CHAPTER V. Missionary Operations... 1824... 1828
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Missionary Operations from the close of 1824 to the Death of 'Hongi, March 1828-- Scarcity of Food in the Mission, and consequent inability to Feed Natives--Necessity of purchasing Food from the Shipping--Agriculture impracticable--Seizure of a Brig by the Natives--Conversion and Happy Death of Christian Ranghi-- Reaping of Wheat--Awful State of two nominal Christians--Horrible Murder of a Slave Girl--Intrusion on the Mission Premises, and Assault on Mrs. Fairburn--Ill Conduct of Natives--Native Idea of the Place of Departed Spirits--'Hongi's wound --Plunder and Breaking up of the Wesleyan Mission--First use of Cannon by the Natives--Dark State of Sydney--Another Native Converted--A Run-away Convict --Fruits and Vegetables grown in New Zealand--Instruction of Natives--Death of 'Hongi--Pacification of two Tribes on the eve of Battle.
"MARSDEN'S VALE, 28th March 1825.
"MY DEAR SIR,--Although much wearied by the fatigues of the day, I sit down to write a few lines to one whose memory will be ever dear to me, and for whose labour of love I trust I shall have cause to praise my dear Jesus through the countless ages of eternity. My family is retired to rest in our little rush hut, which I would not exchange for the finest palace in England. As I do not wish one ship to leave this bay without a letter from me to you, I now employ the silent night watches to write to you.
"Since my last letter, we have removed to this place. The removal was in some respects against my will, because I must go twelve miles to cultivate the mission land, and am twenty miles distant from our cattle. But the brethren
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judged, it absolutely necessary to leave Keri Keri, on account of the bad conduct of the natives towards Brother Shepherd. I do not think that the time is yet come when agriculture can be carried on to any extent in New Zealand. The natives cannot be depended upon for one hour together. They will not work while fighting parties are roaming about. Nor will they work unless we supply them with food, and food we can scarcely procure for ourselves. This mission has been often blamed for its intercourse with the shipping; but without such intercourse the mission could not subsist. Only for food lately purchased from a whaler, this settlement would have been in a state of starvation. The ship flour which we are now eating scents the whole house, and the taste is very bad. May the Lord make us thankful for this timely supply. Our boat this very night is gone to the shipping to endeavour to obtain some food, as our last supply has all been served out and is nearly consumed. Schools at present are impossible, because we have nothing to feed the children with. Formerly, some of the children were making good progress, so that we anticipated a difficulty in preparing reading-lessons for them. But some have left the school, and for want of provisions we cannot receive more. In this settlement we could raise a school of forty children, if we could feed them. You will naturally say, 'Make haste, and grow corn.' I reply, 'It is impossible, for I have not means.' If I do anything, I must myself work the land with the hoe. I have applied again and again for food wherewith to feed the natives, that the present seed-time should not be lost, but in vain. We are
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all very much cast down in spirit from the scarcity of provisions, and from the bad conduct of the natives to our Wesleyan brethren. I had wished to have settled in the interior of the country, and some of my brethren thought with me that it was safe to do so. But now our opinions are changed. We have often laughed at the threats of the natives, particularly at the threats of the Wangaroa natives, to kill and eat our Wesleyan brethren. They also threatened to cut off ships entering the harbour; and Sunday, the 6th inst., they actually seized a whaler, a brig belonging to Sydney. Fortunately Mr. White, one of the Wesleyan missionaries, was in the bay, otherwise they would probably have murdered a part, if not the whole of the crew. The captain and nineteen men escaped in two boats to the Bay of Islands, forty miles distant, leaving three men on board, whom Mr. White rescued from the hands of the natives. The following day Mr. White succeeded in getting possession of the vessel, after the natives had stripped her of everything, and injured her rigging, sails, and even hull, so as to leave her unmanageable. The wind being fair, Mr. White, Mr. James Stack, and the three sailors, assisted by four New Zealanders, took the vessel to bring her from Wangaroa to the Bay of Islands. The wind continued fair till they reached the Heads, when it shifted and blew hard. They endeavoured to hold their ground, but in vain. Their situation was truly hazardous, passing a dreadful night in this unmanageable vessel, destitute of hatches, dead-lights, pumps, compass, and quadrant. In the morning they discovered that the ship had drifted to a great distance from the land. But God was merciful to
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them, and sent them a calm. They took to their boat, abandoned the ill-fated vessel, and reached the shore, twenty miles distant, greatly exhausted. Here fresh trials awaited them. The Lord, who had delivered His servants from the perils of the deep, delivered them also from the jaws of the cannibals. Soon after landing at the North Cape, they were surrounded by natives, who robbed them of their trunks, etc.; and no doubt would have taken their lives, and entombed their bodies in their bowels, but the Lord in mercy sent a friendly chief to their assistance, by whom their lives were preserved. The next day being fair, they sailed for Wangaroa, and arrived at home quite safe. Our friends must abandon the mission. We have held a meeting on the subject, and we have unanimously considered their lives in danger, should they remain among these people, and have advised them to look out for a new station. I have not had time to write any letter except this. Should my dear mother be still living, please to write her a few lines to let her know that you have heard from me, and that we are well, and very happy. Remember us to all our friends in Christ. Christ is all and in all. There is much to discourage, but a great deal to encourage us.
"God has for some time been very visible in New Zealand. The Spirit will soon be poured out here, if the missionaries are faithful to their post. I very much lament my being here as an agriculturist, as agriculture under present circumstances cannot be prosecuted to any extent. If we can succeed in growing grain sufficient for the settlement, it will be well. I trust, as much as in me
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lies, to raise a little corn. No other person must come to New Zealand for any other purpose than to preach the Gospel to the natives. They will hear, and the Gospel must be effectual.-- I remain, my dear sir, affectionately yours,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, 6th April 1825.
"MY DEAR SIR,--Since my last letter things look very bad in New Zealand. The natives of Wangaroa still behave so very bad, that our Wesleyan brethren will quit their station as soon as possible. Mrs. Turner and family being away, the brethren think it advisable to stay a little longer to endeavour to secure some of their most valuable property, books, wearing apparel, and bedding. Should they succeed in removing the above-mentioned articles, there is no doubt that they must sacrifice the whole of their household furniture, tools, etc. etc. But I doubt their being able to save anything more, as the natives are proceeding from bad to worse. They grossly insult our friends, so that two very pious, devoted young men, who were left in charge of the house and premises whilst Messrs. Turner and White were at Keri Keri, considered their lives in imminent danger. They would have fled had they believed it practicable. But to leave the place they considered would have been certain death, had they fallen into the hands of the natives.
