A YEAR has quickly passed since that most dreadful day when we went away empty from Nukapu, leaving behind us in those distant depths the familiar form and accustomed presence, in which had centred all our responsibilities, now [116/117] lying so heavily upon us. For ever in this world we are severed from our wonted daily intercourse with that clear unprejudiced mind, which, with a far foresight and deep insight, was never off its guard, never taken by surprise, but was always ready to deal on the shortest notice, without hurry yet without delay, with whatever circumstances or whatever person might require attention.
In recalling this great and good man, with whom it was my privilege to live for six years in all the intimacy and familiarity which he himself encouraged in those about him, and which were partly the cause and partly the consequence of our simple and unceremonious mode of life, I should defeat my own intention were I to exaggerate in any particular. Exaggeration was utterly foreign to him. His various and varied gifts and acquirements, and the different parts of his own character were all nicely balanced. As there was no discord, so was there nothing superlative, if I may so express it, in his well disciplined moral constitution. Hence there was an absence of all narrowness about him. He was punctual, orderly, grave, and yet inviting confidence, a fountain of sound advice, and a casuist in the best sense. No one, whether child or man, was ever afraid of him, except, of course, untaught Melanesians, whose shyness and suspicion are well nigh invincible, for he never used any but moral force, though that he wielded with a power well nigh irresistible. His anger was as calm as it was impressive. He had the rare power of measuring out his wrath in exact proportion to the offence which occasioned it, and more than that, of leaving in the offender's mind, Melanesian or European, a sense of his displeasure and general awe of the precise magnitude which he desired.
In all this we admire not so much what Bishop Patteson was by nature, as what he had become by means of self-discipline. It was indeed a privilege to live with one so unselfish, so meek, and so holy. His gentleness and humility were wonderful, especially when combined with such promptness, precision, and cool unbiased judgment. He disliked society as such, loving his own room and his books, yet no one was more calculated to shine amongst his fellows, a prefect gentleman, of extraordinary refinement, of comprehensive education, fond of music, a connoisseur in painting, and with all the Eton Boy's enthusiasm for games and sports, he was yet grave and thoughtful as became his office. Heartily enjoying refined wit and humour, he detested anything coarse or vulgar. With ever new delight he recalled his Eton school days, their cricket matches, the services in St. George's, Windsor, the schemes of both masters and boys to shirk their work in the good old easy-going times, the amazing expense and luxury of the life, and the mighty little in-[117/118]struction he got out of it all. His Oxford career he scarcely ever referred to, but passed on with increased zest to his holiday rambles in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. The beautiful, whether in nature or in art, always attracted him; at sea in the calm, cool evening when the glare of the day was passed, his eyes would feast on the glorious sunset clouds, and his sweet musical accents directing our attention, and telling us all that his vivid imagination pictured in the sky, would seem a fit accompaniment, to which we listened in silent enjoyment.
His interest in politics was always keen, many of the leading men of the day being personally known to him; the last great war he followed carefully throughout its stages, laying down the Guardian to take up the Atlas when the name of some unknown village was mentioned, henceforth to be famous in the history of the world. Of his own political opinions I cannot speak with certainty, but I know that he failed to appreciate American institutions, at least as popularly known in England; that he was Conservative of the old party, but at the same time highly approved of their being weeded, both in matters religious and secular. He leaned upon authority in his government of the Mission; he never made any change, or took an important step without consulting with all his clergy and, where they were interested, with the elder Melanesians.
In this aspect of his character it is easy to trace a resemblance to that of Mr. Keble, for whom he entertained the greatest reverence, and whose gentleness, holiness, and practical wisdom were reproduced in himself. It is difficult to assign him to any particular party in the Church, because he was not a party man. As I said above, exaggeration was foreign to him, in religion as in all else an exact proportion was maintained. Often would he speak of the "Proportion of the Faith," showing how each party or sect is a party or sect, because by exaggerating some one dogma they have destroyed the Proportion of the Faith. He could then sympathise with all while he sided with none. I have heard him say with reference to the Ritual troubles that it was quite right to restrain one party when it exceeded the Rubric, but that if that were done those who neglected or transgressed the same should be similarly treated. He had all the fervour of the Low Church section, all their rapturous love for the Savour as All in All; his residence in Germany made him acquainted with the literature of the philosophical school, while his love of order, his able mind, his respect for authority, and careful study led him to hold all that the Primitive Church held as set forth in the Scriptural articles and formularies of our Church. Not very long before his death he received several letters of immense length, and written in a stirring style, with much real warmth of interest [118/119] and affection from a Roman Catholic priest whom he had met many years before when stationed at Lifu by Bishop Selwyn. These letters aimed at nothing less than the conversion of Bishop Patteson to the Roman faith. His reply, which formed a wonderful contrast by its exceeding brevity, clearness, and conclusiveness, was to the effect that having read the long and friendly letters in question, he had failed to discover any novelty in the arguments set forth therein; that of course he had long ago considered and made up his mind as to their validity, and that he declined to enter into any controversy, for this reason, among others, that it could not possibly lead to any practical result, since each of them would unavoidably attach a different meaning to the same words. This, with due acknowledgment and reciprocation of the father's earnestness and sympathy, ended the matter.
His liberality with regard to the Mission is known by all the world, but it was in his private, secret charities that his compassion, thoughtfulness, and delicacy endeared him as a father to many a poor struggling unfortunate, and showed the real kindness of his heart. At the same time his generosity never did violence to his justice.
Bishop Patteson became old very quickly, almost suddenly, not in years, of course, but in manner and appearance, and in the rapid decay of his physical strength. I shall never forget the look upon his face as I saw him in his room standing, on the arrival of mail, distraught, with an unfolded letter hanging from his hand. That letter was the announcement of Bishop Selwyn's acceptance of the See of Lichfield. He reasoned with himself that it was all for the best, but the heart is not so subservient as the brain. If my impression be correct, a decline set in from that moment, a failing of spirits, and a deadening of interest in life generally. Other shocks followed. The visitation of typhoid fever in the absence of any medical man occasioned him great anxiety, his care for the members of the Pitcairn Community, whose numbers were literally decimated, being just as solicitous as for those of his own party; the slave trade, which turned his mission field, ripening unto harvest, into a wilderness, made him sometimes talk, not quite in earnest, of going to Japan, which country and its people he had a great desire to see and know, and concerning whose welfare and improvement he corresponded frequently with his friend Sir Harry Parkes, the British representative there. Then came his own severe illness, from which he never thoroughly recovered. Perhaps that long interval during which he took no active part in the work of the Mission was granted as a preparation for his final removal It made us face the fact that instead of our Bishop being as he was only a year ago, the most [119/120] active of our party both in body and mind, a young man in the full vigour of his prime, who would possibly outlive us all, age and death had already marked him as their own, and, moreover, that he was quite ready to depart. His death became a possibility close at hand, instead of an improbability never occurring to our minds.
