MOTA AND ST. ANDREW'S COLLEGE, KOHIMARAMA.
WITH the year 1860 a new period, and one far more responsible and eventful, began. After working for four years under Bishop Selwyn's superintendence, Coleridge Patteson was gradually passing into a sphere of more independent action; and, though his loyal allegiance to his Primate was even more of the heart than of the letter, his time of training was over; he was left to act more on his own judgment; and things were ripening for his becoming himself a Bishop. He had nearly completed his thirty-third year, and was in his fullest strength, mental and bodily; and, as has been seen, the idea had already through Bishop Selwyn's letters become familiar to his family, though he himself had shrunk from entertaining it.
The first great change regarded the locality of the Melanesian school in New Zealand. Repeated experience had shown that St. John's College was too bleak for creatures used to basking under a vertical sun, and it had been decided to remove to the sheltered landing-place at Kohimarama, where buildings for the purpose had been commenced so as to be habitable in time for the freight of 1859.
It should be explained, that the current expenses of the Mission had been defrayed by the Eton and Sydney associations, with chance help from persons privately interested, together with a grant of 200 l. and afterwards 300 l. per annum from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The extra expense of this foundation was opportunely met by a discovery on the part of Sir John Patteson, that his eldest son, living upon the Merton Fellowship, had cost him 200L a year less than his younger son, and therefore that, in his opinion, 8001. was due to Coleridge. Moreover, the earlier voyages, and, in especial the characters of Siapo and Umao, had been so suggestive of incidents fabricated in the 'Daisy Chain,' that the proceeds of the book were felt to be the due of the Mission and at this time these had grown to such an amount as to make up the sum needful for erecting such buildings as were immediately requisite for the intended College.
These are described in the ensuing letter, which I give entire, because the form of acknowledgment is the only style suitable to what, however lightly acquired, was meant as an offering, even though it cost the giver all too little:
'Kohimarama: Dec. 21, 1859.
'My dear Cousin,--I have received at length from my father a distinct statement of what you have given to the Melanesian Mission. I had heard rumours before, and the Bishop of Wellington had spoken to me of your intentions, but the fact had not been regularly notified to us.
'I think I know you too well to say more than this. May God bless you for what you have lent to Him, and give us, who are specially connected with the Mission, grace to use your gift as you intend it to be used, to His glory in the salvation of souls.
'But you will like to hear how your gift will be appropriated. For three summers the Melanesian scholars lived at St. John's College, which is situated on a low hill, from which the ground falls away on every side, leaving it exposed to every wind that blows across and around the narrow isthmus.
'Thank God, we had no death traceable to the effect of the climate, but we had constant anxiety and a considerable amount of illness. When arrangements were completed for the arrival of a new principal to succeed the Bishop of Wellington, the college was no longer likely to be available for the Mission school. Consequently, we determined to build on the site long ago agreed upon; to put up some substantial buildings, and to remove some of the wooden buildings at the College which would not be required there, and set them up again at Kohimarama.
'Just opposite the entrance into the Auckland harbour, between the island of Eangitoto with its double peak and the easternmost point of the northern shore of the harbour, lies a very sheltered bay, with its sea-frontage of rather more than a quarter of a mile, bounded to the east, south, and west by low hills, which where they meet the sea become sandy cliffs, fringed with the red-flower-bearing pohutakawa. The whole of this bay, the seventy acres of flat rich soil included within the rising ground mentioned, and some seventy acres more as yet lying uncleared, adjoining the same block of seventy acres, and likely to be very valuable, as the land is capital--the whole of this was bought by the Bishop many years ago as the property of the Mission, and is the only piece of Church land over which lie retains the control, every other bequest or gift to the amount of 14,000 acres, having been handed over by him to the General Synod. This he retains till the state of the Melanesian Mission is more definitely settled.
'On the west corner of this bay we determined to build. A small tide creek runs for a short way about S.S.E. from the extreme end of the western part of the beach, then turns early eastward, and meets a small stream coming down from the southern hill at its western extremity. This creek encloses a space extending along the whole width of the bay of about eighteen or twenty acres.
'At the east end stand three wooden cottages, occupied by the master, mate, and a married seaman of the "Southern Cross." At the west end stands the Melanesian school. Fences divide the whole space into three portions, whereof the western one forms our garden and orchard; and the others pasture for cows and working bullocks; small gardens being also fenced off for the three cottages. The fifty acres of flat land south of the creek we are now clearing and ploughing.
'The situation here is admirably adapted for our school. Now that we have a solid wall of the scorise from the volcanic island opposite, we have a complete shelter from the cold south wind. The cliff and hill to the west entirely shut off the wind from that quarter, and the north and east winds are always warm. The soil is very dry, and the beach composed exclusively of small " pipi" shells --small bivalves. So that by putting many cart-loads of these under our wooden floors, and around our buildings, we have so perfect a drainage that after heavy rain the soil is quite dry again in a few hours. It causes me no anxiety now, when I am for an hour away from my flock, to be thinking whether they are lying on the ground, forgetting that the hot sun overhead does not destroy the bad effect of a damp clay soil such as that at St. John's College.
'The buildings at present form three sides of a quadrangle, but the south side is only partly filled up. The large schoolroom, eighty feet long, with three sets of transepts, has been removed from the College, and put up again so as to form the east side of the quadrangle. This is of wood; so is the small wooden quadrangle which serves now for dormitories, and a part of which I occupy; my house consisting of three little rooms, together measuring seventeen feet by seven. These dormitories are the southern side of the quadrangle, but do not reach more than half-way from the east to the west side, room being left for another set of dormitories of equal size, when we want them and can afford them. The west side consists of a very nice set of stone buildings, including a large kitchen, store room, and room for putting things in daily and immediate use; and the hall, which is the northern part of the side of the quadrangle, is a really handsome room, with simple open roof and windows of a familiar collegiate appearance. These buildings are of the dark grey scoria, almost imperishable I suppose, and look very well. The hall is just long enough to take seven of us at the high table (so to speak), and thirty-four at the long table, stretching from the high table to the end of the room.
'At present this is used for school also, as the carpenters who are making all our fittings, shelves, &c., are still in the large schoolroom. We take off the north end of the schoolroom, including one set of transepts for our temporary chapel. This part will be lined, i.e. boarded, neatly inside. The rest of the building is very rough, but it answers its purpose.
'In all the stone buildings, the rough stone is left inside just as it is outside. It does not look bad at all to my eye, and I doubt if I would have it lined if we had funds to pay for it.
'I hope eventually that stone buildings will take the place of the present wooden schoolroom and dormitories; but this ought to last many years. Here we live most happily and comfortably. The climate almost tropical in summer. The beautiful scenery of the harbour before our eyes, the smooth sea and clean dry beach within a stone's throw of my window. The lads and young men have their fishing, bathing, boating, and basking in the sun, which all day from sunrise to sunset beats right upon us; for the west cliff does not project more than a few yards to the north of us, and the eastern boundary is low and some way off. I see the little schooner at her moorings whenever I look off my book or my paper, and with an opera-glass can see the captain caulking the decks. All is under my eye; and the lads daily say, " College too cold; Kohimarama very good; all the same Bauro, Mota," as the speaker belongs to one or other of our fourteen islands represented. . . . The moment we heard of your gift, we said simultaneously, " Let it be given to this or to some specific and definite object." I think you will like to feel not only that the money came most opportunely, but that within the walls built with that money, many many hundreds, I trust, of these Melanesian islanders will be fed and taught, and trained up in the knowledge and fear of God. . . .
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Before the old year was out came the tidings of the death of good Miss Neill, the governess whom Pattesou had so faithfully loved from early childhood, and whose years of suffering he had done his best to cheer. 'At rest at last.' In the same letter, in answer to some complaint from his sister of want of detail in the reports, he says: 'Am I trying to make my life commonplace? Well, really so it is more or less to me. Things go on in a kind of routine. Two voyages a year, five months in New Zealand, though certainly two-thirds of my flock fresh every year. I suppose it still sounds strange to you sometimes, and to others always, but they should try to think for themselves about our circumstances.
'And you know, Fan, I can't write for the world at large anecdotes of missionary life, and swell the number of the "Gems" and other trashy books. If people who care to know, would think of what their own intuition tells them of human nature, and history tells them of heathenism, they can make out some notion of real missionary work.
'The school is the real work. Teaching adults to read a strange tongue is hard work; I have little doubt but that the Bishop is right in saying they must be taught English; but it is so very difficult a language, not spelt a bit as pronounced; and their language is all vocalic and so easy to put into writing.
'But if you like I will scatter anecdotes about--of how the Bishop and his chaplain took headers hand in hand off the schooner and roundhouse; and how the Bishop got knocked over at Leper's Island by a big wave; and how I borrowed a canoe at Tariko and paddled out yams as fast as the Bishop brought them to our boat, &c. --but this is rubbish.'
This letter is an instance of the reserve and reticence which Mr. Patteson felt so strongly with regard to his adventures and pupils. He could not endure stories of them to become, as it were, stock for exciting interest at home. There was something in his nature that shrank from publishing accounts of individual pupils as a breach of confidence, as much, or perhaps even more, than if they had been English people, likely to know what had been done. Moreover, instances had come to his knowledge in which harm had been done to both teachers and taught by their becoming aware that they were shown off to the public in print. Such things had happened even where they would have seemed not only unlikely, but impossible; and this rendered him particularly cautious in writing- of his work, so that his reports were often dry, while he insisted strongly on his letters to his family being kept private.
The actual undertakings of the Mission did not exceed its resources, so that there was no need for those urgent appeals which call for sensation and incident to back them; and thus there sometimes seemed to the exterior world to be a lack of information about the Mission.
The letters of January 1860 show how the lads were fortified against weather: ' They wear a long flannel waistcoat, then a kind of jersey-shaped thing, with short trousers, reaching a little below the knee, for they dabble about like ducks here, the sea being not a hundred yards from the building. All the washing, of course, and most of the clothes-making they can do themselves; I can cut out after a fashion, and they take quickly to needle and thread;. but now the Auckland ladies have provided divers very nice garments, their Sunday dresses are very nice indeed.'
The question of the Bishopric began to come forward. On the 18th of January a letter to Sir John Patteson, after speaking of a playful allusion which introduced the subject, details how Mrs. Selwyn had disclosed that a letter had actually been despatched to the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, asking permission to appoint and consecrate John Coleridge Patteson as Missionary Bishop of the Western Pacific Isles.
J.C.P.--'Well, then, I must say what I feel about it. I have known for some time that this was not unlikely to come some day; but I never spoke seriously to you or to the Martins when you insinuated these things, because I thought if I took it up gravely it would come to be considered a settled thing.'
Mrs. S.--' Well, so it has been, and is------'
J. G.P.--' But has the Bishop seriously thought of this, that he has had no trial of any other man; that I could give any other man who may come, perhaps, the full benefit of my knowledge of languages, and of my acquaintance with the islands and the people, while we may reasonably expect some one to come out before long far better fitted to organise and lead men than I am? Has he fairly looked at all the per contra?
Mrs. S. --' I feel sure he has.'
J. G. P.--' I don't deny that my father tells me I must not shrink from it; that some things seem to point to it as natural; that I must not venture to think that I can be as complete a judge as the Bishop of what is good for Melanesia--but what necessity for acting now?'
Here came an interruption, but the conversation was renewed later in the day with the Bishop himself, when Patteson pleaded for delay on the score that the isles were as yet in a state in which a missionary chaplain could do all that was requisite, and that the real management ought not to be withdrawn from the Bishop; to which the reply was that at the present time the Bishop could do much to secure such an appointment as he wished; but, in case of his death, even wishes expressed in writing might be disregarded. After this, the outpouring to the father continues:--
'I don't mean to shrink from this. You tell me that I ought not to do so, and 1 quite believe it. I know that no one can judge better than you can as to the general question, and the Bishop is as competent to decide on the special requirements of the case.
'But, my dear father, you can hardly tell how difficult I find it to be, amidst all the multiplicity of works, a man of devotional prayer fulhab it s; how I find from time to time that I wake up to the fact that while I am doing more than I did in old times, yet that I pray less. How often I think that "God gives" habitually to the Bishop "all that sail with him;" that the work is prospering in his hands; but will it prosper in mine? I know He can use any instrument to His glory: I know tJcat, and that He will not let my sins and shortcomings hinder His projects of love and blessing to these Melanesian islanders; but as far as purity of motive, and a spirit of prayer and self-denial do go for anything in making up the qualification on the human side for such an office--in so far, do they exist in me? You will say I am over sensitive and expect too much. That, I think, very likely may be true. It is useless to wait till one becomes really fit, for that of course I never shall be. But while I believe most entirely that grace does now supply all our deficiencies when we seek it fully, I do feel frightened when I see that I do not become more prayerful, more real in communion with God. This is what I must pray for earnestly: to become more prayerful, more constantly impressed with the necessity of seeking for everything from Him.
'You all think that absence from relations, living upon yams, want of the same kind of meat and drink that I had at home, that these things are proofs of sincerity, &c. I believe that they all mean just nothing when the practical result does not come to this--that a man is walking more closely with his God. I dare not say that I can feel humbly and reverently that my inner life is progressing. I don't think that I am as earnest in prayer as I was. Whether it be the effect of the amount of work distracting me; or, sometimes, of physical weariness, or of the self-indulgence (laugh as you may) which results from my never being contradicted or interfered with, or much worried, still I do feel this; and may He strengthen me to pray more for a spirit of prayer.
'I don't know that the actual time for my being consecrated, if I live, is nearer by reason of this letter: I think it most probable that it may take place when the General Synod meets, and, consequently, five bishops will be present, in 1862, at Nelson. But I suppose it is more fixed than it has been hitherto, and if the Bishop writes to you, as he may do, even more plainly than he speaks to me, you will know what especially to ask for me from God, and all you dear ones will recollect daily how I do inwardly tremble at the thoughts of what is to come. Do you remember how strangely I was upset before leaving home for my ordination as a deacon; and now it is coming to this--a church to be planted, organised, edified among the wild heathen inhabitants of Melanesia; and what hope can there be for me if there is to be no growth of a fervent, thankful, humble spirit of prayer and love and adoration? Not that, as I feel to my great comfort, God's work is dependent upon the individual growth in grace even of those who are entrusted with any given work; but it is in some way connected with it.
'And yet, the upshot of it all is that I shall do (D.V.) what the Bishop tells me is right. I hope he won't press on the matter, bvit I am content now to leave it witli him, knowing what you have said, and being so thankful to leave it with you and him.'
There is a letter to his sister Fanny of the same date, beginning merrily about the family expostulation on receiving a box of reports where curiosities had been expected:--
'Fancy not thinking your worthy brother's important publications the most satisfactory treasures that any box could contain! The author's feelings are seriously injured! What are Melanesian shells to Melanesian statistics, and Lifu spears to a dissertation on the treatment of Lifu diseases? Great is the ingratitude of the houses of Feniton and Dawlish!
'Well, it must have been rather a "sell," as at Eton it is called, to have seen the long-desired and highly-paid-for box disgorge nought but Melanesian reports! all thanks to Mrs. Martin, who packed it after I was off to the Islands.
'I cannot send you anything yet, but I will bear in mind the fact that reports by themselves are not considered satisfactory. Does anybody read them, after all? for they really cost me some days' trouble, which I can't find time for again. This year's report (for I suppose there must be one) is not begun, and I don't know what to put in it. I have but little news beyond what I have written once for all to Father.
'The decisive letter from the Bishop of New Zealand to the Duke of Newcastle is in the Governor's hands, and all discussion of the question is at an end. May God bring out of it all that may conduce to His glory; but how I dread what is to come, you, who remember my leaving home first for my deacon's ordination, can well imagine.
'It is true I have seen this coming for a year or two, and have seen no way of preventing its coming upon me --no one else has come out; the Bishop feels he cannot work his present diocese and Melanesia: he is satisfied that he ought to take New Zealand rather than the islands; that the time is come for settling the matter while he is able to settle it; and I had nothing to say, for all personal objections he overruled. So then, if I live, it is settled; and that, at all events, is a comfort. . . Many of my Melanesians have hea^y coughs--some twelve, but I don't think any of them seriously ill, only needing to be watched. I am very well, only I want some more exercise (which, by the bye, it is always in my power to take), and am quite as much disposed as ever to wish for a good game at tennis or fives to take it out of me.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The birthday letter of February 11 is a happy one, though chiefly taken up with the business matters respecting the money required for the Mission, of which Sir John was one trustee. Life was pleasant then, for Patteson says:--
'I do feel sometimes that the living alone lias its temptations, and those great ones; I mean that I can arrange everything--my work, my hours, my whole life--after my own pleasure a great deal more than probably is good for me; and it is very easy to become, in a manner, very self-indulgent. I think that most likely, as our work (D.V.) progresses, one or two men may be living with me, and that will supply a check upon me of some kind. At present I am too much without it. Here I am in my cosy little room, alter my delicious breakfast of perfect coffee, made in Jem's contrivance, hot milk and plenty of it, dry toast and potato. Missionary hardships! On the grass between me and the beach--a distance of some seventy yards--lie the boys' canvas beds and blankets and rugs, having a good airing. The schooner lies at anchor beyond; and, three or four miles beyond the schooner, lies Eangitoto, the great natural breakwater to the harbour. With my Dollond's opera-glass that you gave me, I can see the master and mate at their work refitting. Everything is under my eye. Our long boat and whale boat (so-called from their shapes) lie on the beach, covered with old sails to protect them from the sun. The lads are washing clothes, or scrubbing their rooms, and all the rooms--kitchen, hall, store-room, and school-room. There is a good south-western breeze stirring--our cold wind; but it is shut off here, and scarcely reaches us, and the sun has great power.
'I have the jolliest little fellows this time--about seven of them--fellows scarcely too big to take on my knee, and talk to about God, and Heaven, and Jesus Christ; and I feel almost as if I had a kind of instinct of love towards them, as they look up wonderingiy with their deep deep eyes, and smooth and glossy skins, and warm soft cheeks, and ask their simple questions. I wish you could have seen the twenty Banks Islanders as I told them that most excellent of all tales--the story of Joseph. How their eyes glistened! and they pushed out their heads to hear the sequel of his making himself known to his brethren, and asking once more about " the old man of whom ye spake, is he yet alive?"
'I can never read it with a steady voice, nor tell it either.'
