1836 - Yate, William. Letters to the Rev. William Yate, from Natives of New Zealand... - [Letters received in England] p 68-98

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  1836 - Yate, William. Letters to the Rev. William Yate, from Natives of New Zealand... - [Letters received in England] p 68-98
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[Letters received in England]

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The following letters were written to Mr. Yate, during his residence in England.



To Mr. Yate. Sir, Mr. Yate, how do you do--you, who permitted us to enter the Church of Christ. This is the thing, Sir if, from our baptism, we walk uprightly before you, then the words of God will spring up within us: for you desire us to live as in the presence of God. Rut I am writing to you, that you may hear my thoughts. If the grace of God should cause us, the evil, the deaf, the hard-

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hearted people, to hear and obey the callings of God, then all will be well; but we are more inclined to listen to evil than to good; perhaps this is the reason, perhaps it is not, that we have not in truth received the things of Jesus Christ. Ah, sir, we are not yet jealous enough of the deceitfulness of our hearts, which are yet native and ignorant, and blind and deaf, and hard, and covered over with sin; and the sinfulness of our hearts confuses all the words of everlasting life, which we hear with our ears, and read out of the word of God. The thoughts of our native hearts sometimes say, "By and bye listen; do not listen to day, to-morrow will do for you to be thoughtful about the soul, to-morrow, or bye and bye." How is it to be? and how am I to be rid of this distracting native heart? Think you about it, and do you say Sir, Mr. Yate, listen to my speech, I am very well, as I am writing this book to you, but before you return here again, perhaps I shall be returned to dust, perhaps I shall not, for God has said, that

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every man who lives in this world must die; but He has not said when. Sir, Mr. Yate, listen to me, and I will tell you all about those who have died since you left New Zealand. Many who believe in Christ, have died, and it is well that His believing people should go to Him, and not sit here for ever. Kape Kohine's younger sister was one, Tuwakawaha's daughter was another; the elder brother of Mere Hemara, Tangiwai; the wife of your boy Toataua, and Toa has been crying ever since she died; Kohine Rangi, her name was Mere, for she was baptized, and she partook of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and Mr. Henry Williams is come up from Paihia for the purpose; Mr, Clarke sent a messenger for him. She died, and she died believing, and she is gone to heaven. Another also, as I am writing this book, is dying, Koihuru, the wife of your good boy Henare; one at the village of Ngai-te-wiu, a believing woman; another, Pekapeka, the wife of Hako, all these are dead, and before you come back

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we shall all be swept away. Hurry back again altogether, hurry back again to this native land! Mr. Yate! how do you do? Waru and I are to go to the Lord's supper next week; pray for us, that God would cause us rightly to go. Mr. Yate, health to you, and to all your friends. I am well, and George; and Caroline and Cosmo are well: and I am thinking, that though before you come back here, my body may die, my spirit will live, and it will live happy with God for ever. This is all my speech to you, Sir, mine,



Although poor Sarah expresses a doubt, whether she had ever received in truth, the things of Jesus Christ; yet no one after reading this letter, would be inclined to think it at all doubtful.

Being tempted to sin, is no proof that we are not Christians; the enemy of our souls will not lose his power over us, without a struggle, and when she so earnestly

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asks, "How am I to be rid of this distracting native heart?" it is very plain, that she is determined to fight with her enemy; and those who fight in the strength of the Lord, will conquer in the end, though it may be a long time first. But those who are unconscious of the evil of their natural hearts, or yield wilfully to the temptations of the devil, they are none of Christ's.

Reader, take time to consider whether you have ever known anything of this struggle, whether you are desirous of living as in the presence of God: and be jealous over your deceitful heart. If you now feel the burden of sin, and are longing after perfect holiness, you will feel that "it is well; Christ's believing people should go to Him, and not sit here for ever."

Death to worldly people is the king of terrors, but by true Christians it is looked upon as the gate of life. Those who abhor sin, and trust in Christ, will, like Sarah, look forward with joy to the time, when the body shall die, but the spirit live, and live happy with God for ever.

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The way in which many, even professing Christians speak of death, shows but very little faith in Him who took part in our flesh, "that through death He might destroy him, that had the power of death, that is, the devil," (Heb. ii. 14.) and who thereby purchased an unfading crown of glory for all who die believing in Him.

