"Undine" Schooner, off Banks's Peninsula,
June 23, 1848.
MY DEAR MR. HAWKINS,
BEFORE I left Auckland I wrote you an explanatory letter, chiefly on the location of Clergymen and the apportionment of funds. You will not, I hope, think that I withhold from the Society any information which may be useful or necessary to your counsels; but it has never yet pleased God to allow me a single year in New Zealand in which I could consider the ecclesiastical arrangements of the country as permanent. There was a continual probability that the state of things which I might detail to you would be entirely changed before my letter could reach England. In this case it becomes very difficult to write letters which will bear being printed and sent back again to New Zealand. When they return to this country after eighteen months, they seem so unsuitable to the existing state of things, that people wonder how I could have written them. I am well aware that the Committee earnestly desire freedom and frequency of communication; and such is the debt of gratitude which I owe to the Society for all that it has done, and is doing, for New Zealand, that I will do all that I can, consistently with my own credit, to furnish from time to time a full account of the state and prospects of religion in my Diocese.
Another reason which has lately hindered me from writing, is the fear let it should be thought that we engross too large a portion of your interest and attention. After the formation of so many new Dioceses, I thought it due to them that we should not show so much anxiety as before to create a feeling in favour of this country, and so to absorb more than our proportionate share of public contributions. I cannot bear to think of our continuing to drain your resources one hour longer than the necessity of the case may require us to be dependent upon your benevolence. It seems to be a self-evident principle, that the older Dioceses should by degrees, like grown-up children, provide within themselves the means of their own religious livelihood. For this reason among others, though I have never yet been able to resign any portion of the Society's annual allowance; for we have been building at war prices, and our endowments as yet, for the same cause, have yielded no return in the Colony: yet I steadily look forward to the time, when my letters, or those of my successors, to the Society, will express only disinterested love and gratitude for past services, instead of bearing always more or less upon some question of finance. You will therefore, I hope, hold me excused if I have not lately furnished any new matter for your Colonial series, but have left the field open for my clear friends at Ceylon, and Newcastle, and the other less known but equally dear brethren, to whom the charge of the other new Colonial Dioceses has been assigned.
The voyage in which I am now engaged, and which I trust will soon, by the Divine blessing, be completed, has carried me round the English settlements, including the new settlement of Otakou, and the Chatham Islands. By following the course which I have sailed, I shall be able in some measure to give you a conspectus of the present state of the Colony of New Zealand; and it will be my object to combine with the necessary ecclesiastical information such general remarks, as may enable you to give distinct and satisfactory answers to any members of the Church of England, who may wish to emigrate to any one of our settlements.
And, first, I must remark, that they are all my own children, and I have no partiality for any one in particular. Not that the state of feeling, or the interest in religion, is the same in all; but this can cause no difference in my regard towards them, as, in the places where there is least appearance of good, there, there is the strongest motive to exertion. I hope, then, that my information may be depended upon as the opinion of an impartial judge, after six years of constant observation. And as it must be the desire of us all to relieve the mother country of its superfluous population, and to people our own fertile valleys with a godly peasantry; and as the quiet state of New Zealand now seems to open wide the door for extensive colonization, I shall not scruple to speak of secular subjects whenever they seem to fall in my way, in the hope that the godliness which we trust will mark this Colony from the first, may have the "promise of the life that now is, as well as of that winch is to come."
As Auckland is the place of my own residence,--if residence it can be. called, where I am seldom able to be stationary for more than a few months at a time--I will begin my remarks from thence. You have the map of New Zealand before you, and will be able to follow me in my description of the present position of the population of this district.
On the south shore of the deep inlet of Waitemata, and about two miles from its mouth, one of the first objects which meets the eye on entering the harbour is St. Paul's church, which was opened for Divine service on the 7th of May, 1843, and consecrated on the 17th of March, 1844. It is a brick building, in the early English style, with a tower and spire. The interior is still unfinished, from the failure of funds; and it has been discovered that many of the bricks are very unsound, so that some portions of the walls have already been much damaged by the weather. The Rev. J. F. Churton has been the appointed minister from the first opening of the church, and has parochial charge of the town of Auckland, besides the duties of Chaplain to the Forces, and to the Gaol. It has long been a subject of regret to me, that I have hitherto been unable to supply him with an assistant, as I fear that his present duties are more than he will be able to continue to perform. The congregation at St. Paul's is generally good, and the number of communicants about forty, and, I trust, steadily increasing.
On the next hill to the eastward a wooden chapel is now rising, intended chiefly for native services; and built by a subscription raised among the inhabitants of Auckland by the Rev. G. A. Kissling, who has now the charge of the natives of this neighbourhood, and of those who resort to the town from a distance. The sum of 400l. has been raised, which is sufficient to meet the estimated expense.
Beyond the native chapel, in the little bay of Taurarua, and adjoining the house of Chief Justice Martin, stands the ruined chapel of St. Stephen, built four years ago of an unsound stone which has yielded to the weather; and the building is now dismantled, and enjoys the unenviable distinction of being the first ruin in New Zealand. The churchyard is consecrated, and is still used as a private burial-ground. In it lie the mortal remains of our dear and valued friend Mrs. Dudley, who accompanied us from England, and died under our roof.
From the hill at the back of St. Stephen's chapel the view opens to the eastward over the shallow mud-flats of Hobson's Bay, to the native villages of Orakei and Okahu, with their wooden chapel built last year by contributions of the natives themselves, with assistance from the Governor and the Church Fund. It is usually crowded every Sunday, and I am most thankful to observe the improvement which is visible in the people since Mr. Kissling came to reside and minister among them. They occupy both sides of a tide creek, which terminates in the estate of St. John's College, our boundary closing them in from the sea to the main road from Auckland to the Tamaki river. In fact, we are their only neighbours, and our mutual relations have been carried on with increasing confidence and goodwill. So far are we from fearing or disliking the neighbourhood of a native village, that we should feel the loss of our friends if we were deprived of them; and this would in all probability have been our feeling still more strongly, if the natives of the Auckland district could have been placed under ministerial care at the first establishment of the Colony. But I must add, that I fear our tribe will scarcely outlive the present generation, for the number of their children is miserably small, and the deaths far outnumber the births. Still, it is a comfort to be able to minister even to a dying people, and to be able to certify that they have passed away by the will of God, and not by the neglect or violence of their civilized brethren.
Contiguous to the native boundary, and stretching from the sea to the Auckland road in a north and south line, and to the eastward as far as the waters of the Tamaki river, is the estate of St. John's College, now consisting of about 850 acres, purchased by the benefactions of many dear friends, of whom some "remain to this present, but some are fallen asleep." The position of the College is everything that we could wish, as it is accessible from the town both by land and water, and yet not so near as to be subject to continual interruptions. When we first chose the spot it seemed remote from the chief part of the population; but the establishment of the Pensioners' villages has made it the centre of a large and increasing neighbourhood. Following at our humble distance the example of the cathedrals in old time, we have established chapelries in the neighbouring hamlets, which are under the charge of the ordained members of our collegiate body. The nearest of these to Auckland is at the fork of the great road which branches off at Remuera to Manukau harbour on the south, and to the Tamaki river on the east. There, for the present, in a little unpretending chapel of wood and thatch, the Rev. T. Hutton collects a village congregation of no very considerable number, but with an encouraging prospect of increase. Following the southern branch of the road, and half-way between Remuera and the shore of Manukau, the little village of Epsom has its temporary chapel, and its appointed Collegiate Deacon, Rev. A. Purchas, to minister to its inhabitants. Two miles further on the same road, on a little plain overlooking the great estuary of Manukau, a new wooden chapel, lately built by subscription, stands in the middle of one of the Pensioners' villages, with their neat cottages around it, and is also under the charge of Mr. Purchas. This part of the Pensioners' force, I fear, has suffered from its detention in the town before the houses were ready for their reception, as the signs of good are not at present so apparent among them as in some other detachments of the same body; but the comfort of good houses, and the fertility of their garden allotments, will soon dispose them to value the important blessings, which are offered to them from the first, of ministerial counsel and the ordinances of the Church.
From this place, which bears the native name of Onehunga, the creeks of Manukau stretch eastward like the fingers of a great hand, as if feeling for the neighbouring waters of the Tamaki on the opposite side of the island. A narrow neck of less than a mile in length, and rolled into a sloping surface of smooth turf by the passage of native canoes, is the only separation between the eastern and western waters, which flow up over flats of sand and mud, to our New Zealand Isthmus of Corinth. Two miles from this, on a volcanic basin into which the Tamaki flows by a narrow channel, is the third and latest settlement of the Pensioners; but they had not gone upon the ground when I left Auckland. This will be the nearest of our chapelries, being only three miles from the College; and I hope to find a building in progress when I return.
Five miles from the College to the eastward, and on the further bank of the Tamaki, is the chief settlement of the pensioners--called by the English Howick, and by the natives Owairoa. Twelve months ago the place was a mere cattle run, when his Excellency the Governor, Major Richmond, the chief surveyor, and myself, walked over the ground, and unanimously decided upon it as a site for one of the settlements of our military colonists. Before I left home it had become a populous village, with its church spire rising on a gentle eminence, overlooking the beach to the northward and the range of the valley to the south. The long detention of this detachment on board the Minerva gave us an opportunity of counteracting the murmurs of the town by friendly intercourse with the new comers, and by communicating more favourable reports of the land to which they had come.
We showed them our own hills, not the most fertile in the district, but verdant with crops of young corn and grass, and the valley of the Tamaki, which the College overlooks, with a wide extent of corn-fields and pastures. At a rustic feast to which our schoolboys invited their children, the w-hole district poured forth its abundance to entertain them. The neighbours sent their "lordly dishes" of butter and milk by gallons; the College beehouse supplied its stores of honey; the roast beef was from our own herd: and I believe all our guests were convinced that, whatever might be said to the contrary, they had come to a "land flowing with milk and honey." A chorus of "God save the Queen," sung together by our native and English schools, dispelled, I hope, some fears of the natives; and proved that all New Zealanders are not rebels, and that the natural character of the people is not incapable of improvement.
The duty of spiritual hospitality was the next to be performed; and we set our hearts upon receiving them on their landing, with the house of God prepared for their reception. The wooden church was framed in the College-yard, and carried to the spot by the College vessels Undine and Marian, where a large body of our associates was ready to carry up the materials to the carts, which the neighbours kindly lent to convey them to the site of the church. A few days of hard work sufficed to put up the frame; and from the first landing of the body till now, I believe that there has been scarcely one Sunday in which the Rev. F. Fisher, one of our Collegiate Deacons, has not assembled his people within their own church. It is some satisfaction to know that the church was the first house completed in the village; though I must also confess with sorrow, that the canteen was the second. The antidote was but a few weeks in advance of the bane.
The following are the distances from the College to its affiliated chapels
The College to St. Thomas Tamaki 1/2 mile N.E.
The College to St. Mark's Remuera 4 miles W.
The College to St. Andrew's Epsom 5 miles SW
The College to St. Peter's Oneunga 5 miles SSW.
The College to St. James (native chapel) Okahu 3 miles NW
The College to All Saints' Owairoa 5 miles E.
The College to New Village of Pensioners (church not built) 3 miles S.
The church of St. Thomas, Tamaki, is a stone chancel, built three years ago by subscriptions, aided by grants from the Church Fund. The site was fixed without reference to the College, but it is immediately contiguous to the College estate; and Divine service has been performed in it regularly by the Rev. W. Cotton, myself, or some other member of our body, since it was opened. It is not yet consecrated, as some of the stone is of a perishable quality, and we look forward to the probability of pulling down the present building, and replacing it on a better site.
Having described the dependencies of the College, I come now to the centre. St. John's College was founded on its present site in November 1844, having been conducted previously at the Church Mission station at Waimate, near the Bay of Islands.
The buildings of the College have been constantly interrupted--at first by the failure of contractors, in the distressed state of the Colony, and lately by the high prices caused by the expensive works now in progress under the Engineer Department, and for the Pensioners' villages. We first found ourselves deserted by the stone-masons; and now it is difficult to procure carpenters, except at prices which we are unwilling to pay. We have, therefore, relinquished all building in stone; and after finishing such wooden buildings of a superior kind as were in hand, we now erect merely temporary wooden sheds of the roughest kind, for such purposes as are absolutely necessary. When the government expenditure comes to an end, we shall be able to procure assistance on more favourable terms. I cannot, therefore, say much in praise either of the beauty or congruity of the College buildings, as necessity has repeatedly obliged us to change our style, and the last change has been decidedly for the worse.
Such as they are, however, the following buildings are now in use:--A large stone building with sixteen rooms, one half of which is occupied by myself, with spare rooms for the reception of visitors. In the lower rooms the Diocesan Library is arranged for the present, but they are inconveniently crowded, as the rooms by necessity are used also as ordinary sitting-rooms. The other half of the building is occupied by Mr. Button, and the small English school--which is all that we can accommodate at present--and by Mr. Fisher and his class of lay associates. The whole are too much crowded together, and the difference of ages and orders is very unfavourable to habits of regularity and discipline. But it is our object to keep up the whole framework of the institution, however imperfectly the objects may be carried out; as the staff officers of the militia are retained, when the regiments themselves are disbanded. In Mr. Cotton's absence, and after the unforeseen loss of some of our most active Clergymen, and more particularly with the large addition to the clerical duties of our Collegiate Deacons, which has been thrown upon them by the formation of the Pensioners' villages, I must contract for the present the actual limits of our institutions; retaining and cultivating as much as possible the expansive idea, which may be spread hereafter, by God's blessing, over a much wider surface.
Next to the school-building is a large stone kitchen, at present used as our common hall; but I have resolved to build a temporary hall, as we have no space in the present room either for cleanliness or order, and there is no hope at present of a permanent building.
Passing on from the kitchen, the next building is the hospital, a substantial wooden building on a stone foundation, containing seven rooms on the ground floor, with spacious lofts over-head. A portion of the building is occupied by the Rev. A. Purchas, the Collegiate Deacon, under whose charge the hospital is placed. A portion of the expenses of the institution is covered by the weekly offertory at our chapelries, which is given with the greatest goodwill by all our congregations, who know the purposes to which their offerings are applied. In one case, the weekly offertory has been adopted by the free choice of the congregation, who agreed that it would be easier for them to lay by a small sum out of their weekly earnings, than to give a larger amount at more distant intervals. It is pleasing to see the scriptural rule and the apostolic practice resume its own lawful authority, where no vested interest in modern neglect can be pleaded as a precedent for the guidance of the Clergy. The resources of the hospital are not large, but we have reason to believe that several lives have been prolonged by the care which our medical advisers have bestowed upon them, especially during the severe epidemic with which our district was visited in May 1847. But in this, as in all the other branches of our institution, I must be content to look forward in hope to a further development hereafter. In the mean time, the opening of the government hospital at Auckland has relieved us of a large portion of the claims which we should have been unable to meet.
Adjoining the hospital is a vacant space, intended for my own house; but when it will be built is very uncertain, and at present no preparations have been made. Beyond this is the chapel, in the same style as the hospital--a wooden building on stone foundations. The interior is exceedingly pleasing, and, when filled with our Collegiate body, bears some faint resemblance to our College chapels in England. In it we assemble at seven in the morning, and eight in the evening; and I hope there is no one who has not found reason to value this daily opportunity of offering up his prayers and praises in the public congregation. Our choristers have made considerable progress under the tuition of Mr. Purchas and Mr. Ward, and the psalmody of the chapel is already considered pleasing and correct. The building and the burial-ground adjoining have been consecrated, and some of our first benefactors have been laid there, by the side of many of the poor of both races, who have died in the hospital. As we are not allowed any public burial-grounds around the churches in the towns, we are glad to be able in our own private institutions to keep up the union of the two ideas--of the living who worship God within the church, and of the dead who sleep around it till the day of resurrection. The cupidity which has stinted the churchyards in English towns, and made them the sources of pestilence, ought not to be allowed to establish a law for new countries, where it is our own fault if the most ample reserves are not made at first for the resting-place of the dead.
Beyond the chapel and burial-ground, and at the corner where the Auckland road branches off to the Isthmus on the south and to the Tamaki ferry on the north, a handsome wooden building contains the masters and scholars of the native school, which generally numbers from twenty to twenty-five, but it could be extended indefinitely if our arrangements were sufficiently complete. The Government has recently allotted considerable funds in, aid of Industrial Schools, and it will probably be in this department that we shall make the first attempt at a considerable extension. That there is no difficulty in procuring a supply of promising scholars, is proved by the fact, that I am now writing with my cabin full of native boys busy learning the Collect for the day (St. John Baptist). I have eleven in all on board: three are old scholars returning from their holidays with their friends in the south; and eight are new scholars, selected from Croixilles Harbour, Otaki, Waikanae, and the Chatham Islands. One old father and mother at Otaki are a pattern to all parents. Three years ago I selected their son out of a class of seventy on the Manawatu river; and took him with me to embark at Port Nicholson, his aged parents walking with me to see him on board, and resigning him with such a blessing as unbaptized believers can bestow. A year ago the father sent me a letter, of which the following is a literal translation;--
"O Bishop, with you be the thought, to send your child Simeon back to us, that we may see our life; and then he shall return to you to work at your joint work. Your dear Friend,--MATAKU."
This short letter disproves many assertions that have been made of the impossibility of maintaining native schools:--1, that the parents would not part with their children; 2, that the boys would always run away, and never come back; 3, that the parents would not allow the boys to work, or learn any industrious habits.
