Warm affections of the Natives [etc.]
[Image of page 458]
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
FROM the communications received up to the present time, we shall extract such passages as throw light on the State of the Natives and the General Prospects of the Mission, reserving the review of each Station for the Survey.
Warm Affections of the Natives.
Visited Rangheehoo. The whole beach was covered with strange Natives, people on friendly terms from Waikato--the tribe Ngatemaru, who have latterly excited much fear among the Bay of Islanders. At night, Titore, a Chief from Waimate, came down to see them, and to welcome home his brother Rapu, who had been up at Waikato on an embassy of peace. Titore, when he arrived, sat for some moments in gloomy silence, his head covered with his mat, and moving his body to and fro somewhat like a hedgehog when rolled up. After a time, some of the people from the hill, bent upon mischief, rose up, and were going to take away the pigs of their visitors; which Titore prevented, or I know not the consequences which might have arisen. Titore then mounted a little eminence upon the beach, and commenced his brother's welcome, with a song peculiarly melancholy, but at the same time singularly attractive; during the time of his singing, he walked with a slow and solemn pace along the brow of the little hill; when, suddenly coming to a conclusion, he addressed the strangers, and in a very pleasant way continued to speak to them for more than an hour. His action was perfectly natural, and consequently very graceful: his voice was loud, but beautifully modulated; and his language copious and flowery: I was much interested in the whole, which certainly was the most romantic scene which I ever witnessed. When all was concluded and this formal welcome given, Titore hasted to the place where his brother was seated: a very affecting interview then took place, as he had to communicate the news of the death of a sister to whom they were both very partial.
The New Zealanders are undoubtedly possessed of extraordinary feelings--feelings which I am sure would have turned to good account had they been properly cultivated and restrained when in their infancy. I cannot help hoping, and the thought frequently encourages me in my work, that the time is not very far distant when a Church will be raised up in this land: for I generally find the Natives attentive whenever addressed by the Missionaries; and I am fully convinced that their own superstitions are losing ground in their estimation, whilst the principles of the Gospel, though, like leaven, unseen, are making sure and certain progress.
[Rev. W. Yate.
Turbulence of the Natives in exacting Satisfaction for supposed Insults and Injuries.
Went to the Haumi, where there was a considerable assembly. I was introduced to a man of great renown, Tekoikoi, a Chief from inland, known as a great savage. Tohitapu requested me not to say any thing about the place of fire and brimstone as a place of wicked men, while this man was with them; but I asked Tekoikoi if he had never heard of that place: he replied "No:" I therefore told them, that God had declared that the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God; exhorting them to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold on eternal life. I was more particular in speaking very plainly to this man, as he is a great Chief and a great Savage; and I had been told by Natives in this neighbourhood, that we should be afraid to say to him and Shunghee what we say to them. I told him that he must not suppose that we were angry with him or others; but that we spoke as we did, lest they should be caught in the snare of Satan, and perish for ever. The Old Man appeared attentive, and by no means offended by what I said: he asked Tohitapu, if this was our usual mode of addressing them, and was told that it was. I felt thankful at having an opportunity of speaking to this man.
[Image of page 459]
--News arrived that Tekoikoi was on his way, for the purpose of helping himself to blankets and iron pots, and any thing else on which he might lay his hand. This did not much move me; though it was particularly to me that the compliment was intended. In these cases, I endeavour to discover the path of duty, regardless of the Natives, and act accordingly; casting myself, at the same time, on the Arm of the Lord: and though we may have yet to suffer the spoiling of our goods, I hope we may do it joyfully, and have grace to maintain our ground.
--Some other Chiefs from the interior came early into the Settlement, stating that they had travelled in the night to tell us that Tekoikoi, with a large party, was near at hand; and that they had come to frustrate his designs. I felt thankful to our Heavenly Father for this interference of His providence. Before I was aware indeed, Tekoikoi and his party arrived before the fence, marching toward the gate. I had but time to hasten to meet him outside the gate; which I immediately closed, and placed my back against it: he presented his nose to me; which compliment I accordingly returned. He was accompanied by an excellent character -- Warenui; who is termed the Peace-Maker by the Natives, as he is thus engaged on all occasions. When I saw him, I was fully persuaded that no mischief would take place. Tekoikoi ordered his people to sit down, while we entered into a parley. He stated to the Chiefs present, that I had invited him to the house some time since, and had not given him a present; and that when I saw him at the Haumi, I told him that he would be cast into fire and brimstone; and that this fight was on that account, to seek satisfaction. We could not but laugh at these charges, which greatly threw him off his balance. We told him, that it was his mistake to imagine that he was entitled to any present; and that he had better direct his fight against Tohitapu, who had prompted him to expect one. In answer to the second charge, we said, that the words which we spoke were the words of God, to him and to all men -- that for this purpose alone we had come to their land, to warn them to flee from the wrath to come--that they were not our words, but were delivered by us in love, that he might not die, but have everlasting life. To this he could not say a word, and the Chiefs acknowledged the truth of what we said. He told us, that he had come to make peace, and wanted something to be given in consequence: we did not, however, think it proper to give him any thing, as the whole had originated with himself; and it would have a bad effect among the Natives, as the victory would be declared on his side; whereas now I consider that we had gained a very signal triumph. In a short time, he turned away in a rage; and some of the Natives gazed at us, not knowing what to think, considering it impossible that we should refuse his importunities. Our friendly Chiefs gladly partook of some flour; and, in a short time, all was quiet. In the afternoon, our Natives again cried out that Tekoikoi was returning: we accordingly turned out; but their appearance was very different from that of the morning: they came in procession, without arms: some were carrying small baskets of cooked potatoes, which were distributed two to each of our houses: the Old Man walked in great state at their head. They again retired as soon as possible. I had a few words of conversation with Tekoikoi, before he left us. [Rev. H. Williams.
