CHAPTER IV. INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY.
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INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY.
South Sea Missions.--New Zealand Mission.--Reception of missionaries. --Maori tongue reduced to grammar.--Scriptures translated.--Rise and progress of Christianity.--Reasons of conversion.--Causes favourable for spread of Gospel.--Conviction not deep.--Hostilities between Christians and Heathens.--Awful fate of Te Heu Heu.--Christians murdered.--Sectarian disputes among natives.--Disputes among missionaries. -- Religious state of natives in 1850.-- Native teachers.-- Civilising influence of Christianity.--Personal influence of missionaries.
THE spiritual conquest of the New Zealanders was accomplished by pioneers, who were actuated with widely different motives from the men whose history has just been related. A narrative of this sublime event it is difficult to condense.
It was towards the end of the eighteenth century that the physical and moral condition of the South Sea islanders first attracted the attention of the people of Great Britain, and it was in 1795 that a missionary society was founded in England, to send forth the word of life.
"Send it to where expanded wide,
The South Sea rolls its farthest tide;
To every island's distant shore
Make known the Saviour's grace and power."
The year 1796 will be ever memorable in the annals of our faith, as that in which the Duff sailed out of the river Thames with thirty missionaries, for the purpose of converting the people of Tahiti, the Marque-
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NEW ZEALAND MISSION.
sas, and the Tonga or Friendly Islands, to Christianity. These places were chosen from among the numerous islands in the Pacific, as the first field for missionary operations, because the aborigines were reputed kind to strangers. No allusion was then made to New Zealand. A proposal to send convicts there, guarded by soldiers, was about this period scouted as refined cruelty; and the idea of landing unarmed missionaries was never contemplated, until the Rev. Samuel Marsden, originally a Yorkshire blacksmith, senior chaplain of the colony of New South Wales, drew attention to the country.
Gregory the Great was induced to send men to convert our forefathers by the fair complexions and blooming countenances of some Anglo-Saxon youths he saw in the market-place at Rome. Mr. Marsden was led to suggest the formation of a settlement in New Zealand for the civil and religious improvement of the people, by the noble appearance of several chiefs he accidentally saw in the streets of Sydney. This proposal was carefully considered by the Church Missionary Society, and in 1810, twenty-five persons left Great Britain for the conversion of the New Zealanders. 1 Unfortunately, news reached Sydney before their arrival of the massacre of the crew and passengers of the ship Boyd; and the Governor of New South Wales was more inclined to send a ship of war to slaughter the natives, than a body of missionaries to preach peace. No vessel could be hired to convey them to their destination, but as they were mostly laymen, they readily found secular employment in New South Wales.
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ARRIVAL OF MISSIONARIES.
The idea of Christianising the New Zealanders was now considered hopeless by all, save Marsden. To his mind the day was only delayed, and he spared neither labour nor money to accomplish the favourite scheme of his life. Early in 1814, an event occurred which hastened it. Hongi, the Napoleon of New Zealand, accompanied his cousin Ruatara to Sydney, and both chiefs resided with the colonial chaplain. Mr. Marsden soon discovered that Hongi was endowed with a reflective mind, and, although he knew him to be a notorious cannibal, he determined to make his influence useful. He saw that even Hongi's seared conscience had a tender spot, and acting on it by kindness, he obtained from the cannibal hero a declaration that he would protect all missionaries; in virtue of which promise Mr. Marsden, accompanied by Messrs. Kendall, Hall, and King, their wives, several mechanics, Hongi and Ruatara, and a few sheep and cattle, embarked for New Zealand in November 1814, in a brig navigated by convicts.
On arriving at the Bay of Islands they were received by the natives as Hongi's friends, and for twelve axes they purchased 200 acres of land at Rangihu, a place near that chief's residence, upon which to form a station. Here a white flag was hoisted, on which were painted a cross, a dove, an olive branch, and the word "Rongo-pai," or "good tidings;" and the missionaries commenced building houses, studying the language, educating children, and preaching.
When it became known in England that several of these good men had actually taken up their residence in New Zealand, more Christian pioneers were sent to this heathen out-post, and new settlements were estab-
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WESLEYAN AND ROMISH MISSIONS.
lished in the country. In 1819, a station was formed at the Kerikeri. In 1822, the Rev. Mr. Leigh, from the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and two clergymen, established themselves at Wangaroa on the east coast, among the tribe rendered infamous by the massacre of the Boyd. 2 Mission stations were formed at Paihia in the Bay of Islands in 1823; at Waimate in 1830; and at Kaitaia in 1834. In 1827, the Wesleyan missionaries fled from Wangaroa in terror of their lives, and, on the entreaty of Patuone, settled at Hokianga. In 1832, the Church mission station was moved from Rangihu to Te Puna.