"The captain of the brig is still in the Bay of Islands, AND IS PURCHASING HIS OWN PROPERTY FROM THE NATIVES WHO PLUNDERED HIM, WITH MUSKETS, etc. etc. This we have protested against, but in vain. In consequence of
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the easy conquest of the brig, and of the captain's repurchase of his stolen property, the natives in this bay declare that it is a good thing to take a ship, and that the first time a single ship anchors in the harbour they will seize her. Should this be the case, the mission must quit New Zealand, as the shipping would doubtless unite to chastise the natives, and our lives, should we remain, would fall a sacrifice. We are all rather low in spirits at present. Oh that the Lord may lead us and keep us on that Bock higher than we! Our natives appear indifferent to persuasions or commands, and are in a very wild state. Thus Satan rages. May it not be because his time is short? Pray for us, my dear sir. Bequest all our dear friends to remember us earnestly in their prayers. When through grace we are able to rejoice in Christ, and our faith is strong, then the trials we are called to endure in New Zealand appear very small in our eyes, and affect us not. But alas! too often our faith is weak. Pray for us, that our faith fail not, but that we may be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. I have just heard that there is a ship in the bay, which will sell us some provisions. Thus hath the Lord provided for the support of His unworthy creatures. We are necessitated to have intercourse with the shipping--intercourse with a people who know not God, nor desire the knowledge of His ways, and are wallowing in all the vices of the heathen. We cannot go on board the greater part of these ships without beholding the adulterous intercourse of the captains and crews with the native women. The greater part of these people seem employed by Satan to incense the native mind against us.
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What an account will these deluded sinners have to render in the eternal world of their conduct in New Zealand! This mission is at present in a dark state, surrounded by enemies before and behind. We have foes without and foes within. The hand of the Lord is clearly to be seen in the formation and protection of this mission. I am fully persuaded that the standard of the Gospel is upraised here, and that all the host of hell cannot pull it down. We may be obliged for a time to leave New Zealand. We may be entombed in the bowels of these cannibals. But the cause of Christ must prosper. Satan's power cannot hinder it. With propriety we may adopt the language of the apostle: 'Cast down, but not destroyed.' We are cast down in our minds for want of faith. "Lord, increase our faith." The civilisation of the natives has been attended to, and their temporal concerns have been greatly improved. But the proper work of missions, the evangelization of the heathen, is the first duty to be discharged. Must we prepare, nay, can we prepare, our hearts for the reception of the Spirit of Christ? Certainly not. So I am fully convinced, that all we can do in New Zealand to civilize the natives will produce no spiritual result. They have been fed to the full, and now, like Jeshurun of old, they are waxed fat, and kick. NOTHING BUT THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST WILL BENEFIT THE SOULS OF THE NEW ZEALANDERS. this, my dear sir, is my decided conviction. And in this conviction I trust, through grace, to live and die.--I remain, dear sir, your obedient servant,
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"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS,
18th September 1825.
"MY DEAR SIR,--As from want of time I am unable to write to you fully as I could wish, I forward to you a duplicate copy of my journal to the Society, to inform you of the triumph of the Gospel in New Zealand. You will learn therefrom that a glorious work of grace is begun in this mission. The converted chief died Thursday evening last. There are many more natives of whom we have a good hope. I was much gratified by my visits to them yesterday. We are as happy in New Zealand as we need to be with our present portion of grace.
"It has pleased God to give us another son, 12th of last-August. Pray for us continually. Remember us to our numerous friends. Tell them of our success.--I remain, my dear sir, affectionately yours,
"The spiritual prospects of this mission have a brighter aspect than they have ever before exhibited since its commencement. I humbly trust that the Divine light of the Gospel is now beginning to dawn on New Zealand. Their superstitions are giving way. There is evidently a spirit of inquiry among them. Blessed be God, they will hear and attend to a preached Gospel. Glory to God, we have a good hope that the foundation of the Church of Christ is now laid in New Zealand. It is our privilege to rejoice in the blessed promise, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.
"Sunday, 7th August.--Messrs. Williams and Fairburn told me that Rangi, our hopeful chief in Waitangi, had
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that day made an open and full confession of his faith in Christ, in the presence of many of his countrymen. Surely this is an evening long to be remembered. Blessed be God's holy name, that we have lived to see an heir of glory born in New Zealand, that there is a tattooed face looking to Jesus Christ. We hope there are many more natives not far from the kingdom of God.
"8th August.--Our hopeful chief, Rangi, sent for me to visit him at his place, Waitangi. I went this afternoon, and was sorry to find him so ill. I humbly hope that he is ripening for glory. He told me that his heart was big with love to Jesus, that he was very ill, but that he hoped his soul would soon be with Christ in the good place. I gave him a blanket to keep him warm.
"9th September.--Yesterday, Rangi, our converted chief, sent for me to visit him. Being absent, I could not go to him till this morning. Never was I so gratified by a visit to a dying bed as by this. I found him sitting without his house, sheltered from the wind by some reeds, against which he was reclining. He appeared very ill, and very thoughtful. After our first salutations, I questioned him respecting the state of his soul. He answered, 'My heart is filled with light and love.' I said, 'If you persevere in prayer, the light of the Holy Spirit will shine into your heart. But if you neglect prayer, you will find your heart very dark.' He told me that he had experienced this, as he had prayed much, and the great God had enlightened his heart, so that his love to Jesus Christ was very great, and the Spirit had spoken much to his heart. He related a dream, wherein he thought he was in heaven with Jesus
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Christ. The countenance of this poor heathen betokened the inward peace of his mind, and set the seal of truth to all he had said. I now spoke to him in the strongest manner of the riches of God's love in Christ to all His people, and to himself as individually interested therein. I told him that I rejoiced in the happy prospect of meeting him in glory in the presence of Jesus Christ. He said he had greatly longed for a visit from me, as he had great love for me. Oh the dear uniting love of the adorable Saviour! Oh what a precious season was this visit to my soul! How my heart rejoiced in the salvation of this dear heathen!
"14th September.--News was brought that Rangi was dead. Mr. Williams and myself immediately started for Waitangi, and found him not dead, but very ill. We conversed with him on the state of his soul. He told us that his heart was full of light. We told him that if he believed in Jesus Christ he need not fear death. He replied, 'Why should I be afraid of the Evil Spirit? Do I not believe in God? The love of the great God in Jesus Christ supports me now.' We now consulted together on the propriety of baptizing him. As he had been spoken to before, and the subject fully explained to him, we simply questioned him on the nature of his belief. He replied, 'Belief has taken fast hold of my heart.' We were unanimously of opinion, that he was a proper subject to be admitted by that Divine ordinance into Christ's visible Church. Mr. Williams baptized him in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We were surrounded by natives, who seemed filled with awe whilst witnessing
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the solemnity of the sacred ordinance. The name of Christian Rangi was given him at his baptism. Sweet peace seemed to have taken up its abode in Rangi's breast. I attempt not to describe our feelings on this occasion. It was a full reward to us for all our toil."--Journal.
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OR ISLANDS, 5th January 1826.
