Project Canterbury

Coleridge Patteson of Melanesia: A Modern Knight

By Joseph Hopkins Twichell, M.A.
Senior Fellow of Yale University

New Haven: Yale Foreign Missionary Society, 1906.

On the 20th day of September, 1871, at about an hour before noon, a small vessel came to anchor out side the encircling reef of an island in the South Pacific seas. The blue ocean waves breaking on the reef, the wide placid lagoon within, the white line of the beach beyond, the palm grove reaching down to the shore, and all bathed in the glory of the tropic sunshine, made the scene one of enchantment.

Several canoe loads of natives were soon hovering near the vessel, yet seeming afraid to venture further. Presently a boat put out from the vessel to meet them. The prominent figure in this boat was a man a little over forty years of age, of medium stature, of well-knit frame, full-bearded, dressed in flannel shirt and trousers, of a calm, self-reliant, fearless air yet very gentle in his speech and manner toward those with him, and, it was plain to see, familiar with situations of that kind. Upon reaching the canoes, after a few minutes' conversation with their occupants, by signs chiefly, he [5/6] stepped into one of them, and then canoes and boat together moved toward the island. But on coming to the reef it was found that, owing to the state of the tide, the boat could not cross it. So three of the canoes--that which the man had entered being one of them--went on, leaving the other canoes and the boat with its crew outside there at the reef. The crew, watching, saw the man land with the natives on the beach, and then he and they disappeared from view. Half an hour later the natives that had remained behind, all of a sudden rose up in their canoes and attacked the boat's crew with their bows and arrows, wounding three out of the four of them in a minute's time. The canoes then sped away, and the boat crawled back to the vessel. It was quickly re-manned, and put off again to ascertain, if possible, what had become of him who had gone ashore, concerning whom there was now much reason for alarm.

It was past mid-afternoon before the rising tide enabled the boat to pass the reef. Just as it had done so, two canoes were seen leaving the beach in company, one towing the other. Approaching the boat a distance, the one that had the other in tow cast it off and hurriedly paddled back to land. The canoe set adrift appeared to have no person in it, only a heap of some sort in the middle. Cautiously [6/7] the boat's crew made toward it, in utter silence, till they were alongside. One glance sufficed. They looked at one another. "The body!" said one, and those two words were all that were spoken. It was wrapped around with a native mat, and a pain frond lay upon the breast. They lifted it reverently into the boat. At that moment there rose from the shore a savage yell. But it was not returned. In presence of that body it was not possible to think even the thought of revenge. It would have been a desecration that the smile of peace over-spreading the still face of the dead would have rebuked. For this was the body of John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop of Melanesia, who at any time for sixteen years, would, as is said on the memorial cross that now marks the spot where he died, have willingly given his life for the people who took it: and who on this woeful day put it to fatal hazard in the attempt to do them a special service of friendship, which they, poor souls, did not know enough to comprehend.

A man of the true apostolic stamp was he. In him re-appeared in a manner and a measure most striking, most glorious, the mind of the first great foreign missionary as reflected in that saying of his: "I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish." He is one of [7/8] a class of moderns who are evidence and proof that our ever-living Gospel is, in our age, of as potent virtue to produce the supreme type of heroic man hood as ever it was. No martyr of the early church, or of any Christ period, was a nobler sacrifice, or worthier the halo, than this man who perished on that Melanesian island in the year of our Lord, 1871.

John Coleridge Patteson, the nephew of the famous Coleridge, and the son of Sir John Patteson, an eminent jurist, had his place by birth in the upper circles of English society. No sooner are we introduced into the household where his life opened than we find ourselves in a most positive, pure, delightful Christian atmosphere. It is a praying household, notably pervaded with the spirit and humble piety and with all sweet gospel savors. There is no mistaking the evangelical tone and quality of the religion there prevailing. The child for whom such things were in store was consecrated to God at his birth, and from infancy was trained in the way of faith and godliness. He grew up a spirited, merry, high-hearted boy, much given to athletics, a great favorite with his comrades, by no means without faults, but a good boy; till at the age of fifteen while at Eton he was con firmed a communicant in the Church:--a matter [8/9] which was taken very seriously both by himself and by the people at home. Soon after, his mother, Lady Patteson, died, a saintly woman, whose loss, as in many such cases, seems to have produced a deep and lasting spiritual effect upon him.