Set out on a visit to the inland Native Settlements, in company with Mr. Davis, and Mr. Stack of the Wesleyan Mission, who was returning to Shukeangha. We took each a different route, and proceeded as far on our journey as time would permit; meeting, in the evening, at the abode of a Chief, with whom we were well acquainted.
This Chief, though for the most part on very friendly terms with us, had lately an occasion to pick a quarrel with the boys living with me, on account of a slight misconduct on the part of a girl who is wife to one of them. He came in the usual way to obtain satisfaction, by spoiling the parties concerned of some of their possessions; and an affray took place between the parties, which partook more of the nature of a wrestling match than any thing else: but this Chief unfortunately received a scratch on his elbow, and was thrown down more than once by a person much inferior in rank: he consequently went away not very well pleased; and consoled himself with the idea of obtaining payment for his mishap at some future time. Our Natives were, therefore, somewhat apprehensive of rough treatment from his tribe; though, for ourselves, we felt nothing. It proved that the Chief was from home, at a place which we intended to visit the next day: in the mean time we were hospitably received by those whom we found.
The next morning we spoke at several villages in our way to the Manowenua, where we expected to find our Chief: but, when arrived there, we found all the men absent on a "Taua," or fighting expedition; being gone to assist their neighbours, who were expecting a Taua from another tribe to avenge the killing of a pig. We addressed all whom we could assemble, and were anxious then to proceed on our way.
At length we observed the party returning toward us. Three men first made their
[Image of page 460]
appearance, all of whom I knew; but one was a noted thief, and had given us some trouble some time ago in our Settlement: he pounced upon Mr. Davis in a rage, and attempted for some time to wrest his umbrella away without effect: and then snatched his hat from his head, with which he was making away, when a nephew of Kamera's recovered it immediately. It was some time before we could understand the reason for this attack; but, at length, it appeared that this man, having stolen a plane-iron from one of our boys, was told that if he made his appearance in our Settlement, Mr. Davis would cut off his head with a large pair of scissors. After we had protested against it for some time, he at last appeared satisfied that the report was a fabrication.
This matter was no sooner settled, than these three Chiefs urged us to return to Kamera's habitation; and directed us to put our blankets, tent, &c. in a heap, and to stand before them. We had barely time to do this, when the main body drew near and made a rush toward us. I still thought that they were only acting according to a native custom, which is, that when a party return home, they always are met by those who stay behind; and, after having thrown one another down, conclude with a war-dance. The assailants were met by the few Chiefs who were around us, and were kept at bay; and it was not till after this, that we learnt that the attack upon us was on account of Kamera's scratch, who himself had not yet made his appearance. As soon as the Chiefs were a little quiet, and had recounted all the great deeds which they had performed that day, we spoke a few words to them; but were not allowed to proceed on our way, until we had partaken of a good mess of potatoes.
In the mean time, Kamera arrived, habited in no mean attire for a Native. He is a little man, fully tattooed. Over his shoulder was a dog-skin mat, with a good blanket as an inner garment. In his belt was a handsome green stone, "meri," and he carried a musket in each hand. His first act was to make a feint at the man who had seized Mr. Davis's hat; and then he came to us in a very friendly manner, and told us, what the Natives had done before his arrival was on account of his being a very great man. [Rev. W. Williams.
This principle of satisfaction or retaliation has been successfully used in self-defence by the Missionaries.
