WE now approach the climax of the missionary period. The plant which had been rooted with so much difficulty, nursed with so much care, watered with so many tears of disappointment, was now to break into sudden and wonderful bloom.
The check caused by the Rotorua-Thames (or "bonnet") war was but of short duration. Long before its close, Chapman was back at Rotorua, with Morgan as his colleague. They built a new station on the island in the lake (Mokoia), and here their families and their wardrobes were in peace. Before long every village round the lake had its raupo chapel; and Chapman himself pressed on southward to Lake Taupo, where the effects of his labours will meet us later on.
In the same year (1838) Brown and Wilson re-occupied Tauranga, which soon became a particularly powerful centre. Not only were the catechetical classes large and enthusiastic, but the native teachers itinerated through the villages of the district, and a party of fifteen set off on a missionary tour to Taupo and Cook Strait. The history of this bold undertaking is hard to discover, but local traditions seem to show that these dimly-remembered pioneers must have descended the Wanganui River, and that at least one must have penetrated as far south as Otaki.
From Tauranga also an occasional visit was paid to Matamata, which was not again to become the residence of a white missionary. But it had Tamihana Waharoa with his model pa, and its graveyard contained the grave of Tarore, "who, being dead, yet spake." Her father, Ngakuku, did not indulge in useless grief, but in 1839 accompanied Wilson from Tauranga along the Bay of Plenty to Opotiki near its eastern end, and there they founded a station amid a people more savage than any yet encountered. Yet even these accepted the new teaching with eagerness. A curious evidence of this was given by a deputation which came one day to Opotiki from a village 30 miles in the interior. The object of these strangers was not blankets or powder, but simply to ask the white man whether the words of the burial service might be read over the unbaptised!
Outside the region of the "bonnet" war, changes also were in progress. The tribes were moving toward the coast, and their teachers found it wise to follow. The Puriri station was for this reason broken up, and two new ones established on the Hauraki Gulf--Fairburn settling at Maraetai, and Preece near the mouth of the Thames. Hamlin, too, abandoned his post at Mangapouri, and sailed down the Waikato to its mouth. Proceeding northwards to the Manukau Harbour, he found there the Rev. R. Maunsell already established. They worked together for three years; then Maunsell, leaving Hamlin at Manukau, opened a new station at Waikato Heads. Maunsell was a Dublin graduate of great eloquence and strong personality. He soon acquired a commanding influence over the people of his district, and an examination held by him in 1839 rivalled those of the Bay of Islands ten years before. Fifteen hundred people were present at this gathering. A class of 450 were examined in the Catechism in the open air, while 300 more advanced scholars inside the schoolhouse displayed their proficiency in varied subjects, some of them repeating correctly whole chapters out of the Epistles. At the close came a baptismal service, when 100 Maoris were received into the fold of Christ's Church; and afterwards a celebration of the Holy Communion, when more than that number participated. The service was followed by a feast, at which whole pigs were deftly carved and carefully apportioned, with their share of corn and kumeras, to each tribe: "In a few moments the whole vanished as if by magic. All was animation and cheerfulness, and even those who had come four and five days' distance seemed to forget their fatigue in the general excitement."
While the mission was thus spreading through the island in cheering fashion, the older stations at the Bay were privileged to receive an episcopal visit. The able and devoted Dr. Broughton had lately (1836) been appointed Bishop of Australia, and had been requested by the C.M.S. to extend his pastoral care, as far as possible, to the islands of New Zealand. The mention of such a visit calls up imaginative pictures of its probable course. Would there not have been intense expectation and busy preparations beforehand? The Maoris would doubtless welcome their august visitor with characteristic heartiness, and would come forward in hundreds, if not in thousands, to receive the gift of Confirmation at his hands. His journeys from one station to another would be like a triumphal progress; there would have been feastings, gifts, and rejoicings everywhere.
The actual facts were just the reverse. No one knew beforehand of his lordship's intention. He arrived unexpectedly on Dec. 21, 1838, and at a time when any sort of public welcome was well-nigh impossible. A violent epidemic of influenza had just spread through the settlements, and hardly a person was unaffected. Everyone was ill and weak. It was not without a certain appropriateness that the first distinctively episcopal acts performed upon our soil were those of the consecration of burial-grounds at Paihia and at Kororareka. The bishop went inland to Waimate, but the missionary in charge (R. Davis) could hardly, for weakness, show his visitor round the village. To judge by his journals, his thoughts were more taken up with his dying Maoris than with the living prelate. At the confirmation held when the bishop returned to Paihia (Jan. 5), only 44 Maoris were able to be presented, besides 20 white people--mostly missionaries' children. At the Hauraki station the bishop found a mere hand ful able to receive the laying-on of hands. Owing to the shortness of his visit and to the difficulty of communication, he was unable to visit more than these three stations; and he had left for Norfolk Island before many of the missionaries knew of his arrival.
