ST. BARNABAS COLLEGE, NORFOLK ISLAND. 1867--1869.
A new phase of Coleridge Patteson's life was beginning with the year 1867, when he was in full preparation for the last of his many changes of home, namely, that to Norfolk Island, isolating him finally from those who had become almost as near kindred to him, and devoting him even more exclusively to his one great work. No doubt the separation from ordinary society was a relief, and the freedom from calls to irregular clerical duty at Auckland was an immense gain; but the lack of the close intercourse with the inner circle of his friends was often felt, and was enhanced by the lack of postal communication with Norfolk Island, so that, instead of security of home tidings by every mail, letters and parcels could only be transmitted by chance vessels touching at that inaccessible island, where there was no harbour for even the 'Southern Cross' to lie.
But the welfare of the Mission, and the possible benefit to the Pitcairners, outweighed everything. It is with some difficulty that the subject of this latter people is approached. They have long been the romance of all interested in Missionary effort, and precious has been the belief that so innocent and pious a community existed on the face of the earth. And it is quite true that when they are viewed as the offspring of English mutineers and heathen Tahitians, trained by a repentant old sailor, they are wonderful in many respects; and their attractive manners and manifest piety are sure to strike their occasional visitors, who have seldom stayed long enough to penetrate below the surface.
But it has been their great disadvantage never to have had a much higher standard of religion, morals, civilisation, or industry set before them, than they had been able to evolve for themselves; and it is a law of nature that what is not progressive must be retrograde. The gentle Tahitian nature has entirely mastered the English turbulence, so that there is genuine absence of violence, there is no dishonesty; and drunkenness was then impossible; there is also a general habit of religious observance, but not including self- restraint as a duty, while the reaction of all the enthusiastic admiration expressed for this interesting people has gendered a self- complacency that makes them the harder to deal with. Parental authority seems to be entirely wanting among them, the young people grow up unrestrained; and the standard of morality and purity seems to be pretty much what it is in a neglected English parish, but, as before said, without the drunkenness and lawlessness, and with a universal custom of church-going, and a great desire not to expose their fault to the eyes of strangers. The fertile soil, to people of so few wants, and with no trade, prevents the necessity of exertion, and the dolce far niente prevails universally. The Government buildings have fallen into entire ruin, and the breed of cattle has been allowed to become worthless for want of care. The dwellings are uncleanly, and the people so undisciplined that only their native gentleness would make their present self-government possible; and it is a great problem how to deal with them.
The English party who were to take up their abode on Norfolk Island consisted of the Bishop, the Rev. Mr. Palmer, who was there already, Mr. Atkin, and Mr. Brooke. The Rev. R. Codrington was on his way from England with Mr. Bice, a young student from St. Augustine's, Canterbury; but Mr. and Mrs. Pritt had received an appointment at the Waikato, and left the Mission. The next letter to myself tells something of the plans:--
'January 29, 1867.
'My dear Cousin,--I enclose a note to Miss Mackenzie, thanking her for her book about Mrs. Robertson. It does one good to read about such a couple. I almost feel as if I should like to write a line to the good man. There was the real genuine love for the people, the secret of course of all missionary success, the consideration for them, the power of sympathy, of seeing with the eyes of others, and putting oneself into their position. Many a time have I thought: "Yes, that's all right, that's the true spirit, that's the real thing."
'Oh that men could be trained to act in that way. It seems as if mere common sense would enable societies and men to see that it must be so. And yet how sadly we mismanage men, and misuse opportunities.
'Men should be made to understand that they cannot receive training for this special Mission work except on the spot; at the institution the aim should be to give them a thorough grounding in Greek and Latin, the elements of Divinity, leaving out all talk about experiences, and all that can minister to spiritual pride, and delude men into the idea that the desire (as they suppose) to be missionaries implies that they are one whit better than the baker and shoemaker next door.
'The German system is very different. The Moravians don't handle their young candidates after this fashion.
'Now Mr. Robertson and his good wife refresh one by the reality and simplicity of their life, the simple-mindedness, the absence of all cant and formalism. I mean the formal observance of a certain set of views about the Sabbath, about going to parties, about reading books, &c., the formal utterance of an accepted phraseology.
'Would that there were hundreds such! Would that his and her example might stir the hearts of many young people, women as well as men! Well, I like all that helps me to know him and her in the book, and am much obliged to Miss Mackenzie for it.
'We have had a trying month, unusually damp close weather, and influenza has been prevalent. Many boys had it, one little fellow died. He was very delirious at last, and as he lay day and night on my bed we had often to hold him. But one night he was calm and sensible, and with Henry Tagalana's help I obtained from him such a simple answer or two to our questions that I felt justified in baptizing him. He was about ten years old, I suppose one of our youngest.
'Last Saturday, at 12.45 A.M., he passed away into what light, and peace, and knowledge, and calm rest in his Saviour's bosom! we humbly trust. God be praised for all His mercies! It was touching, indeed, to hear Henry speaking to his little friend. He spoke so as to make me feel very hopeful about his work as a teacher being blessed, his whole heart on his lips and in his voice and manner and expression of face.
'But, my dear Cousin, often I think that I need more than ever your prayers that I may have the blessing for which we pray in our Collect for the First Sunday after Epiphany: grace to use the present opportunities aright. My time may be short; we are very few in number: now the young English and Melanesian teachers ought to be completely trained, that so, by God's blessing, the work may not come to nought. Codrington's coming ought to be a great gain in this way. A right-minded man of age and experience may well be regarded as invaluable indeed. I so often feel that I am distracted by multitudinous occupations, and can't think and act out my method of dealing with the elder ones, so as to use them aright. So many things distract--social, domestic, industrial matters and general superintendence, and my time is of course always given to anyone who wants it.
'The change to Norfolk Island, too, brings many anxious thoughts and cares, and the state of the people there will be an additional cause of anxiety. I think that we shall move en masse in April or May, making two or three trips in the schooner. Palmer has sixteen now with him there. I shall perhaps leave ten more for the winter school and then go on to the islands, and return (D.V.) in October, not to New Zealand, but to Norfolk Island; though, as it is the year of the meeting of the General Synod, i.e., February 1868, I shall have to be in New Zealand during that summer. You shall have full information of all my and our movements, as soon as I know myself precisely the plan.
'And now good-bye, my dear Cousin; and may God ever bless and keep you. I think much of you, and of how you must miss dear Mr. Keble.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. P.'
'Sunday, February 10, 1867.
'My dear old Fan,--No time to write at length. We are pretty well, but coughs and colds abound, and I am a little anxious about one nice lad, Lelenga, but he is not very seriously ill.
'I have of course occasional difficulties, as who has not? Irregularities, not (D.Gr.) of very serious nature, yet calling for reproof; a certain proportion of the boys, and a large proportion of the girls careless, and of course, like boys and girls such as you know of in Devonshire, not free from mischief.
'Indeed, it is a matter for great thankfulness that, as far as we know, no immorality has taken place with fifteen young girls in the school. We take of course all precautions, rooms are carefully locked at night. Still really evil-minded young persons could doubtless get into mischief, if they were determined to do so. Only to-day I spoke severely, not on this point, but on account of some proof of want of real modesty and purity of feeling. But how can I be surprised at that?
'All schoolmaster's work is anxious work. It is even more so than the ordinary clergyman's work, because you are parent and schoolmaster at once.
'You may suppose that as time approaches for Codrington and Bice to arrive, and for our move to Norfolk Island, I am somewhat anxious, and have very much to do. Indeed, the Norfolk Island people do sadly want help.
'Your affectionate Brother.
'J. C. P.
'P. S.--You may tell your boys at night school, if you think it well, that no Melanesian I ever had here would be so ungentlemanly as to throw stones or make a row when a lady was present.'
'St. Matthias Day, 1867.
'My dearest Joan and Fan,--The beginning of the seventh year of my Bishop's life! How quickly the time has gone, and a good deal seems to have taken place, and yet (though some experience has been gained) but little sense have I of real improvement in my own self, of "pressing onwards," and daily struggles against faults. But for some persons it is dangerous to talk of such things, and I am such a person. It would tend to make me unreal, and my words would be unreal, and soon my thoughts and life would become unreal too. I am conscious of very, very much that is very wrong, and would astonish many of even those who know me best, but I must use this consciousness, and not talk about it any more.
'I am in harness again for English work. How can I refuse? I am writing now between two English services.
'Indeed, no adequate provision is made here for married clergymen with families; £300 a year is starvation at present prices. Men can't live on it; and who can work vigorously with the thought ever present to him, "When I die, what of my wife and family?" What is to be done?
'I solve the difficulty in Melanesian work by saying, "Use Melanesians." I tell people plainly, "I don't want white men."
'I sum it all up thus: They cost about ten times as much as the Melanesian (literally), and but a very small proportion do the work as well.
'I was amused at some things in your December letters. How things do unintentionally get exaggerated! I went up into the tree-house by a very good ladder of bamboos and supple-jacks, quite as easily as one goes up the rigging of a ship, and my ten days at Bauro were spent among a people whose language I know, and where my life was as safe and everybody was as disposed to be friendly as if I had been in your house at Weston. But, of course, it is all "missionary hardships and trials." I don't mean that you talk in this way.
'Our first instalment of scholars with Messrs. Atkin and Brooke will go off (D.V.) about March 21. Then my house is taken down; the boys who now live in it having been sent off: and on the schooner's return about April 15, another set of things, books, houses, &c. Probably a third trip will be necessary, and then about May 5 or 6 I hope to go. It will be somewhat trying at the end. But I bargain for all this, which of course constitutes my hardest and most trying business. The special Mission work, as most people would regard it, is as nothing in comparison. Good-bye, and God bless you.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
On March 5 Mr. Codrington safely arrived, bringing with him Mr. Bice. The boon to the Bishop was immense, both in relief from care and in the companionship, for which he had henceforth to depend entirely on his own staff. The machinery of the routine had been so well set in order by Mr. Pritt that it could be continued without him; and though there was no English woman to superintend the girls, it was hoped that Sarah Sarawia had been prepared by Mrs. Pritt to be an efficient matron.
