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THE attention of the Society was directed to this part of the world, in the year 1808, by the Rev. Samuel Marsden, one of the Colonial Chaplains in New South Wales, then on a visit to England. The two large Islands in the Great South Sea, called New Zealand, to the East of New Holland, and almost the antipodes of Great Britain, were selected as a sphere for the Society's exertions. In order to facilitate the introduction of the Gospel among the savage inhabitants of these Islands, it was deemed advisable to form a Settlement; and, for this purpose, two persons accompanied Mr. Marsden on his return to New South Wales, in 1809.
Various obstacles retarded the execution of this plan till 1815, when it was at length carried into effect; a Grant of Land, about 200 acres in extent, having been made to the Society, by two Native Chiefs; one of whom, Ahoodee O Gunna, was the King of Rangheehoo, where the first Station of the Society was formed. The site, of the Settlement is in the Bay of Islands, on the northeast coast of the Northern Island: the Grant was made out and executed, and the Land publicly set apart for the use of the Society, in the presence of a number of Chiefs who were assembled on the occasion. Here the Settlers commenced their peaceful labours, in the erection of dwellings for themselves and their families, and the cultivation of the soil. It might be expected, that, in an undertaking of this nature, many serious difficulties would arise: the god of this world would contend fiercely for the dominion which he had so long exercised over these degraded people; and, at his instigation, they would be led to acts of insult and violence towards those who were seeking to do them good. This expectation has been realized in the history of the Mission, from its commencement to the date of the most recent accounts; and those, who have been engaged in it, have had many seasons of painful trial. In the midst, however, of the perils to which they have been subjected, they have been sustained and defended by Him in whose service they were engaged; He has compassed them with His favour, as with a shield; and by His over-ruling arm, some of the Chiefs -- particularly Shunghee, whose name must be familiar to our readers--were made the instruments of
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affording them protection. Since the commencement of the Mission, other Stations, in addition to that at Rangheehoo, have been formed, at Kiddeekiddee and Pyhea: a fourth was contemplated some time ago; but the intention was, on fuller consideration, abandoned; and it has subsequently been deemed advisable to give up Rangheehoo, in order to strengthen the other Stations. The original Settlers have been followed, at various times, by other persons, who, in various capacities, have gone out to engage in the instruction of the Natives; and the total number of Missionaries, Catechists, and Settlers, thus sent forth, is 32; and there are at present connected with the Mission, 4 Missionaries, 3 of whom are married; 10 Male Lay-Instructors, and 13 Female.
The means of regularly conveying stores from New South Wales, for the support of those who were engaged in the Mission, the want of which had been much felt at the commencement of the Settlement--the obtaining provisions from various parts of the Islands, for the maintenance of the Native Scholars--and the facility of access to the inhabitants along the coast, strongly suggested the importance of a Vessel which might be thus employed in the service of the Mission. Under the direction of one of the Missionaries, whose professional skill enabled him to superintend the undertaking with considerable advantage, a Vessel of about 100 tons, the "Herald," was commenced: it was completed and launched in 1826, and, soon after, made a voyage to the Colony; but, in the following year, was driven on the rocks on the coast of New Zealand, and became a wreck. It has since been replaced by another Vessel, the "Active;" which, it is hoped, has ere this reached its destination.
The erection of Buildings for the purposes of the Mission, and other secular matters, have necessarily occupied a large portion of the time of the Society's Labourers, which, under other circumstances, would have been appropriated to the instruction of their ignorant neighbours: this circumstance, however, has afforded them daily opportunities of intercourse with the Natives in their employ, and many facilities of becoming acquainted with their character and language. The chief objects to which their labours have been directed, are, the instruction of the Natives collected at the various Stations--visits to the Neighbouring Tribes--the fixing the Language; and the preparation of a Grammar and Vocabulary, with Elementary Books for Schools--and the Translation of the Scriptures and Liturgy into the Native Tongue. In the Schools which have been established, there are about 200 persons, Adults and Children, under Christian Instruction; the generality of whom have made a satisfactory proficiency. Portions of the Books of Genesis and Exodus, and of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John; the Lord's Prayer; a part of the Liturgy; and some Hymns, have been translated and printed for the use of the Natives: the Missionaries are proceeding in the work of Translation. The beneficial influence of the Gospel of Christ is visible, in the general declension of the native superstitions, in the ascendancy which the Missionaries have obtained over the minds of the people, and in the readiness with which their instructions are listened to; and, though they have had to wait in faith for a full blessing on their labours, some seals to their Ministry have been given them in this land of darkness and blood; and the recent spirit of inquiry, which is noticed in some of the subjoined accounts, encourages them to hope that God will shortly fulfil His promises in a more abundant measure, and glorify His Name in the conversion of many more of these savage people to the Faith of Christ.
