Project Canterbury

Project Canterbury

Translation of the Rev. George Sawawai's [sic] Account of his First Meeting with Bishops Selwyn and Patteson, etc.

From Southern Cross Log, Auckland, Vol. VIII, No. 80, December 15, 1901, pp. 145-152; Vol. IX, No. 104, December 1, 1903, pp. 95-97; Vol. IX, No. 105, pp. 108-11.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2012


[145] THE following is a translation of an account the Rev. George Sarawai [Sarawia] wrote when asked to write some of his recollections of the early days of the Mission as he knew it. It is interesting as showing what the natives thought of the white men when first they saw them, and especially so as showing the way in which Bishop Patteson made friends with the natives, some of his difficulties, his mode of teaching, some of his success, and the opinion of his character from a native point of view.

George Sarawai has been for some years past the priest in charge of Mota, and, during the summer months, of the Banks Islands, the several schools of which he visits in his boat, administering the Holy Communion to the different congregations, and generally supervising the teachers; a man highly respected everywhere. He is now growing old and somewhat enfeebled, yet still able to make his yearly rounds.

[Since this was written dear old George has entered into rest.—ED.]

THIS is the story of my first acquaintance with white men when I first went with Bishops Selwyn and Patteson. No one from our islands up to this time had been with white men. They were afraid of them, and were very shy of them, thinking they were not men, but either ghosts or spirits.

When I was a small boy I had not seen a white man or a big ship; but in the year that the Bishop first came to us at Vanua Lava then for the first time I saw a white man. They anchored at Nawono (Port Patteson), which they had just discovered. My home was in that harbour.

[146] This is how the Bishop took me with him. They had anchored in the evening. In the morning I paddled in my canoe near the big ship to buy something from them. When I came near the ship I saw Bishop Selwyn standing at the side, but I was afraid of him, for he wore a black coat and his face was very white; so I pulled away from the ship a little distance. I feared him. Then he beckoned me to come on board, but I was still afraid of the white man, whom I saw for the first time. I was about to pull ashore; but he beckoned me, for he did not know the Mota language, so he continued beckoning me; but I was afraid to go on board the ship. I could not find the courage to do so. Then Bishop Patteson came and they both tried to entice me. Then I thought to myself, "Why do they want me to go to them?" For I did not know them. I was ignorant, and I thought that they were like the people of our islands, only wishing to deceive me and to kill me, and so I still feared, although I was not far from the ship. Then I took courage and determined to go on board. I pulled close to the ship's side, and Bishop Selwyn threw me a rope with which to make fast my canoe. He then took hold of my hand and helped me on board.

Now I saw that they received me kindly. They took me to the stern of the ship and we sat down. They asked me the names of the place, and of the men. I answered, and they wrote them in a. book. I could not understand what this thing was, and then I looked at the feet of all on the ship, and I thought it was their own feet I saw; but no, it was leather which covered them. I looked again, and said to myself, "These men are partly iron," and my bones shook like an earthquake. Some of the words they wrote were: I, you, he, they, etc., and some other Mota words. We all wondered at their hearing, understanding, and speaking the Mota words so well. When I looked at the ship it seemed to me as large as the land, and I thought no man had made it, but that it was made by a spirit. And another thing that amazed me was how the ship floated, remaining in the same spot. Why did it not drift ashore? for I did not see the cable which made it fast. I thought that the ship was like a man, that it would move or stay as it was ordered to do, and I supposed it had been told to stay still in the spot where it was. After this they let me go, seeing I was afraid to stay on board. I did not buy anything, but returned at once to the shore, and told the people about those on board; that they were kind men, had received me kindly, and talked in a friendly manner to me. This is how I began to know them, and that they were good and kind men, and I liked them both. Afterwards they pulled ashore in their boat and took water on board. Then they measured the depth of the water till they came to Vogovogow. I was already there. Bishop Selwyn took me in the boat and we pulled to Rav. There the people came to us, and there again I saw what kind of men they were, for the Bishop [146/147] made them presents of axes. And now I wished to return to my father, but the Bishop kept me in the boat, and we sailed on board the ship. My father was much troubled about me lest the white men should eat me.* [NOTE.—Banks Islanders were not cannibals, but in the lifetime of George's father some double canoes came to those islands, with light-coloured, straight-haired men in them. They fought the people of Qakea, George's home, killed and ate a number of men. These men were said to come from Tonga, and the white man was at first called "O ta Tonga" (Man of Tonga), hence the fear of being eaten by white men.] We all had mistaken thoughts about the white men, We thought they were our own men who had died, and had come to life again in another land, and that these were they who had now sailed here. There were six of us who first slept on board the ship at Nawono. The Bishop took us to sleep on board, but we did not understand that. When we reached the ship the sun had set, and we wished to return to the shore, but they would not let us go. We were very frightened and thought that now indeed we should be eaten.