Sir John had thus replied to the tirade against English conventional luxury:--
'The conventional notions in this old country are not always suited to your country, and I quite agree that even here they are carried too far. Yet there are other people than the needy whose souls are entrusted to the clergy here, and in order to fulfil that trust they must mix on some degree of equality with the gentry, and with the middle classes who are well-to-do. Then again, consider both as to clergy and laity here. If they were all to lower themselves a peg or two, and give up many not only luxuries, but comforts, numbers of tradesmen, and others working under them, aye, even merchants, manufacturers, and commercial men of all sorts, would be to some extent thrown out of employ. The artificial and even luxurious state of society here does really prevent many persons from falling into the class of the needy. All this should be regulated in its due proportion. Every man ought so to limit his expenses as to have a good margin for charitable purposes of all sorts, but I cannot think that he is doing good by living himself like a pauper in order to assist paupers. If all men did so, labour of all kinds would be overstocked with hands, and more paupers created. True it is, that we all are too apt as means increase, some to set our hearts upon them, which is wickedness; some to indulge in over much luxury, which is wicked also; there should be moderation in all things. I believe that more money is given in private charities of various kinds in helping those who are struggling with small means, and yet not apparently in the class of the needy, than the world is aware of; and those who do the most are precisely those who are never heard of. But do not mistake me. I am no advocate for luxury and idle expenditure. Yet I think you carry your argument a little farther than is just. The impositions that are practised, or attempted to be practised, upon charitable people are beyond all conception.' The following is the answer:--
'April 23, 1860.
'My dearest Father,--Thank you for writing your views about luxuries, extravagant expenditure, and the like. I see at once the truth of what you say.
'What I really mean is something of this kind. A high degree of civilisation seems to generate (perhaps necessarily) a state of society wherein the natural desires of people to gratify their inclinations in all directions, conjoined with the power of paying highly for the gratification of such inclinations, tends to call forth the ingenuity of the working class in meeting such inclinations in all agreeable ways. So springs up a complicated mechanism, by which a habit of life altogether unnecessary for health and security of life and property is introduced and becomes naturalised among a people.
If this is the necessary consequence of the distinction between rich and poor, and the course of civilisation must result in luxury and poverty among the two classes respectively (and this seems to be so), it is, of course, still more evident that the state of society being once established gradually, through a long course of years, no change can subsequently be introduced excepting in one way. It is still in the power of individuals to act upon the community by their example--e.g.., the early Christians, though only for a short time, showed the result of the practical acceptance of the Lord's teaching in its effect upon society. Rich and poor, comparatively speaking, met each other half way. The rich man sold his possessions, and equal distribution was made to the poor.
'All that I contend for is that, seeing the fearful deterioration, and no less fearful extravagance, of a civilised country, the evil is one which calls loudly for careful investigation. Thousands of artisans and labourers who contribute nothing to the substantial wealth of the country, and nothing towards the production of its means of subsistence, would be thrown out of employment, and therefore that plan would be wrong. Jewellers, &c., &c., all kinds of fellows who simply manufacture vanities, are just as honest and good men as others, and it is not their fault, but the fault (if it be one at all) of civilisation that they exist. But I don't see why, the evil being recognised, some comprehensive scheme of colonisation might not be adopted by the rulers of a Christian land, to empty our poor-houses, and draft off the surplus population, giving to the utterly destitute the prospect of health, and renewed hopes of success in another thinly-inhabited country, and securing for those who remain behind a more liberal remuneration for their work by the comparative absence of competition.
'I hardly know what to write to you, my dear Father, about this new symptom of illness. I suppose, from what you say, that at your time of life the disease being so mild in its form now, will hardly prove dangerous to you, especially as you submit at once to a strictness of diet which must be pretty hard to follow out--just the habit of a whole life to be given up; and I know that to forego anything that I like, in matters of eating and drinking, wants an effort that I feel ashamed of being obliged to make. 1 don't, therefore, make myself unnecessarily anxious, though I can't help feeling that such a discipline must be hard. You say that in other respects you are much the same; but that means that you are in almost constant pain, and that you cannot obtain entire relief from it, except in bed.
'Still, my dear Father, as you do bear it all, how can we wish that God should spare you one trial or infirmity, which, we know, are, in His providence, making you daily riper and riper for Heaven? I ought not to write to you like this, but somehow the idea of our ever meeting anywhere else has so entirely passed from my mind, that I try to view things with reference to His ultimate purpose and work.
'Your loving and dutiful Son,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The most present trouble of this summer was the sickness of Simeona. The account of him on Ash Wednesday is: ' He is dying of consumption slowly, and may go back with us two months hence, but I doubt it. Poor fellow, he makes the worst of his case, and is often discontented and thinks himself aggrieved because we cannot derange the whole plan of the school economy for him. I have everything which is good for him, every little dainty, and everyone is most kind; but when it comes to a complaint because one pupil-teacher is not set apart to sit with him all day, and another to catch him fish, of course I tell him that it would be wrong to grant what is so unreasonable. Some one or other of the most stupid of the boys catches his fish just as well as a pupil-teacher, and he is quite able to sit up and read for two or three hours a day, and would only be injured by having another lad in the room on purpose to be the receptacle of all his moans and complaints, yet I know, poor fellow! it is much owing to the disease upon him.'
In spite of his fretfulness and exactions, the young man, meeting not with spoiling, but with true kindness, responded to the touch. Lady Martin tells us: 'I shall never forget dear Mr. Patteson's thankfulness when, after a long season of reserve, he opened his heart to him, and told him how, step by step, this sinfulness of sin had been brought home to him. He knew he had done wrong in his heathen boyhood, but had put away such deeds when he was baptized, and had almost forgotten the past, or looked on it as part of heathenism. But in his illness, tended daily and hourly by our dear friend, his conscience had become very tender. He died in great peace.'
His death is mentioned in the following letter to Sir John Coleridge:--
'March 26, 1860. ' (This day 5 years I left home. ' It was a Black Monday indeed.)
'My dear Uncle,--. . . At three this morning died one of my old scholars, by name George Selwyn Simeona, from Nengone. He was here for his third time; for two years a regular communicant, having received a good deal of teaching before I knew him. He was baptized three years ago. I did not wish to bring him this time, for it was evident that he could not live long when we met last at Nengone, and I told him that he had better not come with us; but he said, " Heaven was no farther from New Zealand than from Nengone;" and when we had pulled some little way from shore, he ran down the beach, and made us return to take him in. Gradual decline and chronic bronchitis wore him to a skeleton. On Thursday the Bishop and I administered the Holy Eucharist to him; and he died at 3 A.M. to-day, with his hand in mine, as I was in the act of commending his soul to God. His wife, a sweet good girl, one of Mrs. Selwyn's pupils from Nengone in old times, died last year. They leave one boy of three years, whom I hope to get hold of entirely, and as it were adopt him.
'The clear bright moon was right over my head as after a while, and after prayer with his friends, I left his room; the quiet splash of the tiny waves on our sheltered shore, and the little schooner at her anchorage: and I thanked God that one more spirit from among the Melanesian islanders was gone to dwell, we trust, with JESUS CHRIST in Paradise.
'He will not be much missed in the Melanesian school work, for, for months, he could not make one of us. ...
'I find Trench's Notes on the Authorised Version of the New Testament very useful, chiefly as helping one to acquire a habit of accurate criticism for oneself, and when we come (D.V.) to translate any portion of the Scriptures, of course such books are very valuable.'
'Last mail brought me but a very few letters. The account of my dear Father's being obliged to submit to discipline did not alarm me, though I know the nature of the disease, and that his father died of it. It seems in his case likely to be kept under, but (as I have said before) I I cannot feel uneasy and anxious about him, be the accounts what they may. It is partly selfish, for I am spared the sight of his suffering, but then I do long for a look at his dear face and for the sound of his voice. Five years of absence has of course made so much change in my mind in this respect, that I do not now find myself dreaming of home, constantly thinking of it; the first freshness of my loss is not felt now. But I think I love them all and you all better than ever; and I trust that I am looking inward on the whole to the blessedness of our meeting hereafter.
'But this work has its peculiar dangers. A man may become so familiarised with the habits of the heathen that insensibly his conscience becomes less sensitive.
'There is a danger in living in the midst of utter lawlessness and violence; and though the blessings and privileges far excel the disadvantages, yet it is not in every way calculated to help one forward, as I think I have in some ways found by experience.
'Well, this is all dull and dry. But our life is somewhat monotonous on shore, varied only by the details of incidents occurring in school, and witnessing to the growth of the minds of my flock. They are a very intelligent set this year, and there are many hopeful ones among them. We have worked them hard at English, and all can read a little; and some eight or ten really read nicely, but then they do not understand nearly all they read without an explanation, just like an English boy beginning his knowledge of letters with Latin (or French, a still spoken language).
'In about a month we shall (D.V.) start to take them back; but the vessel will be absent but a short time, as I shall keep the Solomon Islanders with me in the Banks Archipelago for the winter, and so avoid the necessity of the schooner running 200 or 300 miles to leeward and having to make it up again. I have slept ashore twice in the Banks Islands, but no other white man has done so, and that makes our course very clear, as they have none of the injuries usually committed by traders, &c., to revenge.
'Good-bye once more, my dearest Uncle,
'Your affectionate and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The calmness of mind respecting his father which is here spoken of was not perpetual, and his grief broke out at times in talks with his young friend and companion, Mr. Dudley, as appears by this extract:--
'I remember his talking to me more than once on the subject of his father, and especially his remarking on one occasion that his friends were pressing him to come out there oftener, and suggesting, when he seemed out of health and spirits, that he was not taking care of himself; but that it was the anguish he endured, as night after night he lay awake thinking of his father gradually sinking and craving for him, and cheerfully resigning him, that really told upon him. I know that I obtained then a glimpse of an affection and a depth of sorrow such as perfectly awed me, and I do not think I have witnessed anything like it at all, either before or since. It was then that he seemed to enter into the full meaning of those words of our Lord, in St. Mark x. 29-30, i.e., into all that the "leaving" there spoken of involved.'
Yet in spite of this anxiety there was no flinching from the three months' residence at Mota, entirely out of reach of letters. A frame house, with planks for the floor, was prepared at Auckland to be taken out, and a stock of wine, provisions, and medicines laid in. The Rev. B. Y. Ash well, a New Zealand clergyman, joined the Mission party as a guest, with two Maori youths, one the son of a deacon; and, besides Mr. Dudley, another pupil, Mr. Thomas Kerr, was beginning his training for service in the Mission. Sailing on one of the last days of April, there was a long passage to Nengone, where the party went ashore, and found everything in trouble, the French constantly expected, and the chiefs entreating for a missionary from the Bishop, and no possibility of supplying them. Lifu was rendered inaccessible by foul winds.
'Much to my sorrow,' writes Mr. Patteson, 'I could not land my two pupil-teachers, who, of course, wished to see their friends, and who made me more desirous to give them a run on shore, by saying at once: "Don't think of us, it is not safe to go." But I thought of what my feelings would be if it were the Devonshire coast, somewn.ere about Sidmouth, and no landing!' However, they, as well as the three Nengonese, Wadrokala, Harper Malo, and Martin Tahia, went on contentedly.
'Off Mai, May 19th.--Mr. Kerr has been busy taking bearings, &c., for the purpose of improving our MS. chart, and constructing a new one. Commodore Loring wanted me to tell him all about Port Patteson, and asked me if I wished a man-of-war to be sent down this winter to see me, supposing the New Zealand troubles to be all over. I gave him all the information he wanted, told him that I did not want a vessel to come with the idea of any protection being required, but that a man-of-war coming with the intention of supporting the Mission, and giving help, and not coming to treat the natives in an off-hand manner, might do good. I did not speak coldly; but really I fear what mischief even a few wildish fellows might do on shore among such people as those of the Banks Islands!
'A fore-and-aft schooner in sight! Probably some trader. May be a schooner which I heard the French had brought for missionary purposes. What if we find a priest or two at Port Patteson! However, my course is clear any way: work straight on.
'May 21st.--Schooner a false alarm. We had a very interesting visit on Saturday afternoon at Mai. We could not land till 4 P.M.; walked at once to the village, a mile and a half inland. After some excitement caused by our appearance, the people rushing to welcome us, we got them to be quiet, and to sit down. I stood up, and gave them a sermonette, then made Dudley, who speaks good Mai, say something. Then we knelt down, and I said the second Good Friday Collect, inserted a few petitions which you can imagine anyone would do at such a time, then a simple prayer in their language, the Lord's Prayer in English, and the Grace.'
On Friday Mota was reached, and the people showed great delight when the frame of the house was landed at the site purchased for a number of hatchets and other goods, so that it is the absolute property of the Mission. Saturday was spent in a visit to Port Patteson, where the people thronged, while the water-casks were being filled, and bamboos cut down, with entreaties that the station might be there; and the mosquitoes thronged too--Mr. Patteson had fifty-eight bites on one foot.
On Whit Sunday, after Holy Communion on board, the party went on shore, and prayed for, 'I cannot say with the people of Vanua Lava.
And on Whit Monday the house was set up 'in a most lovely spot,' says Mr. Dudley, 'beneath the shade of a gigantic banyan tree, the trunk and one long horizontal branch of which formed two sides of as beautiful a picture as you would wish to look upon; the sloping bank, with its cocoa-nut, bread-fruit, and other trees, forming the base of the picture; and the coral beach, the deep, clear, blue tropical ocean, with others of the Banks Islands, Valua, Matlavo, and Uvaparapara, in the distance, forming the picture itself.'
At least a hundred natives came to help, pulling down materials from their own houses to make the roof, and delighted to obtain a bit of iron, or still better of broken glass, to shave with. In the afternoon, the master of the said house, using a box for a desk, wrote: ' Our little house will, I think, be finished to-night; anyhow we can sleep in it, if the walls are but half ready; they are merely bamboo canes tied together. We sleep on the floor boarded and well raised on poles, two feet and more from the ground--beds are superfluous here.'
Here then was the first stake of the Church's tabernacle planted in all Melanesia!
The boards of the floor had been brought from New Zealand, the heavy posts on which the plates were laid were cut in Vanua Lava, and the that eh was of cocoa-nut leaves, the leaflets ingeniously bound together, native fashion, and quite waterproof; but a mat or piece of canvas had to be nailed within the bamboo walls to keep out the rain.
On Wednesday a short service was held, the first ever known in Mota; and then Mr. Ashwell and Mr. Kerr embarked, leaving Mr. Patteson and Mr. Dudley with their twelve pupils in possession. Mr. Dudley had skill to turn their resources to advantage. Space was gained below by making a frame, to which knapsacks, bags, &c., could be hung up, and the floor was only occupied by the four boxes, which did the further part of tables, desks, and chairs in turn. As to beds, was not the whole floor before them? and, observes the Journal: 'Now I see the advantage of having brought planks from New Zealand to make a floor. We all had something level to lie on at night, and when you are tired enough, a good smooth plank or a box does just as well as a mattress.'
Fresh water was half a mile off, and had to be fetched in bamboos; but this was a great improvement upon Lifu, where there was none at all; and a store of it was always kept in four twenty-gallon casks, three on the beach, and one close to the house.
The place was regularly purchased:--
'June 8th.--I have just bought for the Mission this small clearing of half an acre, and the two acres (say) leading to the sea, with twenty or more bread-fruits on it. There was a long talk with the people, and some difficulty in finding out the real proprietors, but I think we arranged matters really well at last. You would have been amused at the solemnity with which I conducted the proceeding: making a great show of writing down their names, and bringing each one of the owners up in their turn to see his name put down, and making him touch my pen as I put a cross against his name. Having spent about an hour in enquiring whether any other person had any claim on the land or trees, I then said, "Now this all belongs to me," and they assented. I entered it in my books --"On behalf of the Melanesian Mission," but they could only understand that the land belonged to the Bishop and me, because we wanted a place where some people might live, who should be placed by the Bishop to teach them. Of course the proceeding has no real validity, but I think they will observe the contract: not quite the same thing as the transfer of land in the old country! Here about 120 men, quite naked, represented the interests of the late owners, and Dudley and I represented the Mission.'
The days were thus laid out--Morning school in the village, first with the regular scholars, then with any one who liked to come in; and then, when the weather permitted, a visit to some village, sometimes walking all round, a circuit of ten miles, but generally each of the. two taking a separate village, talking to the people, teaching them from cards, and encouraging interrogatories. Mr. Patteson always had such an attraction for them that they would throng round him eagerly wherever he went.
The Mota people had a certain faith of their own; they believed in a supreme god called Ikpat, who had many brothers, one of whom was something like Loki, in the Northern mythology, always tricking him. Ikpat had disappeared in a ship, taking the best of everything with him. It was also believed that the spirits of the dead survived and ranged about at night, maddening all who chanced to meet them; and, like many other darkly coloured people, the Motans had begun by supposing their white visitors to be the ghosts of their deceased friends come to revisit them.
There were a good many other superstitions besides; and a ceremony connected with one of them was going on the second week of the residence at Mota--apparently a sort of freemasonry, into which all boys of a certain age were to be initiated.
The Journal says:--
'There is some strange superstitious ceremony going on at this village. A space had been enclosed by a high hedge, and some eighteen or nineteen youths are spending a month or more inside the fence, in a house where they lie wrapped up in mats, abundantly supplied with food by the people, who, from time to time, assemble to sing or perform divers rites. I had a good deal of trouble with the father of our second year's pupil Tagalana, who insisted upon sending his son thither. I warned him against the consequences of hindering his son, who wished to follow Christ. He yielded, because he was evidently afraid of me, but not convinced, as I have no right to expect he should be.
'The next morning comes an old fellow, and plants a red-flowering branch in our small clearing, whereupon our Mota boys go away, not wishing to go, but not daring to stay. No people came near us, but by-and-by comes the man who had planted it, with whom I had much talk, which ended in his pulling up and throwing away the branch, and in the return of our boys.
'In the evening many people came, to whom I spoke very plainly about the necessity of abandoning these customs if they were in earnest in saying they wished to embrace the Word of God. On Sunday they gave up their singing at the enclosure, or only attempted it in a very small way.
'June 6th.--I am just returned from a village a mile and a half off, called Tasmate, where one of their religious ceremonies took place this morning. The village contains upwards of twenty houses, built at the edge of the bush, which consists here almost exclusively of fruit-bearing trees--cocoa-nut trees, bananas, bread-fruit, and large almond trefts are everywhere the most conspicuous. The sea view looking south is very beautiful.
'I walked thither alone, having heard that a feast was to be held there. As I came close to the spot, I heard the hum of many voices, and the dull, booming sound of the native drum, which is nothing but a large hollow tree, of circular shape, struck by wooden mallets. Some few people ran off as I appeared, but many of them had seen me before. The women, about thirty in number, were sitting on the ground together, in front of one of the houses, which enclosed an open air circular space; in front of another house were many children and young people. In the long narrow house which forms the general cooking and lounging room of the men of each village, and the sleeping room of the bachelors,twere many people preparing large messes of grated yam and cocoa-nut in flat wooden dishes. At the long oblong-shaped drum sat the performers, two young men, each with two short sticks to perform the kettledrum part of the business, and an older man in the centre, whose art consisted in bringing out deep, hollow tones from his wooden instrument. Around them stood some thirty men, two of whom I noticed especially, decked out with red leaves, and feathers in their hair. Near this party, and close to the long, narrow house in the end of which I stood, was a newly raised platform of earth, supported on stones. On the corner stone were laid six or eight pigs' jaws, with the large curling tusks left in them. This was a sacred stone. In front of the platform were three poles, covered with flowers, red leaves, &c.
