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Colon, June 22, 1866.
My dear Sir,
You will see by this that we have so far had a prosperous voyage, we arrived here yesterday afternoon, and this afternoon will proceed by the two o'clock train for Panama to go on hoard the New Zealand steamer which is to start the day after tomorrow.
The letters of instructions, which I was to have received at Southampton did not come to hand. I may therefore look for them when I get to New Zealand, I suppose.
Trusting in the merciful providence of God, and looking forward with hope and confidence to my future sphere of labour and earnestly desiring to do my duty to my God and to the Society I commit myself to his keeping who never fails to help and govern all things, and with Christian regards and affection to yourself, Mr. Venn,
I am, My dear Sir,
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St. Mary's Parsonage, Auckland,
September 11, 1866.
My dear Mr. Venn,
Your letter of July 2 arrived last week and by the first opportunity I answer it. I fully felt the force of your opinion respecting my fixed place of work in this country, a feeling more intensified by further conversation on the matter with such of the missionaries as I have seen. Bp. Williams could give me no certain directions as to my future sphere of work when I wrote to him on the subject, and merely recommended me "to make use of my opportunity to enjoy the present leisure". Mr. Burrows can give me no more encouragement, and is utterly at a loss to know what I shall do. This is anything but satisfactory for as long as I might wish to have leisure with my family that leisure becomes irksome when there is no regular occupation in view. I must however rest satisfied with the opinion which the bishop and my father have in common, that they shall see a better state of things before long; and submit to the ordering of Divine Providence. I could have wished to have had definite instructions, but this seems impossible in the present unsettled, indefinite state of confusion into wh. this unhappy country has been plunged by the incompetency of its rulers. I am anxious with my wife "to plunge into direct work", for this present state of uncertainty is unsettling to the mind.
Respecting the matters on which you seek information I will state my views candidly and as truthfully as I can. The route wh. we took is in every way well suited for passenger trafic. The different companies concerned make it an important object to attend to the comfort and
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convenience of their first class passengers, but neglect too much their second class. as however I was among the former I have no cause of complaint. The continual travelling by steam ships is rather trying to persons of delicate constitution who are subject to sea sickness. That part of the voyage from Southampton to St. Thomas occupying 13 days was most agreeable owing to the superior size of the Atrato and some pleasant companions who knew mutual acquaintances; from St. Thomas to Colon is perhaps the most unpleasant part owing to the sweltering heat wh. however was somewhat modified by the ship's special arrangements; across the isthmus the evil reports respecting fever and other bugbears, proved to be ill founded as mere passengers may travel there with ordinary impunity. The three or four days delay incident upon removal from one steamer to another may be profitably spent in seeing various objects fresh with interest to Europeans. The charges at the hotels are not so exorbitant as is generally stated to be the case being 12/- per diem. Manama is a preferable stopping place to Colon as it is dry and as healthy as any tropical city. There are chaplains at both places. The conveniences of transit are good; the railway trucks being able to go alonside the vessels or tenders on each side of isthmus, so that there is no more difficulty than in a journey to the continent from England. On the Pacific side the heat is much less than on the Atlantic, and the character given the oceans is not contradicted till within a fortnights steam of Wellington when we encountered three severe gales. In the opinion of most of the officers of the company, and also of
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passengers the speed of the voyage would be considerably increased by making one of the northern ports of N. Z. the port of call as thus much rough weather might be escaped. For several reasons the fore cabin 1st class is preferable to the stern saloon, being more quiet, cool and free from smell. 3 cwt. luggage is allowed each person. We arrived in Wellington at 2 A.M. on the 24th July being two days behind time. This was owing to the rough weather we experienced. Finding that there was no opportunity to Auckland for a week I determined to take my wife into the Wairarapa valley where my elder brother is settled, but having learnt from the manager of the steam company that my ticket would allow of still a weeks longer stay I took advantage of it to go on further into the country and see my other brothers I had thus a fortnight in that part of the country. On the two Sundays that I was there I had services both with the Settlers and the natives, the first Sunday in the afternoon I rode to the native settlement near Greytown and proposed to have service with them, I was met with silence, then the chief after a little time said he would have some talk with me; as the conversation that ensued may interest you, and give you some idea of the present feeling of a large part of the Maori people I will detail as much of it as I remember.
