THE MURDER OF THE REV. C. S. VOLKNER IN NEW ZEALAND.
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MURDER OF THE REV. C. S. VOLKNER IN NEW ZEALAND.
THE Committee of the Church Missionary Society are anxious, as far as possible, to relieve the painful feelings of their friends who will have heard of the barbarous murder of one of the Society's Missionaries in New Zealand; and to remove the most unjust inferences which some of the public prints have hastened to draw, that the Christianity of the Natives of New Zealand has been a delusion, or a mask for a time to conceal latent savagery.
The Rev. Carl Sylvius Volkner went out to New Zealand in connexion with the North German Missionary Society. In the year 1852, he joined the Church Missionary Society as a Catechist, and married an English lady, the sister of one of the Missionaries. He was ordained in 1860, and stationed at Opotiki in 1862. At the close of the Report in 1864, it was stated that his people had upon "a sudden impulse" thrown off their allegiance to the Government, and joined the war party. Mrs. Volkner removed to Auckland, and throughout the year 1864 Mr. Volkner usually resided at his station, visiting his family at Auckland from time to time. It will be seen from the accompanying journal, that Mr. Volkner returned to Opotiki from a visit to Auckland in February last, in company with another Missionary, the Rev. T. S. Grace, in a small schooner (Captain Levy). During his absence, a fanatical party from the West coast had gained an ascendancy over his people. Upon their arrival
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at Opotiki, the vessel, the Missionaries, and crew were seized, and kept prisoners the first night. On the next morning, March 2, Mr. Volkner was taken out, hung upon a tree, and afterwards decapitated; a few tasted his blood; the body was thrown aside, and the head preserved according to an ancient savage custom in New Zealand. Mr. Grace, after being detained a prisoner many days, was, in the good providence of God, rescued and conveyed to Auckland.
The following Journal of Mr. S. A. Levy, a brother of the captain of the schooner and a Jewish merchant, who remained at Opotiki while Mr. Volkner was absent, gives an account of the doings of the fanatics previous to the arrival of the Missionaries:--
Diary of Mr. S. A. Levy, from February 24 to March 1.
Friday, February24. --The whole of the natives at Opotiki and along the coast had been in the greatest excitement during the preceding week, owing to the arrival of a pioneer of a large recruiting party, to inform them that Patara and his followers were about to visit the neighbourhood for the purpose of taking a given number of natives from each village to Taranaki, in order to fight the soldiers, as well as to be instructed in the new religion, which has gained so much furor amongst the natives. Up to the present time this religion has turned them all half mad. A party of natives, with whom I was very intimate, asked me to go into the bush during the visit of this party, as they knew it was the full intention of Patara to put to death all white men. I went to see Tiwai, and informed him what the natives wished me to do, and asking his advice. I told him I should prefer remaining in my store, and did not fear the so-called Jew Patara. Tiwai was of the same opinion, that it would be best for me to remain, telling me at the same time that if they killed me they would also have to kill him at the same time, and thereby agreeing to stand by one another.
Saturday, February 25. --A letter has just arrived to say that Patara was then on the beach some three miles from Here. The natives are all coming in from every village there is near to see what the great man can do. I should say there are some 800 natives on the plain in front of the church--some erecting tents, putting up flags, carrying firewood, and all those things, ready for a large encampment. At last, at about 2 p.m., Patara arrived, the whole of the women (257) being formed in double line for his reception, when, as he drew near, the line of women opened, and he passed through them amidst the greatest rejoicings and welcomes; Patara in advance of his forty followers, with a large horse-pistol in his
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hands, held across his breast. After passing through the women there was a general review, which lasted for some three hours--the natives going through every manoeuvre known to them in warfare, and likewise several sorts of stag-hunts after one another. Previous to the arrival, the natives had erected a very high flag-post near the church; and as soon as the party came in, the Pai Marire flags were hoisted on it. I recognized one Hebrew letter in some of the flags. I told Tiwai of it, and he went and informed Patara; and as Patara was aware some weeks before of there being a Jew at Opitiki, he was very anxious to have an interview. The females were all now getting the kapera Maoris ready for a grand feed, when shortly after there arrived some five carts laden with five dead oxen and some hundreds of kits of potatoes; likewise several loads of water melons. When all the carts were got together, they were taken before Patara, who went through several forms of grace, holding a piece in his right hand, and throwing it away after each prayer. After these ceremonies, the carts went to the different fires to get their contents cooked, which as soon as done, grace was said, and then came the grand feed. A very good share was allotted to myself and Tiwai. I then went to see Patara, who seemed very much pleased, mentioning at the same time that he was very glad I was a Jew, he being very fond of them, giving as his reason that the Jews were once a grand people, but were now reduced to a very small one through the persecutions they had gone through, the Maoris believing themselves to be undergoing the same. While the natives were having their grand feed, Patara walked to my house and had tea with me (Paura Tiu, who is now one of their principal prophets, being my cook at the time, a situation he has held for the last three months), Tiwai being present, Patara telling Tiwai in my presence what his intentions were from the time of leaving Taranaki, which took one month and twenty-four days to reach Opotiki. They fully intended to take the heads of all ministers, soldiers, and Englishmen, to carry as trophies to their great prophet Zerubbabel at Taranaki. I told him I did not like to see so many guns knocking about, there being some 300, when he told me to make myself quite easy as to their doings, and that he would give me a written protection for my safety during his absence; Patara promising to come back and sleep with me, and mentioning to me that had Mr. Volkner been at Opotiki on his arrival it was his full intention to take his head to Taranaki (Patara was away at the time of the subsequent murder), and that he intended taking possession of the whole of his goods and house. At about five o'clock Kereopa, the prophet, came amongst them with the head of a soldier, and placed it at the foot of the worship post, laying the cap alongside (which had on it 70th Regiment). This caused great excitement among the natives, Kereopa coming in front of the skull to give a lecture, which lasted some hour and a half; the whole lecture being on religion, stating that up to the present time they had been labouring under a great mistake, and the whole of the ministers had been robbing them of their lands, money, and blood, through the lies the said ministers had told them, and advising them all strongly to take to the new faith, which there is very little trouble to do when under the influence of Patara; he wound up the discourse by bringing forward the soldier's head to the natives, telling them it would speak at sunset (which I waited to hear, expecting a little ventriloquism, but was
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disappointed), several natives putting their ears to the skull's mouth, and fancying it spoke, when they would start off like mad, running over the plain. Patara now went through the new form of religion, the whole of the natives forming in single line, and passing under Patara's right arm, and so into the church, where they again formed into double line, back to back, the 40 Taranakis who had arrived with Patara continually running round them, shouting, hallooing, and going through many old-fashioned forms of incantation, one of the principals examining each individually to see when they were affected by his influence. Finding they wore completely under his influence, they are then singly taken hold of by the shoulders by three or four of the principals, and well shaken until they spoke or gesticulated some of their mad peculiar tongue. They are then taken by the hand, and swung round until so insensible they cannot stand, and then taken out on the green, where they remained on the ground in a state of stupidity for some days, some of them actually going for four or five days without touching meat and drink. The natives remained in both churches all night, going through their worship and ringing the bells--I myself sleeping in the church with them. The most fearful scenes of barbarism and savage-like propensities were enacted during the night.
Sunday, February 26. --Everybody (men, women, and children) in the village converted to the new faith: daybreak church bells ring for prayer, the usual service, there being no Sunday observed in their religion, all days in the week being alike. Before entering the church, and after coming out again, the natives all went round the post several times, muttering their gibberish, and asking me if I understood them, as they said it was a language of their own given to them by God, and that no one else but themselves could speak it. After service, Patara sent for me to go with him to the Rev. Mr. Volkner's house, were he intended selling everything off by auction, and wished me to buy the fowls, which I declined. He then went up and ransacked the house, selling everything to the natives for a mere nothing, even horses, and some fine ones amongst them, fetching 5s. each. The books, medicines, and bedstead were the only things they left, and Patara told me that anything I wished for in the house I could have upon asking, but I declined the offer. The natives then went back to their prayers, Kereopa lecturing to them the greatest part of the day, and carrying the soldier's head about under his arm, During his lecture the newly converted natives were again put under Patara's influence, on account of fresh natives arriving. They only eating once a day, and that at sunset, the feast now commenced again, and was gone through the same as on the previous day. They then returned to their worship, some remaining in the church all night, and others walking round the sacred post, but the greater part lying all night on the plain in the open air, in a state of stupidity and nudity--the principal portion of these were women.