"MY DEAR SIR,--We are living comfortably in New Zealand. Our dear children are happy in their station. Oh that the Lord may bless them with His early grace! Mrs. Williams most kindly assists in the education of our daughters, who are making good progress in grammar, geography, history, cyphering, etc. They were but badly off for books before the casks arrived, but now they are richly supplied. We are living here with Mr. and Mrs. Williams, who are very dear to us. Oh how sweet is brotherly love! We expect to remove to Kawa Kawa within a year.
"Our mission has a promising appearance. The fault will be ours if the heathen are not converted. They will hear the Gospel, and THE GOSPEL CANNOT BE PREACHED IN VAIN. A great alteration in the natives has been manifested within the last six months. Our native boys and girls learn to read and write very fast. One boy, who has been with us ever since our first arrival, can read Mr. Kendall's book, and write tolerably. We have in our employ a large number of natives who are under regular instruction, and, blessed be God, they are willing to learn. This season we have done all in our power to dissuade the
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natives from going to war, and through mercy have succeeded beyond all expectation. We had a regular meet with 'Hongi and the principal chiefs. A copy of the conference, taken down by myself at the meeting, I send you. (See Appendix II.) 'Hongi and a small party are gone to fight, but most of the people remain at their homes. Our prospects are very encouraging. If God's means are made use of in God's way, they will insure God's blessing. I know not, my dear sir, how happy I should be, were I but more devoted to the cause of Christ.
"Your account of the death of Mrs. Greenfield is very precious. May we follow her as she followed Christ! Yet a little while, and all will be over for ever in this world, and we shall be ever with the Lord. Oh, precious Saviour! oh, precious salvation! 'Mrs. Davis and the dear children unite in Christian love to you and all friends.--I remain, my dear sir, yours in the Gospel of Christ,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS, 14th January 1826.
"MY DEAR SIR,--You have received an account of the death of Rangi, and of his body having been taken away by the natives. This was a great trial to us, but we were enabled to look above, and contemplate the dear departed having joined the blood-bought throng, and casting his crown down to the ground, saying, 'Not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thy name be the glory of my salvation for ever and ever.' The neighbours and friends were very much struck by the manner of his death. When death
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is near, the natives are generally very fearful, and their fear stupifies and makes them insensible to surrounding objects. Rangi showed no fear, and was cheerful and happy to the very last. How precious is the salvation of Jesus Christ, whose mercies never failed the tempted soul! When visiting the natives, I have found the death of this man a resting-place. It has evidenced to them the power of Christianity in delivering from the fear of death those who have felt its power. Satan has endeavoured to persuade the natives that Rangi's death resulted from the anger of the New Zealand god. I told them that Satan was the god of New Zealand, and the principal chief of the great fire, but that he had no power to kill Rangi, or to afflict him after death, because the great God protected His people from the assaults of Satan during life, and at death received their souls to glory. I asked them if they would not like to die as Rangi died. They replied, This would be a great good. The natives of Te-puki continue very attentive, but I do not consider any of them to have been converted. They possess much head-knowledge. Frequently when, during our visits, strangers have been present, and we wished to speak to them on the fall of man, etc., our natives have themselves explained these truths, to our delight and joy. Indeed I believe that some natives have a greater degree of head-knowledge of divine things than many of the poor of England. It is consolatory to know that many faithful prayers continually ascend to the Father of Spirits on behalf of the sacred cause in which we are engaged.
"Nothing less than the manifested presence of the ador-
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able Saviour can or will enable us to stand the fatigues of this mission. I find my nervous system is already somewhat shaken. A missionary in this country is likely to wear out very fast. This mission differs from all others belonging to the Society. A missionary in India is a gentleman, when his duties are compared with the fatigues required of a missionary in New Zealand. Yet I believe that no mission in the known world holds out greater encouragements to the faithful labourer in the Lord's vineyard than this. I bless God, that, although my fatigues are many, yet through His mercy I have no desire to be anywhere but here. I would not exchange situations with any individual in the world. Blessed be God for the privileges I here enjoy. Some of the natives are peaceable, well-disposed neighbours, and a few are faithful servants. Others are quarrelsome, ready to seize every opportunity to stir up strife and steal our property. Some, I believe, would pick our bones with great delight. I have been struck with the thought, that these poor natives have been stirred up by Satan to assault us, in order to alienate our affections, and to fill our minds with bitterness against them. O Lord, bless us, thy sinful, unworthy creatures, with the Spirit of Christ! Yet, by God's blessing, we have a general influence over them more than human. This is an earnest of future success. One thing is grievous to us, and must be grievous to every feeling mind, that we cannot behave to the natives with that degree of kindness and freedom we wish to do. Were we so to act, they would not be content till they had got our clothes from our backs. We dare not let them see that we are afraid
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of them. If we betrayed fear, we should never have one moment's peace, nor be exempt from continuous extortions. Frequently they get offended by some trifle, and instantly throw off their mats, and attack us stark-naked. I have always found it best to meet them outside of our fence, and endeavour to laugh them out of their anger. In this I have generally succeeded. Being somewhat taller than my brethren, none have ever attacked me, except with menaces and words. Hitherto the Lord hath helped us, blessed be His holy name.
"Monday last I began to cut my wheat. I had thirty-five reapers, some with knives, some with shells, and my own men with hoops. This was, indeed, a novel sight, but their noise soon wearied me. After reaping a short time they began to glean the scattered ears, and sit down in groups and eat them. This was to them a feast. They behaved remarkably well the whole time I was cutting our little wheat, and rendered every assistance in their power for the small remuneration of a few fish-hooks to each. They are very fond of wheat, but grudge the great labour of raising it, because it yields a smaller produce of good food than what they obtain from the cultivation of sweet potatoes.
"On the 17th January I went to Te-Kawa-Kawa early in the morning. The first news I heard on my arrival was, that the natives had broken into my house, and stolen an iron pot and some potatoes. I expostulated with the chiefs, and charged them with their ingratitude to me. They were very insolent, and so continued for some time. Whilst in our boat, ascending the river, our natives re-
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counted the many persons our young chief had murdered in the heat of passion. The insolent conduct of the chiefs, and the murderous spirit of our young chief, made me for a time quite nervous, and the sensible presence of God seemed withdrawn. Notwithstanding, I felt supported, and reaped as if nothing had happened. All at once I heard the rough voice of our young chief in the native village, not a quarter of a mile distant, scolding furiously. Whether he was my friend or my enemy I knew not. Should he take part against me, I knew not to what extent the other chiefs, ripe for mischief, might proceed. I felt nervous, and my legs began to tremble. But God was better to me than all my fears. The young chief had blamed the insolent chiefs for their bad behaviour to me, and effectually quieted them. This was a severe trial to me. I felt shut out from the world, surrounded by cannibals, and without a Christian brother to speak to. At night I strung my hammock to some stumps of timber on the bank of the river close to my boat, but got little sleep. The next day, having finished reaping, I returned home, doubly sweet to me after what I had undergone.