As all these settlements were in the northern part of the North Island, the people in England, who furnished the funds for the conversion of the heathen, suggested to the missionaries the propriety of spreading themselves over the land; and, in accordance with this request, stations were formed in 1834 on the Thames and Waipa rivers; in 1835 at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, at Rotorua in the interior, and at Kawhia and Whaingaroa on the west coast. From this date the missionaries, like Saxon bishops and Protestants in the early days of the Reformation, made expeditions into the country, and preached the Gospel far away from their stations. In 1839, they penetrated to Cook's Straits and the Middle Island.
In the year 1836, Pope Gregory XVI. appointed J. B. F. Pompallier Roman Catholic bishop of New Zealand, and the Lyons Association for the Propagation of the Faith furnished him with money. In 1838 he arrived, with several priests, and took up his abode in
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RECEPTION GIVEN MISSIONARIES.
Kororareka; and since that period stations have been formed all over the islands, by the three missionary bodies.
Previously to the year 1830, twelve missionaries resided in the country, after this date their numbers were increased. In 1838, the Church Missionary Society supported five ordained clergymen, twenty catechists, one farmer, one surgeon, one superintendent, one printer, one wheelwright, one stone-mason, and two assistant teachers. The Wesleyan mission in the same year had five ordained clergymen in the country and several on their voyage out. The Roman Catholic mission had one bishop and twenty priests.
When the war broke out between the settlers and the natives in 1844, the above missionary establishment was reduced; but in 1855 there were twenty-two missionaries from the English Church, fifteen from the Wesleyan, and twelve from the Roman Catholic Church.
Most of the early missionaries sprang from a poorer class than the clergy occupying English parsonages, and comparatively few were deeply read in classics or theology. But honour to them all! They voluntarily exiled themselves from society and civilisation; they often fasted, from want of food, on days which were not fast days in the Church; and wore out their lives in a lonely island, half-forgotten by their kindred, entirely unknown to fame, and only cheered by the consideration of their high calling.
They were well received. At first, this was owing to Hongi's patronage, afterwards to their giving axes, blankets, shirts, and various other articles, for the food and labour they received from the natives. Such conduct produced respect, and rendered their residence in the
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MAORI REDUCED TO GRAMMAR.
country an obvious worldly advantage. The French missionaries in Canada adopted an exactly opposite system, and by becoming dependent on the aborigines, were frequently despised by them. Occasionally slight misunderstandings arose from mutual ignorance of each other's words and ways, but when they became better acquainted intercourse went on happily. When Hongi was in London, King George the Fourth requested him to protect the missionaries, and this royal request elevated them in the eyes of the heathen.
The Wesleyan missionaries at Wangaroa lost all but their lives in 1827, at the hands of the natives; and in 1836 the Church missionaries were similarly treated at Tauranga and Rotorua. The anxiety and dangers these Christian pioneers then underwent are detailed in the characteristic phraseology of missionary journals; but the wars which caused these misfortunes were not directed against them; they were merely sufferers from the calamities of the country, for the blood of no European connected with the missions has yet been spilt.
As no people were ever converted but by preaching to them in their own tongue, one of the first duties of the missionaries was the settlement of the orthography of the language, and its reduction to the rules of grammar. This was a difficult task to men unused to literature, and advantage was therefore taken of the visit of Hongi and Waikato to England in 1820 to refer the work to a scholar. Both these chiefs were taken to Cambridge by Mr. Kendall, where they remained two months, and had frequent intercourse with Professor Lee, who shortly afterwards published a grammar and vocabulary of the New Zealand language. Since then additions and improvements have been made to that
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work, and the missionaries who managed this thought it necessary to coin new words, because many New Zealanders did not pronounce B, C, D, F, G, L, Q, S, V, X, Y, Z, thus, kororia stands for "glory;" puka puka for "book;" pouaka for "box;" hipi for "sheep;" and kawana for "governor."
Instruction would have overcome this lingual peculiarity, as several of the whaler natives pronounce English words with singular accuracy. Had it been surmounted, glory, book, box, sheep, governor, and a hundred other English words scarcely recognised under native spelling, would now have been in daily use. But the early missionaries were not sufficiently alive to the importance of teaching the natives English, even after the country had become a British colony.