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While, in every part of the Society's extensive operations, new opportunities for Missionary Labours arise, and new demands are made on the faith and zeal of the Church, the state of the Society's Finances has for some time forbade it to engage in any undertaking which involves additional expense; and it is the peremptory, though painful duty of the Committee, to continue this restriction. But the Secretary of State for the Colonies having made known to the Committee the desire of His Majesty's Government to take measures for the Religious Instruction and Social Improvement of the Aborigines of New Holland--and having proposed that the Society should furnish two Religious Teachers to labour among them for the prosecution of this object, for whose support 500l. per annum would be set apart out of the Colonial Funds--the Committee gladly availed themselves of this opening, and two individuals are under preparation for this scene of labour.
The Rev. Alfred N. Brown, with Mrs. Brown, left New South Wales on the 10th of November, and arrived in New Zealand on the 29th. It is intended that Mr. Brown should take charge of the education of the European Children connected with the Mission; and, with that view, it has, after much deliberation, been decided by the Missionaries that his residence, for the present, should be at Pyhea. Serious apprehensions are entertained for the safety of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Davis and Mrs. Hart: they left Port Jackson, in the "Haweis," on the 18th of October, since which time no tidings have been received. In reference to this, the Rev. Henry Williams writes on the 23d of March:--
It is now nearly five months since the "Haweis" sailed, and has not yet been heard of: many are our conjectures. She might have been dismasted or upset, or, what is still worse, have been taken by the prisoners who may have secreted themselves in her. We received Letters two days since from Port Jackson: nothing had been heard. Our only hope appears in news from Tahiti.
The Rev. S. Marsden arrived in New Zealand on the 8th of March: the Rev. W. Yate, who had gone to the Colony for the purpose of carrying through the Press some of the Translations which had been completed, and on other matters connected with the Mission, supplied his place during his absence. From the various communications before us we collect the following accounts of the state and prospects of the Mission:--
During the last three months I have, with Mr. Shepherd, attended to the School. On account of the indisposition of our Natives with the Hooping Cough, and of our own Families, the School has not been so regularly attended as usual.
The Sundays have been spent in Divine Service, and in visiting the Natives in their own dwellings; and they have, in general, behaved orderly, and paid attention to what has been said. We have met together occasionally, to improve in the Language. The numbers in our Schools are, 16 Men and Boys, and 12 Girls.
Makohia, a Chiefs Son, who was the fowardest Youth in the School, and had lived with us about five years, died in October last: he was a truly promising young man, and was evidently seeking salvation through Jesus Christ. Previously to his illness, he joined in prayer and singing; and listened, with apparent satisfaction, to the Truths of God, to the end of his life. ----- [T. King, Jan. 6, 1829.
Through the kind Providence of God, we enjoy tolerably good health, and have, till the last month, been enabled to go on in our work with some satisfaction. the number of our School is, however, greatly diminished; owing, perhaps, partly to the unsettled state of the various Tribes in the Bay of Islands, and partly to the Ships which have lain opposite our Settlement for a week or two past. We buried a Young Man last week who had been with me ever since I came to Rangheehoo: the last words which I heard him utter were in prayer to God that he might be
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prepared to dwell happy with Jesus Christ in heaven. ----- [J. Shepherd, March. 1829.
The Natives have regularly attended the Means of Grace: those at Matauri and the neighbouring Villages have not been visited as often as in the last Quarter, on account of our other engagements. We have had in the Settlement 29 Men and Boys, and 12 Girls. ----- [J. King, July 1829.
During the last Quarter I was employed as usual, excepting that I sometimes visited the Natives down the river. The Translation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians has continued to engage our attention, in the hours usually devoted to the study of the Native Language. The number of Natives living in our Families and attending School are, Boys 38, Girls 24. ----- [Rev. W. Yate, Jan. 1829.
My time, for the last three months, has been chiefly occupied in attending to the general instruction of the Natives, to the Language Meetings, and the instruction of the European Children belonging to the Settlement: I have also visited the Natives on the banks of the Kiddeekiddee River on Sundays, and at Waimate and other places occasionally, ----- [J. Kemp, Jan. 1829.
My occupations during the Quarter have been little different from those of the preceding: the Native and European Schools have occupied a part of every day; visiting the Natives, and the study of the Language, have, as opportunity offered, been attended to; the remaining part has been devoted to the Natives in the secular employ of the Settlement. The Girls' School has been attended by Mrs. Kemp, Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. Hamlin, and Mrs. Baker. ----- [G. Clarke, Jan. 1829.
A horse having been purchased for my use, I have been able, in the last Quarter, to spend 18 days amongst the Natives, and have generally found them attentive at the moment of speaking to them. There have been in the Schools, 36 Boys, and 24 Girls. ----- [Rev. W. Yate, April 1829.
I have, with the Brethren, attended to the instruction of the Native and European Children in the Settlement, and in visiting the Natives at Waimate and Ahuahu, to instruct them in the Truths of the Gospel. At present, I do not observe any of the Natives at all anxious or desirous of being instructed in those truths which we endeavour to disseminate amongst them. ----- [J. Kemp, April 1829.
My time during the Quarter has been occupied in the European and Native Schools, with the Brethren in the Translation of the Scriptures, and in occasionally visiting the Natives in the interior. With the assistance of Messrs. Kemp and Hamlin and the Natives, I have erected a commodious School Room 38 feet by 18, which I hope we shall be able to use in about a month. ----- [G. Clarke, April 1829.