From the very first day the Bishop received us kindly and was friendly with us, and we with him, for we saw that they were good men. They took us in their boat and fed us, and gave us presents of beads, hooks, and cloth. We did not understand what kind of food a biscuit was, and did not eat it till we saw the white men eat, then we ate it too. When we went on board the ship they gave us food and fed us well, so that we saw they were hospitable and kind, and loved and cared for men. When they rang the bell for prayers, we did not know what it was, for we for the first time heard the sound of a bell. The Bishop told us to go below to the inside of the ship. We did not understand what for, but we went. I was just behind the Bishop, and I sat down close to where the Bishop stood at prayers. We all six stared at them and wondered what they were about to do. They then began to sing a hymn. We looked at one another, and were very frightened, and wished to run out, but could not because we were below. We sat in great fear. Indeed I was in great terror that day. I saw them kneel down to pray, and Bishop Selwyn read the prayer. I, of course, did not know what prayer was. I thought he was only talking, and I sat down as at any ordinary thing. The Bishop read, I suppose, to the end of a prayer, and all answered "Amen." I jumped up to run out, but the Bishop turned and looked at me as I stood to run away, and beckoned with his hand for me to sit down; so I sat down, but ready to jump up at any moment. I made three or four attempts to run out, but the Bishop kept me down with a motion of his hand, till at last I rushed out, intending to swim ashore.

Now listen, this is what I thought. That the chief men on board this ship were ordering the others to kill us, and that they [147/148] were consenting to it with the "Amen," and so I ran out because I was in so great a fear. When prayers were over, Bishop Patteson followed me on deck and brought me again below, and they took us into their own cabin at the stern. And again I saw their kindness and love for others; for they did not despise us, but placed us on their own bunks and talked to us. Then my courage returned. Next they gave orders to another man, who brought us new blankets to sleep in. Also, I saw that before going to bed they changed their clothes, and then knelt down for some time and then went to sleep. They did the same in the morning. But because I was ignorant, I did not understand it. They asked us who of us was willing to go to New Zealand with them, but we all refused because we still were afraid of the white men.

Now at that time there was a large population at Vanua Lava and at Mota. We all assembled together to see them. They came ashore to us, just as if they were men of our own island. They made friends with us, and sat down amongst the crowd and talked to them, and we treated them with great respect when they came to us. At this time all our people were quite ignorant of the Word of God. They were heathen, but those two did not despise the black men, but they made friends of them.

They stayed at Nawono about three days, and then went away. The ship began to sail. We did not know that they had weighed anchor, but one man, the captain, I suppose, gave orders to the other men about the sails. I quite thought that he was speaking to the ship, telling it to go out of the harbour. She sailed out quite straight. I saw no one steering with the rudder oar, and so I again thought that the word of that man had power, and that he had told the ship to sail, and that the ship obeyed him, and I saw that the ship sailed straight out, and I looked to see where was the man who steered her. Then I saw Bishop Selwyn standing and turning round a wheel, and the ship turned straight on her course, and so I saw that that was the rudder.

In those times we lived in great ignorance. We were like blind people. If we killed anyone with a club, or shot anyone, or if we stole, or lived an evil life, if we did any of these bad things we did not think it wrong, for we knew nothing of a better way of living, and did not know it was wrong to do such things. We lived at enmity one with another; were constantly fighting, and we lived in fear always. At the time the Bishop first came to us we went about unclothed. We had no cloth of any kind, but we were not ashamed. The Bishop was the first to give us clothes.

When they left us that day, I followed them in my canoe as far as Ravenga. They thought I was following them to go to New Zealand, but no, I was too much afraid of the white man. This [148/149] was the first visit of Bishop Selwyn and Bishop Patteson to us. They did not take me then, because I was afraid of them. When they went away they promised to return in eight months.

