Containing the Dioceses of Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, Waiapu, Wellington, and Melanesia. By Henry Jacobs London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1887.
Chapter I. Samuel Marsden--His first Efforts for the New Zealanders--His Visit to England--Foundation of the Mission by Church Missionary Society--The Society's first Agents--Their Instructions--Ruatara--Massacre of the Boyd--The Missionary brig Active--Hongi-- Marsden's First Visit to New Zealand--His first Step--His Confidence--The first Service--Christmas Day, 1814--Settling of the Missionaries--Death of Ruatara--His last Thoughts
Samuel Marsden is as justly entitled to be called the Apostle of the Maori race, as Ulfilas of the Goths, Boniface of Germany, or Augustine of our own England. Marsden, indeed, played Gregory's part as well as Augustine's; like Gregory, he happened as it were by chance upon some remarkable-looking heathen in a city remote from their native land, was struck by their apparent superiority to other barbarous races, and never rested until he had succeeded in inciting others to preach the Gospel to the people of the land whence they came; like Augustine, braving both "perils in the sea," and [1/2] "perils by the heathen," he went and evangelised them himself.
To St. John's College, Cambridge, belongs the honour of having enrolled on its books the two greatest names in the story of the New Zealand Church, Marsden and Selwyn. Marsden, born on the 28th July, 1764, the son of a tradesman at Horsforth, near Leeds, had been a pupil of the ecclesiastical historian, Dr. Joseph Milner, at the Free Grammar School at Hull, and was supported as an undergraduate at St. John's by the Elland Society, a body of zealous Churchmen associated for the pur-pose of providing for the education of carefully-selected candidates for the sacred ministry. Well did Marsden justify their choice; for, before his ordination, and before he had even taken his degree, some influential persons, who had watched his course at Cambridge, judged him fit to occupy the difficult and responsible post of chaplain to the newly-formed penal establishment at Port Jackson, or Botany Bay. His appointment, for which he is said to have been recommended by William Wilberforce, was at first that of assistant chaplain, and was made by Royal Commission, bearing date, January 1st, 1793. He had not long reached the scene of his future labours before the senior chaplain resigned, and Marsden was left to carry on single-handed for many years a most determined struggle against the vilest imagin-able iniquities, the grossest abuses of authority, and the most shameless licentiousness shielded by official influence. As a sure consequence, he provoked the virulent opposition of powerful and unscrupulous [2/3] adversaries--men interested in maintaining the abuses he exposed--who strove for years, though happily without success, to blacken his character and drive him from the colony. The story is one of painful interest, but it is beside our purpose. [Footnote: The reader who would wish to know more of this remark-able man, would do well to consult "Memoirs of the Life and Labours of. the Rev. Samuel Marsden." Edited by the Rev. J. B. Marsden, M.A. London : Religious Tract Society. The biographer, though bearing the same name, was not a relation.] Suffice it to say that Samuel Marsden, though not distinguished by brilliant abilities or literary power, was a man of singular strength and energy of character, of intrepid resolution and indomitable perseverance, joined with an admirable singleness of purpose and largeness of heart. With ardent philanthropy, moreover, he com-bined an ample measure of those qualities for which Yorkshiremen are famous all the world over--practical sagacity and shrewdness, and strong common sense. Very early in the present century he appears to have conceived a lively interest in the natives of New Zealand, several of whom, led by curiosity and love of enterprise, found their way to Sydney as working hands in whalers and small merchantmen, trading between Sydney and the Bay of Islands. Some of these were chiefs and men of influence in their own country; but all alike soon discovered that they had a friend in this foreign land. There was much that was repellent, no doubt, yet much to attract, in those heathen savages. Marsden formed a high opinion of their capabilities. "They are a noble race," he wrote a few years later to a friend in [3/4] England, "vastly superior in understanding to any-thing you can imagine a savage nation could attain." The doors of his hospitable home at Paramatta were opened wide to them, and he built a hut within the parsonage grounds specially for their reception. Few of our readers can conceive how much of unpleasant-ness, and even of danger, was involved in entertain-ing strangers of this description. "My father," writes one of his daughters, "had sometimes as many as thirty New Zealanders staying at the parson-age; "and she goes on to relate an incident which serves to illustrate both the cruel nature of their superstitions, and the remarkable influence he had already gained over them:--"On one occasion a young lad, the nephew of a chief, died, and his uncle immediately made preparation to sacrifice a slave to attend his spirit into the other world. Mr. Marsden was from home, and his family were only able to pre-serve the life of the young New Zealander by hiding him in one of the rooms. Mr. Marsden no sooner returned and reasoned with the chief, than he con-sented to spare his life. No further attempt was made upon it, though the uncle frequently deplored that his nephew had no attendant to the next world, and seemed afraid to return to New Zealand, lest the father of the young man should reproach him for having given up this important custom."
