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employ your time in your leisure evenings? Do you reflect upon each day's mercy, which has blessed you with health, and strength, and made every provision for your bodily wants throughout the day? And have you been working throughout the day, going on in the strength of the Lord God, encouraging your soul to trust in God, saying with the Psalmist, "Yet the Lord will command his loving kindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life?" There is a durable pleasure in setting God always before us, and realizing His presence and watchfulness over every action of our life. Let us then esteem him as "a friend that sticketh closer than a brother," for in afflictions, in trials, in sickness, or in health, He will be "the precious balm of Gilead" unto us, and "the good Physician," who can with spiritual skill apply it with certain success to our wounded souls. Are all the wondrous displays of God's merciful greatness and goodness to us worth no grateful returns from us? The sober, honest, and pious labourer will not think so, if a true believer in Christ Jesus; but he will be actuated by the spirit of God to rejoice evermore, being a recipient of his abundant mercies; knowing, as he does by happy experience, that every promise of God will be fulfilled, and that those who love Him shall lack no manner of good thing. Thus under a sense of renewed mercies does the christian labourer return to his daily work, invigorated, after refreshing rest, with a conscience that he feels to be void of offence, towards God and towards man; for if we have our days of labour, we have our evenings of reflection; for there is a time and a season for everything under the sun, [and that person who o
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says he has no time to dedicate to God, denies, in his heart, his own responsibility, although he stands a living monument of God's mercies. I would exhort the working class to kill that canker-worm of discontent which gnaws at the root of all their comforts, and which has been generated by the disaffection of the blasphemous, and disobedient, the unthankful, and the despiser of order and rule of government, and who presume to say, that the working classes of England are treated worse than slaves. (I agree with such an one in one point of view, for I have never seen the negro slave let loose his vile passions, and carry crimes to such an excess as I have witnessed in civilized and free England!) But you who thus complain do so from a spirit of contentiousness, knowing nothing of the nature of slavery in its true character abroad; but I will endeavour to give you a brief description of what slavery is, since all men cannot be eye-witnesses of such dire scenes.
I must now conduct you to Africa's sultry clime, there to join in the life of those wandering tribes, who either live in underground cells, or in rudely constructed huts, or on the dewy earth, to which even our prisons in England would be palaces, and who are often exposed to poisonous reptiles and ferocious wild beasts, whose yells make the forest echo; could you rest in safety here? The wild beasts are roaring with hunger on the one side, on the other a tribe of enemies are laying in ambush to seize you; are you, I ask, treated, worse than slaves? And after they are captured, they are carried away captives, driven like sheep, but without a cover to shelter them from the burning sun, whose rays are sending forth its scorching heat upon their bare skins, as they
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are driven into the slave market, and passed along by the different chiefs, who, for filthy lucre, are trading with nations who can hold up the crucifix;, and at the same time make shipwreck of the faith in the crucified; these chiefs have been bought over, with childish toys, to war, and bring in their prisoners for their inhuman traffic! Are you treated worse than slaves? These poor creatures are driven through unsheltered deserts, and giant forests, and fed by the wild spontaneous growth of nature, on their harassed march to the detestable traffic mart, or barracoons; no doubt tribe often fights with tribe to wrest the captives, in order to get the premium from the slave dealers. Are you treated worse than slaves in England? When I spoke to a slave dealer about the brutal usage of the slaves, he said, "What are they but brutes? You may treat them like beasts, they have no understanding, they no more feel this piece of hide than a horse does the whip." Are you, fellow workmen, treated worse than slaves in England? All family ties are torn asunder in the poor slave; the husband wrested from the wife, and the children separated from each other for ever; and the slave dealer tells me that they are ignorant, and without natural affection; I cannot believe it! If the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, "can a woman forget her sucking child that She should not have compassion on the the son of her womb?" Are you treated worse than slaves:? Then hundreds of these human beings are penned up in these barracoons, like beasts, ready for the first market; here they are huddled up together, breeding that devastating disease which spreads its ravages amongst them to that degree, that it eats their flesh to the bone: in this state
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they remain until the acute slaver, evading our cruisers, by hugging the shore during the night, begins to ship his human cargo with all dispatch, for now is the time the work must go ahead; the slaves are therefore bundled hastily into the boats, or large canoes; it matters not what bruises they get, or what scars they receive in the hurry of embarking, there is a great deal to be done, and but a short time to do it in.
The coast being clear for a start, the slaver proceeds under a well trimmed press of light sails to her destined shore; three or four hundred souls are now closely packed in the bottom of the vessel, in furtherance of this covetous and inhuman traffic; their scanty fare of provisions and water, during the voyage, barely suffices to keep the pulse of life in motion; sometimes a child may be seen at the breast of its mother--embraced by the skeleton form of her who was snatched away from her native soil--pining away from the withered breast. Oh! welcome death, in such scenes of the deepest tragedy, brought on by the inhumanity of a fellow being; and births are not unusual on the voyage! Say then, are you worse off than slaves? The slaveholders, to give the crew more encouragement to protect the slaver in case of an attack from our cruisers, allow each man to bring two or three slaves for themselves; look down now into the hold of the small vessel, and behold the human mass of suffering; the living cooly taking the dead for their pillows, nor apparently heeding the dying around them. Are you then worse than slaves? Need we wonder, amidst the stench of the dying and the dead, and the filth created within such a narrow compass, at the raging pestilence by which death cuts all before him with the sickle of his fury? Believe the sailor
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when you hear him say, that the stench of a slaver may affect the air for a mile to leeward.
Nor do their sufferings end here, for it has often occurred that a slaver after clearing the coast, having evaded our cruisers, has been chased in the vicinity of the neighbourhood where they were about to land them for the market; when the slaver finding no way of escape, rather than be taken, the captain and crew agree to run the ship on shore, where, if the crew escape with their life, the poor slaves cramped and cooped up, unconscious of their perilous situation, are left to perish in the ship; or one half may be taken out, and the other murdered, as time and circumstances will allow. All this may be going on before the cruiser can take any active steps to prevent it; if she should come up in time to rescue any portion, it would make your British heart of freedom ache with sympathizing humanity, and draw tears, not a few, from your eyes, as the walking skeletons are assisted into the boats from ship to ship by our crews; some women, I observed, had their children lashed to their backs, with their poor weak frames ill able to support their darling offspring; I beheld also young virgins whose vivacity of expression, once so beautiful upon their own native soil, is now exchanged for the grave-worn languishing countenance of old age. Young men too with spare limbs and hollow cheeks, who once bounded blithsome over their wild sultry shore, their limbs now refuse their office; for the first time their poor naked bodies are covered, by the hands of freedom, with a garment. Seamen have hearts of sympathy, if they have not godly hearts; and now what do you think of slavery?
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But I have to go a little further into slavery, for all the slaves, who fall into the hands of the slave owners, are sold in the public slave market like beasts, and in the course of ten years, that is if the slave lives so long, he may have half a dozen masters, having been sold over and over again. Some are let out by their masters, on hire, at so much per day; some are sent out about the town to get casual jobs, and must bring their masters in a certain sum of money every evening, and if they bring anything short of that sum, the poor slave gets severely flogged; there have been instances, where a master has not exacted the last drop of sweat from the brow of his slaves, that the slave has, after a series of years, accumulated sufficient money by his over-work to buy himself off. But to whom has he given his youthful days of strength, and his most profitable labour? But, dearer still, to whom has he sacrificed his precious liberty, and been denied coming to a knowledge of the gospel of Christ? When shall the emissaries against liberty and religious truths be annihilated, and the faith that we are now so earnestly contending for, be made known to these doubly fettered slaves, who are bound in chains of slavery and fettered in chains of heathen darkness? Woe unto them who seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, who seeth us, and who knoweth us?.
Now, dear reader, the sailor has only given you the outlines of slavery; much is masked that he cannot come at; but never give vent to that contentious expression that you are treated worse than slaves. I have no particular end to answer but the welfare of my countrymen, and this alone induced me to bring the remarks I
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have made upon slavery before your notice, for a word spoken in due season, is often attended with some salutary effect in the end. I am therefore addressing the ploughman whose humble and honest occupation seldom calls him out of the sight of the smoke which gracefully curls above his homely dwelling, as well as to the tailor, the shoemaker, and to all whose calling binds them to their beloved and favoured land of freedom; it remains therefore for the sea-faring man, whose beaten path of life has shown him the world in all its chequered forms, to speak from experience, or from the little knowledge that he acquired in the service, that more contentment may predominate in every family circle, and in every individual breast, in this our highly favoured land.
Let not Christ be made a show of open mockery, and crucified afresh by open presumption and sin. The prostitute, the thief and the murderer, may be adorned with would-be-sacred emblems suspended on their breasts; give me faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
On Calvary's height for us Christ died,
'Tis finish'd now, the Saviour cried!
His pierced wounds did freely bleed,
Whilst he suffered in our stead.
And whilst for our sins he bled,
I thirst, the dear Redeemer said.
They mocked him 'midst the furious host,
He bow'd! and then gave up the ghost!
The christian wants no dangling cross,
By faith he counts things seen but dross;
His Saviour's dearer to his heart,
Than things external can impart;
He carries Christ his guide within,
Dies to the world, and lives with him.
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This is the protestani sailor's idea of the virtue of the cross; I want it within.
A general confession to God, and a mutual acknowledgement of our sins one to another, praying for one another, and forgiving one another, as Christ also forgave us, --this is confession and charity.
Let us do penance, not outwardly in the flesh, but inwardly, in a broken and contrite heart, laying our burden of sin upon Christ, who has freely offered to bear our sins, and carry our sorrows away upon his cross, by faith in His merits. Let us then confess our sins unto God, who is the first cause of our being, and who is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But let us who are of the day have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but through the light of the gospel reprove them. 1 It will be my object to show, that wherever other doctrine than this is propagated, it is never attended with any prosperous or happy result.
Ireland has ever been in a forlorn condition, for ignorance is the canker-worm of order, and among folios of anathemas, there can be very little of that charity which thinketh no ill to his neighbour.
Go abroad to some of our colonies, and see how the seed of discord has been sown there. I will come closer home, and draw your attention to Europe, where continuous revolutions take place in France, civil wars in Spain and Portugal, ever throning and dethroning their monarchs. And look at the state of their possessions abroad; go, if you will, to the east, there you see them tottering under their grovelling governments; look at Cuba in the west, with her slave traffic merchants; look
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at the vast extent of coast along the Brazil, where the poor benighted blacks are groaning under the oppressive yoke of slavery; and when does the poor slave hope for a release from his hard bondage? Not until his strength fails him by sickness or old age, when his poor frail body can no longer bear the burden which his merciless owner has worn him out under. Yes, where is he to find a covert from the storm? Where a place to rest his slim and shrivelled weary frame? Who will assist the poor cast out weak skeleton to the hospital? Or, who will remove the cold negro corpse from the street, the plantation, or the beach, where he is too often left by the cold hearted and heedless populace, in its common occurrence? The slave was worth gold to his master whilst he could bear his daily burden, under the heat of the sun, but not worth a common shell, or a common burial, when dead.