We have had, during the Quarter, 50 Men and Boys, and 29 Girls, under instruction: most of them seem desirous of improving. I have spent 15 days amongst the Natives: the weather prevented me from being out more. [Rev. W. Yate, July 1829.
I am happy to say that our School Room, and another small Room, 12 feet by 11, for the convenience of a fire, are so far complete as to enable us to use them. We feel thankful that we have now a convenient place where we can assemble our Natives, to instruct them in Reading, Writing, &c, and for the still more important part of our work--the instructing them in the Gospel of Christ. ----- [G. Clarke, July 1829.
The Natives that live with us are, I hope, on the whole, gaining knowledge in temporal and spiritual things. Several of our Lads have made considerable improvement in Carpentry and other useful branches of trade; but we find, that, in order to bring them on in the knowledge of those useful Arts, we must devote most of our time to them: this we find we cannot do, and visit the Natives at their residences also, which appears to us to be of the first and greatest importance. We find, that, for want of a better principle than their natural one, whatever they have learned of the Arts, we are never sure of them; for on occasions which we have lately been called to witness, when any disturbance takes place, many of them will join the Natives, and return to their former habits. We would hope that there are some few who have felt something of a principle of Grace formed in their souls, and who, we trust, will be living witnesses of the power and efficacy of that Grace in restraining and keeping under the Native Habits and Customs. ----- [J. Hamlin, March 1830.
The Schools go on pretty well: the Boys are getting on in Reading, Writing, and the First Rules of Arithmetic: the Girls are also making progress, though but slowly: they are attended to by our Females alternately; and are instructed in Reading, Writing, and Needle-Work, and some can sow very neatly. The greatest difficulty is in keeping them in our houses; the shipping is such a temp-
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tation to draw them from us; and their parents encourage them in all that is wicked: many of the Girls from our Settlements are taken by their parents on ship-board, so great is their thirst for powder. This is one of the greatest trials which we have to encounter; and nothing less than the Grace of God can subdue this evil. Mrs. Kemp has now living under her care 7 Girls: two others are married and settled with us, both of whom have families. ----- [J. Kemp, March 1830.
Our Schools, under the care of Mr. Baker and myself, go on much the same as usual: our Partners attend daily to the instruction of the Native Females, and are not without encouragement in their work.
The Natives living in the Settlement under our more immediate instruction are especially the objects of our anxious solicitude. Many of them know the great and fundamental Principles of Christianity; and some, I trust, feel themselves condemned by that Law which is holy, just, and good: after addressing them, they sometimes seriously inquire how they may escape the impending danger, and how--to use their own words--they may please the Father of Heaven. Many seem to go from day to day with a burdened conscience, yet not sufficiently humbled to apply to the only Remedy. May the Lord, in His own good pleasure, soon complete what, I trust, he has begun! ----- [G. Clarke, March 1830.
Itinerating among the Natives has been especially attended to during the last two months, the weather having been so fine as to enable us to get out among them; but we feel that we labour under great disadvantages, from the unsettled state of the people, who are continually wandering from place to place: we sometimes travel forty miles to see 200 Natives, they being so much scattered up and down the country. We hope the time is not far distant when they will assemble themselves to hear the Word of God: at present we are obliged to visit from family to family to deliver our message, but are endeavouring to persuade them to meet together at convenient places for Religious Instruction, which some seem to approve. When we can accomplish this object we shall be able to do a vast deal more work with far less labour: our prospects are however, on the whole, cheering, amongst the Natives whom we visit; and that day will, I trust, soon dawn, for which we labour and pray. ----- [The Same, March 1830.
My attention during the Quarter has been devoted to the Native and English Schools, Translation, and visiting the Natives at their Settlements, in conjunction with the rest of the Brethren. The Natives in the School at Pyhea have amounted to nearly the same number as last Quarter, and their behaviour and progress have been satisfactory. The number at present, in the Boys School, is 66; in the Girls' 33; total 104. The English Female School has been attended to as usual, by Mrs. H. and W. Williams. ----- [Rev. W. Williams, Jan. 1829.
During the past Quarter, the conduct of the Natives round us was good. My time was occupied in attention to the Schools European and Native, to the Language, &c. I have visited the Natives at the distant Settlements, eleven days, at various opportunities. ----- [Rev. H. Williams, April 1829.
Nothing particular has occurred among the Natives. The number of Natives in the School is, 76 Men and Boys, 37 Women and Girls; total 113. The keel of a boat was laid down a fortnight since, for the general purpose of transporting stores from the Shipping to Kiddeekiddee. ----- [The Same, July 1829.
Thus far the Lord has helped us, His most unworthy creatures, in this land of darkness and death. Our work is going on; our prospects are bright; but our trials are not few. We are on the field of battle, and we have a powerful enemy to contend with. Pray for us: pray that we may live personally in communion with God. While all is right within, all will go well without. ----- [R. Davis, Dec. 28, 1829.