'Kohimarama: March 23, 1867.
'My dear Cousin,--Our last New Zealand season, for it may be our last, draws near its close. On Monday, only two days hence, the "Southern Cross" sails (weather permitting) with our first instalment. Mr. Palmer has got his house up, and they must stow themselves away in it, three whites and forty-five blacks, the best way they can. The vessel takes besides 14,000 feet of timber, 6,000 shingles for roofing, and boxes of books, &c., &c., without end.
'I hope she may be here again to take me and the remaining goods, live and inanimate, in about eighteen or twenty days. I can't tell whether I am more likely to spend my Easter in New Zealand or Norfolk Island.
'I see that in many ways the place is good for us. The first expense is heavy. I have spent about £1,000 already, sinking some of my private money in the fencing, building, &c., but very soon the cost of all the commissariat, exclusive of the stores for the voyage, and a little English food for the whites, will be provided. Palmer has abundance of sweet potatoes which have been planted in ground prepared by our lads since last October. The yam crop is coming on well: fish are always abundant.
'I think that in twelve months' time we ought to provide ourselves with almost everything in the island. The ship and the clergymen's stipends and certain extras will always need subscriptions, but we ought at once to feed ourselves, and soon to export wool, potatoes, corn (maize I mean), &c.
'I never forget about the idea of a chapel. At present the Norfolk Island Chapel will be only a wing of my house: which will consist of two rooms for myself, a spare room for a sick lad or two, and a large dormitory which, if need be, can be turned into a hospital, and the other end a wing in the chapel, 42 x 18 feet, quite large enough for eighty or more people. The entrance from without, and again a private door from my sitting room. All is very simple in the plan. It seem almost selfish having it thus as a part of my dwelling house; but it will be such a comfort, so convenient for Confirmation and Baptism and Holy Communion classes, and so nice for me. Some ladies in Melbourne give a velvet altar cloth, Lady S. in Sydney gives all the white linen: our Communion plate, you know, is very handsome. Some day Joan must send me a solid block of Devonshire serpentine for my Font, such a one as there is at Alfington, or Butterfield might now devise even a better.
'But I think, though I have not thought enough yet, that in the diocese of Norfolk Island, and in the islands, the running stream of living water and the Catechumens "going down" into it is the right mode of administering the holy sacrament. The Lectern and the small Prayer-desk are of sandal-wood from Erromango.
'It will be far more like a Church than anything the Pitcairners have ever seen. Perhaps next Christmas--but much may take place before then--I may ordain Palmer Priest, Atkin and Brooke Deacons, and there may be a goodly attendance of Melanesian communicants and candidates for baptism. If so, what a day of hope to look forward to! And then I think I see the day of dear George Sarawia's Ordination drawing nigh, if God grant him health and perseverance. He is, indeed, and so are others, younger than he, all that I could desire.
'So, my dear Cousin, see what blessings I have, how small our trials are. They may yet come, but it is now just twelve years, exactly twelve years on Monday, since I saw my Father's and Sisters' faces, and how little have those years been marked with sorrows. My lot is cast in a good land indeed. I read and hear of others, such as that noble Central African band, and I wonder how men can go through it all. It comes to me as from a distance, not as to one who has experienced such things. We know nothing of war, or famine, or deadly fever; and we seem now to have a settled plan of work, one of the greatest comforts of all; but while I write thus brightly I don't forget that a little thing (humanly speaking) may cause great reverses, delays, and failures.
'I am very glad you understand my unwillingness to write, and still more to print over much about our proceedings. I do speak pretty freely in New Zealand and Australia, from whence I profess and mean to draw our supplies.
'Accurate information is all very well, but to convey an idea of our life and work is quite beyond my powers. Still, everything that helps the ordinary men and women of England to look out into the world a bit, and see that the Gospel is a power of God, is good.
'And now, good-bye, my dear Cousin. May God bless and keep you.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
On Lady Day the Bishop wrote to his sisters:--
'This day, twelve years ago, I saw your faces for the last time; and so I told Mary Atkin, my good young friend's only sister, as we stood on the beach just now, watching the 'Southern Cross' carrying away her only brother and some forty other people to Norfolk Island.
The first detachment is therefore gone; I hope that we, the rest, will follow in about sixteen or eighteen days. I think back over these twelve years. On the whole, how smoothly and easily they have passed with me! Less of sorrow and anxiety than was crowded into one short year of Bishop Mackenzie's life. I have been reading Mr. Rowley's book on the University Mission to Central Africa, and am glad to have read it. They were indeed fine gallant fellows, full of faith and courage and endurance.
'As I write, some dozen boys are on the roof, knocking away the shingles, i.e., the wooden tiles of roofing, a carpenter is taking down all that needs some more skilled handiwork. In a week the house will all be tied up in bundles of boarding, battens, about 14,000 or 15,000 feet of timber in all. Yesterday I was with the Primate; I went up indeed on Monday afternoon, as the "Southern Cross" sailed with thirty-one Melanesians at 11 A.M., and I could get away. It was rather a sad day. I was resigning trusts, and it made the departure from New Zealand appear very real.
'April 1st.--My fortieth birthday. It brings solemn thoughts. Last night I had to take the service at St. Paul's, and as I came back I thought of many things, and principally of how very different I ought to be from what I am.
'All are well here at Kohimarama. My house knocked down and arrangements going on, the place leased to Mr. Atkin, Joe Atkin's father, my trusts resigned, accounts almost made up, many letters written, business matters arranged.'
In a few days more the last remnant of St. Andrew's was broken up; and the first letter to the Bishop of New Zealand was written from Norfolk Island before the close of the month:--
'St. Barnabas' Mission School: April 29, 1867.
My dear Primate,--We had a fair wind all the way, and having shortened sail during all Friday so as not to reach Norfolk Island in the night, made the lead at 5 A.M. on Saturday morning. But a sad casualty occurred; we lost a poor fellow overboard, one of the seamen. He ought not to have been lost, and I blame myself. He was under the davits of the boat doing something, and the rope by which he was holding parted; the life-buoy almost knocked him as he passed the quarter of the vessel, and I, instead of jumping overboard, and shouting to the Melanesians to do the same, rushed to the falls. The boat was on the spot where his cap was floating within two and a half minutes of the time he fell into the sea, but he was gone.
'Fisher in the hurry tore his nail by letting the falls run through his hand too fast. I was binding it up, the boat making for the poor fellow faster than any swimmer could have done. How it was that he did not lay hold of the buoy, or sank so soon, I can't say; the great mistake was not jumping overboard at once. This is a gloomy beginning, and made us all feel very sad. He was not married and was a well-behaved man.
'It was blowing fresh on Saturday, but we anchored under Nepean Island, and by hard work cleared the vessel by 5 P.M.; all worked hard, and all the things were landed safely. Palmer, with the cart and boys, was on the pier, and the things were carted and carried into the store as they arrived. I came on shore about 5, found all well and hearty, the people very friendly, nothing in their manner to indicate any change of feeling.
'I walked up to our place. It is, indeed, a beautiful spot. Palmer has worked with a will. I was surprised to see what was done. Some three and a half acres of fine kumaras, maize, yams, growing well; a yam of ten pounds weight, smooth and altogether Melanesian, just taken up, not quite ripe, so the boys say they will grow much bigger. Abundant supply of water, though the summer has been dry.
'Much of the timber has been carted up, more has been stacked at the top of the hill. This was carried by the boys, and will be carted along the pine avenue; a good deal is still near the pines, but properly stacked. I see nothing anywhere thrown about, even here not a chip to be seen, all buried or burnt, and the place quite neat though unfinished.
'1. House, on the plan of my old house just taken down by Gray, but much larger.
'2. Kitchen of good size.
'3. Two raupo outhouses.
'I find it quite assumed here that the question is settled about our property here; but I have not thought it desirable to talk expressly about it. They talk about school, doctor, and other public arrangements as usual.
'It seems that it was on St. Barnabas Day that, after Holy Communion, we walked up here last year and chose the site of the house. The people have of their own accord taken to call the place St. Barnabas; and as this suits the Eton feeling also, and you and others never liked St. Andrew's, don't you think we may adopt the new name? Miss Yonge won't mind, I am sure.
'I could not resist telling the people that you and Mrs. Selwyn might come for a short time in September next to see them, and they are really delighted; and so shall we be, I can tell you indeed....
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The time for the island voyage was fully come; and, after a very brief stay in the new abode, the Bishop sailed again for Mota, where the old house was found (May 8) in a very dilapidated condition; and vigorous mending with branches was needed before a corner could be patched up for him to sleep on his table during a pouring wet night, having first supped on a cup of tea and a hot yam, the latter brought from the club-house by one of his faithful adherents; after which an hour and a half's reading of Lightfoot on the Epistle to the Galatians made him forget every discomfort.
There had, however, been a renewal of fighting of late; and at a village called Tasmate, a man named Natungoe had ten days previously been shot in the breast with a poisoned arrow, and was beginning to show those first deadly symptoms of tetanus. He had been a well- conducted fellow, though he had hitherto shown indifference to the new teaching; and it had not been in a private quarrel that he was wounded, but in a sudden attack on his village by some enemies, when a feast was going on.
On that first evening when the Bishop went to see him it was plain that far more of the recent instruction had taken root in him than had been supposed. 'He showed himself thoroughly ready to listen, and manifested a good deal of simple faith. He said he had no resentment against the person who had shot him, and that he did wish to know and think about the world to come. He accepted at once the story of God's love, shown in sending Jesus to die for us, and he seemed to have some apprehension of what God must be, and of what we are--how unlike Him, how unable to make ourselves fit to be with Him. He certainly spoke of Jesus as of a living Person close by him, willing and able to help him. He of his own accord made a little prayer to Him, "Help me, wake me, make my heart light, take away the darkness. I wish for you, I want to go to you, I don't want to think about this world."'
Early the next morning the Bishop went again, taking George Sarawia with him. The man said, 'I have been thinking of what you said. I have been calling on the Saviour (i Vaesu) all night.' The Bishop spoke long to him, and left Sarawia with him, speaking and praying quietly and earnestly.