As far as my own experience has extended, I can say that I can procure from the most distant parts of the country as many boys as I can maintain and educate; that the worst often run away, but that a steady remainder of the best boys grow up under our care; and that they can be sent home for the holidays like English boys, with the same expectation of their returning in due time; and, further, that there is no honest or useful work which the boys are not willing to learn, or which the parents are not willing that they should be taught. In forming an opinion of the possibility of civilizing the whole rising generation of New Zealanders, I have never perceived any practical impediment, except the difficulty of obtaining a sufficient number of English instructors who would devote themselves with all their hearts to the work, and do for the native children what every Christian parent wishes to do for his own. But such a system must not only provide the means of education, but also instruction in the most minute details of daily life, and in every useful and industrious habit. We are apt to forget the laborious processes by which we acquired in early life the routine duties of cleanliness, order, method, and punctuality; and we often expect to find ready made in a native people, the qualities which we ourselves have learned with difficulty, and which our own countrymen rapidly lose in the unsettled and irresponsible slovenliness of colonial life. We want a large supply of Oberlins and Felix Neffs, who, having no sense of their own dignity, will think nothing below it; and who will go into the lowest and darkest corner of the native character, to see where the difficulty lies which keeps them back from being assimilated to ourselves. They have received the Gospel freely, and with an unquestioning faith: but the unfavourable tendency of native habits is every day dragging back many into the state of sin from which they seemed to have escaped. There is scarcely anything so small as not to affect the permanence of Christianity in this country. We require men who will number every hair of a native's head, as part of the work of Him who made and redeemed the world.
The last of the college buildings on this side of the road is a parochial day-school, conducted by Mrs. Selwyn and Mrs. Purchas, with the assistance of other neighbours. It is small at present, but it is intended hereafter to be a normal school, where the principles of teaching may be practically explained to our students; that the Clergy may become their own "organizing masters," uniting, we may hope, more of the spirit, with an equal knowledge of the form of education. Two important obstacles will always prevent our employing stipendiary schoolmasters for this purpose--that we have neither the men, nor the means of remunerating them. It is not a question with us, what is the best mode of constructing our system, but what plans are practicable within the limit of our resources. For this reason we dispense as much as possible with schoolmasters, parish clerks, and other subordinates of the Church, by taking their duties upon ourselves. When we have a regular succession of candidates for holy orders to fill those offices, the system will work smoothly, and the clerical body will be relieved from a portion of its present duties.
You will think that I am following the example of certain formal orators of old, who arranged their topics by the houses in the street in which they lived; but I will just take you to the other side of the public road, and then we will take our leave of St. John's College. Our secular works have their domain apart from the schools,--the barn, and dairy, and stable, and rick-yard, and carpenter's shop; all intended to catch the earliest dispositions to industry in the line to which they are naturally inclined. Without this variety of objects, I am convinced that no native institution could be conducted; for what a native requires most to be taught, is a systematic industry, which can be acquired only by long habit. Perhaps, of all the trades, printing is the best adapted to the purpose of training, morally as well as mechanically, the wayward and careless disposition of an uncivilized youth. To print at all, he must work orderly. Our printing-office, under the charge of Mr. Nihil, is situated on the college side of the road; but I mention it here in connexion with the secular branches of the institution, though it has also a moat important bearing upon the moral and religious character of the people. For this reason it will be one of the branches, the superintendent of which will be eligible to the office of a Collegiate Deacon; and I do not think that any hireling mechanic would ever be found to enter into the full spirit and importance of such a work in such a country as New Zealand. Our establishment has been greatly enlarged by the kind and liberal Resolution by which the Church Missionary Committee made over to the college the whole of their apparatus and stock; a kindness which we shall endeavour to acknowledge by a constant attention to the work in which we know them to be especially interested. At present we are engaged on their behalf in a reprint of the New Version of the Gospels, with the last corrections of the Translation Syndicate. We have a large body of printers, young at present, but skilful and willing; and if the same rate of progress be maintained for another year, our office will be fully equal to any in the country, and will be a hopeful nurseling, to grow up into a likeness of the "Clarendon" or the "Pitt." This and the hospital are considered the stations next akin to the clerical office; and though they are not in themselves any guarantee of future admission into holy orders, yet the scholars engaged in them are more under my own eye, and are more likely, as far as can be foreseen at present, to "determine in Theology than in Arts." Not that our farmers are excluded from the competition, if it should please God to incline their hearts, and show the work of His Spirit in their life and character; for I have already ordained four clergymen, not a whit below the rest in public estimation, whom I took from the duties and labours of the farm. But as we shall need a line of successors to Abraham as well as to Melchizedec, we cherish the hope, that we may promote the cause of religion in a new country no less by training up godly laymen, than by the careful selection and education of the Clergy. With this view we have a Collegiate Deacon at the head of the farm, with a lay assistant under him, of practical experience in husbandry: and by their efforts, our hills, which seemed all bleak and barren at first, are beginning to be changed into green pastures, where the college flock already finds the means of subsistence.
The peculiarity of our working system perhaps requires some explanation, as it is scarcely understood even in New Zealand; and our politer brethren at Sydney sometimes, I hear, amuse themselves innocently at our expense. But it will be granted, that a new country requires a peculiarity of system adapted to its actual state, which can be understood only by those who are personally and practically engaged in the work. It is not likely that men like Mr. Cotton and myself, brought up at the most aristocratic school in England, in the midst of amusement, luxury, and idleness, should have theorised a system which reduced us to a style and habits of life altogether different from those to which we had been accustomed; but the complicated problem of the foundation of the Church in New Zealand seemed to find no other solution than that to which we have been led by the guidance, first of Scripture, and then of Church history and of practical observation. We found a native people, whose bane was desultory work interrupted by total idleness. With them the belief was fast gaining ground, that work was incompatible with the character of a gentleman. To waste their occasional earnings, the price of their lands, on useless horses or cast-off dress coats, seemed to be the sum of their political economy. To appear in full dress at the morning service, and then to relapse into the more congenial deshabille of a blanket, was the form in which their respect was shown to the Sunday. Their houses still continued to be the herding-place of men, women, and children; where the young at one time heard sacred words, which lost their reverence, and even their meaning, from constant repetition; and, at another, were fed with all the ribaldry and scandal of the district, by the most minute and circumstantial details of other men's sins, which were publicly discussed in these common dwelling-houses. The faith of hundreds and thousands I believe to be sincere; but it is held in conjunction with habits dangerous to the stability of the adults, and destructive to the religion of the children. At the Waimate it was evident, at a glance, that the middle-aged men attended our churches and schools, but that the youths were in training for the service of Heké and Kawiti.
Nor were there wanting indications, which seemed to show, that the rising generation of the English would sink to the same level of indolence and vice with the native youth. The presence of a race presumed to be inferior to our own, will naturally lead our English boys to the same false pride and assumption of superiority, which the free native is taught by his own authority over his slaves. We are in danger of having honest labour made disreputable, by the class of servile natives who cluster round the towns, too often in a progressive state of demoralization. This, then, was the difficult problem: To raise the character of both races, by humbling them; to hinder, so far as positive institutions may avail, the growth of that shabby, mean, and worthless race of upstart gentlemen, who are ashamed to dig but not to beg, whose need never excites them to industry, and whose pride never teaches them self-respect. Such a class is a nuisance at home, but it would be intolerable in a new country.
Out of a community subject to such tendencies, it became my duty to recruit the ranks and augment the numbers of the Clergy of New Zealand. Many, who had failed in every secular undertaking, thought that they might succeed in the easier duties, as they seemed to them, of the ministry of the Church. To try everything, and fail, and then to apply to the Bishop for ordination, seemed to be thought a wise combination of worldly prudence with religious zeal, The notion was favoured, no doubt, by the opinion so current in England, that a Clergyman who is inefficient at home may do good service in a Colony; that is, that he who is unequal to the less will be equal to the greater: for the difficulties of the ministerial office are tenfold greater in a Colony than in the mother country. To fill up our stations at once with an inactive Clergy, seemed to be likely to entail a perpetual curse of inefficiency upon the New Zealand Church. My friends in England tried in vain to procure me candidates for ordination, even from the second-rate grammar-schools. My last resource, therefore--and it may prove to be the best-is in the youth now growing up in New Zealand itself, where there is scarcely a cottage without its swarm of healthy children, and a climate which neither enervates their bodies nor deadens the intellectual faculties. Why should not such a country yield as good a supply as the relaxing and exhausting climate of Hindostan? If Bishop's College, Calcutta, succeeds, why should St. John's College fail? But the difference between the two cases is this: We have no privileged or monied classes, who can buy for their children such an education as may predispose them to the ministry; we must go to all orders of colonists, and to the native people without respect of persons, and select from among their children the future candidates for Holy Orders. But can I invite a son, whether of a settler or a native, to enter the College specifically as a candidate? or can I take his parents' authority, that at the age of fourteen or fifteen he has shown the evidences of the Spirit? or can I discern myself at that early age the characters which are to be seen in the ear and not in the blade? And if I find after some years, that the early hope and promise of good has been fallacious, can I turn a youth adrift upon the world, with that most worthless and unmarketable of all talents, a mere smattering of literature? Or, in the care especially of the native youth, knowing their chief bane and danger to be indolence and self-conceit,--can I encourage the delusion, that by connecting himself with the College he will obtain an honourable distinction above his fellows, and an exemption from-all participation in their labours? Such false inducements would soon fill our classes with such proselytes as those of the Pharisees, who disengaged themselves from the duties of life under the pretence of giving their services to God.
If, then, we had not been led by conviction, we should have been driven by necessity, to adopt our present plan, of associating our young men with the College in some secular capacity, without pledges on either side as to their future course of life; but with the understanding that the Bishop's eye is over them all, and that, when their term of probation is ended, he will advise them whether it will be expedient for them to enter upon a stricter course of study, with a view to Holy Orders, or to persevere in the practice of the art which they have learned. It will be no reproach to a student if he should prefer the secular employment; nor will his parents have incurred any pecuniary obligation, as his charges at the College will have been borne, in great part, by the work of his own hands.
This complex system gives a character to our institution which strangers can scarcely understand, who have been accustomed to the academic figments of dress and ceremony, which often veil more ignorance, and idleness, and vice, than I trust we shall ever have occasion to lament. There is an open and undisguised reality about our work, which seems to be highly favourable to the discrimination of character, and therefore to the due selection of instruments: a class of demure students in black and white, with face and tone of voice and manner conformed to the standard which they believe to be expected, would be a poor exchange for a healthful and mirthful company of youths, as yet unconstrained by pledges and professions, who show their true character in every act of their lives, whether of business or amusement.
You will, I hope, excuse the length of this apology for our College system, for when a man is obliged to be singular, he owes to the world an explanation of his reasons for differing from it; without which the first and just presumption would be, that he who departs so widely from the practice of his fellow-men, as he cannot be an angel, must be a fool.
Before I take you away from the neighbourhood of Auckland, I may give you in few words my general opinion of the religious prospects of the district, and of its natural advantages. We have much to be thankful for, in the general respect for religion and the Clergy which prevails, especially in the country districts. The duties of a District Clergyman are not interrupted by an open opposition, or uncourteous treatment. In all our intercourse with the neighbourhood, I do not remember to have met with, or to have heard of, a single case in which a friendly liberty of intercourse has not been allowed between the visitor and all classes of his parishioners. So far as the attendence at the Holy Communion is a test of the religious state of the people, we have perhaps as much encouragement as it is reasonable to expect in a community so newly formed, and gathered from so many different places.
Many of the chief officers of Government give a strong and decided testimony to the value of religion, and both in public and in private life afford an example of strict morality and earnest devotion. It is a thought which has often occurred to my mind, and called forth many feelings of thankfulness and hope, that if the whole of the English laity of that class now scattered throughout New Zealand had been collected in one place, there would never have been a settlement of the English nation whose earliest years could give so fair a promise of every blessing which can flow from religious principle and the charities of social life. This impression will seem, perhaps, to some to be exaggerated; but there are few who have the same opportunities which fall to my lot, of knowing and testing by familial-intercourse all classes of settlers in every part of my Diocese. The same remark applies to all the settlements alike, insomuch that I shall lament the growth of civilization, which, by multiplying inns, will deprive me of one of the greatest pleasures of ray life--that of accepting the simple and courteous hospitality of the many excellent families whom I meet with in the course of my travels.
Often, in the period when every mail brought us fresh news of the frightful distress in Scotland and Ireland, did we wish that a few hundreds of our starving countrymen could have been placed by the side of the abundant meals which every settler, in New Zealand enjoys to his heart's content. To go into every cottage, and see Plenty written on the rosy faces of the children, and stalactites of ham and bacon hanging from the roof, it may be, of a mere mud cottage or a shed of native reeds;--to find that the crop of potatoes is so abundant, that in places where there are no soldiers or sailors, they will scarcely bear the expense of carriage to the port; or to hear of a whole cargo of native produce for which no better price is offered than three half-pence a pound for pork, and half-a-crown a bushel for wheat;--these are facts, alarming to the settler who comes to make a fortune and return, but most encouraging to those who limit their desires to the real necessaries and comforts of life, and who wish for a place where they may bring up a family too large for England, without fear of doctor, tax-gatherer, butcher, or baker. We may look forward to the day when English parishes will be able to maintain their poor in New Zealand sunshine and air, at less cost, passage money included, than now; and upon a dietary which shall bear the same proportion to the Union scale, that a pound sterling does to a pound Scotch. How I should like to change the venue of Marylebone workhouse, and, without altering the cash account, to substitute an integer for every fractional part in the daily ration of food! At this moment I scarcely know one industrious family which has not enough for its own use, and something to spare for those, if such could be found, who are in need.
Auckland is admirably fitted for the residence of a maritime nation. Almost every settler has the sea brought conveniently to his door, or at least close to him, by one or other of those long fingers of the great estuaries which almost insulate the town and its suburban district. On our College estate we have three distinct frontages to navigable waters, on a line of beach of eight miles between the two extremes. Every boy will grow up with a familiar knowledge of that element, which has protected and enriched the land of his forefathers; and, as there never was a maritime people that did not become great and powerful, in spite of the present failure of exports, and other commercial difficulties, my faith is still as strong as ever, that New Zealand will be a great country, and that it is our duty to strive, as God may give us strength, that it may be as good as it will be great.
Look at the position of Auckland, and judge whether it may not justly be called the Corinth of the south; and join with me in the prayer, that its people may be "our epistle ... known and read of all men ... manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." I confess my attachment to the place and to its people; but I shall be willing to leave it, if, in that subdivision of the Diocese which must come in due time, my Metropolitans of Canterbury and Sydney should assign one of the other settlements as my See.
COMMENCEMENT OF VOYAGE.
And now, as I have tired you of Auckland, let me carry you with me to other scenes. Suppose me, on one of the brightest of our moonlight nights, in which a small print can be read with ease, embarked on board the schooner Undine, of twenty-one tons burden, the successor of the Flying Fish; a vessel answering to the benevolent wish with which our beloved Primate, now gone to his rest, accompanied a donation of 50l.--that "she might be as peithenios [Obedient to the helm] as her predecessor. In my cabin are several English students of St. John's College going home for the holidays, and a good store of books, and, above all, of writing materials; for the sea is not altogether atrugetos to me; [Unfruitful] but, as you may see from the dates of most of my letters, here I gather in the vintage of my correspondence, and express a wine, which, with all its other defects, has not that of being "maris expers." [Without the benefit of a voyage.] The College boat has returned with some of the Deacons and students who had accompanied me to the ship; the anchor is weighed, and the sails are hoisted; and I set out with some depression of spirits, not yet removed by constant repetition of the same cause, for an absence of fifteen weeks and a voyage of 3,000 miles. We are not long in clearing the harbour, and running under its grand natural breakwater, the island Rangitoto, or "the heaven of blood;" and after many looks at the lights in the windows of the College,--which by its commanding position deserves a Pharos, as I hope it will hereafter deserve a library, like those of Alexandria,---we enter upon the first stage of our voyage, a northward course to the Bay of Islands. The date is Friday, 24th March,--a day of evil omen to seafaring men; but the Undine, in spite of her unearthly name, thinks it her duty, as the College vessel, to disregard superstition.
ISLAND OF KAWAU.
About thirty miles from Auckland is a small island named Kawau, lying close to the mainland, where a company of Scotch merchants maintain a large establishment for working a copper mine. I did not visit this island in the voyage which I am now relating; but it is a place which Mr. Churton and I have often visited before, and never without pleasure and encouragement. The population, amounting to about 200 souls, is divided between the Church of England, the Presbyterians, and the Wesleyans; but it is the custom of all parties to attend our services, and the temporary building used as a chapel is always completely filled, both morning and evening. On my first visit, arriving unexpectedly on the Sunday morning, I was much struck with a school of nearly forty children, assembling in neat dresses and in a most orderly manner, from the rough and scarcely habitable sheds in which the miners had sheltered themselves for the time. Neither the congregations nor the school appear to fall off, but a general interest in the good order and religion of the communion appears to be felt alike by the directors and the workmen. Most of the men are pledged teetotallers, and carry on their society with simple steadfastness of purpose, without that false and exaggerated tone which has made some temperance societies so distasteful to men of piety and good sense. I was happy to commend and recommend their practice, without assenting to the necessity of their pledge; for while I must feel how little I have done, or can do, towards reclaiming drunkards, I never can say a word against an orderly society like this, "lest haply I should be found even to fight against God." Some of the large stock of maps and school books which the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge supplied me with in 1841, have been well bestowed from time to time upon this interesting school.
You will not expect me to give you any account of the copper mine, as I am not in the counsels of the Company, and can only say that the ore is well reported of, and that the general management of the works is likely to promote the success of the undertaking. As usual, water is the great enemy; and while two rival companies were working on the same spot, a water war was as likely to occur at Kawau, as it was among the London Insurance Offices before the organization of the Fire Brigade. At present there is more unity of purpose, and consequently a greater prospect of success.
