No. 3.] APRIL, 1862. [VOL. I.
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CHURCH QUARTERLY PAPER.
DIOCESE OF CHRISTCHURCH.
No. 3.] APRIL, 1862. [VOL. I.
ON Wednesday, February 12th, the members of the General Synod who had arrived at Nelson attended divine service at the Parish Church, and, after Morning Prayer and the Holy Communion met in the Provincial Hall, when proceedings were opened by an address from the Bishop of New Zealand as President.
All the Bishops (including the Bishop of the Islands of the South Pacific) were present, and a large proportion of the clergy; but it being ascertained that there was not a sufficient number of lay members present to complete the quorum required under the statute for organizing the General Synod, it was determined to proceed by conference, and to lay before the Synod when duly constituted the result of such preliminary deliberations. Accordingly Committees were appointed to consider and report upon different subjects of importance, and these continued their labors until Thursday, February 20th, when the absent lay members having arrived, the Synod was formally constituted, and such portion of the business as had been fully prepared, and which seemed to require immediate legislation, was brought under its consideration.
The following are some of the more important measures which were finally adopted by the Synod.
"Firstly, the union of Bishop Patteson and the missionary bishopric of Melanesia on equal terms with the Synodical system of New Zealand in accordance with the recommendations of the committee appointed on this subject, and the appointment of trustees by the General Synod for the management of the endowment funds of that bishopric. This measure connects the church of New Zealand with the most important mission in the Pacific, and gives it essentially the character of a Missionary Church,
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and it was referred to the Standing Commission to prepare a draft statute based on the resolutions adopted by the Synod on this subject for the consideration of the next Synod."
"Secondly, a Board of Trust was appointed for the Diocese of Christchurch. This measure was intended to meet in part the wishes of the Christchurch Synod with reference to the church property belonging to that Diocese."
A petition 1 had been presented from the diocese of Christchurch, praying that the right which they claimed to act independently with respect to all temporalities within the Diocese should he expressly recognised by the General Synod, and that they should be put in a position to have the benefit of the
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religious, charitable, and educational Trusts Act, of 1856, for the formation of such Diocesan Trusts of various kinds as might from time to time be found necessary.
A Committee of the General Synod on the constitution deed, appointed by ballot, took this petition into consideration, and decided in the first place, that it was not consistent to entertain its claim on the ground of an understanding existing at the date of conference (unless that understanding had been expressed in some written document), since whatever impressions might have been made on the minds of some members of the Conference during its deliberations, the same had not been made on the minds of those who also had been present at these deliberations. The committee therefore felt itself obliged to limit its consideration to the records of conference, and the constitution deed; and while it agreed that conference had expressed an opinion that individual Trustees holding property, which, for any reason, could not be surrendered to the General Synod, should not therefore be debarred from giving their assent to the Church Constitution,--or from taking part in the administration of its affairs, and also that this opinion was founded upon, and supported by clause 32 of the Constitution Deed, it came to the conclusion that the right claimed by the petition could not be admitted in the case of a body, like a Diocesan Synod, which had associated itself with the General Synod, and which had been organized by it under the provisions of the Church Constitution Deed, according to which property was made the legal basis of operation, and the control over it vested in the General Synod. And further, the Committee came to the conclusion that the General Synod could not, consistently with the objects aimed at in the Constitution Deed, give to such body extra independence in the administration of the property which might be vested in it; those objects being to ensure, as far as might be possible, by the hold which the General Synod would have over Church property, uniformity of action on questions of principle, the correction of abuses which, as experience shews, are apt to grow up from time to time in compact bodies exempt from the control of any external authority, and the establishment of a court of appeal in all cases of dispute, with power through property of enforcing its decisions.
While however the Committee came to the conclusion that the
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controlling power for these purposes is lodged with the General Synod, they admitted fully that it is its design and endeavor to give to all bodies constituted by itself the most extensive powers of self-government which are not wholly incompatible with its authority.
In accordance with these conclusions the General Synod resolved on establishing in the diocese of Christchurch, a Board of Trusts consisting of three persons selected by itself, to which it is proposed that there should be added two nominated by the Synod of Christchurch, and, as the Diocese of Christchurch comprises within it the provinces of Otago and Southland, as well as that of Canterbury, two nominated by the Rural Deanery Board of Otago, but resident at or near Christchurch. This board of Trusts is empowered by statute to accept property for or on behalf of the General Synod--to assent, if it should think fit, to any special covenant or declaration of trust which may be imposed by any founder, donor, testator, or other benefactor, -- and further to represent the General Synod for the purpose of the religious, charitable, and educational Trusts Acts, 1850. It was thought that through this board, composed, as it will be, of seven persons living in the province of Canterbury, and of whom four must almost necessarily be members of the Diocesan Synod, the requirements of the Synod would be in a measure satisfied, and at the same time its connection with, and dependence on the General Synod be maintained in things temporal as well as things spiritual.