Monday, February 27. --Patara came to see me, and we had a long talk, when he told me that, as the natives were so excited, he had put a price upon my own goods for my safety. He then wrote out a form of prices, of which several copies were taken, he at the same time not forgetting to lower all the goods about 20 per cent, under their original cost. He then went to Dr. Agassiz's house, and lowered his
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goods the same way. After again putting the converts through his influence, he left for a place down the coast, about twenty-five miles distant, in order to obtain more recruits. Before going, he told me to make myself quite easy, and communicated that he would be back in three days, as he intended to at once bring up his recruits from where he was going, and that he expected to get about thirty. During this morning, Tiwai came to me, telling me that there was a poor white man, with only a blanket on, amongst the Taranakis; I at once sent him some clothes, which he put on, and came to see us. He proved to be a man named John Brown, a prisoner taken at Taranaki, and belonging to the 57th Regiment. He told me that there were two other prisoners, one named Louis Baker, who had left Taranaki with them, and the mob had divided into two parties, one going to the coast, and the present (Patara's) coming down here. He further said that he was taken prisoner at Taranaki, and taken inland, where he endeavoured to make his escape to Wanganui, but upon nearing that place, he was again captured by the Maoris. He is kept as personal property of a Wanganui chief, Patara having to get special permission for him to travel with them, as a means of exciting the natives; he has never since had a chance to escape, but would make the first opportunity good, he being very anxious to get Louis Baker away with him. He spoke of the frightful scenes which he had witnessed, and was oftentimes tired of his life. John Brown left this day with Patara, whose party consisted of 30 Taranakis, 20 Onewas and Opotikis, and 10 Wakatanes, 60 men in all, for Titiunga, about twenty-five miles down the coast. Patara left behind him Kereopa, a Maketu man, who had been for five years a policeman in Auckland, and who was now one of the savagest leaders of the party; also a Maori doctor, named Edward Edwards; and these men were left to carry on the ceremonies in the new religion during Patara's absence. The means adopted by this Maori doctor in curing his patients was one of the most beastly description, being unfit for publication. Amongst the first of the converts, I recognized Mr. Volkner's teacher and housekeeper, men who had been with him, and preaching in the church during his absence, for ten or twelve years. Ceremonies gone through as usual this night.
Tuesday, February 28. --This morning, John Brown returned from the party to me, bringing an order written in flax for me to go to Mr. Volkner's house to get a bottle of jalop, some of the party being sick. All the Bibles and Prayer-books were this day torn up and thrown about the plain, the greatest excitement prevailing amongst all, but nothing of note occurring.
Wednesday, March 1. --This morning saw the schooner "Eclipse" outside the bar. Tiwai and myself wanted to go down the river to inform them of the excited state of the natives, but we were prevented from doing so, the natives appearing to fancy that the Rev. Mr. Volkner was on board, which was not to be wondered at, as they know almost as well as we do what occurs in Auckland, through their having a line of communication as far as the Bay of Islands. After the schooner entered the river, and had come to the store and made fast, I was thunderstruck at seeing two ministers instead of one.
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The following extracts from Mr. Grace's Journal give an account of the treatment of the Missionaries after their arrival at Opotiki:--
Rev. T. S. Grace's Journal, from March 1 to March 16.
BEFORE leaving Auckland for Opotiki, and on the passage, Mr. Volkner frequently expressed his confidence in the Opotiki natives. He was rather sorry that Mrs. Volkner was not with him, and fully intended her to follow by the next trip of the vessel. We arrived off the Opotiki river at about half-past 9 p.m. A prophecy, as we afterwards learned, had been put forth, that a vessel full of riches would come up the river, and afterwards one full of gunpowder.
March 1st. --Immediately on crossing the bar, I observed at a distance a very large body of natives, assembled on the side of the river. I pointed them out to Mr. Volkner: in sailing a little way further, it was evident there was considerable excitement. As we approached the landing-place, it was clear to me that we were amongst the "Pai Marire" fanatics. Mr. Levy's brother now in a low voice from the bank warned us to be careful, for there was danger. From the time of crossing the bar, return was out of the question; all we could do was to go on to the landing-place; and before the anchor was dropped, the vessel and all on board were in possession of the natives. Mr. S. Levy had not been allowed to come down the river to give us any warning. We were told by several natives not to go on shore. After a little while, a tall native, belonging to Taranaki, came on board in an authoritative manner, and after every thing had been examined, stood up and called out to the people on shore of what the cargo consisted. We remained on board until about 3 p.m., during which time there was great excitement on shore. Tiwai told us that we had come into the "lion's mouth." We also learned that Mr. Volkner's house had been plundered, and that the Europeans' stores had been examined, and a price fixed by the natives at which the goods were to be sold.
We were now all ordered on shore. This indeed appeared a dangerous moment. On landing, an old fellow made a rush on Mr. Volkner with a rope in his hands, but was pushed on one side. We were all marched off, except the captain, to beside the Roman Catholic chapel. Here we remained standing for about two hours. The natives in the meantime were holding meetings, while the women about us were making the most horrid faces and jestures at us. At length the same Taranaki native before mentioned, with others, came to us, and after some talk with him about a house to rest in, he had us all taken to one in an enclosure about three hundred yards from where we were standing. The next thing was to procure some food, and our blankets for sleeping. We now learned that the vessel had been rifled, and everything removed from her by natives; that the things had all been bundled into the store, and that natives had the key. At this time there were plenty to watch us, but we were not under guard. The sailors had been to the store, and had procured a few of their things, but returned without finding any of ours. It was now dark. Mr. Volkner and myself, with the sailors, returned to the store, and found, as had been said, that the
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outer door was locked, and the key taken away. We went into the adjoining room. Mr. S. Levy was there. We procured a candle. There was a small door out of this room into the store; after a good deal of searching, we succeeded in finding all our things, and had them conveyed to the house where we were to stay. After partaking of our evening meal, in a very rough way, we read the 7th Psalm, the one appointed for this evening, and had prayer. The poor sailors joined us very heartily. After this, when we retired to rest, these good-natured fellows gave us the best end of the little room, and we did all we could to comfort one another. We lay down to rest, but not to sleep. Again and again did Mr. Volkner and myself congratulate each other on being together. During the night we went out once or twice. We were not locked up, nor were there any guards about the house. Had preparations been made, escape would have been easy. Until after midnight we could hear the greatest commotion and shouting going on in the Roman Catholic chapel. We passed a sleepless night.
2nd. --Great excitement going on outside. Had prayer together: read the 9th Psalm. Heard they were taking Mr. Levy's things out of the store, which had been put in the night before. We began to think that money most likely would satisfy them. We agreed to go and speak to the captain. Our idea was to add something to what they had already taken, and propose it as a ransom for us all. Mr. Volkner spoke, and said we ought not to consider money if we could save life. The captain declined having anything to do with us in the matter. We went away dejected, when poor dear Volkner said, "We must trust in God." We returned to our prison-house, and had prayer all together again. We read the 10th Psalm. After this the tall Taranaki native and another (a prophet) came to see us. (Just now, some grapes were brought to us, and a quantity of bacon and other things, belonging to Mr. Volkner, also a basket of potatoes.) While eating the grapes with them, a long conversation took place, but to no purpose. At the end, one of them said in broken English to Mr. Volkner, "I see you frightened." (At this time they evidently knew what was going on.) In leaving, they begged two white shirts, and told us we should soon be at liberty. My dear friend gave them a shirt, but I declined. They told us that the meeting which we had been waiting for would take place in a short time. We quite believed that Patara had returned.
After these men had left, another native, named Heremita, (apparently known to Mr. Volkner,) came and asked us to give him all our things to take care of. He took them, and put them into a box, and we parted.
It was now about one o'clock, when we had prayer and reading for the last time. The portion read was the 14th Psalm. My poor dear friend offered a most earnest prayer. During the morning, I could not help noticing the calmness of his manner, and the beautiful smile that was on his face.
About 2 p.m., a number of armed men (perhaps twenty) came, and after going through some ceremonies in front of the house, called to Mr. Volkner, as we supposed, to go to the meeting. I pressed again and again to go with him, stating the meeting was for us both. I was forced back, and told that my turn would come next. They now locked the door, and left eight of the armed men to keep guard.
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Again I pressed to go to the meeting, but was refused. Two long hours of most painful sadness and suspense passed away, but there was no return of Mr. Volkner. I listened during these long hours to hear the report of fire-arms, but having heard none, I was not without hope that all was right. I now saw Heremita, who had led the party away, return, and sitting down some eight or ten yards from the house, he commenced to tell the men left to guard us something to which they listened very attentively. I caught the words-- "Kua whaka tareware warewa Ri runga Ri te whiro" --"He has been hung on the willow tree." These words went to my heart. I called upon the Lord. It did not necessarily follow that my friend was hung on the willow. I named it to the poor sailors, and they thought all was over.
Shortly, in a state of great excitement, all the armed men returned. I was then called out, afterwards the sailors. They marched us off; they in single file on each side of us. When we reached the open space in front of the church, there was great excitement, and cries of "Where are the others?" some saying they had escaped to the bush: then there was a confusion again as to where we were to be taken.
All this time I was earnest in my inquiries for Mr. Volkner, but could get no satisfaction. We were now led to another house occupied by Mr. Hooper, a settler, outside of which we were all robbed of everything our pockets contained. I begged of them to leave me my little Prayer-book, but they refused. We were then led inside, and had our hands tied behind us. At this time, on inquiry, I was told that Mr. Volkner had been taken to another house. Shortly, the captain, his brother, and Mr. Agassiz, were brought in and tied in the same manner as all the rest. All seemed to think that all was over. I did not; my mind halted between the feeling, either that this was a piece of mischief on their part, to give them an opportunity of robbing and frightening us, or that still it might be a fearful reality. Had I known of the murder of Mr. Volkner, I should have doubtless thought differently.