The chief man replied to my proposal - that they had discontinued their former mode of worship viz the prayer book. I asked for their reasons for doing so. He then entered into a history of the first introduction of Christianity tracing it from the conversion of the Ngapuhi
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and their own ready acceptance of it, but accusing the missionaries of double dealing in directing them to look to heavenly things while all the time they grasped at worldly things for after a time they found these men followed by others of their race who were gradually taking their land from them, that the missionaries taught them to pray for the Queen while they had never acknowledged her not being represented in the treaty of Waitangi; that when they accepted the principles of the king movement and also this new religion having sprung out of it they as belonging to the king party also adopted the religion which is thus to become national, just as other nations have their religions, e. g. the English, the Scotch and Roman Catholic countries, also there are Christian bodies as Wesleyans all of whom worship one God whom also they acknowledge and address as "Hauhau". The origin of the term Hauhau they traced to the translation of "I am what I am" Exo. l6, i.e. "Ko ahau nei ano ahau nei". I pointed out to them the absurdity of this derivation as the word ahau (the pronoun I) had nothing to do with Hauhau. Jehovah, they affirmed, had appeared to their prophet Te Ua and reveald to him their present system which is only a further developement of revelation. They observe the Sabbath and do no work (this is confined to these people in Wairarapa) and have constant worship on that day. The conduct of the Europeans much scandalised them, they condemned the murder of Mr. Volkner and the conduct of the East coast tribes to Bp. Williams as foreign from the true principles of their systems and as answerable for by those alone whose evil hearts prompted them to such deeds. That they desired
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peace with all men. They accept the Old Test. but refuse to read the New as it contains matter which can have no interest for them instancing the travels of St. Paul of which they spoke contemptuously. I then questioned them further about their religious system, placing myself before them as a stranger who had just arrived from England having only a dim idea of their worship and ceremonies. They then said they were just about to go through their service which I might witness if I chose; this I consented to do, as being the best means of seeing personally into their practices. One of them then stood up and read the 136th Psalm, and then they commenced a chant the words of wh. were "father, good and merciful, (Pal Marire} Son good and merciful, holy Spirit good and merciful, bless us in Canaan". Each sentence of this was repeated over and over again in a drony voice and then succeed some unintelligible song wh. they themselves could not explain. They were squatted on the floor of the hut while this was going on, their right hand held up all the time; the principal officiator crossed himself every time he repeated the names of the Divinity. I asked them why they held up their right hand, the reason they gave was that Moses in the Mount did so therefore it was the proper attitude. I then asked if none of them would join me in the Prayer book service, when four came forward who had not joined them in their worship, the rest remaining quiet and orderly I addressed them on Ex. 3. 6 and pointed out that the God whom they still professed was a holy God requiring holiness in his people. They listened in apparent indifference some without even this outward mark of courtesy wrapped themselves up in
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their blankets, and appeared to go to sleep. They were perfectly civil all the time that I was conversing with them and expressed satisfaction at my having visited them. If God grant that any effect was produced in any one of them that shall be my best reward.
At the time that I was in the valley the land claim court was sitting, and such of them as wished for crown grants came forward to prefer their claims. Next Sunday I spent with Mr. Ronaldson who has moved from his old station to a place 15 miles further in the country, Masterton. whence he can itinerate more readily among the natives. I took his duties for him preaching in the morning to a few natives who joined with usual heartiness in the service. In the afternoon we visited another of their villages where we found between 20 and 30 who also still professed Christianity and had service there also. The old chief remarked to me when I said I was glad he hadn't joined the fanatics, that they pressed him to join them, but he spat the idea from him. Thus there are still some in that district who have not renounced their profession of our pure and holy faith; but I am not in a position to say much as to their earnestness of purpose. Mr. Ronaldson did not appear very hopeful about them.
On our return to Wellington I called on the Bishop and he seemed to think that a tendency towards improvement was going on in the state of affairs. We arrived here the 17th ultimo and have been here since and as yet there seem no prospect of our soon moving. I have seen several of the missionaries some of whom are despairing, others merely hanging on to hope. They have but very little indeed to
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give them a cheerful prospect for the future. The natives seem to be demoralised by war and drunken habits.
On Sundays I have had services with a small party at Mangere 7 miles distant where once was a flourishing settlement the stone church of which is still standing. The first time I found them playing at draughts and evidently keeping the day only by refraining from work. Twelve of them came to the church, but behaved in anything but a seemly manner; the women gradually slinking away. Next Sunday only a few men attended; the most that I can say for them is that they were attentive to the sermon. The third time one of the native deacons was there before me and we together conducted the service, this was the most cheering part of it only 3 men and 2 children were present. A spirit of utter carelessness and indifference has spread over them, which I am sorry to say is only increased by the example of some settlers, who make little of travelling on the Sunday and seem devoted to spirituous liquors.
The colony is in parts prosperous through the gold fields; in other parts it is much depressed by the burdens of the debt they have incurred and the uncertainty of political affairs. There is much distress in Auckland for wh. I fear emigration agents at home are answerable. People find it hard to get employment and others are beggared before able to clear their land. Beggars now visit private house and crave bread. Many settlers are far removed from the means of grace and become utterly indifferent. In the town the congregations are large and flourishing.
With my best regards to Col. Dawes and the Committee
I remain, Yours very faithfully,
Please send copies of this to Messrs. Green, Harrison, Whiting.