Meanwhile continues the diary:--
'I went to the men in the village, and spoke at length to them: "Yes, God will not cast out those who turn to Him when they are called, but you must not suppose that it is told us anywhere that He will save those who care nothing about Him through their years of health, and only think about Him and the world to come when this world is already passing away."
'How utterly unable one feels to say or do the right thing, and the words fall so flat and dull upon careless ears!'
Every day for ten days the poor sufferer Natungoe was visited, and he listened with evident faith and comprehension. On May 15 the entry is:--
'I was so satisfied with his expressions of faith in the Saviour, of his hope of living with Him; he spoke so clearly of his belief in Jesus having been sent from the Great Creator and Father of all to lead us back to Him, and to cleanse us from sin, which had kept us from our Father, by His Death for us; he was so evidently convinced of the truth of our Lord's Resurrection and of the resurrection of us all at the last day--that I felt that I ought to baptize him. I had already spoken to him of Baptism, and he seemed to understand that, first, he must believe that the water is the sign of an inward cleansing, and that it has no magical efficacy, but that all depended on his having faith in the promise and power of God; and second, that Jesus had commanded those who wished to believe and love Him to be baptized.
'The expression Nan ive Maroo i Vaesu, "I wish for the Saviour," had been frequently used by him; and I baptized him by the name of Maroovaesu, a name instantly substituted for his old name Natungoe by those present.
'I have seen him again to-day; he cannot recover, and at times the tetanus spasms are severe, but it is nothing like dear Fisher's case. He can still eat and speak; women sit around holding him, and a few people sit or lie about in the hut. It looks all misery and degradation of the lowest kind, but there is a blessed change, as I trust, for him.'
On Sunday the 19th the last agony had come. He lay on a mat on the ground, in the middle of the village, terribly racked by convulsions, but still able in the intervals to speak intelligibly, and to express his full hope that he was going to his Saviour, and that his pain would soon be over, and he would be at rest with Him, listening earnestly to the Bishop's prayers. He died that night.
In the meantime, the Bishop had not neglected the attacking party. Of them, one had been killed outright, and two more were recovering from their wounds, and it was necessary to act as pacificator.
'Meanwhile, I think how very little religion has to do directly with keeping things quiet; in England (for example) men would avenge themselves, and steal and kill, were it not for the law, which is, indeed, an indirect result of religion; but religion simply does not produce the effect, i.e. men are not generally religious in England or Mota. I have Maine's Book of "Ancient Law" among the half-dozen books I have brought on shore, and it is extremely interesting to read here.'
How he read, wrote, or did anything is the marvel, with the hut constantly crowded by men who had nothing to do but gather round, in suffocating numbers, to stare at his pen travelling over the paper. 'They have done so a hundred times before,' he writes, actually under the oppression, 'but anything to pass an hour lazily. It is useless to talk about it, and one must humour them, or they will think I am vexed with them.'
The scholars, neatly clothed, with orderly and industrious habits, were no small contrast: 'But I miss as yet the link between them and the resident heathen people. I trust and pray that George and others may, ere long, supply it.
'But it is very difficult to know how to help them to change their mode of life. Very much, even if they did accept Christianity, must go on as before. Their daily occupations include work in the small gardens, cooking, &c., and this need not be changed.
'Then as to clothing. I must be very careful lest they should think that wearing clothes is Christianity. Yet certain domestic changes are necessary, for a Christian life seems to need certain material arrangements for decency and propriety. There ought to be partition screens in the hut, for example, and some clothing is desirable no doubt. A resident missionary now could do a good deal towards showing the people why certain customs, &c., are incompatible with a Christian life. His daily teaching would show how Christ acted and taught, and how inconsistent such and such practices must be with the profession of faith in Him. But regulations imposed from without I rather dread, they produce so often an unreasoning obedience for a little while only.
The rules for the new life should be very few and very simple, and carefully explained. "Love to God and man," explained and illustrated as the consequence of some elementary knowledge of God's love to us, shown of course prominently in the giving His own Son to us. There is no lack of power to understand simple teaching, a fair proportion of adults take it in very fairly. I was rather surprised on Friday evening (some sixty or seventy being present) to find that a few men answered really rather well questions which brought out the meaning of some of our Saviour's names.
'"The saving His people."
'"Not all men? And why not all men? And from what poverty, sickness, &c., here below?"
'"From their sins."
'"What is sin?"
'"All that God has forbidden."
'"What has He forbidden? Why? Because He grudges us anything? Why do you forbid a child to taste vangarpal ('poison'), &c. &c.?"
'"The Way," "the Mediator," "the Redeemer," "the Resurrection," "the Atoner," "the Word." Some eight days' teaching had preceded this; but I dare say there are ten or fifteen people here now, not our scholars, who can really answer on these points so as to make it clear that they understand something about the teaching involved in these names. Of course, I had carefully worked out the best way to accept these names and ideas in Mota; and the illustrations, &c., from their customs made me think that to some extent they understood this teaching.
'Of course the personal feeling is as pleasant as can be, and I think there is something more: a real belief that our religion and our habits are good, and that some day they will be accepted here. A considerable number of people are leading very respectable lives on the whole. But I see that we must try to spend more time here. George Sarawia is being accepted to some extent as one whom they are to regard as a teacher. He has a fair amount of influence. But in this little spot, among about 1,500 people, local jealousies and old animosities are so rife, that the stranger unconnected with any one of them has so far a better chance of being accepted by all; but then comes, on the other hand, his perfect knowledge and our comparative ignorance of the language and customs of the people. We want to combine both for a while, till the native teacher and clergyman is fully established in his true position.
'It is a curious thing that the Solomon Islanders from the south-east part of that group should have dropped so much behind the Banks Islanders. I knew their language before I knew the language of Mota, they were (so to say) my favourites. But we can't as yet make any impression upon them. The Loyalty Islanders have been suffered to drop out; and so it is that all our leading scholars, all who set good examples, and are made responsible for various duties, are (with the sole exception of Soro, from Mai Island, New Hebrides) from the Banks group. Consequently, their language is the lingua franca of the school--not that we made it so, or wished it rather than any other to be so; indeed Bauro is easier, and so are some others: but so it is. It is an excellent thing, for any Melanesian soon acquires another Melanesian language, however different the vocabulary may be. Their ideas and thoughts and many of their customs are similar, the mode of life is similar, and their mode of expressing themselves similar. They think in the same way, and therefore speak in the same way. Their mode of life is natural; ours is highly artificial. We are the creatures of a troublesome civilisation to an extent that one realises here. When I go ashore for five weeks, though I could carry all my luggage, yet it must comprise a coffee-pot, sugar, biscuits, a cork bed, some tins of preserved meat, candles, books, and my hut has a table and a stool, and I have a cup, saucer, plate, knife, fork, and spoon. My good friend George, who I think is on the whole better dressed than I am, and who has adopted several of our signs of civilisation, finds the food, cooking, and many of the ways of the island natural and congenial, and would find them so throughout the Pacific.
'May 2lst.--The morning and evening school here is very nice. I doubt if I am simple enough in my teaching. I think I teach too much at a time; there is so much to be taught, and I am so impatient, I don't go slowly enough, though I do travel over the same ground very often. Some few certainly do take in a good deal.
'A very hot day, after much rain. This morning we took down our old wooden hut, that was put up here by us six years ago. Parts of it are useless, for in our absence the rain damaged it a good deal. I mean to take it across to Arau, Henry Tagalana's little island, for there, even in very wet weather, there is little fear of ague, the soil being light and sandy. It would be a great thing to escape from the rich soil and luxuriant vegetation in the wet months, if any one of us spent a long time here. It was hot work, but soon over. It only took about two and a half hours to take down, and stack all the planks, rafters, &c. Two fellows worked well, and some others looked on and helped now and then.
'I have had some pleasant occupation for an hour or so each day in clearing away the bush, which in one year grows up surprisingly here. Many lemon, citron, and orange trees that we planted some years ago. cocoa-nut trees also, were almost, some quite overgrown, quite hidden, and our place looked and was quite small and close; but one or two hours for a few days, spent in clearing, have made a great difference. I have planted out about twenty-five lemon suckers, and as many pine-apples, for our old ones were growing everywhere in thick clumps, and I have to thin them out.
'Yesterday was a great day; we cut down two large trees, round one of which I had carelessly planted orange, lemon, and cocoa-nut trees, so that we did not know how to fell it so as to avoid crushing some fine young trees; but the tree took the matter into its own hands, for it was hollow in the centre, and fell suddenly, so that the fellows holding the rope could not guide it, and it fell at right angles to the direction we had chosen, but right between all the trees, without seriously hurting one. It quite reminds me of old tree-cutting days at Feniton; only here I see no oaks, nor elms, nor beeches, nor firs, only bread-fruit trees and almond trees, and many fruit-bearing trees--oranges, &c., and guavas and custard-apples--growing up (all being introduced by us), and the two gigantic banyan trees, north and south of my little place. It is so very pretty!
'I don't trouble myself much about cooking. My little canteen is capital; and I can make myself all sorts of good things, if I choose to take the trouble, and some days I do so. I bake a little bread now and then, and natter myself it is uncommonly good; and one four- pound tin of Bloxland's preserved meat from Queensland has already lasted me twelve days, and there is about half of it remaining. He reckons each pound well soaked and cooked to be equal to three pounds, and I think he is right. A very little of this, with a bit of yam deliciously cooked, and brought to me each day as a present by some one from their cooking ovens, makes a capital dinner. Then I have some rice and sugar for breakfast, a biscuit and coffee, and a bit of bread-fruit perhaps; and all the little delicacies are here-- salt, pepper, mustard, even to a bottle of pickles--so I am pretty well off, I think.
'I find that the white ant, or an insect like it, is here. The plates of our old hut are quite rotten, the outside still untouched, all within like tinder. They call the insect vanoa; it is not found in New Zealand, but it is a sad nuisance in Australia.