"------- and his wife have left New Zealand. They have long been a stumbling-block and offence to many. He was in the habit of drinking to intoxication one day, and the next day praying and repenting with many tears. His wife was the worst of the two, for she was an habitual drunkard, without remorse. He split on a very dangerous rock, imagining that he had been truly converted, and consequently could not fall finally. May the Lord have
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mercy on his deluded, sinful soul. THE FINAL PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS IS A SOUL-REFRESHING DOCTRINE TO THE HOLY, HUMBLE BELIEVER, BUT LET THE UNGODLY SINNER BEWARE HOW HE INTERMEDDLE THEREWITH. The Waitangi natives have returned from the Thames, where they had been to fight, and have killed the greater part of some poor people coming to Taiamai, under the protection of a chief who was absent when they met them. They then transferred their fight to the place of the late Christian Rangi, to punish the misdemeanour of a young man. They broke his arm, and beat him cruelly. They then butchered a poor slave girl in the most barbarous manner before the young man. They first cut off one arm, and then the other. They next cut deep gashes down her body, saying, 'I will have this part,' 'I will have that part to eat.' The merciless barbarians then cut off her legs while she was alive, and finally roasted and ate her. They told the young man that they had done this as a punishment for his crime. My soul is filled with horror and dismay. O Lord, in mercy interpose in behalf of these poor wretched heathen!
"Since our friends have gone to Sydney we have lived at peace till Saturday last, when Satan brought his forces against us. When about to sit down to dinner, a native rushed into our yard stark-naked, and began to dance from one side to the other. We soon got him out of the yard, notwithstanding his insolence. Soon more natives came with pigs for sale. Whilst endeavouring to buy a pig from a native less insolent than the others, three natives took a pig into Mrs. Fairburn's yard, and told her that she
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must buy it with a blanket, or give them some food. Mrs. Fairburn, being alarmed by their insolence, sent for me. I immediately repaired to her assistance, and found the natives most insolent, and requested them to leave the yard. They became more insolent. A neighbouring chief who had been present walked away. My own natives kept at a distance, and did not come to our assistance. After some time one said to the others, 'Let us go.' I joined with his entreaty, and we left the yard together. He told me that the dog fastened near the gate had bitten him, and drew a hook from under his mat to kill the dog. I told him that the dog had not bitten him, and that he had told a downright falsehood. He became more ferocious. I dared him to kill both me and the dog. He then followed me out of the yard, and I had hoped that all had gone away, and I walked to my own door. Whilst in the act of returning to Mrs. Fairburn, the natives shouted 'Mrs. Fairburn is killed.' I sprang into her yard, and learned that, when I left the gate, a native snatched the tea-kettle from the fireside, and struck Mrs. Fairburn a violent blow on the arm. Being now roused, I thrust the native out of the yard. They all now took their departure, ashamed of what had been done. I told them that I should send to the shipping for assistance. This threat produced a good effect. Seeing that we were not afraid of them, and conscious that they had violated their own laws, they went away quietly. We followed them close till they were out of the settlement. Their bravado forsook them, and they said one to another, 'We must be gone.' Blessed be the Lord for His delivering grace.
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"Since I wrote the above, we have experienced severe trials with the natives. A native said to me, 'Some naked boys on the beach are trying to kill one of your kids.' I went with my natives to protect my goats. The boys ran away, but a chief living with me caught one, and gave him a slight blow on the forehead with a stick, which drew blood. The boy ran to a chief who called himself his brother. A great chief present espoused the boy's part, so that for a time we were in an uproar. This chief then told us that a fight would come next morning to avenge the insult offered to the boy, but that he would prevent it if he could.
"The next morning this chief sent me a message, that the fight had reached his house in the night, and that he had turned them back. Being anxious to go to Te-Kawa-Kawa, I started in company with Mr. James Stack, a Wesleyan missionary. On our way back a large war canoe, filled with hostile natives, menaced us. Our natives, Mr. Stack, and myself were all alarmed. Finding it impossible to evade the canoe, I steered our boat boldly down upon them, but with a trembling heart. I passed close to the canoe without shortening sail. As we were sailing past they shouted, that they had broken open our house, etc., and that another party would attack us on landing. My heart sunk within me. My nerves were shaken to the utmost. Passing down the river we saw many Maoris on the beach about a mile from the settlement, from whom we expected an attack. Arrived at home, I learned that about 200 natives had been in the settlement, and had broken into a house built for our working natives, but
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had not molested Mrs. Davis or family, nor entered their premises, but had greatly alarmed them.
The next morning I heard that another fight was coming to kill our native who had beaten the little dirty boy. I retained this native in our own house, and went out and sharply reproved the old chief who had headed the natives the day before. Believing my native in danger of his life, I summoned a party of Maoris to protect him. This armed party intimidated the old chief and our other enemies. Thus peace was effected, and the Lord mercifully delivered us, praise to His holy name. I never enjoyed the blessings of peace so much as after the host of natives had quitted the settlement. These trials have been grievous to flesh and blood. Oh for grace to lay hold on Christ in all His precious promises' "What an enemy to the Christian is unbelief!
Mrs. Davis and the dear children join with me in Christian regards to yourself and all our dear friends.--I remain, my dear sir, yours very truly,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS,
23d October 1826.
"MY DEAR SIR,--The cause of God is making a slow, yet, I trust, a sure progress in this land. Since my last I have had great cause to rejoice in the prospect before me. Our natives are more enlightened than they were. Of the chief, who has lived with us two years, I have great hopes. He has always conducted himself with great propriety. The last four months he has been more thoughtful. The
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Lord seems to have revealed Himself to him in a dream as a Saviour waiting to be gracious. In his dream he saw the bottomless pit, and in it his sister, who had been dead some time. A voice asked him what he was doing there. He answered, 'I am going to pull my sister out of the fire.' The voice told him that he could not pull her out, and should be careful not to go there himself, which he could only avoid by believing in Jesus Christ. The voice added, 'Believe what the missionaries tell you. As Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the missionaries, so He will be your Saviour.' Next morning I observed joy beaming in his countenance at our family worship, and asked him the cause. In the course of the day he told me his dream. He is modest, kind, and affectionate, and accompanies me when I visit the natives, often helping me in speaking, and sometimes himself speaking feelingly on religion. The Lord hath been pleased to reveal Himself to His people of old in dreams, and is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He changeth not. Another chief living with me behaves well, and is the only native who applies his mind to agriculture.
"My little wheat this year has been got in with great difficulty. I employed one party, and furnished them with hoes. They did no work, and took away my hoes. I engaged another party, but they would not work. I then appealed to the principal chief, who spoke to some natives. These went to work, and thus in twelve weeks, with the assistance of a European, to whom I paid out of my own pocket fifteen shillings per week, I got in six acres of wheat. The natives will not listen to anything I can
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say respecting agriculture, but will listen with attention to the Word of Life. Secular concerns have hitherto been too much attended to. We are now all unanimous in opinion, that the only effectual means to convert the natives is a preached Gospel. The brethren, one and all, have appealed to the Society that my time may be solely occupied in assisting them to preach the Gospel and instruct the natives. Oh that the Lord may be my Guide and Director! It is my wish to do good, and make the most of the little time I have to remain in this world.