It often happens that facts do strange violence to sentiment; it was so in the case of our Bishop; during his illness fretfulness and extreme despondency were among the symptoms of the disease, or were, perhaps, induced by the remedies employed. He was not himself; his interest did not seem to travel beyond the walls of his room, but was keenly alive to every annoyance within them. His mind became full of strange fancies, and appeared incapable of making any effort. Let the reader realize the full meaning of these words, "He was not himself." Thank God that so noble a life did not ebb ignobly away upon that most distressing bed of sickness, but was restored to die a noble death, for it seems as though he were snatched from death in all its meanness to go and win a martyr's crown and die himself. On that last voyage, although infirm in body, he was perfectly restored in mind; he was up and batting with this traffic in human flesh; life seemed to have opened another vista before him; his interest in the outer world had quite revived.
It was from his lips three weeks before his death, as we lay together at night in my little house at Florida in the Solomons Group (now inseparably connected with his presence), that I first heard in detail the awful tale of Paris under the Commune. On that occasion also he enthusiastically related how Mota had received the Gospel.
This great mercy granted by the Lord, Who, having need of him, was about to call him hence, shone brightly on the brief portion of life's path which lay before him, comforting and cheering him. The time was nigh at hand; the Lord was calling him away; the calm and glow of the glorious sunsets which he loved were settling down upon himself. The weather was beautiful, too fine to suit our impatience, and after tea he would sit on deck in an easy chair, generally with his arm round some young one of his charge, talking of our new vessel and our new Church, and of Santa Cruz. The elements did all in their power to prevent our getting there; he was the only one who felt and expressed no weariness, no desire to press on. At last we gained the vicinity of the volcano near Santa Cruz, where the baffling wind bound us for five days! The sublimity of the spectacle impressed us all very much, him more than any one, the neighbourhood lending an interest to everything. One evening at prayers, when the mountain had been very magnificent, he read Psalm civ., [120/122] where the words occur, "If He do not but touch the hills they shall smoke."
LANDING ON AURORA, IN THE NEW HEBRIDES.
(From a Sketch by the Rev. R. H. Codrington.)
We grew weary even of this grand sight, but he was full of prayer and hope and longing desire concerning these "poor people." He introduced a special prayer for them every evening, asking that they might be induced to give up one or more of their lads, and that so an opening might be made; but no, their hour was not yet come, while his was fast approaching; no lad should be let go, for their guardian was on his way, not to Norfolk Island, but to a land whither they could not come. In proportion as our weariness increased, his interest deepened, till at last he seemed to think of nothing else save these "poor people" for whom he began to pray without ceasing. As he sat in the cabin with shaded eyes, or walked the deck, he seemed to be absorbed in meditation and prayer. He was being drawn to that white beach which ere long would be crimsoned with his blood. Unfavourable winds could not prevent it, calms could but delay it. The wind was blowing fair for Mota and the south, and we were all right weary of the voyage, but he was immoveable, he would hear of no hurry, he rejoiced in the calm which two days before the end enabled him to have an interview with a canoe which passed at no great distance from us. All was friendly and encouraging; Mr. Atkin went on board the canoe and inspected it thoroughly, while some of its occupants passed into the boat. At night the volcano, and the earnest prayer for Santa Cruz; next day a light head wind. Still we held on; we so weary, he so calm, hopeful, and happy.
The day after, I saw him alive for the last time as he sat in the stern of the boat holding the rudder lines and hurrying his crew, for now he was in a hurry, and would brook no delay. His last words to me as he left the vessel's side were, "Tell the captain I may have to go on shore," and then he started for the shore, the heavenly shore, where HE stood who called him. Bright and glorious and triumphant as was his end, the tears will crowd into our eyes as we think of the sad scene that followed, that gentle form exposed to those fierce butchers; he going full of love to meet their savage hate; his utter tenderness and meekness in the midst of that infuriated and blood-thirsty crowd. He must have soon discovered that for him there was no return, that he was caught only to be led to the slaughter. The boat! The schooner! The Mission! The fate awaiting these must have flashed through his mind in those last awful moments of which we so long to know the history.
All that we saw of him again was the wounded but unmutilated body sent out to us, perhaps in triumphant cruelty, but received by us in overflowing gratitude. How strange it seemed when he was [122/123] lifted out of the boat, the head falling back in piteous helplessness, to have to lay him aside as of secondary importance, while the wounded living were attended to. How very touching was this utter helplessness of that figure which in the morning had been full of life and activity, and had taken precedence of all, now lying at every body's mercy, just as the heavy limbs might chance to fall. You know the rest. You know of the sweet smile which was the only message from the shore, where his brave companion who went in search of him, who was so soon to find him, gazed in vain for the "fluttered handkerchief" which was to have been the signal that he was ready to return.
Sitting here in his room in Norfolk Island in his chair, with the books in which he lived around me, beside me the tall desk (his father's) at which he liked to stand and study (often with his elbow leaned upon it, his hand supporting his head and shading his weak sight, he would turn upon us in a fluent stream of most lucid language the result of this morning's thought), the well-known walking-stick leaning in its accustomed corner awaiting in vain that hand to wield it which will never more need its aid, with his likeness as he was when taken from us lying here on my table before me--as I write, alone, in the stillness of the heavy night, these and a hundred other little things, which seem forlorn and objectless without him, recall him so vividly to my memory that it seems impossible but that he should presently appear, or answer if I should dare to stir the utter stillness with a murmur of his name.
In many weak and wandering words I have sough to convey my impression of our martyred Bishop. A Melanesian once said that he thought he was like Saint John. It is this thought which, perhaps, more than any other comes over me most strongly as I recall him who has gone, and which really sums up more than any other the impression which the sweet intercourse with him which I was privileged to enjoy has left upon my mind.
20th September, 1872. C. H. B.
____________ IN OUR BEREAVEMENT. ______________ CHAPTER I. THE SUMMER AT NORFOLK ISLAND. BY THE REV. C. H. BROOKE, of the Melanesian Mission.
SOON after our return from our last disastrous voyage, three events, important in our little world, occurred almost simultaneously. On October 31st Mr. Watling amputated Fisher Pantutun's leg. On the same day arrived H.M.S. Rosario. [123/124] Next day, the Feast of All Saints, we held an Evening Commemoration Service in the Pitcairn Church.
Your readers may remember the accident which rendered the above operation necessary. The limb was taken off most successfully, Mr. Watling being assisted by Mr. Nobbs and Mr. Palmer. Fisher is now at Mota Lava (Big Mota) perfectly recovered, and in possession of a handsome wooden extremity with knee rest, presented to him by Mr. Tilly, the late commander of the Southern Cross. Fisher has always exercised (though not always for good) a powerful influence on the younger boys around him, and owing to his inability latterly to move about, became a person of general resort, attaching to himself and giving an object in life to some who otherwise might have been, so to speak, at a loose end.