To translate the Bible was the second duty of the missionaries, and this great work was commenced with much zeal. In 1830, selections from the liturgy, catechisms, and spelling-books, were translated and printed in New South Wales. In 1835, the Rev. Mr. Yate carried through the press several portions of the New Testament, and in 1837 the entire work was completed by Bishop William Williams. Subsequently other portions of the Bible and Psalms were translated by the Wesleyan, Roman Catholic, and Church missionaries; and in 1858 the whole of the scriptures were completed, chiefly by the exertions of the Rev. Robert Maunsell, T. C. D., of Waikato, and sent to England to be printed. 3
In 1835, a printer and printing-press were added to the Church mission; and at Paihia, where the press was
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RISE AND PROGRESS
erected, the natives were struck with awe on beholding a white sheet of paper impressed as if by magic with black letters. To God, and not the devil, they ascribed this wonderful art. Printing-presses were also erected by the Wesleyan and Roman Catholic missions, from which various religious books were issued.
The British and Foreign Bible Society printed 60,000 copies of the New Testament, 2,000 Testaments and Psalms, and 10,000 works consisting of selections from the Old Testament, 80,000 of which Maori publications were given to the Church and Wesleyan missionaries for distribution.
As some evil-disposed Europeans read the word of God to the natives upside down when it interfered with their own pursuits, Bishop Pompallier was led to report that the Bible in the hands of the New Zealanders had proved a two-edged sword. 4
No miraculous success attended the rise of Christianity in New Zealand. For fifteen years the missionaries were like men crying in the wilderness, and they frequently said they were casting their seed on a rock. Six years after their arrival they had not made a single convert. 5 In 1825, the Rev. Henry Williams stated that the natives were "as insensible to the necessity of redemption as brutes," and in 1829 the Wesleyan mission contemplated withdrawing their establishment from want of success.
When Christianity did take root it grew rapidly, and soon after 1830 the scattered seed began to sprout. Churches were filled after this date by attentive audiences, who listened with respect to that grotesque
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phraseology which men always use who think in one language and speak in another; schools were filled with children and adults, many of whom taught each other to read and write; the Sabbath was observed as a day of rest, a number of persons were baptized, a few were permitted to partake of the holy sacrament, and clergymen proclaimed over the dead who professed to die in the Lord, those sublime words which promise to faith in this world a glorious heavenly triumph in that which is to come. Bibles rose in value, and as there were few copies in the country, natives who could write transcribed and carried home such portions as they could thus obtain.
Exultation now gave place to despondency in the breasts of the missionaries, a feeling which blazed forth in different ways. The liturgy in the Maori dialect is singularly beautiful, and the effect of a large congregation uttering the responses indescribably impressive: the men who had laid the foundation of this great work attempted to describe the feelings they experienced on such occasions, and in the fulness of their hearts injudiciously published ridiculous letters from native Christians interlarded with pious phraseology and scriptural quotations.
In 1838, the Church Missionary Society had 54 schools, attended by 1431 scholars; 2476 persons attended church, and 178 were communicants: and as the Wesleyan missionaries had 1000 scholars and church-goers, the Christians at this era numbered 4000 souls. 6 A poor result, it may be said, for twenty years' labour, and an expenditure of two hundred thousand pounds.
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STATISTICS GIVE NO IDEA OF PROGRESS.
But such numerical returns convey an imperfect idea of the progress Christianity had made at this period. Before 1838, two-thirds of the natives had never seen a missionary's face, although all had heard of them. Natives living around the base of Tongariro, at Poverty Bay, and on the banks of the Mokau, and Wanganui rivers, all knew that a small body of unarmed men had taken up their abode in Hongi's territory. New Zealanders, who went to and from the north, brought with them occasionally religious books, and always news of the sayings and doings of the missionaries. Masters of whalers reported that the aborigines far away from the mission stations prayed night and morning in nasal psalmody, and chanted Christian psalms to heathen tunes. It passed from hamlet to hamlet that the missionaries were a different class from the whalers and the Pakeha Maoris, that they kept schools, and instructed persons to write on paper words which others seeing comprehended, gave books for nothing, performed a ceremony called baptism, opposed war, promoted peace, cultivated new sorts of food, preached against cannibalism, and of a God who did good and not evil. Rauparaha's son and Rangihaeata's nephew, hearing in Cook's Strait of the reformation now at work, passed through hostile tribes to the Bay of Islands in 1839, and prevailed on the Rev. Mr. Hadfield to return with them to Otaki to teach God's word to their kindred and clan; and after some time Rauparaha's son visited the Middle Island, preaching the gospel of peace to men who had suffered from his father's wars.
This extensive nominal conversion produced surprise among civilised men, and various reasons were assigned for the result. As the Sandwich islanders professed
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REASONS OF CONVERSION.