Here is where I would direct the attention of the Sisters of Mercy, into the dark abodes of ignorance, misery and want, where the eye of charity does not sufficiently penetrate; where human sympathy and christian compassion seldom or ever enters; here would be a wide field for the exercise of christian sympathy; then would the words of Christ come home in all their native truth and beauty, "I was sick and ye visited me."
If we had more Brothers and Sisters of Mercy among us christians, to visit the human sufferings, and to dispense more christian consolation to the poor cast off slaves abroad, we should have a sure recompense of reward.
A slave owner may beat his slaves to death with impunity, without effecting any breach in such lawless countries. I need not enter any further into the horrifying details of slavery, my main object in going so far as I have, was
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to lay before those who are ignorant and disaffected among the people of England, how far their case of slavery differed from the above facts, which I have penned from experience, as well as to show under what religious denomination that detestable traffic in human souls is carried on; and, in conclusion on this head, I would remark, that civil wars and slavery are the predominant and mischievous results of its tenets.
The era of our shipwreck now brings me to Good Friday, and I need not ask the people of England what day this is, where I hope there are none so heathenish as not to go the church to enquire. I have always thought that it was a day to commemorate the Saviour's dying love for the sins of the whole world; a day on which He had completed our redemption by the manifestation of his sufferings; a day on which, while expiring in agony on the accursed tree, He breathed this last sentence in testimony of having done, or completed, the work which His father had given him to do, "It is finished." It is therefore a day of holy rejoicing, and not a day to add sin to sin. These holy seasons are additional means of grace, and should more particularly lead us to the communion and fellowship of the faithful, or followers of the Lamb.
We as protestants need no encumbersome furniture, such as relics of saints, or carved toys to act as stumbling-blocks to our faith. The faith of the protestant is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and this I believe to be the Bible faith. I believe that my ejaculations to the God of my life and my salvation, will, according to my purity of walk and life, through the merits and mediation of my Redeemer, have
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energy and weight with the divine majesty, in bringing down the desired blessing, as did the hands of Moses when held up in faith in the battle, have weight with the Deity in deciding the victory over the enemies of God's people; in the camp, and under the canopy of heaven, they will have equal effect as if I were surrounded by lighted tapers, costly drapery, or altar magnificence.
If I bow to the image of Saint Peter, or Saint Paul, to do homage to these dumb inanimate things, it will profit me no more than the bullock which was offered by the prophets to Baal; let the saints rest, and let our communion with them be in all the offices of love, until we be advanced with them to the possession of their heavenly inheritance in eternal life. I will not bow to saints or angels, if I did, some still small voice would whisper, "See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, worship God." Even the heavens are not pure in the sight of God: there has been war in heaven, and angels have not kept their first estate, but left their exalted habitation. Therefore in God is my strength and my salvation, and to them who fear him will he give a banner that may be displayed because of the truth. Up then with the bible standard, and let us follow its blessed Author, the Captain of our Salvation, conquering and to conquer; there must be no anathemas on our banners, no damnation lurking in our vicious hearts, no cruel inquisitions to torture the lovers of truth, but, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ," and "Faith which worketh by love."
To day, Christ's career of affliction is finished, He became obedient unto death, even the cruel death of the
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cross, to purchase for man life everlasting. The work that His Father had given him to do is now accomplished, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
I now enter upon another day of grace, and the crew are employed to day building their huts, driving out bolts from the wreck, and washing their clothes. The day following, the Brig was lifted, at the height of the spring tide, out of her bed, which enabled the carpenters to remove more of the copper from her bottom.
At about seven o'clock this morning some slight alarm was raised in the camp, through the near and repeated reports of musketry, which proved afterwards to be over the death of a native child; but no sound short of the last trumpet will awaken the dead. This I was told was their general practice, or their requiem; did they (the natives) possess a ton of gunpowder, it would be used similarly upon the death of a relative. The crew are still at work about their huts.
Another day is permitted to dawn upon us, and to our great surprise we missed nearly all of the lead, which had been stacked up ready for removal on the previous evening, a portion of which was soon brought back; we had no difficulty in discovering the whereabouts of it, few things being kept secret by a New Zealander. It was currently reported where the lead had gone to, and when it was demanded, as the Queen's property, it was not without great reluctance and much trouble that a part was given up. The natives' plea for the theft was, that one of our crew (whose position in the ship, if true, ought to have taught him better), had trespassed on the pre-
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mises of the Pukeroa. Now this chief, I was told, had little influence over his tribe. I also heard a church missionary say, that this was one of the most heathenish tribes on the Island, and it was this chief, if any credence may be placed in the report, who hoisted the flag, which brought us into the danger. This chief and his tribe reside on the southern banks of the river Here-kino. However, whilst on a fishing excursion in the river, one of our crew landed and insulted one of the women belonging to this chief's tribe, for which insult, as was interpreted, they went on board the wreck and took a quantity of lead, which probably, for ought we knew, might have been returned back to us in another shape, with some unpleasant dispatch, at some future period. The natives' reply was, that they took the lead as payment for the insult upon the woman.
The custom of these people runs thus, --Whenever one is insulted by another in word or deed, payment is demanded of the offending party to settle the affront, and the sooner done the better. I was an eye-witness to a scene of this sort myself, on the outskirts of our camp. A woman was one day coming from the fresh water stream, with a calabash full of water in her hand, when I saw her seized violently by the bare single garment that covered her, and which the man was endeavouring to wrest off her back: it was a coarse narrow striped shirt which hung loose about her, for she had not arrived at that degree of wealth to be the possessor of a blanket; such ruffian usage touched my British sympathy, and I ran hastily to the camp for the interpreter to come and put a stop to such inhuman proceedings, but his remonstrance had no effect until the chief Makauri
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came, who with a very, few words settled the difference between them, the chief telling the man that the woman had paid him for what she had said basely against him, for the man belonged to this chief's tribe, but the woman belonged to a different tribe. From this chief's statement, it would appear that some months ago the woman had called this man a Taurikarika, which I believe signifies a slave, and is considered a word of great reproach among the natives of New Zealand.
The sooner matters are made up with a New Zealander the better, as it has been frequently known for a certain number of a tribe to come and demand everything in the house as payment for some trifling offence given by another party; sometimes they burn each other's houses down; we had a most convincing proof of this in the British settlement of Kororarika, at the Bay of Islands, the burning and sacking of which was the beginning of the rebellion with the native chiefs, Poki and Kawita, the former of whom is better known by the name of Heki to the Europeans. The awful destruction of that young and thriving settlement, was the result of some insult to their national feelings, but of what description it is difficult to discover.
However slight the offence, they sit up all night making speeches, and swell the crime most enormously by the morning, and thereby exaggerate the extent of the injury done by brooding over it. It was this no doubt urged on the robbery on board the wreck; regardless as to whom the property belonged, they thought it a just retaliation in committing themselves by abstracting the lead, as an atonement for the affront so unintentionally given by one of our crew, by landing near their village
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and interfering with their women; but no such daring robbery had hitherto been committed. But had we acted with more discretion, the natives would have been left without excuse, for I think that there was range enough for our recreation from the north side of the river Here-kino, --which river separated the Pukeroa's Pah, with his tribe, from our camp, --to the fresh water stream north of us, taking in a space of nearly two miles, but, with an intemperate desire, we exceeded the bounds of our shipwrecked station, because we were without the limits of the camp.
Now the utmost caution should have been taken with the greatest prudence to avoid giving offence, for in the first place, we were existing as dependants upon their territory, and were partly fed from the produce of it; and secondly, we were peaceably dealt with, and being ignorant of the manners and customs of the people, as well as their general character, should have made us more circumspect in our behaviour; for we had no knowledge of their language to defend ourselves by a right explanation, so that we knew not where the insult might end: when thoughtless youths take the helm, you may expect wild steering. Larks are too often nick-names for the grossest vice, and frequently the forerunner of some disastrous consequence, and sometimes prove fatal.
When the inquiry was made about the lead that was missing, it was found with the Pukeroa's tribe, who stole it to remunerate the insulted woman; resolute measures were now taken to recover the lead, in consequence of which, two pieces out of nine came back, escorted by a well armed party of the Pukeroa's tribe; preparation of a warlike appearance began now to man-
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ifest itself for the recovery of the lead. The Captain no doubt had his nerves, as well as his intellects, braced sharp up in his strenuous endeavours to recover the lead. The taking the lead was not so much a crime, but allowing it to remain in the possession of the natives would have had a fatal result, for the settlers were now at war with the aborigines, and the latter were ingenious enough in the art of casting ball, of which the stolen lead would have given them a bountiful supply for some time.
The crew were now called to arms, inspected, and held in readiness for what might follow; all the natives were now ordered to leave the camp, and we continued all night under arms, ready for any alarm; and a most terrible night it was, for the roaring of the sea, and the rumbling of the thunder made the hills and vallies re-echo with their unrestrained voices; the dark clouds were wafted past the moon with rapid speed upon the wings of the wind, and the lightning flashed upon the clouds of sand, which were borne in tempestuous whirlwinds through our camp; in vain might we have listened for the war yells from the natives, preparatory to attack, for the clashing of the elements bid defiance to the human voice. When God speaks out of the thunder, and sends His lightning abroad, man must yield to His power. Such was the disadvantage upon this last account, that had we been engaged by the natives to windward, who could have chosen any favourable position for an attack, not a man could, have faced the sand-storm, or have stood against it; and I much doubt if more than one round could have been discharged from our pieces, as the nipple and barrel would have been choked with the sand; our little huts were half buried in the sand.
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In the height of this storm, a little friendly native hoy was dispatched away, who had a journey of twelve miles to accomplish, the storm pelting him in the face the whole way; yet he hastened on our friendly tribes, whose assistance this lad's message brought us. Well may we borrow the words of an apostle, "Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth."
Another day of grace and mercy dawned upon us. The first thing we did was to clear the sand away from our huts; afterwards, we were employed in removing fixtures and driving out bolts. At about half-past six this morning the son-in-law and the nephew of our friendly chief Puhipi arrived from Hipara, who, on hearing of the depredation committed by the Pukeroa's, tribe, set out immediately with the interpreter for that chiefs Pah, in order to recover the rest of the lead, and to make known to them the Captain's intention if it was not delivered up within a stated period. These relatives of our old chief, together with the Captain's threat, had this effect, that three pieces more of the lead were delivered up by ten o'clock in the morning. In about an hour after this, Puhipi the chief arrived on horseback, with his tribe close in his rear, for the New Zealander can travel with almost the speed of the horse, who, when closing with our camp, gave us the accustomed war dance, and afterwards seated themselves in groups about our huts.