The doctor had not yet completed his task when Commander Markham of the Rosario arrived. He had not heard of the Bishop's death. He was bound for Montague Island, there to inflict punishment on certain natives who had made an attack upon a vessel, a trader I believe. Hearing of our loss he determined to visit Nukapu, with a view of ascertaining more particularly the reason of the remarkable attack made by these hitherto friendly people upon the Bishop and his party. On learning his intention we drew up a petition and protest against any display of violence there as being utterly opposed to the Bishop's principle and his lately expressed wishes under these very circumstances, which ordinary foresight had enabled him to anticipate, as the probable consequences of the unbearable outrages to which these savages had been so frequently and generally exposed. Of this I feel perfectly assured that Commander Markham left us without in the least degree contemplating vengeance on these natives; the very opposite idea of gaining their confidence and eliciting information from them having possession of his mind. Mr. Palmer, who is a Maori scholar, offered himself as interpreter, but was obliged to relinquish the idea because his immediate return to Norfolk Island could not be guaranteed. At length we received a letter from Captain Markham giving an account of his cruise, and admitting that what had happened at Nukapu was most unsatisfactory to himself, and would be so, he feared, to us. That he had sent his boat on shore with orders to make signs of peace (waving white handkerchiefs, &c.), and under no circumstances to fire. The boat was fired upon, and returned for further orders. Three or four more attempts were made to establish communication with the islanders, but with a similar result. Determined not to be thwarted Captain Markham at length went ashore himself, was fired upon, and lost his best gunner. The honour of the British flag was at stake, shots were fired from the vessel, and the boat's crew burnt the neighbouring village.
 The story is already familiar to your readers. I therefore offer only the following remarks: 1, All that Commander Markham did at Nukapu he did upon his own responsibility. 2, Revenge for Bishop Patteson's death was at no time and in no way connected with the visit of the Rosario to Nukapu, as was naturally but erroneously inferred on the first news of the bombardment being received. 3, The radical mistake committed was in trailing the honour-laden British flag for these savages to trample upon. 4, So soon as the services of an interpreter were unavailable, the question we asked ourselves was this, "What good can they do there? The enterprise is fraught with peril." Hence our protest, which, under these circumstances, was rather "anti-officious" than "officious." 5, Commander Markham having placed himself in a position of extreme difficulty and risk, did all that he could (except abandon it) to prevent the almost inevitable consequences. There seems to have been an utter ignorance or ignoring of what might be passing in the minds of these natives; how could it be expected that these "blood-thirsty cannibals, &c., &c." could understand the friendly intentions of this huge thunderer? A flag of truce would probably have the same effect on them as a red rag has on an enraged bull. This and the other means employed, and honestly and nobly employed too, to gain their confidence would but confirm the opinion they have already been induced to form of the white race, that it is a treacherous people, dealing very treacherously. Then finding themselves at this terrible disadvantage, they made use of what they would call strategy, but what we (when speaking of the enemy) denounce as treachery. 6, That nothing would grieve us more than to think that Commander Markham, whose short visit here attached us all to him, should, in any way, suffer wrongfully, as he does most assuredly when accused of having committed an act of retaliation for the murder of Bishop Patteson, than which nothing was farther from his intention. We agree with him, however, in estimating the results of his visit there as most unsatisfactory, though at the same time most natural. To show the real nature of Commander Markham's service, let us turn to what took place at Montague Island, where the punished chief stated that what he had done was in revenge for the abduction of his wife by a slaver. The Rosario in the course of her cruise saw a vessel off Tanna. A boat was pulling ashore from the vessel, and in this boat there was a woman whom our commander actually discovered to be the wife of the chief of Montague! She was being landed to be sold. He took her on board the Rosario and returned her to her husband. The poor people went wild with delight and gratitude, and nearly sunk his boat with their gifts of pigs, yams, &c. When he left they followed [125/126] the boat along the shore as far as they could, still cheering him after their fashion.
How the Gospel is to be preached in the Santa Cruz group is now a difficult problem to be solved; but because we do not see how it is to be accomplished is the very last reason which should make us despair. There appear two possible openings; through some of those (if any) who were taken away from the island, and who might fall into our hands, or by means of the neighbouring Tikopians who sometimes visit Mota, and are most intimate with the Santa Crucians. A resident Tikopian was the only person with whom the bishop could communicate at the island of Indeni itself, the largest in the group.
We now resume the thread of our story of the summer at Norfolk Island. Our advent baptisms* [Footnote: * See Mission Life for April 1872.] showed indeed that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church; and at this time that seed has germinated and is growing. But Christmas with its good spirit passed away, and was followed by a time of trial and perplexity.
On the departure of the Rev. R. H. Codrington on his New Zealand and Queensland visit, the most onerous and responsible office of Head devolved on the Rev. John Palmer. Functions, spiritual, scholastic, agricultural, and culinary awaited their successive discharge at his hands, while the friction of our social system had to be kept at a minimum by means of the oil of tact and discrimination. The arrival of Mr. Bice happily lightened the work.
To feed 170 people daily would tell upon resources, however, ample, whereas those at our command at the time of which I am speaking were sadly the reverse. An unfavourable season had rendered our crops a general failure, and then a long continued drought prevented our planting, giving great ground for fear that there would be little or nothing to plant when the desired rain should come. This danger we escaped by stowing away in shady places the Kumera vines as we dug them. Whilst matters were in this state, we were visited by a great storm, which laid flat our fences on every side, destroyed the few remaining green leaves, and shook our houses with a mighty hand.
On the morning of that memorable day a dark purple mass of cloud hung motionless towards the NE., not a breath of air stirring. About ten o'clock there fell a deluge of rain, which kettledrummed upon our wooden roofs with such an angry din, that our long prayed for rain seemed to be flung at us at last in wrath rather than granted in mercy. That barrier of waters being removed, out burst the wind with a furious rush and deafening roar, as if it were flying [126/127] to fill up some sudden vacuum in the colder regions south. There were but few gusts, it was one strong all-drawing draught, which swept the island "as with the besom of destruction." Our houses trembled violently. There was a sea on in my inkstand and a ground swell in the transparent bowl of my lamp. The east end of our chapel was bulging and baying in a manner appalling to behold, but was saved by a timely prop. Verandahs, drawing their posts out of their sockets, waved their long roofs like the wings of gigantic albatrosses preparing for flight. The grass, streaming, like the human hair, was combed clean from every straw, which flew to join the animated atoms of the dust heap as they went whirling to the sky, whence pelted down a frequent hail of pine cones, tops and branches, with now and again the crashing downfall of a hug pine itself, whose thunder with the other sounds was hurried out to sea, and lost in the universal roar and clatter.
Meanwhile there kept watch in the troubled sky a dull grey light like twilight, sullen and wild, and on our only mountain there brooded thick and low a mist untorn and motionless amidst the rage and sweep of the hurrying wind.
At about five in the afternoon there was a lull, and the succeeding calm was nearly as sudden as the storm. The spectacle from the cliffs was grand, the great ocean billows rolled in with ever increasing force, dashing themselves to brilliant atoms against the perpendicular rocks which quaked under this terrible bombardment. Most thankful we were that we had no serious accident to report. Putting aside books and slates for two days we worked hard at fencing and planting.
In the Pitcairn settlement more damage was done, in several cases the tall stone chimneys fell through the roofs, which were then carried away. The new church narrowly escaped being wrecked, but our Pitcairn friends, with a true nautical instinct, anchored the edifice to the hill, at the foot of which it is built. They have since added ties, rafters, and iron bolts, which have bound it together like a ship's frame, enhancing its beauty as well as increasing its strength.