A favourable passage to the mouth of the Bay of Islands gave me hopes of spending the Lord's day at Kororareka, where the chapel, which the natives spared from the general conflagration, is still standing, and is regularly visited by Archdeacon II. Williams, when he is at home. But a contrary wind coming on reduced us to the less suitable and less pleasant employment of working up all day to the anchorage, which is sixteen miles distant from the heads. Kororareka is slowly recovering, and now numbers about forty houses. The flagstaff has not yet been replaced; and the top of the signal-hill, which I mounted with Captain Maxwell, of the Dido, is still in the same state in which it was in 1845; a line of burnt stumps alone remaining to mark the site of the stockades. The detachment of soldiers stationed at the Bay are posted at the Wahapee, about two miles further inland. w Thomas Walker, our faithful ally, occupies a small house on the beach of Kororareka, built for him, I believe, by the Government, and there investigates with patience and good sense the native rumours of wars and disturbances, which, like the scattered fragments of clouds, fly about long after the storm is over. There does not appear to be any probability of a renewal of war in this quarter; both parties seem to have felt that there was nothing to be gained by prolonging the contest. Heké alone is in that restless state, which seems natural to him, and may easily be mistaken for agitation; but with a man so wayward and yet so shrewd, it is not easy to form safe conjectures of his future conduct. One blessing, for which we ought to be devoutly thankful, is that Captain Fitzroy did not by rash measures force the northern tribes into a coalition against us, and that Heké did not succeed in arousing a national feeling of enmity against us in other parts of the country. Each contest has absorbed for the time nearly the whole movable force of the Colony, and this with the assistance of native allies; and at the best we fought with equal loss of life, and with balanced success. It seems as if Providence had adapted our successive Governors to the course of events for the time being. Captain Grey has made a good use of the allies whom Captain Fitzroy conciliated, and has conducted an inevitable war with spirit, and at the same time with moderation. The result is, that a far better and healthier feeling exists between the two races than at any time within my knowledge of the Colony. At first, there was an injudicious mixture of philanthropy and curiosity, which petted and pauperized the native people. The chiefs were invited to dinner, to see how the native instinct of a gentleman could enable them to conduct themselves with propriety in a new situation; they were gratified with doles of flour and sugar, and presents of clothing, till they were in danger of becoming nuisances to the community by learning to be importunate beggars. When this curiosity was satisfied, and a philanthropy which had not counted the cost was disheartened, by finding that to civilize a savage is a work of time and patience; and when the events at the Wairau, and the Land Question in general, had made a breach between the two races; then doors began to be shut in the faces of the natives, and language peculiarly offensive to them was in common use among the lower classes: and it became a frequent remark among them, which I have heard again and again, that, with the exception of the Government officers, and the Missionaries, and a few others, they were treated like slaves and pigs by the English settlers. The consequence of this growing feeling of contempt was a desire, widely spread through the English towns, to chastise the natives, who were then supposed to be incapable of resistance. It was then that "turbulent priests," if there had been any in New Zealand, might have agitated the whole country by merely encouraging their countrymen to follow the impulse of their own inclination.
PEACE PROMOTED BY THE CLERGY.
But, on the contrary, it will be found that the chief fault imputed to us in those days was an undue desire for peace. "Here comes that Bishop to prevent us from fighting the natives," is a saying which I well remember, though it will scarcely be believed at the present time, when most men are agreed in the expediency of leaving the charge of their lives and property to military proxies. That I have counselled peace, is no more than saying that I am a minister of the Gospel; and this I freely confess to have done, at a time when a general gathering of the tribes could have destroyed the Colony, and when it needed no more than that we should be silent, to agitate the native people from one end of New Zealand to the other. Often has the question been asked of us, "What is the Queen going to do? does she wish to take away our lands?" and we have steadily--and in places unvisited by Governors or officers of Government--avouched the good faith of England, and recited the authoritative declarations of successive Secretaries of State, affirming again and again the validity of the Treaty of Waitangi. If we had held our peace, without a word spoken we should have confirmed all the worst suspicions of the native people. We spoke the truth, and the result has been peace; for those who have rebelled are not one in thirty of the whole male population; and upon this ground we fearlessly assert, that only those who gainsay that truth and tamper with the faith of treaties, will be the future agitators of New Zealand.
At the Mission Station at Paihia, I took on board Mrs. H. Butt and her children, on their return from a visit to her father, the Rev. Richard Davis, the resident Missionary at Kaikohe, a village near the Waimate, and the residence of Heké. I shall not detail to you the incidents of our voyage, which was one continued series of calm and sunshine, diversified only by one gale of short duration, at the end of which the well-known Sugar Loaf Islands peeped out of the heavy mist which had settled upon the land at the foot of the great mountain of Taranaki, and invited us to drop our anchor in front of the settlement of New Plymouth.
Our voyage round the North Cape, including one day at the Bay of Islands, had occupied sixteen days, when we anchored at Taranaki, early in the morning of Sunday the 9th of April.
If I may confess a partiality, such as a father may feel for one particular child, without injustice to the rest, this is my favourite settlement in New Zealand. On the present occasion it was invested with a deeper and more solemn interest by the recent death of my dear friend and child in the ministry, the Rev. W. Bolland. I had spent a few hours at New Plymouth in August 1847, and had heard in that short time such words of unfeigned sorrow and respect from his parishioners as I could scarcely have hoped to hear from a congregation so recently formed under so young a minister. On that occasion the church was filled on a week-day evening with his bereaved people, who seemed to drink in with open hearts every word that I spoke of their departed pastor; and when I gave them hopes that a new Clergyman would speedily arrive, their joy seemed to be damped by the thought, "that they could not look to see again the like of him whom they had lost." I think I can never forget the peculiar solemnity of that evening service, when I was obliged, by fear of an approaching storm, to go at once from the church, and embark at midnight, leaving the mourning widow and the desolate congregation to lament a loss which seemed as if it could never be repaired.
The lapse of seven months to the time of my second visit in April 1848, had lightened the burden of public and private sorrow. The Rev. H. Govett, Mr. Bolland's associate in their first work as settlers on the Tamaki, seemed to be marked out as the fittest successor to his departed friend; and thus it has pleased God already, in the short space of six years, to carry down the spiritual line of succession in the New Zealand Church to the third degree.
My dear Chaplain, the Rev. T. Whytehead, looked forward with comfort to the arrival of his affianced brother-in-law Mr. Bolland, as trusting that he would be moved by his letters to fill the gap in the ministry which his own death would cause; and Mr. Bolland was not taken away till he had seen the effect of his own advice and example in inducing his companion, Mr. Govett, to relinquish every other care for that work of Christ, in which he now follows the footsteps of his friend.
My arrival on the Sunday morning was opportune, as Mr. Govettwas absent at the native villages on the coast, which Mr. Bolland was accustomed to visit once in two months. Mr. Govett keeps up the practice, having himself learned the duties of a Missionary Clergyman in his temporary occupation of Mr. Hadfield's late station at Waikanae. The duties of the parish, therefore, devolved upon me; and a great pleasure it was to spend the whole of the Lord's Day among this friendly and earnest people. The beautiful stone chapel was well filled in the morning at very short notice, and crowded at the evening service. It is indeed a refreshing sight in a new country to see such a building, with walls which seem fitted to withstand an earthquake, and a beautiful open roof of the red pine (Reinu) of the country, which when oiled and polished has a rich colour, well adapted to the interior of a church. Everything was in character and in order; the books, the seats, the communion cloth, the lamps, all directed by Mr. Holland's judgment and taste, and not procured without much effort and self-denial. The same may be said of the parishioners, who subscribed most liberally, and incurred heavy responsibility to carry out the full plan of their architect, Mr. Thatcher, and to complete a work which might express their own zeal for religion, and form an imperishable monument for ages to eome.
Besides the congregations in the parish church, I had the pleasure of assembling a small body of our people at the rustic chapel of the Henui, two miles from the church. The building is formed only of rough logs of timber, but its appearance indicates the uses to which it is applied; and, without assenting to the common approbation of cheap churches, it is a satisfaction to know that a village population to the number of seventy or eighty have been provided with a temporary chapel of pleasing appearance at an expense of 50l. The parish church will continue to uphold the other principle, of giving to God, even in the "goodly stones and timbers of His house, that honour which is due unto His name." In that "the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it," to tell to future generations, that the first Clergyman and the first settlers of Taranaki offered this worthy thank-offering to Him who had guided them in safety from their native country to this distant land, where the many still live to worship Him, but one has gone to his rest. Close to the eastern end of the church is the resting-place of the mortal remains of that one, in a small enclosure, where the green turf, carefully weeded by the care of the churchwardens, covers the graves of the father and of an infant child, who lived only to be baptized. There may be seen, before the services of the day begin, the kind-hearted peasant of this simple village reviving the memory of his friend and pastor by gazing upon his burial-place; and there too I felt, as it has been my lot to feel in every settlement of my Diocese, how much this new land has acquired the character of a mother country, in which I can be content to live and die, by the number of dear friends and holy servants of Christ who sleep within its bosom.
The few days which I spent at Taranaki were occupied in visiting many of my old friends, and in examining the candidates for Confirmation, in whose preparation Mrs. Bolland had interested herself, to her own comfort and their great benefit. On the appointed day a body of fifteen young women and five young men were admitted to Confirmation, and many of the number, I have since learned, have been added to the list of the communicants. For these small beginnings, as they will seem to you in England, I have reason to be thankful, remembering that this is the first Colony in which any function of my office has been performed from its first foundation. But beyond this, the personal examination of the candidates, their appearance in church, the young women neatly dressed in white, and the fact of their desiring to come to the Holy Communion, all combine with that duty of charity which believeth all things and hopeth all things, to make me trust that a work of grace will be begun in these early days, which will spring up in multiplied blessings to these children's children.
If I could send you a true picture of the parsonage of Taranaki, it would make you leave the noise of Pall Mall, and apply for institution as pastor to the English settlers. Mr. Govett would find ample employment among the natives, as the greater part of the Nyatiawa tribe, to whom he formerly ministered at Waikanae, are now returning to their old homes, a few miles from New Plymouth. Picture to yourself an irregular stone building, roofed with genuine thatch, with shady verandahs overrun with creepers, and a grassy bank in front sloping down to the sparkling stream of the Henui, fed most plentifully when it most needs supply, by the snows of Taranaki, which towers in solitary grandeur behind the forest in the middle space between the sea and the mountain. You would not wonder that I love New Zealand if you knew as much of it as I do. It is amusing to hear the new comers, sitting in their flimsy houses at Auckland, and looking out upon the slimy paths which straggle like tracks of snails about the hills of stunted fern, complain that they are disappointed in the climate and scenery of New Zealand. No one knows what the climate is till he has basked in the almost perpetual sunshine of Tasman's Gulf, with a frame braced and invigorated to the full enjoyment of heat by the wholesome frost or cool snowy breeze of the night before. And no one can speak of the soil or scenery of New Zealand, till he has seen both the natural beauties and the ripening harvests of Taranaki. When he has sat upon the deck of a vessel sailing to Taranaki, and watched the play of light and shade upon the noble mountain and the woods at its base, and far behind in the centre of the islands, the thin white wreath of steamy smoke which marks the volcano of Tongariro, and to the south the sister mountain of Kuapaho covered with perpetual snow, then he may be qualified to speak of the scenery of this country, especially if he has added to his sketch-book the great chain of the southern Alps, which I have lately seen in all their wintry grandeur, stretching in an almost unbroken line from north to south for more than three hundred miles. And no one can speak of the healthfulness of New Zealand till he has been ventilated by the restless breezes of Port Nicholson, where malaria is no more to be feared than on the top of Chimborazo, and where active habits of industry and enterprise are evidently favoured by the elastic tone and perpetual motion of the atmosphere. If I am not mistaken, no fog can ever linger long over Wellington, to deaden the intellectual faculties of its inhabitants. They will not always reason right, or be unanimous in opinion; but there will always be activity of thought and promptness of action in this battle-field of the north-west and south-east winds. And I may add, that no one can speak of the internal capabilities of New Zealand, till he has seen the useful rivers which converge upon Auckland.; and its land-locked sea branching out into innumerable bays and creeks, from which the multitude of small vessels in its harbour have drawn their various cargoes of native produce. From my late residence at the Waimate, 140 miles from Auckland by sea, a day's walk brought me to the Wairoa, and I never changed my seat in my canoe till I landed within fifteen miles of the tideway of the Waitemata. From the summit level of the central country round Taupo lake, 150 miles in a direct line from Auckland, the clear and rapid Waikato, interrupted at first by occasional falls and rapids, but afterwards spreading into an open river, brings me within one day's walk of the college; or if there were heavy burdens to be conveyed, the path of Honghi's war canoes is open from the Waikato up its tributary the Awaroa, and thence by a short portage to the estuary of Manukau, another short portage of less than a mile into the Tamaki, and then a direct course into the harbour of Waitemata. I might add the rivers of Waiho (Thames) and Piako, at present famous chiefly for the abundance of their eels, but capable of connecting a wide range of fertile country with the metropolis, by a sea navigation of fifty miles in the frith of the Thames, but so safe and easy that I made my first passage to the Waiho in an open boat.
But I have been led from one settlement to another, by my love of all, and by my desire to convince all persons interested in New Zealand, that it is a fine country, and though all its beauties or its advantages may not be found on any one spot, yet that each settlement has peculiar advantages of its own; and my advice would be to every one to come out unfettered, and choose for himself. It will be hard if, in a country as large as Great Britain, with settlements now extending almost between the two extremes from north to south, a settler should be unable to suit himself in respect of climate, position, occupation, and of the higher grounds of preference, religion and education. This dispersion of the settlements seems to encourage a freedom of choice; but when the choice is made (experto crede), the same cause will very much deter a settler from the expense and trouble of removal. The country itself will both enable him to choose well, and also teach him to abide by the choice that he has made.
I return to the subject of Taranaki, from which I digressed, only to add, that I took leave of my friends there on Wednesday, April 12th, and set sail for the settlement of Nelson, in Tasman's Gulf. The recent shipwreck of one of our regular traders, the Louisa Campbell, on the sand-banks of Cape Farewell, made me feel more than usually anxious, with Mrs. Butt and her children on board, when we found ourselves under similar circumstances, approaching the Gulf at nightfall, without obtaining any sight of the land. But the same guidance which has hitherto prospered me in all my voyages, led us in a direct line to the safe side of the Gulf; and at midnight the mist partially cleared away, and the bold and well-known form of Stephen's Island appeared directly ahead of the vessel. The next day we enjoyed the usual basking in calm sunshine, which is inseparable from, all my recollections of this tranquil bay; and on the Saturday morning, not three days after leaving Taranaki, I restored Mrs. Butt to her husband, who had been long expecting her return, after a separation of eight months. Such are the conveniences of family intercourse in New Zealand.
Finding that the services at Nelson were well provided for, by the presence of Mr. Butt and Mr. Tudor, I did not anchor at Nelson, but sailed across the bay, twenty miles, to the "suburban" village of Motucka, a place which I have never visited without pleasure, from the first time that I went, in company with Mr. Thompson, the magistrate, who lost his life at the Wairau, to inspect the native reserves, which he had selected, most judiciously, in that district; and to baptize a native chief who was supposed to be on the point of death. With him, and with Captain Arthur Wakefield, there was no subject on which I held more frequent or more interesting conversation, than on the plans which we conjointly formed for the benefit of the natives: and I well remember, when, in my character as trustee of the native reserves, I requested Mr. Thompson to act as local manager of the Nelson Estate, he said emphatically, and with a feeling that could not be mistaken, "Whatever office which I now hold, I may be obliged, by the increase of business, to resign, nothing will ever induce me to give up the care of the native reserves." It is due to the memory of those excellent men, whom I found at Nelson in 1842, and have missed ever since, to state my belief that, so far from having any ill feeling against the native people, the desire to promote their welfare by every good and useful institution was always in their thoughts. It is a melancholy pleasure to me now to tell the natives who resort to Nelson for trade, that it was Captain Wakefield who built the little brick hostelries on the Harbour Road, for their use during their temporary visits to the town. The three weeks of my first visit to Nelson were among my brightest days in New Zealand; and I then expressed, in the letters which you have printed, many feelings and hopes which it has been the will of God to disappoint. At that time they were not the merely visionary fancies of a fresh enthusiasm, but reasonable and sober expectations, founded upon the actual state and prospects of the place. Events which could not be foreseen have prevented me from writing Archbishop Laud's emphatic "Done," after many of the plans which were then proposed.
The Sunday before Easter was spent at the quiet little village of Motucka, the Undine in the meanwhile lying at anchor in a sandy bay near the mouth of the Moutere River. Great improvements had taken place since my former visits. A neat little wooden chapel was opened ready for Divine service on my arrival; and the village school of between twenty and thirty children were already employed upon their Sunday lessons. Some excellent and steady members of our Church came forward to greet me, and conducted me to the chapel, where a good congregation had assembled. This was a great improvement upon a proposal made to me some years ago, that I should subscribe to build a fort in the village, on condition of its being available for use as a church. I answered that I would entertain the converse of the proposition, and unite with the inhabitants in building a substantial chapel, with the understanding that it should be used as a place of refuge if any such unhappy necessity should arise: but that a fort would provoke the very evil which it was intended to provide against; while a church, on the contrary, would both tend to prevent the evil, and also protect the settlers if it should ever arise. Three years of uninterrupted peace, and a growing confidence in the feelings of the natives of the place, have set aside all idea of fortification; and there is not, and I hope there never will be, a single soldier needed in any one of the scattered hamlets of the Nelson settlement.
