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The following are the documents from which this Memoir is extracted:--
Two hundred and sixty-four letters from Mr. Davis to me and mine, from 1816 to 1862, the greater part closely written on foolscap paper, and some on two or more sheets.
Sixty-three letters from Mr. Davis to his family, transmitted by them from New Zealand.
Six hundred and eighty-five pages, extracted and copied by one of his daughters from his daily journal, filling ten volumes--a most laborious proof of filial devotion to her father's memory.
Eighty-nine letters from the family of Mr. Davis to me and mine, besides miscellaneous communications from New Zealand.
All the above were written in confidence, and never designed for the press. Hence it was requisite to exclude all that was private and confidential, as well as whatever was inappropriate to this Memoir. Consequently they are not printed verbatim et literatim as originally written, but they have been revised, and orthographical errors have
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been corrected. They are exhibited in that state in which it is believed Mr. Davis would have wished them to appear, had he himself prepared them for the press. The arrangement, selection, and transcription have required intense labour, and occupied very much time. But the preparation of this Memoir, to which I feel the providence of God has called me, has brought with it its own reward, has been profitable to my own soul, and has recalled to recollection mercies, and persons, and scenes long passed away, but ever to memory dear.
Mr. Davis is his own biographer. His religious experience, from his first conviction of sin until death was swallowed up in victory, and his missionary operations in New Zealand for thirty-nine years, are detailed entirely in his own language. His letters and journal speak for themselves. "His own works praise him in the gates." He needeth no eulogy. Few will read his practical application of the parable of the sower (page 25) without profit and edification. His missionary operations exhibit a graphic portraiture of the New Zealanders in their cannibalism and savage barbarism--of NATIVE SUPERSTITIONS, NATIVE ATROCITIES, NATIVE DISEASES, NATIVE REMEDIES, NATIVE COOKING, NATIVE FORTIFICATIONS, and of THE DEDICATION TO THE DEVIL OF MAORI INFANTS BY NATIVE BAPTISM--in his time universal, now rapidly passing into oblivion. They present an accurate delineation of the population of the Northern Island, and of the progress of the Church
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Mission therein, from 1824 to 1863. Each successive event is detailed in vivid colours, fresh in the writer's mind, without concealment of the adverse, or undue amplification of the prosperous. They demonstrate the total inefficiency of the mission as long as the axe and hoe were relied on as the best missionaries (page 106), and its gradual expansion and victorious triumph, from the North Cape to Cook's Strait, when the banner of the Cross was unfurled, and it was determined to know nothing among the Maoris but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
His anticipation of evil results from European civilisation to the Maori race, whom he so dearly loved, and of the probability of their ultimate excision thereby, evidences his penetration and foresight of the future. His anticipation now seems in course of progressive fulfilment. A dark cloud looms over the future of New Zealand. May God avert, the impending evil, and restore peace and tranquillity to the distracted colony!
It is the intention of the family to translate the substance of this Memoir into Maori, and to print this translation for circulation among the natives, who venerate the memory of the Rev. Richard Davis, and love the children for their father's sake.
A copy of this Memoir (the proof-sheets of which were revised in the sick-chamber of a beloved wife, now no more, whose name occurs so prominently in the letters of Mr. Davis addressed to me) will be presented to each of
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his nine children and forty-two grandchildren, whereby they will learn many facts and conflicts of his early life, with which they are now imperfectly, if at all, acquainted. May God bless it to their edification!
As Mr. Davis in his letters repeatedly acknowledges how greatly he had been edified by the religious experience of those who were in Christ before him, so it is hoped that his experience may edify many readers, as well as his own descendants, and greatly promote a missionary spirit.
If the gracious providence of God has enabled me to be instrumental in the smallest degree to the missionary usefulness of Mr. Davis, or if this Memoir should, by the Divine blessing, promote the progress of the Gospel at home or abroad, I shall neither have lived in vain, nor laboured in vain. To God be all the glory.