It must not be supposed, however, that this visit was in vain. The leaders of the mission had long felt their isolation from the rest of the world, and the new difficulties which the growth of a European population in the Bay was beginning to bring forth. They received much encouragement from the good bishop's counsel, and were placed in a better position for dealing with the white men. The sick were cheered by his sympathetic ministrations, and all classes united in expressing the farewell hope that he would not forget them but would soon visit them again.
This hope was destined not to be realised; but the bishop left behind him a permanent addition to the mission staff in the person of a young Oxford undergraduate, who had been driven by delicate health to leave England and to undertake the long sea voyage to Australia. The bishop had admitted him to the diaconate in Sydney, and now at Paihia ordained him to the priesthood. Octavius Hadfield was still in a state of extreme delicacy, but he resolved to dedicate whatever might remain to him of life and strength to the service of Christ among the Maoris.
Neither bishop nor priest, however, nor yet catechist nor settler, was to be the most signal agent in the extension of the work during these wonderful "years of the right hand of the Most Highest." Their labours were indeed richly blest, as the preceding pages have sufficiently shown. But the humbler instruments whose work has now to be recorded stand out in bolder relief, owing to the amazing contrast between the insignificance of the means and the magnitude of the results achieved.
The east side of New Zealand was brought into contact with the mission through the prevailing winds which blow from that quarter. In the year 1833 there arrived in the Bay of Islands a ship which, while lying becalmed off the East Cape, had received on board a party of some dozen Maoris from the shore. Before they could be landed, the wind had sprung up, and thus they were carried into the territory of their enemies, who immediately proceeded to allot them as slaves. But the wind was not an altogether unkind one, for it had brought them within reach of Christian influences. The missionaries rescued the men and sent them eastwards again. Before they could land, however, they were again blown away by a sudden gale, and once more found themselves at the Bay. Here they were kept at Paihia for the winter, and in the summer of 1834 were at last successfully restored to their friends. They were accompanied on this occasion by Mr. William Williams, who found a warm welcome among the kinsfolk of the returned refugees. He even marked out a spot in the Waiapu valley for a future mission station. Nothing more, however, was done for some years; the incident, though deeply interesting, was well-nigh forgotten, and "it was hardly thought that any good results would follow."
Neither might any good results have followed had the matter lain with the twelve men who had passed through the adventures just described. Of course, they spread a favourable report of their kind rescuers, and this was not to be despised. But there was not a sufficiently definite Christianity among them to qualify them to be teachers of their people. The nine days' wonder of their deliverance would soon have given place to the all-engrossing thoughts of war and vengeance.
But they did not come back alone. With them came some slaves who had been carried to the Bay in earlier days by one of Hongi's raiding parties, and had now been set free by their Christian masters. One of these, Taumatakura, had attended school at Wai-mate, and though he had shown little interest in religion, he had at least learned to read. This man, on finding himself now among a people who were hungering for knowledge, began to teach and to preach. He wrote out verses and hymns on strips of paper, and these were cherished by his tribesmen with a superstitious veneration. His reputation increased to such a degree that when a military expedition was set on foot he was asked to accompany it. The armament was a great one, for it consisted of all the warriors for 100 miles down the coast, and it was strengthened by the alliance of the tribes of the Bay of Plenty. The object of the expedition was the capture of a strong pa near Cape Runaway--the promontory which juts northwards into the ocean above East Cape. Taumatakura was by this time sufficiently confident to be able to make conditions. He stipulated that there must be no cannibalism nor any unnecessary destruction of canoes and food. His conditions were accepted, and the advance was begun. In the final assault upon the pa, what was the surprise of all the chiefs to see the one-time slave actually leading the attack! Fearlessly he rushed onward--gospel in one hand and musket in the other--amid a hail of bullets. Neither he nor his book was hit; and when the citadel was captured, Taumatakura was the hero of the day. Evidently his book was a charm of power: his words must be obeyed. Not only were his stipulations observed, but anything else he taught was now received with implicit deference. He did not know much, but at least he proclaimed the sanctity of the Ra-tapu or weekly day of rest.