We found it necessary, in a certain case, to take the law into our own hands. A Chief brought some fencing for sale. Some time ago, he had two children staying in my brother's house, who were enticed away by their parents. Shortly after, the boy contrived to steal five soldiers' old great-coats, but the thief was not known until this morning. After a general consultation, we determined to take from him the materials which he had brought for sale, together with one of the coats which was upon his back, and a hatchet, having first assured ourselves that we were acting fairly in the eyes of the Natives.
--Visited the Natives of the river Waikari. The man who stole the coats belongs to this tribe, and we expected some displeasure might have been manifested for the notice which we had taken of his conduct: every person, on the contrary, who mentioned it, said that we had acted very justly toward him.
--A Chief came to me for some medicine, which I gave him immediately: five minutes afterwards he followed me to the Chapel, and contrived to take up a chisel, with which he walked away; but, happily, the theft was discovered before he was able to go far; and the chisel being found, his mat was taken from him and burnt. This is a summary mode of proceeding; but where we can do it safely, we find it has a very good effect.
[Rev. W. Williams.
Wild Manners of the Natives.
--On Sunday, toward the conclusion of our Morning Service, our Natives came to tell us that a number of Natives were in the Settlement, and beginning to be very troublesome. The party consisted of Natives from a distance, who had been visiting a neighbouring Settlement, on a plundering expedition, the day before: they were come now into our Settlement, for the purpose of snatching all that they could lay hands on. We were all obliged to hurry out; as some few had already been over my fence, with baskets, for the purpose of taking up the potatoes growing. The people were entire strangers to us; and were vociferating in a most angry mood, and striking the fence with their hatchets: it seemed as though they were ready to make a rush, for general plunder. We went out, however, into the midst of them; and, after a little while, persuaded them all to sit on the ground, in number 150, as nearly as we could count them. We considered that the path in which we were most likely to quiet them would be to speak to them boldly concerning our great Message: instead, therefore, of expostulating with them for coming on the errand which they were evidently bent on, we told them why we were come to this land--what was their condition --and the remedy. They listened quietly; and, though they frequently cast a wishful eye on the potatoes, and spoke of taking them, yet they, at length, walked off quietly, and gave us no further trouble. The same
[Image of page 461]
Tribe, this time last year, plundered the garden of the Missionaries at Whangarooa, and threatened their house also, a few weeks before their Mission was broken up; and there is not the least doubt, that their intentions were most mischievous when they came to our Settlement: but there was a Hand over us, which restrained them from touching even a hair of our heads. While some of our party were in conversation with the people, I went up to a Chief of our own Tribe, who was sitting at a distance, anxiously waiting the result: he observed to me, that though the people where pacified for the present, they would soon rise up and be very angry, and carry off every thing: but I was able to tell him, that stronger is He that is for us than they who are against us: and so the result quickly proved to him.
[Rev. W. Williams.
A party of Ngatetautahi, one of the most troublesome Tribes, arrived on a plundering expedition; bringing three slaves, with some canoes, and whatever else they had been able to lay their hands on. Among other cruelties, they dragged out a poor grey-headed old man who had been left by his master to take care of the Settlement, and tied him to their canoes and brought him to Kiddeekiddee. I could not but feel very much for the old man: I had often conversed with him, and found him very attentive. They had not arrived long, when the Chief Kahakaha came running into the Settlement, apparently in a rage; and said, that if I would not let him into my place, or give him a blanket, or an axe, or a plane-iron, he would break open my house and take every thing in it away, as he had done at other places. I told him that he had better begin; for, coming in such a way, I could not think of letting him in: after he had raged for some time, and endeavoured to frighten me without effect, he went away. However, in about half-an-hour afterward he came again, but in a very different manner; when I told him, that, as he had come quietly, I would let him in; at which he seemed pleased, and he and his men behaved well afterward. Parties of strangers will thus take advantage of us, when we are weak-handed: it is very likely that these Natives would have behaved quietly had all of us been in the Settlement; but the other brethren were gone to Pyhea, to attend the opening of the New Chapel there.
A large force was observed to land at Kororareka; supposed to be Uroroa and Kira, from Whangarooa and Matauri. Learnt that Uroroa intended an attack upon Waitanga, Waikari, and the Kauakaua. At daylight, the next morning, the party was in motion: at first we could not make out their intention, but soon observed them pull for Waitanga: orders were given to close all the passages to our houses, excepting two, which were capable of being closed at a moment's notice. Tohitapu made his appearance; and desired us to be very vigilant, for that their intentions were bad. After breakfast, it was determined to pay the party a visit: we accordingly manned a war-canoe belonging to Tohitapu, which was on the beach, and pulled up the Waitanga, after the people: their opponents had fled: they found one slave, whom they killed. We conversed with Kira; and were glad to find our friends Warepoaka and Waikato among them; but acting with us, and evidently wishing to restrain the old man.