'For about an hour and a half the men at or around the drum kept up an almost incessant shouting, screaming and whistling, moving their legs and arms in tim ', not with any wild gesticulations, but occasionally with some little violence, the drum all the time being struck incessantly. About the middle of the ceremony, an old, tall, thin man, with a red handkerchief, our gift at some time, round his waist, began ambling round the space in the middle of the houses, carrying a boar's skull in his hand. This performance he repeated three times. Then a man jumped up upon the platform, and, moving qnickly about on it and gesticulating wildly, delivered a short speech, after which the drum was beat louder than ever; then came another speech from the same man; and then the rain evidently hastening matters to a conclusion to the whole thing, without any ceremony of consecrating the stone, as I had expected.
'In the long room afterwards I had the opportunity of saying quietly what I had said to those about me during the ceremony: the same story of the love of God, especially manifested in JESUS CHRIST, to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. With what power that verse speaks to one while witnessing such an exhibition of ignorance, or fear, or superstition as I have seen to-day! And through it all I was constantly thinking upon the earnestness with which these poor souls follow out a mistaken notion of religion. Such rain as fell this morning would have kept a whole English congregation from going to church, but they never sought shelter nor desisted from their work in hand; and the physical effect was really great, the perspiration streamed down their bodies, and the learning by heart all the songs and the complicated parts of the ceremony implied a good deal of pains. Christians do not always take so much pains to fulfil scrupulously their duties as sometimes these heathens do. And, indeed, their bondage is a hard one, constant suspicion and fear whenever they think at all. Everything that is not connected with the animal part of our nature seems to be the prey of dark and gloomy superstitions; the spiritual part is altogether inactive as an instrument of comfort, joy, peace and hope. You can imagine that I prayed earnestly for these poor souls, actually performing before me their strange mysteries, and that I spoke earnestly and strongly afterwards.
'The argument with those who would listen was: What good comes of all this? What has the spirit you call Ikpat ever done for you? Has he taught you to clothe yourselves, build houses, &c.? Does he offer to make you happy? Can you tell me what single good thing has come from these customs? But if you ask me what good thing has come to us from the Word of God, first you had better let me tell you what has happened in England of old, in New Zealand, Nengone, or Lifu, then I will tell you what the Word of God teaches;--and these with the great outline of the Faith.'
Every village in the island had the platforms, poles, and flowers; and the next day, at a turn in the path near a village, the Mission party suddenly came upon four sticks planted in a row, two of them bearing things like one-eyed masks; two others, like mitres, painted red, black, and white. As far as could be made out, they were placed there as a sort of defiance to the inhabitants; but Mr. Patteson took down one, and declared his intention of buying them for fish-hooks, to take to New Zealand, that the people might see their dark and foolish customs!
Some effect had already been produced, the people declared that there had been much less of fighting since the missionaries had spoken to them eighteen months back, and they had given up some of the charms by which they used to destroy each other; but there was still much carrying of bows; and on the way home from this expedition, Mr. Patteson suddenly came on six men with bows bent and arrows pointed in his direction. He at once recognised a man from Veverao, the next village to the station, and called out ' All right!' It proved that a report had come of his being attacked or killed on the other side of the island, and that they had set out to defend or avenge him.
He received his champions with reproof:--' This is the very thing I told you not to do. It is all your foolish jealousy and suspicion of them. There is not a man on the island who is not friendly to me! And if they were not friendly, what business have you with your bows and arrows? I tell you once more, if I see you take your bows again, though you may do it as you think with a good intention towards me, I will not stay at your village. If you want to help me, receive the Word of God, abandon your senseless ceremonies. That will be helping me indeed!'
'Cannot you live at peace in this little bit of an island?' was the constant theme of these lectures; and when Wompas, his old scholar, appeared with bow and arrows, saying, 41 am sent to defend you,' the answer was, ' Don't talk such nonsense! Give me the bow!' This was done, and Patteson was putting it across his knee to break it, when the youth declared it was not his. ' If I see these things again, you know what will become of them!'
The mitres and masks were gone; but the Veverao people were desperately jealous of the next village, Auta, alleging that the inhabitants were unfriendly, and by every means trying to keep the guest entirely to themselves; while he resolutely forced on their reluctant ears, 'If you are sincere in saying- that you wish to know God, you must love your brother. God will not dwell in a divided heart, nor teach you His truth while you wilfully continue to hate your brother!'
The St. Barnabas Day on which most of this was written was a notable one, for it was marked by the first administration of both the Sacraments in Mota. In the morning one English and four Nengonese communicants knelt round their pastor; and, in the evening, after a walk to Auta, and much of this preaching of peace and goodwill, then a dinner, which was made festive with preserved meat and wine, there came a message from one Ivepapeu, a leading man, whose child was sick. It was evidently dying, and Mr. Patteson, in the midst of the people, told them that--
'The Son of God had commanded us to teach and baptize all nations; that they did not understand the meaning of what he was about to do, but that the word of JESUS the Son of God was plain, and that he must obey it; that this was not a mere form, but a real gift from heaven, not for the body but the soul; that the child would be as likely to die as before, but that its spirit would be taken to God, and if it should recover, it must be set apart for God, not taken to any heathen rites, but given to himself to be trained up as a child of God.' The parents consented: ' Then,' he continues, ' we knelt, and in the middle of the village, the naked group around me, the dying child in its mother's lap, I prayed to God and Christ in their language to bless the child according to His own promise, to receive it for His own child, and to convey to it the fulness of the blessing of His holy Sacrament. Then while all were silent, I poured the water on its head, pronouncing the form of words in English, and calling the child John, the first Christian child in the Banks Islands. Then I knelt down again and praised God for His goodness, and prayed that the child might live, if it were His good pleasure, and be educated to His glory; and then I prayed for those around me and for the people of the island, that God would reveal to them His Holy Name and Word and Will; and so, with a few words to the parents and people, left them, as darkness settled down on the village and the bright stars came out overhead.'
The innocent first-fruits of Mota died three days later, and Mr. Patteson found a great howling and wailing going on over its little grave under a long low house. This was hushed when he came up, and spoke of the Resurrection, and described the babe's soul dwelling in peace in the Kingdom of the Father, where those would join it who would believe and repent, cast away their evil practices, and be baptized to live as children of God. Kneeling down, he prayed over it, thanking God for having taken it to Himself, and interceding for all around! They listened and seemed touched; no opposition was ever offered to him, but he found that there was much fighting and quarrelling, many of the villages at war with each other, and a great deal too much use of the bow and arrow, though the whole race was free from cannibalism. They seemed to want to halt between two opinions: to keep up their orgies on the one hand, and to make much of the white teacher on the other; and when we recollect that two unarmed Englishmen, and twelve blacks from other islands, were perfectly isolated in the midst of a heathen population, having refused protection from a British man-of-war, it gives a grandeur to the following narrative:--
'June 7th.--One of their chief men has just been with two bread-fruit as a present. I detected him as a leader of one of their chief ceremonies yesterday, and I have just told him plainly that I cannot accept anything from him, neither can I suffer him to be coming to my place while it is notorious that he is teaching the children the very things they ought not to learn, and that he is strongly supporting the old false system, while he professes to be listening attentively to the Word of God. I made him take up his two bread-fruit and carry them away; and I suppose it will be the story all over the village that I have driven him away.
'"By-and-by we will listen to the Word of God, when we have finished these ceremonies."
'"Yes, you hearken first to the voice of the evil spirit; you choose him firsthand then you will care to hear about God.'"
The ceremony was to last twenty days, and only affected the lads, who were blackened all over with soot, and apparently presented pigs to the old priest, and were afterwards admitted to the privileges of eating and sleeping in the separate building, which formed a kind of club-house for the men of each village, and on which Mr. Patteson could always reckon as both a lecture room and sleeping place.
The people kept on saying that ' by-and-by' they would make an end of their wild ritual, and throw down their enclosures, and at the same time they thronged to talk to him at the Mission station, and built a shed to serve for a school at Auta.
Meantime the little estate was brought into order. A pleasant day of landscape-gardening was devoted to clearing gaps to let in the lovely views from the station; and a piece of ground was dug and planted with pine-apples, vines, oranges, and cotton, also a choicer species of banana than the indigenous one. Bread-fruit was so plentiful that breakfast was provided by sending a boy up a tree to bring down four or five fruits, which were laid in the ashes, and cooked at once; and as to banana leaves ' we think nothing of cutting one down, four feet long and twenty inches wide, of a bright pale green, just to wrap up a cooked yam or two.'
The first week in July, with Wadrokala, Mark, and two Malanta men, Mr. Patteson set forth in the boat that had been left with him, for an expedition among the other islands, beginning with Saddle Island, or Valua, which was the proper name.
The day after leaving Eowa, the weather changed; and as on these perilous coasts there was no possibility of landing, two days and the intervening night had to be spent in the open four-oared boat, riding to a grapnel!
Very glad they were to get into Port Patteson, and to land in the wet, 'as it can rain in the tropics.' The nearest village, however, was empty, everybody being gone to the burial wake of the wife of a chief, and there was no fire to cook the yams, everything dreary and deserted, but a short walk brought the wet and tired party to the next village, where they were made welcome to the common house; and after, supping on yams and chocolate, spent a good night, and found the sea smooth the next day for a return to head-quarters.
These first weeks at Mota were very happy, but after that the strain began to tell. Mr. Patteson had been worn with anxiety for his father, and no doubt with awe in the contemplation of his coming Episcopate, and was not in a strong state of health when he left Kohimarama, and the lack of animal food, the too sparing supply of wine, and the bare board bed told upon him. On the 24th of July he wrote in a letter to his Uncle Edward:--
'I have lost six days: a small tumour formed inside the ear about two inches from the outer ear, and the pain has been very considerable, and the annoyance great. Last night I slept for the first time for five nights, and I have been so weary with sleeplessness that I have been quite idle. The mischief is passing away now. That ear is quite deaf; it made me think so of dear Father and Joan with their constant trial. I don't see any results from our residence here; and why should I look for them? It is enough that the people are hearing, some of them talking, and a few thinking about what they hear. All in God's own time!'
Mr. Dudley adds: ' His chief trouble at this time was with one of his ears. The swelling far in not only made him deaf while it lasted, but gave him intense and protracted agony. More than once he had to spend the whole night in walking up and down the room. But only on one occasion during the whole time do I remember his losing his patience, and that was when we had been subjected to an unusually protracted visitation from the " loafers " of the village, who would stretch themselves at full length on the floor and table, if we would let them, and altogether conduct themselves in such a manner as to call for summary treatment, very different from the more promising section. The half jocular but very decided manner in which he cleared the house on this occasion, and made them understand that they were to respect our privacy sometimes, and not make the Mission station an idling place, was very satisfactory. It was no small aggravation of the pain to feel that this might be the beginning of permanent deafness, such as would be fatal to his usefulness in a work in which accuracy of ear was essential.'
However, this gradually improved; and another boat voyage was made, but again was frustrated by the torrents of rain. In fact, it was an unusually wet and unwholesome season, which told upon everyone. Mark Chakham, the Nengonese, was brought very near the grave by a severe attack of dysentery. All the stores of coffee, chocolate, wine and biscuit were used up. The ' Southern Cross' had been due full a month, and nothing was heard of her through the whole of September.
Teaching and conversation went on all this time, trying as it was; and the people still came to hear, though no one actually undertook to forsake his idols.
'I am still hopeful about these people,' is the entry on September 18, 'though all their old customs and superstitions go on just as before. But (1) they know that a better teaching has been presented to them. (2) They do not pursue their old habits with the same unthinking-security. (3) There are signs of a certain uneasiness of mind, as if a struggle was beginning in them. (4) They have a vague consciousness, some of them, that the power is passing away from their witchcrafts, sorceries, &c., by which unquestionably they did and still do work strange effects on the credulous people, like 'Pharaoh's magicians of old.'
This was ground gained; and one or two voyages to Vanua Lava and the other isles were preparatory steps, and much experience had been acquired, and resulted in this:--
'The feasibility of the Bishop's old scheme is more and more apparent to me. Only I think that in taking away natives to the summer school, it must be understood that some (and they few) are taken from new islands merely to teach us some of their languages and to frank us, so that we may have access in safety to their islands. Should any of them turn out well, so much the better; but it will not be well to take them with the expectation of their becoming teachers to their people. But the other section of the school will consist of young men whose behaviour we have watched during the winter in their own homes, whose professions we have had an opportunity of testing--they may be treated as young men on the way to become teachers eventually to their countrymen. One learns much from living among a heathen people, and only by living in our pupils' homes shall we ever know their real characters. Poor fellows! they are adepts in all kinds of deceitfulness at a very early age, and so completely in our power on board the schooner and at Kohimarama, that we know nothing of them as they are.'
The very paper this is copied from shows how the stores were failing, for the full quarto sheets have all failed, and the journal is continued on note paper.
Not till October 1 was Mr. Patteson's watch by a poor dying woman interrupted by tidings that a ship was in sight. And soon it was too plain that she was not the ' Southern Cross,' though, happily, neither trader nor French Mission ship. In a short time there came ashore satisfactory letters from home, but with them the tidings that the little 'Southern Cross' lay in many fathoms water on the New Zealand coast!
On her return, on the night of the 17th of June, just as New Zealand itself was reached, there was a heavy gale from the north-east. A dangerous shoal of rocks, called the Hen and Chickens, stands out from the head of Ngunguru Bay; and, in the darkness and mist, it was supposed that these were safely passed, when the ship struck on the eastern Chicken, happily on a spot somewhat sheltered from the violence of the breakers. The two passengers and the crew took refuge in the rigging all night; and in the morning contrived to get a line to land, on which all were safely drawn through the surf, and were kindly received by the nearest English settlers.
So, after five years' good service, ended the career of the good 'Southern Cross' the first. She had gone down upon sand, and much of the wreck might have been recovered and made useful again had labour not been scarce at that time in New Zealand that the Bishop could find no one to undertake the work, and all he could do was to charter another vessel to be despatched to bring home the party from Mota. Nor were vessels fit for the purpose easy to find, and the schooner ' Zillah'--welcome as was the sight of her--proved a miserable substitute even in mere nautical capabilities, and her internal arrangements were of course entirely inappropriate to the peculiar wants of the Mission.
This was the more unfortunate because the very day after her arrival Mr. Dudley was prostrated by something of a sunstroke. Martin Tehele was ill already, and rapidly became worse; and Wadrokala and Harper Malo sickened immediately, nor was the former patient recovered. Mr. Dudley, Wadrokala and Harper were for many days in imminent danger, and were scarcely dragged through by the help of six bottles of wine, providentially sent by the Bishop. Mr. Dudley says:--
'During the voyage Mr. Patteson's powers of nursing were severely tried. Poor Martin passed away before we arrived at Nengone, and was committed to the deep. Before he died he was completely softened by Mr. Patteson's loving care, and asked pardon for all the trouble he had given and the fretfulness he had shown. Poor fellow! I well remember how he gasped out the Lord's Prayer after Mr. Patteson a few minutes before he died. We all who had crawled up round his bed joining in with them.
'Oh, what a long dreary time that was! Light baffling winds continually, and we in a vessel as different from the " Southern Cross " as possible, absolutely guiltless, I should think, of having ever made two miles an hour to windward " in a wind." The one thing that stands out as having relieved its dreariness is the presence of Mr. Patteson, the visits he used to pay to us, and the exquisite pathos of his voice as, from the corner of the hold where we lay, we could hear him reading the Morning and Evening Prayers of the Church and leading the hymn. These prevented these long weary wakeful days and nights from being absolutely insupportable.'
At last Nengone was reached, and Wadrokala and Harper were there set ashore, better, but very weak. Here the tidings were known that in Lifu John Cho had lost his wife Margaret, and had married the widow of a Karotongan teacher, a very suitable match, but too speedy to be according to European ideas; and on November 26 the ' Zillah' was off the Three Kings, New Zealand.
'Monday: Nov. 26, I860. '"Zillah" Schooner, off the Three Kings, N. of New Zealand.
'You know pretty well that Kohimarama is a small bay, about one-third of a rnile along the sea frontage, two-and-a-half miles due east of Auckland, and just opposite the entrance into the harbour, between the North Head and Eangitoto. The beach is composed entirely of the shells of " pipi" (small cockles); always, therefore, dry and pleasant to walk upon- A fence runs along the whole length of it. At the eastern end of it, a short distance inside this N. (= sea) fence, are the three cottages of the master and mate and Fletcher. Sam Fletcher is a man-of-war's man, age about thirty-eight, who has been with us some four years and a half. He has all the habits of order and cleanliness that his life as coxswain of the captain's gig taught him; he is a very valuable fellow. He is our extra man at sea.
'Each of these cottages has its garden, and all three men are married, but only the master (Grange) has any family, one married daughter.
'Then going westward comes a nine-acre paddock, and then a dividing fence, inside (i.e. to W.) of which stand our buildings.
'Now our life here is hard to represent. It is not like the life of an ordinary schoolmaster, still less like that of an ordinary clergyman. Much of the domestic and cooking department I may'manage, of course, to superintend. I would much rather do this than have the nuisance of a paid servant.
'So at 5 A.M., say, I turn out; I at once go to the kitchen, and set the two cooks of the week to work, light fire, put on yams or potatoes, then back to dress, read, &c.; in and out? all the time, of the kitchen till breakfast time: say 8 or 8.30. You would be surprised to see how very soon the lads will do it all by themselves, and leave me or Mr. Kerr to give all our attention to school and other matters.
'So you can fancy, Joan, now, the manner of life. My little room with my books is my snuggery during the middle of the day,, and at night I have also a large working table at one end of the big school-room, covered with books, papers, &c., and here I sit a good deal, my room being too small to hold the number of books that I require to have open for comparison of languages, and for working out grammatical puzzles. Then I am in and out of the kitchen and store-room, and boys' rooms, seeing that all things, clothes, blankets, floors, &c., are washed and kept clean, and doing much what is done in every house.'
Snuggery no doubt it looked compared with the ' Zillah;' but what would the ' Eton fellow' of fifteen years back have thought of the bare, scantily furnished i'oom, with nothing but the books, prints, and photographs around to recall the tastes of old, and generally a sick Melanesian on the floor? However, he was glad enough to return thither, though with only sixteen scholars from ten places. Among them was Taroniara from Bauro, who was to be his follower, faithful to death. The following addition was made to the letter to Mr. Edward Coleridge, begun in Banks Islands:--
'Kohimarama: Dec. 1,1860.
'One line, my dear tutor, before I finish off my pile of hastily written letters for this mail.
'Alas! alas! for the little schooner, that dear little vessel, our home for so many months of each year, so admirably qualified for her work. Whether she may be got off her sandy bed, no one can say. Great expense would certainly be incurred, and the risk of success great also.
' I have not yet had time to talk to the Bishop, I only reached New Zealand on November 28. We cannot, however, well do our work in chartered vessels [then follows a full detail of the imperfections of the 'Zillah' and all other Australian merchant craft; then--] But, dear old tutor, even the "Southern Cross" (though what would I give to see her .now at her usual anchorage from the window at which I am now sitting!) for a time retires into the distance, as I think of what is to take place (D.V.) in January next.