Lent was a sorrowful time with us. It became too evident that the tone of the whole school was low. Disobedience and carelessness were common, and the elder lads no longer gave us that help without which we must inevitably fall. Smoking became common. The Bishop had never forbidden it, and had always been careful not to make a sin of it. He had made a very reasonable distinction between the Banks' Islanders who, as a rule, do not smoke (or rather did not until they came in contact with civilisation), and the Solomon Islanders, who, in infancy, turn from their mother's breast to their mother's [127/128] pipe. Better by far have the thing done above board within limit than in trying to stop smoking to encourage deceit. The Bishop used always to say that arbitrarily to prohibit smoking would be to injure the moral sense of these our weak brethren, since "so many excellent Christians smoke." He did not smoke himself, and naturally endeavoured to persuade his scholars of the uselessness and expense of the habit, with a view to which end he laid down the very wise rule that any non-smoker wishing to begin the practice should first come to him and ask leave. But now it was done openly by little and big, and with bravado. I grieve to say that our good friend Charles Sapibuana, who had fallen back a great deal during his three month's stay at Florida, began and clung tenaciously to the habit in spite of the friendly advice of those who had his true welfare at heart, and whose entreaties were met with scorn. Another manifestation of the evil spirit lurking among us was the indecorous conduct in Hall; to remonstrate was, too often, to elicit impudence or produce sulkiness. A sad instance was that of Dudley Laukona, who, by the excess to which he carried his unseemly conduct, awoke others to a sense of the dangerous tendency of their own behaviour. One bright exception cheered and encouraged me. Alfred Lobu had been swept away with the stream, and had joined the smokers. One day I begged him for my sake to give it up, for if he had lived without it hitherto, why should he begin it now? He said quietly that he would, though I doubted at the time if he knew the full magnitude and difficulty of the task he had set himself. A month or two afterwards I had a great desire to know whether he had been enabled to keep his promise, but was loth to show that I doubted him by asking the question. I asked others, who said they never saw him smoke, and that when they pressed him to do so, he said, "No, ----- has forbidden me." At last I put it to him thus, "Alfred, how long is it since you smoked?" "How long?" he replied, with a surprised look, "since the day you asked me not to, when I was sitting on the fence," and I feel sure he spoke the truth. But these gleams served only to intensify the surrounding gloom. What was the radical cause of this lamentable falling off? The answer is this: there were grave faults on both sides, on ours as well as on theirs. We had become lax and indolent in the performance of our duties. A chilling reaction had set in after the over-exaltation consequent upon the last soul-stirring events. There was no warmth, no energy, no love. It was a marble time of shut up hearts, distrust, and doubt. Enthusiasm was dead. Oh for a live coal from off the altar of God's love to rekindle the dying embers! School was a weariness; work, slave-driving; worship, formality. In a word, we were dying for lack of love. That one touch of nature was not forthcoming which should make us and our charge akin.
 Thus did we toil penitentially through Lent. At length there arose upon our ears, and gradually sank like gentle softening rain into our parched heart, the winning words of Passion Week. The ever recurring recital of the loneliness, the love, and the aweful unaided agony of the gentle, patient, sinless One, won us and united us in a common sense of our sinfulness, and of our one and only common hope in the meek Saviour, Who stood before us so unlike ourselves, that we felt with shame how very much alike we were in our unlikeness to Him. By the might of that simple, touching story our estranged hearts were brought once more together; for in the presence of such obedience unto death, such humiliation to the grave, such love for the unloving, where was there room for any pride, or hate, or selfishness? O thank God for the tears that followed once more from the smitten hearts of stone as the tale of the scourging, the mocking, the injustice, the crowning, the cries, the agony, and the death of Him Who indeed, at that time, drew us each to the other, and all unto Himself, was day by day unfolded! No human heart can place itself within the influence of that attraction and resist, because the heart was made for it, and it for the heart.
Having thus at least read aright the lesson of Lent, we rose to our Easter Feast happy, for the stone was rolled away.
Several heartfelt confessions and earnest repentances followed; and Sapibuana, in a most beautiful letter to Mr. Codrington, acknowledged all his transgressions, beginning with those at Florida the year before, telling us more than we knew, more even than we suspected--sins of want of love and faith, and an almost total abandonment of the new religion--nothing of impurity and dishonesty [which are beneath him,] and ending with a cry of sorrow at the rebellious words he had made use of when spoken to by Edward Wogale, his sponsor, and myself. Then came his expressions of repentance, whose sincerity at the time no one with any sympathy could doubt, and which at the time I am writing, after another trial in his own heathen home, have been ratified in deed. His behaviour was faultless. But that belongs to a different part of my story. Dudley Laukona, of an entirely different nature, harder, and more proud, and not yet softened by close contact with Christ's love, made no professions of any kind whatever, and as we were daily expecting the Southern Cross, I began to doubt whether, as matters stood, it would be right to leave him here in charge of the younger boys, A false alarm of her arrival caused me to tell him plainly that he was not wanted here, that I was blamed for bringing him, and that if he did not make a promise of good behaviour during the winter, he must go at once; much to my sorrow, because [129/130] Biker, his little betrothed, would have to go too, and perhaps be lost for ever to good influences. This startled him and he gave the required promise, which, thank God, has been most faithfully kept. I think there were tears in his eyes as Mr. Palmer, whom he had grievously insulted, walked up to him on the pier, as we started for the island, and with a forgiving grasp of his hand, bid him good-bye; I know there were in those of both of us, as I begged of him for my sake, and also for little Biker's, who had cried when she first heard of his determined disobedience, to let there be nothing but good reports to cheer me in his distant island whither we were bound.
________ CHAPTER II. THE VOYAGE.--VISITS TO LEPER'S ISLAND, MOTA, SAN CRISTOVAL, FLORIDA, SAVO, ETC.
The Southern Cross came in on April 23rd, bringing Mr. Codrington. He had been to Queensland, but not to Fiji. On the several plantations he had visited the natives were kindly treated, but were without Christian teaching. The medium of communication used was a caricature of English, which indeed could hardly be made the means of imparting religious knowledge. Mr. Codrington was amazed to find that the church in Queensland has no organisation for the evangelisation of these heathen thousands, who, as he said in a memorandum on this subject which he addressed to the Synod, are still untaught, simply because they have been taken to that Christian land for the profit of the inhabitants.
It was arranged that Mr. Codrington should remain in charge of the winter school while the Revs. John Palmer, Charles Bice, R. S. Jackson, and myself, with sixty-three Melanesians, should be conveyed to their destinations; that the second cruise from Norfolk Island to re-embark the above party should be made by way of Fiji; and that afterwards a short trip should be made to Mota to pick up Mr. Codrington left there on the close of the second cruise.
