUNSELL. C. BAKER.
J. KING. W. COLENSO. S. H. FORD.
J. KEMP. W. WADE. W. WILLIAMS.
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The Reply of the Bishop.
To this Address the Bishop returned the following reply, bearing date also January 5, 1839:--
To the Rev. the Clergy and the Missionaries in connexion with the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand.
My Rev. Brethren, and Brethren--
Considering the relation in which we stand toward each other, our meeting here upon the present occasion is a remarkable and providential occurrence. None of us, surely, can fail to regard it as forming a stage of gradual advancement toward the accomplishment of our Saviour's purpose, that His Gospel should be preached to all nations. I am gratified by your reference to my coming among you, in succession, as it were, to that justly venerated man, and faithful servant of Christ, the late Rev. Samuel Marsden; upon whom, during many years, the principal superintendence of this Mission devolved, and to whose zeal for the glory of his Maker, and unconquerable perseverance, under great personal privations, sacrifices, and dangers, it owes, next to God, its original establishment. Mr. Marsden was permitted to continue a sufficient length of time amongst us, to witness, in the establishment of
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the See of Australia, a certain provision made for extending to its infant Church the full benefit of those gifts, which Christ ascended up on high that He might give to men, for the work of the Ministry, and for the edifying of His body, which is the Church. Through the blessing of its Great Head upon your Missionary Labours, and by the operation of the Holy Ghost giving the increase, a visible body of believers is here collected out of the dark places of Heathenism, to whom none of the outward ordinances and means of grace are now wanting. May they, being thus assisted, be doers of the Word, not hearers only! At the same time a great door, and effectual, seems to be opened for the future progress of the doctrine of the Cross; though here, as elsewhere, we are warned to expect, and must be prepared to encounter, many adversaries. O let us labour cordially and zealously, that there may be in this place, not only the outward and visible form of the Church, but an effective pledge of its influence, in the increase of the fruits of the Spirit; which are, goodness, righteousness, and truth, adorning the lives of all who make profession of the faith of the Gospel!
For myself, my Brethren, I come among you without other commission or authority than that which, being first lodged in the Apostles,
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is derived in succession from them unto every one rightly and canonically consecrated to the Episcopal Charge. Whatsoever directive functions I may exercise here are traced to no other origin than this; and your acceptance of me in this character is an unconstrained, purely spiritual act. In this I rejoice; as it may have the effect of rendering more apparent the true Apostolical foundation, constitution, and character of this blessed Church of England, to which we all belong; which I firmly believe that God has raised up, and am persuaded that He will preserve, if we be but true to our own engagements, to be a counterpoise to those perils on the right hand and on the left, by which--it requires not the gift of prophecy to foretell--every portion of the Church Militant upon earth must expect, sooner or later, to be tried. In connexion with the duty of watching over the Churches more peculiarly under my charge, I trust that time and opportunity may be afforded me, occasionally at least, to set in order the things that may be wanting here. With this assurance let me unite my thanks to you all, for the kindness shown to me since my arrival, and my earnest prayers for the welfare of the flock committed to your charge. On behalf of all connected with this Mission, and especially of yourselves and families, I offer my
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supplication, that the Lord will bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you in forwarding your work and labour of love; the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you, and give you peace, both now and evermore.
Let me, I beseech you, enjoy the benefit of your continual prayers; and believe me to remain, My dear Brethren and Fellow-labourers,
Your very faithful friend,
WILLIAM G. AUSTRALIA.
Bishop's Address to the Baptized Natives.
Before the Bishop left New Zealand, he thus expressed his paternal regard toward those who, in that distant land, had been gathered into the Fold of Christ:--
To the Native Inhabitants of New Zealand, who are baptized into the Fellowship of Christ's Church.
DEARLY-BELOVED IN THE LORD--
Though you are sprung from a different family, and your forefathers long continued strangers to us and we to them, it affords me great satisfaction to call you Brethren, because you have entered into the fellowship of the same Gospel with ourselves. Ye are all the Children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For
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as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. It is with us a perpetual cause of joy, and a sufficient reward for all the labour that has been bestowed upon you, that you are become partakers of the common salvation through faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by those Ministers through whom ye believed.