"This mission is yet in an infant state, and hitherto has effected little. Now we have a brighter prospect. There is scarcely one individual who cannot proclaim to the natives in their own tongue the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Our fields are white, and promise an abundant harvest to the faithful labourer. We have translated the three first chapters of Genesis, and I was able to assist with the little knowledge of Hebrew I acquired from you. I cannot tell you how much comfort I have derived from reading the Old Testament in Hebrew, particularly the 23d Psalm. Taylor's Concordance was a great assistance to us. Please to procure, and send to me as quickly as possible, Lowth's Isaiah, Horsley on the Psalms, and his Biblical Criticism, Wintle's Daniel, Newcome's Minor Prophets and Ezekiel, Blayney's Jeremiah, Mason Goode's Job, Fry on the Psalms and the Canticles, Prey's Hebrew Grammar interleaved, and all other books which you think will aid us in translating the Scriptures, or assist me in acquiring a more perfect knowledge of Hebrew.
"For a length of time it has been our opinion that the
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missionaries had better live in a strong body together than be separated from each other. This may appear strange to our friends, but were they present in this field of murder and cannibalism they would clearly discern its imperative necessity. The hand of the Lord has been truly visible in our past preservation among this poor deluded, dark-hearted people.
"Intelligence of 'Hongi has reached us from Taiwanga, the chief who wrote to you (see Appendix II.), and who has visited him. God only knows what will be the result of 'Hongi's death. It is enough for the heaven-prepared soul to know that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. 'Hongi is a shrewd, thoughtful man, very superior to any other native I have yet seen. He is gentlemanly in his manners, and has ever proved the missionary's friend. I esteem him the greatest man that has ever lived in these islands. His name carries terror with it throughout the whole of New Zealand. Wonderful are the ways of God. Before missionaries resided in this country the Bay of Islands was the frequent scene of murders and atrocities. The natives from the river Thames and elsewhere continually made inroads on the Bay of Islands, killing, eating, and destroying. I believe that the whole of 'Hongi's family were slain by them. The arrival of missionaries brought shipping to the bay. From these ships the natives purchased muskets and powder, which enabled them to resist their enemies. The natives to the southward, finding the Bay of Islanders thus armed, ceased to invade them, and in their turn were attacked by their former enemies, who retaliated upon them their horrible cruelties.
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"Should 'Hongi die, his death will rouse the whole of his friends. The New Zealanders are a peculiar people. When a chief dies they seize his poor slaves and kill them, that their spirits may go to their master in the other world to prepare his food and to wait on him. These furies next carry away and devour his pigs and potatoes, and lay waste his place. They next sit down and cry, and cut themselves. At the close they and the survivors feast all together on food secreted for the purpose. They consider the eternal world to be like this earth, where they shall have wives, and sweet potatoes, and go to war. They believe that after a time they shall die in that world and migrate to another. Their place of departed souls is at the North Cape, where they believe departed souls descend a steep cliff by a kind of ladder into another world. Their priests pretend to hold converse with departed spirits, and with a being they call a god, to whom they offer human sacrifices. Many of 'Hongi's slaves have been slain to satisfy this angry god, that he may be satisfied without the death of 'Hongi. They have many fabulous traditions. One tradition, that their forefathers came to the island in a large canoe, has the semblance of truth. The canoe may have been a Malay prow, which may possibly have brought their ancestors from that coast to New Zealand.
"Please to remit five pounds to my mother on receipt of this letter, and advance more on my account, should she require it. She was always a kind, affectionate mother to me, and, to the best of her knowledge, brought me up in the fear of God. Dear, dear parent, I shall never see her more on earth! Oh may I meet her in heaven!
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"Pray, pray for me, my dear, kind sir, and for my poor heathen.--With my kind Christian regards to all friends, I subscribe myself, affectionately yours,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS,
14th December 1826.
"MY DEAR SIR,--The spiritual presence of Jesus alone can support Christians in New Zealand. We know not what an hour may bring forth. The poor natives are like gunpowder. A little spark soon ignites them. Were it not for a superior power, we should have been swallowed up long ago. But the Church of Christ is built on the Rock of eternal ages, and neither Satan nor his emissaries can prevail against it. In New Zealand, missionaries must have their lights burning. They must eat the passover with their staves in their hands, that they may be ready to enter into the joy of their Lord. Christians mourn, and continually complain of their leanness, and know so little of the economy of Gospel grace because they are not diligent in the use of the means of grace. This, my dear sir, I have found by sad experience. Please write as often as possible. The letters of Christian friends are a stimulus to my soul. They bring fresh to my mind the many precious opportunities we once enjoyed together in the house of God. It will not be long before we meet around the throne. What a blessing is it to realize that our times are in His hands, who is wisdom itself! To meet again on earth I cannot anticipate, only to be reunited in glory. Precious Jesus! through Thy grace I trust to meet
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my clear parents and friends in Thy presence to part no more for ever. I am happy in my family, happy in my brethren and sisters, and best of all, I am happy in my God. I know that God is Love. When you preach to any of my dear friends, tell them that GOD IS LOVE. Entreat them to be diligent in the use of the means, that they may be able to enjoy Christ in His glorious covenant-offices, to know their sins forgiven, to walk CONTINUALLY in sweet communion with God, assured of their eternal salvation through Jesus Christ alone.--I remain, my dear sir, affectionately and humbly yours in the bonds of the glorious Gospel of Christ,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS,
16th January 1827.
"MY DEAR SIR,--Since my last we have been variously exercised. We have been in the fire and in the water. The Lord hath been with us in six troubles, and we have His promise of being with us in the seventh.