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Birth--Parentage--Baptism--Defective Education--Early Conviction of Sin--Agony of Soul and Earnest Seeking after Salvation.............1
REMARKABLE LEADING OF PROVIDENCE WHEREBY THE AUTHOR FORMED HIS ACQUAINTANCE.
His Religious Experience from that period until his Resignation of Woodrow Farm, 25th March 1823--Anxiety and Prayer for the Salvation of his Parents --Ardent desire to become a Missionary--Special Temptations and Sins to which a Farmer is exposed--Abounding Irreligion--Parable of the Sower-- Brainerd--God's providential care of His People--A Believer's Death--Regeneration by Grace--Nothing but Assurance of Faith can satisfy the Newborn Soul............12
Sudden Death of James Crocker--Conversion and Happy Death of his Daughter, Maria Crocker.............31
APPOINTMENT OF MR. DAVIS BY THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY TO BE A MISSIONARY TO THE NEW ZEALANDERS.
Voyage of himself and Family from Woolwich to Sydney--Pleasing Intercourse with New Zealand Youths--Voyage from Sydney to the Bay of Islands, New Zealand--Survey of that Part of the Country, and Estimate of its Fertility--Threatened Assault by Moka, a Savage Chief--Happiness of Mrs. Davis and Family, and Usefulness to the Mission........88
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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 Rangi--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................62
MISSIONARY OPERATIONS, FROM THE DEATH OF 'HONGI, MARCH 1828, TO THE MARRIAGE OF HIS SECOND DAUGHTER, MATILDA.
Loss of the "Herald"--Threatened Assault by the Southern Natives--Hooping-Cough brought into New Zealand from Sydney--Examination of Schools-- Seeds from England -- Assault by a Chief -- Road-making--Two eldest Daughters Communicants--Ship "Haweis" captured and re-captured-- View of Prophecy--Study of Hebrew--Opinion of Commentaries--Attack of Natives--Taiwanga and Peter--Cost of Potatoes, Indian Corn, and Pigs-- Atrocities of Natives--Baptism--Religious State of Natives--Battle in view of the Settlement--Seeds from England--Conversion, Baptism, and Death of Rapi--Baptism of Six Natives--Parable of the Ten Virgins--Conversion of Ripi -- Baptism of Eight Natives--French Discovery Ship--Marriage of his second Daughter and of two of his Natives.........105
MISSIONARY OPERATIONS, FROM THE MARRIAGE OF HIS SECOND DAUGHTER, MATILDA, TO THE DEATH OF MRS. DAVIS, 1ST FEBRUARY 1837.
Native Marriages and Bridal Feasts--French Hoe used as a Bell--Baptism of Paratene and his Child--Europeans excite the Natives against the Missionaries--Native Dedication of Children to the Devil--Effect of Mr. Busby's appointment as British Resident on the Native mind--The word thank not in the Maori Vocabulary--Native Population diminishing from Disease-- Marriage of his eldest Daughter, Mary Ann--Anticipation of evil to the Maoris from European Colonization--Native Cooking--Price paid for Land at Kaitaia--Native Bug called Katipo--Purchase of 2500 Acres at Waimate-- Native Remedies--Funeral Feasts for the Dead discontinued--Extraordinary Cure--Moral State of Waimate in 1835--Remarkable Disease in New Zealand -- Heavy Rains frequent there--Happy Death of Mrs. Davis--Extracts from her Letters...............146
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MISSIONARY OPERATIONS, FROM THE DEATH OF MRS. DAVIS, 1ST FEBRUARY 1837, TO TRINITY SUNDAY 1843, WHEN HE WAS ORDAINED DEACON.