God had opened the heart of this good man towards this interesting people, and it became the passion of his life to bring them into the fold of Christ. In 1807, he returned to England on a visit, and was absent from Australia about two years. In [4/5] the course of this visit, though overwhelmed by many other engagements, he laid the foundation of the Church of England Mission to the natives of New Zealand, which, despite of all drawbacks, may surely be reckoned among the most successful, as well as among the most important and far-reaching in their influences, of all Christian enterprises of the nine-teenth century. To the Church Missionary Society, under God, belongs the honour of carrying on this great work from the commencement, but it was at the instance of Marsden that they undertook it. To the leaders of that Society, which had then been in existence only about seven years, he betook himself, and with all the energy he could command he pressed the mission upon them, and rested not until they had taken it up with all his own heartiness and enthu-siasm. The Society consulted him in the choice of their first agents, and, as he was strongly--not to say, too strongly--impressed with the notion that the way to the Christianisation of a rude heathen people, such as that of New Zealand, must be paved by the introduction of the arts of civilised life, they selected for the first pioneers of the mission two mechanics of a rather superior order, William Hall, a carpenter and ship-builder, and John King, a shoemaker, with some knowledge also of flax-dressing and rope-making, and some acquaintance with agriculture. Men of courage and devotion they must needs have been, who thus ventured forth with their lives in their hands on a wholly untried enterprise; and notable is the day, August 25th, 1809, on which they embarked on board the Ann, in company with [5/6] Mr. Marsden for Sydney, bearing with them instruc-tions from the Society, the pith of which was con-tained in the following words:--"Ever bear in mind that the only object of the Society, in sending you to New Zealand, is to introduce the knowledge of Christ among the natives, and, in order to this, the arts of civilised life." [Footnote: These instructions bear very distinctly on the face of them the impress of Mr. Marsden's views as to the necessity of evangelistic efforts being preceded by some practical knowledge of the arts of life - views which were exceedingly pronounced, as were all the opinions he entertained. We must venture further and say, pace tanti viri, that they were exaggerated, as most of our readers will think, when they have read the following extract from his memorandum addressed to the C.M.S.:--"Since nothing in my opinion can pave the way for the introduction of the Gospel but civilisation; and that can only be accomplished among the heathen by the arts; I would recommend that three mechanics be appointed to make the first attempt The arts and religion should go together. The attention of the heathen can be gained, and their vagrant habits corrected, only by the arts. Till their attention is gained, and moral and industrious habits are induced, little or no pro-gress can be made in teaching them the Gospel. . . To preach the Gospel without the aid of the arts will never succeed amongst the heathen for any time".]