'I hoped that I had persuaded the Bishop that the meeting of the General Synod in February 1862 would be a fit time. I do not see that the Duke's despatch makes any difference in the choice of the time. But all was settled in my absence; and now at the Feast of the Epiphany or of the Conversion of St. Paul (as suits the convenience of the Southern Bishops) the Consecration is to take place. I am heartily glad that the principle of consecrating Missionary Bishops will be thus affirmed and acted upon; but oh! if some one else was to be the Bishop!
'And yet I must not distrust God's grace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable me for this work. I try and pray to be calm and resigned, and I am happy and cheerful.
'And it is a blessed thing that now three of your old dear friends, once called Selwyn, Abraham, Hobhouse should be consecrating your own nephew and pupil, gathered by God's providence into the same part of God's field at the ends of the earth.'
Still with his heart full of the never-forgotten influence of his mother, he thus begins his home letter of the same date:--
'Kohimarama: Dec. 1.
'My dearest Father,--I could not write on November 28, but the memory of that day in 1842 was with me from morning to night. We anchored on that day at 1 A.M., and I was very busy till late at night. I had no idea till I came back from the Islands that there was any change in the arrangements for the consecration in February 1862. But now the Bishops of Wellington and Nelson have been summoned for the Feast of the Epiphany, or of the conversion of St. Paul, and all was done in my absence. I see, too, that you in England have assumed that the consecration will take place soon after the reception of the Duke's despatch.
'I must not now shrink from it, I know. I have full confidence in your judgment, and in that of the Bishop; and I suppose that if I was speaking of another, I should say that I saw reasons for it. But depend upon it, my dear Father, that a man cannot communicate to another the whole of the grounds upon which he feels reluctant to accept an office. I believe that I ought to accept this in deference to you all, and I do so cheerfully, but I don't, say that my judgment agrees wholly with you all.
'And yet there is no one else; and if the separation of New Zealand and Melanesia is necessary, I see that this must be the consequence. So I regard it now as a certainty. I pray God to strengthen and enable me: I look forward, thanks to Him, hopefully and cheerfully. I have the love and the prayers of many, many friends, and soon the whole Church of England will recognise me as one who stands in special need of grace and strength from above.
'Oh! the awful power of heathenism! the antagonism, not of evil only, but of the Evil One, rather, I mean the reality felt of all evil emanating from a person, as St. Paul writes, and as our Lord spoke of him. I do indeed at times feel overwhelmed, as if I was in a dream. Then comes some blessed word or thought of comfort, and promised strength and grace.
'But enough of this.
'The "Southern Cross" cannot, I think, be got off without great certain expense and probable risk. I think we shall have to buy another vessel, and I dare say she may be built at home, but I don't know what is the Bishop's mind about it. ...
'I shall write to Merton, I don't know why I should needs vacate my fellowship. I have no change of outward circumstances brought upon me by my change presently from the name of Presbyter to Bishop, and we want all the money.
'What you say about a Missionary Bishop being for five months of the year within the diocese of another Bishop, I will talk over with the Bishop of New Zealand. I think our Synodical system will make that all right; and as for my work, it will be precisely the same in all respects, my external life altered only to the extent of my wearing a broader brimmed and lower crowned hat. Dear Joan is investing moneys in cutaway coats, buckles without end, and no doubt knee-breeches and what she calls "gambroons ' (whereof I have no cognizance), none of which will be worn more than (say) four or five times in the year. Gambroons and aprons and lawn sleeves won't go a-voyaging, depend upon it. Just when I preach in some Auckland church I shall appear in full costume; but the buckles will grow very rusty indeed!
'How kind and good of her to take all the trouble, I don't laugh at that, and at her dear love for me and anxiety that I should have everything; but I could not help having a joke about gambroons, whatever they are. . . .
'Good-bye once more, my dearest Father. You will, I trust, receive this budget about the time of your birthday. How I think of you day and night, and how I thank you for all your love, and perhaps most of all, not only letting me come to Melanesia, but for your great love in never calling me away from my work even to see your face once more on earth.
'Your loving and dutiful son,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Remark upon a high-minded letter is generally an impertinence both to the writer and the reader, but I cannot help pausing upon the foregoing, to note the force of the expression that thanks the father for the love that did not recall the son. What a different notion these two men had of love from that which merely seeks self-gratification! Observe, too, how the old self-contemplative, self-tormenting spirit, that was unhappiness in those days of growth and heart-searching at the first entrance into the ministry, had passed into humble obedience and trust. Looking back to the correspondence of ten years ago, volumes of progress are implied in the quiet 'Enough of this.'
There were, however, some delays in bringing the three together, and on the New Year's Day of 1861, the designate writes to Bishop Abraham: 'I dare say the want of any positive certainty as to the time of the Consecration is a good discipline for me. I think I feel calm now; but I know I must not trust feelings, and when I think of those islands and the practical difficulty of getting at them, and the need of so many of those qualities which are so wonderfully united in our dear Primate, I need strength from above indeed to keep my heart from sinking. But I think that I do long and desire to work on by God's grace, and not to look to results at all.'
A 'supplementary mail' made possible a birthday letter (the last) written at 6 A.M. on the 11th of February: ' I wanted of course to write to you to-day. Many happy returns of it I wish you indeed, for it may yet please God to prolong your life; but in any case you know well how I am thinking and praying for you that every blessing and comfort may be given you. Oh I how I do think of you night and day. When Mrs. Selwyn said "Good-bye," and spoke of you, I could not stand it. I feel that anything else (as I fancy) I can speak of with composure; but the verses in the Bible, such as the passage which I read yesterday in St. Mark x., almost unnerve me, and I can't wish it to be otherwise. But I feel that my place is here, and that I must look to the blessed hope of meeting again hereafter. . . .
'Of course no treat is so great to me as the occasional talks with the Bishop. Oh! the memory of those days and evenings on board the " Southern Cross." Well, it was so happy a life that it was not good for me, I suppose, that it should last. But I feel it now that the sense of responsibility is deepening on me, and I must go out to work without him; and very, very anxious I am sometimes, and almost oppressed by it.
'But strength will come; and it is not one's own work, which is the comfort, and if I fail (which is very likely) God will place some other man in my position, and the work will go on, whether in my hands or not, and that is the real point.
'Some talk I find there has been about my going home. I did not hear of it until after Mrs. Selwyn had sailed. It was thought of, but it was felt, as I certainly feel, that it ought not to be. ... My work lies out here clearly; and it is true that any intermission of voyages or residences in the islands is to be avoided.'
Mrs. Selwyn had gone home for a year, and had so arranged as to see the Patteson family almost immediately on her return. Meantime the day drew on. The Consecration was not by Koyal mandate, as in the case of Bishops of sees under British jurisdiction; but the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, wrote:--' That the Bishops of New Zealand are at liberty, without invasion of the Eoyal prerogative or infringement of the law of England, to exercise what Bishop Selwyn describes as their inherent power of consecrating Mr. Patteson or any other person to take charge of the Melanesia!! Islands, provided that the consecration should take place beyond British territory.'
In consequence it was proposed that the three consecrating Bishops should take ship and perform the holy rite in one of the isles beneath the open sky; but as Bishop Mackenzie had been legally consecrated in Cape Town Cathedral, the Attorney-General of New Zealand gave it as his opinion that there was no reason that the consecration should not take place in Auckland.
'Kohimarama: Feb. 15, 1861.
'My dearest Father, --Mr. Kerr, who has just returned from Auckland, where he spent yesterday, brings me the news that the question of the Consecration has been settled, and that it will take place (D.V.) on Sunday week, St. Matthias Day, February 24.
'I ought not to shrink back now. The thought has become familiar to me, and I have the greatest confidence in the judgment of the Bishop of New Zealand; and I need not say how your words and letters and prayers too are helping me now.
'Indeed, though at any great crisis of our lives no doubt we are intended to use more than ordinary strictness in examining our motives and in seeking for greater grace, deeper repentance, more earnest and entire devotion to God, and amendment of life, yet I know that any strong-emotion, if it existed now, would pass away soon, and that I must be the same man as Bishop as I am now, in this sense, viz., that I shall have just the same faults, unless I pray for strength to destroy them, which I can do equally well now, and that all my characteristic and peculiar habits of mind will remain unchanged by what will only change my office and not myself. So that where I am indolent now I shall be indolent henceforth, unless I seek to get rid of indolence; and I shall not be at all better, wiser, or more consistent as Bishop than I am now by reason simply of being a Bishop.
' You know my meaning. Now I apply what I write to prove that any strong excitement now would be no evidence of a healthy state of mind. I feel now like myself, and that is not at all like what I wish to be. And so I thank God that as before any solemn season special inducements to earnest repentance are put into our minds, so I now feel a special call upon me to seek by His grace to make a more faithful use of the means of usefulness which He gives me, that I may be wholly and entirely turned to Him, and so be enabled to do His will in Melanesia. You know, my dearest Father, that I do not indeed undervalue the grace of Ordination; only I mean that the right use of any great event in one's life, as I take it, is not to concentrate feeling so much on it as earnestness of purpose, prayer for grace, and for increase of simplicity and honesty and purity of heart. Perhaps other matters affect me more than my supposed state of feeling, so that my present calmness may be attributed to circumstances of which I am partially ignorant; and, indeed, I do wonder that I am calm when one moment's look at the map, or thought of the countless islands, almost overwhelms me. How to get at them? Where to begin? How to find men and means? How to decide upon the best method of teaching, &c.? But I must try to be patient, and to be content with very small beginnings--and endings, too, perhaps.
'Sunday, Feb. 24, St. Matthias, 10 A.M.--The day is come, my dearest Father, and finds me, I thank God, very calm. Yesterday, at 6 P.M., in the little chapel at Taurama, the three Bishops, the dear Judge, Lady Martin, Mrs. Abraham, Mr. Lloyd and I met together for special prayer. How we missed Mrs. Selwyn, dear dear Mrs. Selwyn, from among us, and how my thoughts passed on to you! Evening hymn, Exhortation in Consecration Service, Litany from the St. Augustine's Missionary Manual, with the questions in Consecration Service turned into petitions, Psalm cxxxii., cxxxi., li.; Lesson i Tim. iii.; special prayer for the Elect Bishop among the heathen, for the conversion of the heathen; and the Gloria in Excelsis.
'Then the dear Bishop walked across to me, and taking my hand in both of his, looking at me with that smile of love and deep deep thought, so seldom seen, and so deeply prized. "I can't tell you what I feel," he said, with a low and broken voice. "You know it--my heart is too full! "
'Ah! the memory of six years with that great and noble servant of God was in my heart too, and so we stood, tears in our eyes, and I unable to speak.
'At night again, when, after arranging finally the service, I was left with him alone, he spoke calmly and hopefully. Much he said of you, and we are all thinking much of you. Then he said: "I feel no misgiving in my heart; I think all has been done as it should be. Many days we three have discussed the matter. By prayer and Holy Communion we have sought light from above, and it is, I believe, God's will." Then once more taking both hands, he kissed my forehead: "God bless you, my dear Coley. I can't say more words, and you don't desiderate them."
'"No," said I; "my heart, as yours, is too full for words. I have lived six years with you to little purpose, if I do not know you full well now! "
'And then I walked, in the perfect peace of a still cloudless night--the moon within two days of full--the quarter of a mile to St. Stephen's schools, where I slept last night. On the way I met the Bishop of Wellington and Mrs. Abraham, coming up from St. Stephen's to the Bishop's house.
J. C. P.--What a night of peace! the harbour like a silver mirror!
'B. of W.--Dominus tecum.
'Mrs. A.--I trust you will sleep.
'J. C. P.--I thank you; I think so. I feel calm.
'Sunday Night, 10 P.M. (Feniton, Sunday, 10.40 A.M.)--It is over--a most solemn blessed service. Glorious day. Church crowded--many not able to find admittance; but orderly. More than two hundred communicants. More to-morrow (D.V.). All day you have been in our minds. The Bishop spoke of you in his sermon with faltering voice, and I broke down; yet at the moment of the Veni Creator being sung over me, and the Imposition of Hands, I was very calm. The Bible presented is the same that you gave me on my fifth birthday with your love and blessing. Oh! my dear dear Father, God will bless you for all your love to me, and your love to Him in giving me to His service. May His heavenly blessing be with you--all your dear ones for ever!
'Your most loving and dutiful Son,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.
'February 25th.--I am spending to-day and to-morrow here--i.e., sleeping at the Judge's, dining and living half at his house, and half at the Bishop's--quiet and calm it is, and I prize it. The music yesterday was very good; organ well played. The choirs of the three town churches, and many of the choral society people, filled the gallery--some eighty voices perhaps. The Veni Creator the only part that was not good, well sung, but too much like an anthem.
'Tagalana, half-sitting, half-kneeling behind me, held the book for the Primate to read from at the Imposition of Hands--a striking group, I am told.'
Here ends the letter, to which a little must be added from other pens; and, first, from Mrs. Abraham's letter for the benefit of Eton friends:--
'The Consecration was at St. Paul's Church, in default of a Cathedral. Built before the Bishop arrived, St. Paul's has no chancel: and the Clergy, including a Maori Deacon, were rather crowded within the rail. Mr. Patteson was seated in a chair in front, ten of his island boys close to him, and several working men of the rougher sort were brought into the benches near. We were rather glad of the teaching that none were excluded. The service was all in harmony with the occasion; and the sermon gave expression to all the individual and concentrated feeling of the moment, as well as pointing the Lesson and its teaching.
'The sermon was on the thought of the Festival: "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen." (Acts i. 24.) After speaking of the special import and need of the prayers of those gathered to offer up their prayers at the Holy Communion, for those who were to exercise the office of apostles in their choice, he spoke in words that visibly almost overpowered their subject:--
'"In this work of God, belonging to all eternity, and to the Holy Catholic Church, are we influenced by any private feelings, any personal regard? The charge which St. Paul gives to Timothy, in words of awful solemnity, ' to lay hands suddenly on no man,' may well cause much searching of heart. ' I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.' Does our own partial love deceive us in this choice? We were all trained in the same place of education, united in the same circle of friends; in boyhood, youth, manhood, we have shared the same services, and joys, and hopes, and fears. I received this, my son in the ministry of Christ Jesus, from the hands of a father, of whose old age he was the comfort. He sent him forth without a murmur, nay, rather with joy and thankfulness, to these distant parts of the earth. He never asked even to see him again, but gave him up without reserve to the Lord's work. Pray, dear brethren, for your Bishops, that our partial love may not deceive us in this choice, for we cannot so strive against natural affection as to be quite impartial."
'And again, as the Primate, addressing more especially his beloved son in the ministry, exclaimed, "May Christ be with you when you go forth in His name, and for His sake, to those poor and needy people," and his eye went along the dusky countenances of his ten boys, Coleridge Patteson could hardly restrain his intensity of feeling.'
Another letter from the same lady to the sisters adds further details to the scene, after describing the figures in the church:--
'Lady Martin, who had never seen the dress (the cassock and rochet) before, said that Coley reminded her of the figures of some young knight watching his armour, as he stood in his cairn stedfastness, and answered the questions put to him by the Primate.
'The whole service was very nicely ordered, and the special Psalm well chanted. With one exception (which was, alas! the Veni Creator), the music was good, and Coley says was a special help to him; the pleasure of it, and the external hold that it gave, helping him out of himself, as it were, and sustaining him.'
Lady Martin adds her touch to the picture; and it may perhaps be recorded for those who may in after times read the history of the first Bishop of the Melanesian Church, that whatever might be wanting in the beauty of St. Paul's, Auckland, never were there three Bishops who outwardly as well as inwardly more answered to the dignity of their office than the three who stood over the kneeling Coleridge Patteson.
'I shall never forget the expression of his face as he knelt in the quaint rochet. It was meek and holy and calm, as though all conflict was over and he was resting in the Divine strength. It was altogether a wonderful scene: the three consecrating Bishops, all such noble-looking men, the goodly company of clergy and Hohua's fine intelligent brown face among them, and then the long line of island boys, and of St. Stephen's native teachers and their wives, were living testimonies of Mission work. Coley had told us in the morning of a consecration he had seen at Rome, where a young Greek deacon had held a large illuminated book for the Pope to read the words of Consecration. We had no such gorgeous dresses as they, but nothing could have been more simply beautiful and touching than the sight of Tagalana's young face as he did the same good office. There was nothing artistic about it; the boy came forward with a wondering yet bright look on his pleasant face, just dressed in his simple grey blouse.
'You will read the sermon, so there is no need to talk about it. Your brother was overcome for a minute at the reference to his father, but the comfort and favour of His Heavenly Master kept him singularly calm, though the week before he had undoubtedly had much struggle, and his bodily health was affected.'
All the friends who were thus brought together were like one family, and still called the new Bishop by the never disused abbreviation that recalled his home. He was the guest of the now retired Chief Justice and Lady Martin, who were occupying themselves in a manner probably unique in the history of law and lawyers, by taking charge of the native school at St. Stephen's.
The next two were great days of letter writing. Another long full letter was written to the father, telling of the additional record which each of the three consecrating Bishops had written in the Bible of his childhood, and then going into business matters, especially hoping that the Warden and Fellows of Merton would not suppose that as a Bishop he necessarily had 5,000£. a year and a palace, whereas in fact the see had no more than the capital of 5,000 l. required by Government! He had already agreed with his father that his own share of the inheritance should go to the Mission; and, as he says, on hearing the amount:--
'Hard enough you worked, my dear Father, to leave your children so well off. Dear old Jem will have enough; and my children now dwell in 200 islands, and will need all that I can give them. God grant that the day may come when many of them may understand these things, and rise up and call your memory blessed!
'Your words of comfort and blessing come to me with fresh strength just now, two days only after the time when you too, had you been here, would in private have laid your hand on my head and called down God's blessing upon me. I shall never know in this world what I owe to your prayers.'
There is much, too, of his brother's marriage; and in a separate letter to the sisters there are individual acknowledgments of each article of the equipment, gratifying the donor by informing her that the ' cutaway' coat was actually to be worn that very evening at a dinner party at the Chief Justice's, and admiring the ' gambroon,' which turned out to be the material of the cassock, so much as to wish for a coat made of it for the islands. Apropos of the hat:--' You know my forehead is square, so that an oval hat does not fit; it would hang on by the temples, which form a kind of right angle with the forehead.'
Another letter of that 26th was from the Bishop of Wellington to Dr. Goodford respecting this much-loved old pupil:--
'Anything more conscientious and painstaking cannot be conceived than the way he has steadily directed every talent, every hour or minute of his life, to the one work he had set before him. However small or uncongenial or drumdrudgery-like his occupation, however hard, or dangerous, or difficult, it seemed to be always met in the same calm, gentle, self-possessed spirit of love and duty, which I should fancy that those who well knew his good and large-minded, large-hearted father, and his mother, whom I have always heard spoken of as saintly, could best understand. Perhaps the most marked feature in his character is his genuine simplicity and humility. I never saw it equalled in one so gifted and so honoured and beloved.