At about half-past twelve, p. m., Makauri arrived with his tribe, and a part of Nopera's, another chief's, with him; on meeting the tribe already with us, each tribe joined in the war dance together. At about three o'clock in the afternoon the chiefs assembled in the Captain's tent, and the circumstances connected with the
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stolen property were enquired into, so that the Captain's determination, and the very pacific remonstrances of the chiefs had the desired effect, as the following will show; for, at five o'clock, p. m., Puhipi, our very kind and friendly chief, who was very influential among his own countrymen, set out for the Pukeroa's Pah by himself. Now this chief's persuasions' had this effect, that two pieces more of the lead came back at nine o'clock in the evening.
About this time a reverend gentleman, belonging to the church mission, arrived at our camp, who immediately left his station at Kaitaia, on the news reaching him of what was going on between us and the natives, and who used every christian effort in persuading the natives to give up the remainder of the lead. This tribe he told us was the most heathen-like of any on this part of the coast.
This gentleman showed us great kindness, and I may venture to say, that it was through the instrumentality of these good men, that our wants were so amply supplied by the natives; for although his mission station was the nearest to our wreck, still it was a long distance off, and a rugged beaten path it was which led to it; but still he repeated his visits to our camp, bringing with him perhaps the last piece of his home-baked cake for us to partake of, and shared a bed with us on the sand: but in his missionary labours, a similar one to this must often have been his lot in his rounds through his district. I will be one to lift up my hands and heart in prayer to the Giver of all mercies, asking Him to strengthen the hands of His servants in His most holy cause, and may many converts to Christianity be the
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blessed result of bis ministry, and may lie live long in the land, to follow the example of the apostles, until the dark cloud of heathenism shall sink beneath the meridian brightness of the christian faith.
"Arise and build," strengthen the hands of the missionary for the great work of the gospel, and then the God of heaven will prosper us, and we shall see His kingdom of truth prevailing gloriously over the kingdom of error and of darkness. But thou, O God, wilt cut off error and superstition, both root and branch, Thou hast set able watchmen upon the walls of Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace, day or night. Light and truth will plough its way through every barrier, in despite of all opposition. God be praised, they will fight the good fight of faith, and resist unto blood, striving against sin.
Be still then ye protestants, who have the Lord for your God, and Christ for your Redeemer and Intercessor, "He will be exalted among the heathen, and he will be exalted in the earth." As Moses spake these words of comfort to the Israelites, when their enemies were pursuing them, so God seems to address us in these latter days. "Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord," and in proportion as the light of the gospel has been promulgated abroad by the Bible ministers of Christ, so must error be repulsed before a Bible Church, and how must we raise these edifices? We must, one and all, arise and build by subscribing our little to produce the means; we are, conjointly, a wealthy nation, and what constitutes us a wealthy nation? The great light of civilization, which the light of the gospel truth has brought with it, has raised our nation to what it is, by its truthful application.
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How is it that England has maintained her high post of fame among the nations of the earth, but by her equal laws and religious liberty, all of which emanated from the light and truth of the Bible. As soon as our blessed Reformers threw off the uncharitable yoke of Rome, and slipt the chain of the priestcraft, and delivered our nation from the bondage of her corruptible doctrine, she soared aloft upon the wings of light and liberty, carrying knowledge in her ascent, leaving the Beast and false Prophet to grovel in their own pollution. Strength also was added to light and liberty; God purposes to fight for those nations who put their trust in him. England never gained a victory by her own strength. If the Lord had not been on our side, our enemies had swallowed us up quick, but armies and fleets have been dissolved as they have risen up against us.
Our sires have battled for the world,
When all around was night;
Their Lion standard stood unfurl'd,
In truth's first beams of light.
Immense continents have, through party factions, divided themselves into independent states, and rebellious ones too, seldom or never at unity with one another; we behold civil wars on one side of us, and national wars on the other, and kingdoms dwindling into presidencies, but our own little island is at peace with herself. How is this, I ask? Because her protestant government will not admit error or superstition to subvert the minds of the people, whilst other governments, from a policy peculiar to their rotten system of government, think that they can best govern a people in a state of ignorance, and therefore make priestcraft their handy-billy for this
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occasion. Therefore let it be our aim to support the pillars of government, by subscribing to the means of spreading that truthful knowledge, which enlightens the subject to be obedient to those who rule, as well as to strengthen our patriotic and loyal feelings for her whom God has counted worthy of a crown and sceptre on earth; and I pray that these may be savours of life unto life, that hers may be a crown of glory that fadeth not away, and that her earthly majesty may become a subject of His most gracious Majesty in the kingdom of Heaven; for who would not give up a crown on earth for the lowest mansion in heaven?
Light and truth then, emanating from Bible teaching, has made England what she is now among the scale of nations of the earth, and I am constrained for Zion's sake not to hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
I am disturbed from my meditations by the Morina's tribe coming from the northward, who meet with the greeting of the accustomed war dance; this is a sight that would not a little astonish the people of England, for their yells and fiend-like grimaces, and singular costume, would at first lead you to think that they were a race not human. In their dance they come to the ground with such a firm step, especially when a large body join together, as to make the ground shake; this generally takes place on their feast days, the greatest of which, I was told by a settler, was over some funeral rite, and takes place upon the removal of the bones of a chief, and which old custom, I was informed, was then in practice among the heathen tribes.
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The body of the chief after death is carefully removed into the most secluded part of the forest, where a Wata, or platform, is erected; the body is then placed upon it, and there left for the flesh to decay from the bones; after a certain time the bones are considered fit for removal, the tribe of this chief then repair to some neighbouring chiefs to attend at "The ceremony of the bones;" all having assembled round the skeleton, four or five from each tribe are chosen to proceed to the Wata, or platform, in the woods to remove the bones; these take with them some native baskets to convey the bones away in, and when they come to the nearest stream of water, the bones are all well washed and brought back again before the assembled tribes, who are now cowering around in a circle to witness the ceremony which the bones go through, before they reach their final resting place. Every person keeps at a respectable distance, except those selected for the office of the ceremony, for fear of being polluted. The few whose office it is to officiate with the bones now begin to form, and lay out, the skeleton; afterwards the skeleton is oiled over, and a sort of red ochre (called kokowai) is rubbed over it, and the skeleton is then garnished with feathers; after this, those who have any presents to give to the skeleton, such as wearing apparel, sharks' teeth, green stone ornaments, or anything they may possess, throw them in a heap to the skeleton, after which, the skeleton and presents are rolled up together, and borne away to a cave in the wood, where they are deposited, and a Tapu, or strict prohibition against being found thereupon pain of death, is established,
When the great feast takes place on this occasion, it generally consists of fish, potatoes, and kumaras, all in
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separate quantities, or heaps, in proportion to the number of the tribe, who either eat it upon the spot, or take it away with them.
The process their food goes through in cooking, and which possesses little variety, is as follows: --A round hole is first dug in the earth, in size according to the quantity of food required; after the hole is prepared stones are first placed at the bottom, then a fire is kindled with wood on the stones which were previously laid in the hole, and stones are again placed upon the burning wood, which are left to heat until the wood is consumed, after which green reed baskets are placed all round the hole to prevent any dirt from falling into the food; the food is then placed upon the hot stones; if meat, it is put at the bottom, if fish, on the top of the potatoes, by which process all is cooked together. They are remarkably quick at pealing their potatoes, which they do with mussel shells, and during the time that the stones are heating. After the food is properly placed in this earthen pot, some rush baskets, which have been previously soaked in water, are placed over the food, and another dried reed basket over that again, and about a quart of cold water thrown over all; the earth is then well banked up round it, it is then left for half an hour or more, according to the quantity of food, after which the whole of the earth, is carefully removed with the baskets, and the food taken out.
This peculiar mode of cooking is called by the natives a Hangi, but more commonly by Europeans, a Copper Maori. The meat has rather an unpleasant twang with it from the dripping of the wet from the baskets, Which is slightly tainted with the taste of the reed of which
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the pliant baskets are made; but the potatoes and kumaras (or sweet sort of potatoe) are beautiful, and would satisfy the fastidious taste of Dr. Kitchener himself; we may therefore conclude that this process of cooking is by steam; and having given a brief detail of their mode of cooking I will now bring the subject connected with the stolen lead to a conclusion.
Shortly after the war dance, upon the arrival of Morina and his fighting chief, these two chiefs crossed the Here-kino, and entered the Pukeroa's Pah, in order to intimidate him to a surrender of the rest of the lead, assuring him that the tribes friendly to the white people had met to carry out this determination; and pointed out the result of a further detention of the stolen property; at the same time expressing a wish to maintain peace and tranquillity among themselves, as tribes connected by the same family ties. At length, with the assistance of these last named chiefs, the lead was entirely recovered at eleven, a. m. Now the fighting chief of this Morina, had lately been performing some sacred office in the rite of the removal of the bones, which I have before described; but neither of these chiefs had left the Pukeroa's Pah upon the best of terms; for, on their return from this chiefs Pah, all the scattered tribes assembled together, at the Morina's beckoning, and seated themselves around him on the sands, when he commenced his Korero (or speech), with a full detail of all his proceedings; commencing with how he got into the Pukeroa's Pah, and what sort of a reception he met with from him, and the conversation which took place between them, which might have been delivered by an Englishman in ten minutes, but cost this chief two hours!
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In their Korero, or speech, they put themselves into all sorts of attitudes, beating their breasts in the course of their delivery, so as completely to exhaust themselves; sometimes running, then waiting, just as they are excited by the tenor of their speech.
A sharp look out was kept during the night, sentinels were placed more in advance, and our friendly tribes formed the out piquets, but owing to some mistake only a false alarm was raised.
The next morning, whilst we were all employed on board the wreck, a messenger came to say that the chief Pukeroa was coming to make peace; he had at this time just started from his Pah, at ten o'clock a. m. The Pukeroa's tribe was clearly in sight from the flag staff, at the distance of about a mile, they had a most warlike appearance as they approached us from the white sandy point of the Here-kino; some had their ancient weapons of war, some their guns, and their heads were decorated with various colored feathers.
They go into action disencumbered of everything, and fight in a most random manner; it was this that made the natives of New Zealand attribute the best skill in warfare to the Blue Jackets, because they were better adapted for their mode of warfare; they had no idea of the steady discipline of our soldiery; these, the natives said, were too stiff for the bush; they compared the soldiers to a steady stream of water, and could pick them off as they liked, whereas we went in our loose blue frocks, which served as a national flag at the capture of the Pah at the Rua-Peke-Peke, for when the flag of Heki and Kawita was shot away from the staff, and the Pah taken possession of, up went the blue frock of a sailor. Now
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this is the advantage which the natives have over us in bush fighting, that they can make the bush their habitation, and can subsist for any length of time in it upon its spontaneous growth, such as certain wild roots, and the inner pith of the Fern tree. They are a remarkably well formed race of men, and for strength have but few equals; we may portion off so many Chinese to one Englishman, but the New Zealander stands upon a par, man with man, and his wood-piled Pah, or fortress, was as difficult to storm, or breach, as the stone walls of more enlightened nations.