And surely it is impossible but that you must offer most devout and continual thanksgiving to God, when you reflect on the greatness of His mercy toward you, and on the wonderful change which He has thereby accomplished in your state, and in your hopes and prospects. For you may use exactly, in application to yourselves, those words of the Apostle: We ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jems Christ our Saviour; that, being justified
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by His grace, we should be made heirs, according to the hope of everlasting life. Wherefore, having come among you as the Bishop or Chief Pastor of the Church of which you are made members, I exhort you to remember all things that you have read in the Holy Scriptures concerning Jesus Christ our Lord, the only Son of God, "who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended" to the place of departed spirits; "the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of" the Father; from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works; and they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. Remember, also, what Jesus Christ has enjoined you to practise, that you may prove that you have a true faith in Him, and are His Disciples indeed; that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself: the proof of which is to be afforded by your being merciful as your Father which is in heaven is merciful, and by doing to all men as
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you would that they should do unto you. Remember, that you are not your own, to live as you please, as you did before you named the name of Christ; but you are bought with the price of His precious blood, which He paid as a ransom for you, and therefore has a just claim to your obedience and services. It is my duty, and a principal part of my office, to remind you, that in your baptism you made a solemn promise that you would renounce the world, and the flesh, and the devil: and, by the laying on of my hands upon such of you as were suitably prepared and disposed, according to the custom practised by the Apostles of our Lord, I have endeavoured to stablish, strengthen, and settle you in this faith; praying, on behalf of every one of you, that God will defend you with His heavenly grace, that you may continue His for ever, and daily increase in His Holy Spirit more and more, until you come to His everlasting kingdom.
And now, with this prayer for your welfare, I bid you, my Christian Brethren, very heartily farewell; beseeching you to have these words of mine imprinted upon your hearts; to pray to God daily; to hallow His Sabbaths; to read His Holy Word; to continue stedfast in attending to the instructions of those Teachers from whom you first learned the words of Eternal
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Life; not to dissemble before God, or them, but to live in the sincere practice of holiness, truth, and charity, which they have taught you. Bear always in mind the coming of our Lord to judgment, and be in preparation for it: and, while you thus study to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things, may He sanctify, and bless, and preserve you, in body and soul, now and for ever. Amen.
W. G. AUSTRALIA.
Such were the results of the Bishop's visit to New Zealand.
The Committee most cordially concur in his Lordship's judgment, that "the Church of England requires to be planted in New Zealand in the full integrity of her system." The Committee have, in consequence, since the receipt of the Bishop's Letter, taken other steps directed to the attainment of this important object.
GENERAL STATE OF THE MISSION.
The Committee add a few extracts from the communications of the Missionaries, illustrative of the state and progress of the Mission.
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Favourable Openings for extending the Mission.
The Rev. Henry Williams, writing from Paihia, at the end of the year 1838, thus describes the favourable prospect of forming new Stations on the south-eastern shore of the Island:--
Toward the end of October, I sailed with a party of Christian Natives, to establish them as Teachers at the East Cape and Turanga, among those distant tribes; and it was with feelings of much delight that I traversed that new and interesting field of labour. I found the Natives very numerous, when compared with those of this part of the island; and at all the Pas, both at the East Cape and Turanga, all seemed perfectly prepared to receive Christian Instruction. Their repeated and strong solicitations for Teachers evidently point out a loud and imperative call that the field should not be longer neglected. The visit paid to these places a twelvemonth since has had a very salutary effect. The demand for books was very great and general; and it was truly distressing to be obliged to turn away without the means of giving any relief. I distributed, in the course of my journey, 500 slates, and a few Early Lessons and Catechisms. Books I had none. Three of our Married Teachers were placed at the East Cape, and three at Turanga.
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Progress of the Kaitaia Station.