It is a very common thing to hear those who have lost truly Christian friends calling them poor, they will say, "my poor husband,"-- "my poor friend." This does not look very much as if they believed them to be gloriously happy, and rich beyond all conception. It may be said that this expression is used without thought; but Christians ought to think, and to weigh their words, and not speak at random; but it is also owing to want of faith; for if they had seen, what they pretend to believe, they would call them poor no longer.

The Heathens may well say that Christians pretend to believe what they really do not. We have all need to pray most earnestly, "Lord increase our faith."

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My friend Mr. Yate. How do you do? Sir, here we are all sitting, some of us well, and some ill. My friend, Mr. Yate, we altogether think about you. You are cut away by the sea from your sons here, and from the people of this native world. Oh, how great is our love to you! because, Sir, it was you who made yourself our Godfather, who permitted us to enter the church of Christ; it was you who preached to us the Gospel of God, to us, the people of the School-house, and to the people of the native residences also. Sir, be very mindful to pray to God for us for the people of New Zealand, and for all the dark islands of this world. Pray to Him for the sick, and that He would spare

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and be gracious to those who are lying upon the bed of sickness, and cause their hearts to understand all His gracious works. I write this book to you that you may altogether hear my thoughts; I say, that if, with a joking heart I hear and receive the Word of God, pain will be reserved for my spirit for ever, and no joy will be for ever mine. Friend, my children are well. Caroline has been ill, sickness stuck fast to her; it began soon after you left, and her body was soon fleshless, and I cried. My friend, I have finished your room, and your bed-room is finished, all but the finishing round the doors, and round the top; the mantle-piece is done, and the grate is fastened in. Perhaps you will say it is well, perhaps not. I am now working at Mr. Clarke's bed-room. Friend, I am going to tell you something, shall I? Mr. Clarke and I have been talking, and I am thinking of going to my residence at the Ngai-te-wiu, to sit. I write this book that you may know about it. I am going if you say yes to it. Mr. Clarke has said

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yes, and has a desire for me to go; but, my friend, should I be overtaken by death! well, then my plans will be ended. If I live, I shall work as a carpenter, and shall teach my own people all that I learned about carpentering, and other things which I learned when with you. I shall teach them to build houses, and all that I know. What shall I not teach them? now, do you altogether listen to me, will not you be pleased with my going, I know that my father, Mr. Yate, will be pleased for me to go to the native village, and to sit there and teach the people. My friend, Mr. Yate, I have very great love for you. Say to all your friends to pray with you to God for us; and let your prayers be one, that we may not lay hold of that which is evil, but that the truth of God may be altogether fastened upon our hearts. This is all my speech to you. Do not forget that you have a friend, George. By me is this written, by


To Mr. YATE in England.

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The love which these New Zealanders express towards Mr. Yate, for having preached to them the Gospel of God, is a great lesson to us, to reverence and love our ministers.

But it is only those who know the value of their souls, who will rightly prize being taught the way of salvation. Many alas! in this land are so proud, that they have no wish for instruction, and many are so fond of their own evil ways, that they have no pleasure in the pure and holy doctrine of Christ's religion, which teaches us "that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." (Titus ii. 12.)

Reader, if conscience should tell you that you take no real pleasure in religion, and value not those who are willing to instruct you, consider what George says; that if with a joking, that is, a careless heart, you hear and receive the word of God, pain will be reserved for your spirit for ever. And let his example lead you to think more about your soul, and to pray that you may

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not lay hold of that which is evil, but that the truth of God may be altogether fastened on your heart.


SIR. Mr. Yate, how do you do? and how are all of you? on one of the days of September, in the fourth week of it, on the Monday, I began to write this speech to you. I am going to write about what has happened in New Zealand, and to the men of the school, ill or well, alive or dead. Some are well, and some are lying sick, some of the men, and some of the women; but all the children in the school, both natives, and Europeans, are well; and so am I alive and well. In this month we are all sitting at the Waimate, working, and playing, and talking, and reading, and writing, and listening; but in the midst of all this, thoughts of love frequently rush into our hearts, for our loving Father, Mr. Yate; and all the boys, and every body, says, "Ngapuhi must write a book, and

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tell our Father all about us; and that will make his heart glad in England. "Truly, indeed, very great is the love we all have for you; and all the Waimate says they will go to England to see Mr. Yate, to look once again, only once, upon his face. Mr. Yate are you well? We were very jealous at the rising of a great wind, a few days after you left here, we said, "Oh, the great waves, upon the great sea!" We thought of the rocking of the vessel upon the sea, and said, "they are all sick, they are all overturned; they are all gone to the bottom of the sea!" are you well? and have you overcome your sickness? and have you as yet escaped the great many evils of this world in which we live? Great is our love for you; do you make haste back again, and make our hearts run over with gladness. Perhaps you will not return very soon, and when you come you will cry over the many that are consumed by death, or that are pained by sickness.