Our Schools continue to go on with increasing numbers, and, I trust I may add, with increasing improvement. Many there are whose minds are stored with much Scriptural Knowledge, and who are occasionally employed to teach others: the whole of them are more or less employed each day. There are a few set apart for the Carpentring Department, some of whom have made great improvement: on the whole, I believe the New-Zealand Mission was never under more encouraging circumstances than at this time. ----- [W. Fairburn, March 1830.
General Examination of the Schools.
An Examination of the Schools took place at Kiddeekiddee in the month of December, the particulars of which cannot fail of interesting our readers. The Rev. W. Williams writes:--
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The 8th of December was the day appointed for our Annual Examination, which was to be held at Kiddeekiddee. At an early hour, the whole Settlement was in motion; and a little after 7 o'clock the European Families and Natives embarked in four boats and one large canoe: Mr. Davis, and a small party of Natives, remaining in charge of the Settlement. In our passage, we fell in with Mr. King's boat, and one canoe; and then proceeding together, we arrived at Kiddeekiddee about 11 o'clock. The native mode of salutation, at such times, is with a rush on both sides, and a sham-fight; but this was exchanged for the more sober welcome of three British cheers. The numbers met together were about 290; viz. 12 European Families, amounting to 72-- Native Girls 68--Men and Boys 150. As soon as we had dined, the Europeans met in the Chapel; when, after the Evening Prayers, I addressed the Brethren, and Mr. Yate administered the Lord's Supper.
The following morning at 9 o'clock, after Prayers, the Examination commenced; first in the two Catechisms which we have prepared, then in Writing and Accounts. The First Class was exercised in Sums, in Addition, Subtraction, Division, and Compound Addition. In the afternoon the Natives dined off temporary tables: the food, which consisted of pork, beef, potatoes, and bread, was served up in little baskets, after the native fashion. They had not been eating more than five minutes, when all, with one consent, left their seats, and scampered off with the remainder of the food; it being the native custom never to leave any thing which is set before them, but to carry off what they cannot consume at the time. The Sewing of the Native Girls was afterwards examined, when some highly satisfactory specimens were shewn: and the next day we met in the Chapel, to award a few Prizes to the most deserving. Work by the Native Carpenters was brought forward which would have done credit in a civilised country. The principal things were, a pannelled door--a pannelled gate--a sash--a table--and a stool. During the morning I spoke to the Natives from Matthew iii. 2.
On this occasion, Mr. Clarke writes--
During the Examination, I could not but contrast, in my own mind, the present appearance of these Natives with their past situation. Here, thought I, are a number of poor Cannibals collected from the different Tribes around us, whose fathers were so rude, so savage, that for ten years, with much pain and vexation and exposure, the first Missionaries lived among them often expecting to be devoured by them. A few years ago they were ignorant of every Principle of Religion: many of them, like their fathers, had glutted in human blood, and gloried in it: but, now, there is not an individual among them who is not, in some degree, acquainted with the Truths of the Christian Religion, which, with the blessing of God, may be the means of his conversion. Not six years ago they commenced on the very rudiments of learning: now, many of them can read and write their own language with propriety, and are completely masters of the First Rules of Arithmetic. But very few years ago, a chisel made out of stone, of which many specimens have been sent home, was the only tool: now, they have not only got our tools, but are learning to use them. It is true, that this is but the day of small things: still, greater and more permanent blessings await New Zealand. The Gospel is preached; the Bible is translating; Scriptural Precepts are taught with Scriptural Doctrines, and will, I hope, soon be practised; and then the whole train of blessings following the Preached Gospel must be theirs also. I do appeal to our friends in England, and ask them, whether (taking into consideration all circumstances, in the course of so few years) the Lord has not done wonders, yea, marvellous things, in this dark land.
It may be asked, Where are the Converts to Christianity? How many have received the Truth, in the love of it? How many have been turned from darkness to light? &c. To which I would answer: Some few have left the world witnesses of the power of the Gospel, confessing that they were sinners, and resting all their hopes for eternity on Christ the Rock: others are statedly attending a Preached Gospel; and, in the Lord's good time, will, we may hope, become living epistles, known and read of all men With such prospects, and such promises, we may well lift up the hands that hang down, having ocular demonstration that our labour cannot be in vain in the Lord.
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Spirit of Inquiry among the Natives at Pyhea.
You will rejoice to hear, that there has been, for some time, serious inquiry after Divine Truth among the Natives in this Settlement; though those without remain, as they were, insensible to the Gospel Call. Two men and one woman have been baptized: they are living in the Settlement. Within these few weeks several others have expressed much concern as to their eternal state; and, though they have only now made their profession, yet an entire change of conduct has been observable, for many months, in several of them. This has brought us much important and interesting work: we meet all who are disposed, every evening, for Religious Conversation and Prayer. This being contrary to the natural habits of the Natives, must put their sincerity to the test; as they early retire to rest, or spend their evenings in dancing, singing, or talking: but this appears altogether laid aside; and now they assemble, in each other's houses, for Prayer; and I trust that the Lord is with them. ----- [Rev. H. Williams, March 1830.