We were kept tied in this manner for about an hour-and-a-half, during which time, some one wishing for water, a native carrying a panakin from one mouth to another, served us with some. Next came in a native, and to our great surprise loosed us. I began to think that this part of the business was really some sort of sham. I asked what it all meant? He answered me, --"A time to bind, and a time to loose; a time to kill, and a time to make alive." I have no doubt it was done to give them an opportunity of robbing our persons, and to teach us that we were prisoners.
Poor Mr. Hooper is a sick man; he was lying on a bed at the time in this house. The house was plundered. I saw a native come in, and take all the bed-clothes from Mr. Hooper, almost rolling him on to the floor. I remonstrated with him, and the cruel fellow, as he was leaving with the blankets in his hands, came up to me and said (somewhat ashamed), "It was because the (pakeha) European had been very (pakeke) hard about some debt;" and went off with the things.
After this, upon inquiry about the house in which I had been told Mr. Volkner was, one of the Europeans said to me in a quiet way, "Ask no more for him, you will not sec him again." This was the first certain information I had of his death; my worst fears were
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realized, and my heart was sad indeed. Of course, from what they told me when they took him off, I fully expected to follow.
We were now given to understand that we were to sleep in this house; hut the three last who were tied were allowed to go elsewhere. The sailors now began to look out for some food, of which they stood much in need. Henry, the teacher in charge of Mr. Volkner's house, had brought us, in the morning, a quantity of very fat bacon; this, with some potatoes from the natives, and tea, sugar, and biscuit from Mr. Levy's store, supplied our wants. There were in this small house, which consisted of one small room 18 ft. by 12 ft., the sick man, four sailors, myself, and six or eight natives, men, women, and children. The suffocation at night from so many people, and the fumes of tobacco, were almost overpowering. Soon after dark we lay down on the floor. The sailors had by some means got their blankets from the prison-house we had left a few hours before, but mine had been taken. I lay down next to one of the sailors, John More. They had managed to spare a blanket for me, and this good-natured fellow made a pillow for me of his coat. I could not sleep. There was too much moving about to have evening prayer, and I could only in private commend myself and companions to the watchful care of our Heavenly Father.
I had every reason to believe that this would be my last night on earth. God's gracious presence did not forsake me. As I lay awake I could distinctly hear the confusion, dancing, and shouting going on in the Romish chapel, and also in the church. Thus ended this terrible day, upon which the first blood was shed in New Zealand for the Gospel's sake.
I am thankful to say I did not witness the death of dear Mr. Volkner. I can only give the substance of what I heard on the spot.
When he was led away from me, we both supposed it was to a meeting. He was first marched to near the church, where it appears that his coat and waistcoat were taken from him. He was then taken about two hundred yards in another direction, to beneath a willow tree. If not before, he was now doubtless convinced of their intention. He asked them to let him have his Prayer-book, which was in his coat-pocket; they brought it. He then knelt down and prayed, and shook hands with his murderer, and said, "I am ready." While they continued shaking hands with him, they hoisted him up. I have two reports as to the time he struggled. Dr. Agassiz thought not longer than a quarter-of-an-hour; others said, an hour or more, and that when taken down, there were still signs of life. I hope the latter opinion is incorrect, though there can be no doubt that he was allowed to hang for upwards of an hour. I also heard that they shot him while hanging. When taken down, he was carried to near the church, beside a small house belonging to the Station. Here he was laid down, and the head taken off, with a considerable portion of the bust.
Heremita, the man who came to us a little before Mr. Volkner was led off, and who took all our things under pretence of taking care of them, and who afterwards was the leader of those who carried him off, was the person who cut off his head. The scene when this was done, was most dreadful. They were eager to taste his blood, and many rubbed it on their faces; and some of his old friends took part
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in all this. From my own observance, the people appeared to me to be half lunatic, and so worked up by their new religion, as to be ready for any work of the Devil.
In cleaning the head, pieces of the flesh were thrown about with the bones of the neck. Kereopa forced out the eyes, and swallowed them! and afterwards desired the body to be given to the dogs. Some one else wished it buried. It was at length thrown into what appeared to be a dry unused water-closet, and very lightly covered with earth.
It is a significant fact, that Pokeno, the son of Aporotenya, the Opotiki chief killed by Johe's wife at Maketu, was the individual who put the rope round Mr. Volkner's neck.
3rd. --This was a dreadful day of bitter suspense. The excitement was great. I now learned that Patara had not returned. I was under the impression that Mr. Volkner had not only been killed, but eaten. It was not, therefore, too much to suppose that I should be taken off and served in the same manner, having been told, "that my turn was to come next."
At an early hour, I heard the noise of their horrid worship. I saw their ovens lighted; but all passed over without any interference with me. At this time, I learned some particulars relative to the murder, and supposed that most likely, in the course of the day, I should be taken off. In the forenoon, Deborah, the wife of Henry, an old native teacher, came to me to inquire what things Mr. Volkner had brought down with him in the vessel. I told her I knew of nothing but a dozen bottles of wine for the sick, which had been given to him, and some medicine. In the most scornful manner, she said in bad English, "It is all gammon; the wine is for himself;" and began finding fault with him. After this, I understood they were holding a meeting. I thought it well to send a proposition to them by a native. I proposed the sum of £500 as a ransom.
To my great comfort, I found this morning in the house, amongst some books of Mr. Hooper's, a small Prayer-book, which, with his kind permission, I made use of. I afterwards found it had poor dear Volkner's name in it. Some of the Psalms for the day appeared written for the occasion.....
Mr. Volkner's last act for his people was one of kindness. Ho was often the medium of communication to take down the half-yearly amount of a legacy for a native woman, the widow of a respectable European. About half-an-hour before he was led off, I saw him pay over the money, apparently with great satisfaction.
4th. --Another day of suspense.....Captain Levy assured me to-day that he had supplied coverings for the body, and had had it decently interred. During the day, I had heard it said that I was to be sent to Taranaki. In the evening it was reported Patara had returned.
5th. --Heard the meeting was to take place in the forenoon. Sent a request to see Patara. He passed Mr. Hooper's house, where I was. He shook hands with me. The few words I had with him made me hopeful. About an hour after, we were summoned to the meeting. What kind of trial, and what sort of charges were to be brought against me, I knew not. On my way, the feeling of conscious helplessness flashed across my mind, followed by the words of our Lord, Matt. x. 19, "But when they deliver you up, take no thought," &c.
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We assembled in the new church, to the building of which our friend had devoted so much labour and care. Chairs from Mr. Volkner's house were brought for all the Europeans. Besides the Taranaki fanatics, who took their seats within the Communion rails, there were perhaps a little over 300 natives belonging to the place.
Patara sat outside, in front, about three yards from the Communion rails. He commenced with expressions of anger against all soldiers, ministers, and Englishmen; but for all Jews, Frenchmen, Scotchmen, Austrians, and Germans they had love.
Mr. Volkner's Case.
Three charges were brought against him by different natives to justify his death:--
1st. His going to Auckland as a spy for the Government.
2nd. A cross had been found in his house, and therefore he was a Romanist and a deceiver.
3rd. He returned to Opotiki, after having been told to remain away. The witness for the first charge was named Timothy, formerly a native teacher. He said that Karawera (Father Galavel I conclude he meant) had told them that they would all be "endte" (dead) through Mr. Volkner's going to and fro from Auckland to take "korero" (talk) to the Governor.
2nd. The charge respecting the cross broke down.
3rd. Several witnesses said, that they had told Mr. Volkner not to return. I was able, from their own remarks, to show that no committee had been held to tell him to stay away, but only a few separate individuals. Patara very cleverly, in winding up, tried to make it appear that he should have stayed away, because he knew we were at war; but he did not say he justified the murder. I think he regretted it.
My own Case.
Patara. --"What did you come here for?"
"To go to Wakatane and Matata, at the request of the people themselves."
"What did you go so lately to Taupo for?"
"To fulfil my promise, and in answer to several letters sent to Auckland, asking me to go."
"Why did not the Governor let them have clothing?"
"Because we were at war."
"Why did we teach them things for the soul only, and not for the body?"
"Because of the great value of the soul; but we have taught you many things for the body." Gave instances; referred to Matt. vi. 33. "Why did not you teach us this new religion we have found out?"
"Because we did not know it. Our religion is the Word of God."
Patara said, that we had taught them to repent, to be baptized, to receive the Lord's Supper, and not to commit adultery; but now they had found that this was all "mamya" (deceit).
Then followed a long discussion on the land question. All the arguments in common use amongst the natives were brought forth. These I answered by saying, that neither Mr. Volkner nor myself had any land.
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Case of the other Prisoners.
Turning to the other Europeans, he had the Jews pointed out, to distinguish them from the English sailors, one of whom, by the way, had the good fortune to be a Scotchman.
Addressing Mr. Levy, Patara said, --"You a Jew?" --"Yes."
"I your brother. I am a Jew. What did you come for?"
"To bring down trade."
"Are you willing to come here to live?" --"Yes."
"Will you leave your brother here?" Consented.
"Have you a wife?" --"Yes."
"If you come here and live, you shall have a piece of land. No one shall hurt you." Wished him to bring down his wife and family.
"Are you offended at them taking your things?"
"Why should I, when I gave them?"
A young man from Taranaki, a prophet, who was called "Doctor," acted as interpreter for the Levys. It was done in bad English.
Turning to Mr. S. Levy, Patara. --"Are you his brother?" (Captain Levy's). --"Yes."