Christianity in 1819 at the request of their chiefs, without scepticism and without an examination of the evidence upon which it rested, Professor Lee ascribed the conversion of the South Sea islanders to what may be called the civil influence. But the New Zealanders were not Christianised by the civil power, as Hongi died in his father's creed, and many chiefs were at first fierce opponents of Christianity. The true cause of the diffusion of Christianity in New Zealand was divine influence and superstition, the schools, worldly motives, and the zeal of the early converts.
It is impossible to separate divine influence from superstition, and presumptuous to attempt to explain the Almighty's ways on earth, still it is a curious fact, that when the missionaries commenced preaching, the natives consulted their ancient gods about Christianity, and Jesus Christ was invariably described as the true God. 7
The schools spread the Gospel in this way. New Zealanders were surprised to find that children educated at the mission schools acquired the art of writing words which similarly educated children could comprehend; and to possess this to them necromantic power, men and women crowded to school, where Christianity was unfolded to their minds by learning to read from religious books.
It may seem uncharitable to ascribe worldly motives as one of the causes of the diffusion of the Gospel, yet it is not unjust. The New Zealanders frequently adopted new gods supposed to be influential in worldly matters, and the comfortable condition of the missionaries led the
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people to conclude that the God of the missionaries was a better god than their gods, because He gave them bread, clothes, and good houses, 8 and it was upon this principle that Heke prayed to the true and false gods before going down to battle. On the same principle, a Rotorua chief observing, during a visit to the Bay of Islands, that the missionaries had temporal as well as spiritual benefits to bestow, begged and obtained a missionary to reside with his tribe. This chief did not embrace Christianity himself, but many of the tribe did, and all looked upon the missionary and his effects as their own property. It has likewise been observed that Roman Catholic missionaries have converted natives abandoned by the Protestants as hopeless, by the distribution of blankets, crosses, and figures. 9
The zeal of the early converts materially assisted in spreading the Gospel, as many of these proselytes were captured slaves who were allowed to return home to their heathen kindred. The Germans were converted to Christianity by the serfs brought from the Roman Empire, and the diffusion of Christ's cross in New Zealand was materially assisted by manumitted slaves.
These are the external causes which spread Christianity over the land. He who, for the purpose of converting other heathen races, searches out the secret motives which produced this result, must bear in mind that the New Zealanders were very favourably situated to receive the true faith. Their priesthood were a weak body for resistance; they had no discipline, no idols, and no temples where their zeal and devotion could be kindled by a common worship. The accidental circum-
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stance of birth determined their sacred rank; and it is universally admitted that worshippers of numerous gods have little regard for any of them; true bigotry among such men is unknown. The New Zealanders recognised God's hand in all nature's works, and carried in their breasts a passionate instinctive love of novelty; they did not profess, like the Hindoos, Mahomedans, and Buddhists, an incompatible religion which it was first requisite to eradicate from their minds, but one, on the contrary, which readily admitted of the engraftment of Christianity. Between the two creeds there were also some remote resemblances: the New Zealanders believed in many gods, Christianity had one; the missionaries preached of heaven and hell, the New Zealand creed contained something similar; Christianity inculcated that men had souls which survived bodily dissolution, and the New Zealanders believed that the spirits of their dead lived after them, and frequently revisited the earth; the missionaries spoke of baptism, and the natives related a peculiar custom they had in naming children. Here, however, the analogy ends: Christians look to a future life for happiness, the New Zealander to this.
It must also be borne in mind that among Hindoos, Mahomedans, and Buddhists, to embrace Christianity is to become an outcast, but among the New Zealanders to become a Christian involved no degradation.
It may be inferred from this narrative, that the faith of a native Christian is not lively. The growth of a day dies in a day, and nothing is lasting in the material world but what is of slow formation. Sudden conversions have, in consequence, always been regarded with suspicion, but there is no reason to suspect the New Zealanders. The Christianity of many of them is,
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CONVICTION NOT DEEP.
however, a rude mixture of paganism and the cross, an adoption strengthened by superstition more than a conversion. Missionaries will deny this: but Christian natives, suffering under sickness, frequently appeal to their old gods for health; and healthy Christians dread violating the tapu, lest the gods who watch over that code should punish them with sickness. When spoken to on the subject, they disclaim any belief in heathen deities, but some of their actions show that a portion of the old leaven still remains.
Half a century may extinguish this superstition, but in most professing Christians above forty years of age it will only die with themselves. Not that the truths of Christianity are doubted, not that Tumatauenga, the god of men, is thought more powerful than Christ; but they cannot shake off every shred of the old creed, or abjure the gods of their infancy. The simple and sublime idea of a Supreme Being, the lofty philosophy and refined morality of Christianity, escapes the conceptions of many; and they cannot comprehend a spiritual and solitary God not to be propitiated by human sacrifices. The doubts which unhinge men's minds in Europe concerning the next world seldom occur, and no religious lunatic has yet appeared among them. The Christianity of the multitude is more in outward form than inward sincerity; still, this is an immense step, as no great mental change ever occurs among nations without preparatory causes.