'It is really creditable to the community to see how universal is the admiration for his character, for he is so very good, so exceedingly unworldly, and therefore such a living rebuke to the selfishness of the world; and though so gentle, yet so firm and uncompromising that you would have supposed he would hardly be popular outside the circle of friends who know him and understand him. Certainly he is the most perfect character I ever met.'
The last day of February was that of the Installation.
Again Mrs. Abraham must speak:--
'On Thursday last we had another happy day at Kohimarama, where Bishop Patteson was duly installed in the temporary chapel of St. Andrew's College, as we hope to call it, after the church at Cocksmoor, in "The Daisy Chain." The morning was grey, and we feared rain would keep us ladies away, hut we made the venture with our willing squire, Mr. M------, in the " Iris " boat to help us. The pity was, that after all Lady Martin could not go, as she had an invalid among her Maori flock, whom she could not trust all day by herself. The day lightened, and our sail was pleasant.
'The Primate and Missionary Bishop planted a Norfolk pine in the centre of the quadrangle--"the tree planted by the water side," &c. The Bishop then robed and proceeded to chapel, and the Primate led the little service in which he spoke the words of installation, and the mew Bishop took the oath of allegiance to him. The Veni Creator was sung, and the Primate's blessing-given. The island boys looked on from one transept, the "Iris" sailors from another, and Charliel stood beside me. I am afraid his chief remembrance of the day is fixed upon Kanambat's tiny boat and outrigger, which he sat in on the beach, and went on voyages, in which the owner waded by his side, and saw him (Kanambat) skim along the waves like a white butterfly. We all dined in hall, after the boys, on roast beef and plum pudding, melons and water melons, and strolled about the place and beach at leisure, till it was time to sail back again.'
On the Sunday the new Bishop preached at St. Mary's one of the sermons that broke from him when he was too much excited (if the word may be used) for his usual metaphysical style. The subject was the promise of the Comforter, His eternal presence and anointing, and the need of intercessory prayer, for which the preacher besought earnestly, as one too young for his office, and needing to increase in the Holy Spirit more and more. Very far were these from being unrealised words. God's grace had gone along with him, and had led him through every step and stage of his life, and so mastered his natural defects, that friends who only knew him in these years hear with incredulous indignation of those flaws he had conquered in his younger days. ' Fearless as a man, tender as a woman, showing both the best sides of human nature,' says one of the New Zealand friends who knew him best; ' always drawing out the good in all about him by force of sympathy, and not only taking-care that nothing should be done by others that he would not do himself, but doing himself what he did not like to ask of them, and thinking that they excelled him.' Humility, the effort of his life, was achieved at last the more truly because- not consciously.
The letter to his father was again almost wholly on money matters; but at the end come two notable sentences:--
'How can I thank you for giving me up to this work, and for all the wise and loving words with which you constantly cheer me and encourage me? Your blessing comes now to strengthen me, as work and responsibilities are fast accumulating upon me. I thank God that He enables us at the two ends of the world to see this matter in the same way, so that no conflict of duties arises in my mind.
'This book, "Essays and Reviews," I have, but pray send your copy also; also any good books that may be produced bearing on that great question of the Atonement, and on Inspiration, Authority of Scripture, &c. How sad it is to see that spirit of intellectualism thinking to deal with religion in forgetfulness of the necessary conditions of humility and faith! How different from the true sunaxiV! '
'Kohimarama: April 29, 1861.
'My dearest Father,--As I read your letters of Feb. 21-25, you are, I trust, reading mine which tell you of what took place on Feb. 24. That point is settled. I almost fear to write that I am a Bishop in the Church of Christ. May God strengthen me for the duties of the office to which I trust He has indeed called me!
'As I read of what you say so wisely and truly, and dear Joan and Fan and Aunt James and all, of my having expected results too rapidly at Mota, I had sitting with me that dear boy Tagalana, who for two months last winter was in the great sacred enclosure, though, dear lad, not by his own will, yet his faith was weak, and no wonder.
'Now, God's holy name be praised for it, he is, I verily believe, in his very soul, taught by the Spirit to see and desire to do his duty. I feel more confidence about him than I have done about anyone who has come into my hands originally in a state of complete heathenism. It is not that his knowledge only is accurate and clearly grasped, but the humility, the loving spirit, the (apparent) personal appropriation of the blessing of having been brought to know the love of God and the redemption wrought for him by the death of Christ; this is what, as I look upon his clear truthful eyes, makes me feel so full of thankfulness and praise.
'"But Tagalana, if I should die, you used to say that without my help you should perhaps fall back again: is that true?"
'"No, no; I did not feel it then as I do now in my heart. I can't tell how it came there, only I know He can never die, and will always be with me. You know you said you were only like a sign-post, to point out the way that leads to Him, and I see that we ought to follow you, but to go altogether to Him."
'I can't tell you, my dearest Father, what makes up the sum of my reasons for thinking that God is in His mercy bringing this dear boy to be the first-fruits of Mota unto the Christ, but I think that there is an inward teaching going on now in his heart, which gives me sure hope, for I know it is not my doing.
'All you all say about Mota is most true: I never thought otherwise really, but I wrote down my emotions and impulses rather than my deliberate thoughts, that my letter written under such strange circumstances might become as a record of the effect produced day by day upon us by outward circumstances.
'What some of you say about self-possession on one's going about among the people being marvellous, is just what of course appears to me commonplace. Of course it is wrong to risk one's life, but to carry one's life in one's hand is what other soldiers besides those of the Cross do habitually; and no one, as I think, would willingly hurt a hair of my head in Melanesia, or that part of it where I am at all known.
'How I think of those islands! How I see those bright coral and sandy beaches, strips of burning sunshine fringing the masses of forest rising into ridges of hills, covered with a dense mat of vegetation. Hundreds of people are crowding upon them, naked, armed, with wild uncouth cries and gestures; I cannot talk to them but by signs. But they are my children now! May God enable me to do my duty to them!
'I have now as I write a deepening sense of what the change must be that has passed upon me. Again I go by God's blessing for seven months to Melanesia. All that our experience has taught us we try to remember: food, medicine, articles of trade and barter.
'But what may be the result? Who can tell? You know it is not of myself that I am thinking. If God of His great mercy lead me in His way, to me there is little worth living for but the going onward with His blessed work, though I like my talks with the dear Bishop and the Judge. But others are committed to me--Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr go with me. Shall I find dear old Wadrokala and Harper alive, and if alive, well?
'And yet, thank God, we go on day by day, so happy, so hopeful!
'I see two sermons by the Bishop of Oxford, "God's Revelation Man's Trial," please send them. They bear, I conclude, on the controversy of the day. I need not tell you that I find a very great interest in reading these books, or rather at present in talking now and then, when we meet, with the Judge on the subject of which those books treat. The books I have not read. But I know no refreshment so great as the reading any books which deal with these questions thoughtfully. I hope you don't think it wrong and dangerous for me to do so; pray tell me. I don't believe that I am wrong in doing it, yet it may be that I read them as an intellectual treat, and prefer them to thoughtful books on other subjects, because they deal with a study which I am a little more conversant with than with history, science, &c.
'Besides, I do see that we have, many of us, very vague notions of the meaning of terms which we use, and I see that I must be prepared (I speak for myself) to expect that a clergyman may not with impunity use a language wanting in defmiteness and precision. It is possible that men do too passively receive hereditary and conventional opinions which never have a living reality to them. But this, you know, I do not confound with the humble submission to authoritative teaching, given upon authority, to supersede the necessity of every person investigating for himself the primary grounds of his religious convictions.'
It is worth noting how the Bishop submits his reading to his father's approval, as when he was a young boy. Alas! no more such letters of comfort and counsel would be exchanged. This one could hardly have been received by that much-loved father.
Preparations for the voyage were going on; but the 'Dunedin,' the only vessel to be procured, at best a carthorse to a racer compared with the 'Southern Cross,' was far from being in a satisfactory state, as appears in a note of 3rd of May to the Bishop of Wellington:--
'Here we are still. The only vessel that I could make any arrangement about not yet returned, and known to be in such a state that the pumps were going every two hours. I have not chartered her, but only agreed with the owner a month ago nearly that I would take her at a certain sum per day, subject to divers conditions about being caulked (which is all she wants, I have ascertained), being provided with spare sails, spars, chronometer, boat, &c., and all agreement to be off unless by a certain day (already past) she was in a state satisfactory to Mr. Kerr. But there is, I fear, none other, and I am in a difficulty.'
Of the same day is a letter to the Rev. Stephen Hawtrey:--
'Taurarua, Auckland: May 6, 1861.
'My dear Mr. Hawtrey,--I was highly pleased to receive a note from you. Though I never doubt of the hearty sympathy and co-operation of all Eton friends (how could you do so with such an annual subscription list?), yet it is very pleasant and more than pleasant to be reminded by word or by letter that prayers and wishes are being offered up for Melanesia by many good men throughout the world.
'I should like to send a special appeal for a Mission Vessel by the next mail. We cannot get on without one. Vessels built for freight are to the " Southern Cross " as a cart-horse to a thoroughbred steed, and we must have some vessel which can do the work quickly among the multitude of the isles, and many other reasons there are which we seamen only perhaps can judge fully, which make it quite essential to the carrying on this peculiar Mission that we should have a vessel of a peculiar kind.
'Tagalana, from Mota (Sugar Loaf Island), in the Banks Archipelago, is, I think, likely by God's great mercy to become the first-fruits of that cluster of islands unto Christ. He is here for the third time; and I have infinite comfort in seeing the earnestness of his character, and the deep sense of what he was, and what he is going to be, so truly realised.
'He is now so unlike what still his people are, so bright and open in manner, and all who see him say, " What is come to the lad, his manner and very appearance so changed! " " Clothed," thank God, he is, " and in his right mind," soon to sit, if not already seated, at the feet of Christ. You may, if you think fit, let your thoughts centre more especially in him. He, of all who have come into my hands absolutely stark naked and savage, gives now the greatest ground for hope and thanksgiving. I shall (D.V.) think of all your dear friends assembled in your church and house on St. Barnabas Day. May God bless and reward you all for your work of charity to Melanesia!
'Very sincerely yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.
'P.S.--I hope to baptize that dear boy Tagalana on his own island in the course of the winter. I should wish to make the service as impressive as possible, in the presence of as many islanders as I can bring to the spot, under the shadow of a mighty banyan tree, and above the sparkling waves of the great Pacific.'
The 'Dunedin' was patched up into sailing with the new Bishop for his cathedral--the banyan tree of Mota.
It carried him away to his work, away from all knowledge of the blow that was preparing for him at home, and thinking of the delight that was in store for his family in a visit from Mrs. Selwyn, who, immediately after his Consecration, had returned home to spend a year in England on business.
Sir John Patteson's happiness in his son's work and worth were far greater than those of the actual worker, having none of the drawbacks that consciousness of weakness must necessarily excite. The joy this gave his heart may, without exaggeration, be deliberately said to have been full compensation for the loss of the presence so nobly sacrificed. On January 22 he had written to the Bishop of New Zealand:--
'You write most kindly touching him, dear fellow, and truly I am to be envied, qui natum haberem tali ingenio praeditum. Not for a moment have I repented of giving my sanction to his going out to New Zealand; and I fully believe that God will prosper his work. I did not contemplate his becoming a Bishop, nor is that the circumstance which gives me the great satisfaction I feel. It is his devotion to so good a work, and that he should have been found adequate to its performance; whether as a Bishop or as a Priest is not of itself of so much importance.
'Perhaps he may have been consecrated before I am writing this, though I am puzzled as to the time. ....
'May God bless with the fullest success the labours of both of you in your high and Christian works!'
There had for more than a year been cause of anxiety for Sir John's health, but it was not the disease that had then threatened which occasioned the following calm-hearted letter to be written to his son:--
'Feniton Court: March 22, 1861.
'My own dearest Coley,--I promised always to tell you the truth respecting myself, and will do so. About a month ago, on my rising from reading prayers, the girls and the Dawlish party who were here exclaimed that my voice was broken, at which I laughed. Whitby was in London, but his partner happened to call, and looking at my throat found it relaxed, and recommended a mustard poultice on the front. When we came to put it on, we discovered that the glands of the throat were much swelled and in hard knots. Whitby returned in two days, and was much alarmed. He declared that it was serious, and nothing but iodine could check it. I had been unable to take iodine under Watson some years ago, as it affected my head tremendously, so he applied it outwardly by painting; this painting did not reduce them, and he strongly pressed my having London advice, for he said that if not reduced and the swellings increased internally, they would press on the windpipe and choke me: it was somewhat a surgical matter. So on Tuesday the 12th inst. we went to London, and I consulted Paget. He entirely agreed with Whitby, and thought it very serious, and ordered iodine internally at all hazards. I took it, and by God's mercy it agreed with me. Paget wished to talk over the case with Watson, and they met on the 16th, Saturday. They quite agreed, and did not conceal from me that if iodine did not reduce the swellings, and they should increase internally, the result must be fatal. How soon, or in what particular manner, they could not tell; it might even become cancerous. They did not wish me to stay in town, but thought I was better here, and Paget, knowing Whitby, has perfect confidence in his watching, and will correspond with him, if necessary. At present there is no reduction of the swellings. The iodine has certainly lessened the pains in my limbs, but does not seem, so to speak, to determine to the throat, but it may be there has been hardly time to say that it will not. My own impression is, that it will not, and that it is highly improbable that I shall last very long. I mean that I shall not see 1862, nor perhaps the summer or autumn of this year. I cannot tell why, but this near prospect of death has not given me any severe shock., as perhaps it ought to have done. It brings more than ever to my mind serious recollection of the sins of my youth, and the shortcomings of my after life in thousands of instances. I have never been a hardened sinner, but years ago, if I did what was sin, it smote me, and I tried to repent; yet there has always been in me a want of fervid love to God, and to my blessed Eedeemer for His unspeakable love in suffering for my sins; but it has been cold--that may have been the natural constitution of the man, I cannot tell--but I never have placed my hopes of forgiveness and of blessedness hereafter in anything but in His merits, and most undeserved goodness in offering me salvation, if I have not thrown it away. But what shall I say? As the time approaches, it may please Him in His mercy to give me a warmer heart, and a more vivid perception of all that He has done for me. If I were to say that I am not a sinner, the truth would not be in me; and if I am washed in His blood and cleansed, it is not by any efforts or merits of my own, but by His unlimited mercy and goodness. Pray for me, that when the time comes I may not for any fears of death fall from Him. You know that as far as regards this world and its enjoyments, save the love of my dear good children, they have sate but lightly upon me for some time; but it is not because we have nothing that we are unwilling to leave, therefore we are prepared for that which is to come. Perhaps it may please God to give me still a short time that I may try more strenuously to prepare myself. We shall never meet again in this world. Oh! may Almighty God in His infinite mercy grant us to meet again in His kingdom, through the merits of our blessed Redeemer. ......
'Oh! my dearest Coley, what comfort I have had in you --what delightful conversations we have had together, and how thankful we ought to be to our gracious God for allowing it to be so: and still not less thankful for the blessings of being watched and comforted and soothed by the dear girls, and by that dear and good Jem. All so good in their various ways, and I so little worthy of them ... of Francis.1 That will indeed, humanly speaking, be a terrible loss to his family, for they want his fatherly care, and will do so for years. Not so with me; and as I am in my seventy-second year, it cannot be said that I am cut off prematurely: but on the contrary, fall like a fruit or a sheaf at its proper ripeness. Oh! that it may be so spiritually indeed.'
Another letter followed the next month:--
'Feniton Court: April 24, 1861.
'My own dearest Coley,--How many more letters you may receive from me, God only knows, but, as I think, not many. The iodine fails altogether, and has produced no effect' on the swellings in my throat; on the contrary, they steadily increase, though not rapidly. Doubtless they will have their own course, and in some way or other deliver my soul from the burden of the flesh. Oh! may it by God's mercy be the soul of a faithful man! Faith and love I think I have, and have long had: but I am not so sure that I have really repented for my past sins, or only abandoned them when circumstances had removed almost the temptation to commit them. Yet I do trust that my repentance has generally been sincere, and though I may have fallen again, that I may by God's grace have risen again. I have no assurance that I have fought the good fight like St. Paul, and that henceforth there is laid up a crown of gold; yet I have a full and firm hope that I am not beyond the pale of God's mercy, and that I may have h#ld of the righteousness of Christ, and may be partaker of that happiness which he has purchased for His own, by His atoning blood. No other hope have I; and in all humility I from my heart feel that any apparent good that I may have done has been His work in me and not my own. May it please Him that you and I, my dear son, may meet hereafter, together with all those blessed ones, who have already departed this life in His faith and fear, in His kingdom above.
'My head aches occasionally, and is not so clear as it used to be. ... The next mail will bring1 us more definite news, if indeed I am not myself removed before then. . . . I am afraid that you discern by what I have written that I am become stupid, and though I could never write decently, yet you will see that continued dull pain in the head, and other pains in various parts, have made me altogether heavy and stupid. I have had the kindest letters and messages from various quarters when it became known, as it is always very soon, that my health was in a precarious state: one particularly from the Bishop of Lichfieldl (all companions in Old Court, King's, you know) which is very consoling. He says, If not for such as you, for whom did Christ die? I will not go on in such strains, for it is of no use. Only do not despair of me, my beloved Son, and believe me always,
'Your loving Father,
'Feniton Court: May 25, 1861.
'O my own dearest Coley,--Almighty God be thanked that He has preserved my life to hear from you and others of your actual consecration as a Missionary Bishop of the Holy Catholic Church: and may He enable you by His grace and the powerful assistance of His Spirit to bring to His faith and fear very many who have not known Him, and to keep and preserve in it many others who already profess and call themselves Christians.
'I was too ill to be present at the whole service on Sunday, but I attended the Holy Sacrament, and hope to do so to-morrow. We have with us our dear Sarah Selwyn, who came on Thursday: she came in the most kind and affectionate spirit, the first visit that she could make, that she might if possible see me: "I will go and see him before he dies." What delight this has been to me you may easily imagine, and what talk, and what anecdotes we have had about you and all your circle; for though your letters have all along let us in wonderfully into your daily life, yet there were many things to be filled up, which we have now seen more clearly and more perfectly recollect as long as our lives are spared.
'What at present intensely fills our hearts and minds is all that took place on St. Matthias Day, and the day or two before and after. Passages and circumstances there were, which it is almost wonderful that you all could respectively bear, some affecting one the more and some the other; but the absorbing feeling that a great work was then done, and the ardent trust and prayer that it might turn out to the glory of God, and the good of mankind, supported every one, I have no doubt. It was about one of those days that I was first informed of the nature of the complaint which had just been discovered, and which is bringing me gradually to the grave.