Such was the news which reached William Williams at Waimate in the spring of 1837. "Why do you stay here," said the stranger, "while over there at Waiapu they are all ready to do what you tell them?" Early in the following year, accordingly, Messrs. W. Williams and Colenso went by sea to Hicks Bay, and walked under the cliffs along the coast for 100 miles. Wherever a valley opened they found a large and populous village; and everywhere the Sunday was observed, and there was an outcry for books and teachers. In one place, indeed, the people kept two sabbaths each week. The field was ripe unto harvest. Later in the year, Henry Williams took six native teachers to occupy the field; and finally, in 1840, his brother removed thither with his family, and settled at Turanga in Poverty Bay. His labours were strikingly successful, and soon there was a church and an overflowing congregation in every pa. Thus wonderfully and unexpectedly began what was afterwards to become the diocese of Waiapu.
More directly in the central line of advance, and certainly not less romantic in its beginnings, was the extension of the faith to the shores of Cook Strait.
Reference has already been made to the evangelising expedition from Tauranga into this country. But before it could have reached its destination, a still more humble agent had been at work, whose position, like that of Taumatakura, was that of a liberated slave, and whose story, like his, begins at the Bay of Islands.
It must have been in the year 1836, or somewhat earlier, that the little cemetery at Paihia became the receptacle of the headless body of a Maori who had been killed in a quarrel. With the body came a slave who was now left without an owner. The missionaries took him into house and school, and were pleased with his behaviour. Ripahau showed no signs, however, of becoming a Christian, and after a time asked leave to join a fighting party which was leaving the Bay for Rotorua. He seems to have become known there to Mr. Chapman, but he soon disappeared, and for two years nothing was heard of him. At last, Chapman received from him a letter asking for books. The letter came from Cook Strait, and explained that the people of that neighbourhood were eager to receive instruction. Shortly afterwards two young chiefs from the same quarter presented themselves at the Bay of Islands with a story which thrilled the hearers with wonder and gratitude.
To understand its purport it is necessary to cast a backward glance over the years since the early days of the mission, when the Ngapuhi were procuring firearms from traders and missionaries. Hongi was not the only man in those days who foresaw the power which the musket would give. Ruaparaha, the young chief of a small tribe living round the harbour of Kawhia on the West Coast, realised that his Waikato neighbours must from their geographical position acquire the precious weapons before his own tribe could do so. The outlook was desperate, and the remedy must be of an heroic nature.
Rauparaha travelled down the coast to Kapiti, and there saw a European whaling-ship. Here then was another spot to which the white men resorted, and from which the coveted firearms could be obtained. The Maori at once made up his mind to remove his whole tribe thither, and thus place them in as good a situation as that of the Ngapuhi at the Bay of Islands. How the migration was effected--with what blending of statecraft, heroism, treachery, and cruelty--is a subject which does not come within the purview of a history of the Church. Suffice it to say that, at the date to which our narrative has now arrived, Rauparaha was securely settled in the island fastness of Kapiti, while his Ngatitoas had their habitations on the mainland opposite. They had ravaged the south of the island, as the Ngapuhi under Hongi had devastated the north; and Rauparaha was the most powerful and influential personage in New Zealand, except--Henry Williams. And now the two powers had met, for the young men who had arrived at Paihia were none other than the son and the nephew of Rauparaha, and the cause of their coming was due to the forgotten slave Ripahau himself.
This seemingly insignificant person had reached Otaki in the new territory of the Ngatitoas some three years before. There he had met with Rauparaha's son, Tamihana, a young man who was sick at heart of his father's violent ways. Fascinated by the slave's story of the peaceful life of the missionaries at the Bay of Islands, he had compelled him to teach his friends and himself to read. Ripahau had but a Prayer Book with him, and it was hard to teach a class from one book. But he remembered that a few more books had been brought from Rotorua by the party with whom he travelled. These he procured, and among them there was a much-damaged copy of the Gospel of St. Luke. This bore the name of Nga-kuku, and was in fact the very copy upon which little Tarore was sleeping when she was murdered in the night! In order to study in quiet, Tamihana and his cousin Te Whiwhi took Ripahau to the island and made him teach them there. The two cousins had Tarore's gospel for their lesson book. "We learnt," they said, "every day, every night. We sat at night in the hut, all round the fire in the middle. Whiwhi had part of the book, and I part. Sometimes we went to sleep upon the book, then woke up and read again. After we had been there six months, we could read a little, very slowly."