It was so ordered by the Providence of God that, on the outward voyage, Mr. Marsden most unexpect-edly discovered among his fellow-passengers one who was in a high degree both able and willing to advance the great cause he had at heart. This was a young New Zealander, named Ruatara, a chief of high rank. [Footnote: This name is spelt in the C.M.S. Reports, and in old books on New Zealand, Duaterra. The meaning of the word is Lizard.] [6/7] among his countrymen, whose story, if we had space to tell it at length, would read like a romance. A restless spirit of adventure had led him, when he could not have been more than eighteen, to embark on board a South Sea whaler, which had put in at his native place in the Bay of Islands. Shamefully imposed upon by the master of this vessel, defrauded of his wages after twelve months' service, put on shore at Sydney without money and without friends, he must have starved, had not the captain of another whaler, a just and humane man, given him employ-ment, and landed him at the end of six months, well-paid in European articles, among his own people at the Bay of Islands. But the roving spirit and the ardent desire to see more of the world, were not yet quenched in the young adventurer; and, after a few months on shore, he trusted himself to the tender mercies of yet another master-mariner, the captain of the Santa Anna, who promised, after he had com-pleted his cargo of sealskins, to take him to England and show him King George. In the interval he was put on shore, as one of a small party of seamen, on the desert coast of Bounty Island to collect sealskins, the captain meanwhile sailing to Norfolk Island for provisions. He was prevented, however, by stress of weather from returning for ten months, in the course of which time three of the party died, and the rest endured untold hardships from famine and exposure. They had not been idle, however, for they had col-lected an immense number of sealskins, and the vessel presently set sail for England. Poor Ruatara's hopes now revived, and all his troubles were forgotten. He [7/8] was mercilessly beaten on the voyage, but the prospect of seeing England and King George supported him under all his miseries. At length London was reached, but the inhuman wretch, in whose word he trusted, put him off with excuses, as long as he needed his services, then laughed him to scorn for his credulity, and discharged him without either money or clothing. But God had high honour in store for one whom man thus despitefully used and persecuted; he was to be made an important instrument in bringing his countrymen to the knowledge of the True Light. The vile master of the Santa Anna contrived to ship him on board the Ann, which had been chartered by the Government for the conveyance of convicts to Port Jackson, telling him that his wages would be paid in the shape of two muskets on his reaching Sydney. Even these he never received; but some-thing better awaited him on the voyage, the diversion of his thoughts and interests into a wholly different channel. The Ann had not been long at sea, "before Mr. Marsden observed on the forecastle"--we quote from the "Memoirs of his Life and Labours"--"amongst the common sailors a man whose darker skin and wretched appearance awakened his sym-pathy. He was wrapped in an old great coat, very sick and weak, and had a violent cough, accompanied with profuse bleeding. He was much dejected, and appeared as though a few days would close his life." Mr. Marsden, who had some difficulty at first in recognising in this poor emaciated creature the bright young chief who had previously been among his guests at Paramatta, listened with indignation to the [8/9] distressing tale of the wrongs he had endured at the hands of British seamen. After a while, when the assiduous attentions of Mr. Marsden, and the two catechists, his companions, had restored him, by the blessing of God, to health and vigour, they had much conversation with him as to the best methods to be pursued for the introduction of religion and civilisa-tion into New Zealand. He conceived a special regard for John King, and the two became fast friends. He cannot be described as a convert to Christianity, but he was feeling his way towards the light, and was gradually shaking off his national superstitions. After their arrival at Sydney, in February, 1810, he was Mr. Marsden's guest for some months, during which he applied himself eagerly to agriculture, and the acquire-ment of other useful knowledge, his one absorbing, desire being to benefit his countrymen. Then, im-pelled by a love of home, he took advantage of an op-portunity of returning to the Bay of Islands, and the two catechists were to have accompanied him; but just at that time tidings reached Sydney of what is known as "the Massacre of the Boyd" at the harbour of Whangaroa, which lies some distance to the north of the Bay of Islands, a fearful act of revenge taken by the natives for indignities suffered by one of their chiefs at the hands of the captain of that vessel, similar to those Ruatara had endured, and which involved, not only the burning of the ship, but the massacre of the crew and passengers, amounting to nearly seventy persons, eight only having escaped. The general horror caused by this event was greatly increased by the "o'er true tale" of cannibalism connected with it. [9/10] It led to reprisals at the hands of whalers, who con-founded the innocent with the guilty; and so well-grounded the apprehension appeared to be, that the lives of the missionaries would not be safe if they ventured to land in the neighbourhood of these scenes at such a time of excitement, that no direct step was taken towards the commencement of the mission until 1814. Early in that year a third catechist, Mr. Thomas Kendall, of much the same class as King and Hall, though of somewhat higher intellectual qualifications, arrived from England, sent out by the C.M.S. to take part in their work.