This spiritual revolution did not pass over the land without bloodshed. Native priests perceived that the new creed ruined them, and several chiefs opposed it because it levelled all distinction between them and slaves; even Christian chiefs complained that their power
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HEATHENS AND CHRISTIANS.
over their converted tribe was like a rope of sand, and that the foundation of all law and order was destroyed. Toleration was, however, almost universal; without any law to prevent persecution, converts, with more zeal than discretion, occasionally got into verbal quarrels with heathens, and on two occasions religious disputes indirectly led to bloodshed. Both events possess a painful interest.
Two native teachers were deputed from Waitotara, a tribe professing Christianity near Wanganui, to convert their ancient enemies at Taupo. Te Heu Heu, the Taupo chief, a zealous supporter of the hereditary faith of his race, and an opponent of the new creed, ordered these teachers out of his dominions, with an intimation that if they returned on the same errand, he would "eat their heads and make cartridge-paper of their hymn-books." This unholy treatment of Christ's Apostles caused a quarrel between the Waitotara tribes and their neighbours the Patutokutu, who were heathens and allies of Te Heu Heu. The Christians insulted the Patutokutu chief with foul words, and in revenge 140 picked infidels invaded their territory in the year 1841. The inhabitants fled to Taranaki, and returned with reinforcements. During their absence the heathen army laid the country waste, and on the return of the Christians fled to an impregnable fort called Te Toka. This stronghold the Christians blockaded, and Mr. Matthews, a European missionary, attempted to mediate between the combatants. When the besieged had exhausted their food and ammunition, a parley was agreed to, and it was arranged that the besiegers were to be allowed to enter the fort, shake hands with the infidels according to the new custom of salutation
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AWFUL FATE OF TE HEU HEU.
common among Christians, and then the infidels were to be permitted to depart in peace for Wanganui. Mr. Matthews was present when the following scene occurred. The infidels advanced with outstretched right hands to receive the arranged greeting; these the Christians seized with their left hands, and then assaulted their helpless foes with concealed tomahawks. A frightful carnage ensued; those who escaped fled down the hill, and many of them were shot by parties in ambush. Out of 140 men, only forty reached Wanganui alone, and one of the slain was a blood-relation of Te Heu Heu. 10
The calamities of the infidels did not terminate with the massacre at Te Toka. Te Heu Heu was buried alive with his six wives and fifty-four persons, which awful catastrophe was looked upon by the Christians as a judgment from heaven for his conduct to the disciples of Christ; and this event happened thus.
The village of Te Rapa, where Te Heu Heu and his tribe abode, stood on the south-west end of the great Taupo lake, in a narrow valley hemmed in by lofty mountains. The hill immediately behind the settlement was covered with springs pouring out boiling water, and bubbling hot mud, volcanic vents emitting sulphur, sulphurous water, vapours and gases, and fissures from which issued jets of steam hotter than the hottest water. These chemical phenomena indicated the internal fire which had completely destroyed the basaltic rock; and the whole mountain was soft, loose, hot, and friable. 11 On the night of the 7th of May, 1846, after a heavy rain, an immense mass of the mountain loosened and overwhelmed the village; all within it perished save
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LAMENT FOE TE HEU HEU.
a young man and a horse. A Protestant missionary, passing soon after the event, read the burial service over the entombed village, and improved the occasion by describing the land-slip as an interposition of the Almighty in the worldly affairs of New Zealand.
Te Heu Heu's successor in the chiefship composed the following lament for the fate of his brother:--
"See o'er the heights of dark Tauhara's mount
The infant morning wakes. Perhaps my friend
Returns to me, clothed in that lightsome cloud! --
Alas! I toil alone, in this lone world.
"Yes, thou art gone!
Go, thou mighty! go, thou dignified!
Go, thou who wert a spreading tree to shade
Thy people when evil hovered round!
And what strange god has caused so dread a death
To thee, and thy companions?
"Sleep on, O Chief, in that dark damp abode!
And hold within thy grasp that weapon rare,
Bequeathed to thee by thy renowned ancestor,
Ngahue, when he left the world.
"Turn yet this once thy bold athletic frame!
And let me see thy skin carved o'er with lines
Of blue; and let me see thy face so
Beautifully chiselled into varied forms;--
Ah! the people now are comfortless and sad!