After the English service, a very large native congregation filled the chapel; among others, the old chief, whom I had "baptized by the name of Abraham on my first visit, and who had entirely recovered from the illness which we supposed to be mortal, and now came to greet me with signs of cordial recognition. The natives here are making great efforts to become more civilized; but at present their improvement amounts only to what Gibbon would call "a thin varnish of English manners," laid over their own rough and native character. The possession of an ample reserve of excellent land, selected by the late Mr. Thompson, places them in a position of comfort and independence; and they have every reason to be perfectly satisfied, and I believe are so.
In the afternoon I crossed the Motucka River, and visited another of my favourite little villages, where I had held Divine service in 1842, when a few surveyors' huts were the only dwellings in the valley. The name of this sequestered nook is Riwaka, a beautiful little plain at the foot of rugged mountains, with a mountain torrent winding through it, with very little respect to surveyors' lines, or the rights of property. Unhappily a spirit of discord had entered into this happy valley, for so it seemed at my last visit; and the patriarch of the place, a blunt, straightforward, and most hospitable settler, had much to say of wrongs inflicted by absentee proprietors, and of the neglect of the Church in not building a chapel, to which he had subscribed a quantity of timber, sawn by himself. An inefficient schoolmaster also had given offence to the people, and some were disposed to visit the blame upon the Clergy. These slight misunderstandings had interrupted the periodical recurrence of pastoral visits and of Divine service; and therefore I failed in obtaining a congregation; and was obliged to be content with hearing all the grievances, and promising such remedies as might be in my power. I had just time to return to the evening service in the chapel at Motucka, where a good and attentive congregation was again assembled.
The following day was spent in visiting the English settlers and the native village, and in interesting conversation with one of the principal settlers, whose son had been brought to the brink of the grave by a severe illness at St. John's College; and who expressed his wish to set apart a large portion of his land for the site of a collegiate school for the settlement of Nelson, and as a thank-offering to God for the recovery of his son. Such instances as these of good feeling, combined with sound judgment and an enlightened forethought for the future, are most encouraging in a new country, where the interest of the present generation and the gain of to-day are too often the only subjects of consideration. The idea soon took a practical turn: and it seemed as if the very doubtful health of the Rev. T. L. Tudor pointed out this quiet village as a place in which he might use to advantage such measure of strength as may be still allowed to him, with the help of medical advice close at hand, and under a climate extremely favourable to his constitution and his complaint. He will therefore remain, at least for the present, at Motucka in charge of the English and native population, and, if possible, in the management of a small boarding-school in connexion with St. John's College.
After leaving this pleasant little place, which I never visit without receiving proofs of interest in religion, the Undine sailed for Nelson, and carried me into the harbour on the following day, where she lay as in a dock, encompassed with the banks of boulder stones, through which the water has hollowed out a narrow and winding passage, most formidable in its appearance to a stranger who enters it for the first time. This is the only port in New Zealand where the Undine employs the services of a pilot; the outline of almost every hill, and the position of every rock, being by this time written on the minds of her master and myself. If there be any truth in phrenology, I believe that the map of New Zealand will be stamped on some part of the organic substance of my brain. It is this intimate knowledge of localities, derived from frequent visits, which gives such a peculiar charm to the whole country, and makes it seem like one's own--and so it is; for, like the gipsies, I pitch my tent where'er I please, or anchor my floating palace in any sheltered cove; and wherever I go, by sea or land, I am received as a friend, and find some objects of moral and religious interest to leave upon the mind a pleasing recollection of the place.
My visit to Nelson extended from April 18th to April 28th, and included part of Passion Week and the Festival of Easter. The days were usually spent in visiting the members of the Church, and the evenings in the Church services, at which the candidates for confirmation attended for preliminary instruction. The church of the town is not yet begun, as the site is still occupied by an ugly, and happily a useless fortification, enclosing the wooden buildings used for Divine service. We still pass over a drawbridge into this incongruous place of worship, where we are surrounded with cannon, with a powder magazine close to the main entrance. The site itself, as I formerly reported, is singularly beautiful; and when it shall have been permanently vested in our hands, and the present incumbrances removed, it need not be long before a more suitable building is erected on the spot. The school-house, or rather one wing of the school buildings at present finished, is a handsome object on the side of the church hill, and is attended by more than a hundred children, upon whom Mr. Butt has bestowed the most zealous attention. Education is more advanced at Nelson than in any other settlement in New Zealand. Besides the Church schools which are now established at Nelson town, Waimea South and Motucka, their is a large school system, chiefly conducted by Mr. Campbell, having its central institution at Nelson, with branches in the country villages. Mr. Campbell is a member of the Church of England; and though in his school organization he is not strictly "with us," I was happy to find, by personal examination of the Nelson school, that he "is not against us." His body of scholars, comprising all religious denominations, is more numerous than our own; but many of his scholars are children of Church of England parents, who find our rules inconvenient, or prefer his system of instruction. As far as I have been able to judge, this is the most desirable state which the present circumstances of the country will admit of. Believing the full system of the Church of England to be the best of all existing courses of religious instruction, if it were carried out fully, strictly, and spiritually, I desire to have Church schools on strict principles, however small the number of the scholars may be at first. When the superior advantages of our teaching shall have been seen, as no doubt they will be if we do our duty, the difficulty will not be to obtain scholars, but to provide sufficient means of instructing them. In the meantime it seems to be an advantage, that there should be general schools not neglectful of religious teaching, or unfriendly to the Church, which may exempt us from the necessity of breaking our own rules, rather than suffer children who will not conform to them to remain altogether untaught.
The hamlets of Nelson are numerous, and increasing in population by the rapid multiplication of children. On Sunday, the 23d, (Easter Sunday,) after administering the Holy Communion at Nelson, I rode ten miles to the afternoon service at the little wooden church on Waimea plain, where the congregation was less numerous than on former occasions, for reasons which I did not discover. One cause seems to be the position of the church, which is too distant, from the parts of the village in which most of the inhabitants are now settled. But as a wooden church takes but little root in the ground, it will be easy to remove the building at a small cost to a more favourable site.
After the afternoon service I rode four or five miles further to a new District chapel at the entrance of the Wakefield valley. It was the evening of Easter-day, and at the hour at which the two disciples reached Emmaus, when the day was far spent; the lights from the chapel windows guided me through the twilight to the rising knoll on which the building stands, and at the foot of which the congregation had assembled to await my arrival. I spoke to them of the burning hearts with which the words of Christ were heard on the evening of the first Easter-day, and expressed the hope, that in the new chapel which they had built to the glory of God, many would come together to discern their Saviour in the breaking of bread. These village congregations are a hopeful feature in our Colonial Church. Much of the good old English feeling seems to be revived; the Clergyman is hospitably entertained at the house of the principal settler; his visits are valued; his advice is followed; the children are brought to him for instruction; in short, it seems as if the train of right feeling and principle, which is often suspended in the town by party rivalry and prejudice, returns to its own course in the simple population of the villages.
On the following day I examined the village school, and visited several of the neighbours; from one of whom I received a most important suggestion on a subject which had often occupied my thoughts, viz. the impossibility of carrying on any work of education in this country, without village boarding-schools, where the children can live under the eye of the master and mistress. The dispersion of the houses, the badness of the roads, the occasional floods in the rivers, and the tender age of most of the children, make it almost impossible to provide for the wants of the people by day schools alone. We shall probably make a first attempt at a village boarding-school in the hamlet of Wakefield.
The afternoon was occupied in a delightful ride to Nelson, enlivened with visits to the cottages on the wayside, and conversation with those whom I met on the road. One and all, without any exception, spoke in terms of perfect contentment; which I can well believe, as the numbers of young cattle feeding at large, and of milch cows in fine condition, prove that honest industry has earned its reward, and that the labouring man is here rapidly advancing into a state of plenty and independence. The suspension of the Company's payments, which were pauperizing the people, has called out their own powers of exertion; and the blessing of God upon the soil, the sunshine, and the showers of New Zealand, has returned them an ample increase.
On Tuesday, April 24, I held a Confirmation, at which thirty-four English candidates and eighteen natives were admitted.
On Saturday, April 29, I left Nelson, after a most enjoyable visit, which reminded me of the first happy days which I spent there in 1842.
I must now close my letter for the present, reserving the rest of my voyage, to Wellington, the Chatham Island, and Otakou.
Your affectionate Friend,
G. A. NEW ZEALAND.
College Schooner, "Undine,"
off Coromandel Harbour,
August 30, 1848.
MY DEAR MR. HAWKINS,
I RESUME the journal of my last voyage from the time at which I closed my former letter, viz. from the 29th of April; on which day I sailed out of the port of Nelson on one of those bright and joyous days which make the climate of Nelson the best in New Zealand, as the climate of New Zealand is the best in the world.
In this settlement there is much prospect of spiritual good and of worldly contentment. The cause which seemed to threaten the ruin of the place has been the greatest blessing that could have befallen it. The suspension of the Company's payments has scattered the labouring classes over the most fertile spots of the district, where their industry has found its reward from a soil which rarely defrauds the labourer of his hire. After much personal inquiry in all the villages, I did not discover a single industrious man who was not in a position of comfort and abundance. Of the prospects of education and religion I have already spoken in my former letter; and here I may close my favourable report of the settlement of Nelson.
After a day of calm we arrived on the first of May at Croixille's Harbour, a noble inlet in which a hundred large ships might ride in safety. It would have been an admirable place for a settlement, if there could have been found a site for a town, and access to country lands. But the adjoining country is so entirely mountainous, that only one English settler is to be found in the whole harbour. From the northern arm, an easy path, over which the natives drag their canoes, leads into the Pelorus River, another magnificent harbour, but like its neighbour surrounded by hills "more accessible to cormorants than to horses."
Within the harbour are some small native villages, to one of which, named Onetea, I immediately rowed, to endeavour to redeem the mother and brother of my faithful friend Henry Mauhara, who now for five years has lightened my labours by sea and land by his devoted fidelity and unwearied activity. When I hear of the covetousness and ingratitude and selfishness of the native people, I have only to look in the faces of Henry and Lot, the most helpful, the least self-seeking, and the best tempered of all companions, and forget all the accusations brought against their race by Englishmen, who see their own failings reflected in the native mirror without recognising them as their own. The charges of ingratitude against the native people are generally made by those who have given them least reason to be grateful. For myself I must say, that I have met with so much disinterested kindness from the New Zealanders, that I should be as ungrateful as they are supposed to be, if I did not acknowledge my obligation.
We landed at Onetea, and the native ceremony of "tatigi" (wailing) began in the usual form. The poor old mother, bowed down, as most of the native women are, by carrying heavy burdens, stood before her son, who was seated at the door of the house. No words were spoken, but tears such as no civilized man can shed rolled down the cheeks of both. They had not met for many years; and now the son was returning with stores of tempting presents earned in my employment, to redeem her from slavery. When the ceremony was over, I opened the pleadings with a speech, in which I set forth the faithful services of Henry, and my wish to show my sense of his kindness towards me by releasing his parent. I gave the master, who is a baptized man, the choice proposed by St. Paul to Philemon, of giving them up freely in a spirit of Christian love, or of receiving payment as the price of their redemption. The old chief then answered me in terms which strongly illustrated the mild character of slavery in New Zealand. He said that he was an old man, that he needed help because he could no longer work for himself; that it would not be long before he was in his grave, and then it should be as I wished. The old woman followed in the same strain, enumerating her domestic duties, and explaining that the old man would have no one to fetch him water, or to light his fire, or to boil his pot, if she were to leave him; in short, "that she loved her master," and that she would "not go out free."
From Onetea I rowed to another native village, Kaiaua, where a pleasing proof of the confidence of the natives was given to me. The native teacher brought me two little boys, his near relations, with an earnest request that I would take them with me to school, though a voyage of more than 2,000 miles was in prospect. The scene at parting was very characteristic; the female relations of the boys coming off with them to dress them up in the best clothes which they could procure, with all the care of an English mother fitting out her son for his first journey to school. The natives of this district have sustained a great loss by the removal of Mr. Reay, who carried on among them for several years the good work which Mr. Hadfield had begun.
The following morning, May 4, we sailed across Blind Bay to its north-western corner, called Massacre Bay, where there are several scattered native villages, and works of limestone and coal. The unsettled state of the weather prevented me from spending "more than one day at this place; as there is no secure harbour, but an anchorage partially protected by some small islands. The day being fine, I coasted along in the schooner's boat, visiting the small villages in turn, and gave a word of instruction at each. Among other natives I found one, by name Paramata, who had formerly been the cause of great alarm to the settlement upon a quarrel arising out of a disputed boundary of land. He is now, to all appearance, on perfectly friendly terms with the English settlers; having learned the benefit of intercourse with us. This happy change has been brought about without the intervention of force; but simply by judicious measures, and by the growth of a feeling of mutual interest between the two races.
It is melancholy to pass from one native village to another in this rapid course of mere observation, which is all that I can attempt, and to find how many hundred competent teachers are needed to supply the means of instruction to the fragments of villages into which the population is now dispersed. Even war had its advantage in this respect, for then the whole population was to be found night after night within the walls of the stockade of the tribe; and the Missionary could bring his whole influence to bear upon the concentrated body. But now the work of a Missionary in New Zealand is like hunting a partridge in the mountains. Under these circumstances we ought to be most thankful that the whole population, almost to a man, has at least some regard to the laws of God; and that any traveller may enter at any hour of the night into the most lonely hut in every part of New Zealand, without the slightest reason for distrust. In general, the warmest place, the cleanest mat, and the hest food will be freely supplied to him, without so much as a thought of payment being due. This seems to be one cause of the charge of ingratitude against the natives, that they are less accustomed to formal expressions of thanks than ourselves, because so many more civilities and supplies are given and received as a matter of course. Among their more smooth-tongued brethren in the Samoan (Navigator) group, every gift or civility is acknowledged with an expression of thanks. How easy would be the transition, but how frightful the change, from this state of free and generous hospitality, to that of the wild man whose hand is against his fellow; when injustice supported by power should have driven them to seek by subtlety the vengeance which they cannot hope to obtain by open force! It is a strong expression, but I use it advisedly, that "the Land Theory," if it had been acted upon, would have made the New Zealanders a nation of murderers.
The lime and coal works in Massacre Bay are not in a state of great activity; the difficulties of shipment acting against the undertaking. The coal lies in beds on a level with the sea, and is procured at present with great ease, but the quality is said to be inferior to that which is dug from a greater depth. The limestone is found in a narrow ridge, intersecting a small plain ending in the sea-beach, and is procured even more easily than the coal. When a regular steam communication is established between the settlements in New Zealand, a central coal depot at Port Hardy or Croixille's Harbour will enable the steamers to make the circuit of the settlements, going out from and returning to Manukau Harbour in little more than a week. The distance from Manukau to Wellington is about the same as from London to Edinburgh; and half a day's distance out of the course would connect Nelson also with the other settlements, besides enabling the vessels to take in their supplies of coal. You must not think these matters out of my province, for, as long as I am the only Bishop in a country as large as Great Britain, I must think much about the facilities of communication, The good little Undine does all that she can or ought to do, but she must wait for the favour of wind and weather, and not presume to contend with them when they are adverse.
After conversation with the natives of the place, and the usual distribution of books, I did not linger long at the anchorage, for the signs of the wind to which it is most exposed, were seen in the red and lowering clouds in the opposite quarter of the heavens; and though we sailed away with scarcely a breath of wind, a fiery gale overtook us before we reached Stephen's Island, and raised a sea which made us thankful to shelter ourselves under the lee of D'Urville's Island, in the pretty little roadstead of Rangitoto, formed by the cluster of the Admiralty Islands. Here is another native village, with a chapel of conspicuous size, and formerly a favourite gathering place for the natives of the whole district. But the fruits of the dispersion, already spoken of, were visible here; the path to the chapel was overgrown with grass; and Jacob, the native teacher, told me with much feeling, that so many had left, or died, or lapsed, since Mr. Reay's departure, that after ringing his bell morning and evening for a long time without any effect, he at last gave it up in despair. The silence was again broken on my arrival, and the bell soon collected a considerable congregation, to whom I expressed my sorrow at the altered and fallen state of their village. As usual, they made my heart ache by craving the ministerial assistance which I felt it impossible to promise them. The native name of this village is Oterawa.
The next day, May 6, was one of pure enjoyment; a sparkling breeze, a smooth sea, and a cloudless sky, with that indescribable sensation of a really fine day in this country which I have never felt elsewhere. We left our anchorage at daylight, and coasted round Admiralty Bay, passing the mouths of the French Pass, the Pelorus River, Titirangi, and Port Gore; all bold and wild in their outline, and beautiful in their mountain scenery, but totally unprofitable for settlement. We passed Cape Jackson with its long reef, and the tide ripple through which Cook steered boldly in his second voyage, though it has all the appearance of a reef with breakers upon it; and then we opened at once upon the next point to which we were bound, Cook's favourite rendezvous in Queen Charlotte's Sound. Here I had a double object of interest, beside the historical recollections of the first discovery; for the Sound contains many native villages, which my dear friend Mr. Hadfield used to visit in the days of his health; and further, it has now become probable that a section of the Nelson settlers will occupy a place named Waitoki, in the southeastern arm of the Sound, where it approaches within a few miles of the plain of the Wairau.
About noon we dropped our anchor off the little native village of Anahou, in the cove to the northward of Ship Cove; and I went on shore to see the natives of the village, but found that they were absent at their cultivations. Old Tamati Ngarewa, the principal chief of the Sound, came off, and volunteered his services as pilot. We then rowed round Ship Cove, a beautiful inlet well deserving the preference which Cook gave it. It is said that there are traces of the forge erected by his crew, and letters cut upon the trees; but after a slight search without success, I took the legend upon trust, having found this the best course in such very doubtful evidence as an old foundation of rubble stone, or scars seventy years old in the bark of an aged karaka tree. Here the preliminary expedition of the New Zealand Company rested on its way to Port Nicholson, and feasted upon cormorants in ignorance, or in defiance of Horace's opinion, that a taste for such food is a mark of a degenerate age. Seafaring men can account for it on easier grounds than those of the Epicurean poet, by the well-known avidity for fresh food of any kind in those who have come from a long voyage.