"Will you stay here, or go with me to Turanga?" --"Stay here."
Mr. S. Levy sat next to me. I cautioned him, and said, "If you do not take care, you will be a hostage for your brother's return."
He replied, "We know what we are doing."
Concluded, that Mr. S. Levy was to remain at Opotiki, and that Captain Levy was to bring trade.
Turning again to myself, he said, --"You must go with me to Turanga."
I objected that I could not travel on native food, &c.
Several spoke up, and said I was very strong to walk; named my formerly travelling on the east coast, and latterly in Taupo. Told them I was not now so strong, and had not travelled on native food.
Proposed again to them, either to take a ransom for me in money, or to make an exchange of prisoners. After some discussion, they agreed to take Hori Tupaea.
Patara promised to write a letter to Tauranga for Hori to be liberated, which the captain agreed to take, and bring back Hori, or a letter from him, and one from Mr. Clarke, the magistrate, on the part of the Government, to say he was at liberty. This done, and I should be free.
Here the meeting ended. I spoke to Patara, who said he would see me again. At night he sent me word I might write to Mrs. Grace. He must first see the letter.
The trial ended thus:--
Nothing was decided about the murder of Mr. Volkner.
I was a prisoner until Hori Tupaea should be brought to Opotiki, or known for certain to be at liberty.
Mr. S. Levy was a hostage for his brother to continue trading.
It was understood that the vessel should be given up, and another meeting was to be held, to arrange about payment for what had been taken from Captain Levy.
Feeling more at liberty after this trial, I changed my abode to Tiwai's house.
6th. --I saw Patara early this morning, and told him that Hori Tupaea was really at liberty. He told me that they were going to
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have a meeting at Opotiki (inland, eight miles off), and wished me to go to it. He also told me that I was at liberty to go about; that they were not like the Europeans, who shut up their prisoners. He charged the people to see that I had plenty of food.
Saw Patara again at about 10 p.m., when they were starting inland. He spoke kindly. I declined going inland, but pressed to be set at liberty. He said he would agree to it if the others would, and if the meeting consented he would return himself in the evening to tell me; if not, he would send the letter about Hori Tupaea.
I questioned him about Bishop Williams. He said he would go to him himself, and send him quietly away. I then advised him to keep close to his people, and not to leave them, as I felt sure, if he had been here, Mr. Volkner had not been killed.
I saw the prisoner John Brown, a soldier, and sent messages by him to Bishop Williams. I did not dare to write. I learned much from this prisoner about the Taupo station, which had been plundered by this party on their way from Taranaki to this place.
The sailors to-day returned to the vessel, and began to pump her out and set things to rights. Mr. Agassiz kindly cut his pencil in two, and gave me one half. Tiwai also gave me a little note paper to write to Mrs. Grace.
Two natives came and sat with me for a long time. I made many inquiries of them respecting their new superstition, and tried to show them that the new languages they supposed some of their people spoke were for the most part sounds without any meaning. They told me that the Jews told them the new talk was Hebrew. While these two men were with me, I wrote a pencil-note to Mrs. Grace, and gave it to them to read. I afterwards wrote a copy of it, and asked them to compare the two. The copy was to be kept for others to see, in case the original was sent. At this time there was a hope of the vessel going next day. The captain told me, apparently by accident, that he intended to effect his brother's escape. Night came. Natives returned from the meeting inland, but Patara did not come, nor could I hear anything of the letter he was to send. The vessel had been given up, and it was agreed that payment was to be made for the things taken.
I lay down to rest, but not to sleep. Everything looked dark and doubtful. In the morning Patara and his party were to start for Turanga. About twenty Opotiki natives were going with them, which would make in all about fifty.....
At this time a lunatic had just been discovered, who had exhumed the body of Mr. Volkner, had taken off the clothes, and put them on himself. I immediately spoke to the natives to have a proper grave dug.... I went with the natives, and showed them where I wished it buried, at the side of the church.... Afterwards, as I was walking about, I saw Henry and Eru, two natives, with spades, looking about the spot I had fixed upon. Eru came towards me, and called me to mark the place; I went and did so, and they began to dig. I asked them if there was any objection to my reading the burial service. They assured me there was none, and promised to join me. I went to ask Dr. Agassiz if he would come also at the reading of the burial service.... I expressed a wish to give the body a Christian burial....
After a time, t wrote on a slip of wood, requesting to see the body interred, and, without waiting for a reply, went to the grave....
Time hung heavily on my hands, and my feelings for my family
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were often most intense. The prospect was so dark, that, judging from appearance, I could not expect to see them again.... But God's Word strengthened me, and I was able to take comfort in reading this evening's Psalms, particularly the 42nd and 43rd, and could not help believing I should yet be free.
9th. --In conversing this morning with an old woman, I found she was returning to Wakatane, and that the people there wished me to be free. I therefore ventured to send by her a few lines on a scrap of paper torn from the margin of a periodical....
10th. --From various remarks of the natives, it is evident they will not allow the vessel to sail yet. This is the 10th day from our arrival, but only five days since Patara left. The natives say that the rain has prevented them bringing payment for what they have taken from the captain.
11th. --Everything fair for sailing, if the natives would let the vessel go. At 5 p.m. a woman came up and told me she was from Wakatane, and immediately afterwards two men from the same place said they had a letter from the captain to let me go. At this time there was a meeting going on to stop the vessel. The natives would not allow her to go until the 10th day from Patara's departure, and until they had brought payment for the things they had taken, Report says that the Ngatiawas (the people of Wakatane and Matata) may be expected on Monday to set me free. The two men just arrived have brought word that Hori Tupaea is at liberty.
12th, Sunday. --How unlike Sunday! Not one sign remains to tell it is the day of rest. After having morning prayer, I paid my accustomed visit to the grave of dear Volkner, and afterwards went to see Dr. Agassiz, and arranged finally to meet privately, in the morning, to read the burial service....
13th. --Eparaima, a native of Turanga, came from Wakatane with a letter and a message from the prophet of that place to release me. He appears very desirous for my liberation. At about half-past 9 a.m. met the doctor to read the burial service over poor dear Volkner. It was truly a solemn hour. His is a martyr's grave; and the fine church, which through his exertions has been erected, is his best monument. Never shall I forget this burial. My heart was filled with mingled feelings of thanksgiving and sorrow. Never did I read our beautiful service with so much satisfaction; never did the words, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord," &c. appear more appropriate. I could not help, at the conclusion, asking Dr. Agassiz, that in case anything happened to me, if possible to have me buried by his side.....
14th. --Otere-te-Arahi, an old man, has just told me that they will pay the captain all back. He also says that he told Mr. Volkner not to return. The meeting to-day of Eparaima is so far satisfactory.
If I could procure a letter from their prophet at Matata, I might get off. The vessel is to leave in the morning. Will she sail for Tauranga or Auckland? I have not the smallest certainty of knowing. The sailors do not seem to know.
15th. --The vessel has dropped down the river this morning, but cannot get out; the wind is contrary. Sent letters by Eparaima to Bishop Williams to send me help if possible. Walked out to Waikohika, where the natives are putting up a new pole; it is fully
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four miles off..... The sailors came up and were desirous to serve me by taking letters or seeing Mrs. Grace for me. I gave them a letter for Archdeacon Brown, in case they went to Tauranga, or for Mrs. Grace, if they wont to Auckland.
16th. --I was dressing; Tiwai came to the door and said, "There is a vessel outside." After dressing, I walked out of the enclosure, and distinctly saw her three masts. At about half-past seven, just as we were commencing breakfast, captain Levy went on to the top of the house. On coming back he said, "She has come-to." He left the breakfast and went out. I heard him say, "Give me a paddle." Immediately I got up and went to the bank of the river. Saw him and and his brother getting into a canoe close below me. I said, "Take me with you." I protested strongly that it was not right to leave me. They pushed off, and in a moment, without a word further, paddled down the river with all speed. I went back and took a little breakfast, when it was announced that some one had landed from the steamer away to the right of where I was, the river bearing away to the left. I went out of the enclosure with Tiwai and Wm. King (an assessor from a distance); Mr. Agassiz was also there. They were all in a state of great excitement, and were going off to meet the two messengers from Turanga. I begged first of Tiwai and then of Wm. King, for one of them, as government officers, to stay with me, as I should be carried off, and no one would know where I was. They refused, saying they would be killed, and told me to stay where I was.