'I do not read much here this time, so much of every day is taken up with talking to the people about me. That is all right, and I generally can turn the talk to something that I wish them to hear, so it is all in the way of business here. And I am glad to say that my school, and conversations and lessons, need some careful preparation. I have spent some time in drawing up for myself a little scheme of teaching for people in the state of my friends here. I ought of course to have done it long ago, and it is a poor thing now. I cannot take a real pleasure in teaching, and so I do it badly. I am always, almost always, glad when school is over, though sometimes I get much interested myself, though not often able to interest others.
'I am reading some Hebrew nearly every day, and Lightfoot on the Galatians, Tyler's "Researches into the Early History of Mankind," Dollinger's "First Ages of the Church," and "Ecce Homo." I tried Maine's "Ancient Law," but it is too tough for the tropics, unless I chance to feel very fresh. I generally get an hour in the evening, if I am sleeping at home.
'May 23rd.--I suppose anyone who has lived in a dirty Irish village-- pigs, fowls, and children equally noisy and filthy, and the parents wild, ignorant, and impulsive--may have some notion of this kind of thing. You never get a true account, much less a true illustration of the real thing. Did you happen to see a ridiculous engraving on one of the S. P. Gr. sheets some years ago, supposed to be me taking two Ambrym boys to the boat? (Footnote: No such engraving can be found by the S. P. Gr. It was probably put forth in some other publication.) Now it is much better not to draw at all than to draw something which can only mislead people. If Ambrym boys really looked like those two little fellows, and if the boat with bland- looking white men could quietly be pulled to the beach, and if I, in a respectable dress, could go to and from the boat and the shore, why the third stage of Mission work has been reached already! I don't suppose you can picture to yourselves the real state of things in this, and in many of these islands, and therefore the great difficulty there is in getting them out of their present social, or unsocial, state!
'To follow Christian teaching out in detail, to carry it out from the school into the hut, into the actual daily life of the dirty naked women, and still dirtier though not more naked children; to get the men really to abandon old ways from a sense of responsibility and duty and love to God, this of course comes very slowly. I am writing very lazily, being indeed tired with heat and mosquitos. The sun is very hot again to-day. I have no thermometer here, but it feels as if it ought to be 90° in the shade.
'May 25th.--George Sarawia spent yesterday here, and has just gone to his village. He and I had a good deal of conversation. I copied out for him the plan of teaching drawn up from books already printed in their language. He speaks encouragingly, and is certainly recognised as one who is intended to be the teacher here. No one is surprised that he should be treated by me in a very different way from anyone else, with a complete confidence and a mutual understanding of each other. He is a thoroughly good, simple-minded fellow, and I hope, by God's blessing, he may do much good. He told me that B---- wants to come with me again; but I cannot take him. As we have been living properly, and for the sake of the head school and our character in the eyes of the people here, I cannot take him until he shows proof of a real desire to do his duty. I am very sorry for it. I have all the old feeling about him; and he is so quick and intelligent, but he allows himself again and again to be overcome by temptation, hard I dare say to withstand; but this conduct does disqualify him for being chosen to go with us. I am leaving behind some good but dull boys, for I can't make room as yet for them, and I must not take an ill- conducted fellow because he is quick and clever. He has some sort of influence in the place from his quickness, and from his having acquired a good deal of riches while with us. He says nothing, according to Sarawia, for or against our teaching. Meanwhile, he lives much like a somewhat civilised native. Poor fellow! I sent a message to him by George that if he wished to see me, I should be very willing to have a talk with him.
'Yesterday we made some sago. A tree is cut down in its proper stage of growth, just when it begins to flower. The pith is pulled and torn into shreds and fibres, then the juice is squeezed out so as to allow it to run or drip into some vessel, while water is poured on the pith by some one assisting the performer. The grounds (as say of coffee) remain at the bottom when the water is poured off, and an hour of such a sun as we had yesterday dries and hardens the sago. It is then fit for use. I suppose that it took an hour and a half to prepare about a slop-basin full of the dried hard sago. I have not used it vet. We brought tapioca here some years ago, and they used it in the same way, and they had abundance of arrow-root. On Monday I will make some, if all is well. Any fellow is willing to help for a few beads or fish-hooks, and they do all the heavy work, the fetching water, &c.
'I never saw anything like the pigeons in the great banyan tree close by. They eat its berries, and I really think there are at times more than a hundred at once in it. Had I a gun here I think I might have brought down three or four at a shot yesterday, sitting shot of course, but then I should shoot "for the pot." Palmer had his gun here last year, and shot as many as he wanted at any time. The bats at night are innumerable; they too eat the banyan berries, but chiefly the ripening bread-fruit. The cats we brought here have nearly cleared the place of the small rats which used to abound here; but lizards abound in this hut, because it is not continually smoke- dried.
'Last night I think some of the people here heard some rather new notions, to them, about the true relation of man and woman, parent and child, &c. They said, as they do often say, "Every word is true! how foolish we are!" But how to get any of them to start on a new course is the question.
'Ascension Day, May 30th.--There is a good deal of discussion going on now among the people. I hear of it not only from our old scholars, but from some of the men. I have been speaking day by day more earnestly to the people; always reading here and there verses of the Gospels or the Acts, or paraphrasing some passage so that they may have the actual words in which the message is recorded. They say, "This is a heavy, a weighty word," and they are talking, as they say, night after night about it. Some few, and they elderly men, say, "Let us talk only about our customs here." Others say, "No, no; let us try to think out the meaning of what he said." A few come and ask me questions, only a few, not many are in earnest, and all are shy. Many every night meet in Robert Pantatun's house, twenty-five or thirty, and ask him all manner of questions, and he reads a little. They end with prayer.
'They have many strange customs and superstitious observances peculiar to this group. They have curious clubs, confraternities with secret rites of initiation. The candidate for admission pays pigs and native money, and after many days' seclusion in a secret place is, with great ceremony, recognised as a member. No woman and none of the uninitiated may know anything of these things.
'In every village there is a Sala Goro, a place for cooking, which only those who have "gazed at the sacred symbol" may frequent. Food cooked there may not be eaten by one uninitiated, or by women or children. The path to the Sala Goro is never trodden by any woman or matanomorous ("eye closed"). When any ceremony is going on the whole of the precincts of the Sala Goro are sacred. At no time dare any woman eat with any man, no husband with his wife, no father with his daughter as soon as she is no longer a child.
'Of course such a system can be used by us in two ways. I say, "You have your method of assembling together, and you observe certain customs in so doing; so do we, but yours is an exclusive and selfish system: your secret societies are like our clubs, with their entrance fees, &c. But Christ's society has its sacred rite of admission, and other mysteries too, and it is for all who wish to belong to it. He recognises no distinction of male or female, bond or free."
'Some of the elder men are becoming suspicious of me. I tell them plainly that whatever there may be in their customs incompatible with the great law of Love to God and man must come to nought. "You beat and terrify matanomorous in order to make them give, that you may get pigs and native money from them. Such conduct is all wrong, for if you beat or frighten a youth or man, you certainly can't love him."
'At the same time I can't tell how far this goes. If there were a real ceremony of an idol or prayer to it, of course it would be comparatively easy to act in the matter; but the ceremony consists in sticking a curious sort of mitre, pointed and worked with hair, on the head of the candidate, and covering his body with a sort of Jack- in-the green wicker work of leaves, &c., and they joke and laugh about it, and attach, apparently, no religious significance to it whatever.
'I think it has the evil which attends all secret societies, that it tends to produce invidious distinctions and castes. An instinct impels men to form themselves into associations; but then Christ has satisfied that instinct legitimately in the Church.
'Christianity does meet a human instinct; as, e.g., the Lord's Supper, whatever higher and deeper feelings it may have, has this simple, but most significant meaning to the primitive convert, of feasting as a child with his brethren and sisters at the Father's Board.
'The significance of this to people living as more than half the human beings in the world are living still, is such as we have lost the power of conceiving; the Lord's Supper has so long had, so to say, other meanings for many of us. Yet to be admitted a member of God's family, and then solemnly at stated times to use this privilege of membership, strengthening the tie, and familiarising oneself more and more with the customs of that heavenly family, this surely is a very great deal of what human instinct, as exhibited in almost universal customs, requires.
'There are depths for those who can dive into them; but I really think that in some of these theological questions we view the matter solely from our state of civilisation and thought, and forget the multitudes of uneducated, rude, unrefined people to whom all below the simple meaning is unmeaning. May I not say to Robert Pantatun, "Christ, you know, gave His Body and Blood for us on the Cross, He gives them to you now, for all purposes of saving you and strengthening your spiritual life, while you eat and drink as an adopted child at your Father's Table"?
'It is the keeping alive the consciousness of the relation of all children to God through Christ that is needed so much. And with these actual sights before me, and you have them among you in the hundreds of thousands of poor ignorant creatures, I almost wonder that men should spend so much time in refining upon points which never can have a practical meaning for any persons not trained to habits of accurate thought and unusual devotion. But here I am very likely wrong, and committing the very fault of generalizing from my own particular position.
'June 4th.--I was greatly pleased, on Friday evening last which George Sarawia spent here with me, to hear from him that he had been talking with the Banks Islanders at Norfolk Island, and on board ship, about a plan which he now proposed to me. I had indeed thought of it, but scarcely saw my way. It is a new proof of his real earnestness, and of his seeking the good of his people here. The plan is this:--
'G. S. "Bishop, we have been talking together about your buying some land here, near your present place, where we all can live together, where we can let the people see what our mode of life is, what our customs are, which we have learnt from you."
'J. C. P. "Capital, George, but are you all willing to give up your living in villages among your own particular relations? "
'G. S. "Yes, we all agreed about it. You see, sir, if we live scattered about we are not strong enough to hold our ground, and some of the younger ones fall back into their old ways. The temptations are great, and what can be expected of one or two boys among eighty or ninety heathen people?"
'J. C. P. "Of course you know what I think about it. It is the very thing I have always longed for. I did have a general school here, as you know."
'G. S. "Yes, but things are different now. People are making enquiries. Many young fellows want to understand our teaching, and follow it. If we have a good large place of our own there, we can carry on our own mode of living without interfering with other people."