The woodland beauties of Ship Cove are scarcely surpassed in any part of New Zealand. High hills clothed with varied foliage slope down to a small plain ending in a beach, through the middle of which a beautiful stream of water flows into the sea. At a cable's length from the shore a vessel rides at anchor in ten fathoms water. The whole of Queen Charlotte's Sound has the unusual fault of being too deep, as we found this evening when we were overtaken midway by a furious blast from the south-east; and, after trying many places in vain, were obliged to run back the distance which we had gained, and anchor for the night in Ship Cove, where our previous examination had assured us of shelter.
On Sunday, May 7, many of the natives assembled for Divine service in my little cabin, which, though not fitted up like the Hawk for this purpose, will hold a congregation of sixteen. Most of the party were baptized men, who had seen me at Mr. Had-field's station at Waikanae. When this and the English service with my crew were completed, I set out in the schooner's boat to visit the other villages in the Sound as far as Te Wera-a-Waitoki, leaving the vessel to follow on the next day. Our little boat sailed briskly along with a fair wind and tide, and by lying close into the shore gave me an opportunity of ascertaining the position of the native villages, which were fewer than I expected, and very scantily peopled. We passed in succession a series of Cook's well-known names, Shag Cove, West Bay, and Grass Cove, and came at sunset to a beautiful bay, nearly opposite to the southern passage called Tory Channel, where the principal native teacher of the Sound had fixed his abode in a most inconvenient position, with none of his people. His taste, however, was more commendable than his pastoral care, for a more beautiful spot, for a man accustomed to cultivate hilly ground, could scarcely be found. In this bay shoals of black fish and porpoises were enjoying their evening gambols, their dark bodies contrasting strangely with the red light reflected from the sunset on the calm water, from which they sprang into the air and fell back again, tracing all imaginable curves with their awkward bodies in their descent. It never happened to me to see so many fish out of water before. These monsters of the deep were not very pleasant neighbours, for their great amusement seemed to be to jump as near the boat as they could without touching it, and then make their bow and dive under its bottom. More than once I thought that they would overturn the boat; and having no musical genius, I could not hope that they would honour me as their forefathers did Arion, by conveying me to shore. Joseph, the native teacher, whom I found at home in his solitary cottage, gladly consented to accompany me to the main body of his people at Te Wera-a-Waitoki; and as it was then dusk, I was glad of his pilotage through this unknown labyrinth of bays and coves. We went on under a bright moon which soon rose upon us, and reached the arm of the Sound at the end of which the village is placed. Gradually the land closed in upon us, till we were gliding along a canal of water so landlocked and still, that the great difficulty would be for vessels to go in or out without the assistance of steam. No such difficulty affecting our little boat, we shot along with a silvery wake of phosphoric light, vying in brightness with the moonlight beyond the shadow of the hill under which we were rowing; and about 8 P.M. we arrived at the little village at the extreme south-east corner of the Sound. The usual native welcome of shaking of hands, shouts, and a multitude of questions, were scarcely at an end, when steaming pumpkins, the food most easily procured, (this being Sunday evening,) showed that these villagers knew how to strike the mean between two duties, and to practise hospitality without infringing needlessly upon the sanctity of the Lord's Day. Our evening service followed, with Scripture reading and catechising, an exercise in which the natives delight, and which commands their attention even after their usual hours of retiring to sleep. When our services were ended, Noble, the owner of the house, with the usual native politeness, vacated it for the use of me and my party, though my suite consisted only of Henry Mauhara and another native man. We should have been glad of more companions, for the night was frosty and the house large; and two tired men are not a sufficient watch to secure a good fire during the night.
At sunrise on the 8th of May, after morning ablutions in the clear stream which waters the little plain of Te Wera-a-Waitoki, I took a view of the place which had seemed so picturesque the night before; but in candour it must be confessed, that native villages, like Melrose Abbey, look best by the pale moonlight. A few straggling houses, and a small palisade or pa, are all the dwellings at present on a spot which must become the site of an English town. The little plain is already in cultivation, and seems to have borne an abundant wheat crop to its native owners. But they are quite willing to give it up, reserving only a small part for themselves, that they may have the benefit of living among us. They expressed their willingness to retire to the other arms of the Sound for their cultivation, and to leave all the arable land round the town for the English settlers.
After morning prayers, I started with my friend Joseph, the native teacher, as my guide, to walk to the plain of the Wairau. The path lay for a short distance through the native corn-fields, but soon led to a woody passage between two high hills, with an ascent so easy and gradual that a native road for dragging canoes out of the wood had been made for several miles, on both sides of the low intervening ridge which separates Queen Charlotte's Sound from the valley of the Tuamarino, one of the tributaries of the Wairau. In about half an hour we reached the summit of the bank on the side of Waitoki, but the descent to the Wairau is longer and more gradual. At first we followed the direction of the native canoe road, but when that was lost in the various branches which led to the places where the great trees had been felled, we turned off into the surveyor's tracks, with which the whole of the valley of the Tuamarino is now intersected. After three or four hours' walking, a distance probably of eight or ten miles, we emerged from the wood into a narrow valley, closed in on either side with steep barren hills, with the Tuamarino winding through it in the midst of a narrow strip of marshy flat. The whole of the valley could be drained without difficulty, as the bed of the swamps is high above the ordinary level of the river. A few clumps of trees on the river's banks seemed to indicate that the whole valley had once been a part of the forest. Another hour's walk brought us to the end of our journey, and a place of deep interest to me,--the scene of the conflict of the Wairau. My native guide understood at once, from his own national custom, that I came to show my respect for the dead by visiting their graves. I had another object also, which was to examine the spot, with a view to making an application to have it reserved and set apart as a site for a church and burial-ground. The whole history came painfully before my mind, as I stood on the place where so many useful lives were uselessly lost, and where some of the best friends of the native people were visited with the penalty deserved only by their bitterest enemies. There was the deep un-fordable stream of the Tuamarino, with its rotten and hollow banks; and the crossing-place where Rangihaeta's canoe, moored across the stream, formed a temporary bridge; and on the other side the thick jungle of flax and reeds, backed by a copse of large timber, which made it almost impossible for an English force to cope with the natives; and which, if we had been the victors, would have prevented us from making a single prisoner among the vanquished. On the other side of the river, along which the path to the Wairau lies, the ground itself explained the circumstances of the affray. Close to the river, within a neat fence of stakes, are the graves of those who fell at the first affray which followed the random shot accidentally fired while the party were recrossing the river. From this point the line of retreat was evident, by which some were led into the plain of the Wairau, where they escaped to the sea; but Captain Wakefield and the other gentlemen, with a view no doubt to save the lives of their men, ascended, in sight of the pursuers, a round knoll of fern rising immediately from the river; and there their grave is marked by a simple fence, in full sight of the plain of the Wairau, for which they lost their lives in vain. The half of the Middle Island would have been too dearly purchased at the price of the life of Captain Wakefield alone. The whole of the plain has since been bought, at a price which I will not mention, lest I should seem to place it in comparison with these inestimable lives, Peace to their mortal remains in the lonely graves by the still waters of the Tuamarino!
From the top of this knoll, upon which I hope to see a church erected, the whole plain of the Wairau is clearly seen, with the river winding in its wide bed of gravel, which, in all the rivers of the Middle Islands, is the only sign visible in dry weather of the torrent which often deluges the plain. On the side of the sea the view is bounded by the headland of Parinuiowhiti, connected with the grassy downs of Kaparatehau, at the southern extremity of which the snowy peaks of Tapuaenuku close in the view over the plain. The distance from Nelson is very considerable, whether by land or sea; the nearest road at present practicable being sixty or seventy miles in length. But an easy chain of communication can be established by water, from Nelson to Croixilles Harbour, in Blind Bay; from the northern arm of Croixilles, over a native canoe portage into the Pelorus (Hoieri) River, and thence by a similar portage into Queen Charlotte's Sound, and so to Te Wera-a-Waitoki, and through the Tuamarino valley to the Wairau. This route would only involve about twenty miles of easy land carriage; all the rest being a good navigation in inland waters.
It was late in the afternoon before I turned back from the graves of the Wairau, to retrace my steps to the shores of the Sound; but as there was a prospect of bright moonlight, I hoped to be able to reach Waitoki that night. Strengthened by the usual New Zealand food of roasted potatos and "damper," we set off on our return, but soon found ourselves bewildered as night came on, in the surveyor's lines, which crossed one another in all directions in the wood. We then resorted to the usual expedient of torches made of "karehao" (supple Jack) or "katoa;" but with no better success; and it was carried unanimously in our small committee of two, that we should light a fire and bivouac for the night. The bounty of nature seldom strikes me more than in the prodigal waste, as man would call it, of vegetable life in these wild woods. From among the multitude of trees which seem to have lived only to fall and die, we chose three of as largo a size as we could move, and kindled with them such a fire as soon warmed and dried all the earth and air around us. How often I have thought of my poor contributors to the Windsor Coal Club, contented with sixpennyworth of coal for the supply of a whole winter week, and thankful to the friends who assisted them to procure it; while we, with less perhaps of thankfulness to the Giver of all good, are burning whole trees for the comfort of a single night. After the usual series of alternations between sound sleep and waking to trim the fire, we rose at the earliest dawn, not to the sound of the cock-crowing, but of the full chorus of all the birds of the wood; and arrived, after a short and pleasant walk, at our old quarters at Te Wara-a-Wait oki.
Tuesday, May 9.--In the village I found a dying child, who, instead of the stare expressive of fear and doubt, so common to native children, greeted me with a smile, which lighted up his pale and wasted countenance. I did not recognise him, but he knew me, for he had been one of the children of our school while we lived at Mr. Hadfield's station at Waikanae on the other side of the straits. He was dying of the same disease which cut, off a dear brother of my own in the prime of life. His words were full of that simple faith and peaceful resignation which I have often remarked in the natives of this country, when sickness has brought down either the wild wantonness of youth, or the overbearing presumption of manhood, and has left a state of docility and meekness, the more remarkable from the change which has taken place from the opposite extreme. He desired to be baptized, "that he might become a child of God, and a brother of Christ;" and my heart was touched when the relations chose of their own accord the name of my dear brother, Thomas, not knowing how the name and the disease would both remind me of a beloved brother's death. Many other children were brought to baptism at the morning service; after which I resumed my boat, and set out in quest of the Undine, which had not yet appeared.
We had not proceeded a mile before we met the schooner, which had been looking into all the creeks and bays to find me; for in this labyrinth of land and water a stranger will often be in a difficulty. The wind, S.E., was against our going out into Cook's Strait, through Tory Channel, and therefore we sailed up the Sound to our old anchorage in Ship Cove, now become as familiar to us as our own port at Auckland. Those who are fond of excitement in sailing should visit Queen Charlotte's Sound in a S.E. gale, where the flurries of wind from the hills keep all the attention alive, and the smoothness of the water allows of the full enjoyment of sailing in a storm without its attendant dangers or inconveniences.
May 10 and 11.--The southerly gale continuing, with every appearance of a heavy sea across the straits, we remained at anchor, and looked around the Cove for traces of Captain Cook. My crew followed the Tory's example, by feasting upon cormorants. In the afternoon I went to the native village of Anahou, in the adjoining cove, and was most hospitably received by Thomas Ngarewa and his son James. The evening was spent as usual in class reading and catechising by the light of a blazing fire, fed with small sticks of Manuka, the blaze of which is almost equal to the light of a candle. At a late hour my host prepared my bed with new red blankets, and a pillow of the down of sea fowl.
In the morning, after the early prayers, I returned to the vessel and attempted to sail; but the sea was still running so high in the straits, that we turned back and once more anchored in the Cove.
On the 12th of May we sailed at daylight, encountering much wind and heavy sea at first, but closing our day in a smooth sea and clear moonlight, as we sailed into the strait between the Island of Kapiti and the main.
Here I left the vessel to pursue its own course to Port Nicholson, and landed, with one of my native scholars going home for the holidays, on the well-known sands of the village of Waikanae. When I walked by moonlight into the narrow alleys between the palisades, the once populous village seemed dead, for 400 of the inhabitants had returned to their old possessions at Taranaki. At last I found my faithful friend Levi, a pupil of Mr. Hadfield, and the native teacher of the place; and in his house the small remainder of the population soon assembled to greet me; but it was not the greeting of former days, for his wife was lately dead, and the departure of so many of his people had given a cast of sorrow to a disposition by nature active and cheerful. We went out as usual at sunrise to the noble chapel, the best native workmanship in the country, but not to meet a congregation of 400 souls, and then to see the whole body arrange themselves in classes for their morning school. The spacious chapel looked desolate with only 70 worshippers, and the school had dwindled away. I fear that this hopeful body, as it once was, will now be dispersed in separate villages, where they can be visited but seldom, and where they will never assemble of themselves. Thus, though it seems to be a contradiction, peace will undo the advantages which they gained in war; and liberty may prove to be a worse evil than slavery. It will now need many more ministers to teach and influence a people who are scattered like the "cattle upon a thousand hills."
My good friend Levi gravely informed me that he heard that I was in disgrace in England; and that the Queen's Council had found fault with me for teaching the New Zealanders. I asked him who was his informant, and he told me that the. policemen at the station had read it in an English newspaper, and told him of it. With the exception of a single Sydney paper, which I had seen at Nelson, this was the first mention that I heard of the dissatisfaction caused by my "Protest." Thus a paper which I had studiously concealed, even from many of my private friends, and had never spoken of to a single native, was published far and wide by the same authority which apprehended such evil consequences from the effect of its publication. And, as a natural consequence of the publication in England, the Colonial police force, composed of English and New Zealanders, was the medium of communication to this large body of natives. You will readily believe that I made the best of the matter, having no fear of any loss of my own influence in this quarter; but much more fearing lest the credit of the British Government should be impaired by the imprudence of its agents.
The walk of ten miles from Waikanae to Otaki, along the firm sand of the beach, reminded me of many happy days spent in this district, when there was little either of comfort or hope elsewhere. Even the absence of my dear friend Mr. Hadfield from the spot so intimately connected with his memory, does not impair the interest with which I visit from time to time this field of his exertions.
The fruits of the Divine blessing upon his work are still visible; and Otaki is still a green spot in the midst of a crop which seems to be withering away because it had "no root," or "deepness of earth." I even fear the effects of the excessive praise which is bestowed upon the men of this tribe by every visitor who partakes of their hospitality. The "thin varnish of English manners" is the thing which I fear almost as much as actual barbarism. In itself, it is perishable in its nature; and it leaves a man in a worse state than if he had never been civilized at all. There are methods by which every Christian and social habit may be so rooted in the moral nature of the New Zealanders, as to place them on an equality with ourselves, man for man, in respect of fitness for all the usages and privileges of civilized life. But these methods require long perseverance, with a clear view both of the means and of the end; and if the united mind of five quinquennial Governors could be infused into one, we might hope for a man who would undertake the necessary preliminaries. A quarter of a century of well-directed and persevering effort would, I am assured, both save the people, and qualify them to amalgamate gradually with ourselves.
Arriving alone at Otaki, and with no messenger to announce me, I found my people, as I should always wish to find them, engaged in the active service of God, A party of about 300 men, headed by the old chief Te Rauparaha, were busily engaged in raising, by their own native methods, the heavy pillars for the support of the roof of their new chapel. A joyous shout of welcome burst from the whole party, when I came unexpectedly into the midst of them. My old friends and scholars all crowded round me; and among them one of the dearest of them all, Benjamin Hapurau, who, from the time of his leaving the College, has steadily taught the village school of 150 children, without expecting or receiving any remuneration whatever. One of the College Deacons, Rev. S. Williams, is in charge of the station, and well reported of by every one. All the old men, who at first resisted the spirit of improvement, had now joined in the work, and were actively engaged in building the chapel. The streets had been laid down by a surveyor, and each family had been allowed to select its own allotment. The town, however, has not yet assumed a regular appearance, as the streets are not cleared, nor the houses built. The machinery of a water-mill was already on the spot; but it was agreed by common consent, that the church should be finished first, and that then all should unite in the other works of public interest, such as the roads and the mill.
The evening of this day closed most delightfully with a full class of candidates for the Holy Communion, whose earnestness in seeking scriptural truth filled my heart with joy and thankfulness at the prospect of so much spiritual good.
Sunday, May 14, was a happy day, as all days are at Otaki, but this particularly, because of the manner and demeanour of the people. In spite of a very heavy fall of rain, the chapel was inconveniently full; and my little Benjamin's flock of 150 children were pressed up close to my feet. A body of 60 communicants partook of the Lord's Supper; a number not larger than in Mr. Hadfield's time, as there has been no Clergyman at the station authorized to baptize. At the afternoon service, Mr. Williams preached with that correctness of expression and tone, so pleasant to the native ear, which most of the children of the earlier missionaries possess.