Marsden would delay no longer. His first step was a bold and decisive one. He had previously taken a very active interest in the work of the Tahitian, or Society Island Mission, and was an accredited agent of the London Missionary Society, which had founded it. But he had experienced great difficulty, and much tedious delay, in communicating with the Tahitian missionaries, and finding now that he could not charter a vessel for New Zealand except at an enormous cost, he resolved to obtain at his own risk, feeling confident of the support of the Societies he repre-sented, a vessel to be used mainly for missionary pur-poses, though for trading with the natives at the same time. He accordingly purchased the brig Active of 110 tons burden, perhaps the first missionary ship that ever floated on the waters. On board this vessel he sent Hall and Kendall to the Bay of Islands, to re-open communication with Ruatara, and to ascertain whether the time was ripe for the commencement of the mission. It was his earnest desire to accompany [10/11] them, but the Governor of New South Wales, General Macquarie, who had authority over him as a Govern-ment chaplain, would not suffer him to make the venture at that time, but promised that, if the recon-noitring party should return safely and bring a good report, he would then give him leave to accompany the settlers and their families, and see them fairly es-tablished at the Bay of Islands. The party was well received, as Marsden felt confident they would be, and on their return to Sydney several chiefs came with them. Amongst these were Ruatara and his uncle, Hongi, a chief who had already gained a name among his countrymen for valour, and was destined ere long to become the most powerful man in New Zealand, and to acquire an evil fame for deeds of rapine and bloodshed. Writing in September, 1814, to the Sec-retary of the C.M.S., Marsden says:--"I am happy to inform you that the brig Active returned safe from New Zealand on the 21st August, after fully accom-plishing the object of her voyage. My wish was to open a friendly intercourse between the natives of that island and the missionaries, previous to their final settlement among them." We must not omit to mention that that true patriot and most remarkable man, Ruatara, in the interval between his return from England and the first trip of the Active to New Zealand, although during a portion of the time he had suffered a repetition of his former hardships, and had endured much from the perfidy of another whaling captain, had succeeded in introducing the cultivation of wheat at the Bay of Islands. He was, in fact, the Triptolemus of Maori-land. But, when he had grown his [11/12] wheat, he was sore distressed for the means of grind-ing it, when, to his great joy, the Active brought him from Mr. Marsden the welcome present of a steel hand-mill.
But to resume the thread of our narrative. That prince of missionaries, greatly encouraged by the suc-cess of the pioneer-trip of the Active, and having now obtained the Governor's full consent to his going, on the 19th November (that is, within two months of the vessel's return to Sydney) embarked on board her to pay his first, the first of seven visits, to the land he so ardently longed to evangelise. The inexorable limits of space forbid us to indulge the strong temptation to enlarge on the subject of this visit; but it must suffice to say, that he took with him the three lay-mission-aries, Kendall, Hall, and King, with their wives and children, an adventurous friend, named Nicholas, who had volunteered to accompany him, [Footnote: This gentleman, on his return to England, published a "Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand" in two volumes. (Black, 1817.)] and eight Maories, [Footnote: The word Maori means simply "native."] including Ruatara, Hongi, and another chief, named Korokoro; that they sighted land on the 15th December; and that, a few days later, he landed at a spot near the harbour of Whangaroa, the very scene of the massacre of the Boyd, some five years before, and where some shattered remains of that ill-fated ship still lay; and that they were received by the natives, amongst whom was one of the principal actors in the tragedy, in such a manner as to dispel all apprehension. For the fame of Samuel Marsden, the friend of New Zealanders, [12/13] had gone before him, and was his best introduction; he had also prudently availed himself of the advantage of coming in company with men of distinction among their countrymen.