We left Norfolk Island on 24th April with lovely weather. Our Melanesians were thus distributed:--New Hebrides: Ambrym, 6; Whitsuntide, 2; Leper's Island, 11; Aurora, 1. Banks: Mota, 10; Solomons: Contrariété, 1; San Cristoval, 7; Malanta, 2; Florida, 15; Ysabel 6. I need not say how much risk and peril attended this first cruise of our bereavement. The Bishop and Mr. Atkin were the heart and soul of the boating. The place of the latter was kindly taken by Lieutenant Tilly, well known to all friends of this Mission as the Commander of the Second Southern Cross, in which he sailed from England in 1862. The bishop and he were first [130/131] introduced to each other on board H.M.S. Cordelia, during a cruise in the South Seas. His services to the Mission, direct and indirect, have been great and varied; and the valuable surveys made by him of islands and reefs hitherto unknown, or incorrectly placed in the existing charts, have earned for him the thanks and recognition of a very much wider circle. Severe attacks of rheumatism, which quite crippled him, together with general ill-health, have obliged him to relinquish his long and able command; but on this occasion, he said he felt it his duty to go once more, not as "skipper," that post being well occupied by our most worthy Captain Jacob; but as boatman, and general adviser of the party.
The friendliness of the natives at every place we visited was most cheering; as soon as they made sure that it was the Southern Cross, all was right, what need for bows and arrows or precautions of any kind?
Having landed Mr. Bice at Leper's Island, we passed on to Mota, arriving there May 10th. Sarawia was well, and gave a good account of the state of the island. During our absence he had baptised one hundred people.
Leaving Mr. Palmer on shore we went to Saddle I, picking up William Quasfar in his boat on the way, as he will form one of our boat's crew.
Walter Woser of Saddle I, my destined companion at Florida this year, took me to his village. The people here are few, but gentle and quiet in the extreme. A good earnest work is being carried on here by Edwin and William. A large school house is being built; and William had been over to Mota to fetch Sarawia that he might baptise some eight or ten candidates. Fisher and his leg were safely landed here; we left him, as of old, the centre of a wide circle, the leg being almost as great a source of attraction as Fisher himself.
That evening we lay becalmed to the leeward of Vanualava, a land of geysers and sulphureous streams.
On the 16th we landed the Rev. R.S. Jackson at Wangro, San Cristoval, the station formerly occupied by Mr. Atkin. Thence we went along the coast to Tawatana, the home of Stephen Taroaniaro, with presents for his relatives and friends. Our reception was all that could be wished, and with the help of Sumarua (who helps on board ship), also of this place, we did what we wanted to do, with the exception of seeing Stephen's brother, Hasitoro.
When we left San Cristoval a fierce fair breeze sprang up and lasted through the night, driving us along at the rate of ten knots; so that, to our great surprise and delight, we found ourselves off Ravu, our friend Dikea's place, at the northern end of Florida, in the morning. This was a run to be proud of.
 We lowered the boat and pulled ashore; but--not a soul to be seen on the beach! This is always a bad sign, and unless some natives had appeared of course we should not have landed. As we neared the shore, however, we saw ones and twos and threes gradually filing out from the thicket to the sand, and so I waded ashore. Dikea soon leaped on to a huge fallen tree, and became master of the situation. He called me up, and we stood and reasoned together, looking down upon the crowd below. My chief was unlike himself. Fighting, that was the intoxicating element. The tremor of this terrible excitement was still upon him; he was unshaven, unlimed, unwashed, his clear hazel eyes were bloodshot and never at rest, ever scowling around. They all presented the same appearance, and the same startled manner; even their rapacity was absorbed in the fever of watching and fighting, and the few presents we offered were scarcely acknowledged. A neighbouring chief had just been killed by the restless, aggressive people on the other side of Florida, who go by the name of "The Hongo," the French of these parts, and revenge was the one thought of every heart.
Had orders to go on to Savo before landing at Florida, so thither we proceeded without delay, the distance being about five and twenty miles.
Not having been to Wadrokal's new station, I was misled by the class of people who correspond to the "porters" and "touters" of civilised life, who declared that Wadrokal's place was close at hand, was their place in short. No such thing. We had a very long, rough walk over a bouldered beach; headland after headland was declared to be the last, but beyond the very latest there was even a later still. At length, when I began to think we should soon see number one again, we found ourselves there, where Wadrokal, of course, was not. Of course, he had gone up the mountain to see the geysers, &c. The Southern Cross arrived on that one particular day out of 365, when I waited for half an hour inspecting the premises. The house is a most creditable structure, with a public school-room in the middle, and two small bed-rooms at either end. One shy little Ysabel girl was the only occupant, in speaking to whom, as, enveloped in a red shawl, she peeped out at the doorway. I felt rather like the wolf accosting Little Red Riding Hood in the absence of old Granny.
Presently I heard that the boat had followed me round, wherefore, as night was coming on and the surf was heavy, I could wait no longer, but plunged though the break on the beach, and, with a wonderful gymnastic feat, tumbled into the boat, wet up to my neck.
This undue haste was very much to be deprecated, but it was [132/133] one of those occasions when we cannot do as we would, but only as we may. The week was at its close; only Saturday remained, so that, had we delayed, I could not have landed on Saturday at Florida, and we should have had to spend Sunday not in rest, but in idleness, for to appear at Boli on that day would be a very rash experiment. As it was we barely accomplished our purpose.
I omitted to say that, as we went to Ravu, we passed within eyeshot of the Boli beach, and there, to our great surprise, we saw no one; but what we did see was that the sea end of the Great Kiala was palisaded as if for defence.
We lowered both our boats in order to make one trip suffice. As soon as we were recognised we were thronged as usual. These rough, wild-looking savages were our gentle friends, glad to see us, ready to help us, and, of course, not indisposed to receive gratuities at our hands; but in no case taking advantage of the confusion to snatch or steal.
It would be inaccurate to say that the joy of Takua knew no bounds on the occasion of our reunion, for he lifted me off the ground in a huge hug, and in the abandon of the moment I raised him in return; but he had decidedly the advantage of me, being of considerable girth, heavy to lift and slippery to hold.
The reason of the deserted beach which astonished us as we passed on Friday was soon explained. There had been terrible foul play--a schooner had been attacked about four days ago by the people of Materago in the next bay, and seven of her crew killed, so that they thought we might be the same vessel.