Now I will tell you of the second coming of the Bishop to us. At the end of the eight month the ship returned. They went into the harbour of Nawono and anchored there. I was at Mota. I pulled across in my canoe and went alongside the ship. Bishop Selwyn called me by name and said, "If you had gone with me to New Zealand you would have returned to-day." I said nothing, but I thought to myself, "These are good men; they do not deceive people." I saw this because they had promised to return on this month, and they had kept their promise.

The following day the Bishop went ashore at Lisara. We were all assembled on the shore, my father, mother, and brothers and others who had all come to buy and sell things. The Bishop came and sat in the midst of us and talked; in a short time he said to me, "Do you wish to go with me." I answered, "I do not know." Then he said, "I will bring you home again in four months." This was the second time he asked me to go with him. I still could not make up my mind, because I saw that they were men different to us, and some of our people still thought that they were ghosts. They both continued to urge me, and at last I consented. They asked my father, and he gave his consent, but it was with some fear on my account lest I should be taken quite away from them and not return.

There were five of us who went on board the ship and slept there, in order to go with the Bishop. All the people then said to my father, "Why did you let him go; he will be taken away for good?" So in the morning, as we were weighing anchor, they came in their canoes and took us away. We were not far from the ship when Bishop Selwyn beckoned to us to come back. The ship was then moving. We pulled back to the ship, and as soon as we were alongside he put down his hand and helped us on board, and then he sat down with his arms round us four. Those in the canoe tried to get us back, but they did not succeed. Our elder brothers Gispaso and Nutavak cried to the Bishop to let us go, but he would not, but said, "They shall come back in four months." They re- turned ashore very sorrowful on our account and wept.

When we were outside, at the back of Nusa, it became calm, when two of us who were to go with the Bishop became frightened and jumped into the sea and swam ashore, but two of us remained with the Bishop. I had made up my mind to go with them, because they said that they would bring me back in four months, and I had seen already that their words and deeds agreed. If they promised to give anything they gave it; as they promised to come back this month so they had come back. I did not doubt as I did last year. I knew that they would bring me back again.

[150] Now these were my thoughts when I first went with the Bishop. That I would go to where everything began, and that I would collect for myself axes and knives, and hooks, and clothes, and other things a great many, for I thought that they were just lying about and that I could collect any number for myself. I did not go for any other reason. I saw all these things in the ship, and I thought I could bring a great quantity back with me. Also I wished to see the country of the white men, where it was, and what it was like. I did not know that the Bishop wished to take me for another reason altogether, and a better one, for that which would not perish like the things I went for.

We first sailed to the Solomon Islands. We had not heard of these islands, and did not know there was land in that direction. In the evening they had prayers, but I was not frightened as I had been at Nawono. On the third day Bishop Patteson said to me, "We shall see land to-day," and shortly afterwards we saw the laud. It astonished me very much. How could he know that there was land near? and so I again thought he must be a spirit to see land so far off, or to know that it was there. We first called at Ulawa to take a man back there, and then to other islands, returning men, as far as Marau.

This is another thing I saw in the ship. When they ate food, I thought they would eat as we do, take the food and eat it at once, but I saw on the ship that they put the food on plates for each man, and when all had come together they stood up and said grace, and when they had finished they again stood up and said grace before going away. I did not understand why they did this; then I thought this is a custom of the white man, and it is different to ours. As we returned from the north Bishop Selwyn began to teach us the letters. He began with the five vowels, and I thought that was all, but next day he wrote out the whole twenty-six on the blackboard and began to teach us. I did not in the least understand what it all was. I thought it was a game. When we reached Lifu, Bishop Selwyn left us there and went on to New Zealand, and Bishop Patteson took charge of us, and we did on shore just the same as on board ship—daily prayers and school. He took great pains to teach us, and after one month I was able to read the letters. But I know I worried him very much by miscalling the letters, but he was never hasty or angry as some men would be, but always spoke gently to me, and so I saw how kind a disposition he had, and how patient he was with us, and so we came to love him much. He was also so kind! in giving us all we needed—food, clothes, and other things. If we asked him for what we wanted, he would not refuse it, if he had it, such as hooks and lines and beads.