And now there begin to appear in him marked tokens of character, of downright Christian principle; as manifested e. g., in his open, unshamed stand among his schoolmates for purity and for all things belonging to moral uprightness. But not to linger on this part of his life, suffice it to say that at the age of twenty-six he was a graduate of Oxford, had spent some time in study abroad, was a rarely accomplished scholar, capable of correspondence with men like Max Müller and Principal Shairp, was elected Fellow of one of the Colleges of his University--an office which he still held at the time of his death--had been ordained to the ministry, had thrown himself into the pastoral service with all the ardor of his nature, was admired, beloved, marked for distinction; and altogether (if we may use the expression) as fine a fellow as there was in England.

Just there it was, at that point, with life before him and his eager foot on the threshold of the future, that the cry of the poor, dwelling on the far isles of the sea the other side of the globe caught [9/10] his ear, and he arose, forsook all, and went to them. Which came to pass on this wise: George Augustus Selwyn, first English Bishop of New Zealand, in geographical proximity to whose diocese the Melanesian Islands lay, became convinced soon after assuming the duty of his episcopate there in 1841, that it was the call of the Anglican Church to bear part in the work of their evangelization. Of that work a beginning had already been made by both the London Missionary Society and the Scottish Kirk. John Williams, the martyr of Erromanga, had there laid down his life for the Gospel as far back as 1839. But the field was wide; was mostly unoccupied, and there was plenty of room for all. It is grateful to tell that the noble Selwyn in projecting his entrance into it, laid it down as a rule by which he purposed unalterably to abide, that--we cite his own words,--"he would never interfere with any Christianization whatsoever already undertaken by any religious body whatever; so that he would never bring before the islanders the great stumbling-block of divisions among Christians who should be as brethren." But having come to his determination, when he went to England in 1854, he cast about him to find a man whom he might join to himself in its execution. He met young Patteson, [10/11] of whom he had some previous knowledge, fixed on him as the one who would do, and summoned him to enlistment in the service. That was not the first time Coleridge Patteson had thought of such a thing. He had been strongly drawn to it before; and now this definite call added such urgency to its appeal that his impulse was to say "yes" at once. But in the instinct of filial duty he first went to that grand old English gentleman, his father, and asked his leave to go. And though it was hard, heart-breaking even, with the shadows of old age advancing upon him, to send such a son away, Sir John, after a brief struggle, looked up to the Saviour they both loved, and said "Go;" and in a few months the young man turned his back on England forever, no more to see native land, or father, or any of his kindred again.

And who were the people who thus drew him after them? Of the great island world of the Pacific on which the Western Coast of our continent looks forth, the part named Melanesia lies under the tropics to the northward of Australia and New Zealand, 800 miles at its nearest point from the latter, and includes in all not far from 250 islands in five principal groups, extending in the general form of a crescent to the northwest about 1,200 miles. Its vast population, of the negro type, was, at that [11/12] time, composed, with tri exceptions, of naked savages. They usually had enough to eat; they did not need clothing; and that was the best that could be said of their condition. Otherwise it was such as is common to the savage state, with features of repulsiveness not wanting. In disposition they were marked by a certain childish, animal good nature, which easily passed into horrible ferocity. Their mental development was small. Patteson, when he came among them, found, for instance, that the inhabitants of one island, while they had names for other islands in sight or adjacent, had generally none for their own. Except to a very limited extent they were socially disorganized. More than forty languages were spoken among them--not dialects, but languages. They were in an incessant state of warfare among themselves, which was waged with diabolical inhumanity, and they were all cannibals. No more pitiable a race dwelt beneath the sun. Morally they were little above the plane of brutishness. They had superstitions, and that was about the only sign they gave of moral capacity. Patteson took note of that, and it excited alike his compassion and his hope. "Their bond age is a hard one," he said, "constant suspicion and fear when they think at all." Yet he saw in it a place at which to begin with his gospel.