The following morning, May 15, began as usual, with prayer and school, after which I inspected Benjamin's school, and found, that though they were deficient in knowledge, yet they had learned obedience and order, which is the first step in a course of improvement. Their dirty and ragged clothing contrasted with the neat English clothing of the young men, and led me to warn the parents not to be content with letting the tide of civilization flow up to themselves. A cheerful day was spent in visiting from house to house, where chairs and tables and other English comforts begin to be common; and in seeing their corn-fields, barns and dairies, and the preparations for the mill. Mr. Williams has a fair field of spiritual and social usefulness, which I think he will diligently cultivate. In the evening a large reading-class assembled at their own request for the pursuit in which they delight, of searching the Scriptures, with "some man to guide them." From the chapel, we went to my friend Thompson's house, to a social meeting of the leading men, both old and young. Old Te Rauparaha, took his place at the long table filled with the principal chiefs in English clothes, and covered with pies and poultry, the result of a very limited education in cookery which Thompson's wife obtained at the College. The subject of consideration for the evening was, the best mode of maintaining the social improvement which had been so happily begun. They feared, they said, the native tendency to return to old habits. I told them that they had begun in the right way, by seeking God first; and that I therefore hoped that all other things would be added to them; and that they would attain to that "godliness which is profitable for the life that now is, and for that which is to come." I recommended that the old men should meet regularly as a town council, to fix the days on which every able-bodied man should attend to assist in the public works, such as the erection of the mill, and the improvement of the roads. I pointed out to them the great danger of failure from the growth of selfishness, which would throw upon the willing few the burden of all the works for the general benefit. The idea seemed to please them; and the young men gladly promised to leave the decision of such questions to the seniors. All the old men, who are now Christians, and looking on with interest upon the improvement of their children, at my first visit to Otaki were perched upon a sand-bank overlooking the chapel, being still in a heathen state, and carefully judging the new religion by its fruits. The external evidence has now satisfied them, and I trust that many will be led by it to worship the true God in spirit and in truth.
On the following day, May 16, I left this happy place with a thankful heart, accompanied by six scholars, three returning after the holidays, and three new boys recommended by the teachers of the place. We walked along the beach with a long train of friends and relations, who came to escort their children to the next village on the road to Wellington. At Waikanae, I was joined by that excellent man, Levi, the native teacher of the place, of whom, if his life be spared, I have good hopes that he may one day be admitted to Holy Orders. He spoke of his wife's illness and death in a most feeling and Christian manner. As he has lost the great body of his people, and as his health is scarcely equal to the task of ministering to them in the scattered hamlets which they will now occupy, I hope to obtain his assistance in the new Collegiate Institution at Porirua. This evening we reached Wainui, at the end of the long beach which extends from Whanganui, eighty miles. Here a goodly congregation had assembled in a pretty native chapel for the passing instruction of the evening; and reading, catechising, and the evening prayer, occupied us till a late hour.
May 17.--My Otaki friends accompanied me to search over their land for the best site for a College. In the midst of all the disputes and wars of this district, it was generally agreed that 500 or 600 acres should be freely given up to the Bishop and his successors for this purpose, in order that the native and English youth might be trained up together in the knowledge of the true God and in the habits of civilized life. The only difficulty arises on the ground of the supposed claim of some of the Company's original purchasers to part of the land proposed to be granted to the College. In order to pass over the best situations I avoided the splendid road which the Government has now carried through the Horokiri valley, and followed the old horse track by Pukerua to Porirua. Two beautiful sites were offered on this line of road; but the approaches to them from Wellington are too difficult. Coming down to Taupo on Porirua Harbour, we dined with our native ally, Rawiri Puaha, and then crossed the neck of the harbour to Witi-reia, a peninsula immediately opposite to the Island of Mana, where a space of 600 acres is separated from the main land by the bay of Titahi and the harbour of Porirua, with an isthmus of three-quarters of a mile between the two waters. Though isolated in its position, it is within a mile or two of the main road to Wellington, seventeen miles distant; and it has also a ready communication with that port by Porirua Harbour and Cook's Straits. About 200 acres of the land are covered with wood, but the remainder is open, rising into grassy hills, with steep declivities to the sea beach. Witireia itself is a bold headland looking full upon the Island of Mana, and commanding a beautiful view of the hills of the Middle Island. In the centre is an old native clearing, with large trees scorched by fire, standing on the spot on which I hope, in submission to Divine Providence, that Trinity College may be built; but I have learned this lesson by the losses with which we have been visited, not to presume upon anything that is not yet attained.
My companions, Thompson, Te Rauparaha, and Levi, left me here, and I went on alone across the sandy flat of Porirua Harbour, and reached the Wellington road as the sun went down. What an agreeable change from former journeys through the deep mud and fallen trees of the Totara flat!--a road perfectly smooth, and almost level, enabled me to proceed as comfortably by moonlight as in broad day. A few miles on, I found my native scholars crouching over a fire, hungry and sleepy, as they had gone round by the Government road, and had eaten nothing all day. An outlying settler supplied them with an empty house, and allowed them to dig some potatoes from his ground; and after seeing them in a fair way to be comfortable, I went on my road to Wellington. At Hawtrey Chapel, in the middle of the Porirua wood, the village evening school was still going on; and there I rested for an hour, examining the scholars, and partaking of the seasonable hospitality of the schoolmaster; who showed his sense of that duty, which is more frequently practised in the simple hamlets in the bush, than among the richer community in the towns. I resumed my walk with renewed vigour, and reached Wellington Parsonage about eleven P.M. The Undine, I found, had arrived safely on the Saturday before. My dear friend Mr. Hadfield was still alive, but the symptoms of his disease had shown no signs of improvement. But it was a great blessing to hear that I might again enjoy the benefit of his counsel, and listen to the wisdom of a Christian death-bed. For four years his whole life has been nothing more than "commendatio mortis"
On Sunday, 21st May, the duties of the day began with English and Native services in the hospital, where patients of both races lie side by side, with the same attention and relief administered to all alike. A hospital like this, under such really devoted management as that of Dr. Fitzgerald, is the best practical commentary on the text, which we continually quote, that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." It would be easy to trace the effect of the Wellington Hospital upon the state of feeling among the natives of the South, and to show that much of their goodwill towards the English race has been thus produced. I think that I have already mentioned in former letters, that "one of the chief men of Porirua, Te Hiko-o-te rangi,--son of the great chief Te Pehi (Tippahee) who visited England,--insisted upon being allowed to die in the hospital, among the friends who had been kind to him. This was done, in opposition to all native custom, and to the solicitations of his friends. Several cases of successful treatment of dangerous disorders have spread the fame of the "Whare turoro," as far as Whanganui. Every English settlement is now being supplied with a similar institution, but it is not easy to find men who will enter into the work with the same spirit of watchful earnestness which is so apparent in every part of the management of the hospital at Wellington. It was a common topic in Heké's speeches, that the Government built nothing but prisons and barracks, and that therefore it could not have come into the country for the good of the native people. This imputation is now in course of being redeemed; and, as I am confident that there would have been little or no war in the country if the benevolent character of the British Government had been practically exhibited from the first; so now I look forward with the fullest hope to a long continuance of peace, on the basis of a liberal and enlightened effort to improve the social and moral state of the New Zealanders by every good and useful institution which their circumstances may require.
At the temporary church near the Government House the usual English congregation assembled; but from the very straggling position of the houses, and other causes, the attendance is neither so regular nor so good as we could wish. This evil will be remedied in some measure by the new church at the southern end of the town, which will be much more convenient for the greater part of the population. Mr. Cole's duties, already too great for his strength, will be much increased by this arrangement, till the means can be found of maintaining a second Clergyman.
In the afternoon I walked with my excellent friend, Captain Collinson, to the little chapel in the wood, on the Porirua road, where a good congregation of the neighbouring settlers had assembled for Divine Service. We are indebted to the kindness of the Rev. John Hawtrey and his son for the site of this chapel, with twenty acres of land. It is a very central situation, and the Government road, passing close by it, makes it easily accessible on both sides. If we should be able to set on foot the College at Porirua, these district chapelries will come under the charge of the Collegiate Deacons, till they grow up into the form of separate parishes with resident incumbents. There are three already of this class:--1. Karori, where a site has been given by Mr. Justice Chapman; 2. the Valley of the Hutt, where a chapel has been built on land given by Captain Daniell; and, 3. the chapel in the Porirua road. But these do not by any means supply the wants of the people, who, by the nature of the country, are scattered over a wide surface, with hills almost impassible between one settlement and another.
With the exception of a piece of land which we bought at Tearo, (south end of the Town of Wellington,) we are still without a site for a church, in a town half as largo as Constantinople. The piece originally marked out is a mere watercourse, scarcely available even for the small parsonage, which stands perched upon the only flat part of the ground, with n most uncomfortable exposure to the wind and rain. Of course, I declined to accept such a site for the main church of the southern division. It was next proposed to build the church upon the burial-ground allotted to the Church of England in 1842. The foundation was no sooner laid than the Dissenters protested against any appropriation of a burial-ground to the Church, ns an "infringement of the principle of the New Zealand Company, of the equality of all religious bodies." The application of this "principle" has not restrained the Wesleyans, the Presbyterians, and the Romanists from occupying most valuable and eligible sites for their chapels, to which I have never objected. As you will hear of the charges brought against me of attempting to appropriate the whole burial-ground to the Church of England, I must trouble you with the simple statement of the case. In 1842, Governor Hobson adopted the plan of giving to each religious body, from the public land, a burial-ground proportioned to the number of its adherents as determined by the Government Census. At Auckland, sixteen acres were marked on the surveyor's plan for the purpose of a burial-ground; eight acres of which were allotted to the Church of England, when it appeared on the census that a full moiety of the whole population professed to belong to it. The same proportion being found by the census at Wellington, one-half of the burial-ground at that place was also allotted to the Church in October 1842. On the faith of this arrangement, the ground was enclosed at our expense; but, as we had no legal possession, or Crown title, we never refused the key of the ground to any one who applied. The Dissenters availed themselves of the use of the fence, for which they had not paid, leaving their own ground unoccupied. When they had buried their dead for some time by our permission, they then claimed the joint use of the ground, and have agitated the same question, to our great annoyance, up to the present time. If it were not my duty to secure to the friends of those who have been buried by us, the satisfaction of knowing that their bodies lie in consecrated ground, I should have given up the point, and have bought out of my own funds some other burial-place for our dead. But the justice of our case has now become so apparent, that a Crown grant has been issued, allotting to the Church of England its own burial-ground; and there still remains a ground of equal extent, either to be held in common by all the other religious bodies, or to be divided among them. The Church of Rome has kept possession, without opposition, of the burial-ground marked out for its members in 1842 by the same authority, whose acts have been so much disputed in our case. If you hear of my intolerance and bigotry, I beg you to accept my assurance that I have never done an unkind act, or written an unfriendly word, against any member of any other religious body: and I can prove that it is not true that we persecute them, but that they will not tolerate the Church. In the case in question, what right have they to protest against the Church being allowed the free use of its own rites of consecration and sepulture, while they have every equal privilege freely granted to them?
I have been attacked frequently by Mr. Turton, Wesleyan Missionary at Taranaki, but I have not answered him a word. His last complaint is, that I have quoted against him certain "absurd and un-scriptural canons," in which his right to the ministry is denied. The truth is, that he claimed of the Churchwardens of Taranaki, to be allowed to sign the burial register, according to the 70th Canon, in the case of interments at which he officiated in the absence of a Clergyman. The Churchwardens referred the case to me, and I told them that the 10th, 11th, and 12th Canons "prevented me from considering Mr. Turton a Minister, within the meaning of the 70th Canon, which he quoted." This is the offence for which I have again incurred the good man's reprobation. His superior, Mr. Lawry, to whom I referred the matter, consoled me by saying, "Oh, sir, Mr. Turton is a very young man. You and I, I am sure, will never quarrel."
I trouble you with these statements, because it has been reported to me, that these disputes have led some of my friends to believe that I have assumed an offensive tone to the members of the other religious bodies; than which, I can assure you, nothing can be further from the truth.
As it seemed probable that I should be obliged to return speedily to Wellington, I did not prolong my stay, particularly as the season was far advanced, and I had still nearly 2,000 miles to sail. After attending the levee held by Lieut.-Governor Eyre, on the Queen's birthday, a ceremony which I had never witnessed since the first day of my landing in New Zealand, I embarked on board the Undine on the 24th of May, and ran rapidly out of Port Nicholson. This being the first of my voyages out of sight of land, I was a little anxious about the performance of my pocket chronometer, though the report of the master of the Dido had been, "Dent, 5796, goes more steadily than either of the watches on board her Majesty's ship Dido." We therefore began a strict reckoning by log and observation, so far as the unfavourable state of the weather would allow. In our lazy navigation within sight of land, these precautions are too often neglected. On Saturday evening, May 27, we had run down our distance; and the wind being strong, and the weather thick and stormy, we shortened sail and lay-to for the night. The next morning the Sisters, or Itutahi rocks, to the north of the great Chatham Island, appeared in sight, and the shore of the large island was dimly seen through the haze. At this time the sea was very high and the wind boisterous; and, not daring to run for the harbour, we stood out to sea and again lay-to. In the afternoon a great American whaler passed us, running to the northwest, and condescended to show us her colours, though we must have looked like a mere fishing-boat in the heavy sea which was then running. Towards evening the gale abated, and we enjoyed our afternoon prayers, with the Thanksgiving from the Prayers to be used at Sea. We all felt very thankful that we had kept a good reckoning, for if we had not lain-to when we did, we should have been close upon the Sisters in the middle of the night.
On Monday, 29th May, saw land at daylight; but a native who came with us from Wellington would not believe that it was Wharekauri, from its presenting the appearance of two islands, with an open sea between them. I was too sure of my position to have any doubt upon the subject, and therefore I comforted the old man by telling him that he would soon see the low banks rise up which connect Maunganui, the northern bill, with Whakaewa (Mitre Hill), on the south, and enclose the great inland lake, which covers a large portion of the surface of the island. The haze cleared away as we sailed on, and the whole circuit of the wide bay soon became visible, with the flat sandy beach shining brightly between the harbour of Waikanae, or Whangaroa, on the north side, and the red bluffs of Waitangi on the south. Whakaewa began to show its mitred crest at the south-west extremity of the bay; and, from the mast-head, the line of surf was seen breaking upon the dangerous reefs which lie off the north-west head. A bright clear sunshine and smooth water enabled me to take satisfactory observations, and I found that my little watch had not belied its reputation, but had preserved its rate unaltered from Ship Cove. My native boys, ten in number, had now recovered from sea-sickness, and emerged in their new clothes to enjoy the sight of the land. Their blue dresses gave to our decks a smart and crowded appearance, and made the Undine look like the tender of a man-of-war. By a good French chart, which I had copied on board the Dido, and with the pilotage of the old native, we found our way about sunset into the anchorage of Waitangi, avoiding in the dusk a bank of kelp, which afterwards proved to be the safeguard of our vessel, for the sea runs so high in this exposed roadstead, and the eddies of wind coma off the land with such fury, that nothing but this floating breakwater of sea-weed preserves vessels from being driven ashore. A wreck of a large vessel was lying up on the beach to warn us of the necessity of caution. We had just anchored, when a boat full of natives came off from the shore, and recognised me immediately; some of the party having been under my instruction at Mr. Hadfield's Mission station at Waikanae. They returned to fetch their chief, to whom Mr. H. gave, at his baptism, the appropriate name of William Pitt; but he is better known by his native name of Pomare. He soon came on board, and greeted me as an old friend, having visited us at the College in 1847, and having sailed with me in the Undine from Auckland to Wellington. He is a worthy man, of remarkable steadiness of character; but the hand of God has been laid heavily upon him, for his sons have been taken from him by shipwreck and disease. By trade with Port Nicholson he has now acquired several horses and cows, and many of the comforts of civilized life. But he requires some further help to change the habits of his people, who are far behind their chief in civilization.
Tuesday, 30th May. Early in the morning we shifted our position within the bed of kelp in three to four fathoms water, where we lay sheltered from the open sea; but the anchorage of Waitangi, at the best, is far from secure, and decidedly inferior to the opposite harbour of Whangaroa, on the northern side of the bay. The morning was favourable for rating the chronometer on shore, and the result of the sights gave me entire confidence in the watch. It was an unusual thing to be in west longitude, and a pleasing thought that I was some hundred miles on the way to England. My first visit, on landing, was to my friend William Pitt's house, who received me most hospitably, and, according to native custom, directed an immediate search to be made for pigs and potatos to present to his guest. His house is partly of English construction, such as those which the whalefishers build for themselves, with standing bed-places constructed after the fashion of berths in a ship. There is some truth in the saying, that the whalefishers impart a considerable amount of civilization to the natives. The truth seems to be, that their standard of civilized life is more attainable, and their mode of life more sociable, than in the more formal and guarded manners of the towns and the Mission stations. In justice to a much-abused class of men, from whom I have received much hospitality, I must confess, that the most steady and thoughtful of my native travelling companions spent his early life at a whaling station. There is much, of course, in the habits of the whalers which all must deeply lament; but I have rarely found a station in which advice was not patiently and even thankfully received.