"'Hongi assembled his own people for a war expedition against Wangaroa. The wind being contrary, his war canoes put into Rangihoua, where they committed many daring depredations, and all but stripped our people's houses. At Wangaroa he found the natives strongly entrenched, and prepared to fight. After having killed and eaten several stragglers he met with in the vicinity, he besieged the Pa, which in a few days was deserted, under cover of the night. 'Hongi pursued them with part of his men, and the night following fell on them while asleep. Some were killed on both sides, and 'Hongi himself was severely
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wounded by a musket-ball. His party was victorious, and killed about twenty-two women and children, reserving the remainder for slaves. The natives of Wangaroa, who joined not 'Hongi in pursuit of his enemies, broke into the Wesleyan Mission-house, and plundered the missionaries of everything except what they had on. Blessed be God, they escaped with their lives. The evening previous they despatched a message to our friends at Keri Keri, and another to us, as our eldest daughter was their guest. Mr. Williams and myself started immediately for Keri Keri with thirteen natives, intending to proceed to Wangaroa. At Keri Keri another message reached us, that they had been robbed of everything and were on their way to Keri Keri. Accompanied by Mr. Hamblin and our cavalcade we started, and met our distressed friends six miles from Keri Keri, under protection of a friendly chief. So mercifully had the Lord dealt with them. Having walked about a mile and a half, they met 200 armed natives and the chief of Hokianga. They were greatly alarmed, and expected destruction. The chiefs told them to stop and sit down, then formed a circle round them, and ordered their people to pass on and attack the plunderers. Mary-Ann recognised the head chief, Ware Nui, a remarkable man, who had been for years a peacemaker among his countrymen. One of the chiefs accompanied them as a guard to Keri Keri. Thus the Lord mercifully delivered my dear child and friends from these savages. Oh that our souls may praise the Lord for these His mercies vouchsafed to us. This is a trying season, and God only knows how it will end. I trust the Lord of Hosts is with us, and that
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the God of Jacob will be our refuge. I hope these storms are of a purifying nature, and that we shall thereby be better prepared for our work. Pray for us. Stir up the Christian world to prayer. Remember us very kindly to all our Christian friends.--I remain, my dear sir, yours in the best bonds,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS,
20th January 1827.
"MY DEAR SIR,--The natives are in great disorder, suspense, and fear. 'Hongi is not dead. The ball entered his breast and came out just below the shoulder, close to the back-bone. He was wounded a week ago, and is recovering fast. Mr. W. Williams believes he may survive, but considers it doubtful. Should 'Hongi die, the Keri Keri settlement must be abandoned, otherwise the natives will rob the missionaries of their all. May the Lord in mercy preserve them from the insults of the natives.
"The principal chief of Wangaroa gave up the missionaries to be plundered. He is a very vile man, having received the greatest attention from the Wesleyan brethren. He is the identical man who murdered the captain of the 'Boyd,' and has murdered many of his countrymen. It was a great mercy that my dear child and the Wesleyan brethren escaped as they did. The greater part of the plunder is in the hands of the Hokianga natives, who, under the advice of the Wangaroa chief, went to plunder the missionaries. The chiefs of that tribe, called Patuoni and Enaene, have always been considered staunch friends of Europeans. Hence their treachery deeply affects our
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minds. If those who have hitherto above all others befriended Europeans are capable of such iniquities, what must we expect from those who have been continually on the watch to injure us? But for the assurance that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, our hearts indeed would fail. How sweet are the promises of God's word to my soul at this season of trial! The word of God is indeed a treasure. Finite creatures cannot estimate the value of the Bible. How great is the love of God in the gift to man of His precious word! I hope the Christian world will be stirred up to prayer for us and our cause.
"The devotedness of our mission is calculated to rouse the malice and fears of Satan. All are united in the great and glorious cause. During the past year the mission has been prosecuted in a right spirit. Our present affliction will, I trust, draw us nearer to the Searcher of hearts, and stir us up to greater diligence in our great work. This is a trying season to all, especially to those who have recently joined us. Blessed be God, I have not heard from any one a disposition to draw back or give way. Our females are mercifully supported, and are resolved not to leave their houses until they shall be expelled by the savages.
"21st January.--We have just heard that a party of savages have assembled about a mile from us, and that 'Hongi is still alive, and means to proceed to Keri Keri as soon as possible. We must look above the creature, and fix our faith on the Creator. We are in good spirits. It matters not whether we are killed by the natives or die in our beds, if we are prepared by Divine grace for
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God's kingdom of glory. After this long suspense we are anxious for deliverance. Oh that the will of God may be our will!--I remain, my dear sir, your most humble servant,
"MARSDEN'S VALE, BAY OF ISLANDS,
25th January 1827.
"MY DEAR SIR,--At our prayer-meeting last evening I trust the Lord strengthened our faith and refreshed our souls. A letter was placed on the table by a messenger from Keri Keri, stating that 'Hongi was better, and likely to recover from his wound, and had besieged a Pa in Wangaroa, and had carried it by storm, and killed the greater part of its defenders. He sent an express to our brethren that they were safe as long as he lived, but recommended their removal should he die. He who raised up 'Hongi to protect the missionaries, can raise up another protector, for all hearts are in his hands, or can protect us without human instrumentality. In the destruction of the natives of Wangaroa by 'Hongi, I discern the fulfilment of the Scripture: 'He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' Both parties cut off had taken the 'Boyd' and murdered her crew seventeen years ago in that harbour, and also had taken and plundered the 'Mercury' two years ago. He who actually murdered the captain of the 'Boyd' was the chief with whom our Wesleyan brethren lived. He has made his escape, but 'Hongi is resolved to kill him. He and his wife are vile characters. 'Hongi is determined to retaliate on them the
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robbery of our friends. In his attack on the Pa he made use of two of the 'Boyd's' guns, filling them with stones. Being badly directed they produced no effect. This is the first time the New Zealanders have used cannon. If they can procure powder they will bring them into use. But as cannon are too heavy for removal from place to place, they can only be employed on the defensive.
"I hope the Society will not be discouraged by our accounts. The more a tree is shaken by the winds, the deeper it strikes its roots into the soil, and not only obtains a firmer hold, but also more nourishment for its branches. Our trials are a token for good, and this mission will realize the good if we are faithful in the path of duty. May the Lord make us missionaries in deed and in truth, and enable us to benefit by our late trials. When missionaries leave their native shores, they have many things to be divested of, many things to learn which cannot be acquired in the comfortable seminary at Islington, but must be learned in the school of experience,--the missionary field. A man may be a happy Christian, yet not qualified to be a missionary. A missionary must be endued with power from on high in order that he may be useful, and his usefulness will depend on his walk with God. While a Christian holds communion with God he is happy. While a missionary holds communion with God he is useful. If a missionary live the Gospel, he will preach the Gospel with effect. If he does not live the Gospel, he will preach it to little purpose. Humility is a Christian grace which makes its possessor happy, but is only found around the throne of grace. The Christian who
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lives a life of prayer lives near the throne, and becomes imbued with that grace of heaven. No Christian grace is so much or so often counterfeited as humility. Even spiritual pride assaults the Christian clothed in the garb of humility.
"Remember us to all our dear Christian friends. Farewell, my dear sir, may the Lord be your shield, your strength, and your exceeding great reward!--I remain, my dear sir, yours in the everlasting bonds of the Gospel of Christ,
"BAY OF ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND,
24th March 1827.
"MY DEAR SIR,--Your account of the blessed effects of a faithful ministry gave me great pleasure. The Gospel CANNOT BE PREACHED IN VAIN WHEN PREACHED IN SIMPLICITY AND WITH A SINGLE EYE TO GOD'S GLORY. The faithful minister preaches not only in the pulpit but in his family, and in ALL his concerns with mankind. He lives in sweet communion with his God. He partakes of the Spirit of Christ, and manifests it to the world. Formal fashionable religion seems to abound more in England than that which is practical and vital. I fear the Gospel is preached by many ministers because it is fashionable, and they wish to attach themselves to the evangelical party. Go on, speak boldly in the name of the Lord; THE GOSPEL CANNOT BE PREACHED BY THE FAITHFUL SERVANT OF CHRIST IN VAIN. I have seen a little of the world, and find that fashionable religion will go so far as to enable people to stand up as missionaries, yea, to go to
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the very ends of the earth before they are detected. Such has been the case at Tahaiti, and in our own mission, but I bless God it is not so now.