[13] But such were the people with whom Coleridge Patteson, being such as he was, cast in his lot for life,--even as God's Son cast in His lot with humanity. He consecrated himself to their service for Jesus sake, utterly--himself, all that he was, all that he had. He reserved nothing. He went over to their side and joined himself to them, identified himself with them, completely. He took their cause upon him in every way, He stood their champion on all occasions He would allow no man to disparage them. He always spoke well of them. It is often amusing to see how he manages to do it. He made much to their praise of that animal good nature I have referred to. "The Melanesians," he said, "laugh as you may at it, are naturally gentlemaniy and courteous and well-bred. I never saw a 'gent' in Melanesia, though not a few downright savages. I vastly prefer the savages," He stood up for their languages, was jealous of their claim to be considered true languages, and not the uncouth jargon of barbarians. They were, he alleged, better to trans. late the Bible into than English, on some accounts.

They were men to him,--those people--genuinely as the Athenians were to St. Paul. He gave them his company. For years together he scarcely saw any human being, save his handful [13/14] of assistants and his dark skinned Melanesians. He never married. He adopted that wild race as his family. The day of his consecration as bishop at Auckland, six years after he went out, he writes to his father, "How I think of those islands! How I see those bright coral and sandy beaches, strips of burning sunshine fringing the masses of forest rising into ridges of hills. Hundreds of people are crowding upon them, naked, armed, with uncouth cries and gestures. I cannot talk to then but by signs. But they are all my children now. May God enable me to do my duty by them." He made them his heirs, bequeathing to them by will his patrimony, which was considerable, years before he died. "Hard enough you worked, my dear Father," he wrote, "to leave your children so well off. My children now dwell in two hundred islands, and will need all that I can give them. God grant that the day may come when many of them may understand these things and rise up and call your memory blessed."

As has been stated, he never left them. He never found time to. The distance was great; his working force was very small; everything was in his hands; he could not be spared. And the father, sitting there at home, worthy of such a son though hungering for his boy, on his part consented [14/15] to have it so. And as appears, it was left to him to decide. For in 1861, Coleridge says to him in a letter, "How I think of you day and night, and how I thank you for all your love, and, perhaps most of all, not only for letting me come to Melanesia, but for your great love in never calling me away from my work even to see your face once more on earth." But the cross of that self-denial was heavy to bear One of his associate says of him, at about that time, that when taxed with looking over he answered that "it was the anguish he endured, as night after night he lay awake thinking of his father gradually sinking and craving for him, and cheerfully resigning him, that really told upon him." That heroic old man in England and the other heroic souls about him, in the domestic circle, come into the reckoning of this life-story. He they, are an inseparable part of it. On the one hand is John Coleridge Patteson among his naked savages; on the other, filling out the picture, is that refined English home that furnished the hero and evermore inspires him.

It is a wonderful correspondence,--that between this father and son. It is heavenly, and grows heavenly to the end. When, at length, Sir John is aware that the hour of his departure is at hand, still he cheers on the soldier he has sent to the field. [15/16]
The evening of the day word came of Coleridge's consecration to the episcopate, though for some while he had not for weakness attempted to read family prayers, he desired his daughters to let him do it. And where in the prayer for missions and missionaries he had been wont to add a petition "for the absent member of this family" he now, in a clear tone, substituted the words, "especially for John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop." And that was the last time he ever conducted house hold worship. He shortly passed away.

And the son, in those days, though little doubting that all was over, keeps on writing to him, just the same as he had, telling him all that was in his heart.

It is to a father who was in his grave that the letter is written, which begins "It may be that as I write your blessed spirit, at rest in paradise, may know me more truly than ever you did on earth, but I must go on writing to you, even as I go on praying for you. It is a great comfort to me," and the letter is signed: "Now more than ever, Your loving and dutiful son." When finally the looked for sad news reached that son, he received it with entire calmness, but it was noticed that in reading the Commandments in the Church service the next Sunday, his voice trembled when he came to the Fifth.