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Auckland, New Zealand,
Jany. 9. 1867.
My dear Sirs,
The commencement of this year reminds us that I ought to lay some kind of report before you of Missionary work in this island as far as I have been able to observe.
You will no doubt have heard from Mr. Grace of his visit to the Thames and of the views he entertains of those fanatics the Hauhaus. I enclose also an account that appeared in this morning's Southern Cross of the last hours of the King Maker Thompson.
These reports all fall in with mine own views on the present state of the Maori mind, and I find that others of my brethren the Missionaries have come to the same conclusion. There is little doubt but that the tide has turned while the fact of a great leading rebel retaining his faith and dying a Christian and this not on the testimony of a missionary but of a merchant who once wrote against missionary work. This fact I say may lead us to conclude that many of the inferior men have also in secret (as Thompson did lately to Mr. Ashwell) recognised Christ as their only Saviour. The aspect that the Maori now presents is now very different from what it was a few years ago. Then it homogeneous; now it is like our own heterogeneous, and each man will form his opinion of it according to the point of view from which he regards it.
We say to our watchmen "What of the night. They reply darkness cometh". This none can deny. Gambling has fearfully increased among men and women, and so has
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drunkenness and its accompanying sins. But it is as the prophet said "Darkness cometh and also the light, the chaff is flying away and the wheat is becoming more distinct. Before this late time of trial both elements darkness and light were blended into an universal twilight, now they are separating, and as our knowledge of human nature would suggest, the darkness prevails, and seems to cover the people. Hence the superficial observer says "All is darkness" but I am glad to find that many of my brethren do not take this view, neither would my observation (limited as it now is) point to the same direction. About five months ago I paid a visit to the other side of the Thames (Coromandel Harbour) where the Land Courts had brought together a number of natives. As might be expected we saw much drunkenness and heard brawls but at the same time I found that there were hidden worshippers, and a party of from twenty to thirty met every day while I was there to join me in worship. While thus engaged one evening I was surprised to hear a bell at a little distances off and after service proceeded to see what it meant. It was rung by a party who had just landed and who were not aware that I was on the ground. Coming suddenly to the door I found about twelve of them reverently and devoutly on their knees engaged in their evening devotions. Waiting till they had concluded I stood then forward to express my gratitude and joy at such an unexpected scene. This last Christmas season I spent at my old station and the surrounding district. I found everything as I had left it, the congregation as usual, and the attendants at the L. Supper
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very hearty the same as formerly.
The head chief of Kohanga Waata Kukutai, a well known name is I fear at the point of death. He has lately lost his wife, and yielded more than a Christian ought to his feelings. I had heard that a priestess was brought to him, and was therefore anxious to see him and hear his views. Though much in his house and taking most of my meals there, I could not discover the smallest evidence of anything unworthy of an earnest Christian. He received my visits with pleasure, listened to my expositions with a large amount of attention, and solemnly professed his faith in Christ alone as his saviour. His loss will be a great trial to his people. There is a native deacon Joshua there whom you partially maintain, an old pupil of mine. He seems active, and holds a good place in the regard of the people. I think that it would be a good plan if he and all other deacons to whose support you contribute were directed to send a kind of report of their proceedings either half yearly or annually.
Accompanying are a few remarks on the Hawaiian and Maori which I drew up on my trip. With my very kind and affectionate remembrances and expressions of continued interest in your labors,
I am, My dear brethren in the work of our Lord,
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Paihia, Bay of Islands,
Feb. 8, 1867.
My dear Mr. Venn,
You have encouraged me to write to you, when so disposed, and therefore gladly take up my pen to give vent to a few thoughts.
For the last four months I have been engaged here as a schoolmaster to Bishops Williams's school that he was compelled to bring up from Turanga. When I found that no definite work was assigned me I wrote to the Bishop asking him to give ms something to do, and he invited me to assist him in this manner. I do not know whether the Committee would sanction my being thus employed. It seems to me that I should be much better fulfilling my mission acting directly as an itinerant, were there any distinct probability that the men with whom I have been engaged had any idea of taking Holy Orders and working amongst their countrymen, there would be great satisfaction in being thus engaged, but at present there seems little desire on their part and as far as I can see little fitness. Mr. Burrows I believe had given you some idea of the sort of establishment here carried on. It embraces "old men and maidens, young men and children". Whether it is necessary or expedient to employ a clergyman in the capacity of an ordinary schoolmaster while there is such a want of clergy in the country is surely matter of doubt. The work here is simply that wh. any layman could conduct. The instruction is chiefly secular, and of the most elementary character. The Bishop is going to make a change and break up the whole establishment and disperse the people to their homes at the end of
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this month. His wish is to reform a school at Te Aute in the Napier district, Rev. S. Williams's station. He has expressed a desire that I should take charge of the school and have the assistance of a school-master, and I have given in my consent, conditional to the approval of the local committee, whom he seems to think have little to do with me as I was sent out to him. It would be a matter of great satisfaction to me to know exactly my position in relation to the Bishop and to the Committee. Under whose direction am I to consider myself?