The report of the proceedings of the Synod will shortly be published, when we shall deem it our duty to direct the attention of our readers to those points which may seem to require some explanation. At present we will only add that the constitution deed was carefully considered by a Committee appointed for that purpose, who suggested some alterations in the provisions not fundamental; but these alterations were not adopted, since it was thought that changes in the provisions of such an important document as that of the Church Constitution ought not to be admitted without the fullest consideration. It was resolved therefore that the proposed alterations should be circulated in the report throughout the several dioceses, and be adopted or otherwise at the next meeting of the General Synod. The statute for organizing the General Synod was altered in many essential particulars, especially in equalising the representation,
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THE GENERAL SYNOD.
which is now fixed to three clerical and four lay representatives from each diocese. The statute for the formation of parishes has been altered so as to leave it to each Diocesan Synod to define the duties of churchwardens and vestrymen, and to regulate other details as local circumstances may require.
On the whole, we believe the results of this session will be found valuable and important, chiefly because the Synod has wisely refrained from more legislation than circumstances rendered indispensable, while a body of useful information will be found contained in the reports of the several Committees which may in several particulars serve as the basis for future legislation.
TRADITIONS OF THE MIDDLE ISLAND.
THE following traditions of the island in which we live was obtained from an old chief at Kaiapoi. In his youth this man had been put under the charge of a Tohunga, or priest, in in accordance with the ancient Maori custom: of placing cleverest boys of the principal families under the instruction of a tohunga, who made them commit to memory the historical traditions of their people, their poetry, and romance, and the mysterious rules of their priest-craft.
Such was the source from which the following curious traditions were derived:--
The Waitaha were the first dwellers in the island. It is now five hundred years since they came from Ahuriri, where they had landed on their arrival from Hawaiki (one of the Polynesian group). Being separated by a wide breadth of sea from their countrymen on the other island, they were undisturbed by the wars that continually raged amongst them; and so were enabled to devote their time to hunting, fishing, and the cultivation of the soil. Their numbers rapidly multiplied, till, according to tradition, they covered the face of the country like ants.
The Waitaha did not continue in undisturbed possession of the hills and plains of Te-wai-ponamu. 2 Another Ahuriri tribe, called
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TRADITIONS OF THE MIDDLE ISLAND.
the Ngatimamoe, arrived after a time to dispute this right to its rich hunting and fishing grounds. Unused to war, the old inhabitants were easily subdued, and all who were spared reduced to slavery. The Ngatimamoe did not, however, long enjoy their triumph: another and more powerful tribe soon appeared on the scene, to whom they in turn were compelled to submit.
The Ngaitahu, the ancestors of the Maoris now residing between Cape Campbell and Stuart's Island, crossed the straits about or two hundred years ago, and spread themselves along the shores of Queen Charlotte's Sound. The Ngatimamoe, instead of resisting the invasion, endeavoured by every means to avert war. They gave a portion of the country to the Ngaitahu, and supplied them for a time with food. For several years these tribes, cemented by the intermarriages of their members, lived peaceably together. But at length the Ngaitahu, becoming dissatisfied with the locality assigned to them, removed to Wairau; leaving behind two of their chiefs who had married Ngatimamoe women. The two cousins dwelt on opposite sides of the Sound. Apoka with his wives and a few slaves; Tuteuretira in a pa with 300 Ngatimamoes who had chosen him for their leader.
Apoka's ground was too poor to cultivate, and game rarely frequented the woods in his neighbourhood. He was forced to depend for subsistence on fern root. He bore his privations cheerfully, till his suspicions were aroused that his wives partook of better fare than they chose to set before him. He daily noticed that their breath gave evidence of their having eaten some savoury food. He remarked that, although they paid frequent visits to their relatives who resided at a place celebrated for the variety and plenty of its supplies, they never brought anything to vary the sameness of his diet. He was convinced those visits were made to replenish secret stores, kept from him by his wives at the suggestions of their people, who perhaps thought that, if he once tasted the good things of Waipapa, he might advise his tribe to take possession of it by force. His wives indignantly denied that they ate anything better than the food given to their lord:
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convinced however that they deceived him, and brooding over his wrong, he resolved to seek his cousin's advice. Crossing the Sound he landed near the settlement where he found Tuteuretira in the midst of a large kumera plantation urging on the labours of a hundred men. His cousin asked whether he should cause the men to desist from their work and adjourn to the pa, to listen to whatever he had to say. "No" replied Apoka "my business is with you alone--let the men continue their work." The two then visited the Tuahu, 3 where they performed certain rites, and then retired to the verandah of the chief's house, where one of his wives had arranged some food for the refreshment of the guest. Tuteuretira blessed the food, and then invited his cousin to partake of it, begging him to refresh himself and then tell him his business before the people returned from the field to prepare a feast to his honor. Apoka bent his head a long time in silence, and then said "I am stupid, I am amazed at the variety of food then pointing to each basket before him in succession, he inquired the contents. He then resumed his silence, and fixing his eyes on the ground, remained in that position for some hours. He was aroused from his reverie by the arrival of the tribe, bringing the feast they had prepared, which they set down in little piles before him. He gave but one answer to all their pressing invitations to eat, "I am overcome, I am astonished, I cannot eat." "But how is it," inquired his cousin, quite puzzled at his strange conduct, "that you, who married Ngatimamoe women, should express such astonishment at the every day fare of that people-- surely you enjoy the same advantages as myself by your connection with them." In reply Apoka told him his suspicions respecting his wives, which had been confirmed by what he had seen during his visit. Tuteuretira advised him to refer the matter to the elders of the tribe at Wairau, who would be only too glad
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TRADITIONS OF THE MIDDLE ISLAND.