Baptism of Three Converts.
Feb. 7, 1830. -- Sunday -- This morning my Brother baptized Peter and his Wife Mary, and Taiwanga. It will not be uninteresting to hear some account of these persons, who have now been living with us some years. Peter, who joined this Settlement at the time of my arrival is a Native of a quiet disposition, and rather inclined to indolence. It is now nearly three years since he shewed a disposition to attend to the truths which it is our part to inculcate; but some circumstances occurred, which occasioned us to doubt the sincerity of his professions. His Wife is a Slave, whom he took captive at the Southward some years ago, The last trip which the "Herald" made to Tauranga, Mary embarked, with her Husband's consent, to see her friends, and was to return at a future opportunity; but, in the mean time, the "Herald" was lost, and Peter was glad to avail himself of the departure of some Natives from our Bay for the Southward, and joined the party in order to fetch home his Wife. On this occasion, he was absent about twelve months; and we were apprehensive that he would gain nothing by his absence from us. We heard, however, in the mean time, from some strangers, that he was in the habit of talking much to the Natives in that quarter about the things which he had heard from us. Shortly after their return, Mary was taken very ill, and was not expected to live. It was on this occasion that she first shewed any signs of a change for the better; for before her departure to the Southward she had been living in Mr. Davis's family, and was so exceedingly troublesome that she was turned away from the house. She now spoke in a most distinct manner of her trust in Jesus Christ for the pardon of her sins, and of the hope of soon being with Him in heaven. Since her recovery, a watchful eye has been kept over her, and both she and her Husband have walked with great consistency.
Taiwanga is a man of a very different disposition. He lived first at Kiddeekiddee with Mr. Butler; and afterwards went to Port Jackson, where he was staying with Mr. Clarke at Black Town. Hearing there that some of his friends had been killed in battle, and that Shunghee was going to fight with the enemy, he determined to join him, and accompanied Mr. Clarke to New Zealand for the purpose. He was with Shunghee in ten different fighting expeditions: on this occasion, he particularly distinguished himself by killing a principal Chief of the opposite party. On his return, he came to live with Mr. Davis at this Settlement, where he has continued ever since; not, however, without repeated temptations from his relations to join them in their fighting expeditions. A little more than two years ago he had a strong conflict with his evil passions, which threatened to withdraw him entirely from us. He has a Female Slave, a relation to his Wife, whom he was minded to take as a Second Wife. He was told that he must either break off all connection with her, or leave the Settlement. After wavering some little time, he decided on the former, and sent the Slave away inland; ever since which time a change in his mind seems gradually to have been taking place. ----- [Rev. W. Williams.
Beneficial Effects on the other Natives at Pyhea.
The Lord was pleased to make this an awakening season to the souls of others: they soon began to wish for instruction, and to inquire what they should do to be saved. This necessarily led to private meetings, which I trust have been a blessing to their souls. I have met the poor creatures several evenings with delight, and, I trust, profit to my own soul.
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How it would have rejoiced those who have long prayed for the conversion of the New Zealanders, to have witnessed the pleasing scene! My meetings with the Natives commenced in the following manner. On Wednesday the 25th of last month, it being my turn to address them, and having observed their attention, at the close of my discourse I told them that those who were particularly desirous for the salvation of their souls should come to my house, where I should feel a peculiar pleasure in conversing with them on the nature of those things which belong to their everlasting peace. In consequence of this invitation, about 30 Men and Boys followed me home, and I had the pleasure of spending a delightful evening with them. I requested them to be free in their conversation, and make me acquainted with the state of their minds, in order that I might be enabled to give them a suitable word of advice. After we had prayed for a blessing, one of the newly-awakened Natives stood up and spoke in a very affecting manner. He requested all present to be seriously attentive to the things which were told them by us, whom he styled Messengers of God; to leave off and forsake all sin; and to go to God continually, by prayer, for grace, to enable them so to believe that their souls might be everlastingly saved. Another said: "Yes, let us all do as you say; let us live to God, and then we shall be happy." Peter spoke next, in a very pleasing way; and said: "Yes, it is a happy thing indeed to believe in God; for I have found it so: it is the only good thing in the world." Another said: "Since I have continued to pray, and to think on God, my heart has been full of light; consequently, I am happy." Another said: "I am very much afraid of everlasting fire: at times it seems as though I were near to it." Another said: "My heart is hard; and it has been so for a long time. Some time ago my heart was not dark, but light; this was when I used the Means of Grace: but having been home for a time [he being a Native from Tauranga], and having also neglected the Means of Grace, my heart has become hard, like a stone." Some said that they had a great desire: others, that they had a little desire to believe in God. At the close of their several conversations, I endeavoured to give each person a suitable word of advice: and, from what I have heard from them since, at recent meetings, I have reason to hope that my labour has not been in vain.