'J. G. P. "Yes, and so we can, actually in the midst of them, let them see a Christian village, where none of the strange practices which are inconsistent with Christianity will be allowed, and where the comforts and advantages of our customs may be actually seen."
'G. S. "By-and-by it will be a large village, and many will wish to live there, and not from many parts of Mota only."
'Well, I have told you, I suppose, of the fertility of this island, and how it is far more than sufficient to supply the wants of the people. Food is wasted on all sides. This very day I have plucked ten large bread-fruits, and might have plucked forty now nearly ripe, simply that the bats may not get them. I gave them away, as I can't eat more than a third part of one at a meal.
'So I went with George on Saturday, and we chose such a beautiful property, between Veverao and Maligo, I dare say about ten acres. Then I spoke to the people here, explaining my wishes and motives. To-day we have been over it with a large party, that all might be done publicly and everybody might hear and know. The land belongs to sixteen different owners; the cocoa-nut trees, breadfruit, almond, and other fruit-trees are bought separately.
'They all agree; indeed, as they have abundance of space of spare land just as good all about, and they will get a good stock of hatchets, pigs, &c., from me, for this land, there is not much doubt about that. But it is pleasant to hear some of them say, "No, no, that is mine and my son's, and he is your boy. You can have that for nothing."
'I shan't take it; it is safer to buy, but it is pleasant to see the kind feeling.
'If it be God's will to prosper this undertaking, we should begin next year with about fifteen of our own scholars, and a goodly number of half-scholars, viz., those who are now our regular scholars here, but have not been taken to New Zealand.
'Fencing, clearing, &c., could go on rapidly. Many would help, and small payments of beads and fish-hooks can always secure a man's services.
'I should build the houses with the material of the island, save only windows, but adopt of course a different shape and style for them. The idea would be to have everything native fashion, but improved, so as to be clearly suitable for the wants of people sufficiently civilised. All that a Christian finds helpful and expedient we ought to have, but to adopt English notions and habits would defeat my object. The people could not adopt them, there would be no teaching for them. I want to be able to say: "Well, you see, there is nothing to prevent you from having this and that, and your doing this and that."
'We must have some simple rules about cleanliness, working hours, &c., but all that is already familiar to those who have been with us at Kohimarama and Norfolk Island. Above all, I rejoice in the thought that the people understand that very soon this plan is to be worked by George Sarawia. He is to be the, so to say, head of the Christian village. I shall be a kind of Visitor. Palmer will, of course, be wanted at first, but must avoid the fault of letting the people, our own pupils as well as others, become dependent upon us. The Paraguay Mission produced docile good-natured fags for the missionaries, but the natives had learnt no self-respect, manliness, nor positive strength of character. They fought well, and showed pluck when the missionaries armed them, but they seem to have had no power of perpetuating their newly-learnt customs, without the continual guidance of the missionaries. It may be that such supervision is necessary; but I do not think it is so, and I should be sorry to think it is so.'
As usual, the Mota climate told on the health of the party, there was general influenza, and the Bishop had a swelling under his left arm; but on Whitsunday the 'Southern Cross,' which had been to set down the Solomon Islanders, returned, and carried him off. Vanua Lava was touched at, and a stone, carved by John Adams, put up at Fisher Young's grave, which was found, as before, well kept in order. Then the round of the New Hebrides was made; but new volunteers were refused, or told to wait ten moons, as it was an object to spend the first season in the new locality with tried scholars.
At 'the grand island, miscalled Leper's,' the Bishop slept ashore for the first time, and so also at Whitsuntide.
At Espiritu Santo much friendliness was shown, and a man would not take a present Mr. Atkin offered, because he had nothing, to pay for it. Santa Cruz, as usual, was disappointing, as, Mr. Atkin says, the only word in their mouths, the only thought in their heads, was 'iron;' they clamoured for this, and would not listen; moreover, their own pronunciation of their language was very indistinct, owing to their teeth being destroyed by the use of the betel-nut, so that they all spoke like a man with a hot potato in his mouth.
'So again we leave this fine island without any advance, as far as we can see, having been made. I may live to think these islanders very wild, and their speech very difficult, yet I know no more of them now than I did years ago. Yet I hope that some unforeseen means for "entering in among" them may be given some day. Their time is to come, sooner or later, when He knows it to be the right time.'
Savo was then touched at; and the Bishop slept ashore at Florida, and left Mr. Brooke there to the hospitality of three old scholars for a few days, by way of making a beginning. The observations on the plan show a strange sense of ageing at only forty:--
'He speaks the language fairly; and his visit will, I hope, do good. Of course he will be tired, and will enjoy the quiet of the schooner after it. I know what that is pretty well, and it takes something to make one prefer the little vessel at sea to any kind of shore life. However, he has youth and cheery spirits at command, and that makes life on an island. A man whose tastes naturally are for books, &c., rather than for small talk, and who can't take much interest in the very trifling matters that engage the attention of these poor fellows, such a man finds it very tiring indeed sometimes, when a merry bright good-natured fellow would amuse himself and the natives too.
'In these introductory visits, scarcely anything is done or said that resembles Mission work as invented in stories, and described by the very vivid imagination, of sensational writers. The crowd is great, the noise greater, the heat, the dirt, the inquisitiveness, the endless repetition of the same questions and remarks, the continual requests for a fish-hook, for beads, &c.--this is somewhat unlike the interesting pictures, in a Missionary 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 and nicely- washed natives. They are wild with excitement, not to hear "the good news," but to hear how the trading went on: "How many axes did they sell? How many bits of iron?"
'You say, "Why do you trade at all?" Answer: In the first visits that we make we should at once alienate all the goodwill of the people from us unless we so far complied with their desire to get iron tools, or to trade more or less with them. As soon as I can I give presents to three or four leading men, and then let the buying curiosities be carried on by the crew and others; but not to trade at all would be equivalent to giving up hope of establishing any intercourse with the people.
'But in new islands, and upon our first visits, if we do get a chance of saying something amid the uproar, what can we say about religion that will be intelligible to men whose language has never been used to express any thought of ours that we long to communicate, and whose minds are pre-occupied by the visit of the vessel, and the longing for our articles of trade? Sometimes we do try to say a few words; sometimes we do a little better, we get a hearing, some persons listen with some interest; but usually, if we can merely explain that we don't come to trade, though we trade to please them, that we wish to take lads and teach them, we are obliged to be satisfied. "Teach them! teach them what?" think the natives. Why, one old hatchet would outweigh in their minds all that boy or man can gain from any teaching. What appreciable value can reading, writing, wearing clothes, &c., have in their eyes? So we must in first visits (of which I am now thinking) be thankful that we can in safety sleep on shore at all, and regard the merely making friends with the people as a small beginning of Mission work.
'Poor fellows! they think it very strange! As you lie down in the dark and try to sleep, you presently feel hands stroking your arms and legs, and feeling you about to make sure that the stranger has the same allowance of arms and legs that they have; and you overhear such quaint remarks as you lie still, afraid to let them know that you are awake, lest they should oblige you to begin talking over again the same things that you have already said twenty times.'
Mr. Brooke stayed four days at Florida; and came away with three former pupils, and four new ones, one of them grown up, a relative of the leading man of the island. Taroniara was the only Bauro scholar brought away this time; but so many were taken from Mota that the whole party numbered thirty-seven, seven of them girls, all betrothed to one or other of the lads. The entire colony at St. Barnabas, including English, was thus raised to seventy, when the 'Southern Cross' returned thither in August. On the 23rd, Bishop Patteson writes:--
'I wish you could see this place and the view from this room. I have only got into it within this hour. The carpenters are just out of it. You know that I left Palmer here about eleven months ago, on the return from that island voyage. He had sixteen lads with him, of whom eleven were good stout fellows.
'He did work wonderfully. The place I chose for the site of the station is about three miles from the settlement--the town, as the people call it. If you have a map of the island, you will see Longridge on the western part of it. Follow on the principal road, which goes on beyond Longridge in a N. and NW. direction, and about a mile beyond Longridge is our station. The top of Mount Pitt is nearly opposite our houses, of which two are now habitable, though not finished. The third, which is the house at Kohimarama which I had for one year, and in which Sir W. and Lady Martin spent ten days, will be begun on Monday next, I hope. The labour of getting all these things from New Zealand and then landing them (for there is no harbour), and then carting them up here (for there are no really good horses here, but the two I bought and sent down), was very considerable. Palmer and his boys worked admirably. He was industrious indeed. He and they lived at first in a little cottage, about three-quarters of a mile from our place, i.e., about a quarter of a mile from Longridge. During the first month, while they had no cart or horses as yet (for I had to send them down from Auckland), they fenced in some lands (the wire for which I had bought at Sydney, and a man-of-war brought it hither), planted yams (which grow excellently, such a crop never was seen here) and sweet potatoes, melons, vegetables, &c. Meanwhile, the timber for the houses was being sent as I had opportunity, a large quantity having been already taken to Norfolk Island in a man-of-war. Luckily, timber was selling very cheap at Auckland.
'After this first month, Palmer set to work at house building. He built entirely by himself, save the chimney and some part of the shingling (wooden roofing). As yet, no rooms have any ceiling or lining; they might by innocent people be thought to resemble barns, but they are weather-proof, strong, and answer all present purposes. The verandah, about 8 feet broad, is another great room really.
'I am still buying and sending down bricks, timber, &c. Two Auckland carpenters, thoroughly steady men, left Norfolk Island, about three weeks after we left it, for the Melanesian islands. They have been putting up my special building. We have no doors like hall doors, as all the rooms open with glass doors on to the verandah, and they are the doors for going in and out. Comprenez-vous? The ground slopes away from these two houses for some 200 yards or more to a little stream; and this slope is all covered with sweet potatoes and vegetables, and Codrington and Palmer have planted any number of trees, bushes, flowers, &c. Everything grows, and grows luxuriantly. Such soil, such a climate!
'By-and-by I shall have, I hope, such myrtles and azaleas, kalmias and crotons, and pine-apples and almond trees, bananas and tree- ferns, and magnolias and camellias, &c., all in the open air.