to take up his quarrel, that they might dispossess the Ngatimamoe of Waipapa.
Apoka, satisfied with the advice, rose and returned fasting to his home, where his wives brought him the usual meal, of which he partook and then retired to rest. To lull any suspicion that might arise respecting the object of his visit to Wairau, he set off for Waipapa early the next morning accompanied by a slave bearing his fishing tackle. The canoes were already launched when he arrived, and all the men were about starting on a fishing expedition. On seeing him, however, the chief gave immediate orders that the canoes should be drawn up, and that everyone should return to the pa out of respect to his son-in-law. But when Apoka told him that his only object in coming was to accompany them, and that he should be disappointed unless they went, the canoes were manned, and they all started for the fishing ground: only two fish were caught, and those by Apoka. The whole party were much annoyed at their want of success, and looked upon it as an ill omen. On landing, his friends begged Apoka to remain and partake of their hospitality, but he refused to stay, and returned with the fish, which he hung up as an offering to his demon in the tuahu. He then ordered his wives to prepare a quantity of fern root, for he intended to take a long journey. As soon as his arrangements were completed, he took one of the fish, and, having fastened it to a pole, bore it on his shoulder to Wairau. His tribe no sooner saw him than they interpreted the symbol to betoken a disturbed mind, and immediately guessed his errand. They gave him a hearty welcome, and crowded eagerly round to hear the story of his wrongs. As he detailed the various circumstances their indignation rose higher and higher, and when he proposed to lead them against the Ngatimamoe, young and old shouted with delight. It was agreed that the close relationship existing between himself and his wives shielded them from punishment, and that the insult they had offered must be wiped out by the blood of their tribe. Fearing to go near Tuteuretira lest the enemy should be warned, they took a very circuitous route, and
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came upon the doomed pa at dawn. Apoka, knowing it was the custom of the place to go early every day to fish, placed his men in ambush round the pa, directing Uhikore, a warrior famed for his bravery, to lie in wait under the principal chief's canoe. His arrangements were scarcely completed before Paua himself appeared; he was a very tall man, and so powerful that unaided he could launch a war canoe. He placed his shoulder against the bow of his canoe to push it as usual into the water, when Uhikore rose, and felled him to the ground with a club. The cry that Paua was killed struck terror into the hearts of the Ngatimamoe, and ere they could recover themselves the place was stormed and taken. A few only escaped; the rest were either eaten or reduced to slavery.
Apoka, whose hatred seemed implacable, resolved to destroy that portion of the Ngatimamoe over whom Tuteuretira ruled. He sent Uhikore clothed in the spoils of Paua to inform him of his design. As he approached, the garments he wore were recognised by Paua's relations, who bewailed his sad fate with loud lamentations. Deserted by Tuteuretira-who returned with Uhikore to the camp of his victorious countrymen--and dreading an attack, the Ngatimamoe abandoned their settlement, and fled some distance down the coast towards the Kaikoura, where they remained a long time undisturbed. After selecting a strong position on which they erected a fortified pa, and being joined by other portions of the tribe, they were emboldened to attack a party of the Ngaitahu when out fishing. They succeeded in capturing all the canoes but one, that of Kaue, which escaped with the loss of most of the crew. This led to a renewal of hostilities between the Ngaitahu and Ngatimamoe. A battle ensued, in which the latter were defeated, and retired within their fortifications. The Ngaitahu then laid siege to the place; for months and tried in vain to effect an entrance. A council of chiefs was held, at which one young man proposed to draw the enemy out by strategem. His plan was approved of, and he proceeded to carry it out the following morning. Putting on two feather mats, and armed with a mere, or club, he went
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down before dawn to the beach, and entering the surf, threw himself down, and allowed the waves to carry him backwards and forwards, occasionally raising his arm that it might appear like a fin. The sentinels soon took notice of the dark object in the water which they concluded must be either a seal or young whale. The cry of "He ika moana! he ika moana!" brought the whole pa to their doors. A general rush followed to secure the prize. The stockade was so close to the beach that the people did not hesitate to open the gate, the foremost man plunged into the surf, but ere he discovered his error, the supposed fish rose and struck him dead. An alarm was immediately given; the crowd fell back within the pa, and the scheme failed. Weakened and wearied by the war the two tribes laid down their arms and made peace.