My little, native scholars were most thankful to be released from shipboard for a run on the flat and firm sands of Waitangi, which reminded them of their own beach at Otaki. They were speedily engaged in all manner of gambols, while I conversed with my native host, and with the small party of his immediate neighbours. Among the rest were several men and women of the aboriginal race of the Islands, whom I was very anxious to see. In appearance they are not very different from the New Zealanders; and their language at the time of the invasion (about ten years ago) was perfectly intelligible to the Ngatiawa tribe, who usurped their territory. Their name, as spoken by themselves, is Tangata Maoriori, differing from the name of the New Zealand people only in the reduplication of the last syllables; but the conquerors have given them the title of "Paraiwhara," the meaning of which I could not ascertain. Their number at the time of my visit, by a careful census which I took of the names of men, women, and children, was 268; but the very small number of children, and the unmarried state in which they seemed for the most part to be living, would lead me to fear that they were rapidly decreasing. The relation in which they stand to the New Zealanders is not satisfactory. They have been reduced to the condition of serfs, and are obliged to obey the orders of every little child of the invading race. The common expression of "Ngare Paraiwhara," Send a Paraiwhara, shows that a "fagging" system has been established, more injurious, perhaps, to the masters than to the servants, as there is no appearance of harshness or severity, but a great decrease of personal activity in the dominant race. A long residence on the island would be necessary to do away entirely with this evil; but I did what I could in a short visit, by paying personal attention to the poor Paraiwhara. and explaining how they were descended from the elder branch of the family of Noah, by which they obtained the name of the "tuakana o te Pihopa," (the elder brother of the Bishop). They are a cheerful and willing people; and, like many persons in a subordinate station, more obliging than their masters. Amusing stories are told of the first invasion of the island; at which time the chief food of the Paraiwhara. was the supply of eels from the numerous lakes which cover perhaps half the surface. When potatos were first given to them they impaled them upon skewers, after the manner of cooking eels, and sat watching till the oil should drop from them. Their canoes are ingeniously made of small sticks carefully tied together, as there is no wood on the island suitable for a solid canoe.
From a sandhill near William Pitt's village a good view is obtained over the two principal lakes, Huro and Whanga; the latter of which is by far the largest, and is not less than twenty miles in length. It opens into the sea on the eastern coast; but the water is too shallow to admit vessels.
The general character of the whole island may be seen in a few minutes' walk from the beach. The soil is composed of a rich vegetable mould, formed by the decay of vegetation, with a mixture of drifted sand. In its natural state it is generally swampy, but, when drained and cultivated, yields the finest potatos and garden vegetables of every kind. The cabbages would require special boilers to contain them. Wheat, also, is in such abundance, that hundreds of bushels were lying ready for sale; but the stormy climate, and the badness of the anchorages, deter the masters of vessels from visiting the island. Small copses of low brushwood, lying between swampy hills, which pour their drainage into the lakes, are seen everywhere, and are the characteristic features of the landscape. The view from the hill near Rakautahi over the great Whanga lake, with two bold hills at its western end, is pleasing, without being striking or grand. If the whole island were cultivated, its gentle hills and slopes, and the variety of tarns and pools, would give it a soft and domestic character. A better place could scarcely have been found for such a body as the German Mission, now settled on the island; but their influence has been impaired by some mistakes which they made on their first settlement, by which they incurred the ill-will of the native people.
For two days I was occupied in taking the census of the people, and in conversing with the few heathens who still resist the influence and teaching of their chief, William Pitt. The time was relieved by short walks into the interior, where the magnificent produce of the native gardens, and the signs of superabundant plenty everywhere visible, contrasted in a most striking manner with the thoughts which have so long been present to our minds of the fearful distress in Scotland and Ireland. Every animal, whether pig, horse, or cow, showed by its sleek skin that hunger is here unknown. The flat levels are intersected by deep marshy creeks, which serve as canals for the transport of firewood and produce.
On the evening of May 31, I slept in William Pitt's house, in a good bed made of the down of water-fowl, to be ready to start the next morning on my tour to the other side of the island. A large evening meeting for reading, catechizing and prayer, began the series of classes, which continued daily during my stay.
On Thursday, June 1, after Divine service, I started on horseback with William Pitt to visit the north-east corner of the island, where the German Mission is established. Our horses were strong and active, and the flat beach of firm sand was very favourable for riding. A large party, followed on foot to attend the daily instruction, and to be present at the general meeting at the place appointed on the following Sunday. We soon came to the small village Awaruwaru, rebuilt on a bold headland cutting in two the long beach which extends the whole width of the bay from south to north. Here were a few Wesleyans, whom I invited to attend our meeting, as they have no English teacher of their own, and have not attached themselves to the German Mission. Passing through a pretty copse we came down again to the beach, and rode along loose sand to Rakautahi, a native village of considerable size, with a good chapel, in which I spent a delightful evening, with a large class of Scripture readers thirsting for Divine truth. William Pitt was again my host; and his wife, who generally lives here, made me welcome with every comfort which she could procure; providing me with a bed of the finest New Zealand mats, and setting before me a repast of roasted eels and mint tea. A large fire on the outside of the house, and a row of merry "Paraiwharas" crouching before the spits on which the eels were impaled, gave a fair picture of the aboriginal character and habits of the people.
June 2.--While the horses were being caught, I started on foot, and followed the path' which leads from the north end of the long beach to the interior of the island, and to the northern and eastern shores. In about a mile the view opened over the Great Lake, extending eastward as far as I could see. William Pitt soon overtook me, and we rode along the marshy margin of the lake till we had turned its western end, and then crossed over the usual peaty slopes, which quaked under the horses' feet, to the native village of Taupeka, situated on the northern shore at the end of another long beach which stretches eastward almost to the German station of Te Whakuru. Several small tarns, full of ducks, and thick copses of brushwood, give a pleasing appearance to the approach to the village. The bold form of the northernmost head of the island, closes the view to the westward. I looked in vain for the Sisters (or Itutaki) rocks, off which we had lain-to during the gale.
Taupekawas the central place fixed for our general meeting, but I did not stay long, as I had just time to reach the German station before dark. We rode rapidly over a beautiful beach to the headland of Matarakau, where the good road ends; and leaving the horses with William Pitt, I went on on foot. On the beach an original Paraiwhara canoe was Ij'ing, which gave me an opportunity of examining the construction. From Matarakau I followed an inland track of a few miles to the native village of Waikeri. On approaching the gate, a baptized woman, by name Martha, met me in tears, having been expelled from the village for an act of sin, by that excessive rigour of discipline which we find it so difficult to control in the native teachers when they are left to their own discretion. Her tears and cries, in this wild and distant country, touched my heart with the thought of the universal prevalence of sin, and of its invariable fruit of sorrow. It was impossible to resist her earnest petitions, and I brought her with me into the village, where the whole population were assembled to receive me.
The native teachers are often offended with me for what they consider a mistaken lenity; hut I cannot do otherwise than follow the example of our Lord, and leave the issue in His hands. The native chapel of Waikeri is a remarkably neat building, and the whole of the inhabitants, many of whom were dressed in English clothes, were a most orderly and respectable body. The neighbourhood of the German Mission, no doubt, has had much effect in improving them, though they have not formally connected themselves with it. From this village another long line of bench is visible on the eastern face of the island, extending to Wai Patiki, the outlet through which the waters of the Whanga Lake discharge themselves into the sea.
A short walk across a swampy valley, and up a wooded ascent, brought me to Te Wakuru, the village near which the German Mission have fixed their station. Here is another native chapel, furnished with neat glass windows from the cabin of a shipwrecked vessel. After a short interview with the people of the village, I passed on to the Mission station, where I was most cordially welcomed by the five gentlemen and three ladies who form the little Missionary body. I found them living in that simple and primitive way which is the true type of a Missionary establishment. They seem to be as one family, and to have all things in common. I had much conversation with the head of the body, M. Scheiermeister, and invited him to come to my house at Auckland, and there to converse with Mr. Kipling, a German Clergyman in English Orders, with a view to his receiving Episcopal ordination, to remove all doubts which might affect his authority and position, if he acted only under the commission given to him by the Presbytery at Berlin. He assured me that he had studied and approved of the Articles and formularies of the Church of England, and that he believed his Society would cordially approve of his being fully and formally received into the ministry of our Church. I have detailed in a letter to Chevalier Bunsen the causes which interrupted this negotiation, and which have obliged me to abstain from requesting the natives of the island who recognise my authority, to attach themselves to the German Mission. It was a great disappointment to me to be obliged to leave the island without effecting the principal object for which I came, which was to remove all doubt and disagreement between the Mission and the Church of England natives.
The station showed many signs of the useful industry which forms part of the plan of this Mission. A good windmill was nearly completed, which, under judicious management, may do much to conciliate the goodwill of a people who have large stores of wheat lying useless for want of power to grind them.
June 3.--After morning devotions with the Mission family, I returned towards Taupeka, meeting my faithful friend William Pitt with the horses at the headland where I had parted from him. At Taupeka I found a large gathering of nearly 400 people, assembled for the services of the following day. I first completed the census of the population, according to usual custom, and then spent the evening in examining classes for Confirmation and the Lord's Supper. The native chapel, though well framed in the fashion of the country, shook before the blasts of a violent south-west wind, which swept through its open window holes; yet my patient pupils sat there shivering till 9 or 10 o'clock at night to listen to instruction. When my work was ended I retired to a tent of English make, which William Pitt had pitched for me; and his good wife again waited upon me with such refreshments as she had.
June 4, (Sunday.)--On this day, so well known to all Eton men as a day of summer recreation, I was awakened by the pattering of hail upon my face, the furious gale having blown away my tent. The thought of the poor Undine at her unsafe anchorage came across my mind, and was not relieved by the remembrance of the numerous signs of shipwreck which I had met with on the island. It proved, however, that the Undine rode out the gale in the midst of her friendly breakwater of sea-weed. My own immediate inconvenience was speedily remedied by a friendly party of natives, who soon reinstated my tent.
The Sunday services proceeded as usual, with a chapel crowded with people, in spite of the coldness of the weather. A small class of candidates were confirmed, and afterwards admitted to the Holy Communion; but I could not satisfy myself with those who were presented by the native teachers for baptism, as they appeared to have been under no regular probation, and my own stay was too short for any sufficient inquiry. Those who were confirmed had been baptized long before by our Missionaries in New Zealand, and though, as I expected, they were very ignorant, yet they seemed to be earnest in desiring instruction. A small congregation of English settlers assembled after the native service, and the day closed with the most pleasing exercise of my ministerial office, the. baptism of seventy children, presented to me, by the native, teachers, with the full consent of the parents. In a country where lapses are so frequent among the adults, as to make the responsibility of baptizing those who are of riper years a cause of much fear and anxiety, the mind rests with faith and hope upon the assurance that "it is not the will of our heavenly Father that one of His little ones should perish."
On Monday, June 5, after a morning service, and farewell address to my friendly congregation, I returned by the same route to the anchorage at Waitangi. My native boys had been enjoying themselves on shore in William Pitt's house, the violence of the gale having made it inconvenient for them to return on board. My last evening on shore was spent as before in class-reading and evening prayer; but the main body of the people had not returned.
Tuesday, June 6.--The morning was spent in a long and interesting conversation with a sick native, to which many others of the party, who are still unconverted, listened with eager attention, and I much regretted that I had no longer time to follow up the impression which seemed to be made. But it is so common to meet with instances in which the seed sown by a passing Missionary has borne fruit, that I cannot despair of some good being done even by such short visits as mine. The fineness of the morning enabled me to take shore sights for rating the chronometer; and then, all our preparations being completed, we set sail with our vessel laden with the fine potatos of the island, which William Pitt generously forced upon us, to the great satisfaction of the schoolboys. In most respects my visit had been most pleasing; and I could only regret that it was so short.
We had now our longest stretch of open sea to cross; and I was a little anxious, lest, at this season of the year, we should be detained by strong southerly winds, and prevented from reaching Otakou. Not that I felt any very strong obligation to visit the new settlement, which is avowedly attached to the Scotch Church; but I felt a desire to inquire after the welfare of the first settlers, and to show an interest in their proceedings. It appeared also to be probable that many English emigrants would have bought land, as is the case. As a subject of general interest, it is pleasant to see the first beginnings of these new settlements, and to watch their future progress. There are many particulars of local information which an old resident in the country can give, by which trouble and disappointment may be saved to the new comer. But perhaps the most important part of my duty, after my religious ministrations, is to explain the relations in which we stand to the native race, and to encourage feelings of mutual confidence and esteem, by assuring the settlers of the general good feeling of the New Zealanders towards ourselves. These considerations induced me to make the attempt to reach Otakou, though with some doubt of the prospect of success. We cleared the Chatham Islands during the first night; and were not sorry to escape from those stormy islands at this unsettled season. For the first two days we glided along steadily and pleasantly with light and favourable winds, pursuing our usual employments, which are nearly alike on all days; and consist of morning and evening prayers, native schools, navigation, and reading and writing in undisturbed luxury. It may be an unusual taste, but I must acknowledge that seafaring is to me a source of enjoyment and benefit, from the vigorous health which it imparts, and the leisure which it affords for reading and thought. It is not that I dislike society, but that the incessant interruptions of a new community, requiring constant superintendence, leave me scarcely any time for myself.
On the third day our weather changed, and thick mists settled down upon the sea; the north-easterly wind increased in strength, and a long heavy swell gave us notice of an approaching gale from that quarter. Our course being W.S.W., the wind was perfectly fair; the only question was, how long we should be able to run before the sea. The cold damp of the atmosphere caused the vapour to eon-dense in our crowded cabin when it was shut up; and, for the first time, we felt a little uncomfortable with our clothes and bedding wetted with the dripping of the deck and sides. But these inconveniences were mitigated by the pleasant rush of the little vessel, as she ran along at the rate of seven knots an hour over the rolling waves, which seemed to pursue her in vain. We had a fine open sea before us, and a day's work of 170 miles was no inconsiderable help towards reaching Otakou. A few heavy seas came on board, and the pump was in very frequent use; but the merciful Providence, to which we always address our prayers in stormy weather, gave his commandment to the sea, that "hitherto it should come, and no further." Its proud waves were stayed before they had harmed so much as a single rope of our vessel.
On Sunday, June 11, the fifth day after leaving the Chatham Islands, the gale broke off, and by glimpses of the sun through the thick mist we ascertained our latitude and longitude. To our great joy we found ourselves within a few miles of the middle Island of New Zealand; but a northerly current, and the irregular steering of a small vessel in a heavy sea, had set us twenty miles to the northward of our course to Otakou. We therefore expected to make the land near Moerangi, the home of my excellent friend Henry Mauhara, at this time with me on board.
On Monday, June 12, we caught a glimpse of the land, and at first thought it was Cape Saunders, near Otakou; but at night, when the moon rose, and the mist settled down into the valleys, Henry recognised the peak of a well-known hill standing out of the white fog-bank, by which he knew that we were midway between Waikouaiti and Moerangi, and therefore about seventeen miles to the northward of Otakou. We steered south till morning with occasional sights of the lands, and saw clearly the point of Waikouaiti, the Wesleyan Mission station described in my former Journals.
On Tuesday, June 13, at daylight, we saw through the mist the opening of Otakou, with its conspicuous bank of white sand on the western head. I was now at home, having sketches in my book of the headlands, and notes on the entrance of the harbour. We sailed in with a light fair wind from the north, and soon arrived at my former anchorage in the Perseverance. But as the Scotch settlement is far up the river, and the wind and tide were favourable, we ran straight on by the guidance of the buoys placed by the direction of the New Zealand Company, and with the precaution of placing a man at the mast-head to look out for the shoals. This part of the river was new to us all, as I had not entered beyond the outward anchorage at the native village. The channel for six miles from the Head to the port town of Duneden is deep, but narrow and winding; but with a fair wind and a good pilot there is little danger. The chief drawback to the harbour is the bar at the mouth, on which a rolling swell runs with violence in a northerly gale. This, however, seems to be unusual; and on four occasions on which I have crossed it, the water has been perfectly smooth. One of the Company's emigrant ships (Philip Laing) was lying at anchor at the port of Duneden, with two smaller vessels. I was surprised at first by seeing no signs of a settlement beyond a few straggling cottages, but I soon ascertained that the main town of Duneden was six miles further up the river, in a place accessible to boats, but not safe for larger vessels. A large cargo-boat being on the point of sailing for the town, I took my place in it, with a good load of stores and provisions for the use of the settlers. The wind failed us midway, and we were five hours in the boat, but the bright moonlight made our voyage pleasant, and at the worst we had only the prospect of a night bivouac under the wooded banks, with such a fire as New Zealand seldom fails to supply to the benighted traveller. I often think how wistfully an outside passenger on a mail coach in a frosty night used to look at every blacksmith's forge by the road side, or at the great furnaces of the ironworks at Wednesbury and Bilston; and then it appears how little there is of discomfort in Missionary life in New Zealand, beyond the ordinary inconveniences of travellers in England. Perhaps the railways may have made you more luxurious, but I speak of times when railways were not in operation. The scattered houses of the new settlers appeared in view, looking more imposing in the moonlight, and we landed on a flat beach through shallow water at 8 P.M. I was most kindly received by the Company's agent, Captain Cargill, and was lodged most comfortably in the house of the Company's principal surveyor.
June 14.--The day was spent in visiting the settlers, many of whom, I found, were members of the Church of England, and expressed a hope that a Clergyman would be stationed among them. In the present state of our body I could give them but little hope of this. In the afternoon, the kindness of Captain Cargill and the Government Resident Mr. Strode, provided me with a horse, upon which I rode to the top of the lofty ridge which separates the town from the plains of the Taiari. From this range the singular formation of the whole district is seen. The inland estuary, at the southern end of which Duneden is placed, seems to have had an outlet into the open sea to the southward of Cape Saunders, as a narrow and low bank of sand is now all the separation between them. It will be possible for boats from the town to be drawn over this bank, and to go off at once to vessels arriving from the southward.
Cape Saunders, Pikiwara (Saddle Hill), and the ridge near Duneden, appear to be masses heaved up by volcanic action through the great alluvial plain which forms the eastern lace of the Middle Island. Of this plain, the Taiari and Matau (Molyneux) districts form a part, over which the sections of the Duneden settlers are spread. The fault of the settlement is its dispersion; its advantage will be, the range of down-like hills, which open to the southward, sometimes of great height, but often of small size with flattened tops of uniform elevation, as if a sea of lava in a state of wavy motion had been cooled under the pressure of a solid plane resting equally upon it; or, to use a simpler description, as if a dish of rolls in an oven had been baked with a tray lying on the top of them. The whole of this wavy country, as far as the eye can reach, will be found, no doubt, admirably adapted for sheep pastures. The plains, such as that of the Taiari, seem to be swampy, but the fall of the rivers is generally sufficient to ensure a complete drainage. In the Taiari plain a single clump of "kahikatea" (white pine) contrasts with the bare appearance of the country in general. The want of firewood will be the chief inconvenience at the sheep stations in this island; but Otakou itself is abundantly supplied from the wooded banks of the river.
