Project Canterbury

Five Years' Church Work in the Kingdom of Hawaii

By Thomas Nettleship Staley
Bishop of Honolulu

London, Oxford and Cambridge: Rivingtons, 1868.


P. 14.

The Bishop of California's Letter.


"To the Editor of the 'Pacific Churchman':--"For five years past, Mr. Editor, the secular press, and a part of that called 'the religious; have rung with misrepresentations about the appointment, by the English Church, of Dr. Staley as Bishop of Honolulu. It was represented to be entirely a political move, intended to strengthen English influence at the Sandwich Islands. The whole charge, indeed, was thus summed up in a sentence in your last number:--

The Episcopal Mission to those Islands originated in a "political object on the part of the English Government," and Bishop Staley was sent out as "a political Missionary."'

"Now, as I probably had more to do than any one in this country with the origin of this arrangement, [110/111] it is but proper that I should explain. Perhaps I should have done so before; but I have held back from a disinclination to speak personally on this matter. I think, however, that a plain statement of the whole affair will be sufficient to put at rest for ever the absurd stories which have been circulated. I do it, therefore, over my own name.

"Previous to 1860, I had received repeated applications from the Islands to send a clergyman of our Church. The late Hon. W. C. Wyllie, Minister of Foreign Relations, several times wrote to me on the subject. Unfortunately, we had no clergy to spare, there not being half enough for the work of our own Diocese. I applied to members both of the Domestic and Foreign Committees in New York, but received no encouragement. It was clearly not within the sphere of action of the Domestic Committee, while the late Rev. Dr. Turner wrote to me, on the part of the Foreign Committee, that 'not considering the Sandwich Islands a heathen land, it was not within their field.'

"In the summer of 1860 I went to England. During the previous spring, Mr. Wyllie (knowing my intention) again wrote to me, by direction of the late King, requesting me to make an arrangement for them in England, to which Church he had already, I believe, applied. A number of letters on the subject passed, mine being submitted to the King, and the answer dictated by him to Mr. Wyllie. Hopeless of obtaining any clergy from our own country to [111/112] establish the Church in Hawaii, I agreed to further that object in England.

"Accordingly, when in London, in July, 1860, I brought the matter before the Bishops of Oxford and London, both of whom entered heartily into it. I particularly remember one evening at Fulham Palace, when I showed Mr. Wyllie's letters to the Bishop of London, and we went fully into the matter. It was agreed that it should be a joint Mission--that two or three clergy should be sent out by the Church of England, and the same number by the American Church, when practicable. The animus of the whole affair was shown in a single remark made to me on this occasion by the Bishop of London 'I am happy,' said he, 'that the application for this Mission comes from an American Bishop, so that it cannot he said that the Church of England is obtruding itself on the Islands.' This single remark settles the whole point at issue which has since been made by the opponents of the Mission.

"A public meeting, to be presided over by the Bishop of Oxford, was then called, and I was requested to he present to make necessary explanations. As I had an engagement in the country, which prevented my being there, I wrote a long letter to the Bishop of Oxford, giving all the statements which I had verbally made to him and the Bishop of London. When I next met him, he told me that 'my letter was read at the meeting, and then placed on file, to show at any future time their reasons for this action.'

[113] "I would mention also that the Bishop of New York, who was then in England, being consulted, gave his cordial approbation to the measure.

"The application which I made was only with reference to sending some clergy to Honolulu. The plan was afterwards expanded to embrace sending a Bishop also as head of the Mission, until it assumed its present form, wisely presenting the Church in its entireness.

"Now, Mr. Editor, this is a simple statement of the whole matter; and you will see how perfectly absurd is the charge of' English influence' and 'English politics.' The appeal was not made to England until after it had been made in vain to our own Church. The application to the English Bishops was made by me, to supply what I knew to he a religious want at the Islands. With any present controversies about the Hawaiian Church I have nothing to do, and have no occasion now to make ally reference to them; but it must be very evident, that a. measure inaugurated at the request of an American Bishop was not intended to 'increase English influence' in the Islands.