At this stage of our history we take leave of our readers till next quarter, when we hope to resume the subject.
CHRISTCHURCH ORPHAN ASYLUM.
SINCE the issue of our last number, the Orphan Asylum, of which the prospectus was then published, has taken its place among the channels of public charity in this part of New Zealand; and we cannot but express our earnest hope, that it may be able to do its work, and to that end, may be liberally furnished with means contributed by all classes of the community. The institution has been opened in the temporary accommodation provided for the first six months of its existence. A matron has been appointed, who with due assistance and supervision, and with five children (half orphans) in charge, is working out the first necessary arrangements of the establishment.
Here we must observe a peculiarity in the present stage of the undertaking: viz. that its promoters have found themselves unable to answer satisfactorily the many questions which have been asked, as to the rules by which it is to be governed. The reason of this will be easily understood by those who are aware of the numerous suggestions offered from various quarters, as to the purposes which the asylum may be made to serve, as
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well as the regulations under which it is to be conducted. Many of these suggestions commended themselves as desirable to the Trustees. Others will probably be found impracticable. But the task of selection, combination, and arrangement, is by no means easy; and until that is done, it is scarcely possible to give an exact account of the routine of the establishment or of its standing rules. With every desire to give the fullest information, the trustees for the present must content themselves with referring enquirers to the prospectus already published. It can only be stated, generally, at present, that the care of orphans deprived of both parents, is the main feature in the plan. Next to these, cases of half orphanage will have a claim for some amount of assistance. But each case must be dealt with on its own merits; and the trustees have no other principle in view than that the most urgent cases of destitution should have the strongest claim to relief. Other good objects may be attained in connection with the institution: as, for instance, it may possibly be made the means of extending in some measure the blessings of education to families residing at a distance from the centres of population, or if young orphan children (as has been suggested) were sent from England, they might with advantage be received for a time within its walls. But in the mean time the management of the asylum must be to a certain extent experimental. No doubt the public will desire to know from time to time what progress is made; and it will be no small satisfaction to the Standing Commission to feel that their charitable work is becoming so consolidated as to enable them to satisfy all enquirers as to its rules and management. For the present, they are not without hope of benefiting by the patience and forbearance of the public, while they are hearing all the suggestions which may be made, and collecting all the information that is within reach, respecting the rules and management of similar institutions in other places. One important consideration they would earnestly press on all who are interested in the good work: viz. that it cannot be carried on at all without a liberal supply of funds. In the first necessary expenses, the liberal and well timed grant of the Provincial Government has been a most valuable help. There are also indications already given, that a liberal response will be raised from the country generally, to the call for voluntary subscriptions and donations. At present, however, it must be
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remembered the trustees are carrying on the work in faith, having but few data from which to estimate the probability of obtaining the very considerable income which will be needful for prosecuting it effectually. A short trial will probably settle this point; in the meantime, the trustees and managers must work on in hope and faith.
THE NORFOLK ISLANDERS AND THE MELANESIAN MISSION.
THE story of the Mutiny of the Bounty and of the descendants of the mutineers in Pitcairn's Island is a story which is no doubt familiar to most of our readers. It is also, we suppose, generally known that some years ago this interesting people, having outgrown their own little island in the East Pacific, were allowed to take possession of Norfolk Island in our own immediate neighbourhood. This beautiful spot had for some time been used as a prison for the worst class of convicts, and a number of buildings had been raised, and various public works had been carried out, which were left on the removal of the convict colony at the disposal of the Pitcairners. The following diary, kept by a gentleman who accompanied the Bishop of New Zealand to Norfolk Island in the year 1856 when the new colony was first established, gives an interesting account of the Island and of the state of things in those early days. It will be found also to point forward to the possibility that at some future time these islanders, so admirably suited on many accounts for the Missionary work, might lend their aid to the New Zealand Church in their Christian enterprise in Melanesia--a hope which we shall be able to shew seems not unlikely to be realized. We proceed now to give the diary of a visit to Norfolk Island in 1856: -
Wednesday, May 21, 1856. --Saw the last of New Zealand on our way to Norfolk Island, and after a very rough passage we sighted Norfolk Island on Tuesday the 27th. With some difficulty we succeeded in landing Bishop Selwyn and Mr. Patteson at the Cascades: there was a very heavy swell, and the landing place only a rock, which every advancing wave dashed over: so we had to watch our time, and as the wave receded, back the boat in. After repeating this manoeuvre several times we succeeded in landing. We then found that the Pitcairners had not arrived, but were expected daily by the few convicts who had been left to receive them. So we returned to the vessel, which was standing off and on, and stood away
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for Sydney, where we arrived after a very tempestuous voyage on Thursday, June 11th. Here we stayed till Tuesday, the 24th. Friday, July 5th, sighted Norfolk Island again. About 4 p.m. a whaleboat manned by Pitcairners came off to the schooner, and returned after an hour spent on board, with Mr. Patteson, leaving one man on board in his stead; they intended to bring Mr. Patteson off the next day, and take off the Bishop, Mrs. Selwyn, and myself.