[17] It is in the light of such circumstances as these that we obtain a view of the quality of the friend ship which God raised up in the persons of Coleridge Patteson and those nearest and dearest to him, for those poor black people. Rather, the time for it having in His divine Providence come, God went to England, to one of the most refined and cultured families of the realm, in which were garnered the fruits of the ages of His grace, for the man He had prepared to represent His friendship for them. It was an absolutely unstinted friendship: it had no limits: it lived, as it was generated, in the breath of the al Holy Spirit.

Having said thus much of the Man, we may pass on now to speak of his Work. In so doing we shall confine ourselves mainly to the principles on which it was ordered, the view and policy of heathen evangelization according to which its methods were shaped. Patteson's time in the prosecution of it was not far from equally divided between what you might call--to borrow military terms--field and quarters. From four to six months of each year he usually spent in a visitation of his islands: and the rest of the year in the instruction, in a fixed place, of a company of native children and youth of both sexes, gathered during the visitation. On a number of these visitations at first he and Bishop [17/18] Selwyn went together, the latter to initiate the new-corner in the art of approaching the people, which he had acquired by experience.

In this connection may be related an occurrence that will illustrate the attitude, to which reference has been made, held by Bishop Selwyn toward other missionaries than those of his own communion. He and Patteson, en route for the islands beyond, stopping for a friendly call at a station of the London Missionary Society in the New Hebrides, found there the John G. Paton, so well known to us, over whelmed with sudden sorrow by the death of his wife and child. What ensued is thus told in Paton's own words:

"Standing with me beside the grave of mother and child, I weeping aloud on his one hand, and Patteson--afterward the Martyr Bishop--sobbing silently' on the other, the godly Bishop Selwyn poured out his heart to God amidst sobs and tears, during which he laid his hands on my head, and invoked Heaven's richest consolations on me and my trying labors. The virtue of that kind of Episcopal consecration (adds Mr. Paton, hard headed Scotch Presbyterian as he is, with the blood of the Covenanters in him) I did and do most warmly appreciate." But there we see the barriers to communion how beautifully melting away in the [18/19] warmth of the divine fellowship of pity for souls in darkness! And at this point, as evidence of how cordially Patteson himself adopted and followed Selwyn's rule of brotherliness toward all missionaries may be added the incident that some years later, it having devolved on him, in peculiar circumstances to assume charge for a time of a station of a non-Episcopal mission, he scrupulously conformed his manner of conducting it in all particulars to the usages that had there been practiced,--though, in telling of it, he says he did greatly miss the help of the Prayer-book in con ducting public worship.

The School in which Patteson taught his young Melanesians was, for two years alter he went out, till 1867, located in the vicinity of Auckland, New Zealand. It was then moved to Norfolk Island, six hundred miles to the northward nearer his field, there receiving the name of St. Barnabas' College, which it still bears--the number of pupils varying in his time, from thirty to two hundred. It was more than a school or college in the ordinary sense,--an institute of Christian civilization: chief medium, also, of contact and acquaintance with the scattered, multitudinous communities at whose redemption he aimed. Annually, at the end of his one long term he took his pupils in his little vessel, [19/20] The Southern Cross, home to their respective islands, dropping them as he went and picking them up again, after an interval of weeks, as he came back. He did this for two reasons. It was too cold for them, born right under the sun, to winter at the school. But beside that he valued their return for a season to their own people for its effect upon both pupils and people; increasing confidence in him in the latter, and as being in more ways than one a test of the former. He used it as a means of selecting the fittest, most hopeful among them for the ultimate purposes he had in view.

To obtain pupils in the first place was, as might be supposed, a matter of much difficulty. He was sometimes years in achieving even a landing on an island--so wild were the people. When in such cases that point was carried, he felt that a great deal was accomplished: and when, at last, he was allowed to take a little naked lad away with him, he was greatly triumphant.

He often remarks humorously on the figure he makes in this business. "In these introductory visits (he says) scarcely anything is done or said that resembles mission work in stories. The crowd is great, the noise greater. The heat, the dirt, the inquisitiveness the begging, make something unlike the interesting pictures in a missionary [20/21] magazine of an amiable individual very correctly got up in a white tie and black tailed coat, and a group of very attentive, decently clothed, nicely washed natives."