While we were among the party, a circumstance occurred which ought never to be forgotten--so little are we capable of seeing an hour before us! Waikato, who had the gun with him which was presented to him by the King, was shewing it to us; when, observing that both locks were cocked, I took hold of it to half-cock them: but, touching the wrong trigger, it discharged: at that instant, Tohitapu was delivering an oration close to me, and his head was, at the time the gun went off, about a foot from the muzzle: he turned round, and told me I had nearly shot him: I knew that, and felt inexpressibly thankful. The piece was nearly perpendicular; but I was seated on the ground, and he was standing. Had any accident happened, our lives would probably have been forfeited. Thus does the Lord shew us ever to commit our way unto Him, and He will sustain us; for we are unable to help ourselves, or to tell what an hour may bring forth.
We returned soon after to Pyhea; and, by two in the afternoon, had the satisfaction to see all the canoes sail out of the Bay, toward Whangarooa. They discharged their pieces as they passed the Settlement, and we fired two great guns in return. Their thus quietly departing is far beyond general expectation: but there is One who ruleth, to whom we would ever look, and give Him all the praise.
[Rev. H. Williams.
Visit to the Natives on the Coast to the South-east ward.
The Herald returned to-day (April 18, 1828) from the southward, with about 40 pigs and a quarter of a cargo of potatoes. They were in a fair way to fill the vessel, but were obliged to return sooner than they wished. The particulars of this trip, so far as they are interesting in a Missionary point of view, you will hear from my Brother and Mr. Davis. The people to the southward seem to be living even in a much worse state than the Bay of Islanders: they are not scattered about as these people; but are as-
[Image of page 462]
sembled together in fortified places, fearful of all their neighbours. [Rev. W. Williams.
April 8, 1828--Canoes came off; not to us, but to a Brig which was trading with powder and muskets: one canoe came alongside, but no one offered a single basket of potatoes. Weighed, and made sail to the eastward: stood along shore, about a mile distant--no appearance of Natives--the country most desolate and broken. As we came toward Wakataui, we observed some canoes: one came off, and approached with caution: we hove to, and she came alongside. Murelakaka, the old Chief, said that they were on their way to Maketu, hearing that a ship was there; but that they would return with us to his settlement, as he had potatoes and pigs. We made sail with him on board: numbers of canoes pulled off: the Natives appeared pleased that we were with them. We conversed with Murelakaka on the evil of war, and the need of turning to the Living God, and on the fall and redemption of man: he listened with attention. The land near our anchorage looked very inviting.
April 10--Canoes came off; but nothing in them, except a few old sows, which we did not buy. Mr. Hamlin and I went to the Pa. The river was very fine, and very deep in places. As we approached the Pa, numbers of children came running to meet us. We were conducted to the house of one of the headmen, and were soon surrounded by the inhabitants. There were about 200 persons present, though not more than 20 men among them. While looking upon them, I felt a desire to be with them; but this is my constant feeling when visiting any of these distant settlements. I am satisfied that nothing will more tend to preserve peace among this unhappy people, than Missionaries living with them, and visiting from place to place. We spoke to them for a considerable time. They said, that it was all very good which we had told them; but, as other Natives would not let them alone, they stood greatly in need of muskets and powder, in order to defend themselves. The Pa was strongly fenced round, and divided into small allotments for different families: they were as closely packed as they could well be.
April 11--Made sail for Potiki, a settlement further to the Eastward. The wind was strong against us. We worked up, the Natives making great fires to invite us. Two canoes came alongside, but appeared not disposed to trade: they wanted powder: were very ill-behaved, being prompted by two Natives from the Bay of Islands; but, after a severe lecture, they behaved better, and offered flax and some mats for sale.
April 12 -- We had the pleasure of entering Tauranga. The harbour appeared quite deserted, there being only one canoe in sight, as the Natives were occupied with the Brig: those in the canoe said they had potatoes, and were glad to see us. We told them that the next day would be the Sabbath, and that we should not trade.
April 13: Sunday-- No canoes came off. We held Service with the crew, about ten o'clock. After dinner, Messrs. Hamlin and Mair and I went to the Pa, nearest the Heads; where was a great assembly of Natives, especially children. We talked with them for a long time: they said, that unless we settled among them they should soon forget. When we returned on board, we found that a canoe had been alongside, the people of which were very abusive, being elated with the possession of a few pounds of powder obtained from the Brig.