The Pukeroa's tribe was now advancing towards us, and our friendly tribes were now preparing to meet them. The four chiefs, Puhipi, Morina, Makauri, and the Mumu, each headed their tribe, and advanced towards the Pukeroa, and when within fifty yards, the fighting chief of the Morina darted forward and threw his spear towards them, and then retreated back to his tribe as quickly as possible, with the other tribe after him at full speed; his own tribe waited the approach of the other, and then each tribe rushed in at each other, and thus the sham fight terminated in the general war dance of all the tribes present; here we had an opportunity of judging how great the number was in favour of us, compared with those who were against us.
The whole of the natives now joined together in our camp, and a speech having been made by one of the chiefs, all the tribes dispersed for their respective homes, in quite a straggling way, instead of the compact manner in which they first joined us: our little crew was completely lost amidst such a congregated force, never did the barren shores of Here-kino present such a scene
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before, so that all this difference about the lead was at length peaceably settled.
It would have been very unpleasant to have to reflect that just as the governor had made peace in the north, which had cost him twelve months of warfare to accomplish, with the loss of so many valuable lives, and had just gone to the south to settle the out-breaks there, between the settlers and the aborigines, that we, in his absence, and as temporary residents, should have been the cause of stirring up war again.
That the missionaries have great influence over the minds of the natives is clearly observable; they must have had much to contend with in the first place, in breaking up the fallow ground of their hearts for the reception of gospel light and gospel truth; and when we compare the features of the heathen tribes with those whose hearts have been softened by the influence of the gospel, we at once trace in those features the animating virtues which the christian graces implant in the soul of the latter, demonstrating its power through the whole man. In the former we behold the ancient highly tatooed ferocious savage, we look on the other and observe the calm and placid effects of the gospel, which is fast erasing the barbarous marks of heathenism; such is the progress that the gospel is making through the instrumentality of missionary efforts, directed by the mighty power of Him, who will force a passage through the greatest obstacle of error and superstition, ignorance and heathen darkness by the Bible record.
Our employment this day was driving out bolts, and removing all the bulk-heading from the wreck, and conveying it to the camp for tent purposes; the Neptune
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schooner made an attempt to get out of the river this day with the assistance of our boat, but, unfortunately, grounded, and was got off again by the boat.
Our camp was now very quiet with only a few of our friendly natives scattered about it; we were now about to make up the sails which had hitherto formed part of our tents, and were constructing some wooden huts of part of the wreck; the Neptune schooner was towed out of the river in safety, and we were anxiously awaiting the arrival the Aurora from Hokianga.
I am now brought to another Sabbath day's grace, when the church bells in our land were sending out their inviting sounds to come and worship God in the beauty of holiness, and to serve the Lord with gladness. The camp was silent; then was the time to meditate upon the innumerable mercies which we daily experienced from the lovingkindness of the Lord; for blessings and mercies had followed us, yea, they were waiting for us at the dawn of each returning day. On this day I could see the fruits of the missionary labours, which were visible about our camp, as the christian natives appeared to know the value of the Sabbath day by keeping it holy; for I observed them with their Testaments and religious tracts, which were translated into their own language, and which some of them endeavoured to make me sensible of the meaning of by signs, and having a knowledge of some part of the Scripture myself, I easily understood their meaning. By the fruits of faith the spiritually minded in Jesus know each other, they are both aiming at the same prize of their high calling. Their books, I can assure you, do not gather mildew, or serve as an ornament only to be dusted with the rest of
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the furniture; but are worn fairly out by honest use, and are treasured up for their sacred truths.
On Monday, the sails being all wanted, we commenced building the Purser's store room, from the wood of the wreck; the Aurora schooner was also sighted in the offing. At dusk, one of the Monga-Monga's tribe arrived from Hokianga, to say, that this very kind and liberal chief had heard that we were in want of potatoes, and that he had dispatched part of his tribe, who were now on their journey with them to our camp, and to enquire about the time it was likely we should leave our situation, in order that this chief might have Canoes in readiness for our crossing the river at Wangape; all of which he gave us to understand was from pure friendly motives. This chief abundantly showed his good feelings towards all the white people within the circle of his wide domain, and towards us who were wrecked more especially; surely Wake-Nene, this chief, and many others who assisted us throughout the rebellion, deserved some substantial reward.
Our work now consisted in driving out bolts, cutting reeds and sticks for building our maori (or huts), making up sails and stowing them away in the Captain's hut for safety and dryness, and to be ready for shipment. The camp now presented the appearance of a native village, or settlement, which was a sign of our exodus from that barren spot or sandy waste shore; our huts were soon run up, for the natives travel quickly, so that we were kept going with our building materials by a constant supply. Let every heart be lifted up to God the giver of all goodness, for it is He that moveth the hearts of the children of men towards each other, He melteth
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down the hearts of savages to deeds of human kindness, He willeth us all to dwell together in unity, looking unto him who is the author and giver of every blessing that we enjoy.
O blissful day! when shall that auspicious era arrive, that the swords and spears and battle-axes shall be broken into shivers, and forged into ploughshares and pruninghooks, that the Wolf may dwell with the Lamb, and the Leopard may lie down with the Kid, and the Calf and the young Lion and the fatling together, and that a child may lead them; when judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness in the fruitful field; and the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever; when all people shall dwell in peaceable habitations, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet places.
This day, two European settlers arrived from Hokianga, at half-past eight, a. m., bringing us the sad intelligence of the wreck of our Pinnace, about four miles to the northward of Hokianga; from the description given, and the state of the boat as reported by these men, we had every reason to believe that some lives were lost with her.
When the Neptune schooner sailed out of the river on the 17th of April, with the Pinnace in tow, the Captain's orders to the officer were to this effect, that if the Pinnace became at all burdensome to the Schooner she was to be cut adrift, for the small schooners that we employed were not more, I should think, than fifty tons burden, but the state these settlers reported the boat in, as hanging to her anchor, and beating about in the surf
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upon the beach, with her oars and some loose gear washed up on the beach, carried some melancholy aspect with it; for had the boat been cut adrift, no doubt all the moveable gear in the boat would have been first taken out; but her sad situation evidently showed that the officer in command of the schooner and boat, was actuated by some zealous motive in casting off from the schooner; perhaps impatient at the delay, arising from the tide not serving, and attempting to cross the bar had been capsized in the rollers; but we still waited for further information as to the fate of the unfortunate crew.
The second Lieutenant was now ordered away on duty, to ascertain the situation of the Pinnace, and the cause of her disaster, and from thence to proceed to Hokianga, where the Schooner was lying, to enquire more minutely into the circumstances attending the loss of the Pinnace and her crew. We all anxiously awaited our officer's return, this being the only accident, attended with loss of life, that had yet occurred throughout our wreck. For the last four days, our other schooner, the Aurora, had been seen in the offing, but owing either to the sea on the bar, or to her driving to leeward, and not being able to regain the mouth of the river in time for the tide, she could not enter the river: such were the difficulties attending most of the harbours on the west coast of New Zealand, so that men who own themselves to have a thorough knowledge of the coast, and of the difficulties they have to contend with, would, only under pressing circumstances, be induced to trade there.
At Five o'clock, p. m., a native courier arrived from Hokianga, stating that the Pinnace had been cast off from the schooner, by the officer and men, owing to light
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winds, with a view of reaching the harbour of Hokianga before the Schooner, but that unable to reach the bar before the ebb tide made out, they had been obliged to remain at sea all night. The certainty of this report carried with it much melancholy reflection: our Lieutenant, who commanded the boat, had only just been promoted to that rank, and was universally beloved by all on board the ship; the part owner of the Schooner was also in the boat, and three fine stout lads, making five souls in all; I refrain from names, suffice it that each family has to grieve their vacant places; not one of her ill-fated living freight survived; none could have been more deeply regretted, none better beloved by a ship's company, than these were by the Osprey's, who, as the poet says, --
Little dream'd her bones should lie
In scatter"d fragments o'er the sand,
That some of her bold crew should die,
And find their graves in that wild land.
We were still employed recovering as many of the copper bolts as we possibly could from the wreck, and repairing the roofs of our huts.
The Lieutenant, who was sent away three days ago on the business of the Pinnace arrived this day at the camp. He had ascertained that the Pinnace had put off from the schooner with a small portion of biscuit, and the crew before stated, who had been sent round in the schooner to help work her to Hokianga; that a native from one of the heights belonging to the tribe of Monga-Monga, had discovered the boat rowing in towards the land, and made immediately towards the shore, but having a valley to descend and another height
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to gain, he saw the boat capsized and washing about among the breakers, with one man on the boat's bottom, who soon disappeared.
It appears from the statement first given of the boat, that she was hanging by her anchor, which in all probability may have been turned out of her by the surf, which hung the boat so that the surf made clean breaches over the boat; thus five souls were launched into eternity; we also deeply regret the loss of the part owner of the schooner who took to the boat, who no doubt volunteered his services to pilot the boat. He was the father of four children by a native mother. Where are you who lay out your plans with such a nicety in the unknown future, whereas thou knowest not what shall be on the morrow? Should not these events, which snap so suddenly the silver cord of life, be a warning and a lesson to us who are living in a state of indifference about our immortal souls, and careless as to the present time, but which should always find us watching for the uncertainty of death? And as we know not the day, or the hour, that death may lay his cold hand upon our mortal frame, so let our ignorance of the time be the very reason of our preparation to meet it; and death is to none more uncertain than to the sailor, who is at all times surrounded with danger; we should all make death more familiar to us; it will not shorten our days, but rather add to them, if in the language of David we can say, My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God, when shall I come and appear before God? The power of godliness in the christian takes away the venom of the sting of death, and crowns our victory over the grave with this triumphant promise, "Because I live ye shall live also." Every day of the christian is, literally speaking, as long as two to the worldling.
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"The fear of the Lord prolongeth days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."
I am now advanced to another Sabbath day, but every sabbatical rest is fleeting away upon the wing of time, and drawing us on to an interminable rest, or to unceasing misery; it therefore behoves us to have some concern about which state best suits our immortal souls; "the night is far spent and the day is at hand," reflect then, "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest," and, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
I am come now to the last week of our encampment on the sandy beach of Here-kino; we were employed to day (Monday) attending the schooner, whose bottom required to be examined after taking the ground. The poor widow of the part owner of the schooner arrived at our camp to day, having travelled from Monganui, a distance of twenty miles, bringing two out of the four children with her. But who can describe the agonizing pangs which were rending her heart; heavy indeed was the throb which wrung the breast of the poor native mother and widow, her distressing sighs affected many hearts in our camp, hearts too often cold to incidents which ought to call forth our sympathy, that we may breathe the words of condolence into the ear of the afflicted mourner; for though these words, in the first transports of woe, may pass unheeded, yet they sober down to calmness, when the comfort of religion, the only true friend in need, lends its aid, and tells the before almost heart-broken widow and maternal mourner, that He who gave the blow applies the cure; that He who has bereaved the
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the widow of a beloved husband, the helpless children of a kind father, supplies his place; He will protect them, guide them and cherish them, let them look to Him as their heavenly father and never will he desert them; cold indeed must be that heart, when death comes to take those whom we once knew and loved, which can withstand the tear, the sigh; alas! it often happens that the dead are too soon forgotten, without any spiritual impression made upon the living; but buried as we may be in the things of sense,
In three short moments death shall teach us more,
Than life in three long years, or in three score!