Mr. Puckey, in a Letter dated March 4, 1839, thus describes the progress of the Kaitaia Station:--
The state of Religion at Kaitaia, I am happy to say, is on the increase. Since the commencement of this year, sixty adults and twenty infants have been received into the Church by the sacred rite of Baptism; and, upon the whole, I feel pleased as to their general demeanour. You would be much pleased to see the regularity maintained at several of the villages around us, in their strictness in attending to their morning and evening devotions; and I have known several instances of their praying privately in the bush, when they have not known that any one was within hearing. You ask, Do the Natives here seem to enjoy the Scriptures, and enter into the spirit of the Liturgy with energy? I can answer, with much satisfaction, that they do. They read them over and over again, with as great delight as they did at first. I know many who spend much of their leisure time in reading the Bible; and they read so much, that their books soon wear out. Many Natives here, with scarcely any assistance, have taught themselves to read. This speaks much for
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them. Our school for men and boys is pretty well attended, generally; but on Monday Morning there are so many, that it keeps the person who has charge of it in continual close employment; and the benefit of education is to be seen at all the places of those who have been instructed. We have school every morning for the men and boys. In the forenoon the Infant School begins, and the Girls' School after dinner. Monday Evening is occupied in examining the baptized and thoughtful Natives. On Tuesday Evening we have a Prayer Meeting for the Natives, in our Chapel. On Wednesday Evening the baptized Natives hold a Prayer Meeting among themselves, at their respective houses. Thursday Evening is the only vacant evening of the week. Friday Evening is taken up with a Prayer Meeting in the Chapel. On Saturday Evening there is a Prayer Meeting at their own houses; and it is very often the case, that a number of them will sit up till cock-crowing, talking of what they may have heard at these Prayer Meetings.--May these little beginnings be only an earnest of that which the Lord may please to favour us, His unworthy servants, with seeing!
Although what I have said may be pleasing, with respect to our Natives, yet we are very often much perplexed to know what to do,
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when we see those who have had most of our attention, backward and ungrateful, and seeming to stand still in the heavenly path. We have our times of adversity as well as of prosperity; but at all times it is needful for us to be up and doing. We feel very happy in our work, and thankful that the Lord should, in anywise whatever, have so helped us, His unworthy servants, to do any thing in His great work.
The principal Chief in the neighbourhood of Kaitaia having heard that it was in contemplation to remove the Missionaries to another Station, expostulates with the Committee in these affecting terms:--
"Kaitaia, March 5, 1839.
Friends of the Committee--
Our hearts have been made dark. We do not like to have our candlesticks taken away. If the Committee strive to take away one of our candlesticks, we shall strive to keep him; and it will remain as a strife between us. If our candlesticks be taken away, and other fathers be given to us, we shall not understand. There is no one who labours with a child, and when it is brought forth does run away, and leave it to die for want of milk. The old men
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of the Committee were very glad to have the young men come to occupy Kaitaia, and the young men came. Now stop, and wait the times when the evil shall come: then it will be very straight to take away our candlesticks.--Friends, it is a short time the body has to remain here, and we must look for the rest which Jesus Christ our Saviour has provided for us. If our candlesticks be taken away from before us, the sheep will all be scattered.--Friends, if there be two workmen on a piece of land, it may be finished; but if there be only one, it is unlikely. Now, if they be not pulled out from among us, light is near to our hearts, and we shall delight and rejoice in the Lord. Now it is best to bring to an end the striving for our Teachers, to pull them out. My friends in the body, if they be taken away, there will be no peace nor rest; but now we have peace and rest. There are plenty of Missionaries living at the Bay of Islands, and there are plenty of Ngapuhi Chiefs who have not yet believed, and who do nothing but sell land to the White People who come there. It is not good to come and take from so few. It is best to take from those of the Bay of Islands to go to Turanga. According to our native mode, it is not right, after one man has carried on a work, for another to come and finish it. We have no desire
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at all that either of our Teachers should go to another place. The Word of God is growing up among those who have, as it were, been tied. The Church of God at Kaitaia is rising.
From Noble 1 PANAKAREAO,
"Aku Kaitaia, near the North Cape."
"To the Committee of England."