His first effort, and its complete success, were happy omens for the future. He was aware that for a long time past, a terrible blood-feud, which had had its origin in the massacre of the Boyd, had been raging between the Whangaroans and the inhabitants of the Bay of Islands, and he was resolved at all risks, if it were possible, to restore peace. This was his reason for landing first at Whangaroa, before proceeding to the Bay. It was necessary also for securing the safety of the missionaries he was to leave behind him, that he should conciliate the good-will of these people; for at present they were the deadly enemies of the chiefs to whom he looked as the protectors of the mission. He first won their confidence by showing confidence in them, boldly going unarmed from the landing-place, accompanied by four Englishmen and three natives, and climbing the hill where the Whangaroans were assembled, fully armed. He even ventured to pass the night among them, sleeping on the bare ground. But, before they lay down to rest, he briefly explained to them through an interpreter the object for which he had brought missionaries to live among them. [Footnote: The following is an extract front Mr. Marsden own narrative:--"The night was clear, the stars shone bright, the sea before us was smooth; around were the warriors' spears stuck upright in the ground, and groups of natives lying in all directions, like a flock of sheep, upon the grass; for there were tents nor huts to cover them. I viewed our present situation with feelings I cannot describe; surrounded by canni-bals who had massacred and devoured our countrymen. I wondered much at the mysteries of Providence, and how these things could be. I did not sleep much; my mind was occupied by the strange circumstances in which we were, and the new and strange ideas the scene naturally awakened."] The next morning [13/14] he invited the Whangaroan chiefs to breakfast with him on board the Active, and they showed in their turn that they reciprocated his confidence by accepting his invitation. After breakfast, with the assistance of Ruatara, he distributed presents among them; then he formally introduced the missionaries; and finally; he besought them to give up their feud, and live in peace with their neighbours. To his intense satis-faction and joy, they promised to protect the mission, and to abstain in future from injuring European traders; lastly, they shook hands with Hongi and Ruatara and others of their party, and sealed their reconciliation in the national fashion by rubbing noses with them.
But memorable above all things was the event which followed very shortly after--the first service of worship offered in this fair land among this heathen people to the God of Love through His Incarnate Son. And the time was specially propitious: their first Sunday in New Zealand fell on Christmas Day. Leaving Whangaroa, they had reached the Bay of Islands on the 22nd December, and anchored off Rangihoua, Ruatara's village. This was the spot which had been chosen for the residence of the mis-sionaries, and here the whole party was received with the utmost cordiality; voices of welcome, and [14/15] promises of protection and help abounded on every side. Although even at this time Ruatara cannot be said to have been a Christian, one point had strongly impressed itself on his mind--the importance of in-troducing among his countrymen that which he him-self had been most impressed with, when he was in England--the observance of the Lord's Day, the Ra Tapu, or Holy Day. His mind had long been bent on what he himself termed "making a Sabbath": on that Christmas Eve, accordingly, he was exceed-ingly busy. Enclosing about half an acre of land with a rough fence, he erected a reading-desk and pulpit in the centre, and covered the erection with some black cloth he had brought from Sydney for the purpose. He also arranged some old canoes on each side of the pulpit, as seats for the English; the native portion of the congregation was to sit, accord-ing to custom, on the ground. All these preparations he made of his own accord and out of his own head, and in the evening joyfully informed Mr. Marsden that all things were ready for the service of the morrow. On that Christmas morning, what was the delight of that good man to see from the deck of the Active the English colours flying from a flagstaff erected by Ruatara! It might well seem to him the emblem of the dawn of religion and civilisation on that people who had so long sat in darkness. About ten o'clock he prepared to go ashore to preach for the first time in this land the glad tidings of the Gospel; and such was his confidence in the people, that he ordered all on board to go ashore with him to attend the service, with the exception of the master [15/16] and one man. This memorable event cannot be better described than in his own words, taken from his journal written at the time:--"When we landed," he says, "we found Korokoro, Ruatara, and