"I make this statement, therefore, as a mere historical matter, and in justice to the Church of England and the Bishop of Honolulu.


"Bishop of California.

"Sept. 21st, 1866."

P. 53.

Copy of the Article of the Constitution relating to Qualification of Members of the Legislature and of Voters.

"ARTICLE 61. No person shall he eligible for a Representative of the People who is insane or an idiot; nor, unless he be a male subject of the Kingdom, who shall have arrived at the full age of Twenty-one years--who shall know how to read and write--who shall understand accounts--and shall have been domiciled in the Kingdom for at least three years, the last of which shall be the year immediately preceding his election; and who shall own Real Estate, within the Kingdom, of a clear value, over and above all incumbrances, of at least Five Hundred Dollars; or who shall have an annual income of at least Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars, derived from any property, or some lawful employment.

"ARTICLE 62. Every male subject of the Kingdom who shall have paid his taxes, who shall have attained the age of Twenty years, and shall have been domiciled in the Kingdom for one year immediately preceding the election, and shall be possessed of Real Property in this Kingdom to the value, over and above all incumbrances, of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars--or of a Leasehold property on which the rent is Twenty-five Dollars per year, or of an income of not less than Seventy-five Dollars per year, derived from any [114/115] property or some lawful employment, and shall k-now how to read and write, if born since the year 1840, and shall have caused his name to be entered on the list of voters of his District as may he provided by law,--shall be entitled to one vote for the Representative or Representatives of that District. Provided, however, that no insane or idiotic person, nor any person who shall have been convicted of any infamous crime within this Kingdom, unless he shall have been pardoned by the King, and by the terms of such pardon have been restored to all the rights of a subject, shall be allowed to vote."

P. 54.

Queen Emma's Visit.

Her Majesty left Honolulu on May 6th, 1865, in H.B.M. ship "Clio," arriving in London on July the 14th. She was obliged to leave England for the winter, and only remained a short time the following year on her way back to the Islands.

It is needless to remark on the interest which she inspired, and the kindly welcome which she everywhere met with.

About 6000l. was contributed, during her brief visit, to the Cathedral Fund and other objects connected with the spiritual and educational work of the Mission.

[116] P. 58.

The Sisters of Mercy, in 1861, on their way to Southampton to embark, halted at Hursley, and were there kindly received by Mr. Keble. He preached and celebrated with them the Holy Communion during their stay. The following extract from his Sermon proves the deep interest which he felt in their work, and how well he understood it:--

"You will have, please God, many remembering you here--many prayers earnestly and affectionately said--often by those who would wish to follow you, if God's providence so pointed their way. Many waiting for news of your work, as men wait for letters and reports of friends and kinsmen out in the Queen's service; and especially those connected with penitentiary work, who dwell in houses of the highest kind of mercy; for your work, if I rightly understand, will probably, in an especial manner, correspond with theirs--- to cure or assuage, but rather, by God's blessing, to prevent the sin and misery which employs their charity here,--teaching the young persons with whom God may entrust you to know their high calling and the glory and bliss of purity.

"There are encouragements here, and surely we may say in thankfulness that there are great encouragements there. It has pleased Him to bring that to pass in Hawaii which He bath wrought in [116/117] divers countries on which He was looking with an eye of compassion in our own, as you know, for one. The conversion of England began in some sort from a Queen; and in Hawaii He has raised up a Queen, of whom I will only say thus much--taking it from a letter which I received yesterday from the Bishop of Honolulu himself:--'She seeks her consolation' (for you know that within a short time she has had to part from her only child first, and then from her husband)--'She seeks her consolation in God, and in furthering the work of his Church, and is ever at the side of the sick and dying.' Surely we are not wrong in accepting this as a happy token of what is to come.