'The ground slopes up beyond the little stream, a beautiful wooded bank, wooded with many kinds of trees and bushes, large Norfolk Island pines; cattle and sheep stray about. Oh! how very pretty it is! And then beyond and above this first slope, the eye travels along the slopes of the Pitt to its summit, about 1,000 feet, a pretty little hill. It is, indeed, a calm peaceful scene, away from noise and bustle, plenty of pleasant sounds of merry boys working in the gardens, and employing themselves in divers ways. The prospect is (D. Gr.) a very happy one. It is some pleasure to work here, where the land gives "her increase" indeed.
'All seem very happy and well pleased with the place. I don't see how it can be otherwise, and yet to the young people there may be something attractive in society. But the young ones must occasionally go to Auckland or Sydney, or whithersoever they please, for a two or three months' holiday. For me, what can I desire more than this place affords? More than half of each year spent here if I live, and quietly, with any amount of work, uninterrupted work, time for quiet reading and thought. This room of mine in which I now am sitting is magnifique, my dear Joan; seriously, a very good room. You see it will be full of boys and girls; and I must have in it many things, not books only, for the general use of all here, so that I determined to make it a nice place at once.
'This room then, nicely lined, looking rather like a wooden box, it is true, but clean and airy, is 22 feet x 14 feet 6 in., and the wall plates 9 feet 6 in. high, the ceiling coved a little, so as to be nearly 14 feet high in the centre. What do you think of that for a room? It has a fire-place, and wide verandah, which is nearly 6 feet above the ground, so that I am high and dry, and have all the better view too, quite a grand flight of steps--a broad ladder--up into my house. The Mahaga lads and I call it my tree-house.
'Then I have one great luxury. I thought I would have it, and it is so nice. My room opens into the Chapel by red baize swinging doors; my private entrance, for there is a regular porch where the rest go in.
'Service at 7 A.M. and 8 P.M. But it is always open, boys come in of a morning to say their private prayers, for sleeping together in one room they have little privacy there. And I can go in at all hours. Soon it will become a sacred spot to us. It is really like a Chapel.
'August 27th.--Your birthday, my dear old Fan! God bless you, and grant you all true happiness, and the sense of being led onwards to the eternal peace and joy above. The parting here is a long one; and likely to be a parting for good, as far as this world is concerned.
'Last night was the coldest night that they have had during the whole winter; the thermometer touched 43°--Codrington has regular registering thermometers, so you see what a charming climate this is for us. Palmer was here all the summer, and he says that the heat, though great as marked by thermometer, was never trying, relaxing, and unfitting for work, as at Kohimarama.'
Thus began the first period of the residence in Norfolk Island; where Mr. Codrington's account of the way of life shall supplement the above:--
'When the Bishop returned in August 1867, our party consisted of himself, Mr. Palmer in Deacon's orders, and myself, Mr. Atkin and Mr. Brooke already experienced in the work, and Mr. Bice, who had with myself lately arrived from England. The whole number of Melanesians was about sixty; among the eldest of these the most intelligent and advanced of the few then baptized, George, Henry, B----, Robert and Edward. There were then, I think, thirteen baptized, and two Communicants. To this elder class, the Bishop, as far as I can recollect, devoted the greater part of his time. He said that now for the first time he was able without interruption to set to work to teach them, and he certainly made great progress in those months. I remember that every evening they used to sit in Chapel after prayers, and consider what difficulty or question they should propound to him; and he would come in after a time, and, after hearing the question, discuss the subject, discourse upon it, and end with prayer. They were at the time, I remember, much impressed by this; and those who were the most advanced took in a great deal of an elevated strain of doctrine which, no doubt, passed over the heads of the greater number, but not without stirring up their hearts.
'It became a regular custom on the evening before the Communion Sunday, i.e., every other Sunday, to give the Communicants instruction and preparation after the Chapel service. At this time there was no Sunday sermon in Chapel. The Bishop used to say that the preaching was done in the school; but much of his school was of a hortatory kind in the Chapel, and often without taking off the surplice.
'At this time I should add that he used from time to time to have other boys with him to school, and particularly Solomon Islanders, whose languages he alone could generally speak. He had also a good deal with him the second set of eight Banks Islanders, who were by this time recognised Catechumens.
'There were other occupations of the Bishop's time, besides his school with Melanesians. The hour from 12 to 1 was devoted to instruction given to the two young men, one from New Zealand and one a son of Mr. Nobbs, who were working with the Mission; and on alternate days to the younger members of the Mission, who were being prepared for Ordination.
'The reading with the younger clergy continued to be to the last one of the most regular and most fruitful of the Bishop's engagements. The education which Mr. Atkin had for many years received from the Bishop had set him considerably above the average of young English clergy, not only in scholarship and information, but also in habits of literary industry. The Bishop, with his own great interest in Hebrew, enjoyed very much his Hebrew reading with Mr. Atkin and Mr. Bice.
'The Bishop also began as soon as he could to pay attention to the teaching of the young Norfolk Islanders. He preached very often in their Church, and went down on Wednesdays to take a class of candidates for Confirmation. He said, and I believe with truth, that he wasted a great deal of time in preparing his lessons with the candidates for Ordination or younger clergy; that is, he looked up the subject in some book, and read on and on till he had gone far beyond the point in search of which he started, and had no time left to take up the other points which belonged to the subject he had in view. I should say he was always a desultory scholar, reading very much and to very great purpose, but being led continually from one subject or one book to another long before coming to an end of the first. He was always so dissatisfied with what he did, that whereas there are remaining several beginnings of one or two pages on one subject or another, there is no paper of his which is more than a fragment--that is, in English. There is one series of Notes on the Catechism in Mota complete. In those days I was not myself able to converse sufficiently in Mota to learn much from the elder boys about the teaching they were receiving; but it was evident that they were much impressed and stirred up, they spent much time with their books by themselves, and one could not fail to form a high estimate of the work that was going on. Now they say they never had school like that before or since. The Bishop was, in fact, luxuriating in the unbroken opportunity of pouring out instruction to intelligent and interested scholars. I think it was altogether a happy time to him; he enjoyed the solitude, the advantages of the move to the island were apparent in the school work, and were anticipated in the farm, and the hope of doing something for the Pitcairn people, which I believe had much to do with fixing the Mission here, was fresh.'
This judgment is thoroughly borne out by the Bishop's own letter to his sisters of October 27, wherein it appears how considerable an element of his enjoyment and comfort was Mr. Codrington's own companionship, partly as a link with the younger members of the little community:--
'Do I feel doubtful about an early Communion Service, Codrington, when I broach the matter, takes it up more eagerly almost than I do; and then I leave him to talk with the others, who could hardly differ from me on such a point if they wished to do so, but will speak freely to him. Not that, mind, I am aware of there being anything like a feeling of distance between me and them, but necessarily they must just feel that I am forty and their Bishop, and so I might perhaps influence them too much, which would be undesirable.
'Then I can talk with him on matters which of course have special interest for me, for somehow I find that I scarcely ever read or think on any points which do not concern directly my work as clergyman or language-monger. It is very seldom that I touch a book which is not a commentary on the Bible or a theological treatise, scarcely ever, and of course one likes to talk about those things of which one's mind is full. That made the talks with the Judge so delightful. Now young people, of course, have their heads full (as I used to have mine) of other things, and so my talk would be dull and heavy to them.
'No doubt, if you had me at home you would find that I am pretty full of thoughts on some points, but not very well able to express myself, and to put my thoughts into shape. It is partly want of habit, because, except as one speaks somewhat dictatorially to pupils, I do not arrange my ideas by conversing with others--to a great extent, from want of inclination, i.e., indolence, and also I have not the brains to think out a really difficult subject. I am amused occasionally to see what a false estimate others form of me in that way. You see it has pleased God to give me one faculty in rather an unusual degree, that of learning languages, but in every other respect my abilities are very moderate indeed. Distance exaggerates of course, and I get credit with some folks for what if I had it would simply be a gift and no virtue in me; but I attain anything I work at with very considerable labour, and my mind moves very sluggishly, and I am often very dull and stupid. You may judge, therefore, of the great advantage of having a bright, cheery, intelligent, well-informed man among us, without whom every meal would be heavy and silent, and we should (by my fault) get into a mechanical grind....
'As for your own worthy Brother, I don't think I knew what rest meant till I got here. I work, in one sense, as hard as before, i.e., from early morn till 10 P.M., with perhaps the intermission of a hour and a half for exercise, besides the twenty minutes for each of the three meals; and did my eyes allow it, I could go on devouring books much later. But then I am not interrupted and distracted by the endless occupation of the New Zealand life. Oh! how utterly distasteful to me were all those trustee meetings, those English duties of all kinds, and most of all, those invasions of Kohimarama by persons for whom I could get up no interest. I am not defending these idiosyncrasies as if they were all right, but stating what I felt and what I feel. I am indeed very happy here; I trust not less useful in my way. School of course flourishes. You would be surprised at the subjects that I and my first class work at. No lack of brains! Perhaps I can express it briefly by saying that I have felt for a year or more the need of giving them the Gospel of St. John. Because they were ready, thank God, for those marvellous discourses and arguments in that blessed Gospel, following upon the record of miracles wrought or events that happened.
'Of course the knowledge of the facts must come first, but there was always in school with me--either they have it as a natural gift, or my teaching takes naturally that line--a tendency to go deeper than the mere apprehension of a fact, a miracle wrought, or a statement made. The moral meaning of the miracle, the principle involved in the less important expression of it, or particular manifestation of it, these points always of late I am able to talk about as to intelligent and interested listeners. I have these last six weeks been translating St. John; it is nearly done. Think, Fan, of reading, as I did last night, to a class of fifteen Melanesian Christians, the very words of St. John vi. for the first time in their ears! They had heard me paraphrase much of it at different times. I don't notice these things, unless (as now) I chance to write about them. After 6 P.M. Chapel, I remain with some of the lads, the first class of boys, men, and women, every night, and in addition, the second class every other night (not on the nights when I have had them from 7 to 8). I used to catechise them at first, starting the subject myself. Now, I rejoice to say, half goes very quickly in answering questions, of which they bring me plenty.