What death conceals, in Judgment shall be known,
Where truth shall triumph, and the truth alone;
What then remains untold to heav'n or hell,
That great infallible eternity shall tell.
Another native courier now arrived to inform us that a body had been washed up upon the beach at a short distance from where the boat was lying, and that the natives had buried it in the sand. This being the last week of our encampment we were employed washing our clothes and bedding, ready for leaving the sandy shores, of Here-kino. In glancing round upon our camp, most of our huts seem to bespeak the period of our departure, for their once smooth verdant roofs are now withered by the sun's scorching beams, and seem beaten by the howling blasts of the unsheltered desert passing over them, which gives them a rugged appearance, as if cognizant of the departure of their occupants. This week we are actively employed loading the Neptune with the remains of all the stores, and clearing the camp of every serviceable article, so as to leave us only in marching order, with the exception of leaving sufficient for six men and a
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lieutenant, who have instructions to remain by the wreck till further orders.
I am now brought to the seventh and last Sabbath of our encampment, when the noise and bustle of a camp life ceased for a time, that the soul might enjoy its quiet foretaste of rest, typical of a more blessed and endless one; and I cannot quit the spot where God's mercies were so abundantly manifested to us, by turning my back with ingratitude upon that God, who had watched over us, fed us, and preserved us in health during our fifty-two days of sojourn on this barren spot; and though a few years have rolled past since that disastrous event, and the recollection of those past mercies have been absorbed in worldliness; still, remember, man is ever exposed to danger, woven together as bis life is by those delicate fibres which bind it up for a short season, and which are liable to any sudden derangement, which would check the vital power of action, and cause life to become extinct.
Let us embrace then our Sabbath day privileges and mercies, whilst the providence of God graciously permits the opportunity to exist, for every day does not bring a day of grace for all to enjoy; thousands there are now this very day slighting their day of grace, or trusting to another day of salvation; they think that "the morrow shall be as this day and much more abundant;" but, "boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Seeing as we do God's repeated mercies from day to day, is it not our common and bounden duty to send up our daily praises to Him in return? And are we safe from falling into a similar situation of distress? Are we sure that God will spare our lives again, as he has done? for having once called
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and we refused, He may laugh at our calamity and only mock when our fear cometh: this was only as a warning from God how that in the midst of life we are in death,, and that His power alone can rescue us from its jaws. But the Lord was mightier than many waters, for He said Peace, and their noise ceased; He arrested the proud waves and said, "do my people no harm," so He brought us safely through them on dry land, and then His blessings followed His mercy, for He prepared a table for us in the desert, and gave us our daily bread, although we ungratefully forgot our daily thanksgiving; and he softened the hearts of a people whose delight was in war, and He changed their nature, as He did the ravens in the case of Elijah, who brought him bread and flesh in the morning and evening; He also gave us health and strength and fitted our constitutions for their daily labour, during the whole of our sojourn where he had in mercy placed us.
But I must remark on this sacred day, that, instead of reflecting upon God's repeated mercy and goodness, and recounting all the blessings by which we were, by His infinite wisdom and His unceasing providence, sustained, and making this Sabbath day a day of spiritual application to the God of our salvation, "that He would, grant us according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man," the march on the uncertain morrow excited our feelings, and carried our affections wholly from that God by whom alone we lived, moved, and had our being.
O when I look back at those bleak barren sands,
And view Thee, O God, with stretched out hands;
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I am lost in Thy love, Thy mercies how great!
Thy purpose in wisdom, what man can relate?
I live a mystery, a monument, man!
A worm with a spirit, O infinite plan!
I grovel in earth, and I wander from Thee,
Yet God, Thou continu'st Thy favours to me. The three friendly chiefs, Puhipi, Morina, and Makauri, made their appearance to day in readiness to take their leave of us by daylight on the morrow. The crew all mustered this evening in marching order, to be in readiness by daybreak the next morning; too great was our joy, too little our gratitude to our Saviour and Creator. Thus ends by the grace of God our fifty-two days encampment upon the barren shores of Here-kino in the Island of New Zealand.
What is life but a march? Take us from our earliest stage of infancy, and before the tongue can lisp the name of mamma, or our limbs are strong enough to perform the balancing office to support the infant frame; this is, as it were our "mark-time" of life. And; again, watch us in that stage of life when we begin to prattle and run alone, to the time that we are eagerly aspiring to man or womanhood, when the time seems retarded, in our intemperate desire for its flight; is it not then our slow march of life? We obtain at length our long wished for period of man or womanhood, it comes with its cares, its troubles, its perplexities, and sorrows, and we soon find life, in its fleeting stages, to be a quick march. Let us next run through the stage of our mental faculties, and the decay of nature warns us that our "earthly
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tabernacles" must soon be dissolved; we then arrive at our helpless second-childhood days, and on taking a retrospective view of life, we now find it to be a forced march into the grave.
On the morning of the fourth of May, by five o'clock, every one was in readiness for the march, except the horse which was hired to carry some luggage, and he strayed away towards a valley for the sake of better grazing, but this did not affect the main body of our crew who had now gone forward. About half an hour elapsed before the horse arrived, led by a native to the tent door; it was accordingly loaded; this was a most amusing half hour too, for no sooner had the crew fallen in from their huts, than the natives rushed into them, to sack them; but I am afraid the poor fellows found little more than the animals peculiar to their country, which were rats, mice, and fleas; and strange to say that for the first ten days of our encampment we were perfectly free from these vermin, nor did the sands during this time present any trace of their being, but from this time we were very much annoyed by their running over us during the night; and in the morning, when the sands had not been disturbed by the wind, we could distinctly trace their marks to their hiding places.
The horse being now laden, we proceeded, four in number, accompanying the horse; our journey commenced along the beach, with the sea open to us, until we came to the borders of the river Here-kino, which we continued to skirt till we were abreast of the Pukeroa's Pah, on Hie opposite side of the river; here we arrived just in time for the last boat's crossing; the horse was here unladen and the luggage embarked for the south
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side of the river; the Captain, seeing all was right before him, now crossed the river himself, and the natives took the horse round the winding banks of the river, until they found the water shallow enough to cross. By seven a. m. all the crew had crossed the Here-kino, and mustered near the Pukeroa's Pah, after which the main body again went forward; but here, as at the first onset, myself and the boatswain were detained by the horse in his long meandering route, and it was three quarters of an hour before the horse and two natives arrived; the main body of the crew were now three quarters of an hour in advance of us, we again loaded the horse, and proceeded in the track of the main body; our party, consisting of the boatswain, myself and two natives, knowing we were much in the rear of the crew, set out in good earnest for our first stage at Wangape.
It was now for the first time that we had to experience the difficult travelling in New Zealand, up slippery ascents and down again through the same, and then over swampy land up to our knees; this was the walking we had for the first half hour, after which we began to ascend a steep mountain; when we had got about one third up, we discovered our Purser's steward lying in the thick grass by the side of the beaten path; he was nearly hid from us, and was knocked up from fatigue; necessary assistance was rendered him by our native escort, who we left him as a guide; we here gained intelligence that the crew were about half an hour in advance of us, and as a stern chase is a long one, we clapped on some additional power to come up with them; sometimes we were completely hid from each other by the thick bush, when scarcely a yard distant from one another, above us the
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mountains were towering, below us the valley was clothed with her thick foliage of forest grandeur. It was here that our Boatswain's shrill voice, as familiar in the forest as on the ship's deck, made the forest dale to echo with his lively and cheering strains, by which he led us onward through the woods; his hearty laughs would be repeated by our native guide, and so transporting was the scene, that the very birds too of the forest seemed so charmed with the human voice, as to respond with notes of gladness. We were some time before we cleared the forest, when we opened upon a beautiful prospect from a clear eminence, looking down into the deep and thickly clad valley beneath us, and then again up at the pyramidal mountains above us; the highest of this kindred chain of mountains was capped by the passing clouds, which masked their beauty for a time.
The horse behaved admirably well, heading his way with cat-like activity over hill and dale. The natives, too, astonished us by the rate at which they travel, with their heavy burdens at their back, and through country where we could with difficulty, and with our comparatively light loads, ascend and descend without occasionally assisting ourselves by the projecting branches, yet the natives went on with a perfect indifference to any obstacle. It is a true proverb that "use is second nature;" and it was strange how our party fluctuated as to number, suddenly increasing and decreasing.
After we had travelled two hours, we came to a beautiful clear little stream of water, which was icy cold to us who had been struggling to gain the mountain heights, whilst the perspiration poured freely from us, although we were often shaded from the sun by the
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spacious bower of the forest. It was here that the gentle waterfall was continuing its fertilizing course down the valley beneath us, so that, although the journey was fatiguing, still, there were pleasures interwoven to overcome a murmur; it was here we sat down by the musical rill to rest and to bait our noble beast. It was now that my empty preserved meat tin came into use, which I carried slung round my neck, in the event of the Captain wanting a little tea in the evening, or for any other purpose during our march.
At this beautiful cool rill I nearly filled my quart pot with water, and then added my day's allowance of rum to it, and four of us drank of this cool and refreshing beverage: whilst six-water grog would have been considered a punishment on board, eight watered grog was a luxury on shore; this beverage and a piece of biscuit was enjoyed as much by us as the luxuries of a dining room would be by the guests of a lordly man.
Here, surrounded with forest beauty, and forest stillness, were the birds' pleasing notes, and every green spray seemed joining in harmony in praising their creator: gentle showers were nourishing the giants of the forest, and, filtering through their branches nourishing each young shoot in its descent, found its way to the mossy ground, and formed this rivulet which so much refreshed us. Yes, even in the deep recesses of this forest of God's own planting was there found much to recruit the strength of us travellers, yet few alas could see the All-provident source from which it sprung.
After a few minutes' stay for refreshment, we again continued our journey, and soon gained a commanding view of the serpentine river of Wangape; from this
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eminence we could discern the canoes belonging to the Monga-Monga chief crossing with our crew, who appeared in the distance from us on the heights like moving specks upon the water. Here the land was very deceiving to the eye, for in looking down from the lofty mountains we had no idea of the winding descent, or the extent of marshy land which extended from the base of the mountain to the edge of the river; into most of these swamps we sank deeply.