These poor creatures meet together themselves, for prayer and conversation, in their respective houses alternately; and I trust their meetings are profitable. Last night I heard Peter deliver a most suitable address to our little audience; and, at the close, Taiwanga engaged in prayer in a very impressive manner. My Eldest Daughter meets our Girls and our Men's Wives every evening: their prayers are very affecting. Thus is the Lord, in mercy, blessing this benighted Country. Peter has often been out on a Missionary Excursion among the Natives: a few evenings ago, he came home highly satisfied with what he had heard from the people whom he had visited; and said, "It is well for me to give my heart entirely to God." I also heard Taiwanga, yesterday, address a fighting-party of Natives in a very bold pleasing manner. ----- [R. Davis, March 1830.
Hostilities among the Native Tribes.
In the midst of these encouragements, there is melancholy proof of the dominion which Satan continues to exercise over the mass of this unhappy people; though the events detailed in the following accounts abundantly shew how God is pleased to use His Servants for restraining their ferocious passions, and encourage the hope that these shall be ultimately overruled for the good of the Mission. On the 5th March, the Rev. W. Williams writes:--
The Natives around us have been assembling for some days at Kororarika, on the opposite shore of the Bay, about two miles distant from our Settlement, expecting an attack from the Natives of Wangaroa, Rangheehoo, and Kiddeekiddee. Hearing this morning that Ururoa, the Chief of the party that had been sent for, had arrived, we thought it would be well to go over to the contending parties, to endeavour to restrain them from mischief. Landing at Kororarika, we passed over the hill, and found the assailants feasting on the kumera, or sweet-potatoes, which they had just pulled up from the garden at which they had landed. Tohitapu, our neighbour, was in the act of holding an harangue, the purport of which was to restrain Ururoa from going to any greater length, and to content himself with having plundered the kumera-garden, as a satisfaction for the bad language used by the other party; while
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Ururoa seemed to be as resolutely bent on going to Kororarika the following day.
Of their interview with the Chiefs the Rev. Henry Williams gives the following account:--
We found Tohitapu in the midst of the Council, making an harangue. As soon as we came in sight, they received us in a most gracious manner, and prepared the way for us. We took our station for the purpose of speaking to them, which they desired us to do; and commanded silence, that all might hear: we communicated as freely with them as ever we had done, and nothing was more satisfactory than the attention which they paid. They afterwards turned out their forces, that we might see their strength. Tohitapu, who is on the opposite side, greatly admired them, and, with feeling of great pride, pointing to the different tribes, exclaimed, "Those are mine! --and those are mine!" We returned after two hours, and I did not apprehend any mischief.
In this anticipation Mr. Williams was disappointed; for on the following day he writes:--
March 6, 1830--About nine o'clock much firing at Kororarika: by our glasses we could observe persons running in all directions; and the canoes pulling off to the shipping, filled with people. Mr. Davis and I immediately went over in the boat and, after communicating with Capt. King, on board the Royal Sovereign, went on shore, to endeavour to put a stop to the firing. Landed at the scene of action; but could not see any one of any rank, as all were concealed by fences and screens, The parties were about twenty yards apart I made as much noise as I could, but to no immediate effect. Passed on to our old friend Tohitapu, who was resting on his arms, at the extremity of the beach I endeavoured to persuade him to accompany me to the opposite party, to draw them off; but he would not move. Tuaiangi, a young Chief, was deputed to accompany me. We had not proceeded far before the firing ceased. Rewa came forward, and waved to the parties to desist. As we drew near to the spot, we learnt that many were killed and wounded. I was conducted to Ururoa, who was scarcely able to speak: however, numbers surrounded me, and all attention was given to what I had to say. They acknowledge the correctness of our arguments with them, and that they were urged to this madness by Satan. In a short time the people in the boats landed from the shipping, to witness the distressing scene: many were dead, others dying, and the wounded no one knew. I here observed, with great wonder, the conduct of this people. Within a quarter-of-an-hour after the firing ceased, very many of each party were dispersed indiscriminately amongst their opponents; and we found that parents, children, and brothers had been fighting against one another.
On a review of the melancholy proceedings of the day, Mr. R. Davis writes:--
Alas! what a day of horror and distress this has been! Last night we left the contending parties, apparently desirous of making peace; but this morning, hearing the firing, and concluding that they were fighting, we launched our boat, and went over to the shipping. As the "Royal Sovereign," Captain King, was lying not more than 200 or 300 yards from the scene of action, we went to his ship. I went on board: but Mr. Williams went on shore, and landed; and endeavoured to stop the fighting, but was obliged to retreat to his boat, as a very brisk fire was kept up by both parties. This was a hazardous attempt on the part of Mr. Williams, as he was in much danger of being shot. The deck of the "Royal Sovereign" presented a woeful spectacle of horror and despair: many of the wounded men had been brought on board, and were lying on the deck in a mangled state: the surgeon was employed dressing their wounds, assisted by as many of the people as could be spared. Besides the wounded, there was a great number of women and children, who had fled on board, from the village, for protection. I stayed on board, at the urgent request of the Captain, to assist him in the management of the Natives, &c. As the village was expected to give way, and the Natives to fly to the shipping for protection, and as they were likely to be followed there by the victors, the ships were put in a posture of defence, and the worst prepared for. But I had not been long on board, before the assailants gave way, and fled in all directions. On seeing this, I went on shore, accompanied by Captains King and Dean. The sight was dreadful, as nearly 100 people were killed and wounded. Soon after we had landed, the assailants were
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permitted to come and carry away their dead and wounded Chiefs, but the bodies of their dead slaves they left behind. As one of the bodies left behind was that of a Chief, but one of little note, a Chief of the village ran out, and with a hatchet cut the body open, and took out a small piece of the liver: this they told me was for the New-Zealand god. After having visited both parties, and remained with them till near midnight, we returned home.