I have visited the northern parts of the island and cannot say that matters among the native population have assumed a very favorable aspect in any point of view. The war in the south though little affecting these people has nevertheless had influence for evil. There is an immense amount of drunkenness, and but little regard for religion. Few people now can speak well of the Maories. Some of the older people still seem to hold to that which is good, but the vices of the European have been largely engrafted on to their own. I regret to say that one spot whence this curse of drink comes is most undoubtedly one from which you and the Committee would be most grieved that it should come. The C. M. S. store at the Kerikeri has been leased to a trader and there is too good reason to believe, and no one pretends to deny, that the tenant sells and makes the greater part of his living by selling spirits. It has become a byword in these parts and the "Ch. Miss. Grog shop" is the name applied to the place by persons who have no ill will against the society. Surely something ought to be done to put a stop to this scandal. There is
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provision made in some leases against spirit selling but there is none in this case. I have told those who have spoken about it that if the Home Committee knew of this wretched scandal, they would peremptorily put a stop to it; but have been met with the reply that the matter had already been placed before them, and no action seems to have been taken. If such things are winked at it is vain to carry on our work. It is like putting water on the fire with one hand while the other supplies it with oil. I have received none of the C.M.S. publications since I arrived in this country. Will you be so kind as to send a message to Mr. Ellis respecting them? I am persuaded that it is as necessary to furnish missionaries abroad with the general news of the work done among the heathen as it is at home to furnish the Society's friends. Will you kindly give my most Christian regards to Col. Dawes and Mr. Whiting and the Committee generally.
Yours very faithfully,
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Auckland, New Zealand,
March 11, 1867.
My dear Sir,
The receipt of your circular of Nov. 20/66 has stirred up again my thoughts on the difficult question of the reorganization of this mission. As you will no doubt be anxious to hear the opinions of men who have no personal interest to serve in the question, and as I am not now in your ranks, and am moreover on the most friendly terms with all my fellow laborers, I will freely state my opinions on men and things just as I would do if sitting at your Comee table.
I approve of your distinction between the management of the Mission and the management of the land. I am glad also to see that you see the desirableness of a central body to secure and improve and apply the profits of the land. You do not seem to be aware of the expense of locomotion in this country otherwise you would never have put Burrows from the north Bp. Williams from Napier and myself and two laymen in Auckland on the Board. A Board shd. consist of men who can easily meet.
I believe that there is now some difficulty in the matter of this said Board. I asked Mr. Burrows when we should consult about the members to be recommended to you and he told me that he did not approve of some things in this Circular, that he would join in no act of recommendation, that it was not improbable but that he would resign if this matter of the Board were pushed, and that he was preparing a letter to you on the subject.
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If he takes this course I forsee that it will involve the whole question in considerable difficulties. Besides himself there is not a man in the land that is in the least particular acquainted with the society's lands, receipts or expenditure. The Secretary has always declined to give any information on the question, and has pleaded your authority for so doing. If he were to be suddenly removed now the results to your properties might be very injurious.
To get men to act upon said contemplated Board will be difficult. especially I fear if Mr. B. continues as Secretary. Sir W. Martin tells me that remarks have been made to him expressive of astonishment at the way in which C. M. S. affairs have been managed here, and that a feeling unfavorable to C. M. S. has spread through the community. The remark was, that it was surprising that a body like C. M. S. that lives by public opinion sd. look up all matters connected with its properties in such deep secresy. I agree with him. I believe that there is not a man of business in your Comee. that would approve of moneys and properties being handed over at such a distance to an irresponsible agent the disbursement being left solely and entirely to the dictates of his conscience. On another point connected with this I believe that I have already written. Mr. B. refuses to obey any authority in the island, pleading again an exemption from you and in our conference would only undertake the oversight (paper torn) "as far as his other duties would admit" which was tantamount to nothing at all. This damages the morale of the other
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missionaries who have the exhibition before them of an agent that does what he pleases and goes where he pleases, and spends what he pleases, without any check whatever and even without being required to give any information as to his proceedings.
With such an agent it is very improbable that you will get independent laymen here to act Sir W. on other grounds declines sitting on the Board.
Still I feel that the spell must be broken sooner or later and Mr. Bs. remarks to me the evening before last is the cause of my now writing. If your properties here had belonged to a private individual, the course of procedure would have been simple. He would have put them into the hands of a trust worthy agent. Mrs. Colenso did so with some land secured to her by her father, and she now says, they yielded but little while on her own hands, but that during her absence her agent has made them very productive. She left them in his hands having secured from me a promise to interfere if required.