I felt indeed forsaken on every hand; went into my room, and committed myself to the care of our Heavenly Father..... Great excitement was going on all this time outside, men flying off in all directions on horseback to call the people together; the bell of the Roman Catholic chapel ringing for a meeting of the few present, while the shouting and noise were incessant. I walked about for upwards of an hour and a-half, expecting every moment to be seized and killed. No one near where I was but an old woman; nearly all the natives were away inland, four miles off, and the rest were gathering at a distance to meet the Turanga messengers. I walked about, waved my hat to the schooner for them to come back to me, but all to no purpose. At length, to my surprise, I saw the boat coming up the river, with the captain, the mate John Moore, and Lewis Montague. It come-to at Mr. Levy's store, about forty yards below where I was. Shortly afterwards, young Montague came to me and said, "If you will go round to the point where you were yesterday, we will take you in. The old woman was in the yard at the time. I walked quietly out and passed the store where captain Levy and the mate were getting out goods as fast as possible. I now saw that to go to the point named was to run into the greatest danger, as I must have to pass through a number of villages. I therefore only worked my way through one, and then got down on the bank of the river, and when about fifty yards below the store, where the boat still was, John Moore, I think it was, called out "Stop!" In a couple of minutes they dropped down to me, and without any one but the old woman seeing me, I got into the boat and lay down, and was quickly rowed to the schooner without any opposition. The goods saved from the store were now deposited in the schooner, and another of the sailors, Owen Jones, with the greatest willingness, came on board the boat, and in ten minutes more I was safely on board H. M. S. "Eclipse." Captain Fremantle im-
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mediately sent out his boats to tow the schooner, and in a short time all were safe. The two Turanga messengers were still on shore, and after great perseverance on the part of Captain Fremantle, the Bishop of New Zealand, and Mr. Rice (a magistrate from Tauranga), they were finally brought off the next morning.
After the arrival of Mr. Grace in Auckland, a meeting of the Missionaries was held, to express their thanks to God for his deliverance, and their deep sympathy with the widow of the Rev. C. S. Volkner. The following are the
Minutes of Conference of Missionaries held at Auckland, March 27th, 1865.
Present, --Archdeacon Kissling; Rev. T. Chapman; Rev. C. Baker; Rev. B. Y. Ashwell; Rev. T. S. Grace; Rev. R. Burrows, Sec.
After reading the Scriptures and uniting in prayer, the following extract from a Sermon preached by Bishop Patteson, at St. Mary's Church, and copied with his permission, was read to the Conference.
"A dark and dreadful crime has been committed in the land. Innocent blood has been shed, the blood of one esteemed and honoured for his work's sake among all men--to many of us endeared by closer bonds of private friendship and most true affection.
"We know, and we thank God that we do know, how good he was, how simple-minded, how guileless; a man of prayer, full of faith and good works that he did--meekly following his Saviour in pureness of heart, (for to him such grace was given,) walking humbly with his God. We who can ill afford to spare him from among us, who dwell with loving affection upon the intercourse we so lately were permitted to have with him, thank God from our hearts that not one cloud rests upon the brightness of his example, that he has been taken from among us, we most surely trust, to dwell with Christ in paradise, and has left behind him the fragrance of a holy life. It is not for him we sorrow now. What better thing can we desire for ourselves, or our friends, than that we and they shall be taken in the midst of the discharge of our duties from the many cares and sorrows of this world, if only by the grace of God we may be prepared for the life of that world which knows no cares, which feels no sorrows? Indeed, these are no conventional words. We must not seek to anticipate the season of rest. It is a blessed thing to work in the Lord's vineyard, it is cowardly and ungenerous to wish to shorten our time of service in the army of Christ. But oh, the thought that a time will come, if our faith fail not, when we shall feel the burden of anxieties, and trials, and disappointments, and bereavements taken away, and the continued warfare against sin all ended and for ever; the thought of this cannot surely be given us for naught! It must not make us less diligent now; it must not withdraw us from our appointed task; but it stands written as a word of consolation and encouragement for all, 'There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.' 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; they rest from their labours.'"
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Resolved, -That the foregoing extract fully conveys the feelings and sentiments of this Conference; and they can find no more appropriate language to describe the character and labours of their departed Brother, who suffered a cruel and painful death for the Gospel's sake.
Resolved, -That this Conference desire to express their deep sympathy with Mrs. Volkner, and at the same time to thank God for that grace vouchsafed unto her, by which she lias been enabled to bear her trial with Christian fortitude, and humble submission to the Divine will.
Resolved, -That this Conference also desire to record their humble thanks to Almighty God for the providential deliverance of their Brother, the Rev. T. S. Grace, now present with them, from imminent danger; and they request Mr. Grace to forward to the Parent Committee, by this mail, a copy of his Journal kept during his captivity.
Copied from the Minutes,
The following Journal and Letters have been received from the Bishop of Waiapu, from which it appears that the fanatics, after leaving Opotiki, came across to Poverty Bay, with the avowed object of taking the life of Bishop Williams and the rest of the European residents, and succeeded so far in unsettling the minds of the natives in that district, that the Bishop judged it prudent to leave the Station for a time.
The Bishop of Waiapu to the Secretaries of the C. M. S.
Turanga; March 25, 1865.
MY DEAR SIRS, --The accompanying notes will give you some idea of our present position. Our three families all sleep under my roof, and the house is guarded through the night by men under arms. The cause for apprehension is the near position of Mr. Volkner's murderers; and so long as they are in the neighbourhood, we shall feel it necessary to watch. But a sad feature of this case is that the natives who ought to be rallying around us, are those who are led away by these fanatics. We are, therefore, left to ourselves, and, with two exceptions, there are only the men belonging to the school who are with us. It might be supposed that perhaps there had been a long existing alienation of these natives from among us; but the contrary is the case. There has existed a most friendly feeling. I believe, too, that the Whakatohea had a very kindly regard for poor Mr. Volkner, up to the time of the arrival of these Paimarire. This fanatical delusion is clearly a device of Satan. The form which they have prepared for worship is a most miserable attempt -- a few sacred words, which are blasphemously mixed up with a large
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amount of nonsense. There is no attempt at system, no doctrine, no deliverance from sin, no salvation; but these forms are put together, and are repeated for the present with an amount of earnestness which works wonderfully upon the feelings. There is also the practice of, I fancy, a mesmeric influence, or of electro biology, which upon weak and superstitious minds leads to a belief of something supernatural. They have trifled with things sacred, and God seems to have sent among them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. But it is not here only that these extravagances are rife. When you have in Protestant England, and among those who have been instructed with great care, a disposition to fall into the abominable superstition of Popery, we need not wonder at what happens in New Zealand. The great moving principle of Paimarire is that it is a scheme which promises a successful termination of the war with which we are afflicted; and it is mixed up with an amount of abomination, which is meant to draw out the vilest passions of our sinful nature. Happily, the time is short. He who who said, "Lo, I come quickly," is nigh at hand. He has given us the sign of His coming, and we may almost, now in the time of trouble, lift up our heads; our deliverance is nigh.
Ever most faithfully yours,
The Secretaries C. M. S.
Journal of Proceedings relative to the Taranaki Fanatics who visited Opotiki.
March 1. --Harawhira Te Nahu came early to my house to say that a messenger had come from Opotiki, bringing letters from Mohi Tamate, a Turanga native, and from Henare Parekura; two of these were for me, and stated that Paimarire, from Taranaki, were at Opotiki; that Mr. Grace's house at Taupo, and Mr. Volkner's at Opotiki, had been plundered, and all the property sold by auction; also that these natives were on their way to this place, for the purpose of making Hirini Te Kani king. There was some excitement through the day, and in the evening the Runanga met at Pohoo Mahaki. There was a good assemblage, but the people from Whakato were not present, owing to the want of early information. The character of the speaking was very good; all against the proceedings of these people. Manihera, the messenger, was called upon to give his statement; and confirmed all that the letters contained, and intimates that all the Whakatohea had joined this delusion. Addressing me, he said, 'We received our Christianity from you formerly, and now we give it you back again, having found some better way, by which we may be able to keep possession of our country." As he had made no mention of what they proposed to do with the white people, I said, "Now don't be afraid of speaking openly before me. Whether it is good or bad, let us hear what you think of doing with the 'pakeha.' "He replied," The orders of Horopapera are, that all the pakeha shall be killed, whether they are clergymen or laymen." "Very good," I said, "we now have a clear understanding of the matter." This messenger left Opotiki on Sunday morning, 26th of February, and reached Turanga on the evening of the 28th.
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March 2. --A few of the leading men from Whakato came at breakfast time, the messenger yesterday not having reached soon enough to allow of their being present at the meeting. Anaru Matete went on to Paureka, to see Manihera, the messenger, and then they returned. As it was not known how soon the Opotiki natives might arrive, there was a general anxiety, and tidings were looked for every hour from the upper part of the valley.
March 4. --Went to Whakato in the afternoon, intending to propose a meeting of the Runanga for the evening. As I was entering Tamihana Ruatapu's premises, before we had exchanged a word, he called out for the hopper to assemble the people. This showed that they were on the alert, and it turned out that the people had had two meetings already. Shaka Poaka brings word to-day from Napier, that Hapuku, and two others, have joined Paimarire; but not Karitiana, Tareha, or Renatu, with their people. There was a very respectable gathering at Ramahiku, and all the principal men spoke strongly against the proceedings of Paimarire. Paora Kate reported that a messenger had arrived to say the people were near at hand; and it was concluded that if there was truth in the report, we should have a note from Waerengaahika.
March 5, Sunday. --I returned home this afternoon after service, telling the natives that that they should have immediate information of any news arrived, and recommending them to have their horses all ready for a movement.
March 6. --It was near 10 o'clock at night when Wi Pere came to tell me that Aperakuma Tutoko had just arrived from Opotiki, and stated that "Mr. Volkner and Mr. Grace had arrived at Opotiki; that Mr. Volkner, and one hundred persons from on board the vessel, had been killed; and that the Tiu of Horopopera were on their way to this place, bringing with them the head of Mr. Volkner, and also that Mr. Grace was being brought as a prisoner with another white man." Messengers were despatched immediately to Whakato and to Turanganui, to call the people together. It was also said that Aperahama had a special charge from Mohi Tamatia of this place, who is at Opotiki, to tell Horomona secretly what had happened, and recommend that all the white inhabitants should get out of the way for the time, until these Tiu are off the ground. He was also to make the same communication to me. Knowing that many natives would be here in the morning, I determined to defer any arrangement for ourselves until then.
