Our heart's consuming pain,
At sight of ruined altars, prophets slain,
And God's own ark with blood of souls defiled!
THE armed truce which lasted from June, 1861, to May, 1863, was marked by strenuous efforts on both sides to bring about a lasting peace. To appreciate the gravity of the situation, it is necessary to remember that the European settlements were still but a fringe round the coast, while the whole of the interior of the island was occupied by the Maoris. But that race had so dwindled away during the last half-century, and the Europeans had poured in so fast during the last twenty years, that the relative numbers were now not very unequal. If the Maoris had been united, they might even yet have driven the immigrants from the land. That they were not united in any such hostile policy was due almost entirely to the influence of the missionaries. There would have been no hostility at all if just and considerate treatment had been the rule throughout.
In justification of this statement we have only to follow the action of the king-maker, Tamihana, of the old "king," Potatau, and even of his successor, Tawhiao. As long as he lived, old Potatau said Amen at the end of the prayer for the Queen. Even when many of the "king's" adherents had joined the Taranaki army, which was fighting for its life against the Imperial troops, the prayer was still offered up day by day without curtailment, though perhaps with some misgiving, that her majesty might be strengthened to "vanquish and overcome all her enemies." Sir George Grey established Mr. Gorst as magistrate and schoolmaster in the heart of the Waikato. The native authorities would allow no one to appear as a suitor in his court, but they took an interest in his school, and visited it from time to time.
But Taranaki still seethed with discontent, and murders sometimes occurred. Tamihana's position became more and more difficult. He convened a great meeting on Oct. 23, 1862, at Peria, to discuss the Waitara and other grievances. It began with solemn evensong, and on the following Sunday morning Tami-hana himself preached an eloquent sermon from the text, "Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity." In fervid language he urged the cessation of all inter-tribal quarrels, and the unification of the race under the king's flag. Bishop Selwyn was present, and in the afternoon preached from the same text on the need for a still larger unity, which should embrace both nations under the flag of the Queen. Tamihana was touched by this appeal, and made another attempt to induce Rangitaake to submit his claim to arbitration. The chief refused, and the king-maker was driven to the conviction that his power was beginning to decline. It was passing into the hands of the more violent Rewi, who longed for war with the pakeha as keenly as some of the Taranaki settlers longed for war with the Maori.
To understand the positions of the king party and of the colonists, it is necessary to form a picture of the frontier line. From Ngaruawahia, the Maori king's capital, the River Waikato flows northward till it reaches a point not much more than 40 miles from Auckland. Here it takes a sudden turn to the westward. Its previous course may be compared to the upright stem of the letter T: from this point it forms the left arm of the cross. The right arm of the T is supplied by the smaller River Mangatawhiri, which here falls into the Waikato. The cross of the T extended from the western sea almost to the Hauraki Gulf, and divided the country of the "king" from that of the white man. It was quite near enough to the capital to fill the Aucklanders with anxiety, and on one occasion, when a few turbulent spirits broke through the boundary, the settlers on the Manukau left their homes in alarm.
Sir George Grey was genuinely anxious to avoid war, but he tried to cow the Maoris by driving a military road from Auckland to a point just outside the frontier line, by depositing bridging material upon the bank of the Mangatawhiri, and by sending a war steamer up the Waikato. In the early part of 1863 he endeavoured to deal justly with the Waitara diffi-culy by holding an enquiry into Te Rangitaake's claims over the block. It was found that the chief's rights were valid, as Martin and Selwyn had all along maintained, and the governor at once resolved to give back the land unjustly seized. Unfortunately, his ministers were slow to give their consent, and the delay spoiled what would otherwise have been welcomed as an act of grace. Moreover, he himself made the error of first taking military possession of a block in South Taranaki, which the Maoris were holding as a pledge for the restitution of Waitara, and they were naturally led to distrust the governor's good faith. A party of British soldiers were ambushed and killed before the offer to give back the Waitara was proclaimed, and again the flames of war broke out. The governor ordered the Auckland army to cross the Mangatawhiri River, and the act was taken as a declaration of hostilities. "It is now a war of defence," said Tamihana; "nothing is left but to fight."