It was in the midst of this swampy land that we noticed the remains of some stout ancient Pahs still standing, upon which their rude carving was still extant. Swampy land appears to have been chosen for the erection of their fortresses, either for the convenience of the water, or for the sake of the inundated channels, or natural moats, which nature has formed, so as to render them the more secure from attacks from the neighbouring chiefs; but the best of them are but filthy dwellings, from what I saw, the stench of which was so disagreeable, and their habits so averse to cleanliness, that I compare them to pig-sties; such a system would never answer in a country whose atmosphere is susceptible of pestilential vapor arising from such filthy habits.
But see the wisdom of God in adapting the mode of our existence to every clime, wherever He has been pleased to plant his creatures. How beautifully has he arranged and contrived all his works, and what harmony do they present to the mind of that man who loves to meditate upon them, when he observes what care God takes of all the creation, which He has moulded by the word of his power.
In this land we hear of no venomous creatures, or wild
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beasts, the bush is therefore a safe habitation for the native, and the very roots of the forest afford its inhabitants subsistence, so that on occasions of war, to starve the New Zealander to a surrender has already proved no easy matter.
After passing these ancient remains of heathen structure, we soon arrived at a small Maori, or native village, belonging to the chief Papahia, a chief, I was told, of no reputation, and whom Nopera, our friendly chief, speaks of thus, (Kotona tinana hipane me te tinana oti tongata kotona wakaro hirite ki to to tamarika wakaro,) "he has the body of a man, but the thoughts of a child." It was in the vicinity of this settlement, that we discovered our worthy, kind, and humane paymaster seated on the ground, overcome by fatigue arising from indisposition prior to leaving our camp; here we remained for a short time, and shared alike in our humble morsel from each haversack, and a native woman, whose hair betokened her three-score journey through life, kindly brought us water in a calabash: Woman, may the missionaries of Christ lead thee, through the light of the gospel, to that living spring that flows from Christ the Fountain Head, even to that "Well of Life," that thou mayest drink of the joy of heaven, after thirsting for the living God on earth.
It was now that a European settler was passing on horseback, who willingly offered his beast to our wayfaring travel worn officer; this was one of the few Samaritans of our modern day, I shall come nearer to the Priest and the Levite towards the conclusion of my narrative. We were now able to proceed on towards the main body of our crew, which, in a short time, brought
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us to the brink of the river Wangape, and after skirting its borders a zigzag mile and a half, we could discern the crew distinctly, in groups, under the lofty forest trees, whose bending and drooping branches formed a covert from the periodical showers and sunshine; here we could discover the canvas haversacks in motion, which were symptoms of having "piped to dinner," and as the canoes continued to return, after landing the men on the other side, we had not long to wait; we therefore loaded the canoes with ourselves and our luggage, and swam the horse across with the assistance of another canoe; when we had crossed the river we found the crew at dinner, they having crossed at eleven o'clock and our party at noon; such a pic-nic party never assembled before at Wangape, but I much question if there was ever so much light-hearted glee amongst the more luxurious pic-nics at Richmond, or Kew, as now buzzed from our way-worn merry crew, who were in a solid mass of mud above their knees; some of us complained of being stiff after our short rest, and wished again to be on the move.
After dinner, it was arranged that the horse's burden should be eased by hiring fresh natives, for the pass through the woods was so narrow in some places, that it was with great difficulty that we could thrust ourselves through. We now started from Wangape until two beaten tracks met, and then we were again separated from the main body, for the crew took one as the nearest and best for foot, and we took the one recommended for the horse. Our Paymaster led the way on horseback, attended by our guide on foot, the native carriers followed; we had some heavy up hill work, which obliged man and horse to rest at intervals; we passed summit after summit, as if
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we were never going to reach the top of the mountain; having at length gained the top, we soon lost sight of the beautiful serpentine river at Wangape, by the adjacent mountains intervening, and hiding the prospect; we now got some pleasant walking upon the table mountain, which enabled our Paymaster to gain ground with his horse. On arriving at the brow of the mountain, we got sight of the crew, from this eminence, progressing through a deep clear valley, looking down over the forest slope upon them; during the time this sight was arresting my attention, the native, who conducted the horse with the luggage, had disappeared; the maori, or native carrier, made me understand, that his countryman had taken another road, thus placing our Paymaster in a fix, for his guide was playing the artful dodge with him, for the natives who were with us must have known the road well, and the difficulties attending it with the horse; we travelled on very well until these difficulties became apparent, for the pass was not only narrow but very perpendicular and slippery, so that we were obliged to lower ourselves down in many places by the branches of the trees.
The native now served his turn by giving us to understand the impossibility of getting the horse down the pass; nevertheless the effort was made, and more than once at the risk of breaking the horse's legs; the native now offered, for a certain sum, to take the horse back and meet its rider on the beach, where the pass would bring us out, and so it was, for when we got clear of the thick forest, and had ascended a clear eminence, we saw him riding at full gallop along the sandy beach; here again we sighted the crew, who behaved admirably well on the
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march; the sun had a very pretty effect upon their white haversacks, sometimes the rain would sprinkle them, and then the sun's rays would bleach them.
It was now that the sea was plain before us; yes, that very sea which had driven us upon its shores, but its proud waves were stayed, and nothing more than the "cats-paws" were fanning its surface with their light air. Although it had laid waste and destruction before it, yet we could hail it as an element most familiar to us; for far across its expansive bosom lay the objects and desires of many a heart; and after all the dangers to which we had been exposed, we were still buoyed up with the hope of riding in safety over it again, and tell in our homes in England what great things the Lord had done for us.
We now descended the mountain and soon reached the sea shore, this was the first level road we had had for any length of time. It was now about four o'clock in the afternoon; the first obstruction we met with was a rocky point, over which, in some places, we had to climb, but ten minutes walk soon cleared us of this rocky soil, after which our journey became less tedious; we therefore continued our course along the sea coast until half-past five in the afternoon, and just as the sun was dipping beneath the western horizon, and rolling away another day into eternity.
Night now advancing, the old chief Monga-Monga, who had accompanied the Captain as guide at the head of the crew from the Pukeroa's Pah, now offered to take us to a native settlement, belonging to a chief called Papahia, and to get us a shelter there for the night; but the Captain preferred a cave which we had just passed
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upon the sea shore, we therefore all turned back and took up our abode there for the night. We were now about fourteen miles from Hokianga; the first thing we did was to gather some fern to form our beds upon the rock, and some sticks to kindle a fire for making some tea, so that as many as had pots for boiling water put them into use, and passed them round for each other to drink in turn. I leave the reader to judge what a piratical appearance we must have had in the cave, where the gleaming red light of the fire reflected itself upon our countenances, whose beards had not gone through their accustomed operations for so many days. The dimensions of the cave were about ninety feet by eighty, and about forty in height, with a jagged arched entrance, only one solitary candle would burn in the cave, the end of the candle was stuck into the handle of a bayonet, with the point in the chink of a rock, this was placed in the left hand corner of the cave, as the only place where a candle would burn, for there was a monstrous great hole at the head of the cave, by which the eddy-draft nearly suffocated us with the smoke from the fires.
Our beds consisted of fern, and the driest grass that we could, collect in the neighbourhood of the cave; this, with our blanket, formed our bed. This was the time when a dissatisfied taste would be brought to its bearings, when there was no luxury to pamper our appetites with we had our evening's rum, and our tea before going to bed, and I took particular notice of many remarks being made at the time how refreshing the tea was, although it had lost much of its flavor, having been so long upon the beach: it may be denied now by many, with whom, circumstances alter cases.
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The writer has never signed the pledge that he will not drink that portion which the government has duly considered will hurt no man in its honest use, neither will he murmur at the strenuous endeavours of that government whose chief aim is to make every moral improvement in our navy, by annihilating that enemy drunkenness, which has ever been the mainspring and forerunner of all disorder and mischief, not in the navy only, but in families, and in societies; and most bitterly has our navy felt its ill effects in times past, when many a good officer's character has been tarnished with tyranny, in the ears of the public, by his persevering endeavours to suppress that demon drunkenness; and every sober-minded man cannot but admire the present system which is tending to undermine that noxious disease, and to make the British Bulwarks not only Men of war, but manned with men of morality; that more unity may be established in every ship, and less animosity stirred up between ships' companies, and a more loyal feeling be displayed throughout.
Instead therefore of indulging in any intemperate propensity, which might have excited us to do wrong, we were guided by a sober feeling of love one toward another. What peaceful and blessed floating habitations would our ships prove; what a jewel it would be in the crown of England, if we could see the soldier and the sailor walking arm in arm, and side by side with each other; why should it not be? when they share alike in the casualties of war, and fight side by side on the battle field, and their energies join in the same common cause to defend their country's rights; let us then annihilate, by love, that incomprehensible antipathy one towards another; let us not only show ourselves victorious on the
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field of battle against our national enemies, but fight manfully against the diabolical agency of satan; it is this arch-deceiver who sows the seed of rancour in our hearts, in order to stir up discord amongst us; let us be wise enough to defeat his purpose by a continuance in welldoing.
As soon as our fires were kindled, our water boiled, and we had had tea, we rolled ourselves up in our blankets and lay down: upon the fern for the night: as I laid upon the shelving part of the rock, I could see at one time, through this monstrous great hole at the head of the cave, the stars beautifully twinkling, and then the dark clouds would overcast them, and the wind would whistle through the cave accompanied with heavy squalls of rain, which beat in at both ends of the cave: added to this was the roaring of the sea at the entrance of the cave; very few of us slept soundly that night, for I observed a stir in the cave nearly the whole night, and heard but little snoring: thus ends the first day's march.
On the morning of the 5th of May, we were up at four o'clock, and had breakfast upon the best that our travelling larders could afford; but I fear that most of us forgot our grateful ejaculation to that almighty Being who was giving us day by day our daily bread, and guiding us in safety through the wilderness; although we still rebelled against Him, He still rained down the manna of His loving-kindness upon us; but it was not for our deserving, but because God's mercy endureth for ever.
After breakfast we commenced the march for Hokianga, and it was now that the cause of our general restlessness in the cave was made known, and which gave rise to our most joyful adieu to the cave, not only to our damp lodging, but to those thousands of expert hoppers which we left behind us, whose performances upon our
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skins proved that they understood the art of ingeniously tormenting us; this cave was a place of resort for most of the native travellers, bound to the northward, as a shelter for the night. The morning wore a threatening aspect, having broke with distant thunder, which, as it neared us, made its peals re-echo from hill to hill, as the conflicting elements passed over us, but which left only a gentle shower behind them.
After travelling for about two hours and a half, we made an inland course for the purpose of cutting off the lofty sand head at the entrance of the river Hokianga, which in a short time brought us into a deep sandy valley, where the sandy mountains were towering some hundreds of feet above us. At this spot we halted for a short time, which gave the Captain an opportunity to visit the graves of our lamented shipmates, about a mile and a half from the spot where we halted. Here, in this valley, ran a broad but shallow stream of water, which was filtering through the sand hills and hastening on its course, towards the great recepticle for all rivers and streams.