March 7. --At nine o'clock I was talking with two of our friends from the coast, who came last night, when a party of twelve, nearly all leading men from Whakato, came up to the back of the house. While they were there having breakfast, others were collecting rapidly on the lawn in front, and soon there was a large assemblage. They were come to give expression to their feelings, and to take counsel. The first speaker was
Paraone Te Hinake. --His opinion was that the strangers should not be allowed to come nearer than Taureka, which is about two miles off. That if they were persons we could approve of, we should treat them with hospitality; but that now they should return from thence to Opotiki.
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Rev. Hare Tawhaa said if these people had gone to Waiapu, or to Tokomaru, they would have found natives of like mind with themselves; but that they had no business at Turanga.
Renatu Te Atopaki. --"If we reject this new superstition, these our pakehas, and ourselves, will be safe; but if we trifle with it, and give it any countenance, we shall then destroy them and ourselves."
Kerehona Piwaka. --"The object of these people is evident, they have been trying for a long period to induce Turanga to take up the quarrel with the pakeha; but having failed, they wish now to persuade us to join them in murder, and to elect Hirini as king, in order that we may be involved in one common trouble."
Anaru Matete. --"There is no reason for the Bishop to move; let him and all the pakeha remain quiet. We will, in the meantime, go up to Taureka, and hear further particulars from this messenger."
Tamati Te Rangi. --"Let the Bishop remain quiet where he is; and as for the proposal to elect a king, we will not hear of it; it would only be a cause of evil."
Whiteriki Oikau, a person of inferior importance, spoke of the great power of the Tiu, and that though there were five hundred here to protect me, it would of no avail against the thirty Tiu.
This sentiment met with no favour from the meeting, they looked upon him as a man under a delusion. There were a few others, who volunteered their advice, that I should move more out of the way. To this I replied, that we had abundant proof that Tius are subject to all the casualties of flesh and blood, like other people; that some months ago a party of one hundred, under one of their leaders, went to Wanganui to cut off the white people; that they were met by Wanganui natives, and were all killed; and that, a few weeks ago, at Waitotara some of the same parties rushed madly on the soldiers, believing themselves to be invulnerable, when seventy-seven of their number were killed. I added, that the assurance of the natives of this place was quite sufficient to remove any grounds of uneasiness on my part. I had private conversation afterwards with some of the principal men, as to the steps to be taken in behalf of Mr. Grace, and the other prisoner, when it was agreed to be the better course to allow this body of murderers to come along without interruption; then to propose that the prisoners be given up quietly; but that if there is any opposition made, that they should be taken by force. In the afternoon many of the natives returned to fetch their arms; for it is necessary to be prepared to overpower all resistance. In the evening, another meeting was held at the house of Te Poho o Mahaki, the two Opotiki messengers also being there.
Hirini Te Kani, the young chief whom these infatuated wretches have proposed should be made king, addressed the messengers. Ho said, --"I have no liking for what you have to say, I see the evil of your proposals, and have no wish to run into danger. I am not blind, like the moth which by night flies into the flame."
Raharui Rukupo. --"Welcome hither Manihera and Aperahami, whom I knew formerly; come hither under your new character. When I heard the report you bring, I disbelieved it; but let us now hear your statement. It appears that what we have been in the habit of learning from our teachers is that which you now trample under foot. When you were living here, then all believed in Christ; and all were looking forward to the day of judgment, when truth will be made manifest;
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but now you bring another doctrine, and tell us that we are all wrong. If your Tiu asks me to go to him, that he may practice his machinations upon me, I will not go. You are come here with the heads of men you have murdered, and with pakeha whom you bind as slaves, and your object is to commit murder here also. Why did you not go first to the stronghold of the pakeha, to Auckland, to Napier, and to Wellington; and then afterwards come here, where the pakehas are few? No; my mind is made up, still to be 'Turanga tuohu ki raro.'" This was an expression of contempt uttered by the Opotiki natives some months ago, because the Turanga natives would not go to fight, and is equivalent to saying, "Turanga are cowards, afraid to meet the foe."
Wiremu Pere. --Come hither, you second messenger. When I heard the report you brought last night, I was afraid to repeat it, lest I should be speaking false. Our minds are filled with sorrow on account of the person you have killed. Had he been destroyed by the power of the God you put your trust in, we could have said nothing; but when it is done by the hand of man, it is murder. We shall wait to see the proofs of your authority; the Bible says, "Try the spirits whether they are of God." If that is Jehovah you bring in those heads, and we have proof that it is so, we shall know what to believe.
Aperahama Tutoko (the messenger from Opotiki). --"Listen to what I have to say, and choose for yourselves. If you do not approve, let the Whakatohea alone be the Titi (Titi is the mutton-bird, which flies towards the flame of a large fire kindled for the purpose, and is then killed). The message I brought about the pakeha was from Mohi Tamatea, that they had better get out of the way. The reason why a clergyman has been killed, is because he was backwards and forwards to the town, and stirred up the pakeha to fight. The people where I live gave their consent to this act, because they are all defiled with blood. As to our religion, we worship Jehovah, his angel Christ, and the Holy Spirit: those who are coming after me say, if you approve of what they have done, they will leave the white people with you; if not, they take them away again. The ship by which the pakeha came we saw last Thursday (March 2), when off Whale Island, and it was coming straight for Opotiki, and brought up inside the river. There were twelve persons on board, including Mr. Volkner and Mr. Grace. One of the Tiu from Taranaki went on board, and sent all the pakeha on shore; they were conducted to a house, after which all the cargo was taken out, of which there was a large quantity, and divided among the natives. The next morning, Friday, all the people assembled at the church; the soldiers (Maori) stood all in rank the whole length of the building, one hundred in number. Kereopa (Tiu from Taranaki) then went into the pulpit, and said that one of these ministers was to die. The Whakatohea then said, let it be Mr. Grace; but Kereopa said, the God says it is to be your own pakeha; do not, however, grieve for him, nor be afraid. He then turned to the principal chiefs, and asked them severally whether they consented, and they all replied in the affirmative: two of these men were Mokomoko and Paorateka. The soldiers then went to the house where the pakeha were confined, and half of them took Mr. Volkner away, and the rest stayed to guard the house, and prevent any others of the pakeha from leaving it. Then they
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led Mr. Volkner to the neighbourhood of the old house occupied by Mr. Davies, and having tied a handkerchief over his face, they hung him to a willow tree. As soon as he was dead, they took him down, and severed the head from the body. In the meantime, Mr. Grace began to be anxious about his friend, and asked where he (Mr. Volkner) was. They answered-- 'Why do you inquire about him? don't trouble yourself:' this messenger was one of these. Kereopa then sent to Timoti to go and bury the body, to which he replied, 'Let Whakatohea bury it, as it is all their own act.' All the pakeha had been tied; but after this all were set at liberty, except Mr. Grace. Late in the afternoon, Kereopa sent off Aperahama to take the tidings to his people at Turanga of the death of the pakeha. This is the account I have to give you; if you do not approve of it ('Kati noa'), it matters not. We shall then go to Maketu, and hence to Tauranga and Auckland, where there are very few pakeha remaining. The pakeha also of Waikato are only 'tino regahuru,' ten or a dozen."
In answer to questions put: "The rest of the pakeha were set at liberty. Mr. Grace was kept a prisoner. Kereopa and all Taranaki said that Mr. Volkner was to be killed. It was Taranaki and Whakatohea who killed him."
Raharuhi Rukupo. --"God said formerly, 'Go and preach the Gospel to every creature;' but now your God says, 'Kill the ministers.' If your God had done this, it had been well; but now it is the hand of man, it is murder. Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed by man; against these judgments man can say nothing: our word is, let Mr. Grace be left here, and the head of Mr. Volkner, and then the people may go back again."
Raniera Runguheke said, --"When the people come here, I shall at once seize Mr. Grace." But others, seeming to think this was imprudent language to utter before the messenger, said that they should ask quietly for the prisoner to be given up.
March 8. --It was agreed that, inasmuch as these fanatics say their errand is to Hirini, as soon as they arrive, the preliminary step shall be, that Hirini shall request that the prisoners shall be given up, and that there shall be no interchange of communication till this is done. If this request is refused, then Rongowhakaata will be prepared to resort to force. Most of the natives returned to fetch their arms, and are to come back again to-morrow. Towards evening a body of forty natives came up from Turanga-mic and the coast.
March 11. --After three days of suspense, during which we had serious misgivings whether these fanatics would come at all into this district, and, consequently, whether Mr. Grace might not be left indefinitely to their tender mercies, news was brought at sunset that this party is at Waikohu, up the valley, and that they may be here to-morrow. Messengers were at once sent off to bring the natives together. Raharuhi was hesitating about bringing the people upon Sunday; but I wrote decidedly to them to leave at daybreak. It is reported that Mr. Grace is left behind.