April 14--Several canoes came alongside with a number of pigs, and some few baskets of potatoes, very small. No appearance of trading, all wanting powder. They would not give for the blankets, axes, &c, more than half what is given in the Bay of Islands--inclined to be very insolent. Wherever we go, the constant demand is for muskets and powder. We could have filled with potatoes at either place, but for the Brig, which is here intoxicating the Natives with these destructive materials. About three o'clock they withdrew, in a very ill humour. Mr. Mair and I went up to the Pa, which, within the last fortnight, has been subdued by the Ngatemaru: we witnessed every mark of desolation. When last here, we anchored abreast of the place; and there were then hundreds of men, women, and children living here: now all was silent--their houses and fences burnt--dead dogs and pigs on all sides--and human bones in many places--a dreadful evidence of the real temporal situation of this people. The Ngatemaru are daily expected to attack a second Pa, at which we were on Sunday; and, afterward, they will visit the third. Such is the prejudice of this people, that each party will sit at his own place rather than unite their forces to resist the common foe. Surely they are in all the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity; and are daily led the willing captives of Satan, seeking one another's destruction!
April 1. 5--Naka, a Chief from the place, came on board, to visit the Bay of Islands: he has a number of mats with him, to purchase muskets. As I considered it highly important that the Natives should not feel themselves at liberty to come on board at pleasure and pass to and fro, I felt it needful to demand a payment for his passage, and required two mats: this will give them
[Image of page 463]
greater respect for us and the vessel. At sunset, abreast of the north head of Mercury Bay, a canoe hove in sight: we purchased one mat and a few fish from the people on board, for an axe and a few fish-hooks, with which they were greatly delighted. We inquired of them their disposition to make peace with the Ngapuis: they replied that the Ngapuis were ever killing them. We told them that Rewa's desire was for peace, and also that of many others; that we expected that some of the Chiefs would proceed to their place for that purpose; at which they appeared pleased. [Rev. H. Williams.
Favourable Indications among the Natives.
It appeared evident that our sick native little girl, Lucy, who had been with us at least three years, was now at the point of death. We went and sat with her, and conversed with her on the love of Jesus and the delights of heaven. She listened with great attention, and expressed an earnest desire to go thither: she extended her feeble hand to us, and leaned her head against us: I left her about eleven o'clock: at two, I was told that she was dead. We were much affected, for she was greatly endeared to us. She had heard much, and had been frequently conversed with.
--Went to Wangai: the tide was very favourable, which allowed us to see all the Natives. Never have I spent a more agreeable season with them: they hailed us with much apparent pleasure, and collected their scattered parties to hear what we had to say. I was much struck with their behaviour, and looked up to the Lord with gratitude for His promised blessing: in His Name, I told them that we were come to declare the glad tidings of peace with God through Jesus Christ-- that they had long been in bondage to Satan, but that liberty was now proclaimed to all believers--that, in the Judgment Day, we should be raised again incorruptible, to give an account of the deeds done in the body: I think I may say that they received the Word with gladness. The second party to which I spoke, was an assemblage of Chiefs, undergoing the process of tatooing: many of them had borne the character of insolence: from these I did not look for much; however, I took courage, remembering that they were not my words which I had to deliver: I accordingly addressed myself to them, and was greatly surprised at their attention--not the slightest disposition to levity: they told me that they knew that our motive incoming among them was, that they might be saved from the place of torment, and become Children of God: they asked me why we could not send one of our Natives, who understood the things of God, to instruct them more frequently, if we could not ourselves be more among them; but, alas! we have not yet one who could be sent on this important duty. I could wish that many of them were living with us, even married persons.
--Went to the Haumi, where I met a considerable number of Natives: they paid good attention. While speaking to them of their dreadful situation, and the dominion which Satan exercised over them in holding them in his own power that they should not believe, one man from Wangai, where we have been in the habit of going occasionally, asked me whether it was Satan who restrained us from going to them as we once did to instruct them. I felt this word of admonition very keenly, and regretted exceedingly the weakness of our force. [Rev. H. Williams.
Visited Waitanga. At four places, the people were careless, as we generally find them; but at the fifth, the village where Christian Rangi's relatives live, I was much delighted. Rangi's elder brother, Wini, has struck me from the first of my visits; and I think he is not far from the kingdom of God. I began, by telling them, as we had done before, that, unless their hearts were changed, they could not see the kingdom of God. Wini replied, that they had called upon God frequently, to give them new hearts and to forgive their sins. I bade them point to the situation of the sun when they prayed. They said, that as soon as Rangi's son had returned that morning (about eight o'clock) from our house with some tea for a sick person, they all met together, and repeated the prayers which we had directed them to offer. "Perhaps," said Wini, "God will not hear us: we have called upon Him for a long time, without perceiving any great change." I then reminded him of those declarations of our Saviour, If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts, &c. --Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, &c." Aye," said he, "God will hear, if we ask Him: but, perhaps, He is like us, when any one asks us for a thing and we say to him Tishore" (that is, By and bye, I will do it). We endeavour to explain continually the scheme of salvation through Christ; and we have always at hand illustrations of the vicarious satisfaction of the Gospel, in the universal practice among this people of demanding satisfaction for every offence done to them. Wini seems to have some insight into the way of salvation, and desires to learn more. He said, in conclusion, that he was vexed with himself on account of the obstinate badness of his heart--literally, "I am bad with vexation for the exceeding fixedness of my bad heart."