Mr. Joseph Matthews, Mr. Puckey's Associate at Kaitaia, thus describes the Writer of the above Letter, March 4, 1839:--
Noble is an active Chief, and goes out continually among his fellow-countrymen, to teach them the Word of God. He is a very slow speaker; very thoughtful as to what he says. He is very decided in his manner. Whenever he speaks, there is profound attention: this, however, is owing to his rank, more than to his abilities as an eloquent speaker. The Natives own Noble Panakareao as their Chief; although each Rangitira [answering to our term Gentleman] is a Chief in his way. I will tell you the grand difference between a principal and a petty Chief. Panakareao has, by right of conquest, as well as by birth, the "ki wainga"--in English, the power to fight or to sit still. We have witnessed his power in this, and
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therefore we can speak. If any thing serious should happen, a word would be sufficient to gather all the tribes of the Rarawa; which would amount to 1400 or 1600 fighting-men. At the burial of his own father, when he expected that there would be much said about interring him after our fashion, he had a thousand Natives assembled in our Settlement. He is a young promising Chief. I met him yesterday on horseback, as he was riding out to hold Divine Service with his brother, who had long stood out against his entreaties.
It is scarcely necessary to say that the Committee have no intention of withdrawing the Missionaries from Kaitaia.
Christian Forbearance in a Native Convert
Mr. J. Bedggood writes from Waimate--
I wish to give one instance of the effect of the Gospel upon the Natives. A few days ago, one of the carpenters, engaged to build the new Church, employed a Native to dig his garden. When he had done his work, he went into the carpenter's shop, to talk with him about his payment. The other carpenter, a cross, surly-tempered man, said to the Native, "Get you out of the shop; we want none of you fellows here!" The Native replied, "Don't be angry: I am come to talk with Benjamin." The fellow
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said, "I shall be angry" and, after a few words, began to ill-use the Native in a most barbarous manner; kicking him in the side, because he would not get up. The Native made no resistance till the man left off; when he jumped up, took the fellow by the throat, held him with one hand as a man would a child, and drew out a plane-iron tied on the top of a stick so as to form a little adze. "Now," said the Native, while he held it over his head, "you see your life is in my hand: you owe your life to the preaching of the Gospel: you see my arm is quite strong enough to kill you; and my arm is willing; but my heart is not, because I have heard the Missionaries preach the Gospel. If my heart were as dark as it was before I heard them preach, I should strike off your head." He did not return the blows, but made him pay a blanket for the insult.
Hopeful Death of a Chief.
Mr. R. Davis, Waimate, thus narrates the hopeful death of a Chief:--
Last evening I buried at Mawe a man who, I trust, was made a monument of divine mercy. He was a near relative of Hongi, the great Chief, and was doubtless one of the foremost in all daring wickedness during the murderous career of that New-Zealand Buonaparte. About
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a year ago he came from Kororarika, and took up his abode in the district of Waimate. After a little time, as some of the party with whom he was connected had received the Gospel, he also manifested a desire to become acquainted with the nature of believing. When I first conversed with him, he told me that he thought it was quite out of his power to obtain forgiveness, on account of the many heinous sins which he had committed. After pointing out to him, as clearly as I could, the willingness of Christ to receive sinners, and the efficacy of His passion, he seemed to think that possibly he might be saved. His health at this time was delicate, and he appeared to be consumptive; but as he seemed to rally, it did not appear unlikely that he might live for several years. The Influenza, however, which has been very prevalent here during the last three months, effected his more speedy removal from this vale of tears. During the short space allotted to him, he did not make any great progress in the divine life, but appeared to be steady and regular. About five months ago he visited Kororarika, and conversed with the Chiefs there; and returned apparently much encouraged from the nature of the conversation, as some of them had manifested a desire to receive the Gospel. This circumstance, in connexion with his consistency
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and steady perseverance, lead me to hope, that although he is now numbered with the dead, his lot is among the Saints. While he was able, he attended my Meetings on Tuesdays, and brought as many of his people with him as he could. When he could no longer visit me, I visited him. My last visit was on Saturday, when I was surprised to find him so near his end. I had not seen him for a fortnight, having been out among the people at Kaikohi and Otaua. I read part of John xiv. to him, and spoke a few words on the subject. It was a sweet season of heavenly enjoyment. We then engaged in prayer, and parted to meet no more on earth. As he appeared to be near his end, I requested the Rev. W. Williams to pay him a visit, and, if he thought proper, to administer Baptism. This was no sooner done, than the soul winged its way to the presence of its God. A considerable number of people attended the funeral, and I addressed them after the Service. The Burial-ground is to me a very interesting spot. It is the site on which the first building stood, and in which the tribe first assembled to hear the Word of Life. Many bodies are sleeping in the dust on that spot, awaiting the glorious Resurrection Morn; among which are Tupapa and Broughton: and while looking over the graves of those departed
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Saints, my mind was carried forward to the contemplation of that glorious burst of sacred joy which shall arise from the spot when the last glad trump shall shake the earth and skies.