"The stars are faintly shining in the heavens!
For 'Atutahi' and 'Rehua-kai-tangata'
Have disappeared; and that fair star that shone
Beside the Milky Way. Emblems these
Of thee, 0 friend beloved!
"The mount of Tongariro rises lonely
In the South; while the rich feathers that
Adorned the great canoe 'Arawa'
Float upon the wave! and women from the
West, look on, and weep!
"Why hast thou left behind th'valued treasures
Of thy famed ancestor Rongomaihuia,
And wrapped thyself in night?
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PROTESTANT MARTYRS OF TAUPO.
"Cease thy slumbers, 0 thou son of Rangi!
Wake up! and take thy battle-axe, and tell
Thy people of the coming signs; and what
Will now befall them. How the foe, tumultuous
As the waves, will rush with spears uplifted;
And how thy people will avenge their wrongs.
Nor shrink at danger. But let the warriors
Breathe awhile, nor madly covet death!
"Lo, thou art fallen; and the earth receives
Thee as its prey! But thy wond'rous fame
Shall soar on high, resounding o'er the heavens!"
The Waitotara Christians, conceiving that these awful punishments from man and God must have softened the hearts of the infidels, again deputed two teachers of Christianity to visit Taupo in 1847, for the avowed purpose of converting Te Heu Heu's successor and those living around that inland sea. During the journey, one of them dreamed his spirit visited the Reinga, where he saw several of his dead friends, and he was told by them he would soon be with them. The dream turned out true, as both were murdered at Taupo, partly to make good the great Te Heu Heu's words, but chiefly to revenge the massacre of Te Toka. The murdered men, whose names were Manihera and Kereopa, are now denominated the Protestant Martyrs of Taupo. 12
These disputes between heathen and Christian natives were trifling compared with the bad feeling occasionally displayed between the converts to the English, Wesleyan, and Roman Catholic churches. Some of these men, upholding the ecclesiastical maxim that uniformity of religion was essential to the repose of society, arrayed themselves in the missionary garb of a black coat, a white neckcloth, and an umbrella, and traversed the
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DISPUTES BETWEEN CONVERTED NATIVES.
country, preaching the Gospel, and endeavouring to gain converts to that particular branch of Christianity to which they belonged. This proselyting raised up schisms among the inhabitants of many settlements; 13 and the rivalry between the different congregations might easily be detected when the people were called to prayers by the loud and obstinate din which issued from iron pots, the common substitutes for bells. Tribes hereditarily hostile adopted through jealousy different modes of faith; and, like men in several other countries, these converted New Zealanders were ready to abuse each other for religious creeds they did not understand, and the precepts of which they daily disregarded; and to dispute about points of doctrine which have puzzled wise churchmen in all ages. Such disputes never came to blows or bloodshed, but generated estrangement between friends and relatives.
Europeans were now occasionally asked to confess their religious belief before receiving hospitality. On one occasion a traveller arrived at a pa, in which one religious denomination disputing with another had got possession of the gate, which to his astonishment he found shut; and the first question asked of him was, "To what church do you belong?" The traveller, seeing at once that his supper and night's lodging entirely depended upon his answer, after some hesitation replied, "To the true church;" which of course satisfied both parties, and the gate was instantly opened, and a feast prepared for himself and followers. 14
Over the Roman-catholic church door at Ohinemotu,
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MISSIONARY ACCUSED OF PUSEYISM.