"I am not surprised to hear of the dark state of -------. Fashionable religion may do for man, but will not do for God. It may pass current in this world, but not in the world to come. They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. They who have not the Spirit of Christ are none of His. Believers are united to Christ, and must possess His Spirit and be like Him. Many serve God so as to leave ministers in doubt as to the state of their souls. They possess a head-knowledge of religion. They attend the means of grace, feel under a preached Gospel, and respect the people of God. They proceed thus far and no farther. But the humble believer goes on from grace to grace, and from strength to strength. Nothing satisfies him but being like his God. This is the soul to whom the Lord unfolds and reveals the riches of His grace and the glories of His kingdom. This is the soul that knows the joyful sound, and rejoices in the hope of the glory of God. He knows he is born of God, because he loves the brethren. He loves the brethren, because they possess the Spirit of God. I fear many poor half-hearted souls, fashionable religionists, will find themselves out of Christ when they go out of the world.
"Very little had been done to evangelize the Maoris before our arrival. Only one individual could speak intelligibly to the natives. The efforts to teach the natives the civil arts of life had totally failed, and they know no more
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of these arts than their forefathers knew before them. The necessity of learning the New Zealand language had been little considered. Without the knowledge of this tongue, a missionary had better be in England, being of no real use to the mission. I have no doubt that the New Zealand language will be found very copious and beautifully figurative.
"Early last morning we heard a very sharp fire of musketry, and saw several war canoes pass rapidly by our settlement. They were coming down the river to attack us, but were met by our old chief three miles off. Providentially other chiefs interposed and reconciled the angry parties, and so the matter ended without bloodshed. Oh that the Lord may make us truly thankful for this deliverance, so mercifully wrought out for us by Him. Since then peace has prevailed.
"Mrs. Davis and the dear children are all well, and desire their Christian regards to you and all friends.--I remain, my dear sir, yours affectionately,
"SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES,
11th September 1827.
"My dear SiR,--We arrived here 15th of August, after a tedious passage of twenty-four days, the wind being contrary, having been deputed by the New Zealand Committee to confer with the Committee here. I have received the cask sent to me with presents for ourselves and our natives. To our kind friends I return my best thanks. May the Lord prompt us to greater diligence in our mis-
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sionary work, that we may evidence our gratitude for these favours!
"To-morrow I hope to leave this land of monopoly and spiritual deadness. The Gospel is preached in both churches in Sydney, by Rev. Messrs. Cooper and Hill, but alas! with little apparent effect. This is truly a land of darkness and pride. The ladies are very fond of dress. Nearly the whole of the female part of the community are devoted to gaiety, and many are much addicted to drunkenness, etc. etc. The generality of the girls, on attaining the age of ten or twelve years, are dressed up more like wax-dolls than human beings. The consequence is that many are ruined. They marry very young; some as early as the age of fourteen years. The archdeacon is diligent and active, particularly in the promotion of schools. In his visitation charge were many good things. But neither in the charge nor in the sermon was there a clear inculcation of Gospel truth.
"I have had 400 copies printed of the portion of the Scriptures translated into the Maori tongue. I enclose a copy for your acceptance. The expense of printing these 400 copies is £41. I trust the Society will send a printer to New Zealand, to avoid this heavy expenditure in future.
"My poor soul is deadened by my abode in this wicked place. I hope soon to return to my family and friends. Oh pray, pray for me, that I may continue faithful. I am often much depressed in spirits from the wickedness of my heart.--With kind regards to all friends, I remain, my dear sir, yours affectionately,
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"PAIHIA, BAY OF ISLANDS,
5th December 1827.
"MY DEAR SIR,--Blessed be God, we have reason to hope that He has displayed His almighty power in the conversion and happy death of another New Zealander. It appears, from his own confession, that he had been in the habit of making a mock at religion until after his return from war, 20th of last April. Since which time he was convinced of sin under the preaching of the Word, and has been instant in prayer. The natives themselves bear ample testimony to his devotions. Our brethren say that his end was peaceful and happy. Is not this another brand plucked from the burning? Oh, praise the Lord for His victorious grace!
"A few days ago we heard of the most awful death of ------ (See mention of him and his wife, p. 77). After having been continually drunk for six weeks, he was found dead in his house. Mrs. ------was not dead, but was not expected to survive her husband long. Of the two she was the worst character. Their two children are in New Zealand, and turn out well. One is converted, and of great utility. The other is in a hopeful state.
"Yesterday being Sunday, we were greatly annoyed and tried by an insolent mob of wicked natives from a place called Matahuri, twenty miles to the north of the Bay of Islands. We being all assembled at Sunday worship, they entered our premises without resistance. Mrs. Davis was in bed very ill. Providentially they passed our abode, and went into Mr. Fairburn's, who turned them out with trifling loss. Some sprang over Mr. Williams's gardener
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fence, who expelled them, notwithstanding their insolence. At length we got the unruly mob, about 120, to sit down, and spoke to them closely and at length on the things of God. Evidently they had no desire to listen, but fixed longing eyes upon our potatoes. Having baskets, we expected they would have taken them. But the Lord of Hosts was with us, the God of Jacob was our refuge. He put a hook into their noses, and a bridle into their jaws, and led them back by the way they came, so that they did not injure us. It is no small thing to be a missionary to these heathen tribes. Our trials are many, grievous to flesh and blood. The next morning these ruffians crossed the bay, fired the house of Captain Duke, and stole his property. His loss is estimated at £160. The chief who headed these marauders had just heard of the transportation of his son at Van Diemen's Land for cutting a ship's cables, by which act she was wrecked. He will doubtless seek revenge, and will revenge himself unless the Lord restrain him. In this mob was an Englishman, whose face was tattooed like the natives. 1
"The seeds you sent me are all growing, except those of the gooseberry. With us, in this part of New Zealand,
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the English gooseberry grows into a bush but does not mature fruit. Many plum-stones are growing rapidly. The peach and cherry-stones are not yet above ground. We have one hundred peaches on a tree, raised from a stone formerly sent. I have now in my garden, apples, peaches, and quinces on the trees, and grapes on vines, orange and lemon trees which have not yet borne fruit; also pears, loquats, Cape-gooseberries, walnuts, figs, English currants, plums of many kinds. I have a very fine bed of asparagus, all common vegetables, and raspberries and strawberries in abundance. Yesterday I cut my first cucumber for the season, the produce of your seed. The melon-vines are very fine and promising.