March 12, Sunday. --I went out at daybreak, but all was very quiet; but presently a woman came into the yard for water, who told me that a number of the older people had come up in the night, and that the body of the natives were to leave at daylight. Went after
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breakfast to Te Pohoo Mahaki, to see those who had arrived, and settled that we would wait till the rest of the people had come up. At about half-past eight a cloud of dust announced their near approach, and presently about 250 armed men marched up in the greatest order. It was a new sight for Turanga, which had not been seen for five-and-twenty years. Men under arms, and that, too, on the Sabbath day. Preparation had been made for our friends, and with the help of two hundred pounds of bread from the school, they were soon refreshed. We then had service under the trees, and all was as quiet as though there had been no excitement. On the 11th of March, last year, our friend Volkner arrived from Opotiki, to attend the Synod.. He came through the forest by the same road which his murderers have now traversed. He interested us much by his lively account of the natives at Opotiki, and of the painful excitement through which he had passed on occasion of their determining to go off to Waikato to join Tamihana. Now at our English service I had the painful circumstances of his cruel death to allude to. But he has joined the company of those who, having come out of great tribulation, have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, and are now before the throne of God. Heard in the evening that this party is to be at Taureka to breakfast, which is distant about two miles.
March 13. --The natives were under arms early, to the number of about 300; but a large party also were looking on. While looking on, I was called aside by Hirini. A native had just come to report a steamer in the Bay, supposed to be a man-of-war. I recommended that the news should be kept quiet, and that my son should go off at once and inquire. While the natives were still under arms, I watched with anxiety the approach of horsemen as they came quickly up the road, supposing that each one would bring the news. As the natives dispersed to breakfast, I walked towards my house, and soon there was an outcry, "A stranger, a stranger!" and I soon recognized the naval uniform. I hurried on to receive Captain Fremantle, of H. M. S. Eclipse, who was quickly followed by Bishop Selwyn, and Mr. Rice, the interpreter. They had received the news in Auckland, and this vessel was come to look after us. Natives were quickly together to hear. Raharuhi addressed the Bishop, and the Bishop answered him. Mr. Rice proposed to the natives to go and seize these fanatics, which was an ill-judged idea. The natives objected to this proposal. They said they had not had any shedding of blood here, and they did not wish to have any. I explained to Captain Fremantle that there was close family relationship between this people and the Whakatohea, and that for this reason they could not be expected to take the step. They said, moreover, that if Mr. Grace had been here they would have taken him, but'that if they were to attempt to seize these people, it would be certain death to Mr. Grace. The natives were then asked what should be done in Mr. Grace's behalf, when it was stated that these fanatics have said that the vessel is gone from Opotiki bearing a letter to the Governor demanding the release of Hori Tupaea, and promising that Mr. Grace shall then be given up. Mr. Rice stated that Hori Tupaea had been set free, and was at Tauranga. Upon this, Anaru Matete went to communicate with the fanatics, and it was settled that a letter should be written from the chiefs of Turanga to Tupaea, urging him to ac-
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company two of the Turanga chiefs to Opotiki, to obtain Mr. Grace's release.
March 14. --Two chiefs went on board the "Eclipse" this morning for Tauranga. In the meantime, the whole body of our natives, perhaps about 600, went to Taureka. It was understood that, when they had had an interview, the chief Hirini was to require their return from this place. After the usual ceremony of speaking had been gone through, the meeting was broken up in confusion, and by a preconcerted plan these fanatics were invited to go to other villages to be there treated with hospitality. I was also told that the tribe Te Whanau Kai are intending to receive this new abomination, and that there is a general disposition to fraternize with these wretches. I wrote a very strong letter to the Runanga, and my son wrote another, which I committed to Tamihana Rutapa, one of the leading men. I told them that if they follow out this course, and unite themselves with murderers, I will at once leave them. Went to the Runanga's house, which is close by, and found the people much cast down by the aspect of affairs. Poor old Raharuhi said, "You will not go, I will send these people away myself."
March 15. --Raharuhe left at daylight for Patutahi, and we thought it best to wait for tidings. Many natives rode away to Patutahi, having come down the valley, but we were in the dark as to what was passing. At length we sent a messenger, who told us on his return that all the Paimarire are gone to Whakato. We then took counsel, and settled that my son and I, with the native clergymen who are now with us, should proceed to Whakato to ascertain the aspect of affairs. When we reached the crossing of the river, we had to wait a long time before we could get over, and the speaking was concluded before we got there. We heard, however, that all had gone on better than we had expected. The Runanga had declared by Hirini that the flags, which are their sacred emblems, and the whole of the abominations of this people, which they laid before Hirini for his acceptance, are to be taken away, and that none of the people are to be allowed to join them. Finding matters in this state, we deemed it better not to come in collision with the fanatics. We were at some little distance outside the body of the people, and soon afterwards the fanatics went through their karakia and abominations. Our bell was rung, and we went into the church to prayers, after which we adjourned to a Runanga, when I heard the general explanations of the natives, which place them in a better position than they were.
March 16. --These fanatics having said much about their power to work miracles, and among other things being able to draw ships on shore, a native went to them this morning and gave them a fair challenge to drag on shore a steamer now at anchor. This led to a thorough discomfiture of the party, and they decamped in great anger to the village they slept at the preceding night, where they have met with more favour. It is said they wait there until they are joined by a party of their friends, who are daily expected by way of Wairoa.
March 18. --We hear this evening that the fanatics from Wairoa have arrived, and that they are accompanied by four hundred armed men who are intending to go to fight at Maketu. It is reported,
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however, that if Hirini tells the warrior natives to go back, they will at once comply. I sent off trusty messengers, two in the direction of the strangers to learn their movements, and two to our own people at Whakato to request that they will collect at this place if these people are coming to Patutahi.
March 19, Sunday. --Our messengers returned in the night, and it seems likely that there will be first a gathering at Whakato to-morrow. Had native service at 10, and preached on the subject of Paimarire. Horomona and two others walked out in the middle of the sermon. After service, I went to the natives, who were sitting under the trees, to inquire into the cause. There was Horomona, and he made a very lame excuse. He said that on Tuesday, at the great meeting at his village, I had not spoken of the idolatry of this Paimarire worship, but that I had now made it the subject of my sermon. I told him that the reason of my silence on Tuesday was that the chiefs had requested I would keep silence, and leave them only to speak, but that to-day I was on my own ground. During afternoon native service, Eparaima Te Kara, a Turanga native, arrived from Opotiki. He landed at Wakatane, and there heard of Mr. Volkner's murder, and that Mr. Grace was prisoner at Opotoki. Being told that the the principal Tiu of this murdering party was at Matata, which lies in the direction of Maketu, he went there to request that Mr. Grace, who belonged to Turanga, might be given up to him. This Tiu said that if Grace and Volkner had both been killed, it would have been well, but that, as Grace was alive, he might take him to Turanga. "Don't bring him this way, or I shall kill him." Eparaima then asked for a letter to the Opotiki people, but this was refused. When he made his application at Opotiki, the Whakatohea asked for his authority, and in the absence of any, they refused to give up Mr. Grace. All he could accomplish was to bring three small pencil notes, written secretly on scraps of paper, requesting the interference of Turanga natives.
A translation of these notes I forwarded immediately to the Turanga chiefs. But it does not appear that action can be taken from this side; first, because steps have been taken from the Bay of Plenty by H. M. S. "Eclipse," in which two of the Turanga chiefs are gone for this purpose. Secondly, it would be dangerous for Mr. Grace to meet this party in the woods on their return to Opotiki.
Mohi, the native deacon of Waiapu, arrived this evening by the schooner "Sea Shell," and brings word that Ngatiporou, even the King party feel very indignant on account of this murder.
March 20. --Conflicting accounts about the strangers from Wairoa. Some say that Whakato, others that Patutahi is to be the place of meeting; so that we sent to ascertain. In the meantime Mr. Wyllie called, and as the "Sea Shell" is under his control, I recommended that she should be kept at anchor outside the river until we can ascertain what is likely to be the proceeding of this new party. In the afternoon I went with my son and three of our native clergymen to Whakato. We informed the settlers on our way that our opinion was in favour of being on the alert. Saw one of them at Matawhero, who told me that the natives of Patutahi had given notice to Mrs. Wyllie that they could not undertake to protect the white people. Crossed the river to the place where the natives are assembled, and
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found first, that the strangers were not so numerous as reported by one-half, and secondly, that the tone of the Tiu is altogether different from that of the Opotiki party. The speeches of our natives were over before we got there, but we heard that they were good and decisive. I returned home after dark to carry the report, leaving my son to watch the proceedings.
March 21. --The report of proceedings to-day is more satisfactory. The fact that a number of settlers took the alarm yesterday, and made a movement with their families towards the vessel, has had a good effect, and seems to stir up the natives to more prompt measures.
A document of some interest came into our hands to day. It is a copy of the Instructions given by Horopapera, the leader of the Paimarire, to the two parties who have now come to Turanga. If this is the only instruction given, there is no sanction in it to murder.
"Matakaha, Taranaki; Dec. 8, 1864.