The proceedings of the next day are thus noticed by Mr, Williams:--
March 7, 1830: Sunday--At the dawn of day I was awoke by the firing of musketry at Kororarika: before sun-rise it ceased. About seven o'clock, observed Ururoa's canoes crossing the Bay for Maturoa. Canoes from Kororarika arrived all day, with men, women, and children, bringing with them all their possessions: our Service delayed on account of the wounded: the Natives outside making a great noise, but quiet in their behaviour. At three in the afternoon observed the houses on fire at Kororarika; and all the canoes leaving the beach, and pulling in various directions. At sun-set, Ururoa, with Tohitapu, came to our beach to take up their quarters with us; and shortly after, Rewa, with his family. All was commotion, and various reports as to the intention of the Napui.
On the following day, Mr. W. Williams writes--
March 8--A number of our Natives returned from their Pa at the Kauakaua, to observe the movements of the enemy. We told them, that we should endeavour to make peace, if possible; at which they seemed well satisfied, doubting at the same time whether the opposite party would be likely to agree to terms. In the mean time a vessel hove in sight; which proved to be from Port Jackson, having on board our old friend Mr. Marsden, with one of his Daughters.
Mr. Marsden's arrival was hailed with joy, both by the Missionaries and Natives; and his presence greatly conduced to the accomplishment of the object which they had in view--the restoration of peace. He thus describes the state of things on his arrival:--
When I arrived at the Bay of Islands, I found the Missionaries in considerable agitation: the Natives were up in arms against one another, in great numbers. On the 6th instant they had a battle on the opposite beach, in which it appears 70 were killed or wounded: their bodies were then lying on the beach. My arrival at this trying moment afforded the greatest relief to the Missionaries, as they were in hopes that I should have influence with the contending Tribes, to make peace between them. Messengers had been despatched to different parts, to their respective friends and allies; and it was expected that some thousands would be in the Bay in a few days. Some of the Chiefs immediately waited on me, and requested that I would interfere between them. Both parties were equally our friends, and I was well acquainted with the leading Chiefs on both sides. I promised that I would, with the Rev. H. Williams, visit both their camps the following morning, and hear what each had to say. Accordingly, early on the 9th, we proceeded to the camp of those who had obtained the victory: they received us with the greatest cordiality. We immediately entered on the subject of our mission; and, after a long discussion, which was maintained by the Chiefs with much ardour and warmth, it was agreed that we should proceed to the camp of their enemies, and state to them the substance of what had taken place. Their camps were about four miles apart. On our arrival, we were received with much respect by the Chiefs; and they were willing to hear any thing which we had to advance. The Rev. H. Williams opened the business; and, after many arguments, it was determined that we should proceed with one of the principal Chiefs to the Island of Maturoa, about five miles off, where a large body of their friends were encamped, and learn their sentiments; which we consented to do, and immediately set off for the island. When we arrived, we found the beach covered with war-canoes, and Natives prepared for action. We stopped some hours with this party: many of the Chiefs spoke with much force and dignity; but yielded to our wishes so far, that we were authorised to proceed to their enemy's camp and to make some friendly propositions to them. After these matters were arranged, we returned home about nine o'clock in the evening. The terms of peace are not yet finally settled. I have been negociating for peace ever since my arrival, and I hope it will shortly he ac-
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complished. I am not under much concern for the Missionaries, as all parties are most friendly towards them; but they have never had such a trial before: they have lived in much peace until now. I think when this difference is settled, it will extend their influence far and wide: many of the distant Chiefs will see who and what they are, and what their object is.
Of the cause of these unhappy disturbances Mr. Marsden adds--
The origin of this present war proceeds from the most infamous conduct of the Master of a Whaler. The Chiefs contended, that as the war did not originate with them but with an European, the Europeans were answerable for all the consequences, as a nation: they wished to know what satisfaction we would give them for the loss of their friends who had been killed--it was their right to demand satisfaction, and it was just that the Europeans should give it: it was not their own quarrel. I replied, that all I could do was, to write to England, to prevent the return of the Master to New Zealand. They requested that I would not do this: they wished to get him into their possession; which they would do, should he return; and then they would take satisfaction themselves. The immoral conduct of some of the Whalers is dreadful.