Next morning, Saturday, we stood in for the settlement, and the boat came off with Mr. Patteson, and returned again with the Bishop, Mr. Selwyn, and myself. Mr. Patteson remained on board the schooner, which was to stand off and on till Tuesday, when they were to call for us again. It was a lovely day, and as the surf was not very great, we had no difficulty in landing at the Stone Pier. We were met there by the Rev. H. Nobbs, A. Quintall, sen., (the oldest man amongst them), old Adams (son of the original Adams,) and several others; all of whom welcomed us very heartily, and took us first of all to see an old gun, copper cauldron, anvil &c., belonging to the Bounty, which they had fetched up by diving at Pitcairn Island. From the pier we walked up to Mr. Nobb's house, which was some way up the main street of the settlement. We then proceeded under the direction of old A. Quintall and F. Young, the present magistrates, to visit several more houses. The houses in the settlement are for the most part alike, single storied, built of stone, with verandahs all round them, each containing four large rooms in the dwelling house, and a paved court behind leading into the back houses, such as kitchen, convict servant's sleeping rooms, &c. all built of stone, and in good repair: the rooms are well papered and painted; and most of the houses covered with creepers, honeysuckles, and roses, with large gardens attached to every house. The houses were drawn lots for by the Pitcairners; --this is the general way among them of settling matters when any dispute is likely to arise--and as there were a great many houses to spare, only the best are inhabited; leaving about twenty houses unused, besides large barracks and gaols. There is a good road running through the island which branches off to the various outlying farms and stations. There are as many as three principal roads that traverse the chief parts of the island; of these the main road for upwards of two miles runs through a perfect avenue of pines.
After we had visited several houses, we proceeded to the Government House, which had been put aside expressly for visitors. It is a large single storied stone house, with a suite of apartments high and large, and a verandah round three sides, and situated well, rather above the settlement in the midst of a few well grown pines. Here we left Mrs. Selwyn with two girls who had volunteered their services. The rest of our party then went down to inspect the barracks and church. These barracks are enormous stone buildings, surrounded by high walls, with four towers at each corner, loopholed for defence. The officers' quarters are within the walls. The barrack rooms are used as school rooms, and for public meetings and concerts. The gaols are dreadful looking places inside, cut up into
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single cells, with black holes detached from the main buildings. I must also mention the old Post Office building, Engineer's office, slaughterhouses, two churches very large and ugly, one Roman Catholic and one Protestant. There are 1200 sheep on the island, and 400 head of magnificent cattle, a good and complete dairy of 25 cows, 14 working bullocks, carts, ploughs, and tools of every kind, also a water and a wind-mill for flour. The fences are in tolerably good repair, all made of old trees felled and piled one upon the other, a very strong and enduring sort of fence. In fact, there is the whole apparatus necessary for a regular farming establishment, if they knew how to manage it. As to the uncultivated parts of the island, it is covered with the most luxuriant grass. I forgot to mention that they possess about 300 wild pigs, and 12 horses. Now after this general inventory of effects, I will tell you something of my own adventures. We spent the rest of the day in hunting pigs, and on our return drew lots for our game, which was soon distributed. I then returned to the Governor's house, and at 8 p.m., 30 men and 30 women assembled in one of the large unfurnished rooms, and sang very nicely for an hour and a half; all the praise is due to Mr. Carleton who taught them to sing in parts whilst he was on the island. Next day, Sunday, after helping the Pitcairners to milk, a process which was quite new to them, I went to Church: the Bishop preached, and alluded to their departure from Pitcairn, told them of his intention to hold a confirmation some months hence, and touched upon missionary work, hoping some day that they would join in it. The whole population, excepting a few women and children, was at church, the women were all dressed in white, with no bonnets, but handkerchiefs on their heads. The singing was good. There were seventy communicants. At afternoon service the same congregation: the children and young men were catechized, and shewed that they throughly understoood what they had been taught; some evinced a great aptitude for learning.