The Rev. F. Wilkinson's Testimony to the New-Zealand Mission.
Mr. Wilkinson is a Chaplain on the New South-Wales Establishment. He visited New Zealand in 1837, and came from thence to England. On his arrival in London, he called at the Church Missionary House, in reference to this visit. He said that he had gone to New Zealand with the impression that the progress of the Mission had been exaggerated, and that he had therefore closely scrutinized its state; but that, having thus personally investigated its circumstances with these views and feelings, he found that its actual advancement exceeded what had been represented in New South-Wales.
The following passages from Mr. Wilkinson's evidence before the Lords' Com-
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mittee on the Islands of New Zealand, illustrate the progress of the Mission:--
"'Do you think that the Missionaries have been of great service in New Zealand?'
'Of very great service; immense service. I look upon the northern part of the Island as a Christian People. There are individuals who are not Christians; but they are, generally, Christians. They observe the Sunday very strictly.'
'Do you think the Missionaries have much influence with the Natives?'"
'They are willing to exercise it at all times, to make peace between the Natives?'
'I think so, entirely.'
'Your answer applies both to the Church Missionary Society and the Wesleyans?'
'Both of them.'
'Had you an opportunity of visiting any Schools which had been formed by the Missionaries?'
'Yes; I lived with Mr. Williams at Waimate, one of the Missionaries: his lady had a school, which I witnessed almost every day.'
'Your opinion is, that the labour of the
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Missionaries has effected a great deal of good in Christianizing the country?'
'A very great deal. I was quite astonished. Though I had been so near them, I did not believe the extent to which it had gone.'
'Had you an opportunity of observing whether, among the Natives who had not had the advantage of being visited at all by the Missionaries, there was any notion of Religion?'
'The second night that I slept in the bush, in New Zealand, I came to a Native's house, and was exceedingly tired. He begged of me to stop there, and made me very comfortable indeed. They gave me a clean blanket and plenty of fern to sleep on; which I did. After their supper (which was potatoes) they got their Book down (their Testament)--the most of them had a Testament--and read a chapter out of the Testament, and the family collected round, and afterward they knelt and prayed, and then we retired to rest. In the same way they began the day the next morning. That man was not a baptized Christian, but he was a Christian. I have seen him at the Service afterward; but he had not yet been baptized, nor any of his family. He belonged to the Church Missionary Stations at Waimate.
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The late Rev. S. Marsden's Testimony to the State of the Mission in 1837.
This venerable servant of Christ, the Father of the New-Zealand Mission, visited it for the fifth time in the beginning of 1837. Writing in April of that year, he thus describes the state of the Mission in the Bay of Islands, which had been commenced under his personal superintendence twenty-two years before.
When I left Hokianga, a number accompanied me--upward of seventy. Some met us from Waimate. We had to travel about forty miles, by land and water. The road lay through a very thick wood. The Natives carried me, on something like a hammock, for twenty miles. We reached Waimate as the sun went down; where we were kindly received by the Rev. W. Williams and his colleagues. One principal Chief, who has embraced the Gospel, and has been baptized, accompanied us all the way. He told me he was so unhappy at Hokianga, that he could not get to converse with me, from the crowds that attended; and that he had come to Waimate to speak with me. I found him to be a very intelligent man, and anxious to know the way to heaven. I met with num-
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bers, wherever I went, who were anxious after the knowledge of God. I was much pleased to find, that, wherever I went, I found some who could read and write. The Church Service has been translated into the native language, with the Catechism, Hymns, and some other useful pieces. They are all fond of reading; and there are many who have never had an opportunity of attending the schools, who, nevertheless, can read. They teach one another in all parts of the country, from the North to the East Cape. The prospect of success to the Mission is very great. Since my arrival at the Missionary Station, I have not heard one oath spoken, either by European or Native. The Schools and Church are well attended; and the greatest order is observed among all classes.