"I have been instructed and edified by reading Fry on the Psalms and the Canticles, the works of Ambrose Serle, and Douglas on the Advancement of Society, a first-rate, scientific writer.
"31st December 1827.--The last day of the old year is truly a solemn season. How many changes have taken place! We have been preserved from the rage of savage heathens, whilst the Wesley an Mission at Wangaroa has been broken up. Troubles seemed close at hand, but God preserved us from our enemies. Many times the heathen have surrounded us, but God has been our refuge. May these blessings and mercies never be lost upon us, nor forgotten by us!
"10th February 1828.--Yesterday I discovered that Satan had tempted our domesticated natives, and had instigated two of them to take to themselves second wives. As such abominations could not be allowed in a mission
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settlement, and yet the men were promising characters, and very far advanced in general knowledge, I was for a time in doubt how to act so as to separate these men from their second wives, and yet not to drive them from the settlement. I spoke to them in private, explained the evil of which they had been guilty, and told them in plain terms, but feelingly and affectionately, that if they persisted in keeping their second wives they must quit. After a day of painful suspense to us, they consented to put away their second wives, and to conform to our rules. May the Lord make us truly grateful for this victory over the prince of darkness!
"We have now living with us, and under regular instruction, ninety natives, eighty-three of whom are fed daily by my own hands. As I can do nothing in agriculture, I am desirous to make myself generally useful. We feed our natives chiefly with seconds flour, for which we pay about 11s. for 100 lbs. We allow to each native a quarter of a pound for a meal, so that each native eats three-quarters of a pound of flour per day, when fed on flour only. We feed them on potatoes and Indian corn when we can procure them. The flour is not more than half the food the natives require. But those who work for us receive each an article of trade for each month's work. These articles the natives generally exchange with their relatives for potatoes, etc., so that the natives are only nominally fed by the Society, as they get nearly half their own food themselves. Flour is the cheapest food with which we can feed them. Our natives are all scholars, both old and young. Those who come to live with us are not fed unless they attend school.
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"11th March 1828.--To-day I returned from Keri Keri, where I had been looking after the cattle. During my stay there, news was brought of the death of the great 'Hongi from the wound he received when he took Whangaroa. Looking after the cattle in company with Messrs. W. Williams, Clarke, and Puckey, Mr. Clarke and myself were a little distance from our friends when we saw two naked savages armed approaching us. We ran to join our friends, and the two savages came down upon us. I boldly asked them where they were going, and what they wanted. They replied, ''Hongi is dead, he died the day before yesterday.' It is evident that they were disappointed when they found out who we were. One of these men killed a European sailor when I first arrived in New Zealand. In the afternoon we met the whole of the Napuhi tribe going to Wangaroa. They behaved peaceably and well. So far from molesting us, they paid us every possible respect. They were unwilling we should know that 'Hongi was dead, lest we might be alarmed. In a few days the death of 'Hongi was confirmed, but nothing serious is likely to result therefrom. So mercifully doth the Lord deal with us His most unworthy servants.
"18th March 1828.--The natives are preparing to go to Hokianga to attack that people. Some of the chiefs, not being able to make peace themselves, wish us to go to make a reconciliation. Rev. H. Williams and myself have volunteered to go in company with as many as are willing to join us. May the Lord bless us with wisdom and discretion, and effectually prepare us for His important work!
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"20th March 1828.-- This morning Mr. Williams and myself set off in company with Rewa, the principal Napuhi chief, towards Hokianga, expecting to fall in with the army at Puke Nui.
"21st March 1828.--This morning we proceeded on our journey. About nine o'clock a.m. met a large party of natives going to join the army, and went on with them. Between one and two P.M. we reached the camp.
"22d March 1828.--After the natives had prepared their sheds, and we had pitched our tents, we went round to the chiefs to urge them to make peace. The chiefs would not allow Rewa to go, but permitted us to offer conditions of peace for them. We readily undertook the embassy. We were kindly received at the Pa by the Hokianga people, who listened with delight to proposals of peace, and wished peace to be settled immediately. When we returned to the army, most seemed pleased with the prospect of peace. In the evening we went round the camp, and requested the chiefs to sit still to-morrow, because it was the Lord's day. To this they readily consented, and some called aloud, so as to be heard by the whole, that to-morrow was the Sabbath, and all must sit still. Truly the Lord is honoured among the heathen. May He take to Himself his great power and reign over them!
"Sunday, 23d March 1828.--Messrs. Williams and Clarke went to the Pa to visit the enemy; Mr. Kemp and myself remained in the camp to speak to the army. We hoisted a flag as a token of the Sabbath, expecting to have had family worship with our natives before address-
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ing the army. As soon as our flag was hoisted they came together, and the chiefs arranged them in order. Surrounded by about five hundred immortal souls, we gave out a hymn, and prayed and addressed them. Mr. Kemp spoke first, and I closed the discourse and concluded with prayer, all in the native tongue. As many did not attend, we went round the camp twice and conversed with the people in their own sheds. The natives were very attentive, and behaved well all day. No riotous noise has been heard. Our camp resembled a country fair in England, but with far less wickedness. These poor heathen will rise up in judgment against many Christians at the last day.
"24th March 1828.--This morning two of the principal men breakfasted with us in our tent. We requested that peace should be made that day, and agreed to go with one of them to select a proper place for the conference. We fixed on a place near a deep ditch, which was to be between the two parties, and hoisted our flag. We then went into the enemy's Pa. They were most glad at the prospect of peace. We then left the Pa, taking a chief with us to the neutral ground, which was not a musket shot from the Pa. The army now marched down in regular order, each tribe by itself, and took their stand on the neutral ground, and formed one body on their side of the ditch. They had then their war-dance, and fired a volley of musketry. They had a second dance, and fired a second volley. During these manoeuvres the other party formed themselves into a solid body close to their Pa, but did not advance until they were called. They then came within twenty yards of the army and danced, and fired
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twice. The chiefs made their speeches, and peace was happily concluded. During the whole time we stood with some chiefs from both parties on the neutral ground, so that had peace not been made, and they had fired, we must have fallen the first. The Lord was gracious to us and to the poor heathen in bringing this sad affair to so auspicious a termination. Many shots were afterwards fired by evil-disposed persons on both sides, but no one was wounded. The natives dispersed immediately. The Wesleyan brethren came with their boat, the Pa being situated on the bank of a navigable river, and we reached their mission settlement the same evening. Early the next morning we started for Keri Keri, which we reached at five o'clock P.M. We then took our own boat and arrived safe at home the same night, having journeyed nearly fifty miles in the course of the day.
"Thus was brought to a happy conclusion one of the most alarming circumstances which has ever occurred in New Zealand since the commencement of the mission. Had these rival parties fought, much blood must have been shed, and what the result might have been no one could have foreseen.
"Pray for us, that we may be faithful and diligent in endeavouring to make known a Saviour's love to the perishing heathen.--I remain, my dear Sir, yours very affectionately in the bonds of love,