'Trinity Sunday.--I am just returned from receiving the Holy Sacrament. You will do so the same in a few hours, and they may well be joined together, and probably the last that you and I shall receive together in this world. My time is probably very short. Dear Sarah will hereafter tell you more particulars of these few days. Dear Joan and Fanny are watching me continually; it is hard work for them continually and most uncertain, but in my mind it cannot be very long. Jem is here helping them continually, but his wife's mother is grievously ill at a relation's in Gloucestershire, and I will not have him withdrawn from her. I hope that next week she may be removed to Jem's new cottage, next Hyde Park, and then they, Joan and Fanny will watch me, and Jem on a telegraph notice may come to me. If I dare express a hope, it is that this state of things may not last long. But I have no desire to express any hope at all; the matter is in the hands of a good God, who will order all things as is best. ... I would write more, but I am under the serious impression that I shall be dead before this letter reaches you.
'May our Almighty God, three Persons, blessed for evermore, grant that we may meet hereafter in a blessed eternity!'
One more letter was written:--
'Feniton Court, Honiton: June 12, 1861.
'Oh! my dearest Eight Eeverend well-beloved Son, how I thank God that it has pleased Him to save my life until I heard of the actual fact of your being ordained and consecrated, as I have said more than once since I heard of it. May it please Him to prolong your life very many years, and to enable you to fulfil all those purposes for which you have been now consecrated, and that you may see the fruit of your labour of love before He calls you to His rest in Heaven. But if not, may you have laid such foundations for the spread of God's Word throughout the countries committed to your charge, that when it pleases God to summon you hence, you may have a perfect consciousness of having devoted all your time and labour, and so far as you are concerned have advanced all the works as fastly and as securely as it seemed fit to your great Assister, the Holy Spirit, that they should be advanced. Only conceive that an old Judge of seventy-two, cast out of his own work by infirmity, should yet live to have a son in the Holy Office of Bishop, all men rejoicing around him; and so indeed they do rejoice around me, mingling their loving expressions at my illness and approaching death. . . .
'I shall endeavour to write at intervals between this and July mail. It tries me to write much at a time.
'Your loving Father,
The calm of these letters was the pervading spirit of Feniton. With perfect cheerfulness did the aged Judge await the summons, aware that he carried the 'sentence of death within himself,' and that the manner of his summons would probably be in itself sudden--namely, one of the choking fits that increased in frequency. He lived on with his children and relations round him, spending his time in his usual manner, so far as his strength permitted --bright, kind, sunny as ever, and not withdrawing his interest from the cares and pleasures of others, but glad to talk more deeply, though still peacefully, of his condition and his hopes. One thing only troubled him. Once he said, and with tears in his eyes, to his beloved brother-in-law, Sir John Coleridge: 'Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you,' adding to this effect, 'Alas! That this has been my lot without my deserts. It pains me now!'
But as this popularity had come of no self-seeking nor attempt to win applause, it was a grief that was soon dispelled. Perhaps if there was one strong wish, it was to hear of his son's actually having' been received into the order of Bishops, and that gratification was granted to him. The letters with the record of consecration arrived in time to be his Whitsuntide joy--joy that he still participated in the congregation, for though not able to be at church for the whole service, he still was always present at the celebration of the Holy Communion.
On the day the letters carne there was great peace, and a kind of awful joy on all the household. For many weeks past, Sir John had not attempted to read family prayers, but on this evening he desired his daughters to let him do so. Where in the prayer for missionaries he had always mentioned, 'the absent member of this family,' he added in a clear tone, 'especially for John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop.' That was the father's one note of triumph, the last time he ever led the household prayers. In a day or two Mrs. Selwyn came to him, and he wrote the following to the Bishop of New Zealand:--
'Feniton Court: May 24, 1861.
'My very dear Friend,--Here I am, and I have with me your dear and good wife, who arrived yesterday. She looks well, and I trust is so. She has arranged her visits so as to come to me as soon as possible. " I will go and see him before he die," and I feel sensibly the kindness of it. What a mercy is it that my life should have been preserved to receive from my dear son Coley and from 3rou by letter the account of his having been consecrated by you as Bishop of the true Catholic Church. There were [accounts?] of that most impressive service, which, had I been present, would have, I fear, sent me to the floor; and you and Coley must have had difficulty in holding up at those feeling statements of your having received him at my old hands. When you so received him, it was known I was satisfied that his heart was really fixed on this missionary work--that he felt a call to it. I believe, you know, and I am sure God knows, that I had not the most distant notion in my mind that it would lead to his becoming a Bishop, nor do I now rejoice in the result, simply on account of the honour of the office; but because my confidence in the honesty and sincerity of his then feelings has been justified, and that it has pleased God to endow him with such abundant graces. May it please God that you should continue together in your respective governments in His Church many years, and that we may all meet together in his kingdom above!
'When I parted with him I did not expect to see his face on earth, yet perhaps I hardly expected that our separation would be so soon, though I am in my seventy-second year. But in February I discovered these swellings in my throat; which, humanly speaking, could only be cured by iodine. Iodine has failed, and other attempts at a cure fail also; and it is only a question of time when the soul will be delivered from the burthen of the flesh. So indeed it is with all human beings; but it is one thing to know this as a general proposition, and another to know that the particular minister of death has hold of you, and that you are really only living from day to day.
'For all your many kindnesses to all of us and to my son, I thank you from the very bottom of my soul, and pray that we may meet hereafter, through the merits, and for the sake of our blessed Mediator and Redeemer Jesus Christ our Lord, that as we have striven on earth to be followers of Him and His glory, so we may be partakers of it in Heaven.
'Your loving Friend,
The July mail was without a letter from the father. The end had come in the early morning of June 28, 1861, with a briefer, less painful struggle than had been thought probable, and the great, sound, wise, tender heart had ceased to beat.
There is no need to dwell on the spontaneous honours that all of those who had ever been connected with him paid to the good old Judge, when he was laid beside his much-loved wife in Feniton churchyard. Bishop Sumner of Winchester, the friend of his boyhood, read the funeral service.
'His works do follow him:' and we turn to that work of his son's in which assuredly he had his part, since one word of his would have turned aside the course that had brought such blessing on both, had he not accepted the summons, even as Zebedee, when he was left by the lake side, while his sons became fishers of men.
Unknowing of the tidings in reserve for him, the Bishop was on his voyage, following the usual course; hearing at Anaiteum that a frightful mortality had prevailed in many of these southern islands. Measles had been imported by a trader, and had, in many cases, brought on dysentery, and had swept away a third of Mr. Geddie's Anaiteum flock. Mr. Gordon's letters had spoken of it as equally fatal in Erromango, and there were reports of the same, as well as of famine and war, in Nengone.
'God will give me men in His time; for could I be cut up into five pieces already I would be living at Nengone, Lifu, Mai, Mota, and Bauro!' was the comment on this visit; and this need of men inspired a letter to his uncle Edward, on a day dear to the Etonian heart:--
'Schooner "Dunedin," 60 tons.
'In sight of Erromango, New Hebrides: June 4, 1861.
'My dear Tutor,--Naturally I think of Eton and of you especially to-day. I hope you have as fine a day coming on for the cricket-match and for Surley as I have here. Thermometer 81°; Tanna and Erromango, with their rugged hilly outlines, breaking the line of the bright sparkling horizon.
'I managed to charter the vessel for the voyage just in time to escape cold weather in New Zealand. She is slow, but sound; the captain a teetotaller, and crew respectable in all ways. So the voyage, though lengthy, is pleasant.
'I have some six or seven classes to take, for they speak as many more languages; and I get a little time for reading and writing, but not much.
'I need not tell you how heavily this new responsibility presses on me, as I see the islands opening, and at present feel how very difficult it must be to obtain men to occupy this opening--
'True, we have not to contend with subtle and highly-elaborated systems of false religion. It is the ignorantia purae negationis, comparatively speaking, in some of the islands; yet, generally, there is a settled system of some kind observed among them, and in the Banks Islands, an extraordinarily developed religion, which enters into every detail of social and domestic life, and is mixed up with the daily life of every person in the archipelago.
'I think, therefore, that men are needed who have what I may call strong religious common sense to adapt Christianity to the wants of the various nations that live in Melanesia, without compromising any truth of doctrine or principle of conduct--men who can see, in the midst of the errors and superstitions of a people, whatever fragment of truth or symptom of a yearning after something better may exist among them, and make that the point d'appui, upon which they may build up the structure of Christian teaching. Men, moreover, of industry they must be, for it is useless to talk of "picking up languages." Of course, in a few days a man may learn to talk superficially and inaccurately on a few subjects; but to teach Christianity, a man must know the language well, and this is learnt only by hard work.
'Then, again, unless a man can dispense with what we ordinarily call comfort or luxuries to a great extent, and knock about anywhere in Melanesian huts, he can hardly do much work in this Mission. The climate is so warm that, to my mind, it quite supplies the place of the houses, clothing, and food of old days, yet a man cannot accommodate himself to it all at once. I don't say that it came naturally to me five years ago, as it does now, when I feel at home anywhere, and cease to think it odd to do things which, I suppose, you would think very extraordinary indeed.
'But most of all--for this makes all easy--men are wanted who really do desire in their hearts to live for God and the world to come, and who have really sought to sit very loosely to this world. The enjoyment, and the happiness, and the peace all come, and that abundantly; but there is a condition, and the first rub is a hard one, and lasts a good while.
'Naturally buoyant spirits, the gift of a merry heart, are a great help; for oftentimes a man may have to spend months without any white man within hundreds of miles, and it is very depressing to live alone in the midst of heathenism. But there must be many many fellows pulling up to Surley to-night who may be well able to pull together with one on the Pacific--young fellows whose enthusiasm is not mere excitement of animal spirits, and whose pluck and courage are given them to stand the roughnesses (such as they are) of a missionary life. For, dear Uncle, if you ever talk to any old pupil of yours about the work, don't let him suppose that it is consistent with ease and absence of anxiety and work. When on shore at Kohi-marama, we live very cosily, as I think. Some might say we have no society, very simple fare, &c.; I don't think any man would really find it so. But in the islands, I don't wish to conceal from anyone that, measured by the rule of the English gentleman's household, there is a great difference. Why should it, however, be measured by this standard? I can truly say that we have hitherto always had what is necessary for health, and what does one need more? though I like more as much as anyone.
'How you will wonder at the news of my consecration, and, indeed, well you may! I would, indeed, that there were a dozen men out here under whom I was working, if only they were such men as the Primate would have chosen to the work.
'But it is done now, and I know I must not shrink from it. Never did I need the love and prayers of my dear relations and friends as I do now. Already difficulties are rising up around me, and I am so little fit to be a leader of work like this. Don't forget, dear Tutor, your old pupil, who used to copy the dear Bishop's letters in your study from Anaiteum, Erromango, &c.; and little thought that he would write from these islands to you, himself the Missionary Bishop.
'With kind love to all,
'Your loving old Pupil and Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
This thoughtful and beautiful letter was written in sight of Erromango, a sandal-wood station, whence a trader might be found to take charge of it. The ink was scarcely dry before the full cost of carrying the Gospel among the heathen was brought before the writer. Not only houses and brethren must be given up, but the ' yea and his own life also' was now to be exemplified almost before his eyes.
The Erromaugo Mission, like that of Anaiteum, came from the Scottish Kirk. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, as has been seen, had been visited on every voyage of the ' Southern Cross' during their three years' residence there, and there was a warm regard between them and the Bishop. It was then a great shock to hear a Nengone man call out from a sandal-wood vessel, lying in Dillon's Bay, that they had both been killed!
It was but too true. The Erromango people had been little inclined to listen to Mr. Gordon's warnings, and he, a young and eager man, had told them that to persevere in their murders and idolatries would bring a judgment upon them. When therefore the scourge of sickness came, as at Anaiteum, they connected him witli it; and it was plain from his diary that he had for some months known his life to be in danger, but he had gone about them fearlessly, like a brave man, doing his best for the sick.
On May 20 he was in a little wood, putting up a house instead of one that had been blown down by a hurricane, and he had sent his few faithful pupils to get grass for the thatch. Nine natives from a village about three hours' walk distant came to the house where his wife was, and asked for him. She said he was in the little wood. They went thither, and while eight hid themselves in the bush, one went forward and asked for some calico. Mr. Gordon took a bit of charcoal and wrote on a bit of wood directions to his wife to give the bearer some cotton, but the man insisted that he must come himself to give out some medicine for a sick man. Mr. Gordon complied, walking in front as far as the place where lay the ambush, when the man struck him with a tomahawk on the spine, and he fell, with a loud scream, while the others leaping out fell upon him with blows that must have destroyed life at once, yelling and screaming over him. Another went up to the house. Mrs. Gordon had come out, asking what the shouts meant. ' Look there!' he said, and as she turned her head, he struck her between the shoulders, and killed her as soon as she had fallen.
Another native had in the meantime rushed down the hill to the sandal-wood station half a mile off on the beach, and the trader, arming his natives, came up too late to do more than prevent the murderers from carrying off the bodies or destroying the house. The husband and wife were buried in the same grave; the natives fenced it round; and now, on June 7, eighteen days after, Bishop Pattesoii read the Burial Service over it, with many solemn and anxious thoughts respecting the population, now reduced to 2,500, and in a very wild condition.
At Mai the Bishop spent two hours the next day, and brought away one old scholar and one new one.
At Tariko, where he had been three years before with the Primate, the Episcopal hat brought the greeting 'Bishop,' as the people no doubt thought the wearer identical. Of Ambrym there is a characteristic sentence: ' As we left the little rock pool where I had jumped ashore,, leaving, for prudence1 sake, the rest behind me in the boat, one man raised his bow and drew it, then unbent it, then bent it again, but apparently others were dissuading him from letting fly the arrow. The boat was not ten yards off, I don't know why he did so; but we must try to effect more frequent landings.'
On June 12 Mota was reached, and the next morning the Mission party landed, warmly welcomed by the inhabitants. The house was found safely standing and nearly weather-proof.
'June I3th.--This morning I put up the framework for another small house, where I shall put Wadrokala, his child-wife, and many of our boxes. "We had to carry up the timber first from the beach, and it was rather hot work, as also the carpentering, as I chose a place for the house where no falling bread-fruit or branches of trees would hurt it, and the sun was so hot that it almost burnt my hand when I took up a handful of nails that had been lying1 for ten minutes in the sun. So our pic-nic life begins again, and that favourably. I feel the enjoyment of the glorious view and climate, and my dear lads, Tagalana and Parenga, from Bauro, are with me, the rest in Port Patteson, &c., coming over in the vessel to-morrow, which I shall then discharge. I see that the people are very friendly; they all speak of your bread-fruit tree, your property. The house had not been entered, a keg of nails inside it not touched.
'Tagalana's father is dead. His first words to me were, "Oh that the Word of God had come in old times to Mota, I should not then cry so much about him. Yes, it is true, I know, I must be thankful it is come now, and I must remember that, and try to help others who may die too before they believe it."
'"Yes, I am quite your child now! Yes, one Father for us all in Heaven. You my father here! Yes, I stop always with you, unless you send me away. They ask me with whom I shall live now; I say with the Bishop."
'How I was praising and rejoicing in my heart as the dear boy was speaking: "Yes, I am feeling calm again now. When people die at Mota, you know they make a great shouting, but soon forget the dead person. But I am able to be quiet and calm now, as you talk to me about God and Jesus Christ. Yes, He rose again. Death is not the end. I know you said it is for those who repent and believe in Christ the Door to enter into life eternal. How different it all seems then!"
'When you read this you will say, "Thank God that I sent him out to Melanesia with my blessing on his head. I too may see Tagalana one day with Him who is the Father of us all."
'One soul won to Christ, as I hope and believe, by His love and power, and if in any degree by my ministry, to God be the praise!'
The comfort sent home to the sisters with the letter respecting this voyage is:--
'Mota: June 14, 1861.
'Now, dear Joan, don't any of you think too much about the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, as if my life was exposed to the same kind of risk.
'Certainly it is not endangered here. It may be true that at places where I am not known some sudden outbreak may occur; but humanly speaking, there are not many places that as yet I am able to visit where I realise the fact of any danger being run.
'Yet it may happen that some poor fellow, who has a good cause to think ill of white men, or some mischievous badly disposed man, may let fly a random arrow or spear some day.
'If so, you will not so very much wonder, nor be so very greatly grieved. Every clergyman runs at least as great a risk among the small-pox and fevers of town parishes. Think of Uncle James in the cholera at Thorverton.'
So with the 'Dunedin' dismissed, Bishop Patteson, Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and their pupils recommenced their residence at Mota. The Banks Islanders returned to their homes; and when the Bishop came to Aroa, Tagalana's native place, three weeks lately the little fellow received him affectionately, cooked yams, fetched mats, and was not ashamed before his own people to kneel down, and join audibly in hymn and prayer. The people begged for Wadrokala or some other teacher to be placed among them. The Journal continues:--
'On Friday, at 8.30, I started, not quite knowing whither I should go, but soon saw that I could fetch round the south end of Vanua Lava, which was well. The sea, when it comes through the passage between Mota and Valua, is heavy, but the boat had great way on her, sailing very fast, so that I could steer her well, and we did not take very long crossing to the small reef islands. I passed between Pakea and Vanua Lava (Dudley Passage), and then we had unexpectedly a very heavy sea, a strong tide up. I did not like it, but, thank God, all went well. One very heavy sea in particular I noticed, which broke some twenty yards ahead, and about the same distance astern of us, while the exact part of it which came down upon us was only a black wall of water, over which we rode lightly and dry. I think that it might have swamped us had it broken upon the boat. My boat is an open four-oared one, 26 feet long, and about five wide, strong but light. She sails admirably with a common lug sail. I had one made last summer, very large, with two reefs, so that I can reduce it to as small a sail as I please. By 4 or 5 P.M. I neared Aruas, in the bay on the west side of Vanua Lava; the same crowd as usual on the beach, but I did not haul the boat up. I had a grapnel, and dropped it some fifty yards from the beach.
'Somehow I did not much like the manner of some of the people; they did not at night come into the Ogamal, or men's common eating and sleeping house, as before, and I overheard some few remarks which I did not quite like--something about the unusual sickness being connected with this new teaching--I could not be quite sure, as I do not know the dialect of Aruas. There were, however, several who were very friendly, and the great majority were at least quiet, and left us to ourselves. The next morning I started at about eight, buying two small pigs for two hatchets, and yams and taro and dried bread-fruit for fish-hooks. I gave one young man a piece of iron for his attention to us. As we pulled away, one elderly man drew his bow, and the women and children ran off into the bush, here, as everywhere almost in these islands, growing quite thickly some twenty yards above high-water mark. The man did not let fly his arrow: I cannot tell why this small demonstration took place.'
When an arrow was pointed at him, it was Bishop Patteson's custom to look the archer full in the face with his bright smile, and in many more cases than are here hinted at, that look of cheery confidence and good-will made the weapon drop.
After a few more visits to the coasts of this archipelago the boat returned to Mota, where Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr had kept school every day, besides getting the station into excellent order and beauty. Their presence at the head-quarters left the Bishop free to circulate in the villages, sleeping in the Ogamals, where he could collect the men. They always seemed pleased and interested, and their pugnacious habits were decidedly diminishing, though their superstitious practices and observances were by no means dropped.