Monday. --Four old ladies, daughters of Adams, Young, and Quintal], came to give us the early history of Pitcairn. After this we took a walk round the island, and a most beautiful walk it was, through the most parklike scenery, and lovely vallies; we returned to a meeting held at the Governor's house, when the Bishop spoke strongly of his hope that some day they would engage in missionary work, and I really think that some of the young men of this people who have been so wonderfully preserved may be led to help the Bishop in his great work. After having proposed leaving Mrs. Selwyn on the island on account of her health, a proposition which was evidently hailed with delight, we ended the evening with singing.
Next day, at an early service, the Bishop preached a farewell sermon, and we walked across to the Cascades to embark, as the surf was too great for the boat to approach the pier; we were accompanied by some forty men and women, and after affectionate leave takings, sailed off for Aneitrum, all of us sorry to leave this delightful island and its inhabitants the Pitcairners.
The hope expressed in the foregoing diary seems as we have already said, not unlikely to be realized. Difficulties of various
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kinds appear for a time to have checked the growth of a missionary spirit among the people. We learn, however, from the accounts which have been received of the last visit of Bishop Patteson and his missionary party to Norfolk Island, that a considerable change had taken place. And though we would not attribute too much importance to the strong feelings excited by the passing visit of Bishop Patteson amongst them, yet we may hope that the seed has been sown on honest and good hearts and will bring forth its fruit in due season, and that the people so singularly trained in the Providence of God in the distant East, may prove an unspeakable blesssing to the dark islands of Melanesia. The following extracts which have been kindly placed in our hands will, we are sure, be read with much interest.
Nov. 20th, 1861. --"We had an exceedingly pleasant time of it at Norfolk Island. We got there just in time on the Saturday night for the boat to come off and take us ashore. The people were delighted to see us; they had begun almost to despair of our ever calling in upon them. That evening, at the Bishop's request, a great many of them assembled in one of the large rooms used formerly by the convicts, and we had singing for an hour or two. Most delightful it was; then the Bishop got up and thanked them in such a touching little speech, I am sure it went home to their hearts; speaking especially of the comfort of feeling ourselves again in the midst of Christian people, and hearing God's praises sung by the voices of all present, after living in the midst of heathens for so long; and then we parted with prayer. The Bishop and I slept at Mr. Nobb's house.
The Bishop found that a strong reaction had taken place in their minds about the mission. Before Church on Sunday morning Charles Christian and Mr. Nobbs both spoke to him about their sons respectively being most anxious to assist in missionary work. After a long and very pleasant talk with Charles Christian, the Bishop determined to take away Gilbert, his son, with him, this time: indeed the father made him over altogether to Bishop Patteson. Edwin Nobbs he determined not to bring this time. Then came service and Holy Communion--the whole adult population of the island staying. He made a distinct appeal to them to help in this mission work, especially endeavouring to impress upon them that the best way to use a talent committed to us, whether it were wealth, children, or our own life, was to devote it to God's service, and the reward to be felt even in this life. Calling upon them to do as Hannah had done, to lend their children to the Lord, and they would feel the blessing of it, as Hannah did when she saw her son, the one man who clave to the Lord, the one upright High Priest among the children of Israel infinitely more than she would have done if she had kept him back from God's service. After the service, several more came to speak about their sons' coming; one old woman saying with tears in her eyes: "Do take my child, I do so want to be like
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OUR SCHOOLS--HOW TO USE THEM.
Hannah--I do so want to give my child to the Lord." Altogether, I do not think we ever paid such a happy visit to Norfolk Island, and the Bishop quite felt it so.
We hope in future numbers to be able to give from time to time further accounts of these interesting people, and by the example of their simple minded devotedness, to stir up our own hearts to greater earnestness and zeal.
OUR SCHOOLS--HOW TO USE THEM
No. I. --An ADDRESS TO THE PARENTS OF CHILDREN ATTENDING DISTRICT SCHOOLS.
COMMON or public district schools, in connection with the Church, are now established in all the most populous, and in some of the more thinly populated districts within the diocese. But with the establishment of a school, and even with the appointment of an efficient master or mistress, all is not done. It is yet quite possible that much of the benefit finally to be looked for from the establishment of a good school in a neighbourhood may fail to be realized, from the indifference, neglect, or mistakes of parents themselves. Those who have had experience in the matter can painfully testify how often educational advantages are, comparatively speaking, wasted, because many parents do not understand, or practically remember, their own duties and responsibilities in relation thereto. We are willing to believe that where this is the case, it as often proceeds from mere want of consideration, as from any other cause; and that the word of counsel only needs to be spoken, to be thankfully accepted, and sedulously acted upon. To utter that word of counsel shall be, therefore, our endeavour in the present and succeeding article.