[151] Whilst we stayed at Lifu he taught us to read. I learnt nothing else; my thoughts were the same as before. I did not yet understand about a good and bad way of living, and that sin brought death. It is true what I say. At that time the word had not reached me. It had no effect upon me to make me listen to it. I was as one that slept and was deaf. I did not understand what was taught me. My eyes were not opened to see. One day the Bishop asked me who made the sky, the sun and moon and stars, the world and men? I answered, "i Qat." Then he told me it was God; He alone made everything; but I did not believe him. I said to myself, "That is another spirit whom the white people believe in, whilst we know of i Qat." This is what I thought, and it was a sign that I was still in darkness. I could not yet see the way the Bishop was pointing out to me.

After three months Bishop Selwyn returned as he had promised and took us all away. We passed by the islands of Aniteum and Erroniaya, and others till we came to Mae, where we landed some men, and so I saw some other islands I had not known of before. When we came to Maewo, which he called Aurora, I asked him what was the next island we should see, and he said, Meralava. "Then I was very glad, because I knew that we were near my own island. Then the Bishop said to me, "Is the Bishop good who has brought you two back again?" and I said, "Yes, very good indeed, to bring us home again." And so again I saw how true the Bishop was. He had promised to bring us back in four months, and this was the fourth month. When we arrived at Meralava and the people saw us with the white men, they were greatly astonished, and asked us, "Why did they not eat you?" We said that the Bishop had asked us to go with him and had treated us kindly. They asked what sort of men these were; were they kind? Did they take care of you and feed you? We answered them, "Where are there such kind men here as they are? The Bishop is full of kindness. He has given us food and taken the greatest care of us; neither has he been angry with us or struck us." When they heard this they gave two boys to the Bishop to go with him, and so we went on to Nawono and anchored there. When our people saw that they had brought us back safely they rejoiced to see us, and said to the Bishop, "You two are very good. We now for the first time see men like you. We now see that your word is true, and that you do not deceive us." Then I said to my father, "We have been with these white men and have seen how good and kind they are. They fed us, and clothed us, and took great care of us, and have not been angry with us. The Bishop behaved to me as though I was his own son, and loved me much. Will you give me a pig, and some yams, and other food, that we may give them to the Bishop to feed the men on board the ship with?" and he did as I asked him.

[152] When the Bishop brought us back this first time, ten others went with him to New Zealand, when they saw how kind he was to us and the presents he gave us.

I told my people about the other islands they knew nothing about, but which I had seen; that there were a great many lands more than could be counted. We only knew of six islands—Maewo, Opa, Marina, Vava, Vanikoro, and Tikopia. We thought that these were all the islands of the world; that there were no others. When we saw a large ship coming to us, our people paddled out to her and saw men quite different to ourselves; that they were white. We did not know where they lived, but thought that perhaps they lived where the sky begins, because we saw some with red shirts, and thought that the redness came from the sun; for we see when the sun rises it is red, and also when it sets, so we thought that these men came from near the sun, and had made their clothes red with dye from the sun. Some in former days, when they first saw a ship, thought it was a moving island, and that those white beings on board were not men but ghosts or spirits. When the Bishop first took me away, he did not take me to New Zealand, and so some said that he did not take me there lest I should see his own country, and so find out that they were not men, but spirits.

When I returned from Lifu I stayed at home some time—two or three years. There was fighting and I joined in it, a sign that I was still unenlightened. We killed men in the fight. I saw no harm in it. I thought it was good. My thoughts and my way of living was just the same as before.


[95] [Continued.]