The Diary, on July 24, thus speaks of the way of life; which, however, was again telling on the health of the party:--
'I am so accustomed to sleeping about anywhere that I take little or no account of thirty, forty, fifty naked fellows, lying, sitting, sleeping round me. Someone brings me a native mat, someone else a bit of yam; a third brings a cocoa-nut; so I get my supper, put down the mat (like a very thin door-mat) on the earth, roll up my coat for a pillow, and make a very good night of it. I have had deafness in my right ear again for some days; no pain with it, but it is inconvenient.
'Several of our lads have had attacks of fever and ague; Wadrokala and his child of a wife, Bum, a Bauro boy, &c. The island is not at all unhealthy, but natives cannot be taught caution. I, thank God, am in robust health, very weather-beaten. I think my Bishop's dress would look quite out of keeping with such a face and pair of hands!
'There is much as usual in such cases to encourage and to humble us. Some few people seem to be in earnest. The great majority do their best to make me think they are listening. Meanwhile, much goes on in the island as of old.
'Sunday, July 28th, 11.45 A.M.--I have much anxiety just now. At this moment Wadrokala is in an ague fit, five or six others of my party kept going by quinine and ·port wine, and one or other sickening almost daily. Henry Hrahuena, of Lifu, I think dying, from what I know not--I think inflammation of the brain, induced possibly by exposure to the sun, though I have not seen him so exposed, and it is a thing I am very careful about with them. I do what I can in following the directions of medical books, but it is so hard to get a word from a native to explain symptoms, &c.; besides, my ear is now, like last year, really painful; and for two nights I have had little sleep, and feel stupid, and getting a worn-out feeling. With all this, I am conscious that it is but a temporary depression, a day or two may bring out the bright colours again. Henry may recover by God's mercy, the boys become hearty again; my ear get right. At present I feel that I must rub on as I can, from hour to hour.
'If I find from experience that natives of Melansia, taken to a different island, however fertile, dry, and apparently healthy, do seem to be affected by it, I must modify my plans, try as soon as possible to have more winter schools, and, what is of more consequence, I must reconsider the whole question of native teachers. If a great amount of sickness is to be the result of gathering scholars around me at an island, I could do, perhaps, more single-handed, in health, and with no one to look after, than with twenty fellows of whom half are causing continual anxiety on the score of health. Now were I alone, I should be as brisk as a bee, but I feel weighed down somewhat with the anxiety about all these fellows about me.
'I must balance considerations, and think it out. It requires great attention. It is at times like these that I experience some trials. Usually my life is, as you know, singularly free from them.
'July 31st.--Henry died on Sunday about 4 A.M. Wadrokala is better. The boys are all better. I have had much real pain and weariness from sleepless nights, owing to the small tumour in my ear. What a sheet of paper for you to read! And yet it is not so sad either. The boys were patient and good; Wadrokala takes his ague attacks like a man; and about Henry I had great comfort.
'He was about eighteen or nineteen, as I suppose, the son of the great enchanter in Lifu in old times--the hereditary high priest of Lifu indeed. He was a simple-minded, gentle, good fellow, not one probably who would have been able to take a distinct line as a teacher, yet he might have done good service with a good teacher. We found that afternoon a slate on which he had written down some thoughts when first taken ill, showing that he felt that he was sick unto death. Very full of comfort were his written as well as his spoken words.'
On August 1, while the Bauro scholars were writing-answers to questions on the Lord's Prayer, a party of men and women arrived, headed by a man with a native scarf over his shoulders. They had come to be taught, bringing provisions with them, and eating them, men and women together, a memorable infringement of one of the most unvarying customs of the Banks inhabitants; and from the conversation with them and with others, Bishop Patteson found that the work of breaking down had been attained, that of building up had to be begun. They must learn that leaving off heathen practices was not the same thing as adopting the religion of Christ, and the kind of work which external influences had cut short in Lifu had to be begun with them.
'Soon, I think, the great difficulty must be met in Mota of teaching the Christian's social and domestic life to people disposed to give up much of their old practices. This is the point at which I suppose most Missions have broken down. It is a great blessing indeed to reach it, but the building up of converts is the harder work. Here, for example, a population of 1,500 people; at present they know all that is necessary for the cultivation of yams, &c., they build houses sufficient for the purpose of their present life, they are giving up fighting, losing-faith in their old charms and contrivances for compassing the death of their enemies; they will very likely soon be at peace throughout the whole island. Well, then, they will be very idle, talk infinite scandal, indulge in any amount of gluttony; professing to believe our religion, their whole life will contradict that profession, unless their whole social and domestic life be changed, and a new character infused into them. It would be a great mistake to suppose that the English aspect of the Christian's social life is necessarily adapted to such races as these. The Oriental tendencies of their minds, the wholly different circumstances of their lives, climate, absence of all poverty or dependence upon others, &c., will prevent them from ever becoming a little English community; but not, I trust, their becoming a Christian community. But how shall I try to teach them to become industrious, persevering, honest, tidy, clean, careful with children, and all the rest of it? What a different thing from just going about and teaching them the first principles of Christianity! The second stage of a Mission is the really difficult one.'
A few days after the foregoing observations were written, H.M.S. ' Cordelia,' a war steamer, entered Port Patteson, and Captain Hume himself came across by boat to Mota, to communicate to Bishop Patteson his instructions to offer him a cruise in the vessel, render him any assistance in his power in the Solomon Islands, and return him to any island he might desire. Letters from the Primate assumed that the proposal should be accepted; it was an opportunity of taking home the Bauro and Grera boys; moreover there was a quarrel between English and natives to be enquired into at Ysabel Island, where the Bishop could be useful as interpreter; and, as he could leave his two friends to carry on the school at Mota, he went on board, and very good it was for him, in the depressed state of health brought on by rude bed and board, to be the guest on board a Queen's ship and under good medical care.
For the 'Cordelia' had brought out the letters which gave the first intimation of his father's state; and without the privacy, and freedom from toil and responsibility, he could hardly have borne up under the blow. The first day was bad enough: ' a long busy day on shore with just one letter read, and the dull heavy sensation of an agony that was to come, as soon as I could be alone to think.' Arrangements had to be made; and there was not one solitary moment till 9 P.M. in the cabin when this loving and beloved son could shut himself in, kneel down, and recover composure to open the two letters in his father's hand.
He wrote it all--his whole heart--as of old to the father who had ever shared his inmost thoughts:--
'It may be that as I write, your blessed spirit, at rest in Paradise, may know me more truly than ever you did on earth; and yet the sorrow of knowing how bitter it is within may never be permitted to ruffle your everlasting peace.
'I may never see you on earth. All thought of such a joy is gone. I did really cling to it (I see it now) when most I thought I was quite content to wait for the hope of the great meeting. I will try to remember and to do what you say about all business matters.
'I will pray God to make me more desirous and more able to follow the holy example you leave behind. Oh that the peace of God may be given to me also when I come to die; though how may I dare to hope for such an end, so full of faith and love and the patient waiting for Christ!
'I must go on with my work. This very morning I was anxious, passing shoal water with the captain and master beside me, and appealing to me as pilot. I must try to be of some use in the ship. I must try to turn to good account among the islands this great opportunity. Probably elasticity of mind will come again now for very pain of body. Oh! how much more sorrow and heavy weight on my heart! I am quite worn out and weary. It seems as if the light were taken from me, as if it was no longer possible to work away so cheerily when I no longer have you to write to about it all, no longer your approval to seek, your notice to obtain.
'I must go on writing to you, my own dearest Father, even as I go on praying for you. It is a great comfort to me, though I feel that in all human probability you are to be thought of now as one of the blessed drawn wholly within the veil. Oh! that we may all dwell together hereafter for His blessed sake who died for us. Now more than ever your loving and dutiful Son,' &c.
Such another letter was written to his sister Fanny; but it is dated four days later, when he was better in health, and was somewhat recovered from the first shock; besides which, he felt his office of comforter when writing to her. So the letter is more cheerful, and is a good deal taken up with the endeavour to assure the sisters of his acquiescence in whatever scheme of life they might adopt, and willingness that, if it were thought advisable, Feniton Court should be sold. ' This is all cold and heartless,' he says, ' but I must try and make my view pretty clear.' Towards the end occurs the following:--
'Last night, my slight feverish attack over, my ears comfortable, with the feeling of health and ease returning, I lay awake, thought of dear Uncle Frank, and then for a long time of dear Mamma. How plainly I saw her face, and dear dear Uncle James, and I wondered whether dear dear Father was already among them in Paradise. It is not often that I can fasten down my mind to think continuously upon those blessed ones; I am too tired, or too busy; and this climate, you know, is enervating. But last night I was very happy, and seemed to be very near them. The Evening Lesson set me off, 1 John iii. How wonderful it is! But all the evening I had been reading my book of Prayers and Meditations. Do you know, Fan, at times the thought comes upon me with a force almost overpowering, that I am a Bishop; and that I must not shrink from believing that I am called to a special work. I don't think that I dwell morbidly on this, but it is an awful thought. And then I feel just the same as of old, and don't reach out more, or aim more earnestly at amendment of life and strive after fresh degrees of enlightenment and holiness. But probably I have to learn the lesson, which it may be only sickness will teach me, of patient waiting, that God will accomplish His own work in His own time.'
Some of this is almost too sacred for publication, and yet it is well that it should be seen how realising the Communion of Saints blessed the solitary man who had given up home. The next letter is to Sir J. T Coleridge:--
'H.M.S. "Cordelia," September 11, 1861.
'My dearest Uncle,--It is now nearly five weeks since I learnt from my letters of March and April, brought to me by this ship, the very precarious state of my dear Father.
'He has never missed a mail since we have been parted, never once; and he wrote as he always did both in March and April. I had read a letter from the good Primate first; because I had to make up my mind whether I could, as I was desired, take a cruise in this vessel; and in his letter I heard of my dear Father's state. With what reverence I opened his letters! With what short earnest prayers to God that I might have strength supplied and resignation I had kept them till the last. All day at Mota I had been too busy to read any but the Primate's letters. I had many matters to arrange . . . and it was not until night that I could quietly read my letters in the captain's cabin. My dear Father's words seem to come to me like a voice from another world. I think from what he says, and what they all say, that already he has departed to be with Christ.
'I think of him and my dear mother, and those dear uncles James and Frank, so specially dear to me, and. others gone before. I think of all that he has been to me, and yet how can I be unhappy? The great shock to me was long overpast: it is easy for me to dwell on his gain rather than my loss; yet how I shall miss his wise loving letters and all the unrestrained delights of our correspondence.
'It is not with me as with those dear sisters, or with old Jem. Theirs is the privilege of witnessing the beauty and holiness of his life to the end; and theirs the sorrow of learning to live without him. Yet I feel that the greatest perhaps of all the pleasures of this life is gone. How I did delight in writing to him and seeking his approval -of what I was about! How I read and re-read his letters, entering so entirely into my feelings, understanding me so well in my life, so strangely different from what it used to be.
'Well, it should make me feel more than ever that I have but one thing to live for--the good, if so it may please God, of these Melanesian islands.
'I cannot say, for you will like to know my feelings, that I felt so overwhelmed with this news as not to be able to go about my usual business. Yet the rest on board the vessel has been very grateful to me. The quiet cheerfulness and briskness will all come again, as I think; and yet I think too that I shall be an older and more thoughtful man by reason of this.
'There has been reported a row at Ysabel Island, one of the Solomon group, eighteen months ago. This vessel, a screw steamer, ten guns and a large pivot gun, came to enquire, with orders from the Commodore of the station to call at Mota and see me, and request me to go with the vessel if I could find time to do so; adding that the vessel was to take me to any island which I might wish to be returned to. Now I have long wished to indoctrinate captains of men-of-war with our notions of the right way to settle disputes between natives and traders. Secondly, I had a passage free with my Solomon Islanders, and consequently all October and half November I may devote to working up carefully (D.V.) the Banks and New Hebrides group without being imder the necessity of going down to the Solomon Islands. Thirdly, I had an opportunity of going further to the westward than I had ever been before, and of seeing new ground. Fourthly, the Primate, I found, assumed that I should go. So here I am, in great clover, of course: the change from Mota to man-of-war life being amusing enough. Barring some illness, slight attacks of fever, I have enjoyed myself very much. The seeing Ysabel Island is a real gain. I had time to acquire some 200 words and phrases of the language, which signify to me a great deal more. The language is a very remarkable one, very Polynesian; yet in some respects distinguished from the Polynesian, and most closely related to Melanesian dialects.
' I need not enter into all this. It is my business, you know, to work at such things, and a word or two often tells me now a good deal of the secrets of a language--the prominent forms, affixes, &c., &c.; the way in which it is linked on to other dialects by peculiar terminations, the law by which the transposition of vowels and consonants is governed in general. All these things soon come out, so I am very sanguine about soon, if I live, seeing my way in preparing the way for future missionaries in the far West.
'But I must not forget that I have some islands to visit in the next month or two where the people are very wild, so that I of all people have least reason to speculate about what I may hope to do a year hence.
'The real anxiety is in the making up my own mind whether or not I ought to lower the boat in such a sea way; whether or not I ought to swim ashore among these fellows crowded there on the narrow beach, &c.
'When my mind is made up, it is not so difficult then. But, humanly speaking, there are but few islands now where I realise the fact of there being any risk; at very many I land with confidence. Yet I could enumerate, I dare say, five-and-twenty which we have not visited at all, or not regularly; and where I must be careful, as also in visiting different parts of islands already known to us in part. Poor poor people, who can see them and not desire to make known to them the words of life? I may never forget the Bishop's words in the Consecration Service:--" Your office is in the highest sense to preach the Grospel to the poor;" and then his eye glanced over the row of Melanesians sitting near me.
'How strange that I can write all this, when one heavy sense of trouble is hanging vaguely over me. And yet you will be thankful that I can think, as I trust, heartily of my work, and that my interest is in no way lessened. It ought to be increased. Yet I scarce realise the fact of being a Bishop, though again it does not seem unnatural. I can't explain what I mean. I suppose the fact that I knew for so long before that it must come some day if I lived, makes the difference now.
'I don't think, however, that your words will come true of my appearing in shovel hat, &c., at Heath's Court some fine day. It is very improbable that I shall ever see the northern hemisphere, unless I see it in the longitude of New Guinea.
'I must try to send a few island shells to M----, B----, and Go.; those little ones must not grow up, and I am sure that you all do not suffer them to grow up, without knowing something about " old cousin Coley" tumbling about in a little ship (albeit at present in a war steamer) at the other end of the world. Seriously, dear Uncle, as they grow older, it may be some help for them to hear of these poor Melanesians, and of our personal intercourse with them, so to speak.
'I have but little hope of hearing, if I return safe to New Zealand at the end of November, that this disastrous war is over. I fear that the original error has been overlaid by more recent events, forgotten amongst them. The Maori must suffer, the country must suffer. Confession of a fault in an individual is wrong in a State; indeed, the rights of the case are, and perhaps must be, unknown to people at a distance. We have no difficulty here in exposing the fallacies and duplicities of the authors of the war, but we can't expect (and I see that it must be so) people in England to understand the many details. To begin with, a man must know, and that well, Maori customs, their national feeling, &c. It is all known to One above, and that is our only hope now. May He grant us peace and wisdom for the time to come!
'I have been reading Helps again this voyage, a worthy book, and specially interesting to me. How much there is I shall be glad to read about. What an age it is! America, how is that to end? India, China, Japan, Africa! I have Jowett's books and "Essays and Reviews." How much I should like to talk with you and John, in an evening at Heath's Court, about all that such books reveal of Intellectualism at home. One does feel that there is conventionalism and unreality in the hereditary passive acceptance of much that people think they believe. But how on Jowett's system can we have positive teaching at all? Can the thing denoted by "entering into the mind of Christ or St. Paul" be substituted for teaching the Catechism?
'Not so, writes my dear Father in the depth of his humility and simplicity, writing to me what a father could scarcely say to a son! But our peculiar circumstances have brought this blessing to me, that I think he has often so " reamed out" his heart to me in the warmth of his love to a son he was never again to see in the body, that I know him better even than I should have done had I remained at home.
'So wonderful was my dearest Father's calmness when he wrote on the 24th of April, that if he was alive to write again in May, I think it not impossible that he may allude to these matters. If so, what golden words to be treasured up by me! I have all his letters. You will see, or have seen him laid by my dear Mother's side. They dwell together now with Him in Paradise.
'Good-bye, my dearest Uncle. Should God spare your life, my letters will be more frequent to you now.
'My kindest love to Aunt.
'Your affectionate and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
There is little more record of this voyage. There was less heart and spirit than usual for the regular journalizing letter; but the five weeks' voyage had been most beneficial in restoring health and energy, and it had one very important effect upon the Mission, for it was here that Lieutenant Capel Tilly, E.N., became so interested in the Mission and its head, as to undertake the charge of the future 'Southern Cross.' The 'Cordelia' was about to return to England, where, after she was paid off, Mr. Tilly would watch over the building of the new vessel on a slightly larger scale than the first, would bring her out to Kohimarama, and act as her captain.
So great a boon as his assistance did much to cheer and encourage the Bishop, who was quite well again when he landed at Mota on September 17, and found Mr. Pritt convalescent after a touch of ague, and Mr. Kerr so ill as to be glad to avail himself of Captain Hume's kind offer to take him back to Auckland in the 'Cordelia.'
Probably all were acclimatised by this time, for we hear of no more illness before the ' Sea Breeze,' with Mr. Dudley, came, on the 10th of October, to take the party off.
He says:--' The Bishop and Mr. Pritt both looked pale and worn. There were, however, signs in the island of a great advance in the state of things of the previous year. An admirable schoolroom had been built; and in the open space cleared in front of it, every evening some hundred people would gather, the older ones chatting, the younger ones being initiated in the mysteries of leap-frog, wrestling, and other English games, until prayer time, when all stood in a circle, singing a Mota hymn, and the Bishop prayed with and for them.
'That voyage was not a long one. We did not go to the Solomon Islands and the groups to the north, but we worked back through the New Hebrides, carefully visiting them.'
Mr. Dudley had brought letters that filled the Bishop's heart to overflowing, and still it was to his father that he wrote: ' It seems as if you had lived to see us all, as it were, fixed in our several positions, and could now "depart in peace, according to His word." '
The agony and bitterness seem to have been met and struggled through, as it were, in those first days on board the 'Cordelia.' In this second letter there is infinite peace and thankfulness; and so there still was, when, at Norfolk Island, the tidings of the good old man's death met him, as described in the ensuing letter:--
'"Sea Breeze," one hundred miles south-east of Norfolk Island: 8 A.M.
'My dearest Sisters,--Joy and grief were strangely mingled together while I was on shore in Norfolk Island, from 6 P.M. Saturday to 8 P.M. Sunday (yesterday).