I much doubt whether you can tell how much your lay agency here costs you. I am satisfied that it in many ways costs more than you think of independently of the dissatisfaction it gives to your Missionaries, and the whisperings amongst the people and the damage done by a clergyman a servant of the society becoming a land agent. I say then Get a trustworthy land agent and let his account be checked by a local Board. This is all that a Board can do; inspect accounts and authorize where the sanction of authority is required.
If you want an agent you have in a son of the late
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Archdeacon Kissling, a man of high integrity, educated as an attorney, of considerable intelligence, and (as he has acted legally for Mr. Burrows} the best acquainted, next to Mr. B. of any in New Zealand with your affairs. I mean Mr. Theophilus Kissling now deputy Registrar in the Supreme Court. A board to supervise him could be easily formed. Rev. C. Baker never can go into the Missionary fields but he is a practical man and is well acquainted with most of the places where your properties are. You could not get a better man in Auckland. I will do all I can for the present to help so that you will have three men at head quarters, and can place as many from a distance as you please upon it provided you do not make their presence necessary, and thus hamper operations.
The charges for land agency here are
Commission on collection -- 5%
- leasing e. g. 85.00 per annum, -- 5. 5. 0.
- letting paddock 15/0/0 per annum. -- 1. 1. 0
What we all do here you may do. No clergyman would think of acting for himself much less for others excepting I should add the bishop who sets us I am sorry to say a very bad example, perpetually dabbling in leasing repairs, etc. while he utterly neglects the preparing and examining young man for orders. Thus you and the Bishop seem to coincide in the principle and precedent of secularizing clergymen.
Since writing the above Mr. B. has written to me and sent me an extract of his letter to you. It is not so strong as his conversation led me to expect. A Secretary
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should bear to the board the same relation that a land agent does to his client, but the words "receive his report and instruct generally" while they express perhaps all that a Board would do might be construed so as tie up their hands if they saw it desirable to interfere in some particular case, and the probability is that you will get but few to occupy such a position.
Me speaks of the "experience of the past". That simply is, That he had it all absolutely and entirely his own way, our comee. and conferences not daring in the smallest way to interfere, and being only too thankful if he was pleased to vouchsafe any information.
we are in hopes of a Revision meeting in May to revise the Maori N. T. You will no doubt remember that I have been urging this for years, and now I find that the Bible Society are waiting for the N. T. the old having been this some time completed. This is not my fault. I have written so strongly urging action that I have received angry replies. I may say, while on this, that you must not look for much action now from Bishop williams, he is now past 66 and his energy is clearly waning. He is our chief obstruction in the matter of revision. Archdeacon W. his son has, I suppose, a good deal to do, but I feel that my son George might have been employed in relieving him while e came up to revision. Sir W. Martin's life cannot last long, and this work is kept hanging on one or threads that may at any moment break. A word from you would do good.
I am, My dear sirs, Yours truly in our common hope,
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(To be posted before or on 16th December, 1867).
My dear Sir,
In presenting my first annual report allow me to make some remarks upon your letter. "As I have not yet had the privilege of thus writing to you before I can scarcely be supposed to be able to transmit it in a more compact form or with greater precision". I have missed one opportunity of writing to you as I wished to direct my letter from my new station; and also because of the bustle and confusion incident upon removal hither. The enclosed form I have filled in but imperfectly owing to the meagre amount of information that I possessed or was able to obtain respecting my large district. It would be a matter of satisfaction to me if you kindly define the secular duties which "I am urged to devolve upon the reliable members of the Mission church". This seems to me to be an answer to some queries that I put to Mr. Venn at the beginning of the year 1867 respecting the propriety of my being required to teach secular subjects in Bp. Williams school at Paihia; to which queries I received no reply. How am I to act in future in such matters? if for instance through lack of funds I am unable to procure a lay teacher for any school I may desire to form. Am I then to abandon the project altogether or teach myself?
Respecting myself I have to state that for the first three months of the year I was engaged at Paihia in school duties; taking on Sundays the English and Native
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services at Paihia and Russel. Then when Bp. Williams informed me of his intention to break up the school I by his advice applied to Mr. Burrows as secretary of the conference to endeavour to procure for me some more suitable and permanent employment. Accordingly when the conference met my case was discussed and by Bishop Williams's advice I was transferred to this diocese and the following resolution was passed - "That I should take of the Thames District including the oversight of all the villages (native) of which Auckland is the centre". For the purpose of visiting these places there is no better centre than Auckland itself as many of the places are accessible by sea, and vessels continually leave this Port for all of them. The desirability of allowing me a boat to travel in was likewise discussed, but this was negatived as it would entail greater expense; instead of this my travelling expenses were to be paid by occasional vessels. While the Conference was sitting I was on the Waikato doing duty for my father. On my return I was informed of the above resolution by my father and at once took a house on the North Shore, Auckland, and applied to Bishop Selwyn for instructions respecting a cycle of visitation and received from him the following plan --
"The places where native villages are to be found are these."--
1. Whangarei, visited sometimes by Rev. Matiu Taupaki.
2. Mahurangi including Omaha - a quarterly visit to these places.
3. Coromandel Harbour, including Mercury Bay and villages scattered round. I suggest a half yearly visit.
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4. Kauwaeranga (Mr. Lanfear's) with villages on the Waihou and Piako - a half yearly visit.