What I write here in a few lines took me many weeks to piece together from the mouths chiefly of the murderers themselves. At first they tried to make out that she was a head hunter. They said they saw skulls on board, which may have been the case; and it was most imprudent of the captain to display them as he is reported to have done. But she was not a head hunter, she was a trader in search of biche-de-mer. The following particulars I learnt from Simeon Nongia, of Gaeta, who did not come away with us to Norfolk Island, last year. Only two vessels had visited them, the first about three months before our arrival, which anchored for about ten days at Vaturna, the port of Simeon's inland village. They were ashore every day, and he mixed freely with them, as they were very kind. This visit was most successful, and presents were interchanged on parting. The second visitor came a very short time before the Southern Cross, and anchored twenty days at Vuturna, where all went well, the natives collecting the fish for the vessel, whose party smoked them in a smoke-house built by the crew of the first vessel. Having exhausted the supply of fish, or [133/134] the energy of the natives, the captain took the vessel round into the next bay and cast anchor at Timba, the port of the people of Materago, whose village is situated on the slip of the hills inland. Here Simeon's information ends, and I become indebted to Tonisi, of Materago. The two boats went ashore with about ten men. Orders were given for the building of two smoke-houses for curing the fish, which were finished in as many days. On the third they began to buy and sell the fish. The white people came ashore unarmed, and were evidently most friendly and well disposed. But we must recollect all along that these natives were in no mood to brook any injury at the hands of strange vessels, having had over one hundred of their people kidnapped and eighteen murdered for the sake of their heads not very long ago. The combustibles were perfectly safe so long as no spark of fire was let fall among them. The greatest freedom of intercourse existed between the whites and blacks. Tonisi had many of the names of the Europeans quite to his satisfaction: Cappy Rossy, Jayoahsy, Cooky, Matey, Sailymanny, and Loey. There were three parties of seven on board, seven Europeans, seven from San Cristoval, seven from Simbo (wherever that may be). For two days the loading went on without any hitch, but on the next the spark of fire fell. Kalea, the chief of Materago, collected fish, but was not promptly paid. He repeatedly asked for the price of his fish, but was as repeatedly put off with a point to the vessel. Night fell and the fish was still unpaid for. Kalea was in a very bad humour, and all his grievances and those of his neighbours crowded his memory. "Yes! These are they," said he, "who kill us and steal us, good! Let them have the fish for nothing; to-morrow they shall die!"
It was arranged that Tonisi and others should get up a dance on shore, and that those in charge of the boat should be clubbed as they looked on.
Padhea alias Porokasu undertook to manage the massacre on board. This viper had offered himself to Bishop Patteson on his first visit to Florida, had been content with civilisation in New Zealand for two summers, and was then got rid of account of his depravity and stupidity. It was this superior knowledge of European habits, and of the internal economy of European vessels, this contact with civilisation, which so eminently fitted him for the duties assigned to him in the satanic council. In him we have a specimen of the dangerous article turned out in many of these plantations, minus the musket, however, with which the planters love to arm their discharged labourers, who return to their simple homes, savage as before, with a good many European vices, and a gun to back their swagger, and to make more easy the gratification of their lawless passions.
 But to return to the traitorous dance on the beach. It was hard to hide one's emotion as this Tonisi related with savage glee and triumph his share in the bloody work, but my object was to hear all. The mate was in charge of the boat that day. He had one white companion and some blacks. The dance began, a very dance of death. Suddenly the mate was felled by a blow of a club behind, dealt by a man named Kona. Vidhia dispatched his companion, while Kalea and Tudhua killed the two blacks in the smoke-house. Then with a whoop and halloo the boat was seized, occupied, and paddled off to the vessel, those unable to obtain a seat swimming or going off in their own canoes. The moment of attack was opportunely chosen, for the captain and Loey had gone off in the other boat to find another anchorage, and were already in sight of my house at Boli. Treachery was again employed. Our viper with his wheedling tone persuaded the people on board that his object was sabiri, barter, and slew the man whom Tony calls Jayoahsy, before their little bargain was concluded. Talenga killed one of the crew (Sailymanny), and, I grieve to say it, Musua, Charles' elder brother, murdered the cook. This bloody work being done, the vessel was plundered completely under the enlightened guidance of Povokasu.
Captain Brodie, for that is the name and title of which Kappyrossy was the corruption, soon saw that something was wrong, and pulled back in haste to his vessel. In his statement made at Sydney he describes the sight which met his bewildered eyes on board as the most horrible he had ever seen. "Not a living soul remained on board;" but three corpses lay upon the deserted deck--one forward, the second amidships, the hatches on which it lay reeking with its blood, and the third fallen down by the wheel. The skulls of the three were cloven, one nearly severed from the body. George Sellars, of Driffield, Yorkshire (I took charge of a letter to his mother in the quiet little village at home for the poor fellow two years ago, when he was at Ugi) had evidently had a hard struggle with his murderer, Porokasu. The two other bodies were those of the cook, murdered by Musua, and a sailor clubbed by Talena. There remained only one thing to be done, to bury the dead and depart. When this was accomplished, the ship's company numbered fourteen, of whom two only were Europeans, the captain and Mr. Louis Nixon, the "Loey" of Simeon and his co-narrators.
This was the story I heard briefly told on first landing, and which I developed from different sources from time to time. Musua and Simeon came to Boli with Charles on his return from a visit to his friends at Gaeta, and it was distressing to see in the fine, handsome dashing young man, own brother of our friend, a murderer. Charles [135/136] felt it keenly. I was in the dilemma of not wishing to encourage him, being full of abhorrence of the deed and the doers of it, and, at the same time, desiring to hear from his own lips the true account of it, which he gave with considerable exultation. Tonisi, too, a dancer in that Dance of Death, was on a visit to Subasi (my housekeeper) for a fortnight soon after I landed, and he, with ghastly glee, went into all the details of their horrible treachery, enlarging upon the part played therein by Bonisi, the words, "Inau Tonisi Eni" (I Tonisi here) occurring frequently. Simeon had seen the abundant booty carried off by the natives, and among the books had perceived a written one, which he bought and brought with him. What was my astonishment and interest when, on taking off the elastic band and opening the first page, I read the name of the writer, Louis Nixon--Lavinia. It was a diary, kept regularly since the Lavinia had sailed from Sydney, on January 12th, and clearly showed the nature and proceedings of the vessel and her crew. The names of the captain and of several of the seamen were herein revealed, and the general character of these curious ventures set forth. They first went to San Cristoval, where they arrived on the 11th of February, anchoring in the Bay of Makera, well known to the logs of whalers. If Missionary Bishops have their stations and their "residents," so also has the trader. Mr. Nixon says: "This is a beautiful little harbour, on the eastern end of San Cristoval. There is a white man called Mr. Perry stationed here by Captain Brodie. Whalers, when cruising off this place, put in here to refit. When we got in, we heard at once that six poor fools had run away from an American whaler about three months ago. There were three of them very bad with fever, and two were ill, but could just manage to knock about. The captain supplied them with as much provision as he could spare." Of this mad freak Captain French, of the vessel in question had already informed us when he put in at Norfolk Island, in April.
They now ran down the northern coast of Guadalcanar.
"As soon as they got in, the mate and George sent ashore to build a smoke-house. For five days we did exceedingly well here, the natives bringing us from 1200 to 1500 fishes a day, but on the sixth day the schooner Invincible (?) came, and she was going to leave a man there to fish and cure cocoanuts. The natives after she came in would not work any more. This Morrow Point (Marau Sound) was one of the stations of the late Bishop Patteson,* [Footnote: * Marau Sound is a large, land-locked sheet of very deep water. Bishop Patteson visited here, and had boys from this place, but had no station.] and he appears to have been exceedingly well liked here. He has done good to some extent; the women were tabooed from the ship." [136/137] After a fruitless search for Biche at Malanta "we stood across to the Floridas. Nickol, George, and I went ashore and fixed a house, and also sent off the Florida natives for fish. Three thousand came in the day. The next day there were 6000. The fish were plenty, and we were kept at work from 5 a.m. till 9 or 10 at night, and sometimes later. We stopped here just a fortnight" (Simeon says about twenty days), "and during that time I suppose we cured about four tons of Biche-de-mer. The captain having gone round the coast for about five miles and found a good harbour, we shifted around there on May the 8th. The same four went ashore at once to put up the house. We found a lot of natives on the beach. They were very civil to us for the first two days; during that time we had got two smoking houses put up, and the next day we gave the natives to understand that we were ready to buy the fish. We went ashore the next day as usual, unarmed. Hardly had we landed when there was a tremendous jabbering. There are four kings here, and they came up with some others and made us to understand that some natives round the point were coming to kill us----"
Thus abruptly ends the interesting story. We arrived on the scene four or five days after the massacre.