This is all from your boy, --from


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SIR. How do you do? this is my speech to you. The sacred day was the day in which this book was written. One Sabbath ago, all the baptized natives at the Waimate, assembled at the Waimate to eat the Supper of the Lord. This is also my saying to you; we are all alive and well here; Samuel, and my wife, and my children, and my friends, my brothers, and my fathers, and my elder brothers, all, all, all, are well. God's grace makes us all, altogether pray for you, whilst you are absent from us. Do you also pray to God for us. How great is the love we bear for you; we pray every day to our God for you. When shall you come back again? will you not return very shortly to us? and will you not write a book to us, that we may hear all about you, and all about your

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residence in England? Here are we, all sitting quietly, we are not troublesome, and all in the fortification are sitting in peace. The time is arrived when a native man's heart can be a long time glad. Here is a peck of wheat springing up in my ground. My father, Mr. Davis, gave me the wheat, and my father, Mr. Clarke. Our earth is now bringing forth new things, and new things are growing in our hearts. Some of the great chiefs are beginning to believe. Moka has laid hold of the words of God, and so has Warerahi also; by and bye a house of prayer will be built at Kororareka, Mr. Busby says so. George Waru will presently come to this native residence, and will sit with me; and Edward Hongi is going to Wangaroa to live, and to saw trees. Richard and Abraham, and Temorenga, and Cosmo, are all ill, and it will not be long before they are called to go to God. We are very desirous of gathering ourselves together, and going to the white people to read the Bible, and to hear from them the straight things contained in it.

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There we hear of the Sacrament, that good ordinance, that powerful remembrancer of Christ, and of the death of Christ. There we hear and feel the good which those believing people obtain, who rightly eat of the body, and who rightly drink of the blood of Christ. Listen to this my speech to you.

How do you do Mr. Yate? This is all my speech to you, mine,

At the Waimate.


The blessed effects of the holy religion of Jesus Christ are shown in this letter. The New Zealanders who formerly desired for their children nothing more than that their hearts might be as hard as a stone, now feel how much holiness, and happiness, go together. The time is come, says the writer of this letter, when a native man's heart can be a long time glad; and we may easily understand why it is so, because he tells us, that they begin to take delight in the Bible, and to hear and feel the good

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which those believing people obtain who rightly eat of the body, and rightly drink of the blood of Christ. Reader is it so with you? Is your heart made glad with the knowledge of Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Do you love the sacrament of His body and blood, and feel that it is a good ordinance, and a powerful remembrancer of the death of Christ?

Religion ought to make us sit in peace. Whoever has a right knowledge of Christ, feels that God is at peace with him, and he is at peace with all men; he is no longer of a quarrelling, troublesome temper, but loves his brother as himself, and he forgives others, even as he hopes God for Christ's sake has forgiven him. Observe, whatever a Christian does which is right, he acknowledges that it comes from God; "it is God's grace makes us altogether to pray we cannot do any thing good of ourselves: we cannot even ask for what we want in an acceptable manner, without His help and favour; for it is from Him that all holy desires, all good counsel, and all just works do come.