The country upon which the governor thus launched his 10,000 English troops was one which was little known to Europeans, but it certainly was not savage. The Austrian geologist, Hochstetter, who explored it four years previously, found hardly any white men except the missionaries; but he was struck with the order, the reverence, and the prosperity which were seen in every part. Rangiaohia, where the "king" had his abode, is thus described:
"Extensive wheat, maize, and potato plantings surround the place; broad carriage roads run in different directions; numerous herds of horses and cattle bear testimony to the wealthy condition of the natives; and the huts scattered over a large area are entirely concealed by fruit-trees. A separate race-course is laid out; here is a court-house, there a store; farther on a mill on a mill pond; and high above the luxuriant fruit-trees rise the tapering spires of the Catholic and Protestant churches. [The professor evidently means the Roman and Anglican churches.] I was surprised in entering the latter sanctuary at beholding a beautifully painted glass window reflecting its mellow tints in my wondering eyes."
Such was the land which was now to bear the ravages of war. Mr. Gorst and the missionaries were commanded to depart. Archdeacon and Mrs. Maunsell lingered to the last, and only escaped by walking all night through the thick bush till they reached the boundary river.
The military operations do not come within the scope of this work. Suffice it to say that the "king's" forces were soon defeated and his capital occupied. But, like "a fire in the fern," hostilities kept breaking out in unexpected places throughout the island for several years. The honours of the war were certainly not to the British army, though it showed no lack of bravery. But the ringing defiance of the "ake, ake, ake" of the hardly bestead and famishing garrison of Orakau will always remain one of the world's heroic memories; while the English soldiers, with their general, soon sickened of a war on behalf of greedy settlers against such magnificent opponents as the Maoris proved themselves to be.
While recognising, however, the gallantry of the Maoris, the world has hitherto taken little account of the high moral character of the king-movement. A conspicuous example of this quality is afforded by the career of Henare Wiremu Taratoa. Baptised and taught by Henry Williams, after whom he was named, this man had been afterwards trained at St. John's College, and had actually taken a part in the founding of the Melanesian Mission. When at length he was pronounced unfit for the sacred ministry on account of his impetuous disposition, he became a teacher in the mission school at Otaki. Here he remained until 1861, when the governor's aggressive policy determined him to cast in his lot with his threatened countrymen. Settling in Tauranga, a place which became the scene of military operations in 1864, he joined in the fighting at the Gate Pa, where the Imperial troops sustained their most severe defeat. But he had never forgotten his Christian training. On arrival at Tauranga, he set up a "school of instruction in arithmetic and christening." He then organised a system of councils, which regulated both civil and religious matters. The result was that "the people feared to do wrong, and nothing but good order prevailed." When war broke out, his rules were strikingly humane. There must be no ill-treatment of women or non-combatants; no soldier once hit must be shot a second time; if an enemy were hungry he must be fed; fighting must never begin on a Sunday (as all the British campaigns had done), but rather on a Friday, "that being the day on which Christ was crucified."
These rules were not vain ones with Taratoa and his men. Through the night after the conflict at the Gate Pa, Henare tended the English wounded, one of whom, in his dying agonies, thirsted for a drop of water. There was none in the pa, nor within three miles on the Maori side of it, but Taratoa threaded his way through the English sentries in the darkness, and returned with a calabash of water to slake his enemy's thirst. By the side of each wounded Englishman there was found in the morning some small water-vessel, placed there by the Maoris before they deserted the fort.
In spite of their success at the Gate Pa, the Maoris were soon afterwards beaten at Te Ranga (June 21), and in this battle the humane Taratoa was killed. Upon his body was found a little book of prayers which he had compiled and used. It concluded with the apostolic precept which he had obeyed at the risk of his life, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink."
Taratoa's laws of war were far from being observed by his "civilised" opponents. In sadness and shame we read of the devastation of the once smiling Rangiaohia, and of the utter destruction, there and throughout the country, of crops and houses. [I have kept out of the text all mention of the burning of women and children in a whare at this place, because one clings to the belief that it was accidental. Englishmen don't do things like that intentionally. But there can be no doubt that it made a deep impression upon the Maori mind. The English general had told them (they said) to send their women and children to Rangiaohia for safety. They did so, and then the troops, instead of attacking their men, attacked and burnt their women. The Maoris seem to have had a peculiar horror of fire. In their most savage days they always killed their enemies before they cooked them.] Hostilities were followed up by wholesale confiscation of the Maoris' lands--a measure which was to some extent the real object of the war. Maddened by defeat, by the loss of lands and homes, by hunger, and by disease which followed hunger, the Maoris were at last ready to doubt the truth of the religion which the white man had brought them.