on the banks of the Rotorua lake, are inscribed in Maori, "This is the house of the only true God;" and Heke, the leader of the insurrection at the Bay of Islands, wrote to Queen Victoria that his countrymen were perplexed with the number of religious creeds; that when the missionaries first came they were told the Church of England was the only true church, but there were now three true churches. 15 Luckily, Quakers, Baptists, and other Christian sects have not been introduced; but one missionary of the English church was charged with Puseyism by a native convert. The accuser was Rauparaha's son, who visited England in 1850, and had his head turned by kissing the queen's hand, attending Exeter Hall meetings, and writing his own life. 16 On returning home from these courtly and civilised occupations, he mysteriously whispered that the cross over the Otaki church was now reckoned in England an emblem of Puseyism, a horrible heresy all good Protestants looked upon as a stepping-stone to Popery. The words of the travelled sage sunk into the people's hearts, and they talked about the heresy in whispers until it reached the missionaries' ears. Then the archdeacon assembled his flock to discuss the question, and although young Rauparaha bespoke from the audience applause for his harangue, the complaint against the cross over the church was declared frivolous and vexatious. These sectarian disputes were not confined to the half-christianised natives, but grew into factions among the missionaries, and furnished matter for conversation at religious tea-parties in England. 17
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On the arrival of Bishop Selwyn, of the English church, a feud sprung up between the Church of England and Wesleyan missions, the cause of which was this. It had been arranged by the early missionaries from these two churches, that the New Zealand islands were to be divided into two districts, for the purpose of preventing anything like sectarian strife. Bishop Selwyn, who knew not then the charity which fourteen years' residence among barbaric races afterwards instilled into his heart, 18 being bound by no such arrangement, visited every part of his diocese, during which peregrinations he stood aloof from the Wesleyan missionaries, whom he styled schismatics, and characterised their baptisms as mere acts of laymen. The Wesleyan converts, although they whispered that he was more suited for a warrior than a priest, soon became aware, from his lordship's mental qualifications, that he was one of the heads of a greater church than the one to which they belonged. The Rev. Mr. Turton, one of the Wesleyan missionaries, felt it his duty to address the bishop on the subject, and stated that his lordship's conduct in New Zealand was depreciating the Wesleyan church in the eyes of its flock, and engendering contention; that in the district of Taranaki, where he resided, religious strife had now run so high, that one set of Christians had erected a fence and lined it thickly with fern, so that the other might not see them. 19 The bishop replied to these accusations; but men burning with religious zeal are seldom tolerant, and charity is rarely united with enthusiasm.
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This bickering was not limited to the Wesleyan and Church of England missionaries. When the Roman Catholics commenced labouring in New Zealand, the Protestants, dreading a church that consigns to eternal perdition all other Christians, and the dazzling influence of an eloquence which appeals to the imagination more than to the reason, held public controversies with the priests, a body of men whose continence produced a strange impression on the minds of the natives. Verbal conflicts were hotly maintained on both sides, and victory was occasionally won by the best linguist, or he who brought a native proverb to bear on the question. At one of these controversies the Romanists said the Church of England clergy stole from them the Scriptures which God had deposited in their hands, and that they were consequently thieves. Archdeacon Henry Williams, of the English Church, a man capable of martyrdom, took a calabash of water from a running stream, which he compared to the Scriptures, and asked the assembly if one who did this could be accused of stealing water. The multitude called out "No!" Then the archdeacon cried with stentorian voice, "This is what the founders of the Church of England have done."
That this spirit is not dead may be inferred from the circumstance that in the year 1852 a Church of England missionary characterised the Roman-catholic doctrine as "anti-christian." 20 The Romish Church, of which exclusiveness is the principle, must be judged by her own standard; but that Protestants cannot preach salvation to the New Zealanders without instilling into their minds the profitless controversies about Hahi,
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RELIGIOUS STATE OF NATIVES IN 1850.
Weteri, and Pikopo, the Maori names given to the English, Wesleyan, and Roman Catholic churches, is melancholy and degrading.
It is the custom in the present day to reckon all the New Zealanders as converts to Christianity. This is a mistake. According to a census made in 1850 of the natives in the neighbourhood of Cook's Strait, by Mr. Tacy Kemp, 21 out of every hundred--
48 belonged to the English church.
13 " Wesleyan church.
3 " Roman Catholic church.
36 " No church.
And this proportion agrees with the replies received by Governor Grey in 1848 from various missionaries. 22 Thus Archdeacon William Williams returned 30 per cent. of the natives near the East Cape as unbaptized; Mr. James Kemp, at the Bay of Islands, reckoned the unbaptized at 27 per cent.; Father Pezant of Rangiawhia stated the unbaptized at 15 per cent.; the Rev. James Hamlin returned 31 per cent, of the East Cape natives as unbaptized; Father Reignier of Ohinemotu numbered the unbaptized at 30 per cent.; and the Rev. Mr. Creed calculated that one-third of the native population in the Middle Island were unbaptized. It therefore results that about one-fourth of the New Zealanders have not undergone baptism; still it does not follow that these men are heathens in the true sense of that word, for many of them regularly resort to church.