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Mr. Yate, how do you do? Sir, have you outlived your sailing across the sea, to your residence; or are you dead? Perhaps, Mr. Yate, you will not return to this land again, till we are all dead. Ah, Sir! pray for us: we are a wicked, and a dying people in New Zealand: and ask your friends to pray with you, and to let your prayers be all one for us. Mr. Yate, here am I, and my wife and children sitting in my house. All my work is to take medicine, and all Caroline's work is to rub my back. O! how the bone in my back burns, when I attempt to sit up; and when I lie down, then the burning passes from my back inside me, and I cry with pain; and then when full of pain, I hear the Spirit of Peace speaking to me, and then I am strong to pray to the Lord my Saviour to take care of me, and, if it is good to Him,

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to take away the pain, but always to preserve me from the evil of this world, and from being angry in my heart at Him for doing this thing, and making me ill. Sir, it was almost immediately after you left that I became sick: as I was carrying fire-wood, a pain struck in the long bone of my back, and now I am crooked, and cannot stir without help, and my head touches my knees, and I am ashamed to give so much trouble to others, and to take medicine, and to eat without working to pay for it. Sir, Mr. Yate, my wife is very kind to me, she gives me my medicine, and sits all day by my side, and looks at me, and a tear comes in her eye, and she says "alas! Pahau will soon die;" and she is good to my children; and all this is a cause of great gladness to my heart--my wife is so good to me. Do you remember, Mr. Yate, do you remember. Mr. Yate, how do you do? and how are all your friends, and all your play-fellows, and all your thinking friends? My Father, Mr. Yate, my love for you is great, though you are at such a distance

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from us, but my love will soon be ended in this world; my spirit will for ever love you. Be strong in prayer for us all. The end of my love for you is, --how do you do? How many moons shall you be before you return? Perhaps one year, perhaps two: let it be one.

From COSMO JORDON PAHA at the Waimate, to his Father, Mr. Yate, in England. 1834.


In reading this letter, we read of the blessedness of true religion. When sickness comes, and death approaches, there is nothing else which can comfort. Poor Cosmo found no relief, though all his work was to take medicine; sitting up or lying down, all was burning heat, and racking pain; and yet, though so full of pain, he could hear the Spirit of Peace speaking to him. Though so weak, he could not stir without help, and his head touching his knees, yet he was strong to pray; he could look up with confidence to his Lord and Saviour, either to take away

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his pain, or to keep him from the evil of a murmuring temper. What a different state a worldly-minded person would have been in! What can speak peace to a sick and dying man, if he does not feel himself to be reconciled to God by faith in Jesus Christ? It is the Holy Spirit alone which can, at such a time, speak peace; but his voice is only heard in terror, by the sinner.

The Christian, on the contrary, is one who has made earnest prayer to our Saviour, and doubts not that the sins he has repented of, are washed away by His blood, shed upon the cross; he has, therefore, no fear of death; and he is patient under sufferings, because, if it is the will of his reconciled Father to afflict him, he is sure it is for good; he knows that the God who spared not his own Son, but freely gave him up for us all, must love us, and will not willingly afflict us. He can trust Him to send health or sickness, life or death, as it is best. A Christian is at peace, because he casts all his care upon God, who careth for him. Prayer is his consolation and his

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joy: it is speaking to a friend who has all power, and all goodness; and in telling his wants to such a friend, he finds perfect peace. Reader, is God your reconciled Father? have you found peace by seeking for it through Jesus Christ? If not, remember the hour of sickness and death will come, and may even now be near at hand: therefore, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." Prayer is God's appointed means for obtaining all we want, and we cannot do better than imitate this dying New Zealander in his love of prayer, and in his simple scriptural ideas of the value of it. We see how he asks not only his friend, but his friend's friends to pray for him.

The Scriptures give us the greatest encouragement to pray, for it is written, "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you," (Matt. vii. 7.) and again, "This is the confidence that we have in God, that if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us," (I John. v. 14.)

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Sir. Mr. Yate, how do you do, my friend. This is my speech to you. Perhaps you will not again see Koihuru; she is very ill; and all my work, by night and day, is to watch her, and take care of her; perhaps she will live, perhaps die. Mr. Clarke says she will die. I am scarcely able to say any thing to you on account of the pain in my heart for the sickness of my wife, who will not live. But our Father says, This world is not to be the abiding place of His people, but that heaven is their rest. Oh! how many things there are which cause wonder to us in the Book of God! Christ says, he that doeth the will of my Father, the same is to Him, a brother, and sister, and father, and mother. He will not leave me all alone, nor let me sit as a widower, or as an orphan, when my loving Koihuru dies. This