--At Waitanga I met with a man from a village inland: as he was alone, I asked him what was the general opinion of the Natives with respect to our religion. His reply, I am persuaded, was according to the general feeling. "When you come to us," said he,
[Image of page 464]
"they all say it is well to sit still and hear you; but, as soon as you are gone, one is persuaded this way and another that, and all our thoughts stray to other things."
--We spoke to many parties of Natives, who, with very few exceptions, manifested a desire for instruction. They not merely sit and listen to what we say, and give an assent to the truth of what we tell them; but they express a wish to be visited more frequently. I believe that many have a conviction that the religion which we teach is true; though, as yet, they continue in bondage to the Wicked One. They pray, moreover, according to our instruction, that the Spirit of God may be given to them to enlighten their hearts. More than this I cannot say; nor do I wish to be very sanguine, lest, after all, I should be deceived.
--Spoke to a few Natives up the river Kauakaua. They were strangers to me, but were not unacquainted with the purport of our Message; which, they said, they had heard from those who had been in the Schools: so that, although we are often discouraged by the fickleness of our Natives, leaving us frequently very shortly after they come to us, there is this good done--they carry much away with them, and disperse it, to the great furtherance of the work.
--At times, we hope that our Natives are beginning to think seriously about the things which they hear from us; though, in general, they are very indifferent. Last night, after our Evening Service, I overheard my Boys singing a Hymn in their own house; after which, one of them read a portion of St. Matthew, which we have translated; and concluded with the Lord's Prayer. The Boy, who conducted this Service, wrote to me the following question, upon his slate-- "How is it, that we continue to pray according to your instructions, and yet our hearts are not changed?"
--Went to Waiomio with Mr. Davis. I met with the Sister of Christian Rangi, whom I had not seen for several weeks, and was much gratified with her apparent state; for, unless I am greatly deceived, there is an important change going on in her. She said she had been long expecting our return, and that she had prayed to Jesus Christ to send us--that He said in her heart, "Wait, and they will come;" and "now," said she, "you are come." I asked her, what were her feelings with respect to the good things which she had heard before: she replied, "I pray daily to Jesus Christ for a new heart, and He has enlightened my heart." I learnt also, that every Sunday a few persons, who are well disposed, meet together to pray.
-- In a visit to Waitanga, I met with a family whose behaviour was very gratifying.
We have not had intercourse with them more than three times before; but they remembered much that they had heard, and asked many questions, such as are rarely asked by them. They were in the act of finishing a small net which they were about to put into the water, but they were conscious that it was wrong to be so employed on that day: they, however, excused themselves by saying that they were under the necessity of doing it, as they were tapued, and could not eat until the net had been wet by the saltwater.
--Went inland, for two days, accompanied by William Puckey. Branching off, as we proceeded, to different villages, we found full employment, from morning till night, until our return; and our work was a great refreshment to ourselves, as well, I trust, as a benefit to the Natives. The present season has been very sickly, and I had occasion to administer medicine in many cases; indeed, there was scarcely a family to be met with, which has not been visited by death. It seemed to be a prevailing opinion, that it is a visitation from our God, in anger to them for not observing the Sabbath Day, &c.: I endeavoured to correct their views, telling them of the origin of sickness through sin. Speaking of prayer in one village, and repeating some petitions which I recommended them to use, the principal man turned to those who were sitting round, and observed, "This will be very good for us: we will attend to it." Receiving an answer as to the number of days which intervene between each Sabbath Day, he directed the people to cut some notches in a stick, that they might be correct. If we had not been restricted through want of food, we could have taken home, I expect, from 30 to 40 Natives to the School; but I was obliged to put off those who asked to come, to a future period.
--We spoke to two groupes of Natives. The head of the party to whom I went, I had seen only once; but, on seating myself by his side, the first words which he spoke were, "E parata" -- a corruption of Brother, the name by which they always call me-- "I have forgotten the words which you told me to make use of in prayer, when you were at my place." I then told him, that he must pray for the pardon of his sins, and for a new heart; and entered briefly into the particulars of our Lord's history, and His future coming to judge the world. I believe many of the people were as attentive as ever any Christian Congregation was.