In this and in many other respects, I doubt not your experiencing- the truth of that other proverb, which our Lord uttered at the well by Sichem for the encouragement of His Missionaries 'One soweth, and another reapeth.' Your chosen field is far from being altogether wild and rough others have been labouring there; and you, the first Mission Sisters whom the English Church will [have sent out] will now have to enter on the fruit of their labours. Be it more or less, it will he an earnest of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts [of the people), to prepare them for the further help which He has disposed von to offer them.

Of this men see and hear; but he who has promised to he with us has deep mysterious ways--ways of working in silence to bring about the good which [117/118] He is providing for those whom He sees fit for His kingdom; and it becomes us humbly to brace up our faith and hope by meditating sometimes on those his unrevealed means of grace. Who knows but at this very time, somewhere in the country to which our thoughts are being drawn, tender women--mothers, wives, and sisters, in temptation, or in trouble for others who are sornay he praying for just such help as you by His grace will bring to them. God grant that there may he many such prayers--that ours may be worthy to meet them, as it were, in the air, and that both may go up as sweet incense for a memorial before God. Who knows but that there may be some 'woman of Samaria,' the course of whose life may he receiving such a turn from God's providence, even in the very sins which He permits but overrules, that by and by she may come, as it were by accident, to the place where some of you will be, and bring a heart ready to hear the words of love and truth which you will say? O my dear brothers and sisters, were it but one soul won in this or any other way to faith in Christ and eternal life, how great, how glorious, how unspeakably sweet and blessed the portion of him or her whom God shall so employ. Think of the Apostle's saying, 'That I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.' And think, each one of you, what it must be to have the witness of the Lord Himself from His throne of glory, 'Thou, even thou, hast been My instrument in bringing this sinner to penitence and perfection; well done, good and faithful servant; [118/119] do thou--with him or her whom thou hast brought to Me--enter into the joy of thy Lord.'

"We know not what that 'joy' will be; but thus much we know, that it will in part be the same joy which is felt in heaven, in the presence of the angels of God, over one sinner that repenteth--the same joy of which He spake, when He promised His true Missionaries not only wages in this world,--the comfort of His loving presence and the delight of working for Him only,--but fruit gathered unto life eternal; when He that soweth'--that is the Son of man himself--and he that reapeth,' shall 'rejoice together.'

"God only knows which of us all will persevere and win that crown; but we and you may humbly thank Him and take courage from the very lessons providentially read to-day. Our cause cannot fail, for it is written, 'The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Hab. ii. 14). Our strength will be proportioned to our need; for we have Him with us who twice fed thousands with a basketful of bread and fish (Matt. xv. 32), who has built a home on the rock for such as take up His cross. We hear His prophet resolving, that if all seem failing on earth, he will 'rejoice in the Lord,' he will 'joy in the God of his salvation' (Hab. iii. 14). And, what seems to come very near to you, my sisters, we have many of the women, S. Paul's fellow-labourers, the like of those concerning whom he says, "Their names are in the book of life,'--we have them reckoned up one by one, with most [119/120] affectionate blessings sent from a far land and acknowledgments of labour--'much labour'--done 'in the Lord' (Rom. xvi.).

"And He has sealed all these good words to us by permitting us to partake of His blessed Sacrifice and Sacrament.

"Is it not, we may humbly think, as if we heard His voice saying, 'Go forth in the strength of the Lord God'--only have no selfish ends--'make mention of His righteousness only'?"

P. 68.

The late Volcanic Eruption.

The celebrated pit crater Kilauea lies on a tableland, instead of forming the summit of a mountain. The fiery lake in this crater is always more or less active. But it was Manna Loa (on whose eastern flank, nearer the sea, Kilauea is situated) that so recently burst forth, opening a new crater, and sending a stream of burning lava in a S.S.W. direction into the sea, destroying life and property to a frightful extent, and converting some of the fairest portions of southern Hawaii into a desert of cinders and mud. The first symptom was an earthquake, ten days before the flow began, followed by repeated shocks at longer or [120/121] shorter intervals. In four days 300 of these earthquakes occurred, of which, however, the other islands were scarcely sensible. The Rev. C. G. Williamson, at Kona, carefully registered these 300 shocks in his journal, with the direction, duration, and general character of each,--a valuable contribution to those who study the branch of geology bearing on volcanic agency. One of the most terrible features in this convulsion of nature was a huge tidal wave on the S.E. coast, which rose to the tops of the cocoa-nut trees, and rushed inland, prostrating all before it in one common ruin.