It was a dangerous business, in which he was brought into frequent extreme peril. His return from his sea-circuit in safety was like coming out of a battle safe. "I must not forget (he wrote once) that I have some islands to visit in the next month or two where the people are very wild, so that I, of all men, have least reason to speculate about what I may hope to do a year hence."

He boasts at the end of one of his tours of seven teen weeks, that he has visited sixty-six islands landed over eighty times, and been shot at only twice:--threatened a great deal with dubs and drawn bows, but actually shot at only twice. And he really seems to be proud of the people that they have done so well.

But he got his pupils. Every one was a trophy. No one can tell what they cost.

It is not to be understood that he did all this single-handed. He had associates from the outset, five at the time of the removal to Norfolk Island, two of them clergymen. But he was ever the leader, overseer and ruling spirit of the whole work.

But leaving the subject of its method, we come [21/22] to the ideas and principles that underlay it. One thing with which in observing Coleridge Patteson, one is constantly impressed, is the quality of his personal feeling toward those savage folk. It is all the while made very plain that to him they seemed, as has been said, to be men--equally men with himself--with whom, as a man, he stood in a large, most real oneness and fellowship. In speaking of them, testifies one of his co-laborers "he had none of the conventional talk about the degraded heathen. They were brethren, ignorant indeed, but capable of the highest wisdom." His eyes had received, in Christ, an anointing that caused the likeness between himself and them to appear to him far more than the unlikeness. He tells how once as he lay awake by night amid a hut full of then, he felt one of them, who thought him asleep, reaching out in the dark and passing his hand softly over him from head to foot, to see if, with his strange dress, and complexion and features, he was made as they were. An unspeakably pathetic action or gesture it was to him, he says, filling him with an intense yearning desire to reply to it, if he could, "Yes: I am one of you!" Now it is one thing to say at a distance that a man living in various respects the life of a beast, disgusting in his habits with only the rudiment of an intellect, whom you [22/23] could not go near without danger of his eating you, is a brother man: quite another to feel it and act it continuously in his presence. Coleridge Patteson could do the latter and did it. Which denotes the principle that governed ail he did, and directed others in doing, for those people from first to last:--the principle, viz., of the practical recognition of that equality which his treat gospel-taught heart so vividly apprehended.

He gives again and again very emphatic utterance to his convictions on this point: as, for instance, in describing the sort of men he wants to join the mission. It is interesting to see him lay out the armor, piece by piece, which if they enlist with him his fellow-soldiers will have to put on. It is an unconscious self-description. They must be men of industry, for one thing; and 'for another, men of naturally buoyant spirits, earnest, bright, cheerful; One "who takes a sentimental view of coral islands and cocoanuts (he says) is of course worse than useless. A man possessed with the idea that he is ma a sacrifice will never do. A man who thinks any kind of work beneath a gentleman will simply be in the way." But the qualification for the service he most insists on is the being able genuinely to brother Melanesian natives. "That pride of race (writes this well-born youth) which [23/24] prompts a white man to regard colored people as inferior to himself, must be wholly eradicated. They (the natives) have a strong sense of; and acquiescence in, their inferiority," he says, and tells how one of them once expressed it by saying to him, "Does an ant know how to speak to a cow?"--but adds "If we treat them as inferiors they will always remain in that position of inferiority."

His principle of equality he carried into universal application. In the manual labor department "we make no distinction whatever (he says) between English and Melanesian members. of the mission as such, no classification of lower and higher kinds of work,--of work befitting a white and work befit ting a black man. The senior clergyman of the mission (himself, i. e.) labors with his own hands at the work that is sometimes described as menial work.' He is to be seen, indeed, at all sorts of tasks, from milking cows to cutting out girls' dresses, doing ever so many things. that, he says, "to multitudes of people in England would be shocking."

In the whole social life of the mission the same principle was realized. Watching him among his boys one has to keep reminding himself that they are negroes, or he forgets it. He played with them [24/25] held them on his knees, ate with them, slept among them. The door of his room was always open to them, and it was said to have been a beautiful thing to see the smile with which he would look up and encourage some hesitating, shy lad to come in and open his thoughts to him.