5. Taupo and Waiheke with villages on the w. Bank of Frith of Thames - a quarterly visit.
6. Orakei - a quarterly visit.
7. Waitakerei to the heads of Kaipara, where are some small villages. By reference to the Map you will see that this district embraces a fourth of this diocese being 150 miles long by 80 broad, containing a scattered and scanty population. As yet I have not carried out all the details of the Bp's plan owing partly to the severity of winter which had begun before I was prepared to set to work. Many of the above places I have however visited and with these results.
1. Mahurangi, Visited three times and found an attentive congregation kept together by a most worthy young chief a son of Pomare of Ngapuhi one of the most advanced and civilised natives I know, who has a board house neatly furnished and clean, well fenced paddocks and a herd of cattle. It is always a pleasure for me to go there. At my last visit a few weeks ago I opened a nice little board chapel built mainly at his own expense to which is attached an acre of land. It was altogether a pleasant and encouraging fact in these times of indifference and lukewarmness. Pomare's village presents an agreeable contrast with those in the neighbourhood. I baptised 5 adults here.
2. Omaha I visited once and found but few people, the greater part having gone to one of the islands. Those I found were glad to see me.
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3. Coromandel. Two visits, the people scattered and very indifferent.
4. Kauwaeranga is one of the most promising parts of my district up to September last it was in Mr. Grace's charge, the congregations are good, and the teachers earnest. On my first two visits I urged upon them the necessity of founding a school and put the church in order. They are anxious for a school, and to show their readiness subscribed £2. 4s which they handed to me last Sunday for seating the church. Mr. Lanfear will be glad to hear that his old people are stedfast and reverence his memory with affection. Many enquiries are made respecting him. Mr. Burrows and my father thought it my duty to move here, as there is a large European population, some 8000 now here gold mining and the natives require supervision and guidance. I have now permanently moved here that is if the Committee sanction it, which I earnestly hope for. Please let me know whether I am to consider this a final arrangement, also I am anxious to know what is my duty respecting neglected European populations in my district - am I justified in giving my service to them?
5. Taupo and its neighbourhood, Wairoa and Maraetai I have pay visits to and found some willing to have me others indifferent.
6. Orakei - some are desirous of spiritual instruction most are indifferent including the chief Paul.
7. Kaipara and Waitakerei - a few in this part are still doing right; they complained much that they had not a visit from a clergyman for years and hoped that I was not a shadow. Xmas day I spent there and had to rebuke them for
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their forgetting the true character of the day - neglect to attend services; for out of 200 or more assembled to the feast not 50 were present at Divine Service. The chiefs present afterwards concurred in my remarks and joined in censuring the absentees. These people are desirous of having a school.
'The other parts of my district I must visit when I am able. My greatest difficulty at present is the want of means of travelling, the mode indicated by the conference is too uncertain and irregular. I believe it absolutely necessary that I should have seme sort of a craft and a man to help me work it, as Mr. Lanfear had. To some of the places there can be no other mode of access.
8. The Waihou and Piako are at present shut up by the Hauhaus who continually bring forward the statement that my Father joined their enemies and followed them through Waikato sword in hand, and refuse all denial or explanation. May God soon turn their hearts. In some parts I have much to encourage and gladden me; for some are firm in the faith and resist alike the solicitations of Hauhaus and Romanists.
Believe me, My dear Sir,
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Nov. 30, 1868.