Queen Emma at once opened a subscription-list for the sufferers, whom the King went in person to relieve with supplies of food and clothing, and remove to a place of security.

P. 91.

S. Andrew's cathedral.

The general character of the structure will be inferred from the engraving given of the elevation in this volume. The following is a description, taken from the "Building News" of April 10, 1868, of the portion now in hand:--

"The length of the choir from the first step to the [121/122] outside of the apse columns, we may observe, is 45 feet. It has been the object of the architects to convey the cathedral idea more by the general plan and arrangement of the building than by any grandeur of design or physical magnitude. The local deficiency of building materials made it specially necessary to study simplicity in its details, for there were only two courses open--either to send out the masons' work complete from England, or to build the whole of rough stone, plastered inside and out. A design embodying the latter idea was, as will he remembered, at first proposed, highly decorated with colour in the interior; but the other expedient was considered to be the best, and has been acted on. The choir has three hays, with a polygonal apse of five arches, the processional path being continued all round it, with coupled windows in each bay. The columns of the arcade are cylindrical, with carved capitals, and the arches have two orders of simple mouldings. Above them runs a string of ornamental terra cotta under the sills of the clerestory windows. In each bay of the clerestory are two lancet lights with coupled shafts; the bays of the apse have one light. The bays are divided by shafts resting on corbels above the arcade caps. These shafts run up to the level of the springing of the clerestory windows, at which level spring also the arched ribs of the roof. The whole of the roof is of timber, and boarded and panelled between the trusses, and is intended to be decorated with colour. For the ordinary walling black [122/123] basalt and reef-stone (cut from the reefs by the native prisoners) is used. The natives thoroughly understand and can execute this sort of walling satisfactorily but skilled masons' labour is very expensive, as much as five or six dollars a day being asked. Oregon timber and American pine are used for the roofs, which are covered with tiles. The windows of the clerestory will be filled with coloured glass; but the aisle windows will have movable glazed sashes, and inside Venetian shutters. The stone used for the arcades and windows is Ketton, white Mansfield, and Doulting. There will be two rows of stalls, six in number, on each side, the Dean and Precentor's stalls being respectively at the west end of the north and south blocks, and the Chancellor and Treasurer's stalls at the eastern end. The Bishop's throne will he on the south side, eastward of the stalls. The altar is raised seven steps above the nave level, and will have over it a lofty baldachin of metal work. A low iron screen is to stand in the western arch; and there will also be iron grilles in all the side and apse arches, with gates opening into the processional path."

P. 96.

Origin of the Polynesian Race.

There seems to he evidence that the Arian, or Sanscrit-speaking, race descended from the [123/124] north-west of Hindostan thousands of years ago, and subdued the original Turanian inhabitants.

Many of these would be forced into the Archipelago, to the SE. of Asia,, driving the black aborigines into the interior of some of the islands and peninsulas, and entirely expelling them from others. (What is called Melanesia consists of islands where the race with black skins and woolly crispy hair still remain.) In this way, the tide of Turanian emigration swept through Malayisia into the islands which lie South and North of the Equator over about two-thirds of the Pacific, and known as "Polynesia." The languages spoken throughout these groups are Turanian, that is, in an agglutinative stage, distinguished by the merely mechanical union of their particles, which are glued to the root, as it were, instead of growing out of it. Take the verb aloha, "love." The particle ke, before, and nei, after, express present action. Ke aloha nei = do love. Hawaiian is a language of particles. The languages of East Malayisia, especially of the Moluccas, approach nearest of any of the Turanian groups to those of Polynesia. And it is probable that these would be the starting points of the first Polynesian emigrants.

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