A great sickness once befell the school. Twenty six were in mortal danger by it at one time. Night and day he hovered over them, nursing and tending them as a mother would. The dead with his own hands he prepared for burial, weeping tears of sorrow for them. Such of the dying as he could feel it right to do he baptized into the Christian name. For two of them, newcomers who were so uninstructed as to forbid this, he composed a special prayer to offer at their graves, and these are extracts from it: "Forasmuch as it hath pleased Thee, O, Almighty God, to take from amongst us the souls of these two children committed to our charge, we therefore commit their bodies to the
ground, humbly commending to Thy fatherly mercy these and all other Thy children who know Thee not, but whom Thou knowest, who art the Father and Lord of all things in heaven and in earth." Then he turns his petition to the distant islands from which the lads had come, feeling that here is the place and this the hour to intercede for [25/26] them. We humbly beseech Thee, most merciful God, to remember for good the inhabitants of the islands of Melanesia, and specially we pray God by the grave of these children, for the dwellers in Vanua Lava and Ambrym, that Thou wouldest cause the light of the Gospel to shine in their hearts."

He had at an early stage of his work, as the way opened for its extension, cherished the hope of obtaining from home a numerous force of helpers to strengthen his hands in it. He had pleaded for it. "There must be," he said pathetically, "many, many fellows pulling up Surley tonight,"--he is writing to his old tutor at Eton and remembers that it is the day of the annual boat-race--"who may be well able to pull with one in the Pacific: young fellows whose pluck and courage are given them to stand the roughness of a missionary life." But the recruits he longed for were not forthcoming to any considerable extent, such, at any rate, as he would accept. He would not have any except on his own terms. He was bound to have fit men or none. He would not run the risk of having the Mission "swamped," as he expressed it, by well intentioned, but incompetent men. "We must have gentlemen of white color, or I must rely wholly (as I always meant to do chiefly) on my black gentlemen."

[27] He finally did fall back on his black gentlemen. A little handful of English workers of his choice gathered to him--some of them youths who attached themselves to him to be, as it were, Timothys to his Paul--and with these he gave himself up to the purpose of preparing from among her own children those who should impart the word of God to Melanesia. It was the best, the most hopeful way, as he came more and more to feel, though it was the long way.

In nothing is a man's size more certainly proved than in his handling of the element of time in relation to large enterprises, pre-eminently enterprises of religion. When Aldin Grout, one of the grandest missionaries the American Board was ever honored to send forth, was asked what results of long years of pioneer toil in Africa he had to show, he answered, "Results are not my department." Coleridge Patteson had likewise learned from Christ to labor and to wait. The patience that accepts the slow process that seems delay, was characteristic of his whole career. One of those Timothys of his, who laid down his life with him in the end, wrote,--disclosing doubtless a fundamental article of his training: "I am quite sure that nothing is to be done in a hurry. A good and zealous man, in ignorance and haste, might do more harm in one [27/28] year than could be remedied in ten. My objection to mission reports has always been that the readers want to hear of 'progress,' and the writers are thus tempted to write of it; and may they not, without knowing it, be, at times, hasty that they may seem to be progressing. People expect too much. Be cause missionary work looks like failure, it does not follow that it is. Our Saviour's work looked like a failure. He made no mistakes either in what He taught, or in the way of teaching it, and He succeeded, though not to the eyes of men."

Such was the view in which the Bishop was grounded, and which he instilled into the minds of those who labored with him. He taught them to estimate seed sowing at its true value, and to believe that it was not in vain in the Lord. On the young natives who were marked by him for the office and work of leadership in time to come, he bestowed a care of instruction and discipline that was deliberate and painstaking beyond measure. He postponed from year to year the induction of any of them into the ministry, even after he hoped the step might be a proper one to take, not being satisfied that he had done all he could for them.

Finally he did, in 1868, admit to deacon's orders George Sarawia of the Island of Mota, who had been more than ten years by his side. There were [28/29] other candidates whom may be he would, also have ordained had he not studiously made himself deaf to the cry for news of progress, who were ordained alter he died, but upon none of them did he lay his hands save this one.