THE second time I went with the Bishop I went to New Zealand: we were more than twenty from the Banks Islands, and we also took some men from Lifu and Neugone [Nengone] to help in the teaching. When we reached Norfolk Island, Bishop Selwyn took some of us on shore, where we slept one night; then, for the first time, I saw cows and horses, and large houses made of stone. It was all very wonderful to me. The people took us into their houses, and were very hospitable. The next day we sailed for New Zealand, but the wind was ahead, and we were a week before we saw the land. It seemed very large and long to us. We sailed along the coast two days, and then reached Kohimarama. I saw the harbour, with its many houses and ships—the harbour seemed full of ships. The Bishop took us ashore, and put us into our houses. The Neugone and Lifu men in separate houses. Whilst we lived there Bishop Patteson and Mr. Dudley took care of us. I did not understand anything about Sunday as yet. The Bishop gave us some good clothes, and took us to the service at the College. When near the College we heard the bell ring, and we went into the Chapel. There I saw a woman sitting at the harmonium, but I thought it was only a box. When the bell stopped I saw the Bishop and another man who lived there come out of a side room, with long white garments on. They went and stood in different places, and read from a book. Then one of them gave some directions, and the woman played the harmonium. I listened with wonder as to what these pleasant sounds could mean. I saw also all the pictures in the windows, and so I thought that this house was different from our houses, and from the houses we ate and slept in, and then I thought of the end of the house at Kohimarama, which was divided off from the rest of the house, and where the Bishop had forbidden us to play, and so I thought that what we were doing was a holy and sacred thing, but I did not yet understand it. The Bishop taught us at Kohimarama, and took good care of us, seeing that we had enough food, and kept our clothes and houses clean. As for himself, he seemed to be always in his house, reading and writing; he thought little about food. When the dinner-bell rang he would come out, and when [95/96] dinner was over he would return to his room, and go on reading his book. I thought then that he was only staring at the book, but now I know that there is wisdom in it.

One day we did not hear the school bell, and we came late to school, so he drove us all out and we did not have school. We went away, but I was very sorry, and I thought it was not at all right to do as we had done. At mid-day the Bishop called Woupas and myself into his room to talk to us about not coming to school. We went to him in great fear, thinking he would be very angry with us, but he spoke very quietly, and told us not to do so again; that we were always to come to school and meals. He was indeed good and kind, was never very angry or cross, but always spoke gently to one whatever happened.

When we returned that year to the Islands I was landed at Vanua Lava, for that was still my home. The Bishop stayed at Mota. Some days when it was calm, I crossed over to Mota in my small canoe, and stayed at Alo Mahe, and would go to school there for three or four days, and then go home again. Then I began to learn how to read, which I had in vain tried in Lifu and New Zealand. It all came to me like a flash of light; it astonished me when I found I could read words and understand the sense. And then the Bishop wrote out the Lord's Prayer for me.

At the time when Bishop Patteson began his work at Mota there was a large population. They were all heathen, at enmity one with another, living in fear, and constantly fighting. He spoke very strongly against this mode of life, going about to every village, and talking to the men about the miserable life they were living. And then he began a school at Lo Mahe, gathering the children together from the different villages and islands. They were enemies to each other, but he took great care of them, fed and clothed them, and went about to ether islands, and bought food for the boys in the school at Mota. He had that year boys from Mae, Gaua, Motalava, Rowa, and the Solomon Islands to teach, and amongst them was Stephen Taroaniara, who continued with the Bishop until his death, and they both died together.

That year when I visited Mota I saw some of his work. He would visit the villages each day, and talk to the elder men about some of their customs which were bad, and urge them to give them up. The people thought him a good man because he spoke so strongly about their bad customs. Some of our customs he did not speak decidedly about, but would say, "They will see for themselves by and bye whether they are good or not." The Neugone men who came to help Bishop Patteson spoke strongly against some of these customs, and said they must be given up at once, such as the Suge, the Salagon, polygamy, and the sexes not eating together; but the Bishop told them not to speak so [96/97] strongly against such customs yet, as it would only make the people angry, and they then would not listen to the better way he was trying to teach them. In this we see how wise he was, and how well he understood the hearts of the native people. It was at that time that the people were all heathen that the Mota people were near killing Bishop Patteson. It came about thus: Wadrohal [Wadrokal] carried a boy, who was not initiated into the "qat," into the qat enclosure; the people were very angry indeed, and hesitated whether to kill the boy or not. The Bishop and Mr. Dudley went to them to talk to them because there was a great disturbance. The Bishop stood by a breadfruit tree. Then the people cried out, "Let us kill them," and Atevwowut ran behind the Bishop, and struck his axe into the tree where the Bishop was standing. He struck close to his head and near his face. The Bishop said, "What is this?" Atev answered him, "We will kill you all." The Bishop said, "No; that is not right," and he took away the axe from Atev, and called all the people round him, and spoke gently and kindly to them, and so soothed their anger, for they all saw what a kind and gentle man he was.