Hongi dressed in regimentals which Governor Macquarie had given them, with their men drawn up, ready to be marched into the enclosure to attend divine service; they had their swords by their sides, and switches in their hands. We entered the enclosure, and were placed on the seats on each side of the pulpit. Korokoro marched his men, and placed them on my right hand in the rear of the Europeans, and Ruatara placed his men on the left. The in-habitants of the town, with the women and children, and a number of other chiefs, formed a circle round the whole. A very solemn silence prevailed--the sight was truly impressive. I rose up and began the service with singing the Old Hundredth Psalm, and felt my very soul melt within me when I viewed my congregation, and considered the state they were in. After reading the service--during which the natives stood up and sat down at the signals given by Korokoro's switch, which was regulated by the move-ments of the Europeans--it being Christmas Day, I preached upon the second chapter of S. Luke's Gospel, and tenth verse, ' Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy.' The natives told Ruatara that they could not understand what I meant. He re-plied that they were not to mind that now, for they would understand by-and-by; and that he would explain my meaning as far as he could. When I had done preaching, he informed them what I had [16/17] been talking about . . . In this manner the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand; and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants till time shall be no more."
His next care was to provide dwellings and store-houses for the missionaries. He had acquired, for the consideration of twelve axes, a block of land, 200 acres in extent, from one of the chiefs of the district, and this was transferred to the C.M.S., by a deed of conveyance of a simple and straightforward character, "signed" (in the words of the Society's Report for 1816) "in a manner quite original--the chief having copied, as his sign-manual, the lines tattooed upon his own face." A few primitive erections, each consisting of a framework of wood, interwoven with flags of raupo, or native bulrush, formed the mission station of Rangihoua. Mr. Kendall, it should be mentioned, before leaving Sydney, had been gazetted as Resident Magistrate at the Bay of Islands. Mr. Marsden's stay in New Zealand was strictly limited by the orders of Governor Macquarie, but it need scarcely be said that he made the very most of the brief time at his disposal. He had been formally requested by the Government of New South Wales to explore, so far as time would permit, the state of New Zealand, and report the same to the Governor, "with a view to ascertain the expediency of forming there a permanent establishment." [Footnote: No doubt a convict establishment was intended-a curse from which the land was, by God's mercy, happily defended.] In pursuance of these [17/18] instructions he explored in the Active the east-coast of the North Island from the Cavalles Islands to the River Thames, again showing his confidence in the natives by taking on board no less than twenty-eight of their number, all well armed, to defend him against possible attacks from natives to whom he was not known. But he found there was no need of any such precaution; for they were everywhere hospi-table, and appeared pleased at the prospect of having Europeans to settle amongst them. From the Thames he returned to the Bay of Islands, where he continued for more than six weeks, exploring the adjacent country in every direction.
One melancholy event cast a gloom over the close of this otherwise most prosperous visit. Ruatara---the intelligent and patriotic, the brave and long-suffering, the unwearied benefactor of his countrymen--was taken suddenly and seriously ill; and when Mr. Marsden heard of it, and hastened to visit him, he was not allowed for some days to come near him, owing to the absurd superstition which, on the plea of sanctity, condemned the person of a chief to cruel isolation and neglect. [Footnote: For some of the effects of the tapu, see the last chapter of Part I.] When at length, by dint partly of entreaties and partly of threats, he succeeded in gaining access to him, the poor fellow appeared sadly distracted, and at a loss what to do, or which way to turn. Faint gleams of light had reached his heart, and was eager for instruction; he asked Mr. Marsden to pray for him; but the [18/19] native tohunga, or priest, beset him day and night, and in his mortal weakness he was unable to throw off the influences which surrounded him. Mr. Marsden had no choice but to leave him in this state, and to set sail, and four days after his depar-ture, on the 3rd March, 1815, poor Ruatara died, being, in Mr. Marsden's judgment, not more than twenty-eight years of age. On the following day, to complete the tragedy, his wife, Rahu, inconsolable for her loss, put an end to her life by hanging herself.