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is my saying to you--do you be very courageous in prayer for me, and for every body in New Zealand; for the good and for the bad; for the unbelieving, and for the believing people: and quickly let your prayers be offered up from the Waimate, that our own ears may hear that you do indeed ask God to be gracious and merciful unto us, and to bless us, and to let us hear and see and feel His love. Finished is this my saying to you. --Listen again. Many, who were here when you were at the Waimate, will not see this place again; they are dead, and they are buried, and their spirits have returned to the Judge of all men. Kape, and Mere Kohine Rangi, and Tangiwai, and Paitaro. If these all died believing in Jesus Christ, they are gone to heaven, and there will find eternal rest for their spirits. You have often said to us to turn quickly to the Saviour, and to our Father in heaven, as we know not how soon we may die. You said true, we know not how soon we may die. Kape was a child, and Kohine only just a woman; and

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where are they? I think New Zealanders will all begin to think by-and-bye. Many come to Mr. Clarke's house every Monday, to read, and to hear him explain to us; but I am fearful it is all ear, and little or no heart. Do you make haste back again; come, and make plain the parables, and hard things in the word of God; God will teach us; but we want you to tell us every day about it, and to let us ask you, as we formerly did, the meaning of this, and the meaning of that. This is all my saying to you--how do you do, how do you do? and how do all your friends do?

From me is this; from Henare Piripi Unahanga, at the Waimate, to Mr. Yate.


The shortness and uncertainty of our present life is surely a great reason why we should prepare for that which is to follow. But how many people go on year after year, thinking little or nothing of what is to become of them when they die. Reader, is it so with you? or have you good reason to think that when you leave this world,

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your spirit will find eternal rest in heaven? Have you given your heart, or only your ear, to the things of God? Are you anxious to know from the Bible what is necessary to save your soul? and are you wishing to be taught by those, who are able to explain, what you do not understand? If people are careless and indifferent about religion, and think but little of heaven, and eternity, they stand on the brink of ruin; remember, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. vii. 14.) There is no hope at all that those will get to heaven who never "strive to enter in." "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force," (Matt. xi. 12;) that is to say, those only who make a violent effort, can hope to enter the kingdom of heaven. And surely it is worth a great effort to be happy for ever; it is far more worth thinking about, than worldly concerns.

Any one who knew he should be turned out of his house in a short time, would

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think a great deal about getting another, and would not rest satisfied till he had secured a home to go to. Now, reader, remember, that very soon, perhaps even to-morrow, you will be turned out of house and home; and then no earthly friend can help you; all the riches of India cannot buy a home for a dying man. Oh what shall we do, if when that hour comes, we should find that, having made no violent effort to enter heaven, the doors are shut against us.

There is no middle state for those to go to, who have lived good, moral, respectable lives. No; there are but two states after death; and unless we have a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, we must expect to lift up our eyes in hell, being in torment. It is most desirable that this should be well thought of and considered; and that we should always remember, that unless we have secured to ourselves while we live an inheritance among the saints, we must find our abode after death, with the devil and his angels.

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Reader ask yourself these questions. Are you now anxiously looking to Christ "for wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption?" (1 Cor. i. 30.) Are you trusting in Him and loving Him as your all in all? To them that believe, Christ is precious; is He precious to you? Are His people precious to you? Do you love the company of the saints on earth? Do you feel yourself to be a fellow citizen with them, and of the household of God? (See Eph. ii. 19.)

By such questions as these, you may easily know, whether death would be gain or loss to you, and remember, it is gain or loss, to last for ever; there is no repentance in the grave.

All these New Zealanders of whom you have been reading, you will see in another world; for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and all who die believing in the Lord Jesus, will be with Him for ever, in the kingdom which He hath purchased with His blood.

Would you not, dear reader, wish to be

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of that number? then as Henare says, be very courageous in prayer, and ask God to be gracious and merciful unto you, and to bless you, and to let you see and hear and feel His love.

If any thing you have read in these letters, should lead you to think more of the value of your soul, and to desire more earnestly, and to strive more diligently, to enter into Christ's kingdom upon earth, how delightful will be your meeting with the writers of them, in the kingdom of heaven. There will then be no more wide ocean to separate us from one another, but all, of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation will join, to sing one new song of praise to Him who was slain, and hath redeemed us unto God by His blood; then all true believers, whether they be natives of Old England, or of New Zealand, will form part of that great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, who shall stand before the throne, and be-

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fore the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (See Rev. vii. 10.)

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