Brief obituary notice of Natives.
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BRIEF OBITUARY NOTICE OF NATIVES
IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY'S MISSION IN NEW ZEALAND.
THE Journals of the Missionaries supply some brief notices of some who have died, as they hope, in the faith of Jesus, and who are an encouragement to them in their persevering endeavours to win souls to the Saviour.
March 25 --Yesterday I was sent for to visit a sick native, Jacob, who had just been brought 25 miles out of the forest. I found him very ill, apparently near death; but, although ignorant, he seemed to possess in his soul that peace of God which passeth all understanding. His eyes brightened at the name of Jesus; and when Romans v. was read, he appeared to repeat after me the first verse with all the emphasis he possessed. Surely this is a brand plucked from the burning! As I know he had been sadly deluded during the war, so far as to become a native priest, and a dealer with familiar spirits, I feared that he was deceiving himself, and examined him accordingly; but I trust all is right with him.
March 30 --This morning I buried poor Jacob. On my way I met Heke, and several other Chiefs, who had been to take a last look at one who had been their great priest. Heke again looks very ill. Jacob died on the 26th, doubtless from a wound he received at the Ruapekapeka. The ball struck him in the breast, and could not be extracted. He was baptized by us many years ago but was led away, with many others, to join in the late wars. About a year ago his out-of-the-way place was visited by the Mangakahia Teachers: he was then poorly. On the second visit they found him longing to possess his former faith, and struggling to get free from the bondage of Satan. He then told them that he was first deluded by dreams of a singular nature connected with the wars, and which came literally to pass. This caused him to be much looked up to, by the Natives engaged in the wars, and his advice was earnestly sought after. In a short time, he told them, he was visited by familiar spirits, which he had tried to rid himself of, but in vain. He now saw, however, that he had been deceived, and was anxious to return to his Saviour. When I saw him the other day I questioned him seriously on this subject, but he assured me the familiar spirits had long left him. The Natives also bore testimony to the peace of mind he had for some time enjoyed, and remarked that this had been, the means of his living so long as he had.
July 15 --On my return from Waimate, whither I had been to attend a Committee, on the 4th, I found two of my people very ill. One of them, an excellent woman of our family, was delirious. Every means was tried without effect, and on the 7th she died. The illness only lasted three days. Both she and her husband came to us, when very young, at Waimate. There they received the Gospel; there they were soon married; and, up to the death of this excellent woman, they had never diverged from their first principles. God gave them seven children, two of whom were removed in infancy, and five remain. The youngest of these the poor mother brought into the world during her illness; but such was her state that she appeared unconscious of its birth. Poor Jean is a loss to her husband, to her family, and to the Church. To her husband she was true and affectionate, to her children a good mother, and to the children of others a true friend. As they were living near to us, for their children to have the benefit of the School, she also allowed the children of her friends to stay with hers, that they might have the benefit of the School also. It was a source of great grief to us that we could not lead her mind to Christ during her severe, though short illness; that we could not accompany her down the dark valley. After I saw her she had not a lucid interval. Much prayer was made for her by the members of the Church; and we trust she was accompanied by Him who died to redeem her from death and hell. Much proper Christian Sympathy has been shewn to the bereaved husband and fatherless children. These fruits of the Spirit cheer our minds.