[Rev. W. Williams
This morning (April 2, 1828) I baptized the infant son of Taua and Rangi, by the name of James Kemp. Its parents have lived a long time with Mr. Kemp, and are
[Image of page 465]
both of them particularly anxious to have their child brought up in the principles of Christianity; as they have both thrown off their Native Superstitions, and have long seen the superiority of the Christian Religion. This is the first New-Zealand Child which has been dedicated to the Lord by baptism; and I trust that both its parents, though not yet baptized themselves, really feel their need of a Saviour, and are not far from the kingdom of heaven.
--Went down to Rangheehoo. In my way, I met a large party of Natives, on a fighting excursion, in two war-canoes, about 40 in number, who rowed up to the boat. My men, who were rowing me down, were much afraid that they were coming to take the boat away from us: however, they did not molest us in the least. When they came alongside, I spoke to them in a friendly manner; and they said, "Oh! he is a Pakeha Mittenary" -- White man, a Missionary-- "we wont touch him." They had a number of guns with them, and looked very formidable. They were aware, by my manner of talking, that I was a new comer; and, therefore, very soon turned, and went on their way. It was not always so in New Zealand!
--The Natives are evidently in an inquiring state, and always listen to our Message. The following conversation took place between a Chief and myself, at a native residence in a little bay down the river. He said that his old heart was gone, and that a new one was come in its place-- "Gone! whither?" "It is buried: I have cast it away from me" -- "How long has it been gone?" "Four days" -- "What was your old heart like?" "Like a dog: like a deaf man, it would not listen to the Missionaries, nor understand" -- "How long have you had your old heart?" "Always, till now; but it is now gone" -- "What is your new heart like?" "Like yours: it is very good"-- "Where is its goodness?" "It is altogether good: it tells me to lie down and sleep all day on Sunday, and not to go and fight" -- "Is that all the goodness of your new heart?" "Yes" -- "Does it not tell you to pray to Jesus Christ?" "Yes, it tells me I must pray to Him, when the sun rises, when the sun stands in the middle of the heavens, and when the sun sets" -- "When did you pray last?" "This morning" -- "What did you pray for?" "I said, O Jesus Christ! give me a blanket, in order that I may believe!" -- "I fear your old heart still remains, does it not?" "No: the new one is quite fixed, it is here" (pointing to his throat) -- "But the new heart that comes from God does not pray in that way." "How then?" -- I then proceeded to point out to him something of the nature of prayer -- what he should pray for -- and how ready and willing God was to hear and to answer. As I was leaving, he said that I must ask him, when I came again to his residence whether he remembered what I had now said; and, if he had forgotten it, I must tell him all over again. [Rev. W. Yate.
My friend Peter has been gone to the southward for the last eight months; his wife is there, on a visit to her friends; and has now her husband with her. The accounts which I have heard of Peter's proceedings are of the most encouraging nature. A Native from those parts lately made a visit to the Bay, and stated to our Natives that Peter was a praying man--that he had built a Place of Worship--and that he assembled the Natives on Sundays, and would not allow them to work on that day. [Mr. R. Davis.
First Annual Examination of the Schools.
Dec. 9, 1828--The families from the other Settlements, together with the Natives in the Schools, excepting as many as were absolutely necessary to take care of the Settlements, arrived about ten o'clock in the morning; it having been determined that an Annual Examination of the Schools shall be held, which should commence at our Station. In the afternoon, at the usual hour, the Natives were assembled for prayer; and our Chapel, which has always been tolerably filled, was now crowded. We concluded with a short Address.
Dec. 10 -- Held the Examination. We commenced with the Liturgy in New Zealand, as far as the Psalm after the Second Lesson; omitting the Psalms for the Day, which are not translated. The first classes of the three Schools were then examined together in the Catechism, Reading, Arithmetic, &c, and so on through the School. The result was highly satisfactory, as a first trial; and is likely to have a very good effect on the Natives themselves, who took much interest in the whole. We invited some of the principal Chiefs to be present, who expressed themselves pleased with what they witnessed, and in some cases spoke of sending their own children to us. The number present was 170; namely, Pyhea 90, Kiddeekiddee 60, Rangheehoo 20. In the afternoon they all feasted together. About 60 strange Natives were present, principally friends of those who are in the Schools. [Rev. W. Williams.
Our First Annual Examination of the Native Schools took place this day; and, truly, it was a day of great rejoicing to us. I do not know that I ever experienced feelings of greater satisfaction, than those which arose from the sight of these New Zealanders all collected together in our Chapel, all under the means of grace, and all evidently anxious to learn any thing which we may require from them. [Rev. W. Yate.
[Image of page 466]
Dec. 11, 1828-- After Morning Service the Natives and a short Address, we distributed a few prizes to the most deserving in the different classes; and also to those who have distinguished themselves by general good conduct, skill in carpentering, tailoring, straw-hat making &c, and to one man for a good plastered house, which he had erected for his family. A general inspection was made of every Native House in the Settlement; and commendation or reproof was awarded, according to circumstances.