The match was soon laid to the train. An old man in Taranaki announced that he had received the revelation of a new religion, suited to the Maori people. Like the Arabian Mohammed, Te Ua was considered to be a person of weak intellect; like Mohammed, he claimed to have received his revelation from the Angel Gabriel; like the Arabian prophet again, he put forth a mixture of Judaism and heathenism which sanctioned polygamy, and whose propagation was to be carried on by the sword. [This is generally admitted; but Bishop Williams, who had exceptional opportunities for studying Hauhauism, thinks that the element of Judaism was very slight.] A trifling success over a small English troop gave the necessary impetus to the movement, and soon bands of ardent Hauhaus (as they were called) were traversing the island, and winning over crowds of restless and dissatisfied people. By making their listeners walk round a pole, chanting a strange jargon in which a few Latin words can be recognised, they mesmerised the susceptible Maoris, and gained complete control over their minds.
The attention of the Hauhaus was turned first to the south; but, at Otaki, Hadfield's influence once more availed to save the settlement, and to block the road to Wellington. At Wanganui, Taylor's Maoris stood firm in their loyalty, and in a desperate battle on the island of Moutoa drove back the enemy at fearful loss to themselves (May 14, 1864). Some months later, however, a second attack was made on Wanganui, and the crisis brought out the magnificent heroism of another of Selwyn's old students, "John Williams" Hipango. There had been no rejection in his case, but he had studied so hard by dim candlelight that his eyesight was affected, and he was obliged with great sorrow to give up his hope of entering the ministry. At the time of the attack he occupied a responsible position among the Maoris, and now he took command of the defence. The enemy sent four men to lie in ambush and kill him, but Hipango caught them, fed them, and sent them away unhurt. The next night ten men were sent for the same purpose; they too were caught, and they too were released. "I will not," said Hipango, "be the first to shed blood." Next day, Feb. 23rd, 1865, the Hauhaus came forward in open attack. They were completely defeated, but in the hour of victory a ball struck John in the chest. He was buried at Wanganui with military honours, white men carrying their deliverer's body to the grave.
In the same month a band of the fanatics reached Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty. The mission station at this place was now under the charge of Carl Sylvius Volkner, a fair-haired, blue-eyed German, who had been ordained by Bishop Williams in 1860. He had acquired great influence over the people, and had built a church and a school; but so threatening had the aspect of things become that he had taken his young wife for safety to Auckland, as Mr. Grace had done his family from Taupo. The two missionaries returned in a schooner on the first of March to Opotiki, bringing food and medicines for the sick and starving people. Their vessel was descried just at the time when the Hauhaus were indulging in one of their wild orgiastic dances. Their leader, Kereopa, announced that their god demanded a victim. On arrival in the river the schooner was seized by the excited crowd. After several hours of anxious suspense, the missionaries were ordered on shore, where, amidst taunts and revilings, they were conducted to a small house, there to await their fate.
The hours of respite were not wanting in consolation. The cottage was not locked nor guarded; the prisoners were even able to recover their belongings; the sailors who shared the peril gave the best end of the little room to the two clergy, and joined them heartily in their evening prayers. But the Hauhaus were working themselves up in the Roman Catholic chapel to a devilish frenzy, and the noise of their shouting could be heard long after darkness had fallen. The missionaries passed a sleepless night, sustained only by the evening psalms and by one another's society.
The morning of the second of March brought no relief to their anxiety. Efforts for a ransom failed, and the captives fell back upon their unfailing refuge--the psalms for the day. These were startlingly appropriate to their situation, though hardly calculated to raise their spirits very much. But his companion could not help being struck with the calmness of Volkner's manner, and the beautiful smile upon his face. Like a more illustrious sufferer,
He nothing common did, or mean,
Upon that memorable scene.
At one o'clock the two friends prayed together for the last time. The psalms had now become terrible in their urgency:
Eating up my people as if they would eat bread.
Their feet are swift to shed blood.
Swift indeed! Before an hour had passed, a number of armed men appeared and summoned Volkner to go with them. "Let me go too," said his companion; but he was forced back with the ominous words, "Your turn will come next." The young German was marched to a spot near his church, and stripped of his coat. A willow-tree was near at hand, and he was soon stationed beneath it. He asked for his Prayer Book, which had been left in his coat pocket. When it was brought, he knelt some time in prayer. On rising, he shook hands with his murderers, and quietly said, "I am ready." With strange inconsistency his executioners continued shaking hands with him until the moment when he was hoisted up.
An outburst of demoniac savagery followed on the cutting down of the martyr's body. The head was severed from the trunk, and the blood was greedily drunk even by some of the friends of the victim. The Taranaki leader, Kereopa, forced out the eyes and swallowed them. Part of the flesh was taken far inland, where memories of its arrival have been found quite lately by Bishop Averill.
