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The Ordination of Rota, the first Maori Deacon, St. Paul's Church, Auckland, Trinity Sunday, 1853.
Oh! kneeling at a Christian shrine,
Within thine own unconquer'd land,
May God, the Pakeha's 1
God and thine,
Anoint thee with His grace divine,
And touch thee with His wounded hand!
Weep'st thou? Ah, weep not, He has trod
The dark and toilsome path before;
With bleeding brow, with feet unshod,
The Omnipotent One, the world-wide God,
Stood on the Roman's marble floor.
He stood forsaken and alone,
But 'twas to wash thy sins away,--
To claim thee, clasp thee as His own,
And from a victor's golden throne
To stoop and wipe thy tears to-day.
The simple robe of spotless white,
The elements of bread and wine,
Speak to the inward, hidden sight:
Oh, may the sevenfold Spirit bright,
Deep-searching, rouse and waken thine!
My soul is bow'd in speechless prayer
For thee, thou dark-brow'd man;
God lead thee by the rivers fair,
And should thy spirit faint with care,
Refresh thee, for alone He can.
His latest heritage thou art,
Foretold of yore by sage and king,
When all earth's farthest isles shall bow,
And bend the knee, and speak the vow,
Rich gifts and glad Hosannas bring.
Perchance the martyr-deacon might,
Amid his glimpse of harp and throne,
Have seen that brow and eye of night,
That dark form girded for the fight,
And hail'd in distant times his own.
Auckland, June, 1853. E. ST. GEORGE.
[This appeared in an English paper a day or two after the ordination. ]
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A MAORI SERMON.
The following translation of Rev. P. Patiki's sermon, preached at the ordination at Waimate on Jan. 20, 1878, will interest readers of the Gazette (2 Cor. iv. 6): --
I have chosen these words of Paul as being appropriate to the present occasion, showing how God had commanded the light to shine out of darkness, in giving us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Some had said that Paul was not an apostle. Peter, James, John, and others were, but Paul they would not acknowledge. This is why he said that God had revealed His light to him. We are told that the world was in darkness until God said "Let there be light"--night first, the evening, then the morning. Light was the first work of creation, the other works following after. The same God called the apostles to light-- Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, all receiving light in the face of Jesus Christ. "He chose me," says Paul; and did not the Lord say to Ananias respecting him, "He is a chosen vessel unto Me to bear My Name before the Gentiles and Kings, and the children of Israel, and I will show him how great things he must suffer for My Name's sake." Being thus called, then, he was content to suffer persecution for the Name of Jesus. The afflictions enumerated by him in the nth chapter of this Second Epistle to the Corinthians were the marks of an apostle, evidence that he was a chosen vessel. Our Saviour's marks-- the print of the nails in His hands and feet, and His wounded side--were tokens of His mission into this world, and were shown by Him to His disciples in proof of His resurrection. We who were formerly in darkness have received light; let us, then, walk in the light.
Although I speak to all who are present, I now address myself more particularly to the Deacons who come this day to receive Priests' Orders. "Ye were once in darkness," as Paul laid to the Ephesians (Eph. iv. 18). We were all in darkness until the light came to us with the Gospel. Go not back into darkness. Light was essential to the world; so it is to our hearts, and in order to retain this light we must continue in prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit, to enlighten our hearts, to aid us in our work and to direct us aright. My brothers, let us be united; let us remember that the flock of Christ's Church
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is committed to our care. When you return each to his station, remember that you have a flock to care for. The Prophet tells us we are messengers, and so we are; but we are more, we are watchmen. The duty of a messenger, as we understand it, is to convey a letter or a message entrusted to him, and when accomplished his duty is discharged; but is our duty discharged when we have delivered our message? No. We have to watch the effect of the message upon our flocks; we have to watch and guard them against the attacks of the enemy, for we are watchmen. We are the shepherds of the flock, and must endeavour to guard them from the attacks of wolves; we must ever be on the watch. When the Jews were rebuilding Jerusalem, some kept watch while others worked; so we must ever be on the alert, for if the shepherds sleep what will become of the sheep? What said the Lord by the mouth of His Prophet? (Ez. xxxiv. 2): "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves!" Should not the shepherd feed the flocks? Remember, also, that talents are given to each of us to be used in God's service. All may not have the same abilities; one may have five talents, another two, and another one; but all are in some way gifted, and bound to account for the gift.
Would you, my brother, possessor of the one talent, wish to see it taken from you and given to him who has the five talents, and yourself pronounced to be an unprofitable servant. No. Let us then be energetic in carrying on the work which has been given us to do; so shall we make good use of the talents entrusted to us, and at the last be enabled to give a good account of our stewardship.
I will now say a few words to our wives; although my own wife is not here, I will address those who are present. Paul speaks with a certain sound, "Wives be in subjection to your husbands"; and again, "What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?" A minister's wife should conduct herself circumspectly, be an example to other women, and a help to her husband. A ship's mast will not stand without rigging; --you must be the rigging for the mast, you must act as stays, and endeavour to support your husband. Let not your conduct hinder his work,--do not bring reproach upon him, but assist him all you can, and by your conduct recommend to others the religion you profess.
WYMAN AND SONS, PRINTERS, GREAT QUEEN STREET, LONDON, W.C.