Then, at about 8.50 or 9, I leave them alone in the Chapel (which opens, as you know, into my sitting-room), and there they stay till past 10, talking over points among themselves, often two or three coming in to me, "Bishop, we can't quite make out this." What do they know and ask? Well, take such a subject as the second Psalm, and they will answer you, if you ask them, about prophecy and the prophetic state. Test them as to the idea they form of a spiritual vision of something seen, but not with the fleshly eye, and they will say, "Yes, our minds have that power of seeing things. I speak of Mota, it is far off, but as I speak of it, I see my father and my mother and the whole place. My mind has travelled to it in an instant. I am there. Yes, I see. So David, so Moses, so St. Peter on the housetop, so St. Paul, caught up into the third heaven, so with his mind."
'"But was it like one of our dreams?"
'"Yes and No--Yes, because they were hardly like waking-men. No, because it was a real true vision which God made them see."
'Ask them about the object of prophecy, and they will say, in quaint expression, it is true, what is tantamount to this--it was not only a prediction of things to come, but a chief means of keeping before the minds of the Jews the knowledge of God's true character as the moral Governor of their nation, and gradually the knowledge was given of His being the Lord and Ruler of all men. The Prophet was the teacher of the present generation as well as the utterer of truths that, when fulfilled in after ages, would teach future ages.
'I mention these fragmentary sentiments, merely to show you how I can carry these fellows into a region where something more than memory must be exercised. The recurrence of the same principles upon which God deals with us is an illustration of what I mean; e.g., the Redemption out of Egypt from the Captivity and the Redemption involve the same principle. So the principle of Mediation runs through the Bible, the Prophet, Priest, King, &c. Then go into the particular Psalm, ask the meaning of the words, Anointed, Prophet, Priest, King- -how our Lord discharged and discharges these offices. What was the decree? The Anointed is His Son. "This day have I begotten Thee"-- the Eternal Generation--the Birth from the grave. His continual Intercession. Take up Psalm cx., the Priest, the Priest for ever, not after the order of Aaron. Go into the Aaronical Priesthood. Sacrifices, the idea of sacrifice, the Mosaic ritual, its fulfilment; the principle of obedience, as a consequence of Faith, common to Old and New Testaments, as, indeed, God's Moral Law is unchangeable, but the object of faith clearly revealed in the New Testament for the first time, &c., &c.
'Christ's Mediatorial reign, His annihilation of all opposition in the appointed time, the practical Lesson the Wrath of the Lamb.
'Often you would find that pupils who can be taught these things seem and are very ignorant of much simpler things; but they have no knowledge of books, as you are aware, and my object is to teach them pretty fully those matters which are really of the greatest importance, while I may fill up the intervening spaces some day, if I live. To spend such energy as they and I have upon the details of Jewish history, e.g., would be unwise. The great lessons must be taught, as, e.g., St. Paul in 1 Cor. x. uses Jewish history.
'October 15, I finished my last chapter of St. John's Gospel in the Mota language; we have also a good many of the Collects and Gospels translated, and some printed. What is better than to follow the Church's selection of passages of Scripture, and then to teach them devotionally in connection with the Collects?
'Brooke works away hard at his singing class in the afternoon. We sing the Venite, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis, &c., in parts, to single and double chants, my old favourite "Jacob's" for the Venite, also a fine chant of G. Elvey's. They don't sing at all well, but nevertheless, though apt to get flat, and without good voices, there is a certain body of sound, and I like it. Brooke plays the harmonium nicely.
'The Norfolk Island people, two or three only, have been here at evening service, and are extremely struck with the reverence of the Melanesians.
'I work away with my Confirmation class, liking them personally, but finding no indication of their having been taught to think in the least. It is a relief to get back to the Melanesians.'
The visit of the Bishop of New Zealand which had been hoped for, had been prevented by the invitation to attend the Synod of the Church held at Lambeth, in the autumn of 1867, and instead of himself welcoming his friends, Bishop Patteson was picturing them to himself staying with his sisters at Torquay, and joining in the Consecration Services of the Church of All Saints, at Babbicombe, where the altar stood, fragrant with the sandal wood of the Pacific isles. The letters sent off by an opportunity in November were to family and friends, both in England. The one to his sister Joanna narrates one of those incidents that touched the Bishop most deeply:--
'On Friday last we had such a very, very solemn service in our little Chapel. Walter Hotaswol, from Matlavo Island, is dying--he has long been dying, I may say--of consumption. For two winters past he has remained with us rather than in his own island, as he well knew that without good food and care he would sink at once. Years ago he was baptized, and after much time spent in preparation, Tuesday, at 7.30 A.M., was the day when we met in Chapel. Walter leant back in a chair. The whole service was in the Mota language, and I administered the Holy Communion to eleven of our Melanesian scholars, and last of all to him. Three others I trust I may receive to Holy Communion Sunday next. Is not this a blessed thing? I think of it with thankfulness and fear. My old text comes into my mind--"Your heart shall fear and be enlarged." I think there is good hope that I may baptize soon seven or eight catechumens.'
The letter to Bishop Selwyn despatched by the same vessel on November 16, gives the first hint of that 'labour traffic' which soon became the chief obstacle to the Mission.
After describing an interview with an American captain, he continues:--'Reports are rife of a semi-legalised slave-trading between the South Sea Islands and New Caledonia and the white settlers in Fiji. I have made a little move in the matter. I wrote to a Wesleyan Missionary in Fiji (Ovalau) who sent me some books. I am told that Government sanctions natives being brought upon agreement to work for pay, &c., and passage home in two years. We know the impossibility of making contracts with New Hebrides or Solomon natives. It is a mere sham, an evasion of some law, passed, I dare say, without any dishonourable intention, to procure colonial labour. If necessary I will go to Fiji or anywhere to obtain information. But I saw a letter in a Sydney paper which spoke strongly and properly of the necessity of the most stringent rules to prevent the white settlers from injuring the coloured men.'
So first loomed the cloud that was to become so fatal a darkening of the hopes of the Mission, all the more sad because it was caused by Christian men, or men who ought to have been Christian. It will be seen, however, that Bishop Patteson did not indiscriminately set his face against all employment of natives. Occupation and training in civilised customs were the very things he desired for them, but the whole question lay in the manner of the thing. However, to him as yet it was but a report, and this Advent and Christmas of 1867 were a very happy time. A letter to me describes the crowning joy.
'Norfolk Island: Christmas Day, 1867.
'My dear Cousin,--One line to you to-day of Christmas feelings and blessings. Indeed, you are daily in my thoughts and prayers. You would have rejoiced could you have seen us last Sunday or this morning at 7 A.M. Our fourteen Melanesian Communicants so reverent, and (apparently) earnest. On Sunday I ordained Mr. Palmer Priest, Mr. Atkin and Mr. Brooke Deacons.
'The service was a solemn one, in the Norfolk Island Church, the people joining heartily in the first ordination they had seen; Codrington's sermon excellent, the singing good and thoroughly congregational, and the whole body of confirmed persons remaining to receive the Holy Communion. Our own little Chapel is very well decorated (Codrington again the leader) with fronds of tree-ferns, arums, and lilies; "Emmanuel, God amemina" (with us), in large letters over the altar.
'And now (9.30P.M.) they are practising Christmas hymns in Mota for our 11 A.M. service. Then we have a regular feast, and make the day a really memorable one for them. The change from the old to the new state of things, as far as our Banks Islanders are concerned, is indeed most thankworthy. I feel that there is great probability of George Sarawia's ordination before long. This next year he will be left alone (as far as we whites are concerned) at Mota, and I shall be able to judge, I hope, of his fitness for carrying on the work there. If it be God's will to give him health of body and the will and power to serve Him, then he ought to be ordained. He is an excellent fellow, thoughtful, sensible, and my right hand among the Melanesians for years. His wife, Sara Irotaviro, a nice gentle creature, with now a fine little boy some seven months old. She is not at all equal to George in intelligence, and is more native in habits, &c. But I think that she will do her best.
'You know I have long felt that there is almost harm done by trying to make these islanders like English people. All that is needful for decency and propriety in the arrangement of houses, in dress, &c., we must get them to adopt, but 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 denationalise ourselves and eliminate all that belongs to us as English, and not as Christians, we cannot be to them what a well- instructed fellow-countryman may be. He is nearer to them. They understand him. He brings the teaching to them in a practical and intelligible form.
'I hope and pray that dear old George may be the first of such a band of fellow-workers. Others--Henry Tagalana, who is, I suppose, about eighteen, Fisher Pantatun, about twenty-one, Edward Wogale (George's own brother), about sixteen, Robert Pantatun, about eighteen--are excellent, all that I could wish; and many younger ones are coming up. They stay with us voluntarily two or three years now without any going home, and the little ones read and write surprisingly well. They come to me very often and say, " Bishop, I wish to stop here again this winter."
'They come for help of the best kind. They have their little printed private prayers, but some are not content with this. Marosgagalo came last week with a slip of paper--
'"Well, Maros, what is it?"
'He is a shy little fellow who has been crippled with rheumatism.
'"Please write me my prayer."
'And as my room opens into the Chapel, and they are told to use that at all times (their sleeping-rooms not allowing much privacy), I know how they habitually come into it early (at 5 A.M.) and late at night for their private prayers. You cannot go into the Chapel between 5 and 6.30 A.M. without seeing two or three kneeling about in different corners. As for their intelligence, I ought to find time to send you a full account of them, translations of their answers, papers, &c., but you must be content to know that I am sure they can reason well upon facts and statements, that they are (the first class) quite able to understand all the simpler theological teaching which you would expect Communicants and (I pray) future clergymen to understand. Of some six or seven I can thus speak with great confidence, but I think that the little fellows may be better educated still, for they are with us before they have so much lee-way to make up--jolly little fellows, bright and sharp. The whole of the third Banks Island class (eight of them) have been with me for eighteen months, and they have all volunteered to stay for eighteen months more. They ought to know a great deal at the end of that time, then they will go home almost to a certainty only for two or three months, and come back again for another long spell.