All were very anxious to hear the particulars of the bishop's death, which had been reported by the Lavinia. Any general expression of personal attachment or private grief must have been unreal, because their only relations with him had been public; his visits to Florida having been about ten in all, and, with the one exception of last year--his farewell--when he slept on shore, and spent the greater part two days with them, very hurried and full of distractions. It was important for me, and will be interesting to the reader, to know how they did regard the fact and its consequences as affecting themselves. "What on earth did he go there for, this foolish chief!" was Takua's comment, coupled with a rebuke to me for not preventing the expedition.
They judge of our loss and its effect upon us from the death of a chief and its consequences among them, which are these: that their prestige vanishes at once, and they become the prey of surrounding enemies, unless some one already known and feared stand up in the dead chief's place. Our glory therefore was departed, and no one was announced to take the chief's place. The mona [sic] of the chief was departed, too, and we could be easily overcome. The natives were still smarting from the recent injuries of kidnapping and murder, having loudly demanded some compensation from the Bishop on his last visit, which source of retribution was now closed.
I pass over all details until the day of the Southern Cross's return to pick me up. She had reached Norfolk Island a month after her [137/138] time, owing to bad weather. Mr. Codrington was on the point of chartering a chance vessel to go in search of us when she came in. The voyage to Fiji had then to be abandoned. She reached Boli again on July 25th. Mr. Codrington came on shore. He was delighted with the Kiala. We spent the afternoon in getting off things, trading, talking, &c. Next day we put in a Belaga to pick up Charles Sapi (and wife), Simeon, &c. But they had not arrived from Gaeta, so we determined to go to Savo, by way of Ravu, and return on Monday. I scribbled a hasty note for Sapi, telling him to be sure to be there on Monday, and confided it to old Tuanibola--pigeon's leg--a proved messenger. Reaching Savo on Saturday, we saw Wadrokal; took away two new boys and several old ones, gave W. what stores, &c., he wanted, and went over to Coleridge Bay, Malanta for a quiet Sunday.
Monday--A whole day's trade off Belaga. Close in, in the early morning, and beheld, red in the rising sunlight, the two smoke houses built by the natives for the Lavinia, and the mouth of the stream where the vessel lay at anchor. It fell calm, and we gradually became embayed, the tide and current setting us into towards the reef.
Seeing our helpless condition, and fully persuaded that they had made the calm, canoes began to come off in all directions, and we soon had 200 natives on deck, while a platform of canoes had formed round the unmanageable vessel. We were utterly in their power. Captain Jacob naturally felt the serious nature of the situation, as it soon became clear that our lodgement on the reef was only a matter of time, and that of no very long time. To complete our helplessness in case of any attack, both our boats had to be lowered and strongly manned to tow the vessel's head seaward.
Meanwhile the crowd increased. Presently Captain Jacob pointed out to me a large canoe holding thirty men, and flashing with the glitter of as many tomahawks.
"This lot must not come on board."
As soon as the uninvited visitors came alongside, I addressed them from the bulwark to the effect that they must leave their weapons in the canoe if they wished to come up on board, for last year a man with a tomahawk had unintentionally chopped a friend's face in the crush.
Down went the tomahawks, and up came the men.
Mr. Tilly had got the steelyards shipped, and was buying yams as fast almost as they could bring them, and all was hubbub, but perfect harmony. Many of the murderers were on board, but the chief butcher was not allowed to come up. All Boli, Belaga, Materago, &c., were there; Takua and all his friends.
 Towards evening we pulled ashore to fetch Sapi, leaving the vessel in charge of Captain Jacob, and Takua, who sat in the boat towing astern, and got the vessel clear of every canoe when the captain asked him. Having got our charge, we returned to the vessel, where we added a little boy named Tani, whose father cried most bitterly at parting with him. Poor little Tani died of gastric fever fourteen days after he landed at Norfolk Island. Rivoto and Vivikino were not allowed, and the latter did not wish, to come with us. Another little boy, Bele, had already got down into a canoe preparatory to slipping off, when Parapolo told me, and I stepped over the bulwarks, dragged him (kidnapping fashion) up again, and gave him in custody to Parapolo.
At sundown we departed. This is indeed a day to be remembered. A day to be very thankful for. This exhibition of careless confidence on the part of this revengeful, rapacious, bloodthirsty people is most comforting. The day before yesterday I asked a Gaeta lad why there was always such danger in going to Gaeta? He said because they like to make an attack on any canoe passing from another place. "Why did they not kill us, then?" "Because they say you are their friends."
We met H.M.S. Rosario, Captain Moresby, in the Bank's Group. This most amiable officer had been indefatigable in his attempts to re-establish the shaken confidence of the natives wherever he went. He had landed at Santa Cruz.
All was most flourishing at Mota, and I must find space for these few facts and figures. Mr. Palmer had more than he and the Rev. George Sarawia and many teachers could do in the way of school, services, etc. Every village in the island has a teacher. A third of the whole population is Christian. The daily school at the parsonage Kohimarama numbers 130, while that on Sundays amounts to three hundred.
At the neighbouring island of Ara, the same happy state of things exists. It is so cheering to think that the Bishop's work is bearing such fruit--that work which he watered with his blood. His gentleness and holiness have proved all powerful, and without force or violence he has impressed an indelible image, beloved and deeply mourned, in the most unlovely natures, and has in many instances made them like himself.
These words bring me readily to speak of the great event which took place this morning in the Pitcairn Church in the presence of the whole population of the island, both black and white, the ordination as deacons of the three Melanesians, Henry Tagala, Robert Pantutun, and my late companion in Florida, Edward Wogale. How such a service as this recalls our dear Bishop! One can [139/140] imagine the calm delight and holy joy which had he been alive would have filled his heart and warmed his words as he would have walked home to St. Barnabas' with us after the service.
Bishop Cowie arrived from Auckland earlier than we expected, but had he not come now this happy event might have been indefinitely postponed. The service was chiefly in Mota.
Melanesians, men and women, 140 in number, sat in front filling up the space between the fixed front seats themselves; the Pitcairn community sitting behind and filling the rest of the church, which holds about 450 people. Psalm 84 was chanted, while the Bishop and clergy with the deacons designate proceeded up the church. Then came the following Mota Hymn, composed by Bishop Patteson, though not specially for an ordination service:--
Mama! Ko me ara
Tuai o siliga
Mun o vava;
Ge ra valvanua
Christ ko me vantak ma
O *line tapeva
O line nun
Ko me gee s tuani
Tneira val gopae
Ka le at mundragai
I valawasr to qua!