Reader, so is our stream, and time of life fast ebbing into eternity; here we sat upon its banks between the desolate mountains, but however desolate a place may appear to the human sight, there is a still small voice that can make glad the solitary place; I may say of a truth, that no place is solitary to the christian, for the presence of the Lord lights up every dreary scene with a joy emanating from his divine influence upon our soul, which can make even the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose. The only spot of verdure to be seen in this valley was by the border of the stream, by which it was spontaneously nourished; here we refreshed ourselves with a drink from the cooling stream.
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After a short delay the Captain arrived with the old chief Monga-Monga, from his visit to the Pinnace and graves of those departed. It was now about half-past eight, a. m., when we all set out again, with the Monga-Monga chief accompanying us as our guide, which he did all the way from the Pukeroa's Pah, and whose own Pah lay at the foot of the sand hill, and on the river, at the entrance of the river Hokianga, and towards which we were now advancing.
We now began to ascend the lofty sand heights, and after labouring hard to reach their summit, we had, as at Wangape, that commanding view which immediately strikes the eye, and communicates to the heart the majesty and grandeur of creation, which came forth so beautifully arrayed at the word of the creative power. Beneath us lay the river Hokianga, meandering as far as the eye could see, separating the lofty hills covered with their evergreen foliage to the very summits, and well deserving the skill and pencil of the artist.
I must now refer the reader to the 3rd chapter of Deuteronomy, where God promised Moses a sight of the land of Canaan from the top of Nebo, overlooking the Jordan, which he was not permitted by God to pass over, into the promised land.
Upon the summit of this mountain we halted, until the rear was brought up, the Monga-Monga at the same time drawing a line with his stick over the sand, and laying down sideways upon it, he put the tapu upon it, so that no person dare break that line to cross it, without incurring the greatest displeasure of the chief; the punishment of doing so among the natives is death.
When the rear was brought up, the Monga-Monga re-
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quested the Captain, to announce our arrival, to the settlers on the banks of the river, by firing three vollies of musketry, asking the Captain at the same time to furnish his tribe, who had brought their arms with them, with blank cartridges, that they might join with us in the vollies. This announcement, or signal, from the heights drew all the settlers in the vicinity of Hokianga to assemble with all their boats at the Monga-Monga's Pah, in readiness to receive the crew. The Monga-Monga now took the tapu off, by walking backwards over the line which he drew on the sand; all the crew then followed in the rear of the chief who conducted us down to his Pah, sinking up to our ancles in sand the whole way down, until we came within three quarters of a mile of the Pah, when the soil changed from sand to black muddy sloughs, and marshy land, which continued by a zigzag route all the way to the Pah, where we arrived at a quarter past eleven.
This chiefs Pah was situated in one of the worst swamps we had yet seen, and the disagreeable smell that issued forth from the Pah was anything but pleasant;, this smell was occasioned by some stinking skaits and shark, which were lying exposed to the sun upon their Wares, or huts; this is the venison of New Zealand. Several of the settlers now began to assemble in their boats near the Pah of the Monga-Monga, bringing with them their little presents to satisfy our present wants, amongst which was a good fat pig for the ship's company, which was received most thankfully. The copper-maoris were steaming in the Pah, a pleasing sign; the potatoes and kumaras were ready for placing before us, and were served up in newly made green flax baskets, which the natives call pero, or plate, and spread them out in differ-
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ent places in the Pah, that we might help ourselves where we pleased, and of which both officers and men shared alike.
We remained about an hour in the Pah, during which time the settlers were getting their boats ready to receive our crew, as the flood tide was beginning to make; all the settlers, though few in number, gave us their friendly assistance, most of whose boats towed the Waima, a large boat belonging to the Horeke, the estate of a naval settler; by twelve o'clock the tide answered, and taking our grateful leave of the Monga-Monga, we embarked for the Horeke; the boats towed five in number, and having the current in our favour, we glided rapidly over the ground, and sometimes the gentle breeze would shake the infant branches of the forest, and fill the sails of our boat, in its zephyrous course across the river, which thus enabled the rowers to rest upon their oars at intervals.
The day was altogether favourable, the birds were hymning their Maker's praise on either side of the river, responding in melodious echoes at every narrow winding of the river, followed by the occasional hurrahs from the crew, to cheer them at the oars, when the long train of oars would all tell on the water together; and to those who were not toiling at the oars, in their turn of spell, what leisure they had to reflect upon the works of God, and ponder on His beautiful creation, that there was the meridian sun striking his rays of heat from his seat of majesty upon us, and that it is God who hath brought such dazzling splendour out of chaos; but as gradually as this bright orb was sinking another day away, and the current was sweeping along its smooth surface our one hundred souls, so the current of time was not the less idle I
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and while the sun continued to shed his enlivening beams upon the tops of the lofty eastern forest, we were shaded by the great western until it gradually declined from our view, leaving us in the cool and silent shades of evening. On passing the residences of our old friends in the river, (for the Osprey had been in the river before,) we gave them a volley of musketry as a salute from our boats, when those that had guns returned the compliment.
At about half-past five in the evening, the boats, as they approached the shore, formed a line abreast, and discharging a volley together, then landed at the Horeke, the estate of our kind and generous lieutenant settler. We had this day accomplished a distance of thirty miles; here our comforts were all anticipated, for quarters were prepared for officers and men; a bullock was provided with a mess of potatoes for the crew; and the officers joined in the family circle, which strongly reminded us of England's merry homes; there was a great degree of joy at meeting here, and a feeling of regret at parting. It would also be ungrateful in me, to pass over unnoticed the great attention we received from this kind and liberal gentleman and his family, together with that of a Wesleyan missionary, of the Mangungue mission station in the river, who accompanied us from the Horeke to the head of the river, and previously from the Monga-Monga's Pah. Remember them in their labour of peril, and in their struggles for Christ's sake and the gospel's.
I cannot leave the Horeke without making some observation upon one of the laws of nature, which came immediately under my notice there, and may not prove an unprofitable subject for some of our modern Sadducees. Touching then upon the grub of a species of catterpillar,
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I think that some beautiful emblems may be produced from its brief history. I had noticed this little reptile in its state of animation, feeding upon the forest leaves, enjoying the rich bounties and blessings of nature adapted to its being. I saw it living in its animal world, and running, as it were, through its animal state of being, or stage of life; I know not the period allotted by God for its existence in its first state of nature, but this I know, that the once living animal falls from the tree, bores its way into the earth, and there dies, then takes root in the earth, and is then transformed into a plant, with its tail or hinder part forming a root; the body is erect, with the plant shooting forth from the head: 1 hath not God given to this reptile a body as it hath pleased Him? It was sown a mean worm of corruption, but raised an emblem of glory; therefore do not mistrust the power of God, for if He can change this mean worm to a dignified resurrection from the dead, I am convinced that He will raise my poor weak perishing body in glory, if I be found in Him now; for God who struck man off in His own image at Creation, has ever been keeping a watchful eye over him from his fall; nor will He leave him until He has performed His promise by the mouth of His servants, that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ;" then, at the summons of the last trump of God, shall man spring up, as certainly as
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this change took place in the worm, out of the animal world into the vegetable world. Thou fool, who dost ask, "How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come forth?" As Solomon sent the sluggard to the ant to learn a lesson from its instinctive industry, so does the sailor send the fool and the Sadducee to this worm, to teach the first that "that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die," and the second, let him be ever so hard in his unbelief, that a resurrection is as certain as a creation.
Is not the history of this little worm inexplicable to mortal man? and though not a proof, may nevertheless serve as a striking emblem of the resurrection of our bodies; for God works in two manifestations of His greatness; He worked in outward manifestation to the destruction of the Egyptians; so He did when His glory filled the tabernacle; so he did upon mount Sinai: He works in the outward to confirm our faith in His power in the inward: for as the tabernacle was a type or emblem of Christ, in the Word being made flesh and dwelling among us, or the tabernacle a symbol of every real christian, God dwelling within the sanctuary in the wilderness, (thus working outwardly by figures, in order to substantiate our faith in things hoped for,) so I think the history of this little worm may serve as a pattern of the resurrection.
Our stay at Horeke was from the evening of the 6th to the morning of the 8th of May, having one whole day's rest, for many of our legs and feet were much swollen. Early on the morning of the 8th, boats being again provided by the settlers in the river, we embarked to proceed ten miles further up the river, and left at daybreak, under
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a salute of 14 guns from the battery near this naval settler's residence, to whom I dedicate the following lines of gratitude:--
'Tis here the shipwreck'd finds a home,
Safe from the tempest and the gale,
Where angry surf, nor billows, foam,
To turn life's ruddy cheeks so pale.
May heaven's blessing thee attend,
And peace and plenty smile around;
Thy children never want a friend,
When thy frail barque shall "take the ground;"
May they as stars in glory shine,
Their youthful hearts to God be giv'n;
And may the crown of life be thine,
Thee, and thy little flock, in heaven.
The morning of our departure was cloudy, with occasional showers, and continued so the whole day. By half-past eight, a. m., we were all disembarked at the head of the river, and had just commenced our breakfast in a marsh, when a heavy shower of rain descended and wet us through, for no shelter could be had; the state of the weather, however,, did not retard us, and at nine o'clock we took our leave of all the kind settlers upon the banks of the Hokianga, and at the word, forward, onward we went for the next stage, the Waimate.
We had now to encounter some very unpleasant travelling, commencing with a chalk and mud looking soil, which was so slippery in the ascent, that it was with a great nicety we could get one foot before another; this was the start we had for the first twenty minutes; a few horses were hired for the accommodation of those whose feet and legs were much swollen on the march.
After we had got through this slippery soil, we were brought to the short bush, so named because the long
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bush immediately follows, separated by a small opening of fern land; (they are called short and long bush, from the shortness or length of time it takes to travel through them.) Here we entered the giant wood, where the tall Kauri and Puriri trees combined, and formed a lofty and shaded grove, whose leaves were spangling with the sunbeams, as the light air caused them to wave so gracefully above us. Having parsed through the short bush, we came to some level fern land, open and pleasant, being situated between the two forests, but the terror of our journey, from the accounts given us by travellers, was the long bush, to which this level land soon brought us. On asking our guide how long it would take us to travel through this long bush, he pointed up to the sun, and measured off about four hour's run, for nearly everything is expressed by symbols by the New Zealander.