"This is an Instruction respecting the head which is now given to be carried to different parts of the Island. The road is to be direct from hence to Waitotara, then inland till you come to Pipiriki, thence to Taupo, then to the Uriwera, and on to Ngatiporou till you come to Hirini Te Kaniatakirau, which is to bo the extent of your journey. Let it be carried properly. Do not make a blunder about it, as Rangitanira blundered over my former Instructions to the Island. Let these my instructions to the different parts of the island be carried properly, that they may reach Hirini after a suitable manner. Hirini may deliver it to his English friends at that place. Let this letter be read at all the villages. If it become soiled with dirt, make a copy of it on fresh paper, that it may reach other places further on in proper condition; and let this be observed till you reach Hirini.
"+ From TE UA HAUMENE."
" From Te Ua Haumene + to all places of the Island to the full extent of all its boundaries."
March 22. --My son, accompanied by his cousin, Mr. Henry Williams, with several of our natives, went to Patutahi, as all the natives were to be together again. There was very little said in the way of speeches, but the Paimarire being strong in force, took their opportunity. They made an imposing display of their karakia (worship), which is got up for effect, and likely to produce it on weak minds, after which there was a grand wailing for those who have been killed in the war, and for the land which has been taken from them. All this was calculated to produce great excitement among those who have not joined; and such seems to be its evil effect. The well-disposed natives seem to be unnerved; they show no energy boldly to resist these efforts, and to drive away these murderers from among them; while the majority of the natives who are nearest to us, and with whom we have been always on the best terms, seem to be carried away by the infatuation.
March 25. --At length there is a movement among these Paimarire. The party from Wairoa are moving towards the coast to return by Wairoa, and more who came from Opotiki are also on their way, but they have only gone two miles to-day, and it is possible they may intend to linger on the road in order to do more mischief. Our position
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here is uncertain. Some of our best friends seem inclined to recommend us to move out of the way. On Monday, the 27th, we hope to have a meeting of all the chiefs, and then we may learn what is the prospect before us.
April 1, 1865. --These Paimarire are still here, and have done an immense amount of evil. They have worked upon the minds of many weak natives, and some of those in whom we placed the greatest confidence have been led away.
The Government have most kindly responded to our call. First H. M. S. "Eclipse" came with Bishop Selwyn. Then the steamer "Lady Bird" followed, to render any help that might be required. But at that time there was a better prospect.
We then concluded that the children and the females should be sent away, so as to leave those who remain less embarrassed. This was about to have been done to-day, by a sailing vessel belonging to this place. In the meantime the Government have sent the steamer "St. Kilda," and the party will go off in her to Napier. There will then remain Mrs. Williams and myself, my son Leonard, and Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, and two of my daughters. If then there should be a sudden alarm from a distance, we shall be in a position to move from our present residence to a part of the bay where natives can be relied on.
In the meantime, the Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. He will, I doubt not, overrule all that is now passing to the furtherance of the Gospel.
This Paimarire is a deeply-laid scheme of the devil, whom God will bruize under our feet shortly.
The object they had in coming over to this side of the island is this. They have been beaten in Waikato; they had before them the prospect of being beaten between Taranaki and Wanganui; and they were anxious to look out for a convenient retreat. They fancy they can find this here, and they talk of coming back with 600 men shortly; but should they do so, they will find themselves met by stout opposition from the Government. The natives are much to be pitied; but they have allowed themselves to be brought under this delusion in the face of the clearest warning.
Napier; April 5, 1865. --I wrote a short letter on the 1st. We were then under serious apprehension. These fanatics were living within two miles of us, under the countenance of the natives. The murderer of Mr. Volkner had made no scruple to avow his wishes respecting myself. The principal natives, who had stood up boldly in opposition at first, were now being drawn under the evil influence. Patara, a most designing, artful man, who professed to disapprove of the murder, but was most undoubtedly privy to and approving of the whole transaction, had contrived to insinuate himself into the good opinion of those leading men; and a few days ago he called at the stores of some of the settlers, under the escort of those chiefs, professedly for the purpose of assuring them that there was no reason for apprehension on their part; but on this occasion he made use of most insulting language, which amounted to a threat to treat them with violence on the return of these fanatics. This he did in the presence of the chiefs, and there-
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fore with their sanction. This proceeding was sufficient to alarm the settlers generally, and several families were leaving on the 1st. On the 2nd, which was Sunday, we received a further intimation, which arose out of the arrival of a party from Otaki, who had been long expected as visitors here. The chief man of the party is Wi Tako, a man well disposed to the Government, and taking a strong view against these Paimarire. He reprobated strongly the vacillating policy of the Turanga natives. This expression aroused the worst feelings of the fanatics, and they prepared at once to act on the defensive, and threatened to make a general raid upon the white inhabitants. The friendly natives advised that we should at once remove out of the way. I was prepared to leave our home, and go and occupy our old station, among natives more to be depended upon, and there to watch proceedings. It was finally concluded that all the females should be removed, and that only my son Leonard, with Mr. Samuel Williams and one of my nephews, should remain and watch the course of events. On the afternoon of the next day, the 3rd, I left in the steamer "St. Kilda," which had been kindly sent by the Government to look after the refugees. Our party consisted of nineteen, including Mr. and Mrs. E. Clarke. The prospect for the natives is very gloomy. If they persist in following the blind course which they now have taken up, they must come into collision with the Government. A meeting was to have been held yesterday, and I hope that the influence of the chief Wi Tako may induce them to retrace their steps. I enclose a copy of the "Hawkes Bay Herald," which contains an article I was requested to write on this subject. It is a sad conclusion, after twenty-five years of labour, to be obliged then to leave; but God has His own designs to accomplish, and we know that the end will bo His glory. We start for Auckland on Friday.
In concluding these notices of this melancholy outbreak, the Committee feel that it is necessary to call the attention of their friends to the following points:--
Remarks of the Committee.
1. This murder was committed at the instigation of a band of religio-political fanatics newly arrived at Opotiki, who pretended to work miracles and speak unknown tongues, and had come from a distance to collect recruits for a final effort to expel the English.
2. The perpetrators of the horrid deed were not leading chiefs, but a rabble made up of sixteen different tribes.
3. The fanatics had come from Taranaki, the scene of the first fatal mistake, five years ago, when martial law was proclaimed to protect a party of land-surveyors who attempted to take forcible possession of the land at Waitara; the
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claim to which land has since been abandoned by Proclamation as unjustifiable.
4. Mr. Volkner had left Opotiki for Auckland on two or three occasions, and some of the people charged him with communicating information to Government respecting the "King" troops. He was absent when the fanatics arrived. They had already plundered his house. Many of his people had renounced Christianity for this new religion. His arrival was in the first burst of the new superstition; and he was seized as a prisoner on board the vessel which brought him, and murdered the day after his arrival.
5. The religio-political aspect of this horrid transaction was further manifest in the facts. The Taranaki priest Kereopa, the miracle worker, ordered the murder, and the rope was put round Mr. Volkner's neck by the son of a chief who had been shot in cold blood by the British troops, or their allies, on their passage through the country some months before, and the family had, according to ancient national customs, vowed to have "payment" in blood for blood.
6. The case of Mr. Grace, taken prisoner with Mr. Volkner, further illustrates the nature of the murder. He was kept a prisoner till the return of the great chief Patara. Then a kind of trial took place, in which the case of Mr. Volkner, as well as that of Mr. Grace, was investigated. Mr. Volkner was most unjustly accused of being a government spy. Mr. Grace was to be exchanged for a prisoner in the hands of the British troops.
7. The Committee, reviewing all these circumstances, wait for further accounts with great anxiety, and they call upon all the friends of Missions to unite in humiliation before God, and in special prayer for the interposition of His arm to rescue His servants from death, and His own cause from the reproach of His enemies. This new fanaticism sets at defiance all ordinary calculations. Such outbursts of horrid and blood-thirsty fanaticism have from time to time appeared in the Church of Christ at seasons of religious or political
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excitement, both in the early church and at the season of the Reformation. At the latter period, a sect, under the name of Anabaptists, arose in the Churches of the Reformation, of which Mosheim writes,-- "They chose Munster as the scene of their horrid operations (1533), and committed in it such deeds as would surpass all credibility, were they not attested in a manner that excludes every degree of doubt and uncertainty."
8. It would have been as easy as in the present case to decry the Reformation as a failure, and to reproach Christianity on account of the fanaticism of the Anabaptists.
9. It must not be forgotten that for five years since the first unhappy aggression (since acknowledged to be unjust) upon the natives by British troops, the Missionaries have been allowed to hold a neutral position, and to minister to both parties. The power of Christianity has been proved in innumerable instances as a restraint from savage temptations, and as a firm basis of loyalty. At Wanganui, and again in the neighbourhood of Tauranga, the sounder part of the natives have nobly shed their blood in the Queen's cause against their countrymen. But the Missionaries of this Society, and the Committee, have from time to time given warning, that if war was continued and confiscation carried out, it would lead to exasperation horrid to contemplate, and a disorganization full of perils to both races. May the Lord yet avert the dangers for the sake of His dear Son, who shed His blood "to seek and save that which was lost."
10. It remains to be seen whether, in the present disorganized state of the native race, this fanaticism will affect the whole body, or whether it will, in God's great mercy, be checked and extinguished by the sounder part of the Native Church.
CHURCH MISSIONARY HOUSE;
July 10, 1865.
London: Printed by C. F. Hodgson & Son, Gough Square, Fleet Street, EC.