What we have termed his size, is revealed in his idea of pagan evangelization It was an idea of which churches and missionaries alike have of late come to apprehend the reasonableness and to receive, as they did not formerly. In his case it was, that it was not to be made the aim of his work--the end to which it looked--to import into Melanesia a Christianity of the English type. "I have long felt (he said) that there is almost harm done by trying to make these islanders like English people. They are to be Melanesian, not English, Christians. We are so far removed from them in matters not at all necessarily connected with Christianity, that unless we can denationalize ourselves, and eliminate all that belongs to us as English and not as Christians, we cannot be to them what a well countryman [of theirs] may be. We shall find ourselves trying to de nationalize them. I don't mean that we are to compromise truth; but Christianity is the religion of humanity at large. It has room for all. It takes in all shades and diversities of character, race, etc. [29/30] The substratum of it is, so to say, co-ordinate and co-extensive with the substratum of humanity. All must receive that. Each set of men must also receive many things of secondary, yet of very great importance to then; but in these there will be differences according to the characteristic differences of men throughout the world." The danger of a heathen's taking clothing, for instance, to be an essential part of religion, must be guarded. against. "We have nothing to get out of the way (he concludes) except what was in the way." We remark again the largeness of this man.

But wherein he saw that the new inward man required a new outward man, he set himself with all care, ingenuity and patience to the work of that rehabilitation:--and work it was of the most unromantic and trying nature, very much of it. That school community of his Was a place where the process of the inculcation of truth on one hand, and of guidance and training in the practice of it on the other, is to be observed in all phases and stages; he himself being (as he says he felt the need of being) "a living exemplification and expression of the way he taught--an embodiment of Christian truth, walking, sleeping, eating and drinking before their eyes." In this holy labor [30/31] he wrought unremittingly, unweariedly to the hour God called him home.

One of his dear pupils, in language at once simple, quaint and eloquent, thus describes the closing days: "As we were going to that island where be died, but were still in the open sea, he schooled us continually upon Luke II, III, up to VI, but he left off with us with his death. And he preached to us continually at prayers in the totting every day, and every evening, on the Acts of the Apostles, and he spoke as far as to the seventh chapter, and then we reached that island. And he had spoken admirably and very strongly indeed to us about the death of Stephen, and then he went up ashore on that island of Nukapu."

What he accomplished it would be of exceeding great interest to exhibit as shown in the development of the Melanesian Mission in the thirty-five years that have elapsed since his death. But that is impracticable. We can say of it only that its record is one of steady enlargement and increasing fruitfulness. It has encountered the trials common to all such missions; lack of men, lack of funds, embarrassments of debt; manifold sad experiences in itself of one kind and another; yet it has never ceased to p on its divine enterprise till now--though, as on every field, as everywhere on earth [31/32] for that matter, it is far from being finished,--its converts are numbered by thousands, its schools by hundreds, its churches by scores.

We must confine ourselves to it, however, as it was in Coleridge Patteson's time. Its whole subsequent advance has been on the lines he laid down. His work in planting it was an incessant struggle. The obstacles were enormous. It happened again and again that what he had seemed to gain was swept away under his eyes by what he called "the recoil wave of heathenism." Yet he himself, expecting little immediately or soon capable of expression in statistics, felt that he was succeeding. He was spared to see what to him were signs that his work really was what he was trying to make it. For example, that Sarawia, the one Melanesian he ordained, proposed to him wholly on his own motion, to separate himself from the happy life of Norfolk Island, and go, with his wife and a few others whom he had privately talked with about it, back to his native island to dwell "where (he said) we can let people see what our mode of life is, what the customs are which we have learnt from you." When the Bishop heard that, he rejoiced with great joy and gave God thanks, for it told him that the Gospel he had planted was truly alive,--so alive that it would live without him.