The Bishop did not stay only at Mota, but he went about in his boat to Vanualava, Motalava, and Ureparapara in all sorts of weather, wet or fine, and so I saw how much he cared for the people of the other Islands, and although I knew nothing of his teaching about God I saw how good a man he was. For two years after this I did not return to New Zealand. I stayed at home at Vanualava. We built a small house for a school, and I taught the boys their letters every day. until some of them could read, and Bishop Patteson took four of them afterwards to New Zealand (one of whom was Edward Wogale, who afterwards was ordained Deacon, and died at his work on Torres Islands).

At the end of these two years the Bishop took me away again. We went to Marina (Espirito Santo) first. When we arrived there the boat was lowered, and I went in her with the Bishop. We pulled inshore to one of the landing places, where there was a great crowd of men. He told us not to pull ashore, but when near he swam alone to the land, and sat for a long time in the midst of the crowd, so that we in the boat could not see him. We were afraid lest they should kill him; but, no, he came back safely to us, and we went on to another landing place, and so on. This was his custom, which I saw, as I was with him in the boat that year. Then we came back from Marina to Gaua, and first we visited Lakona, and landed at Qeteout, and here he did the same as at Marina. He swam ashore alone to the crowd of people. They were all armed with bows and arrows, but he had no fear. One man put his hand into the pocket of the Bishop's coat, and took his handkerchief, but he was not angry.

[To be continued.]

[108] (Concluded.)

Indeed the people were all very ignorant at that time. They shot at us twice in one day to drive us away. In some places they would do this always; they would run down to us to sell their things, with bows and arrows, spears and clubs, in their hands. The Bishop would go boldly amongst them, with no fear of the crowd of men, would buy all their things which they brought for sale, and then would give some presents. Then, as we pulled away, they would shoot their arrows at us. This they did at Opa and Ambrym; they sold us their things, and then they shot at us. In some places they were very friendly, and in others they were very hostile, and drove us away with their arrows. We had indeed narrow escapes of our lives that year.

I did not yet understand the Bishop's work, or why he went .about thus, but I saw that he was a good man, and wished to teach us to be good, and lead good, peaceful lives. Now those Islands where they shot at us, and tried to drive us away, are living in peace, and there are schools established there. And so we see clearly that this teaching begins with God that men are engaged in teaching it, but that the power of God is in it, and hence its success. The fourth time I stayed with the Bishop I began to understand his teaching. He taught us constantly about God as the Creator of all things in Heaven and in earth, and that He lived and ruled over and provided for all that He had made; .and then he taught us of Jesus, the Son of God, of His becoming man, and of all that He did for our salvation.

Others came to help the Bishop in teaching—Rev. R. H. Codrington, J. Palmer. J. Atkin, and others. We all had our several work to do—the farm, garden, kitchen, and other work—and all was done regularly and in order; this besides the teaching in school.

It was at that time that I just began to understand what the Bishop was teaching us. I felt it in my heart that it was good, and I became very anxious to understand it all. Also, my heart began to be enlightened, and the light increased, and I saw things that I had not seen before, and my ears, which had been deaf, were now opened, and I understood more of what was taught me.

[109] It had been a weariness to learn to read, but now that I could do so it was a great pleasure to me; now that I could understand the meaning of which I read, I found it was not like a mere string of words, but as though someone was talking to me, and it was good not only in my ears, but in my heart.

When I could read, Bishop Patteson taught me the meaning of the Prayers, and then he spoke to me about the Sacrament of Baptism, and said that I must look forward to baptism, but I was afraid. I thought, I could never be baptised; I was not worthy, and I was ignorant; I was born of heathen parents. The Bishop had taught me about Jesus, and about His birth; that He was born pure, of the Virgin Mary, and that He was without sin, and so I was afraid to receive baptism. One day when he was teaching us about baptism, I spoke out to him, and told him that I could not be baptised, that I was not good enough to receive such a holy thing. I knew all about myself, and I was not worthy. He said, "There is no one good or worthy. Jesus Christ alone is good; and if you are not worthy, Jesus Christ can make you so; He can cleanse you. But if you live apart from Him how can you obtain life? You cannot do so of yourself, but if you dwell in Him by baptism you will live, because He is the life." Then I began to understand through this teaching of his.