Anxiety respecting Ordination--Psalm-Singing Colonel, and four faithful Ministers at Sydney--Roman Catholic Bishop and Priest arrive just as the Maori New Testament issued from the Press--Applies for a Bishop to superintend the Mission--Epidemic Diseases--Death of Paratene--Second Marriage-- Anticipated evils from Colonization--Progress of the Gospel at East Cape-- Designs to erect a Mill for the Natives--Increase of Adult Baptisms, and of Natives seeking Instruction--Atrocious Murder--Increase of Popery-- Progress of the Gospel from Cook's Straits to the Bay of Plenty--The Queen proclaimed--Captain Hobson Lieutenant-Governor--Opposition of Papists --Applies for Ordination--Great Increase of Native Communicants and Natives Baptized--Faith of an old Chief near to Death--Letter of Taurua on his Daughter's Death--Death of his Son, Coleman Davis--Most Atrocious Murder--Arrival of Bishop Selwyn--Admiration of the Bishop and his Plans --Grateful Remembrance of his Examining Chaplain--Ordained Deacon...........213
MISSIONARY OPERATIONS, FROM TRINITY SUNDAY 1843, WHEN HE WAS ORDAINED DEACON, TO TRINITY SUNDAY 1852, WHEN HE WAS ORDAINED PRIEST.
Revival of Religion--Native Outrages--Flag-staff four times cut down--Kororarika sacked and burnt--First New Zealand War--English repulsed in storming Pa--Epidemic--Pa stormed--Peace proclaimed--Restless State of the Natives--Religion of Natives deteriorated by the War--Whaling Station sacked--Native Method of cooking Rice--Opposition of Heke to restitution of Land purchased by the Missionaries--Heke and Natives alarmed from belief that the English Government designed to despoil them of their Land -- Decrease of Aborigines from 100,000 to 50,000--Probability of their Extermination--Cause of this Decrease, and probable Extermination--Persecution of Davis by Heke--Snow for the first time witnessed in that part of New Zealand--Native Day-School gratuitously kept by two Daughters of Davis--Character and Death of Heke--Search for Gold in New Zealand --Remarkable Kindness and Commiseration of Bishop Selwyn to Davis in his deep Affliction--Ordained Priest by Bishop Selwyn, Trinity Sunday 1852.............271
MISSIONARY OPERATIONS, FROM TRINITY SUNDAY 1852, WHEN HE WAS ORDAINED PRIEST, TO 28TH MAY 1863, WHEN HE ENTERED INTO HIS REST.
Confirmation--Bishop Selwyn--Epidemical Fever--Happy Deaths of Believing Natives--Illness, Death, and Funeral of his Wife--Measles and Hooping-Cough of Natives--Severe Illness--Removal to Waimate--Third Marriage-- Low State of Religion among the Colonists--Declension of the Natives-- Return of Illness--Native Spiritualism, or Consultation of the Spirits of the
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Dead--Remarkable Death of a Chief wise for Time, but not for Eternity--Increase of Drunkenness among Natives--Mirage at the North Cape--Grand Levee of the Governor--Consecration of the Bishop of Waiapu--Great Heat --Southern Lights--Injustice of War against Wiremu King--Comet--Extraordinary Heat--Increased Illness--Decease........364
Summary of the Faith and Character of Mr. Davis............430
1. Testimony of Bishop Selwyn.......437
2. Admiral Fitzroy's high estimation of Mr. Davis and the other Missionaries at Waimate.........437
3. Obituary by Church Missionary Society.............439
4. Descendants of Rev. Richard Davis.........441
1. First Conference of the Missionaries of the Church Missionary Society with New Zealand Chiefs to dissuade the latter from going to war...............442
2. Letter from the Chief Taiwanga to the Author, in Maori and English,--the first Letter ever written to England by a Native of New Zealand..................448
8. Letter from Coleman Davis Auheke, a hopeful Native Youth living in the Family of Mr. Davis, to the Author, translated into English.................449
4. Letter from the Chief Paratene (Broughton) to Mrs. Coleman, dictated to Mr. Davis, and by him taken down and rendered into English, sentence by sentence, with an explanatory Letter of Mr. Davis to Mrs. Coleman..............450
Treaty of Waitangi, from a copy printed at the Government press, Auckland, with a literal Translation, made in New Zealand, of the Maori Version thereof, which Treaty would never have been signed but for the intervention of Mr, Davis, and his influence with several of the Native Chiefs............453