"We cannot think why our boy does not get on faster in his learning," is a remark not unfrequently heard by those who are confidingly entrusted by their neighbours with the knowledge of family difficulties and anxieties.
The parish Clergyman being in many instances, as he should be, the family friend, is familiar with this and similar observations.
It is a remark usually fraught with pain to his mind; sometimes because he is conscious of the inefficiency of the teacher, but in
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OUR SCHOOLS--HOW TO USE THEM.
other cases because he shrewdly suspects that the real cause lies in the injudiciousness of those who have made the observation.
One fruitful cause of the state of things thus lamented, is the great lack of punctuality which sometimes characterizes a pupil's attendance at school. It must be a self-evident truth, that the frequent loss of half an hour or an hour of school time, involves the loss of much valuable instruction, and much that forms the key and introduction to subsequent lessons. Individual teaching is always a difficulty where there are many to be instructed; the teaching is teaching for the class, and proceeds in regular order, step by step, fact by fact, process by process, on the necessary supposition that the whole class is present. The unpunctual scholar must therefore be frequently at a loss to understand the latter part of a lesson, simply because he has not been present at the former. He has missed some of the previous steps, and until the teacher can spare time to repeat these instructions for his especial benefit, (a course not always in a school easy or practicable,) he will probably be under a serious disadvantage with regard to subsequent instructions. His case will be very much that of a man who despises the rudiments of a language, the elements of a science, or the first pages of a book, who begins everything in the middle, instead of from the beginning, and who as a necessary consequence, with a smattering of many things, understands nothing thoroughly.
And this loss, which befalls the unpunctual, must in a still greater degree befall the irregular scholar. We admit that where regularity is impossible, an irregular attendance at school is better than none at all; and are aware that many unavoidable circumstances combine to make the "average attendance" at our schools very much lower than the "number on the books." But there is still much irregularity that might and could be avoided, were parents aware of the magnitude of the evil; especially when, as is sometimes the case, the absences of their children have almost to be reckoned by weeks rather than by days. What the loss of the first half hour of a lesson is to that lesson, the loss of days and weeks now and then is to a quarter's course of lessons. Essential steps and links are missed, and that which follows is more or less mysterious and difficult in consequence. Not only so: but the boy finds himself after such an absence so far behind his class mates, that he is deprived
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OUR SCHOOLS--HOW TO USE THEM.
of one powerful stimulus to attention and diligence: viz., emulation, the desire to shine in his class. While the hare was asleep even the tortoise passed it by. Boys on whom he before looked down, now look down on him; he becomes, in all probability, disheartened and listless, hopeless of gaining the ground he has lost, and scarcely caring, perhaps, whether he loses more, or not.
We are afraid that the value of close, patient, unbroken study, is by many parents set too low, and that the idea largely prevails, that (say) three weeks schooling now, and three weeks then, ought to produce much the same actual progress as six consecutive weeks of instruction. No greater mistake could be made, at least in relation to the work of a school, where the machinery may not stop, but moves steadily onward, let who will lag behind. A master's greatest perplexity lies in the irregular ones of his class, whom he vainly tries to drag through past lessons to the point others have attained, all the while feeling in his conscience that the time ought to be rather devoted to the further instruction of regular attendants. We repeat, he vainly tries to do this. For mathematical certainties do not apply to mental progress: in this case three and three do not make six. Time must necessarily be lost in going afresh over old ground; in recalling knowledge that had faded from the memory; in raising the mind once more to its full activity. When a vessel is once fairly stopped in its course, it is not possible all at once to bring her again to her full speed. To 'get way upon her' is a work of time. The case is similar, where a boy's course of study has been broken in upon by absence from school. The two separate sections of the school quarter do not by any means represent the value of the same period of consecutive instruction, and sustained application to study.
For both unpunctuality and irregularity the parents are oftentimes chiefly responsible, and it rests mainly with them to prevent, or as far as possible to moderate, evils so disheartening and perplexing to the teacher, and so injurious to the scholar. The labours of the field, or domestic claims on their services, must be permitted to interfere as little as possible with the children's attendance at school, if progress in their studies is really desired.
We shall speak, in a second article, of some other obstacles of this nature, which it may be in the power of parents to remove.
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APPOINTMENTS. --DIOCESE OF CHRISTCHURCH.
The Reverend W. Tanner, to the Cure of Invercargill and Riverton.
The Reverend S. Dutton Green, to the Cure of the pastoral district of Oamaru.
The Reverend H. B. Cocks, to the Cure of Christchurch.
The Reverend C. Williams, to the Cure of the pastoral district of the Molyneux and Popotunoa.