And about sin and uncleanness, the Bishop said, "God will wash away all uncleanness in your baptism, when you believe that Jesus died instead of you. When I heard this it was indeed good news to me, and I felt great peace in my heart. He spoke quietly to me, and, indeed, his words went home to my heart, and I did not refuse any more; there was power in his words when he taught us. There were five of us whom he first taught and prepared for baptism, and he taught us very thoroughly. He spoke to us much about being members of Christ, members of the Church, and explained it by the different parts of a house, and the different members of the body. This made me understand his teaching. Indeed, to me the sun had risen, and that which in my time of darkness and ignorance I could not see, now was as clear to me.

These were the first of us who were baptised, whom Bishop Selyn and Bishop Patteson first taught:—George Sarawia, Henry Tagalad, Edmund Qaratu, Charles Wolig, William Qason, and Mary Rotuong. (These five young men were named after the then five Bishops in New Zealand.) He placed us who were baptised in a separate class, and taught us accordingly, and some days when he taught us I listened, and my thoughts and my heart were satisfied, and I would say to myself, "This is indeed good; I have found the true ford and the living water." For I looked back upon the time I stayed at Lifu and at Kohimarama, when my thoughts and my life were different from the present time, and I found I [109/110] was more enlightened than I was then. And so I thought to myself, "This is the true food which will make me strong," and I put forth my hand and took hold of it. I washed away my uncleanness in the pure water, and my heart rejoiced because my foul garment was taken off from me, and I was clothed in a clean garment; and I praised my Father in Heaven who had had mercy on me, and had brought me out of darkness into light, and from the heathen life, and had cleansed me and made me truly .happy. But I was always thinking of my father and mother, and of my brothers, who were still heathen; and one day I said to the Bishop, "What are we to think of the heathen in our islands?" The Bishop said, "We must pray to God for them; He alone can prepare their hearts and make them ready to receive the Word of' God." And the Bishop wrote a short prayer for me to say morning and evening, and I understood that the heathen were held as captives by Satan, and it was for us to pray earnestly for them, and God would hear us, for that all things were possible to him who prayed in faith to God, who hears our prayers. Peter—Herod had bound him and put him in prison, and the Church prayed earnestly for him, and God heard His people and saved him from the hand of Herod. And so we could help those who were still heathen by our prayers, and God would deliver them out of the hand of Satan.

I returned home that year and tried to help by telling my people some of the things Bishop Patteson had taught me. I told them that i Qat was no true spirit. That this was the true Spirit whose Word Bishop Patteson taught us; He was the one only true God, who made all things in heaven and in earth, who cared for all, loved all, and had mercy upon all, and that He ruled over all the things He had created because He loved all, and that He was the one true God. It was in this way I began to talk to them and teach them. Then after some time came my ordination. I was at Norfolk Island, to which place the Mission had moved from New Zealand. The Bishop was perhaps thinking of sending me to Mota that year, when one day, as I was sitting in his room and asking him some question in the Gospels, I heard him say to me, "I am thinking about you; that you will return home this year and stay there. I will buy the piece of land we have already chosen, take some timber, and build a house there. You will live in the house and take charge of the place, and have a school for children. I have made up my mind to ordain you as Deacon, and C. Nolij and B. Virsal shall go with you and be your companions and helpers when you are left alone there." I said to the Bishop, "I do not know enough for such a work as that. It is too weighty and responsible a task for me to undertake, and I am not worthy of it;" but he answered me: "You know more than they do, and are fit to teach and lead them." So I agreed to go and teach, but begged not to be ordained as yet. But he went on talking to me, [110/111] and said: "This is what I think. When you are ordained and live in your home, if anyone is ill you can visit him and teach him about this true religion of Jesus Christ, and if he is in earnest you can baptise him before he dies. Or if a woman gives birth to a weakly child you can baptise it; and you can bury the Christians who die. All this you will be able to do when we are not with you. It is not right that Christians should be buried without any prayer, nor that the heathen should be left to die without hope."

After the Bishop had said this I no longer refused; the Bishop's words to me seemed so weighty. It was always so when the Bishop spoke calmly and strongly to one, he could not refuse to do as the Bishop wished; his word was with power.

And so I was ordained Deacon, and he placed me at Mota, and said at some future time I should return to Norfolk Island, and he would instruct me further, and if he found me fit he would ordain me a Priest. I was not long at Mota when the Bishop was killed, and I thought nothing more would be said about it. But some two or three years afterwards Dr. Codrington spoke to me about it, I and I did not object, for he talked to me as Bishop Patteson did, and he helped me very much indeed.

Project Canterbury