[33] What he had achieved appeared also in other youth, English and native, who lived and journeyed with him and were moulded by his influence. One of the former was Joseph Atkin of English New Zealand, who was with him a long time and whom he inducted into the ministry. He was among those who were wounded the day Patteson was killed; as was also Stephen Tarionara, a Melanesian. While there was no hope for Tarionara from the first, it was trusted that Atkin would recover. But on the fourth day after, the Bishop's body having meanwhile been committed to the deep, during his administration of the sacrament to the heart-broken company in the cabin of the little vessel, his tongue stumbled on some of the words of the service. It was the sign of the fatal tetanus.

"Then (the story continues) the Mota men looked at one another and knew what would follow." He knew it himself, too, and called Wate, a Melanesian, and said "Stephen and I are going to follow the Bishop, and they of your country--who is to speak to them?" (He was the only one that knew their language; therefore he said: "Who is to speak to them?") "I do not know," said Wate. Then young Atkin said, "It is all right; don't grieve about it, because they did not do this thing of themselves, but God allowed them to do it. It [33/34] is very good because God would have it so, because He only looks after us and understands about us, and now He wills to take away us two, and it is well."

For another example, he left behind him a Melanesian pupil, Henry Tagalad, since ordained, capable of writing, though then in unskilled English, thus of the man who had taken him a barbarian child and made him all he was:

"As he taught he confirmed his word with his good life among us, as we all imow; and also that he perfectly well helped anyone who might be unhappy about anything, and spoke comfort to him about it. And about his character and conduct, they are consistent with the law of God. He gave the evidence of it in his practice, for he did nothing carelessly, lest he should make anyone stumble and turn from the good way. And again, he did nothing to gain any-thing for himself alone, but sought what he might keep others with, and then he worked with it; and the reason was his pitifulness and his love. And, again, he did not despise anyone, nor reject anyone with scorn. Whether it were a white or a black person, he thought of them all as one and he loved them all alike." So had he with infinite, long, loving labor, written the signature of Christ and his own together, on that boy's heart.

One cannot help sometimes pitying Coleridge Patteson. He had great joys: of course he had: joys most pure, most exalted. Hear him on Christmas Day, 1868, writing to his sisters at home:

"What a happy, happy day! At midnight I was awoke by a party of Melanesians singing Christmas carols at my bedroom door. How delightful it was! I had gone to bed with the Book of Praise by my side and Mr. Keble's hymn in my mind, and now the Mota versions, already familiar to us, of The Angels' Song, and of the Light to Lighten the Gentiles, sung, too, by some of our own heathen scholars, took up as it were the strain. I lay awake afterwards thinking of the blessed change wrought in their minds, thinking of my happy lot, of how utterly undeserved it was and is, and losing myself in thoughts of God's wonderful goodness and mercy and love."

Riches of joy, indeed, he tasted. But none the less there was the pathos of a deep sadness in all his life. He hungered for his kindred and his native land. Says one who was much with him, "He was never tired of talking of his home, and of former days at Eton and Oxford. Often and often have I stood or sat by his side on the deck of The Southern Cross, as in the evening he stood there for hours, one hand holding the shrouds, and [35/36] looking cut to windward like a man who sees afar off the scenes he was describing." His heart was perennially fresh in the affections that live by the hearthstone. On the twenty seventh anniversary of his mother's death he missed her out of the world and wept for her as if it was the first. His exile never became easy to bear. There are those, not a few, at the present tine in the same exile, who can understand that better than the rest of us can. Yet, since his brave day's work is done and so well done, and he these thirty years and more gone up into the heavenly reunions, leaving behind such fruits of the cross he endured, bequeathing the inspiration of such a royal Christian manhood, what other thought toward him is possible than that of congratulation? Who will not thank God for him, and thank God with him, that He called him to so high a place? He is a sign of much to quicken the heart of gratitude and hope in the church. In himself he is what an immense, unimpeachable evidence of Christianity! What ever produced such a man, such a spirit, but the faith of Christ? And what more characteristic, representative f suit in that sort did it ever produce since the first apostolic age than he, and others like him, in this modern day? So is not he a sign and earnest of the [36/37] Gospel's assured conquest? Must not the cause that has power to command in life and unto death, the service of such a man prove a winning cause in this world? "Who follows in his train?"

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