In the midst of all the miseries of war, God is prospering the Mission. Since my arrival, I have visited many of the Stations within the compass of a hundred miles, and have observed that a wonderful change has taken place within the last seven years. The portions of the Sacred Scriptures which have been printed, have had a most astonishing effect. They are read by the Natives at every place at which I have been. The Natives teach one another, and find great pleasure in the Word of God, and carry
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that sacred treasure with them wherever they go. Great numbers have been baptized, both Chiefs and their people. I have met with some very pious Chiefs, who have been invited by Pomare and Titore to join them in their present war, but they have refused. I met with one pious Chief who had been a great warrior, and was severely wounded in action the very day I arrived in New Zealand on my last visit; who informed me that Titore had sent for him, but that he would fight no more. I visited his Station: he has built a neat clean Place of Public Worship, which is visited by the Missionaries: in this he teaches school, as well as his son. I am at present at Waimate, which was formerly one of the most warlike districts in the island; and I could not learn that one individual had joined the contending parties. Waimate is the most moral and orderly place I ever was in. A great number of the inhabitants, for some miles, have been baptized, and live like Christians. There are neither riots nor drunkenness, neither swearing nor quarrels: but all is order and peace. The same effects I have observed to be produced by the Scriptures, and labours of the Missionaries, in other districts. My own mind has been exceedingly gratified with what I have seen and heard; and I have no doubt that New Zealand will become
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a civilized nation. I consider the Missionaries, as a body, very pious, prudent, and laborious men; and that they and their children are walking in the admonition of the Lord, so as to make them a national blessing, when they have finished their labours.
State of the Mission in 1839.
A recent communication from the Mission presents the following encouraging view of its state in August last:--
At no period of the New-Zealand Mission have we ever seen more decisive evidences of the Lord's power and presence among us, than at the present time. The Natives around us, Tribe after Tribe, have embraced Christianity; and not a few are, I trust, the subjects of Divine Grace. A large number has been admitted to the Church by Baptism; and I have several interesting, pious young men in connexion with my congregation, who are waiting to proceed southward as Native Teachers. Two have already gone thither as such, and have conducted themselves with great propriety. The Schools at the Native Villages have been better attended; and the word of God is, I trust, consulted by the poor Natives on all subjects relating to their spiritual interests. I do esteem it an especial token for good, that the Word of
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God was in circulation, and generally read, before the Papists were permitted to enter the country to sow their pernicious doctrine.
The progress and hopeful state of the Mission is also thus described by the Rev. W. Williams, in a Letter from Waimate, August 28th, 1839:--
I learnt to-day from a Settler, who has been trading in the Bay of Plenty, that at Opotiki, where no Missionary has yet been, he witnessed the Natives assembling for Christian Worship, in a regular and orderly manner.
As I stated in my last, the whole line of coast from Wakatani, a little to the east of Tauranga, round the East Cape to Table Cape, requires immediate occupation. The way is, I trust, opening for a movement shortly. I hope to take twenty Native Teachers from among our most hopeful Christians; and it may please the Lord by means of them to carry on His work.
Whether I look at the work in our old Stations--not superficial work, but sound and solid, based on the Word of God; or whether I look at the more recent Stations of the Southern District, and the regular increase in their congregations and Schools; or look still further, beyond our labours, where Natives will have Christianity, whether we will give it or no;--
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I am constrained to say, that the body was never in so healthy a state; that we in New Zealand never had greater cause for encouragement--nor the Church at home stronger ground for thankfulness. I therefore will thank God, and take courage.
Contrast between the Past and Present State of New Zealand.