In the evening I had the pleasure of meeting the Scotch Minister, Mr. Burns, a nephew of the poet; and I can say, without flattery, that I consider the, new settlement of Otakou happy in being able to obtain the services of a pastor of his character from the first. At this meeting, and when I visited him the next morning, we had much conversation; and I hope that I convinced him that the doubts of the native people, which he had imbibed in England, were unfounded. Among other indications of erroneous impressions, was the belief that the Missions in this country had acted unwisely in teaching Christian doctrine in the language of New Zealand, instead of instructing the people in the English language. I have since seen the same opinion expressed in a speech of Earl Grey before the House of Lords. As I have been engaged, more or less, ever since I came to New Zealand, in attempting to teach English to adult natives, I may be considered, I hope, a fair witness on this question; and I have no hesitation in saying, that if the Missionaries had not learned the language of the country, and used it in their preaching and schools, there would not have been a Christian native to this day. I have never known an adult who has mastered our language sufficiently to use it as a medium of spiritual instruction or thought. And it seems unreasonable to expect any more, when we know that to this day, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland retain, in many parts, their original languages; and that Clergymen who are not natives of those parts are obliged to study the language most commonly spoken in the parishes to which they are appointed. At Oswestry, an English town, and even in London, a Welsh service is needed. The principle fixed at the Reformation, of ministering in a language understood by the people, is clearly against the idea of withholding from the New Zealanders religious instruction in their own language. The effects of the present practice have been seen in the diffusion of the knowledge of the Scriptures throughout the length and breadth of the land, even to places unvisited by English Missionaries, as I mentioned in my former Journal, when I found, in Stewart's Island, and at the furthest settlement in Foveaux Straits, men acquainted with the Catechism and able to read the New Testament.
The Scotch emigrants of the working class seemed to be well contented with their prospects; though they had arrived at the worst season of the year, and had lived in rough sheds, during almost incessant rain, for several weeks. The climate of Otakou is much colder than that of the northern islands, but snow scarcely ever lies on the ground, even during the middle of winter. The damp fogs which hang over the land at this season seem to be the chief inconvenience. On my former visit, in summer, the weather was very delightful.
Having already overstayed the time at which I hoped to have been on my voyage homewards, I lost no time, on the first change of wind, to leave Otakou on my return. My faithful friend, Henry Mauhara, remained to visit his relations, with the intention of rejoining me after the next summer. The parting with a native friend is always sorrowful, for the seeds of disease are so often hidden in their constitution, from defective food, and want of care in infancy, that even the healthiest men, to all outward appearance, are often the first to be taken. A violent cold which he caught in my service at Nelson, gave me cause for anxiety. But much as I value him, I shall be content to lose him, if only he be thought fit to be accepted by a better Master, into whose Church I received him by baptism. You will forgive, I am sure, the personal feelings which I am sometimes led to express, when you consider that it has become a public duty, in the midst of misrepresentations of the native character, that I should assure you, that in all parts of the country, and under all circumstances, I have received from my native friends the most disinterested kindness, and have been comforted under many sorrows by their unwearied fidelity. It has become an axiom in my mind, that if I treat a native as my own child, I make him a friend for life.
In descending the Otakou river the light failed us, and we were obliged to anchor in the stream for fear of running upon the banks. At daylight we found ourselves close to the edge of one of the steep shoals which skirt the channel; but, having a strong crew of men and boys, with fifteen hands to work at the warp, we soon drew off from the danger, and sailed with a fair wind out of the harbour, early on the morning of June 16. I had now a fortnight before me to the day on which I was expected at home; but this was not too much for the remaining distance of nearly 850 miles. We were disappointed in the stability of our southerly wind, which carried us seventy miles before nine at night, and then died away in glorious moonlight.
June 17.--A calm sunny day enabled us to dry all our clothes and bedding; and we were all glad to escape from the foggy regions of the south, with a climate improving every degree that we advanced to the northward. The mist had cleared away from the land, and the noble chain of the Southern Alps, upon which I looked with so much admiration on my former voyage, again showed its snowy outline to the westward, the white summits standing out against the deep blue of the sea and sky, with their bases and the great plain at the foot of them hidden below the horizon. About noon we saw Banks's Peninsula, at the distance of about 40 miles.
June 18.--A Sunday such as we used to enjoy on board the Tomatin, excepting only the dear friends whose bodily presence was wanting to complete the resemblance. Still, with the four seamen and my native boys, I could collect a congregation of fifteen, while the Undine glided along with all her sails set, but requiring no more then one of the boys to manage the helm. The Peninsula was close at hand, but, like its cloud-collecting brother at Otakou, it was invisible in the mist.
June 19.--A little after midnight the mist cleared off, and we saw, in the moonlight, the well-known mark of Pompey's Pillar, two or three miles to the north-east of the heads of Akaroa, forming the extremity of the peninsula to the eastward. The sketches taken in my former voyage furnished me with an outline of this headland, and of the mouth of Akaroa harbour, in reliance upon which we steered in at once without waiting for the daylight, and rowed up the harbour in a dead calm till the tide turned against us and compelled us to anchor. The bold hills and rocks of this magnificent harbour looked grander than ever, when, instead of pouring down upon the vessel their gusts of condensed wind, they rose against the clear sky like giants guarding the still waters of the inland sea below them. The night was cold and frosty, but the oars of all sizes, which were at work, kept the whole party warm till the anchor was dropped, at 5 A.M.
The settlers at this place are chiefly French, but there is a government officer and a few English families. One day was spent in visiting the members of my own Church, and in baptizing a few children, who had been born since my last visit. The lack of ministerial care was pointed out by one parent, who said, with perfect simplicity, "that there had been no Bishop there to baptize lately." There is no resident minister of religion; and Episcopal visits, including those of Bishop Pompallier, have been almost their only opportunity of obtaining baptism for their children.
June 20.--A dead calm, with torrents of rain. Wrote letters, including the first part of this Journal, which I hope you have already received.
June 21 was devoted to visiting the native villages on the opposite side of the harbour to the English settlements. The people, like most of the inhabitants of the southern island, are mild and pleasing in their manners, and very desirous of instruction, though they are at present very ignorant of Divine truth. They were most earnest in their application for books; and, as I never go to the distant places without a supply, I was able to gratify them.
H.M.S. Fly had lately left the harbour with the agent appointed by Government to buy the whole of the Middle Island not included in the former purchases at Nelson and the Wairau. The tribe, which had assembled to receive the payment, had not dispersed, and I was able to converse with them. They seemed to be perfectly satisfied with the sale, having received 2,000l., for which they had given up, as they told me, plains, mountains, rivers, &c. as far as Foveaux Straits, trusting to the faith of the Government to make suitable reserves for their use. This is a curious commentary upon the opinions first expressed by the Committee of the House of Commons, in 1845, and since avowed by Earl Grey; and will tend to put an end to all further discussion on the rights of the New Zealanders, when it is seen that lands which would have cost millions to take and to keep by force, are quietly ceded for less than a farthing an acre. But it is a great point, after all that has been said, that the right of the native owners, even to unoccupied lands, has been thus recognised over so wide a surface. My ministrations during my brief, and therefore unsatisfactory visit, were chiefly confined to the baptism of two English and eight native children.
On June 22 we weighed anchor, and reached the heads at sunset; but there the wind failed us, and the flood-tide set us so strongly towards the rocks under the northern head, that we were obliged to work all the oars for several hours, till the tide turned, and a light air from the land carried us out of danger. We were very thankful once more to reach the open sea, with no other port between us and Auckland.
June 23.--We were becalmed all day within sight of the peninsula, but on the following day a fair wind carried us steadily on our course towards Cape Palliser, but we did not reach that headland (the south-east point of the northern island) till the 27th.
On the 28th we had wind from the south, and cleared nearly 100 miles; but on the following day, while we were running six knots an hour before the wind, by one of those freaks of weather not uncommon in this climate, a heavy shower of rain seemed to still the wind in a moment, and the vessel was left rolling like a log in the trough of the sea. Shakspeare's description of the cradle of the rude imperious surge, does not apply to a swell in a calm, for very few of us slept that night, and all arose with aching bones,
June 30.--Saw Portland Island at daylight, and shortly after the suspended animation of the southerly wind returned, and before sunset we saw Poverty Bay; but the wind was too precious to be risked by a visit to my dear friend, Archdeacon W. Williams, so I contented myself with wishing him all possible success in his arduous ministry. Every sail was now set, and we soon passed in succession G-able-end Foreland, and the Mission station of Uawa, in Tolaga Bay, running well under the land in perfectly smooth water, with a fiery wake of phosphoric light stretching far behind the vessel, and that exhilarating sound of rushing water which is so peculiarly pleasant to one who is homeward bound. It was too fine a night to think of going to bed; and yet this was the very depth of winter, if depth it can be called, in New Zealand. About midnight East Cape Island was in sight; and at 4 A.M. on the 1st of July, we raced round it at a speed which seemed as if the Undine was as glad to turn the corner as her master.
We anchored before daylight in Hicks' Bay, a place which has seen many changes since I landed there on my visit to the south in the Victoria, in 1842. It was then under the care of Mr. Stack, who has since been removed from his post by an illness believed to be incurable. The earnest desire of the people for an ordained Missionary induced me to recommend the Rev. G. A. Kipling to this post of duty, and, on my last land journey, I spent a happy week at his station, in examining and confirming his converts. He also has been removed by illness, though his useful labours are prolonged, by the mercy of God, at Auckland, where the benefit of medical advice still enables him to continue his duties. The Rev. C. L. Reay was then appointed to the charge of the two stations of Waiapu and Te Kawakawa; but scarcely a year had passed from the time when I saw him there in health, on my last voyage, before he was taken from us by death, and his large district, with more than 4,000 souls, was again left without a shepherd. My object now was to offer to his widow a passage to Auckland, in case no other opportunity should have occurred since her husband's death.
It was evident, from the heavy north-easterly swell rolling into the bay, that there would be some difficulty in landing; but the Undines boat, though very small, is of a very safe construction, and I thought that I might attempt it, having some knowledge of the place. On approaching the beach it seemed to be impracticable, as a white line of surf fringed the whole circuit of the bay, and the rolling waves were so high as to hide the schooner when we went down into the trough. But between the waves there were intervals of smooth water of unusual duration, caused probably by the action of the strong southerly wind beating back the swell of the northerly wind of the previous days. By watching one of these, we were carried safely on the back of a wave into the little river Te Kawa-kawa, with shouts of friendly welcome from the natives on the beach, who knew me well, and who would soon have swum off to my assistance if the boat had been swamped. They told me that Mrs. Reay had gone to Auckland some weeks before my arrival. It was then just sunrise, and the time of their morning prayer; and though I had fears of the surf rising and preventing my return, I could not refuse to go with them to their chapel and speak a few words of comfort to them in their desolate state. A couple who were waiting to be married also claimed my services, with the irresistible plea, that they would have to walk to Turanga (ninety miles) if I refused. The delay happily was of no consequence, as the surf rather abated before my departure; and, by using the same precautions as before, we reached the vessel in safety, and felt thankful to be again on board. A crew of whalers had come off from a neighbouring station, and would willingly have taken me on shore in their large boat. It was pleasing (and it is not the first time that I have had occasion to make the remark) to hear these rough seamen speak of the kindness of Mr. Reay, whose influence among them, if his life had been spared, working upon ground already prepared by Mr. Kipling, would have been made the means of amending much of that laxity of life which has made many shrink from all contact with whaling stations, as places wholly given up to hopeless sin. I am convinced that nothing is hopeless; and I would to God that I had faith to act consistently upon this conviction.
We were now fairly homeward bound, with little more than 200 miles before us, across the Bay of Plenty and the Frith of the Thames. This day, the 1st of July, was equal to the finest summer weather in England; and our whole party were basking on the deck in the bright sunshine, as we lay almost becalmed off the entrance of Hicks' Bay. At night a fresh breeze began, which continued during the whole of the following day, July 2, and carried us past Sulphur Island by midday; and at sunset we saw the first of the Mercury Islands, and a little later Cuvier's Island, which marks the passage between the Great Barrier and the main. At midnight we passed the island, and lay becalmed in the passage that night and the following day.
July 3.--Another summer's day in the midst of winter--perfectly calm and cloudless. Our boys enjoyed a bathe in a large sail hung over the side of the vessel. The mirthful glee of the whole party was very different from the demeanour of English boys going "unwillingly to school." At sunset the tide had drifted us through the passage, and we were obliged to use the oars, to avoid the high rock, which stands like a watch-tower in the middle. When we had cleared Cape Colvile the fresh southerly breeze from the valley of the Thames came to our aid, and carried us before sunrise within the channel, between Waitemata and Rangitote.
July 4.--Wind, tide, and weather were all in our favour for entering the harbour of Auckland: and the good little Undine worked up to her anchorage, after a voyage of fourteen weeks, with sails, ropes, and spars uninjured, having sailed 3,000 miles, and visited thirteen places; thus fulfilling the wish with which the good Archbishop, now gone to his rest, accompanied a donation of 501. towards the purchase,--"that the new vessel for the Bishop of New Zealand might prove as s as the Flying Fish." By the good providence of God we were so blessed, that no illness occurred either among the passengers or the crew during the whole voyage. My party of native boys, eleven in number, collected from Otaki, Croixille's Harbour, Waikanae, and the Chatham Islands, arrived at the College full of health and good spirits, after sailing from 1,500 to 2,000 miles from their homes.
By the same mercy of God, my dear wife and children, and all the members of St. John's College, had been preserved in health, except Mr. Hutton, whom I found alarmingly ill with a seizure, from which after three mouths he is still only partially recovered.
Mahurangi, October 26, 1848.
I am closing this letter on board the Undine, now lying in the little harbour of Mahurangi, and waiting for a storm to pass away, that we may go to spend the Sunday at the copper mine (already mentioned) on the Island of Kawau. Captain Maxwell, of H.M.S. Dido, is with me on board, and will be the bearer, I hope, of this letter, and the protector of our eldest boy, William, whom I commend to the prayers and counsel of all who love his father. I know that he will never lack friends to encourage him in every holy disposition, or to reprove him when he goes astray; and in this confidence, and, above all, in reliance on his heavenly Father, I consign him to God, to the Church of England, and to my friends. If our lives should be spared, I can form no better wish for him, than that he should be approved by your Society, and sent out as a Missionary to this Diocese. By that time, it may have pleased God to widen our field of labour, vast though it be already, and to multiply the labourers in a like proportion.
My visit to the Isle of Pines, though of a few hours' duration, has left upon my mind the deep conviction, that an effort made there would not be in vain; and that the spiritual conquest of that little island would open the way to New Caledonia and its adjacent islands of the Loyalty Group. This is the point upon which the Missionary energies of the New Zealand Church ought to be bestowed, as a sign of its own vitality, in giving to others freely what it has freely received. The most frightful crimes of rapine and massacre are now being committed by the very people who received Captain Cook, seventy years ago, with a friendly disposition beyond that even of the people of the "Friendly Islands." The change must be attributed to the fact, that we have followed up our first knowledge of New Caledonia with the most sordid and unscrupulous schemes of avarice, instead of sending out men with the heart of Cook, and with the powers and graces of the ministerial calling. You will not be surprised if you hear of my visiting those islands again, for something must be done, and I am waiting only for some door to be opened by which God may show his willingness that the work should be begun. Now, if my dear Chaplain Mr. Whytehead were alive, or if those other friends were here whom I am allowed to expect, I feel as if I might be strengthened to search out the choicest youth among all the neighbouring islands, and bring them into our College; and with this centre once formed, the work of grace might spread to all "the regions beyond." How forcibly may you urge this upon your members, that every Colony may be a source of light to all its heathen neighbours; that those who contribute so coldly and sparingly to the funds of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, because they think that its work does not bear a Missionary character, are, in fact, hindering the surest method of preaching the Gospel to the heathen by starving the Colonial Churches, winch might be the nursing mothers of every Christian tribe within the circle of their influence. So far as God may enable us to fulfil anything that we promise, you may rely upon our willingness to work. The habits formed in these vast Dioceses tend to set aside all thoughts of time and distance. The young men of the College, before my last voyage in the Dido, begged me to accept their assurance, that if I should discover any opening where their services might be more required than in New Zealand, they held themselves in readiness to answer to the call. It may encourage you to work for us when you know that, though feeble instruments at the best, and altogether helpless without God's grace, we have willing hearts, and a spirit of unhesitating obedience to any lawful call of the elders of our mother Church. Next to the glory which we give to God, and in no abatement of the duty which we owe to Him, we desire to prove the life and fruitfulness of our mother Church by the healthiness and vigour of her offspring. While she is assailed with imputations of corruption and lukewarmness, not for her own fault, but for the abuses which time has introduced, her Colonial children desire to pay back, in part at least, the debt which they owe for their birth and nurture, by setting forth the purity of her system in all the energy of its unfettered principle and practice. So may God grant that all our Churches may be jewels in the crown which the Bride of Christ will cast down before the throne of the Father, in the day when all glory will be ascribed to One alone, and God will be all in all.
With thankful remembrance of all your benefactions, and desiring your continual prayers,
Your grateful and affectionate Friend and Brother,
G. A. NEW ZEALAND.
REV. ERNEST HAWKINS.