'I was sitting with Mr. Nobbs (Benjamin Dudley the only other person present) when he said, "We have seen in our papers from Sydney the news of the death of your revered Father." He concluded that I must have known of it.
'How wonderful it seems to me that it did not come as a great shock. I showed by my face (naturally) that I had not known before that God had taken him unto Himself, but I could answer quite calmly, "I thank God." Do not be distressed at telling me suddenly, as you see you have done inadvertently. I knew he could not live long. We all knew that he was only waiting for Christ.
'And, dear dear John and Fan, how merciful God has been! The last part of his letter to me, of date June 25, only three days before his call came, so that I know (and praise God for it) that he was spared protracted suffering. Shall I desire or wish to be more sorry than I am? Shall I try to make myself grieve, and feel unhappy? Oil, no; it is of God's great mercy that I still feel happy and thankful, for I cannot doubt the depth of my love to him who has indeed been, and that more than ever of late, the one to whom I clung in the world.
'I could be quiet at night, sleeping in Mr. Nobbs's house, and yet I could not at once compose myself to think it all over, as I desired to do. And then I had much to do, and here was the joy mingling with the sorrow.
'For the Norfolk Island people have come to see how wise was the Primate's original plan, and now they much desire to connect themselves more closely with the Mission.
'Mr. and Mrs. Nobbs desire their son Edwin, who was two years at the Governor's at Sydney, and is now eighteen and a half years old, to be given wholly to us. ... So said Simon Young of his boy Fisher, and so did three others. All spoke simply, and without excitement, but with deep feeling. I thought it right to say that they should remain at Norfolk Island at present, that we all might prove them whether they were indeed bent upon this work, that we might be able to trust that God had indeed called them. To the lads I said, " This is a disappointment, I know, but it is good for you to have to bear trials. You must take time to count the cost. It is no light thing to be called to the work of a teacher among the heathen. In giving up your present wish to go immediately, you are obeying your parents and others older than yourselves, and your cheerful obedience to them is the best evidence that you wish to act upon a sense of duty, and not only from impulse; but don't think I wish to discourage you. I thank Him who has put the good desire into your hearts. Prove yourselves now by special prayer and meditation."
'Then came the happy, blessed service, the whole population present, every confirmed person communicating, my voice trembling at the Fifth Commandment and the end of the Prayer for the Church Militant, my heart very full and thankful. I preached to them extempore, as one can preach to no other congregation, from the lesson, " JESUS gone to be the guest of a man that is a sinner," the consequences that would result in us from His vouchsafing to tabernacle among us, and, as displayed in the Parable of the Pounds, the use of God's gifts of health, influence, means; then, specifying the use of God's highest gifts of children to be trained to His glory, quoting 1 Samuel i. 27, 28, " lent to the Lord," I spoke with an earnestness that felt strange to me at the time.
'Simon Young said afterwards: "My wife could not consent months ago to Fisher's going away, but she has told me now that she consents. She can't withhold him with the thought of holy Hannah in her mind." And I felt as if I might apply (though not in the first sense) the prophecy "Instead of thy fathers, thou shalt have children."
'To add to all, Mr. Nobbs said: "I have quite altered my mind about the Melanesian school, I quite see that I was mistaken;" and the people are considering how to connect themselves closely with us.
'You may imagine, dear Joan, that joy and grief made a strange, yet not unhappy tumult in my mind. I came away at 3 P.M. (the wind being very fair) hoping to revisit them, and, by the Bishop of Tasmania's desire, hold a confirmation in six months' time. How I am longing to hear the last record of the three days intervening between June 25 and 28, you may well imagine. . . . Already, thank God, four months have passed, and you are recovering from the great shock. Yours is a far harder trial than mine. May God comfort and bless us all, and bring us to dwell with our dear parents in heaven, for our blessed Lord's sake.
'Your very loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
And this most touching account from within is supplemented by the following, by Mr. Dudley, from without:--
'He took it [the tidings of his father's death] quite calmly. Evidently it had been long expected and prepared for. He was even cheerful in his quiet grave way. In the evening there was singing got up for him by some of the Norfolk Islanders, in one of the large rooms of the old barracks. He enjoyed it; and after it had gone on some time, he thanked them in a few touching words that went home, I am sure, to the hearts of many of them, and then we all knelt down, and he prayed extempore. I wish I had kept the words of that prayer! Everyone was affected, knowing what was then occupying his mind, but we were still more so next morning, at the service in church. His voice had that peculiarly low and sweet tone which always came into it when he was in great anxiety or sorrow, but his appeal to the congregation was inspiring to the last degree. It was the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, and the subject he took was from the second lesson, the Parable of the Pounds, in St. Luke xix., and so pointed out the difficulties between the reception of a talent and the use of it. He showed that the fact of people's children growing up as wild and careless as heathen was no proof that no grace had been bestowed upon them; on the contrary, in the baptized it was there, but it had never been developed; and then came the emphatic assertion, " The best way of employing our gifts of whatever kind--children, means, position--is by lending them to the Lord for His service, and then a double blessing will be returned for that we give. Hannah giving her child to the Lord, did she repent of it afterwards, think you, when she saw him serving the Lord, the one upright man of the house of Israel?" '
No doubt these words were founded on those heartfelt assurances which stirred his very soul within him that his own father had never for a moment regretted or mourned over the gift unto the Lord, which had indeed been costly, but had been returned, 'good measure, pressed together, and flowing over,' in blessing! can I grieve and sorrow about my dear dear Father's blessed end?' are the words in a letter to myself written on the 19th. It further contained thanks for a photograph of Hursley Church spire and Vicarage, which had been taken one summer afternoon, at the desire of Dr. Moberly (the, present Bishop of Salisbury), and of which I had begged a copy for him. ' I shall like the photograph of Hursley Vicarage and Church, the lawn and group upon it. But most shall I like to think that Mr. Keble, and I dare say Dr. Moberly too, pray for me and this Mission. I need the prayers of all good people indeed.' I quote this sentence because it led to a correspondence with both Mr. Keble and Dr. Moberly, which was equally prized by the holy and humble men of heart who wrote and received the letters:--
'St. Andrew's, Kohimarama: November 20, 1861.
'Thank you, my dearest Sophy, for your loving letters, and all your love and devotion to him.
'I fear I do not write to those two dear sisters of mine as they and you all expect and wish. I long to pour it all out; I get great relief in talking, as at Taurarua I can talk to the dear Judge and Lady Martin. She met me with a warm loving kiss that was intended to be as home-like as possible, and for a minute I could not speak, and then said falteringly, "It has been all one great mercy to the end. I have heard at Norfolk Island." But I feel it still pent up to a great extent, and yet I have a great sense of relief. I fancy I almost hear sometimes the laboured breathing, the sudden stop--the "thanks be to God, he has entered into his rest."
'What his letters are, I cannot even fully say to another, perhaps never fully realise myself.
'As I write, the tears come, for it needs but a little to bring them now, though I suppose the world without thinks that I " bear up," and go' on bravely.
'But when any little word or thought touches the feelings, the sensitive rather than the intellectual part of me, then I break down.
'And yet it seems to bring thoughts and hopes into more definite shape. How I read that magnificent last chapter of Isaiah last Sunday. I seemed to feel my whole heart glowing with wonder, and exultation, and praise. The world invisible may well be a reality to us, whose dear ones there outnumber now those still in the flesh. Jem's most beautiful, most intensely affecting letter, with all his thoughtfulness about the grave, &c., fairly upset me. I let the Judge and Lady Martin read some parts of it, and they returned it, saying it had quite overcome them. Now all day I feel really as much as at those moments, only the special circumstances give more expression at one time than at another to the inward state of mind.
'How I treasure up many many of his words and actions!
'What a history in these words: "All times of the day are alike to me now; getting near, I trust, the time when it will be all day."
'Those are the things that break me down. I see his dear face, and hear him slowly and calmly saying such words of patient trust and faith, and it is too much. Oh! that I might live as the son of such parents ought to live!
' And then I turn to the practical duties again, and get lost in the unceasing languages and all the rest of it.
'Now enough--but I write what comes uppermost.
'Your loving Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Very soon after the return, on the 6th December, 1861, an Ordination was held at St. Paul's, Auckland, when the Primate ordained two Maori deacons, and Bishop Patteson, the Rev. Benjamin Dudley.
Sir William and Lady Martin spent part of this summer in the little cottage at Kohimarama where the sailing master of the late 'Southern Cross' had lived: and again we have to thank her for a picture of life at St. Andrew's. She says:--
'The new settlement was then thought to be healthy, and he and his boys alike rejoiced in the warmth of the sheltered bay, after the keenness of the air at St. John's on higher ground. The place looked very pretty. The green fields and hawthorn hedges and the sleek cattle reminded one of England. As a strong contrast, there was the white shelly beach and yellow sands. Here the boys sunned themselves in play hours, or fished on the rocks, or cooked their fish at drift-wood fires. On calm days one or two would skim across the blue water in their tiny canoes. One great charm of the place was the freedom and naturalness of the whole party. There was no attempt to force an overstrained piety on these wild fellows, who 'showed their sincerity by coming with the Bishop. By five in the morning all were astir, and jokes and laughter and shrill unaccountable cries would rouse us up, and go on all day, save when school and chapel came to sober them.
'The Bishop had not lost his Eton tastes, and only liked to see them play games, and the little fat merry-faced lads were always on the look-out for a bit of fun with him. One evening a tea-drinking was given in the hall in honour of us. The Mota boys sung in twilight the story of the first arrival of the Mission vessel and of their wonder at it. The air, with a monotonous, not un-pleasing refrain, reminded us of some old French Canadian ditties. I remember well the excitement when the Bishop sent up a fire balloon. It sailed slowly towards the sea, and down rushed the whole Melanesian party, shrieking with delight after it. Our dear friend's own quarters were very tiny, and a great contrast to his large airy room at St. John's. He occupied a corner house in the quadrangle, to be close to the boys. Neither bedroom nor sitting-room was more than ten feet square. Everything was orderly, as was his wont. Photographs of the faces and places he loved best hung on the walls. Just by the door was his standing desk, with folios and lexicons. A table, covered with books and papers in divers languages, and a chair or two, completed his stock of furniture. The door stood open all day long in fine weather, and the Bishop was seldom alone. One or other of the boys would steal quietly in and sit down. They did not need to be amused, nor did they interrupt his work. They were quite content to be near him, and to get now and then a kind word or a pleasant smile. It was the habitual gentle sympathy and friendliness on his part that won the confidence of the wild timid people who had been brought up in an element of mistrust, and which enabled them after a while to come and open their hearts to him.
'How vividly the whole scene comes back to me as I write! The Bishop's calm thoughtful face, the dusky lads, the white-shelled square in front, relieved by a mass of bright geraniums or gay creepers, the little bed-room with its camp bed, and medicine bottles and good books, and, too often, in spite of our loving remonstrances, an invalid shivering with ague, or influenza, in possession. We knew that this involved broken nights for him, and a soft board and a rug for a couch. He was overtasking his powers during those years. He was at work generally from five A.M. to eleven P.M., and this in a close atmosphere; for both the schoolroom and his own house were ill-ventilated. He would not spare time enough either for regular exercise. He had a horse and enjoyed riding, but he grudged the time except when he had to come up to town on business or to take Sunday services for the English in the country. It was very natural, as he had all a student's taste for quiet study, yet could only indulge it by cutting off his own hours for relaxation. He was constantly called off during the day to attend to practical work, teaching in school, prescribing for and waiting on the sick, weighing out medicines, keeping the farm accounts, besides the night classes in several languages.
'He was really never so happy as among his boys or his books. He had no liking for general society, though his natural courteousness made him shrink from seeming ungracious. He did thoroughly enjoy a real talk with one or two friends at a time, but even this he denied himself.'
Fanny Patteson had spent several days at Hursley in the course of the winter, and the Vicar and Mrs. Keble had greatly delighted in hearing her brother's letters. The following letter from Mr. Keble was written, as will be perceived, immediately after hearing the account of the baptism of the dying child at Mota:--
'Hursley, February 19, 1862.
'My dear Bishop Patteson,--I seat myself down on a low chair between the pictures of your uncle and your Metropolitan, and that by command of your sister, who is on a footstool in the corner opposite, I to send two words, she 200, or, for aught I know, 2,000, to greet you on the other side of the world. We have the more right, as your kind sisters have kept us well up to your Missionary doings from time to time, and we seem to be very often with you on board or in your islands (I say we, for my dear wife is more than half of me, as you may well suppose, in such sympathies), and it seems to me that, perhaps, in the present state of your island or sea-work you may have more time than by-and-by for thinking of one and another; anyhow we trust that that may happen which we ask for every evening--that we may be vouchsafed a part in the holy prayers which have been that day offered to the Throne of Grace, in Melanesia or elsewhere. I don't know whether I am right, but I fancy you at times something between a Hermit and a Missionary. God grant you a double blessing! and as you are a Bishop besides, you will breathe us a blessing in return for this, such as it is. Fanny's visit has been, as you know it would be, most charming and genial to us old folks (not that my wife ought to be so spoken of), and I shall always think it so kind of her to have spared us the time when she had so much to do and so short a time to do it in; but she seems like one going about with a bag of what Bishop Selwyn calls "hope-seed," and sowing it in everyplace; yet when one comes to look close at it, it all consists of memories, chiefly you know of whom. I only wish I could rightly and truly treasure up all she has kindly told us of your dear Father; but it must be a special grace to remember and really understand such things. It will be a most peculiar satisfaction, now that we have had her with us in this way, to think of you all three together, should God's Providence allow the meeting of which we understand there is a hope. The last thing she has told us of is the baptism on St. Barnabas' Day--"the first fruits of Mota unto Christ." What a thought--what a subject for prayer and thanksgiving! God grant it may prove to you more than we can ask or think.
'Ever yours, my dear Bishop,
' J. K:
'Don't trouble yourself to write, but think of us.'
Of course there was no obeying this postscript, and the immediate reply was:--
'My dear dear Mr. Keble,--Few things have ever given me more real pleasure than the receipt of your letter by this mail. I never doubted your interest in New Zealand and Melanesia, and your affection for me for my dear Father's sake. I felt quite sure that prayers were being offered up for us in many places, and where more frequently than at Hursley? Even as on this day, five years ago, when I touched the reef at Guadalcanar, in the presence of three hundred armed and naked men, (I heard afterwards) prayers were being uttered in the dead of your night by my dear old governess, Miss Neill, that God would have me in His safe keeping. But it is most pleasant, most helpful to me, to read your letter, and to feel that I have a kind of right now to write to you, as I hope I may do while I live fully and freely.
'I do not say a word concerning the idea some of you in England seem to take of my life here. It is very humbling to me, as it ought to be, to read such a letter from you. How different it is really!
'If my dear sisters do come out to me for a while, which, after their letters by this February mail, seems less impossible than before, they will soon see what I mean: a missionary's life does not procure him any immunity from temptations, nor from falling into them; though, thanks be to God, it has indeed its rich and abundant blessings. It is a blessed thing to draw a little fellow, only six months ago a wild little savage, down upon one's knee, and hear his first confession of his past life, and his shy hesitating account of the words he uses when he prays to his newly-found God and Saviour. These are rare moments, but they do occur; and, if they don't, why the duty is to work all the same.
'The intelligence of some of these lads and young men really surprises me. Some with me now, last October were utterly wild, never had worn a stitch of clothing, were familiar with every kind of vice. They now write an account of a Scripture print, or answer my MS. questions without copy, of course, fairly and legibly in their books, and read their own language--only quite lately reduced to writing--with ease. What an encouragement! And this applies to, I think, the great majority of these islanders.
'One child, I suppose some thirteen or fourteen years of age, I baptized on Christmas Day. Three days afterwards I married her to a young man who had been for some years with us. They are both natives of Nengone, one of the Loyalty Isles. I administered the Holy Eucharist to her last Saturday, and she is dying peacefully of consumption. What a blessed thing! This little one, fresh from Baptism, with all Church ministrations round her, passing gently away to her eternal rest. She looks at me with her soft dark eyes, and fondles my hand, and says she is not unhappy. She has, I verily believe, the secret of real happiness in her heart.
'I must write more when at sea. I have very little time here.
'I hope by God's blessing to make a long round among my many islands this winter; some, I know, must be approached with great caution. Your prayers will be offered for me and those with me, I know, and am greatly comforted by the knowledge of it.
'Fanny tells me what you have said to her about supplying any deficit in the money required for our vessel. I feel as if this ought not in one sense to come upon you, but how can I venture to speak to you on such matters? You know all that I think and feel about it. Send me more your blessing. I feel cares and anxieties now. My kind love to Mrs. Keble.
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Two more notes followed in quick succession to Hursley Vicarage, almost entirely upon the matter of the new 'Southern Cross,' which was being built under Mr. Tilly's eye. The two Bishops were scrupulous about letting Mr. Keble give more than a fair proportion towards the vessel, which was not to cost more than 3,000 l, though more roomy than her lamented predecessor. Meantime the ' Sea Breeze' was 'again to serve for the winter voyage:--
'St. Barnabas Day, Auckland: 1862.
'My dear Sisters,--Think of my being ashore, and in a Christian land on this day. So it is. We sail (D.V.) in six days, as it may be this day week. The Melanesians are very good and pretty well in health, but we are all anxious to be in warm climates. I think that most matters are settled. Primate and I have finished our accounts. Think of his wise stewardship! The endowment in land and money, and no debts contracted! I hope that I leave nothing behind me to cause difficulty, should anything happen. The Primate and Sir William Martin are my executors; Melanesia, as you would expect, my heir. I may have forgotten many items, personal reminiscences. Ask for anything, should anything happen. I see no reason to anticipate it, humanly speaking, but it is always well to think of such things. I am just going to the little Taurarua chapel to our Melanesian Commemoration service with Holy Communion.
'Oh! if it should please God to grant us a meeting here!
'Great blessings have been given me this summer in seeing the progress made by the scholars, so great as to make me feel sober-minded and almost fearful, but that is wrong and faithless perhaps, and yet surely the trials must come some day.
'God bless you all, and keep you all safe from all harm.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
'Friday, June 27th, 2 P.M.--How you are thinking of all that took place that last night on earth. He was taking his departure for a long voyage, rather he was entering into the haven where he would be! May God give us grace to follow his holy example, his patient endurance of his many trials, the greatest his constant trial of deafness.
'I think if the weather be fair, that we shall go off to-morrow. Oh! if we do meet, and spend, it may be, Christmas together.
28th, 3 P.M.--The first anniversary of our dear Father's death. How you are all recalling what took place then! How full of thankfulness for his gain, far outweighing the sorrow for our loss! And yet how you must feel it, more than I do, and yet I feel it deeply: but the little fond memories of the last months, and above all the looks and spoken words of love, I can't altogether enter into them. His letters are all that letters can be, more than any other letters can be, but they are not the same thing in all ways. The Primate has left us to hurry down the sailing master of the "Sea Breeze." It was a very rough morning, but is calm now, boats passing and repassing between the shore and the schooner at anchor off Kohimarama.'