[Rev. W. Williams.
Particulars of the Shipwreck of the "Herald."
May 8, 1828 --Mr. Hobbs arrived with news that the Herald is a wreck at Shukeangha, but that the crew and Mr. Fairburn are safe on shore. A small vessel was lost two days before, and lies a few miles to the northward of the Herald. I set out immediately, with my brother and Mr. Hobbs, for Kiddeekiddee; where we were joined by Mr. Kemp, and proceeded on the way to Shukeangha.
May 9 -- Arrived at the Wesleyan Settlement at Mangunga, where we heard further particulars. At the mouth of the Shukeanga River is a bar of sand, over which vessels may generally pass with safety; but the sea breaks dreadfully there at times. The Herald had been off the harbour for two days, waiting a favourable opportunity, as a high sea was then running. On the 6th, a little before sunset, she was making for the bar with a fair wind, and a prospect of being shortly at her anchor; but, when upon the bar, the wind suddenly failed, and she was left to the power of the breakers, and was carried upon the rocks. Night coming on, and there being only a most awful prospect before the crew, each began to think of his own safety. In the mean time, the boat, which had been lowered while the vessel was lying to her anchors, was washed away by the violence of the surf; and two men who were in her had to swim ashore. Mr. Fairburn afterward left the vessel, and had much difficulty in reaching the shore, being in a state of great exhaustion. The Master and the crew clung to the rigging till morning; when the tide had left her sufficiently to allow them to walk ashore. When they reached the land, however, they met with little mercy at the hands of the Natives; who took much of their clothing from them, and threatened to go to still further lengths. As soon as the tide was sufficiently out, the Natives proceeded to the vessel, and completely ransacked her of every thing which was moveable. Nor were they content with this, but hacked the vessel herself in a most shameful manner; cutting away all the rigging, together with the lining of her cabin, and left nothing entire but the hull. Mr. Mair and the crew remained on the spot, to endeavour to restrain them; but to no purpose: so that, shortly after we arrived at Mangunga, they came up in a boat, considering it useless to remain longer.
May 10 -- Went down to the Heads of the Harbour, a distance of about 20 miles. Visited the wreck at low water, and found her in a sad state: for, though a great part of her keel was lying near her, having been torne out by her continual beating on the beach when wrecked, yet the wanton mischief of the Natives amounted, perhaps, to the greater evil. It is, however, a great mercy, that those on board were not only delivered from the violence of the sea, but were preserved also from the cruelties of the Natives. The Natives did not venture to come near us, as our party was strong; but we pulled to their Settlement in our return, and saw some of the principal persons concerned. They had little to say in justification of their conduct: the act of plundering the loose articles was correct according to their own mode of proceeding; but the damage done to the vessel they acknowledged to be wrong: but here, according to custom, the Chiefs cast the blame on others over whom they had no controul.
May 11 -- Passed the Sabbath at Mangunga; where we had Service, morning and evening, in Mr. Hobbs's house.
May 12 -- This morning, before we were able to set out on our return, Patuone, the Chief of this part of the river, came to the house with a large party of Natives, saying, that he was going to obtain satisfaction from the people at the Heads for the mischief which they had done to the vessel; but wished, at the same time, to have our sanction and direction. As the matter was thus referred to us, we could not give them our approval, though the Natives at the Heads well deserve punishment. It was agreed, at length, that Mr. Hobbs should accompany them the next day, in order to adjust the business in an amicable manner.
[Rev. W. Williams.
We told them, that, as Missionaries, we could not tell them to go--that we came only to declare the Name of the Lord--that we were grieved at the conduct which we had witnessed, but must leave the result to our God. They said we were a strange tribe.
[Rev. H. Williams.
Earnest Call for Prayer.
The reflection, that it is God's work, often gives me great comfort when out among the Natives: and when they tell me, that to sit still on a Sunday and do nothing would be very easily accomplished, but to cast away all
[Image of page 467]
the evil and corrupt propensities of the human heart, and to have that heart renewed by Divine Grace, will never be accomplished by them, I tell them that they will and can be accomplished by and in them; but not by their strength or might, but by the Spirit of the Lord. I would, therefore, beg your earnest prayers, in behalf of us and the New Zealanders. There has been a great mortality among them this past year, and many have rushed into eternity without any hope whatever. Let me, therefore, beseech you to ask this favour among the friends of Missions wherever you go; and I am sure that we shall see, and they will hear, of a blessed fruit springing up among this people: and what has more particularly led me to ask this, is, because I have been very forcibly struck with the parable in the Eleventh Chapter of St. Luke, and the 8th verse-- Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. We cannot have a stronger excitement to prayer. [Mr. Hamlin.