But they had learned something even better than the art of reading. They had learned--and learned with the spirit--the subject-matter of the book. They now took Ripahau with them to some villages on the mainland to teach the people about the book: "These people believed, and they all wanted the book. I told them I could not give them any part of it, but I told Ripahau to write for them on paper, Our Father, &c. He wrote it for them all, and they learnt it. Before, Ripahau had not believed, but now his heart began to grow. We talked to him, and he believed."
The result of this marvellous conversion was the visit of the two cousins to the Bay of Islands. They asked for a white teacher to come and live among them. The call was an urgent one, and Henry Williams volunteered to go himself. But his brethren and converts, fearing the removal of his great influence, voted against the proposal, and there was no other volunteer. The chiefs retired to their cabin in utter despair: "Oh! dark, very dark, our hearts were." A fortnight they stayed in their cabin, when a sailor announced that the missionary's boat was approaching. Henry Williams called out from it, "Friends, do not be angry with me any more; here is your missionary." It was the slight and consumptive Hadfield. This young recruit had not been able to understand the language of the visitors, but after they had gone he asked the purport of their errand. "I will go with them," he exclaimed; "as well die there as here." The older men were loth to let him make the venture, but he would not be kept back. It was at length resolved that Henry Williams should accompany him to the south, and help him to settle among the Ngatitoas. "We were all very happy that day," wrote Tamihana; "our hearts cried, we were very happy!"
This southward journey of Williams and Hadfield, which began on October 2ist, 1839, was ke that to the Thames six years before, in that it inaugurated a great step forward in the work of the mission, and led the missionaries into regions which they had only dimly known before. Yet its fateful significance, both for New Zealand and for the individual travellers, could hardly be even guessed at the time by the two men themselves. To the one it was to bring life; to the other, troubles almost worse than death.
After ten days' voyage down the eastern coast, the schooner which conveyed Henry Williams, Hadfield, and their Maori retinue rounded Cape Palliser; but, meeting there the full force of the west wind through the straits, was unable to make direct for Kapiti, and took shelter in a harbour which opened out on their starboard bow. "Very different from what is represented in the map of Captain Cook," remarked Williams, thus showing how little had hitherto been known about this magnificent inlet of Port Nicholson. But once inside its capacious recesses, he found that others had just discovered its value before him. Two Wes-leyan missionaries had been there during the year, and had left a native teacher behind them; while a still more important visitor had arrived even more lately in the person of Colonel Wakefield, advance agent for the New Zealand Company, whose emigrant ships were every day expected.
Much to Williams' displeasure he learned that Wakefield was claiming possession of the shores of the harbour--thus leaving to the Maori inhabitants no place of their own for the future. This information came from one of his old Paihia boys, Reihana, who had secured a passage with the Wesleyan expedition, and was now engaged in teaching his own fellow tribesmen. Reihana complained that he with others had opposed the sale of their lands, but that the Europeans would take no account of their rights, and insisted on having the whole.
Henry Williams was not opposed to colonisation if rightly undertaken, but his blood began to boil at this story; nor did he feel happier when he found that a savage quarrel had arisen between two parties of Maoris over some of the land in question, and that during the last fortnight many men had been killed. No protest could be made at the moment, as Wake-field had left for the north; but, finding Reihana anxious to leave a place where his property was thus in jeopardy, Williams bought of him the land for a mission station. The Society at Home, however, decided not to form a station in the place, and the section (which comprised about 60 acres of what is now the heart of Wellington) remained in Williams' hands. The Maoris would never allow it to be pegged out by the Company's surveyors until Henry Williams himself, on his next visit, presented all but one acre to the Company in consideration of their undertaking to make reserves for the benefit of the natives. The one acre he afterwards sold, and devoted the proceeds to the endowment of a church at Pakaraka. This is the real history of a transaction which, by frequent misrepresentation, has brought undeserved obloquy upon a generous man.
After distributing Prayer Books amongst the pas around the harbour, the travellers made another attempt to continue their voyage. Again they were blown back to the Port, and eventually decided to walk to their destination overland, leaving the schooner to follow when the wind should change. Hadfield was extremely unwell, but pluckily resolved to follow his chief, and together they set off on the morning of Nov. 14 over the steep hills upon which the suburbs of Wellington now stand.
Four days of hard walking brought them to Wai-kanae. At many places on the road the people came out to give them welcome, for the name of Wiremu was familiar to all. At every place, too, he was urged to tell them about religion, and at the pa of Waikanae the people "kept me in conversation till I could talk no more."