Strange as this dispensation may appear, there seem to be some grounds for applying to this truly remarkable man the saying, Felix opportunitate mortis. To the very last his mind was full of schemes for the ad-vancement of his people. "On my arrival with him at New Zealand with the settlers," writes Mr. Marsden, in a letter to the Secretary of the C.M.S., dated Oct. 18th, 1815, "he appeared to have accomplished the grand object of all his toils He told me, with much triumph and joy, I have now introduced the cultivation of wheat into New Zealand. New Zealand will become a great country. In two years more I shall be able to export wheat to Port Jackson, to exchange for hoes, axes, spades, tea, sugar, &c. Under this impression he made arrangements with this people for building a new town with regular streets, after the European mode, on a beautiful situa-tion, which commanded a view of the mouth of the harbour and the adjacent country. I accompanied him to the spot. We examined the ground fixed on for the town, and the situation where the church was to [19/20] stand. The streets were to have been all marked out before the Active sailed for Port Jackson. At the very time when these arrangements were to have been executed, he was stretched on his dying bed." [Footnote: Strange to say, he died on a hill at Te Puna (the Spring), the very site of the proposed town, having been conveyed thither on a bier, the day before his death, in accordance with a superstitious notion that, if a man were suffered to die in one of their villages, the Atua would be angry, and some heavy calamity would befall them.] Yet, after all, in spite of this apparent enlightenment, Ruatara clung with a strange tenacity to his old heathen superstitions; and not only so, but, difficult as it may be to believe, after reading the foregoing narrative, he had actually conceived a deep-seated prejudice against the missionary establishment. Mr. Marsden, from whom he had striven hard to conceal this feeling, struck by the unwonted gloominess of his manner on the voyage from Sydney, pressed him to reveal the cause, and at length discovered that some person, whose name nothing would induce him to men-tion, had poisoned his mind against the mission. "These prejudices," says Mr. Marsden, writing to the Secre-tary of the C.M.S., "originated at Port Jackson, just before I sailed with him to New Zealand, from some person or persons, with the most dark and diabolical design, telling Ruatara not to trust us, as our only object was to deprive the New Zealanders of their country; and that as soon as we had got a footing there, we should pour into New Zealand an armed force, and take the country to ourselves. To make the impression the deeper, they called his attention to the [20/21] miserable state of the natives of New South Wales--wandering naked about our streets--deprived by the English of their country--and reduced by us to their present wretchedness! This suggestion darted into his mind like a poisoned arrow, destroyed his confi-dence in Europeans, and alarmed his fears and jealousy for the safety of his country, for which he had the most unbounded love."
With such thoughts as these working in his mind, it is impossible to say what Ruatara's after-course might have been, had his life been prolonged. There seems no doubt that his personal advancement also in Christian faith and knowledge was hindered by the same cause. On his deathbed, however, he enjoined his wife to admonish the chiefs and people of Te Puna to be kind to the settlers when he was gone, and directed that his infant son should be sent to Mr. Marsden to be brought up in the Orphan School at Sydney. On the whole the predominant feeling of those who read this pathetic tale will be in agreement, we doubt not, with that of Mr. Marsden, who takes much pains to clear the reputation of his friend, and expresses a sad regret that any sort of "cloud" should be "cast over the character of a very great and extraordinary man, whose memory," he says, "will long be precious to those who knew him."