It was certainly anything but easy travelling, for the beaten track was occasionally blocked by an immense tree fallen across it; and then the roots of the forest all seemed to claim kindred with each other, by being so lovingly interlinked together; and the density of the thick foliage completely shut out, at intervals, the daylight; it was like journeying in the shades of evening. In some places of the wood, deep hollows were formed from the nature of these giant roots, so as greatly to impede our journey, sinking up to our knees and middles between them; they were as slippery as glass, and appeared as hard as a stone, and this made us catch at some high grass, which grew on each side of the pass, to prevent ourselves from falling, which cut our hands very much, although we were warned by the natives not to touch it; it was called by the natives, Toi Toi; so that
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whenever we made a stumble upon the greasy roots, we caught either at this grass, or at the stiff leafless stems, which were worn off by the constant friction of the native traveller in the narrow pass; many of our crew suffered through preferring to travel without shoes; by a little after twelve o'clock at mid-day, we came to a little light opening in the forest, where we all seated ourselves in a group, and went to dinner; but humble as our fare was it was worth a blessing before it; we had scarcely seated ourselves down than we got a repetition of what we had at breakfast, which soon drenched us to the skin, so that the biscuit in our haversacks was well soaked, and I need not say how many hours soaking the salt beef would have stood, and not have been the worse for it.
At about half-past two o'clock, we got through the long bush into more open ground, which was both swampy and slippery, falling and picking ourselves up again as quick as we could; nearly the whole of our journey, from the long bush to the Waimati, a distance of ten miles, was through muddy pools, and over streams, through which in some places we had to wade as we had done before.
By four o'clock we were in sight of Heke's Pah, which lay to the left of the great natural reservoir at Homapera; the name of this place, where the Pah is situated, is called Okaihau, and had been attacked the day twelvemonth that we passed through it; this place was then filled with living inhabitants, and rife with war, we now found it in a most dilapidated state, and without one single inhabitant.
It was at this Pah where the North Star, and the Hansard's Ships' Companies, with a part of the 58th,
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96th and 99th Regiments were engaged, in which the enemy sustained such a severe loss; I think our loss was 13 killed, and 26 wounded; and on the part of the natives, 100 killed and wounded, among which were several chiefs belonging to Kawiti.
In the course of another half hour we drew near to a Pah belonging to Wake Nene, where a part of his tribe, then resided, but principally women, who with well disposed feelings towards us pressed us to remain, crying out as we passed, "Ekoro ma enohora ki te kai" (friends stop and eat), for their Kumaras and Potatoes were then steaming in their Pah, but our time would not admit of any stay, as it was fast approaching dusk; we were often deceived as to distance, both Europeans and natives seem to differ upon this point. We continued our rough journey until we arrived at the Waimati; here we could fancy ourselves upon British soil, from the appearance of the cultivated land, and the uniform arrangement with which the different boundaries were marked out; here stood the farmyard, with every domestic animal to strike the senses with the strong representation of the scenes of home; we had not witnessed, any where, such home scenes as at the Waimati.
It was a little to the right of this place, where the Pah at Ohaiawaiawai belonging to Heke stood; the ground, I was told, belonged to Pene Tawi, who is said to have been a very influential chief, and one of the chief rebels, though so little spoken of. It was here that the severe carnage took place with the before named companies of the line, reinforced with the North Star and Hazard's crews, together with the Auckland volunteers, which proved so fatal and unsuccessful an attack.
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We arrived here about six o'clock in the evening, some of the best walkers arrived a little before; the Captain not making his appearance among the first who arrived, a native was dispatched away with a horse for him from the missionary residence, but the Captain very humanely and sympathetically turned it to better use for the sick and lame behind him.
By a little after six o'clock we had all arrived at the missionary settlement, where preparation was made for us, for here were spacious and clean quarters for the crew, with plenty of potatoes just cooked, fires kindled to dry ourselves, and clean straw brought for us to lie upon, and the kind missionary paid us frequent visits, inquiring after our comforts, at whose table our officers joined, and were comfortably entertained during the night; a prayer, too, was offered up to the throne of grace, and thanks for our safe deliverance from the late impending dangers, by this worthy minister of the gospel, beside whose residence stood one of the fair daughters of Jerusalem, so beautiful to the eye of the christian, even the temple of holiness and joy of the whole earth.
It was this that graced the scenery, for the light of the gospel threw out the landscape with additional beauty on the dark ground of heathenism, so that whilst the eye was beholding the magnificent works of creation, the heart felt impressed at the same time with a deep sense of sacred awe and reverence for the divine majesty, who, hath said to Jerusalem, "thou shalt be built," and to the temple, "thy foundation shall be laid;" and there she stands upon the holy hills, immoveable; many a voice has been heard, "down with her, down with her, even to the ground;" but she has a sure support, for Christ is in her walls, the foundation and pillars of her.
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Only let her ministers be, like saint Paul, zealous in the cause of Christ, seeking not their own glory, or to be worshipped in the place of God, and to be bowed down to as a creature idol; no, it is for the true servants of Christ to stand at the foot of the mount, and to hear the thunderings of the voice of God and tremble.
Now is the time of trial for the church, that her faith may be tried and proved; if it be of man, it will come to nought; if it be of God, it will stand the fiery trial, and be found unto His praise and honor and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ; for if we look to the arm of flesh, it is as grass that withereth; if we look at his glory, it is as a passing shadow. Let us then look to Him, whom it is the Protestant's privilege to worship, who sitteth high above all flesh, and call upon Him as the Father, who, without respect of persons, will judge according to every man's work; the few useless branches that have fallen away, or been lopped off, from the vine, or church, have only tended to strengthen her holy roots, by making them the sounder, in order that it may bring forth and bud the more abundantly; or, to borrow as an illustration these words from the learned member for Edinburgh, "Let the wintry blast come, it will but scatter the sere leaves and snap off the withered branches, the giant tree will only strike its roots deeper into the soil, and in the coming spring time put forth a rich foliage, and extend a more grateful shade."
Here then, stood the goodly edifice, where but a few years ago it was a land of gross darkness, but now the bright light of the gospel has expelled those clouds of heathen darkness, through the Dayspring from on high, and our zealous missionaries are adding unto the church,
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daily, such as shall be saved; we, therefore, as shipwrecked seamen, had good reason to be thankful, that God had so crowned their labour with success in his most glorious cause. Whatever good we receive, let God have the praise, who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will; had there been no gospel, there would have been no missionaries, so that by the effects of the gospel, we were saved from falling, victims to their barbarous and savage natures: to this reverend gentleman, I return thanks in the name of the ship's company.
On the morning of the 9th of May, by ten o'clock, we mustered what horses we could, for the conveyance of the sick and lame; and these, with the native carriers, being now ready, we again set out for our last stage, the Bay of Islands, about fifteen or sixteen miles distant; the roads were rather better than we had hitherto found them, and the morning the finest we had had during our march; but, owing to the recent rain, it was rather uncomfortable underfoot; but still this mattered but little, as we had frequently to wade through streams as high as our shoulders, with the exception of the sick, of whom all possible care was taken; for, not having horses enough, they walked and rode by turns; thus progressing, we continued our journey, until we sighted the high land of the Bay of Islands, overlooking the settlement of Kororarika: we now entertained hopes of reaching its shore; after skirting, for a long time, the serpentine stream, and crossing the many rivulets which were claiming kindred with it, we at length found it to terminate in the beautiful falls of Waitangi.
It was about here that I heard the noise of horses' hoofs behind me, when three young men, of rather gay
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mien, passed by us, at a slow trot, with an air of indifference; I was informed, that they were the sons of some early established missionaries in this colony. I questioned myself whether these three young men had ever been taught that affecting moral lesson of the parable of the good Samaritan, by their reverend fathers, if so, "these were they which receive seed by the way side," for they must have passed several of our men on the road, who were left behind some distance, whose legs and feet were either swollen or lacerated by the march, and whom they should have looked upon with the eye of a christian, and the sympathizing heart of the good Samaritan; but like the Priest and the Levite, they passed us, with a cold indifference, on the other side.
How many christians do we see,
Devoid of generosity;
The Priest and Levite well describe,
The narrow minded hoarding tribe,
Who pass their suff'ring brother by,
And view his pangs with careless eye.
We continued our journey until the hour of three in the afternoon, when we arrived at the summit of a mountain, having a view of the beautiful waterfall of Waitangi, with the adjacent mountains, which encircle it inland, and the Bay of Islands and the sea open in our front.
I shall now draw the attention of the reader to the 23rd chapter of Numbers, for Scripture gives the best illustration of all good books. I am one that would not attempt to draw another stroke with my pen, without my Bible open before me. In this chapter the reader will find the timid Balak, king of Moab, much troubled at the previous conquests of the Israelites, especially as they were now pitched in the territory of Moab; but Ba-
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lak was in fear where no fear was, for Moses, no doubt, acquainted the heads of the nations of the orders that God had given him for Israel, before he attempted to march through their land, for it was through the obstinate refusal of Sihon king of the Amorites, that they were defeated by the Israelites; and to prevent any collision with the children of Israel, Balak, king of Moab, tries to bribe Balaam to curse Israel, so as to weaken them in the power which God had heretofore manifested in them, in the sight of Moab, over their neighbouring nation, the Amorites; for which purpose king Balak endeavours to seduce him by some great reward, and conducts Balaam for this purpose into the field of Zophim, to the sight of Pisgah; but the order of the camp intimated that the blessing of the Lord was upon Israel, and Balaam is forced to come to this brief conclusion, "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! surely there is no divination against Israel!"
I return again to the mountain, from which we could see distinctly that vacant spot where once stood the little thriving settlement of Kororarika, but now in burnt fragments level with the earth, beneath whose surface lay the ashes of those who stood foremost in its defence, and over their remains is this inscription:--
The warlike of the isles,
The men of field and wave;
Are not the rocks their funeral piles?
The seas, the shores, their graves?
Go landsmen, track the deep,
Free, free, the white sails spread;
Sea may not foam, nor wild wave sweep,
Where rest not England's dead.
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It was upon this summit that we halted, from which we could discern the camp of the 58th regiment at Victoria, with the river Waitangi separating us; upon this mountain we fired a volley, to announce our arrival in the Bay of Islands; here we waited till the sick came up, when we all went to dinner, and afterwards waited for the boats of the Racehorse, then lying at the Bay of Islands, to receive us; we then descended the mountain, and remained upon the banks of the Waitangi, and there we discharged our horses and native carriers; the boats of the Racehorse conveyed us across the Waitangi river to the camp at Victoria, where the hospitable, kind treatment of the 58th regiment, encamped there, assisted to restore us.
How strange it has often appeared to me, to witness the antipathy which seamen entertain towards soldiers, from what cause I know not; but a still stranger inconsistency appears, when you find it is not reciprocated; for here we found our every want supplied; our thanks were but a poor return; but in their fatiguing sojourn in New Zealand, may they find as sincere, as frank, and kindly a reception as they gave to us, should it ever be their lot to be placed in a similar situation; and may He who holds the fate of man's puny quarrels in His hand, ever prosper their exertions in defence of their Queen, her rights, and country.
And now, having brought this memoir to a close, I take my leave of the reader; and whether it be one of my own fellow companions in the above events, --at whose request it takes the present form, --or a landsman, let them make every allowance for its errors, and pardon the want of ability it may exhibit in its construction, for the sake of the intent which produces its publication.
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ROBINSON, PRINTER, AUCKLAND.