Next day a ceremonious visit was paid to Rauparaha in his island fortress: "The old man told me that now he had seen my eyes and heard my words, he would lay aside his evil ways and turn to the Book." How far this change was sincere may be doubted; it seems to have been partly caused by his fear of Col. Wakefield's ship, which was mistaken for a man-of-war. At any rate the old warrior gave a warm welcome to the young missionary, Hadfield, and insisted that he should live at Otaki under his protection.
A meeting of a different character was that between Williams and his old scholar, Ripahau. This man had married a daughter of Rangitaake, or Wiremu Kingi, head chief of Waikanae, and had become a person of great influence in the tribe. "He has taught many to read," writes Williams, "and has instructed numbers, as far as he is able, in the truths of the Gospel; so that many tribes, for some distance around, call themselves Believers, keep the Lord's Day, assemble for worship, and use the Liturgy of the Church of England. The schools also are numerous." A fortnight later, just as he was about to leave the district, Williams baptised this remarkable young teacher by the appropriate name of Joseph, for of him too it might be said:
But he had sent a man before them, Even Joseph, who was sold to be a bond-servant, That he might inform his princes after his will And teach his senators wisdom.
Unfortunately the princes, or chiefs, had not all learned wisdom. There had been a war between Rau-paraha's people and those of Waikanae over the distribution of the goods given by Wakefield for the land at Port Nicholson. When Williams arrived at Waikanae the traces of carnage lay all around. Again, therefore, he was called to be a peace-maker. He spent a week on a mission to Otaki, and returned to Waikanae with 300 armed and feathered warriors at his heels. But these men had put into his hands full power to treat with the enemy. After much debate, Ripahau was similarly commissioned by the other side; peace was soon concluded; a war-dance gave relief to the excited feelings of the tribesmen; a service occupied the evening; and the day was concluded with a quiet meeting, in which the few native teachers of the district were prepared to receive the Holy Communion, which was to be administered for the first time in those regions on the Sunday morning which was now approaching.
Early on that day the Maoris came round the missionaries' tent and began their Matins worship. Ripahau had taught them hymns, and to these they had themselves fitted "very agreeable" tunes. At 8 o'clock a great service was held, with a congregation of 1,200 people. Then followed the Holy Eucharist. School and evening service and conversation with anxious enquirers at the tent door kept the missionary busy till late at night.
Three days later Henry Williams bade farewell to Hadfield, and started off alone on a journey such as had never yet been attempted by a white man in New Zealand. His schooner had not yet arrived, and he had determined to travel overland to the Whanganui River, and thence through the heart of the island to the Bay of Plenty. But when he reached the Rangitikei he found more peace-making work to do, for he was met by a fighting party from Taranaki who were bent on attacking the settlements which he had just left. They carried gospels as well as fire-arms, but this seemed to make them insolent instead of reasonable. Their leader was an ignorant person who, on the strength of having once been at a Wesleyan mission station, posed as a prophet and had invented a new sacrament. Williams gave this man a severe rebuke, both for his demeanour and for his heresy. So potent was the influence of "Wiremu" that, after much debate, the northern army turned homewards, and the Otaki Christians were left in peace.
On arrival at the Whanganui, great eagerness was everywhere displayed for books and teachers. In a native canoe Henry Williams ascended this noted stream, whose banks were then clothed in all their primeval beauty. Not bush-clad precipices, however, attracted his attention so much as the villages which nestled at their foot. In all of these he was astonished to find Christian worship maintained, though no white teacher had yet passed by that way. These kaingas are all vanished now, and their very names are well-nigh forgotten; but Pukehika (a few miles below Pipi-riki) afforded the traveller a memorable experience. At daybreak on Christmas Eve he records that "three bells for morning prayers were heard from different hamlets in the neighbourhood." On reading this astonishing statement, one's thoughts fly at once to King-lake's well-known experience in the Arabian desert, when on a Sunday morning he heard distinctly the bells of his village church at Marlen. But there was no illusion here. The bells were chiefly musket barrels, and they hung in actual raupo chapels built by Maori hands!