The efforts of the Missionaries towards obtaining peace are thus detailed by Mr. Williams:--
March 9, 1830--Mr. Marsden and I went up to the Pa, where the Kauakaua Natives were assembled: every attention was paid to what we had to say; and it was unanimously agreed, that Kororarika should be given up to the opposite party, as a payment for Shunghee and for the numbers who had been slain. The universal word was 'Peace.' We afterwards pulled to Kororarika; when they appeared desirous for peace, and it was agreed that Tarea and Titore should accompany us to Ururoa, who was at Maturoa. The wind being favourable, we soon arrived, and had a very pleasant conversation. All, with the exception of one or two, appeared disposed for peace.
March 10-- At day-light, the Urikapana passed through the Settlement. They stopped for a short time, to hear the news, and to see Mr. Marsden. After dinner, went over to Kororarika, to see Ururoa, who had just come from Maturoa. He said that it would be needful to wait till all had assembled, before peace was made: he appeared apprehensive that the opposite party was not sincere.
March 11 -- After breakfast, Rewa, Mr. Marsden, and I, went up to the Pa. We hoisted the white flag, by Rewa's request, as a signal that we were come to treat for peace. On our arrival, all assembled; and I told them we were come to receive their instructions as to the message to Ururoa, whether peace or war: it was now high time. Before the assembling of the multitude, they replied, that it wis very good; but that Ururoa must depute some Chief to meet them in the Pa, and afterwards some one from the Pa should go to them. This being concluded, we proceeded to Kororarika, and net Ururoa and other Chiefs. They appeared of one opinion; but they waited the arrival of Mungo and Kakaha, the two sons of Shunghee, the Chief of Tako, who was killed; as the duty of seeking revenge now devolves upon them for the death of the father. I told Ururoa we were weary of going about; but he and others replied, that we must not be weary, but strong, and very courageous; that should these two men come in the course of the night, they would send a canoe over to us, and peace should be concluded in the morning.
March 13--At breakfast, Tohitapu came, and spoke about the necessity of making peace; -- that the distant Tribes would arrive, and then there would be no restraining them.
March 14: Sunday -- Tohitapu and Rewa very urgent that communication should be held with Ururoa and others at Kororareka; as several canoes were observed to pull over from Maturoa. I therefore went over by myself; and took the opportunity of speaking to them upon their present state, and offers of eternal peace held out by Jesus Christ. All were inclined for peace. In the evening, Service as usual. Warenui came from the Pa, apparently under much concern by the delay in making peace.
March 16--After breakfast, Mr. Davis and I went to Maturoa, to see Kakaha and Mungo, the sons of Shunghee. When in the middle of the Bay, we picked up old Kossin, who was in a small skiff of a canoe and would certainly have been upset, had we not gone to his assistance. The Natives at Maturoa
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appeared disposed to hear all that we had to say; and, before we left, they said they should pull over in the morning, and perhaps might go up the river.
March 17, 1830--At sun-rise, observed a great number of canoes, and that many were pulling towards the entrance of the river. Launched two boats, each having a white flag; and pulled to the canoes, which had landed.
March 18--The Natives, who went up with us yesterday to make peace, came down this morning with some from the Pa, on their way to Kororarika, to ratify the peace. We acompanied them, in two boats, as yesterday; and every mark of native respect was shewn us. The speeches were much better than yesterday.
The happy accomplishment of their object is thus detailed by Mr. W. Williams:--
March 17--The minds of the Natives, in reference to peace, having been ascertained, both parties equally manifesting a disposition to put an end to hostilities, it was fixed that a meeting should take place to-day, according to the native custom. At an early hour, we observed several canoes in motion from Kororarika towards the Kauakaua; and immediately we put off, in two boats, to meet them. The party amounted to about 300, which advanced till within a mile of the opposite party; when the Ambassadors of Peace, three in number, proceeded with us to the Pa. On landing, we proceeded towards the principal Chiefs; when all sat upon the ground, leaving a narrow space for the Speakers to walk backward and forward, which is always the native manner. First, one of the Ambassadors held forth, and intimated that the peace would not hold good, because a Chief of his People had not been killed, as an equivalent for Shunghee; and that he should be afraid to remain at his own place, and would go to live at Kaipara, a river to the S. W. He was followed by several others, some of whom spoke to the purpose, and some not to the purpose. And when this was over, the different Tribes mustered on a rising ground and had a war-dance. It was a larger body of fighting-men than I have seen before at one time, amounting to about 1000 men, more than half of whom had muskets. The three Ambassadors remained in the Pa for the night; which part of the ceremony, was to be repeated the next day by the people of the Pa.
March 18--The Ambassadors returned this morning, with three others, from the Pa; and calling at our Settlement, we accompanied them to Kororarika. A similar scene occurred to that we witnessed yesterday. The final ratification of the peace, as far as I could understand it, was the following:-- A Chief from Ururoa's party repeated a long song, with a small stick in his hand, which, at the conclusion, he broke, and threw down at the feet of one of the Ambassadors from the opposite party: the meaning of which was, that hostilities were broken off: the latter Chief then repeated a similar form of words, and cast down his broken stick at the feet of the former speaker. The Natives speak of this peace as made by the Europeans; and I believe they have been much influenced herein by the presence of Mr. Marsden.