The work of Christianity in New Zealand is only begun. The Israelitish slaves Moses led out of Egypt were not converted in one generation, even under God's
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tuition. The dread of the tapu, which restrained the evil passions of the people, is broken, while many have but imperfectly learned that sublime creed applicable to this as well as the next world. It is not therefore just, as was suggested at Exeter Hall last May, and is now to be acted on to a certain extent, to trust the diffusion of Christianity solely to native teachers, or ordained native priests; because the best of these men expound the Scriptures in a manner little calculated to elevate its doctrine. The description of a Pharisee by Mr. Hone Hake, a native teacher, in a sermon preached before Lieut.-Governor Wynyard on the Waikato river, in February 1855, will explain this. "A Pharisee," said he, "is like a bag tied half way down. The bag is open at the top, but anything put into it would not reach the bottom: so it is with the Pharisee; when he prays, he opens wide his mouth, but keeps his heart close shut; he asks with his lips for things which his heart cares not for. Besides, he always talks for effect; for even if God were to grant him the things he asks for, it would only be a waste of good gifts, for they could not get to the bottom; his pride, like the string that is tied round the bag, preventing them, they would therefore do him no good, as they would reach no further than his throat." 23
The civilising influence and blessings which Christianity has conferred on New Zealand cannot be weighed in the scales of the market. Like musk in a room, it has communicated a portion of its fragrance to everything in the country. It has broken the theocratic principle of the tapu and other superstitions; it has put an end to cannibalism, and has assisted in eradicating
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CREDIT DUE TO MISSIONARIES.
slavery; it has proved a bond of union between the races, the native Christian and the settler feeling themselves members of one federation; it has led the way to intellectual development, industry, peace, contentment, regard for the rights of every class, and progressive civilisation. It is unjust to judge the Christianity of the uneducated New Zealanders by a severe test; even the civilised and highly educated Greeks, when they passed from the heathen temple to the Christian church, did not exhibit in their lives the sublime influence of their new faith.
The missionaries who brought about this reformation deserve the highest praise. Before the establishment of British rule these men on many occasions prevented bloodshed, and they are now as useful in promoting peace behind the wave of civilisation, as they formerly were before it. Several who commenced working under intense spiritual zeal became apathetic and worldly when the excitement wore off, and lost heart when experience convinced them that Christianity was not to be driven into the human soul like a nail into a log. These men were anxious to do good, but were destitute of the application requisite to command success; they were capable of making great personal sacrifices when their blood was warm and the public eye rested upon them, but incapable of laborious perseverance in obscure virtues. Such men are found in all callings, and unjustly cast discredit on the whole body.
Casual visitors to settlements in a state of progress from heathenism to Christianity have complained that the missionaries, pretending to much knowledge of heaven and little of earth, destroy cheerfulness, and substitute apathy; that they turn villages into monasteries,
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and people into priests. At mission stations, where the Cross is thought to be independent of the plough, the spade, and the hoe, in promoting civilisation, a few aboriginal converts may be seen, who, secure of their food and released from struggles against hostile tribes, have acquired a melancholy expression of features from the torpor of their faculties, and a mildness of character which belong to repose. Happily most of the New Zealand missionaries have followed in the footsteps of Elliot, Williams, and Livingstone, who showed that savages cannot be civilised with the Bible alone. In 1835 Mr. Darwin saw, at the Church Mission station of Waimate, a well-stocked farm-yard and fields of corn, a threshing-barn, a winnowing-machine, a blacksmith's forge, a water-mill, and plough-shares. Some of the houses at the station had been built, the windows framed, the fields ploughed, and the trees grafted, by natives. At the mill a New Zealander was seen white with flour like his brother miller in England; and several were working on the farm dressed in shirts and trowsers. 24
In the English and Wesleyan churches, where the missionary was not deprived of the consolation of a wife, it is necessary to remember that these women contributed no trifling aid to the rise and progress of Christianity. Some of these females were Ruth-like in appearance; but several were young girls with sparkling eyes, who left English homes to encounter difficulties from which British soldiers would have shrunk.
Seven times did the planter of Christianity in New Zealand revisit the country, to see how the tree grew; and in 1820 he landed at Coromandel, and travelled
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WAIMATE MISSION STATION IN 1845.
Vol. I., page 330
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MARSDEN AND SELWYN.
overland to the Bay of Islands. His name and personal appearance still live among the natives in the north, although his last visit was made to the country in 1837, and he died in 1838, aged 72 years, after having been forty-four years chaplain of the colony of New South Wales. Marsden has left a name which all admire, but few can hope to rival; and was rewarded by one of the greatest felicities which God vouchsafes to man on earth, -- the realisation of his own idea.
As the conquest of Britain reflects less glory, according to the religious world, on the name of Caesar than on that of Gregory, so among the same class will the memory of Cook be ever held in less estimation in New Zealand than that of Marsden.
Dr. Selwyn, treading in the footsteps of Marsden, visits annually in his vessel, the "Southern Cross," various islands in the South Seas. From these places his Lordship brings away heathen youths; and at Auckland he and the Rev. Mr. Patteson, his zealous and able assistant, instruct them in Christianity and letters; the lads are then taken back to their homes, and exhorted to spread abroad among their countrymen what they have learned. New Zealand, once the abode of cannibals, is thus becoming the Iona of the southern hemisphere.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
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