But what of the other prisoner? He was now strictly guarded, and could learn nothing about his friend, except what he gathered from a whisper which he overheard among the sentries: "Hung on the willow tree." Together with the sailors and other Europeans, he was now marched to the spot to which Volk-ner had first been led. But there was no repetition of the tragedy. There was robbing of pockets, binding of hands, and an exhibition of bullying tyranny; but the lust for blood had abated. With the cryptic utterance, "A time to bind, and a time to loose; a time to kill, and a time to make alive," the bonds were loosed from all the party, and they were bidden to stay for the night in the house of a sick settler named Hooper.
It was a night of horror. In the one small room--18ft. by 12ft.--there were crowded the sick man, four sailors, the missionary, and "six or eight natives--men, women, and children. The suffocation from so many people and from the fumes of tobacco was almost overpowering." Grace had just heard certain news of his friend's fate, and had "every reason to believe that it would be his own last night on earth." Again as he lay awake he could hear "the dancing and shouting going on in the Romish chapel, and also in the church." Again the sailors showed their humanity by sharing their coats and blankets. But there were no evening prayers now, for there was too much moving about. Even his Prayer Book had been carried off: "I could only in private commend myself and my companions to the watchful care of our Heavenly Father. Thus ended this terrible day, upon which the first blood was shed in New Zealand for the Gospel's sake."
The morrow was "a dreadful day of bitter suspense." But it brought its own consolation. The sick man had a few books, and amongst them was a Prayer Book which had been given him by Volkner. Again therefore the psalms could be read, and those for the day "appeared written for the occasion." They had taken a brighter tone:
Thou shalt show me the path of life!
Two days later the Hauhau leader, Patara, arrived and held a trial in the church. The charges were all of a political character. Volkner was denounced as a spy, because he had travelled so often between Opo-tiki and Auckland. Nothing could be brought against Grace, except the old charge of taking away the Maori's land. "Neither Mr. Volkner nor I have any land," said the missionary. The Maoris seemed by this time somewhat ashamed of their barbarity, and Grace was allowed his liberty to go about the pa. He was soon able to secure proper and Christian burial for the mangled remains of his friend, in a grave dug at the east end of the church; but beyond a daily visit to this spot he had no resource, and soon found the time hang heavily on his hands. [The grave is now "before the altar" of the new chancel, which extends further eastwards than the old one.]
When the news of the Opotiki tragedy reached Auckland, a thrill of horror passed through the city. The sad duty of breaking the news to Mrs. Volkner was undertaken by Bishop Selwyn and Bishop Patteson, who had lately arrived from Melanesia. Her answer was worthy of a matron of the primitive Church: "Then he has won the Crown!"
On the following Sunday a memorial sermon was preached at St. Mary's Church by Patteson. Read in the light of subsequent events, its words are charged with a double significance. The tone of something like envy is indeed remarkable, and the description of the martyr of the past applies equally well to the martyr of the future:
"We know," said the bishop, "and we thank God that we do know, how good he was, how simple-minded, how guileless; a man of prayer, full of faith and good works that he did--meekly following his Saviour in pureness of heart (for to him such grace was given), walking humbly with his God. We who can ill afford to spare him from among us, who dwell with loving affection upon the intercourse we so lately were permitted to have with him, thank God from our hearts that not one cloud rests upon the brightness of his example; that he has been taken from among us, we most surely trust, to dwell with Christ in paradise, and has left behind him the fragrance of a holy life. It is not for him we sorrow now. What better thing can we desire for ourselves or our friends, than that we and they shall be taken in the midst of the discharge of our duties from the many cares and sorrows of this world, if only by the grace of God we may be prepared for the life of that world which knows no cares, which feels no sorrows? Indeed, these are no conventional words. We must not seek to anticipate the season of rest. It is a blessed thing to work in the Lord's vineyard; it is cowardly and ungenerous to wish to shorten our time of service in the army of Christ. But, oh! the thought that a time will come, if our faith fail not, when we shall feel the burden of anxieties and trials and disappointments and bereavements taken away, and the continued warfare against sin all ended and for ever: the thought of this cannot surely be given us for naught! It must not make us less diligent now; it must not draw us from our appointed tasks; but it stands written as a word of consolation and encouragement for all, 'There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.' 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; they rest from their labours.' "
But there was a duty to the living as well as to the dead. What was to be done for Mr. Grace? The clergy gathered at Bishopscourt asked the question sadly and hopelessly. Even Selwyn was at a loss. At last, Wilson urged that application should be made for the help of the H.M.S. Eclipse, then in the harbour. The application was granted, and Captain Fremantle was soon taking the bishop on an errand of rescue. But where was the prisoner to be found? Report said that he had been carried off to Poverty Bay by the Hauhaus, who intended to attack Bishop Williams at Waerenga-a-hika. To Poverty Bay, accordingly, the warship was directed, and there too a critical situation was found. Patara and Kereopa, with their band of fanatics, had just arrived (though not with Mr. Grace) within a few miles of the bishop's residence. A small army of 400 Maoris was drawn up in battle array to defend the bishop, but their minds were divided, and their hearts were faint. Selwyn's exhortations had little effect, but he obtained the help of two loyal Maoris, who undertook to assist in Mr. Grace's rescue.