My dear Sirs,
In accordance with your request I send you my annual letter; in writing which I shall endeavor to observe the hints laid down in your circular. Since writing my last report few incidents of any special mark have occurred. I nave principally been at my own station during this period where I have found ample employment among the population around as well as amongst many visitors who have been from time to time drawn to this place by Government action; such as attending the land courts. These frequently, do much harm by bringing together large numbers of natives to the town where they have free access to the public house and in spite of warning and reproof indulge in the debasing habits acquired by them from their European neighbours. Drunkenness is frightfully prevalent and rarely do I go into the town without being pained by the spectacle of some wretched man reeling under the influence of spirituous liquors. The sudden accession to wealth has given them greater means for gratifying their evil propensities. Gambling is also another vice to which some are addicted. Prostitution is likewise said to be common; thus Satan is striving to hinder the work of God; but thanks be to his grace he has even here those who fear and love His name. The congregations here steadily keep up, though of many who do attend church it is but the form of godliness. The number present vary very much according to the weather; but only once that I can remember was I without a congregation. The largest number that I have had present was last Sunday
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when I estimated them at 150. This is the largest Maori congregation that I have met since my return, so crowded was my little chapel that I begin to contemplate enlarging it. About half the congregation were strangers from the Ngapuhi and Rarawa tribes who have come to seek their fortune in our auriferous hills; they are chiefly young men under the charge of steady elders of their own tribes. Some of them come a distance of fully five miles; their plan being to assemble from their various claims at certain central spots and then come in a body to church. It is a happy thing that these young men do not allow themselves to be so absorbed by their pursuit of earthly wealth as to abandon the search after heavenly treasures. My plan while on the station is to have morning service here; and afternoon services in rotation in the villages within six miles distance where I get small congregations of 10 to 30 in number in one of their huts or in the open air.
School. Being impressed with the necessity of instructing the young I invited the people here to meet me and take steps to form a school according to a plan put forth by Government who guaranteed half the preliminary expenses and three fourths of the cost of working the school when formed. I received no encouragement from them however, and the scheme fell through; it was just as well that it did for Government now find themselves unable to give any grant in aid. Seeing this I resolved to try a day school but with very poor success, however I succeeded in getting some eight boys to come to me in the mornings; but their attendance was very irregular. Mrs. Maunsell undertook a
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class of ten girls and women of whose attendance I can say little more. In fact I despair of doing much in this way without the aid of a schoolmaster who shall give his undivided attention to the matter.
Itinerating. The above I may regard almost as parochial work; in itinerating I have not done as much as I could wish owing partly to the winter months having intervened since last writing and partly to the fact of having to settle down at a new station.
Mahurangi. I have however visited Mahurangi 30 miles N. of Auckland; the Wairoa and Taupo between this and Auckland and Manaia 30 miles N. of this place.
At Mahurangi there is but a small population and very migratory, there is little to say of this place more than that W. Pomare of whom I wrote before is keeping steadily to his good old ways in his model village. Mr. Ashwell has undertaken the charge of that district as it is within easy reach of him both by land and sea; being only a few hours distant.
Wairoa and Taupo. The tribe residing at Wairoa and Taupo are the Ngati-Paoa; who are a scattered people residing in small villages along the coast and in no place numbering more than 20 or 30 souls. The majority are in a state of great indifference to religion, some few only showing any interest in them. I purpose to visit them next time I travel. My great difficulty is the want of a boat which might be at my service.
Manaia. The people at Manaia is a portion of the tribe at Hauraki. There are one or two good men there. Joseph Brown
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Is an old helper of the early Missionaries and conducts service on Sundays in on old weather hoard chapel. To travel this district properly requires such a craft as my predecessor Mr. Lanfear had, but the conference in Auckland have denied me this great boon. Mr. Baker has undertaken the charge of Orakei which is only half an hours ride from his house, he will doubtless report upon it. Having reached the prescribed limit of correspondence I now close, with an earnest prayer to the giver of all good to bless and prosper the work in which we all are engaged to the honor and glory of his name.
I am, My dear Sirs,
Yours very faithfully,
Clergymen. European. 1.
East-Indian and Country-born. -
Lay Teachers and Others.
E. Ind. etc.
Native, About 15 Male.
Native communicants. No census.
Native Christians. Mo census.
Baptisms during the year.
Seminaries and schools. 1.
Native seminarists and scholars.
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August 28, 1869.
My dear Sir,
Your kind letter of April 2 has come safely to hand and assuring us as it does of the continued interest felt by our parent society in our work in this country supplies no little encouragement and perseverance.
I am afraid that my feeble efforts in the cause of our good Lord hardly deserve the kind notice that you take of them.