£65 from Henry Sewell, Esq., being the tithe of£650, the proceeds of land sold, for the purchase of land in the province of Canterbury, as an endowment for the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Ferry Road.
For the General Clergy Maintenance Fund--from a. b. c.,£10 10s.
Many of our readers may not be aware that steps have been taken which, if vigorously followed up, will result in the commencement of the Cathedral.
The sum of£746 12s. 5d. has been already raised in England for this object, upwards of£50 more has been promised there but not collected; a further sum of£1000 has been set apart from the Provincial Grant for the erection of churches for a cathedral, and we believe that when it is once announced that subscriptions are required from the inhabitants of the province a sum will be raised amongst us which will justify the commencement of the building.
In the meantime plans are being prepared by Mr. G. Scott, and we give the following extract from a late letter of the Bishop's Commissary in England to his Lordship, which will point out the progress already made. --"January 18th, 1862. I have been once or twice lately to Mr. Scott's office to see about your plans; they are getting on well, but not yet ready to be sent off. I was there yesterday and begged for a tracing of the ground 4 plan to send to you by way of instalment. I think that the design is very beautiful and original. The columns in the nave are to be single trees running up to the plate of the clerestory. It will be worth a voyage to New Zealand to see it should it ever be executed. You must expect to have to wait a little, as you are employing the man whom Mr. Gladstone the other day affirmed to be "the best ecclesiastical architect in Europe, and therefore in the world."
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY.
The following satisfactory letter has been just received by the Diocesan Secretary from the Secretary of the Christian Knowledge Society:--
"Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge,
67 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, W. C.
January 18th, 1862.
"REVEREND AND DEAR SIR, --In my letter of the 26th Dec., 1861, I acknowledged the receipt of your bill for£69 7s. 10d. covering the balance due to the society for books supplied to the Canterbury Diocesan Committee.
I have now the pleasure of informing you that, your letter having had the
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full and favorable consideration of the Standing Committee, the Board, on their recommendation, with the view of facilitating the establishment of your proposed depots on a safe basis, made a grant of£50, at the general meeting on the 7th instant, towards forwarding to your Committee an immediate supply of books, on the understanding that payment for future supplies be made in advance, so as to secure the full discount now allowed according to the regulations of the Finance Committee; this allowance being forty per cent, on cost prices to foreign and colonial committees, whose orders for books are accompanied by bills for the payment of them. The immediate effect of this grant will be that the£50 will be handed over to the Depository here as ready money remitted by you to cover a portion of your present orders, with the further advantage to you of forty per cent discount upon that portion: the rest will be charged to you at members' prices. The books are now packing and will be sent off in two or three days to their separate destinations according to your instructions; and the clerk, whose business it is to attend to such orders, begs me to say that, in supplying books where he was obliged to use his own discretion he has selected those which were found to be most popular and attractive. He tells me you had marked some which, being quite out of demand, have been allowed to go out of print. It is hoped that, after receiving this supply and starting your depots, you will soon be able to clear off this debt and start fair on the ready money plan described above, upon which we are now transacting business with the Melbourne and some other colonial committees, and which, when once fairly established is so advantageous to them.
Believe me to be, Reverend and Dear Sir, faithfully yours,
J. D. GLENNIE, Secretary.
Reverend G. Cotterill."
The Standing Commission are taking measures for the establishment of a depot in a central part of Christchurch where the publications of the society may be placed for sale, and it is hoped that before the arrival of the order alluded to in Mr. Glennie's letter satisfactory arrangements will be made. We have also to state that the Bishop has received an intimation that with the supply of books alluded to above there were despatched ten sets of church service books granted by the Board on his lordship's application at the general meeting of the Society on the 7th of January. Six sets of service books have also been despatched to Otago.
THE HOME MAORI MISSION.
By the assistance of the General Government Grant of£200, and of the Provincial Grant of£250, the Standing Commission are enabled to commence building operations in connection with the Maori Industrial School at Kaiapoi, and we trust that before long the timber will be on the ground and the proposed buildings in course of erection.
The Native Teacher Ruini, and his wife, have arrived from Auckland. The whole of his expenses to Canterbury were paid at Auckland, and the mission was thus saved£40. Thanks are due to Archdeacon Maunsell for his assistance: he kindly collected£20, and obtained£20 from the Government.
Ruini has been well received by the people here. It is desirable that it should be known that he has had several presents of food from the Natives. One man, Hapurona, has also given him thirty trees valued at£20; others, have promised to give trees. Influenced by Hapurona's example, Peta Mutu has offered him the use of two working bullocks when he may require the use of them, and it is hoped soon to commence farming operations on the mission land.
We may add to the statement made in our last number with respect to the need of increased assistance to the Maori Mission, that the applications made to several societies in England for aid have failed, and consequently that the necessity for large contributions from members of the church in the diocese is most pressing.