The Eclipse sailed back to the Bay of Plenty, and anchored outside the bar at Opotiki. It was the sixteenth day of Grace's captivity, and the Hauhaus had agreed to exchange him for a Maori prisoner who was being kept at Tauranga. His treatment lately had been not unkind, but now that the man-of-war appeared, such excitement arose in the pa that his former fears revived. However, the landing of the two messengers from Poverty Bay diverted the attention of the Maoris from their prisoner, who succeeded in getting on board the schooner's boat, and then, by lying down underneath the thwarts, passed down the river unnoticed, and gained the warship outside.
Meanwhile the position of the bishop of Waiapu and his family grew daily worse. By the beginning of April all the converts in his immediate neighbourhood had succumbed to the mesmerism of the Hauhaus, and to the effects of a great tangi which they held over the desolation of their country. Accordingly, the bishop, with his family and other members of the mission, left the station on the third of the month and took their way northwards. They soon found a temporary home in the old Paihia buildings at the Bay of Islands, and there the bishop strove to carry on his school, while helping his brother, Archdeacon Henry, in his Sunday duties. The bishop's son, Archdeacon Leonard Wiliams, remained at Poverty Bay to combat the Hauhau influence, and to shepherd the remnant of faithful Maoris.
At the end of the same month, April, 1865, the time arrived for the General Synod to decide whether the Church in New Zealand should remain united, or be divided into a northern and a southern organisation. The synod was held in Christchurch, where the centre of disaffection lay. Far removed as it was from the scene of the late troubles, the synod yet met under the shadow of Volkner's death. Bishop Williams, too, with the missionaries Clarke and Maunsell, had felt the heavy hand of war. It was no time to fight over non-essentials. Canterbury was strong in its peaceful prosperity: from the loft where the council sat the members might look down on a scene of busy labour on the foundations of a great cathedral, while another solid stone church (St. John Baptist) was rising in a neighbouring square. But its lofty pretensions to local independence could not be sustained. Archdeacon Wilson could find no seconder for his secession motion. Men of wisdom, like Bishop Patteson and Sir William Martin, made their influence felt on the side of peace. The primate maintained from the outset that Christchurch was at liberty to keep its endowments in its own hands, and its right to do so was now definitely affirmed by the synod. The constitution also was improved by some small changes in the direction desired by Canterbury churchmen.
But, on the whole, there was little change. Canterbury came down from the "cloud-cuckoo-land" in which Selwyn twitted her with dwelling. Both sides gained a better understanding of one another, and agreed to stand together on the ground of the original constitution.
Amongst the Maoris also the martyrdom of Volkner had its influence. Sickened by the brutality of men whom he had hitherto unwillingly tolerated, Tamihana came to the British general and swore allegiance to the Government. "Let the law of the queen," said he, "be the law of the king, to be a protection to us all for ever and for ever." But his patriotic heart was broken, and during the next year he fell into a rapid decline. Still holding himself somewhat aloof from the white clergy, he was upheld by the loving ministrations of his own people. As they bore him by easy stages to his place of death, they offered this prayer at every fresh removal: "Almighty God, we beseech Thee give strength to Wiremu Tamihana whilst we remove him from this place. If it please Thee, restore him again to perfect strength; if that is not Thy will, take him, we beseech Thee, to heaven." He died with his deeply studied Bible in his hand, his last words being a repetition of his old watchword--RELIGION, LOVE, and LAW.