I suppose it will not be taken as a mark of false humility when I say this; but when I compare what other men do as contained in the accounts furnished by the Society's publications I must feel a deep sense of abasement at much that I candidly confess I have undone. And while I grieve over what I seem powerless to correct in my people, I cannot but acknowledge that I am engaged in the service of One who will give a pure reward for what he himself enables me to accomplish, it is doubtless the experience of most in my position that a double struggle is requisite - in one's own natural reluctance to what is good such as St. Paul seems to have gone through and also in combatting the same tendency in others. I believe that I am not the first to remark that the minister of the gospel requires to apply to himself those very precepts and doctrines which he seeks to impress upon his hearers. Bp. Selwyn remarked to me when he was here last year that ever since he came to the country the tide of religious warmth and energy seems to have declined till now we seem to be at low water; and he ventured to hope that we shall see a fresh flow in my days. God grant it. To Him be the praise for such things as he permits his
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servants to perform. Our special difficulty in Hauraki arises from a new excitement produced by sudden wealth being attained by the people without effort or labour; and also by the dissolute habits of an excitable and democratic importation of our fellow countrymen. When comparison is made between the two populations thus brought into juxtaposition, the conviction cannot fail to force itself upon a candid mind that the same graces are to be found alike in the hearts of some of both races; while the same vices are alike common to both. When remonstrating with some on their giving way to the vices of intemperance they urge as an excuse the fact that our countrymen introduced the cause of it and therefore we ought not be surprised at their availing themselves of that which is thus placed within their reach. Of some however I may say that they have seen their folly. One fine young man may serve as an example. He was notorious for his drinking habits and several times I have had unpleasant scenes with him. The chastisement of God fell upon him, and he was laid up with a chest affection. When I visited him I found him much softened and grieving over his former folly which he freely confessed and expressed his hope in the pardoning mercy of God in whose hands he now leaves himself despairing of benefit from human means. I believed him so truly penitent that I administered the Lords supper to him. and to his dying brother who both professed their faith in Christ as their only Saviour. I visited them generally every week when at home and found them constant in their desire to serve God and to depart to be with Him. The latter died last week
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after a lingering illness of several years duration. I visited him two days before his death and he expressed himself as ready, even desirous to go to that world where there is no sorrow or pain. He was dreadfully emaciated and barely able to talk, but declared that his mind was light, he died happily and in full trust in his Redeemer. I was much pleased with him all the time I visited him. His constant complaint was that I did not come often enough to speak to him about his soul's welfare and to pray with him. Thue is there joy over the repenting sinner, as there is sorrow over the hardened. There is much superstition remaining amongst the natives; and belief in the power of witches to cause the death of obnoxious persons still retains its hold in the minds of the majority. A case of this sort was brought under my notice this week. A poor man who is generally very quiet became temporarily deranged and stabbed a relative without however doing him great injury; in conversing with his wife I found that she attributed his malady to some such evil influence. I pointed out to her that such things were in the power only of him who is the father of spirits.
My school hitherto has been a failure owing partly to the illness of a young man who had commenced it and chiefly to the indifference of the parents. I fear a day school will not answer with natives and a boarding school there are no funds for. I know of two who go to an English school. With best regards to the Committee and friends,
Rev. C. Fenn.
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Ashwell, -, mentioned, 9, 27
Baker, -, took Orakei, 31
Brown, Joseph, mentioned, 27-8
Burrows, -, no encouragement from, 2; mentioned, 12; his work for C. M. S. 15-19
Church Missionary Society, lands of, 15-19
Colon, heat of, 3
Coromandel Harbour, visit to, 21, 23
Dawes, Col., mentioned, 8, 14
drunkenness, sin of, 10, 13, 30-2
Grace, - , visit of, 9
Ellis, - , message to, 14
Hauhauism, explanation of, 4-6; mentioned, 9
Hauraki, tribe of, 27
Kauwaeranga, visit to, 22, 23
Kaipara, mentioned, 22
Kerikeri, C. M. S. grog shop at, 13
Kissling, Theophilus, recommended as land agent, 18
Kukutai, Waata, chief of Kohanga, 11
Land Courts, vices encouraged by, 10
Lanfear, - , mentioned, 22, 23, 28
Mahurangi, visit to, 21, 22, 27
Manaia, state of Christianity at, 27
Mangere, service at, 8
Martin, Sir W., report of, 16
Masterton, station at, 7
Maunsell, G., letters from, 1-14; 20-31; mentioned, 19
Maunsell, Mrs., held school, 26
Maunsell, R., letters from, 15-19
Mercury Bay, mentioned, 21
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Ngapuhi tribe, seeking gold, 26
Ngati-Paoa, indifference of, 27
Omaha, visit to, 21, 22
Orakei, visit to, 22, 23; mentioned, 28
Paihia school, 20, 21
Panama, crossed, 3
Piako, visit to, 22, 24
Pomare, W., goodness of, 22, 27
poverty, instances of, 8
Rarawa tribes, prospecting, 26
Kohanga, death of chief at, 11
Ronaldson, - , replaced, 7
school, attempt at, 26
Selwyn, Bishop, applied to, 21, 29
steamships, travelling on, 3
Taupaki, Rev. Matiu, mentioned, 21
Taupo, mentioned, 22, 23, 27
Te Aute, proposed school at, 13
Thames, visit to, 9, 10, 22
Thompson the King-maker, death of, 9
Waiheke, mentioned, 22
Waihou, mentioned, 22, 24
Wairoa, visit to, 27
Waitakerei, visit to, 22, 23
Wellington, gales near, 3; arrival at, 4
Whangarei, mentioned, 21
Williams, Bishop, indecision of, 2, 19; school of, 12; on Board, 15; advice of, 21
Williams, Rev. S., at Te Aute, 13