On leaving the river the expedition had before them a week's march to Taupo. For three days this meant climbing steep mountains and sliding down precipices, creeping along the trunks of fallen trees, or worming a way underneath them. On the fourth morning the travellers emerged into the open country at the foot of Mt. Ruapehu, and took their way across the pumice plateau. Their food was now nearly exhausted, and it was in a "tight-belted" condition that, on the last day but one of the old year, they saw the great lake glittering before them. Villages clustered round its shores, and in most of them there stood a chapel erected at the instance of Chapman and his Rotorua teachers. Williams enjoyed the feeling of being once more on the track of other missionaries; nor did he despise the evidences of their care which met him from time to time on his way--tea and sugar in one place and a horse in another--until he at last reached Rotorua in a somewhat exhausted condition, and was thankful to rest once more on the island, in Morgan's quiet abode.
A still more pleasant surprise awaited the dauntless traveller on his further journey to Tauranga. While pushing his way through wet bush, he suddenly met Mr. William Williams, who in the midst of his migration to the east coast had been blown into Tauranga by contrary winds. On entering the village the brothers held a meeting, at which it was resolved to send a missionary to Whan-ganui without delay, both for the sake of the earnest enquirers in that district, and to afford some companionship to Hadfield in his lonely post at Otaki. The man chosen for this duty was the Rev. J. Mason, who had lately arrived in the country. Henry Williams arrived at his home on Jan. i8th, 1840, in time to negotiate the Treaty of Waitangi, which will fall to be considered in a different connection.
Twenty-five years had elapsed since Marsden had brought the tidings of Christianity to New Zealand, and his settlers had begun in fear and trembling to lay the foundation stones of the Church in this new land. Now, there was hardly a district of the North Island into which the knowledge of the truth had not penetrated. We have watched its progress in north and east and south-west and centre. The Wesleyan missionaries were working down the west coast. Only the south-east had not been touched. Its population was small and had been greatly reduced by Rauparaha, but the readiness of the people was great, if we may judge from one of the most pathetic passages from the old Maori days. The events relate to a time a little later than that of those already described, but they must look back to the early days of Hadfield's residence at Kapiti. The speaker is an old chief who died in the Wairarapa district between Eketahuna and Pahiatua in 1850. The old man thus described to his sons his search for the new light of which he had heard:
"You well know that I have from time to time brought you much riches. I used to bring you muskets, hatchets, and blankets, but I afterwards heard of the new riches called Faith. I sought it; I went to Manawatu, a long and dangerous journey, for we were surrounded by enemies. I saw some natives who had heard of it, but they could not satisfy me. I sought further, but in vain. I then heard of a white man, called Hadfield, at Kapiti, and that with him was the spring where I could fill my empty and dry calabash. I travelled to his place; but he was gone--gone away ill. I returned to you, my children, dark-minded. Many days passed by. The snows fell, they melted, they disappeared; the tree-buds expanded; the paths of the forest were again passable to the foot of the Maori. We heard of another white man who was going over mountains, through forests and swamps, giving drink from his calabash to the poor secluded natives, to the remnants of the tribes of the mighty, of the renowned of former days, now dwelling by twos and threes among the roots of the trees of ancient forests, and among the high reeds of the brooks in the valleys. Yes, my grandchildren; your ancestors once spread over the country, as did the quail and the kiwi, but now their descendants are as the descendants of those birds, scarce, gone, dead. Yes; we heard of that white man: we heard of his going over the snowy mountains to Patea, up the East Coast, all over the rocks to Tura-kirae. I sent four of my children to Mataikona to meet him. They saw his face; you talked with him. You brought me a drop of water from his calabash. You told me he would come to this far-off spot to see me. I rejoiced; I disbelieved his coming; but I said, 'He may.' I built the chapel; we waited, expecting. You slept at nights; I did not. He came; he came forth from the long forests; he stood upon Te Hawera ground. I saw him; I shook hands with him; we rubbed noses together. Yes; I saw a missionary's face; I sat in his cloth house; I tasted his new food; I heard him talk Maori. My heart bounded within me. I listened, I ate his words. You slept at nights; I did not. I listened, and he told me about God and His Son Jesus Christ, and of peace and reconciliation, and of a Father's house beyond the stars: and now I. too, drank from his calabash, and was refreshed. He gave me a book, too, as well as words. I laid hold of the new riches for me and for you; and we have it now. My children, I am old; my hair is white, the yellow leaf is falling from the taivai tree. I am departing; the sun is sinking behind the great western hills; it will soon be night. But hear me: do you hold fast the new riches--the great riches--the true riches. We have had plenty of sin and pain and death; and we have been troubled by many--by our neighbours and relatives; but we have the true riches: hold fast the true riches that Karepa has sought for you?" How can we account for all this? Must we not say that these were indeed the "Years of the right hand of the Most High"?