The Missionaries, writing Aug. 9, 1838, thus contrast the past with the present state of New Zealand:--
It must be very obvious to every person who claims any acquaintance with the history of New Zealand and its inhabitants, that they are, in many respects, an altered people; and have become, from atrocious and savage cannibals, a partially civilized race of men. It is equally observable, that this great change of character is confined to those parts of the island brought under the influence of Missionary exertions, even where the Natives remain heathen, and make no profession of Christianity. We mean, that those in the precincts of our labours are not what they once were: they lay claim to different views and feelings from what they once had: there is something like compassion for suffering humanity, with some desire that their children should be better instructed and informed. It may, we think, be clearly shown,
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that the line of conduct pursued by the principal part of the settlers has effected nothing to their present state, but rather tended to impede the work of civilization. The example generally set them by settlers has had a tendency to make the Natives more heathenish than they were previous to their taking up their residence among them. To what, then, but to the labours of the Missionaries, can we attribute the change that has taken place? Where there are no Missionaries, but only traders, settled, the New Zealander is still a cannibal, and a terror to those who live among them; whereas a stranger travels as peaceably and as securely on this part of the island as in civilized countries.
At the same period the Missionaries thus briefly sum up the results of the Mission:--
The number of adults admitted to the rite of Baptism, since the formation of the Mission, has been 553; of infants, 303; making a total of 838. The attendants on Public Worship are about 4070; the Communicants, being the average number of those only who attend, 213. Schools about 50, and Scholars 1600.
Imperfect State of New-Zealand Civilization.
Decisive, however, as are the proofs of
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the beneficial effects of the Mission on the Natives of New Zealand, a long period must elapse before Christian principles, and Christian feelings, can displace inveterate habits--formed in a state of barbarism so unmitigated, that cannibalism universally prevailed--or fully repair the demoralizing consequences of a state of society in which a whole life has been spent, and conformably to which the entire character of the man, mental and physical, has been moulded. The Christian Native of New Zealand is not, therefore, to be compared with the Christian of privileged England; but rather with himself, as he was before the "Messengers of the Churches" appeared on his shores. This consideration, so necessary to be borne in mind in forming a fair and just estimate of the progress of Christianity in New Zealand, was urged by Mr. King, in September 1836. Mr. King is the Senior Catechist, and landed with Mr. Marsden in New Zealand in December 1814, when the Mission was commenced:--
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A great change has been effected, and a great work is going on. At the same time, I would not be understood to mean that all, even of those who are baptized, have taken up all the manners and customs of the English. Some of our new friends come out (at least I should so conclude from their remarks) with the conviction that the work in New Zealand was done, and that they have only to give the finishing stroke. It requires the same patient continuance in well-doing, and in well-suffering, and in well-bearing the will of God as in former years; and without it, but little progress can be expected. When a Native begins to consider about his soul, and to seek salvation by Christ Jesus, he finds himself ignorant of every good thing, and knows not how to proceed; and he does not cast off all his sin and ignorance in a day, and become an enlightened and civilized Christian. You know it requires not only prayer and watchfulness, and the constant use of the means of grace, but a course of time, before many seekers are brought to a clear knowledge and an established faith and hope in Jesus Christ. If this be the case with one brought up in civilized life, under the sound of the Gospel, and under the laws of his own country, which forbid to steal, &c. on pain of
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death, banishment, or confinement; what must be the case of a New Zealander, who has been from his childhood encouraged in every sin by his friends and neighbours, when he begins to discern a little light in the midst of darkness? Even when they are brought to know a little of divine things, how low must be their ideas of truth, honesty, and industry, I leave you to judge.
The Members of the Society will therefore see, that while there is abundant cause to "give God the glory" for what He has wrought among this barbarous people by the power of His grace, much, very much, remains to be done. While the Missionary is prosecuting his arduous and self-denying labours in New Zealand, let British Christians not cease to pray for him, that the word of God may have free course and be glorified, and that those who are partakers of the heavenly calling may grow in grace, till a Christian Church shall stand forth in New Zealand, fully enriched and blessed with the sanctifying grace of the Holy Ghost!
Feb. 20, 1840.
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PRINTED BY RICHARD WATTS,
Crown Court, Temple Bar.