We toga qurega
Sinar na toqara
Mama wa Natui
Kamtol o tur Vui
Ge ra valvanua
* n=ng in singer]
Father, Thou didst disperse
Of old the darkness
With a word.
Make them in every land
To the world's end
Still in darkness
That they be light.
Christ Thou didst bring to us
The religion of love,
The true religion.
Thou didst heal of old
Every disease they had,
Grant unto these
That they be light.
Spirit! the Comforter!
Illuminator of the heart!
Who are living carelessly
Shine in their hearts
That they be light.
Father and Son
With the perfect Spirit
Make them in every land
To the world's end
That they be light.
With very few exceptions the service was in the Mota language, Bishop Cowie taking his part wonderfully well, considering that his study of Mota has been limited to a few hours.
Mr. Codrington's sermon was in Mota and English. It was short and to the point. He made a touching allusion to him, "to think of whom, without mentioning his name, is enough to bring the tears into our eyes." He impressed upon the candidates that we must [140/141] not think of man in this service; it is God's work. He spoke of its extreme solemnity, which he knew that they felt. He knew that what was done then was but the consummation of years of earnest, active preparation under the Bishop's eye. I deeply regret that having to think about other things prevented my remembering the thread of this simple solemn address, and Mr. Codrington is too busy at the present moment for me to trouble him. The Bishop and party leave for Auckland in the afternoon.
The second hymn was 113, S.P.C.K. collection, sung by the Pitcairners to Cambridge New, a tune which they have made their own, and in singing which they rob it of all its many horrors, by the exquisite harmony, sonorous solo, and sweet duet. Our Bishop used always to ask for this hymn.
The Deacons were then presented, when the Litany was read by Mr. Bice.
The third hymn was in Mota; tune Warham, a favourite with Bishop Patteson, who composed the following words to be sung to it.
Mama ko me log kaman veta ma
Nan iniko wa, Tur paere mum naw
Lord, kamam we nonam ape near
Nera ilo vaglala ape pugara
Father, Thou hast already called us
And Thou hast said "Ask of me
Lord! we think of them
That they may be convinced of their sins,
Both these hymns were sung in good time, and very creditably accompanied on the harmonium by Miss Katherine Nobbs, grand-daughter of the Pastor of Pitcairn.
The next point of interest was the examination of the candidates, who answered humbly and earnestly. The Bishop, who had previously examined them privately, expressed himself much satisfied with their written answers, "thought and method" being their striking characteristics.
To read the Gospel under such novel circumstances must have been very trying for Henry, who, however, went steadily on his way, gradually conquering his nervousness.
Within the rails, the Bishop, Rev. G. H. Nobbs, and Rev. George Mansell, Chaplain, sat on the north side; the Revs. R. H. Codrington, [141/142] R. S. Jackson, C. H. Brooke, C. Bice, and three Melanesian Deacons on the other.
Had poor Edmund Qaratu been as strong in the faith as he is intelligent, there would have been a fourth ordained. God grant that this much-loved, much-mourned-over son of our dead Bishop's may ere long be deemed worthy to follow in the steps of his three brethren. He was not present, his duties as chief cook for this week detaining him at the Mission station.
Mr. Codrington, with the three Melanesian Deacons, administered the Holy Communion to sixteen Melanesian communicants, and the Bishop, with the other clergy, administered to about 120 Pitcairners.
While the Bishop and clergy were receiving, the congregation sang most sweetly and solemnly, "Bread of the world, in mercy broken," &c.
And then drew to its close a service which is most interesting and important, not only to us in this small island, but to the Church of Christ throughout the world and to the Saints who have gone before to their rest.
The Bishop was very much gratified, and is at this moment carefully writing down the details of his varied and interesting day's work.
We dined at Mr. Nobb's. At three, p.m. the Bishop confirmed twenty members of the community, thirteen males and seven females; two of the former having but lately arrived from Pitcairn Island. The Bishop's address was as simple and clear as it was to the point. "Means and ends." How far forms and ceremonies were valuable, how far valueless. Those who despise and neglect the form too often lose the spirit. He dwelt on the enormous influence for good or for evil these twenty individuals would have on the people of their own generation, and those who should follow them. He begged the congregation to pray earnestly for them, dwelling strongly on the all-importance of prayer, all prayer, and repentance general and special, and on the conditional nature of God's grace. The simplicity of language and clearness of arrangement were remarkable.
An hour's walk brought us back to St. Barnabas in time for six o'clock tea. At seven, evening service, at which the Bishop confirmed the six Melanesians following:--Benjamin Taro, San Cristoval, Solomon Islands; Renata Semwilgan, Ara, Banks' Island; Frant Woet, Ara, Banks' Island; Mark Wut, Motlav, Banks' [Island;] George Dudley Matagoro, Mota, Banks' Island; Thomas Stevenson Ulgau, Mota, Banks Island.
The Bishop questioned the candidates in Mota, and addressed [142/143] them in English, Mr. Bice, who is a good Mota scholar, translating. Here again the clearness and simplicity were as remarkable as in his former address, coupled with wonderful intuitive insight into the present circumstances and future prospects of his hearers, their peculiar weaknesses, difficulties, and temptations. He specially begged of them to help the native deacons in their arduous work by good example, as well as by virtuous precept, and bid them ever watch and pray. The service was most hearty. The Bishop, who is a soldier by nature and from experience, having served as military chaplain in India, compared the precision and sonorous murmur of our singing and responses to the roll of the kettle drum. He was surprised at the completeness of the general organisation, saying that what he had read in reports, &c., had given him no just idea of the work which was quietly in progress here.
The Bishop's visit has been woefully short and hurried. He arrived on Thursday evening in the Southern Cross, and leaves this, Monday, afternoon.* [Footnote: * Having appointed to be in Auckland at the end of the month.] But we have benefited by it in a hundred ways. We are rescued from the ossification of routine; ourselves are shown to ourselves. Many things are noticed by a stranger which we from habit overlook; our eyes are opened to the progress we have made, which before we regarded as nil. The good traits in the lads' characters and behaviour which we are accustomed to, and take for granted, strike a stranger and make us appreciate better both our work and its subjects. And the effect upon the latter is incalculable; they see and feel the universality and unity of the Church, they hear of Maori priests and deacons, and of undertakings like our own here being carried on in the same spirit in other lands. The grandeur of Christianity as a whole, filling heaven and earth, is brought out, which is in danger of being forgotten in following out the daily tedious details of a monotonous machine-like life, especially in a small place like this, where the opportunities of seeing the imposing side of the Religion of the Cross are very rare.
I conclude this hastily-written paper with the announcement that we have several candidates for baptism on Advent Sunday. Pray for us!
Norfolk Island, November 18th, 1872.
P.S.--On our return to Norfolk Island, on September 1st, we had a great deal of sickness. We lost two boys, Tani and William Turtakataka. November 11th--Elisa Tore, widow of Stephen Taroaniara, died, strong in faith and love.