For two or three years longer the embers of war continued to blaze up here and there. In 1867 an inter-tribal quarrel arose in the hitherto peaceful north. A few lives were lost, and a day was fixed for a pitched battle near Pakaraka--the opposing forces numbering nearly 600 men. No such muster had been seen in that region since the time of Heke's war, twenty years before. But on the morning of the battle day a message went round both the camps, which stilled the passions of the combatants: "Te Wiremu" was dead (July 16, 1867). The outbreak of strife had indeed hastened the end. Instead of fighting out their quarrel, the leaders sorrowfully made their way to take part in the old peace-maker's funeral, and when they returned they made peace with one another. Thus appropriately died this greatest of New Zealand missionaries. As a chief said at the unveiling of the monument which the Maori Church erected to his memory at Paihia: "This island was a very hard stone, and it was Archdeacon Williams who broke it."
Within a few days of Henry Williams' death, Bishop Selwyn sailed for England, to attend the first meeting of bishops at Lambeth. While in England he was offered by the prime minister the bishopric of Lichfield. Without any long delay, he sent his answer declining the proposal, and the see was offered to another. This decision reveals, as no other act could do, the magnificent heroism of the man. He had come to New Zealand twenty-five years before with youthful ambitions of building a new Jerusalem at the end of the earth. He had met with much success, but now his work seemed to be destroyed. All he could hope to do was "to sit amid the ruins of the spiritual temple which he had been allowed to build, and to trace out new foundations on which to build once more." He had begun his life with visions of restoring to the faith of Christ the regions which had been desolated by Islam: he had lived to see his own once loyal and Christian diocese swept by a propaganda compared to which even Islam is a noble creed. The task which remained to him in New Zealand was far harder than that which confronted him when he began his episcopate. Yet then, he had the buoyancy of youth, and he had offers of assistance from other youthful and sanguine spirits. Now, he was nearing the age of 60, and there were no eager volunteers to help. No Pattesons nor Whyteheads nor Abrahams had come out to him during the last decade: indeed he had found it hard to secure any new clergy at all. His own stipend had been cut down to less than half its original amount, and he could with difficulty raise any funds for his diocese. To refuse an English bishopric with its honours and emoluments, its seat in the House of Lords, its great opportunities for influencing the policy of the Church, and for playing a noble part in the eyes of the nation: surely this was a sacrifice of the rarest and highest kind. Yet, to his eternal honour, George Augustus Selwyn made this "great refusal."
The matter, however, was not to end there. At least two other clergymen refused Lichfield, and then the offer came round again to Selwyn. This time it was conveyed through the Archbishop of Canterbury, and consequently it carried more weight. Still he hesitated. Friends drew attention to the miserable stipend he was now receiving. "If I have to live on pipis and potatoes," said the bishop, "I would go back." Lastly, the Queen sent for him. Taking both his hands in hers, she said, "Dr. Selwyn, I want you to go to Lichfield." This was conclusive, and the Bishop of New Zealand was soon installed in the old palace in the Lichfield Cathedral close. He came back to New Zealand in the following year to hand over the finances of his diocese, and to preside at a last general synod, but it was as one whose work on the old ground was done. He left the country finally at the close of the synod (October 20, 1868), amidst the affectionate farewells of all classes, and so passed from the possession, though not from the memory, of the New Zealand Church.
His departure marks the close of the formative period of our history. Henry Williams had just received his call; Sir George Grey, who came almost with the bishop, and with whom he co-operated in so many ways, was to leave the country a few months later. He was the last governor who governed, as Selwyn was the last (as well as the first) Bishop of New Zealand, and the only bishop who exercised personal authority before the organisation of constitution or synod.
What manner of man he was may be gathered to some extent from the foregoing pages, though many of his good deeds have necessarily been left unrecorded. "He was no common man," writes Mr. Gisborne, "and his mind was cast in no common mould. His great characteristics were force of will, zeal, eloquence, courage, and moral heroism. His main defect was an impetuous temper, which occasionally made him dictatorial and indiscreet." To the same effect wrote Mr. Carleton, after a reference to his "lust of power": "Able, unselfish, enthusiastic, and devoted, we shall not readily meet with his like again." These testimonies are quoted as being those of politicians, and, in the case of Carleton, of a keen opponent. The church historian, whilst not ignoring the faults which the bishop, like other strong natures, possessed, may well go somewhat further than the man of the world. He is fain to recognise the nobleness of the bishop's ideals, the width of his learning, the soundness of his churchmanship, the statesmanlike grasp with which he confronted the difficulties and dangers of an unfamiliar situation. The old autocratic temper still remained, as the Church of New Zealand was yet to realise; but we may mark with reverent awe the growing humility, the increasing tolerance, the chastened piety which the stern discipline of life had wrought in this strong and impetuous character.