'All this is hopeful, and we have much to be thankful for indeed; but I see no immediate prospect of anything like this in the other islands at present. We know very many of the islanders and more or less of their languages; we have scholars who read and write, and stop here with us, and who are learning a good deal individually, but I have as yet no sense of any hold gained upon the people generally. We are good friends, they like us, trust young people with us, but they don't understand our object in coming among them properly. The trade and the excitement of our visit has a good deal to do with their willingness to receive us and to give us children and young men. They behave very well when here, and their people treat us well when we are with them. But as yet I see no religious feeling, no apprehension of the reality of the teaching: they know in one sense, and they answer questions about the meaning of the Creed, &c., but they would soon fall again into heathen ways, and their people show no disposition to abandon heathen ways. In all this there is nothing to surprise or discourage us. It must be slow work, carried on without observation amidst many failures and losses and disappointments. If I wished to attribute to secondary causes any of the results we notice, I might say that our having lived at Mota two or three months each year has had a great deal to do with the difference between the Banks and the other islanders.
'It may be that, could we manage to live in Bauro, or Anudha, or Mahaga, or Whitsuntide, or Lepers' Island, or Espiritu Santo, we might see soon some such change take place as we notice in Mota; but all that is uncertain, and such thoughts are useless. We must indeed live in those other islands as soon as we can, but it is hard to find men able to do so, and only a few of the islands are ripe for the attempt.
'I feel often like a horse going his regular rounds, almost mechanically. Every part of the day is occupied, and I am too tired at night to think freshly. So that I am often like one in a dream, and scarcely realise what I am about. Then comes a time when I wish to write, e.g. (as to you now) about the Mission, and it seems so hard to myself to see my way, and so impossible to make others see what is in my mind about it. Sometimes I think these Banks Islanders may be evangelists beyond the limits of their own islands. So many of the natives of other islands live here with them, and speak the language of Mota, and then they have so much more in common with them than with us, and the climate and food and mode of life generally are familiar to them alike. I think this may come to pass some day; I feel almost sure that I had better work on with promising islanders than attempt to train up English boys, of which I once thought. I am more and more confirmed in my belief that what one wants is a few right-minded, well-educated English clergymen, and then for all the rest trust to native agency.
'When I think of Mr. Robertson and such men, and think how they work on, it encourages me. And so, where do I hear of men who have so many comforts, so great immunity from hardship and danger as we enjoy? This is nothing to the case of a London parish.
'Fanny has sent me out my old engravings, which I like to look at once more, although there is only one really good one among them, and yet I don't like to think of her no longer having them. I have also a nice selection of photographs just sent out, among which the cartoons from Hampton Court are especially good. That grand figure of St. Paul at Athens, which Raphael copied from Masaccio's fresco, always was a favourite of mine.
'I feel at home here, more so than in any place since I left England; but I hope that I may be able to spend longer intervals in the islands than the mere sixteen or eighteen weeks of the voyage, if I have still my health and strength. But I think sometimes that I can't last always; I unconsciously leave off doing things, and wake up to find that I am shirking work.
'Holy Innocents' Day.--I don't think I have sufficiently considered your feelings in suffering the change of name in the Mission School that took place, and I am rather troubled about it. I came back from the last voyage to find that as I had selected a site for the buildings on St. Barnabas Day, which was, by a coincidence, the day I spent here on my outward voyage in 1866, the people had all named the place St. Barnabas. Then came the thought of the meetings on St. Barnabas, and the appropriateness of the Missionary Apostle's name, and I, without thinking enough about it, acquiesced in the change of name. I should have consulted you,--not that you will feel yourself injured, I well know; but for all that, I ought to have done it. It was the more due to you, because you won't claim any right to be consulted. I am really sorry for it, and somewhat troubled in mind. (Footnote: 'He need not have been sorry. I give this to show his kind, scrupulous consideration; but I, like everyone else, could not help feeling that it was more fitting that the germ of a missionary theological college should not bear a name even in allusion to a work of fiction.)
'The occasional notices of Mr. and Mrs. Keble in your letters, and the full account of him and her as their end drew nigh, is very touching. How much, how very much there is that I should like to ask him now! How I could sit at his feet and listen to him! These are great subjects that I have neither time nor brains to deal with, and there is no one here who can give me all the help I want. I think a good deal about Ritualism, more about Union, most about the Eucharistic question; but I need some one with whom to talk out these matters. When I have worked out the mind of Hooker, Bull, Waterland, &c., and read Freeman's "Principles," and Pusey's books, and Mr. Keble's, &c., then I want to think it out with the aid of a really well-read man. It is clearly better not to view such holy subjects in connection with controversy; but then comes the thought--"How is Christendom to be united when this diversity exists on so great a point?" And then one must know what the diversity really amounts to, and then the study becomes a very laborious and intricate enquiry into the ecclesiastical literature of centuries. Curiously enough, I am still waiting for the book I so much want, Mr. Keble's book on "Eucharistic Adoration." I had a copy, of course, but I lent it to some one. I lose a good many books in that way.
'The extraordinary change in the last thirty years will of course mark this time hereafter as one of the most noticeable periods in the history of the Church, indeed one can't fail to see it, which is not always the case with persons living in the time of great events. The bold, outspoken conduct of earnest men, the searching deeply into principles, the comparative rejection of conventionalities, local prejudices, exclusive forms of thought and practice, must strike everyone. But one misses the guiding, restraining hand...the man in the Church corresponding to "the Duke" at one time in the State, the authority.
'One thing I do think, that the being conversant only with thoughtful educated Christians may result in a person ignoring the simpler idea of the Eucharist which does not in the least divest it of its mysterious character, but rather, recognising the mystery, seeks for no solution of it. How can I teach my fifteen Melanesian Communicants the points which I suppose an advanced Ritualist would regard as most essential? But I can give them the actual words of some of the ancient, really ancient, Liturgies, and teach them what Christ said, and St. Paul said, and the Church of England says, and bid them acquiesce in the mystery.
'Yet I would fain know more. I quite long for a talk with Mr. Keble. Predisposed on every account to think that he must be right, I am not sure that I know what he held to be the truth, nor am I quite sure that I would see it without much explanation; but to these holy men so much is revealed that one has no right to expect to know. What he held was in him at all events combined with all that a man may have of humility, and learning, and eagerness for union with God.'
This letter was sent with these:--
'Norfolk Island: December 16, 1867.
'My dear Mr. Atkin,--The "Pacific" arrived on Friday after a quick passage. All our things came safely. She leaves to-morrow for Sydney, and we are in a great hurry. For (1) we have three mails all at once, and I have my full share of letters, public and private; and (2) we have had last week our first fall of rain for some three and a half months, and we are doing our best to plant kumaras, &c., which grow here wonderfully, if only they get anything like a fair chance.
'Joe as usual is foremost at all work; fencing, well-sinking, &c. And he proves the truth of the old saying, that "the head does not suffer by the work of the hand." His knowledge of Scripture truth, of what I may fairly call the beginning of theological studies, gives me great comfort. I am quite sure that in all essentials, in all which by God's blessing tends to qualify a man for teaching faithfully, and with sufficient learning and knowledge of the Word of God, he is above the average of candidates for ordination in England.
'I don't say that he would pass the kind of examination before an English Bishop so well as a great many--they insist a good deal on technical points of historical knowledge, &c.--but in all things really essential--in his clear perception of the unity of the teaching of the Bible; in his knowledge of the Greek Testament, in his reading with me the Articles, Prayer Book, &c., I am convinced that he is well fitted to do his work well and truly. We have had more than one talk on deeper matters still, on inward feelings and thoughts, on prayer and the devotional study of God's Word, and divinity in general. I feel the greatest possible thankfulness and happiness as I think of his ordination, and of what, by the grace of God, he may become to very many both heathens and Christians, if his life be spared.
'Once again, my dear friends, I thank you for giving him to this work. He is the greatest conceivable comfort and help to me. I always feel when he is walking or working with others, that there is one on whose steadiness and strong sense of duty I can always rely. May God bless him with His richest blessings....
'On Sunday next (D.V.) we shall not forget you, as I well know your thoughts and prayers will be with us; and we sing "Before JEHOVAH'S awful Throne" to the Old Hundredth; 2nd, No. 144 of the Hymnal, after third Collect; and before sermon, 3rd, No. 143; after sermon, 4th, No. 19; after Litany, 5th, Veni Creator to All Saints.
The ordination will be in the Norfolk Island Church. --My kind regards to Mrs. Atkin and Mary.
'Always, my dear friend, very truly yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
'December 16, 1867.
'My dear Miss Mackenzie,--Your brother's pedometer reached me safely three days ago. I feel most truly unworthy to receive such gifts. I have now his sextant, his pedometer, and, most precious of all, his "Thomas a Kempis"; they ought to help me to think more of him, and his holy example. Your letter commenting on the published life makes me know him pretty well. He was one to love and honour; indeed, the thorough humility and truthfulness, the single-mindedness of the man, the simple sense of duty and unwearied patience, energy, and gentleness--indeed you must love to dwell on the memory of such a brother, and look forward with hope and joy to the reunion.
'We are fast settling ourselves into our headquarters here. Our buildings already sufficient to house eighty or one hundred Melanesians. We are fencing, planting, &c., &c., vigorously, and the soil here repays our labours well. The yam and sweet potatoes grow excellently, and the banana, orange, lemon, and nearly all semi- tropical fruits and vegetables. I think that our commissariat expenditure will soon be very small, and we ought to have an export before long.
'Two things seem to be pretty clear: that there is no lack of capacity in the Melanesian, and no probability of any large supply of English teachers and clergymen, even if it were desirable to work the Mission with foreign rather than native clergymen. My own mind is, and has long been in favour of the native pastorate; but it needs much time to work up to such a result.
'All our party are well in health, save one good fellow, Walter Hotaswol, who is dying of consumption, in faith and hope. "Better," he says, "to die here with a bright heart than to live in my own land with a dark one." It is a solemn Ember week for us.
'I remain, dear Miss Mackenzie, very truly yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.
'I quite agree with you that you cannot educate tropical and semi- tropical people in England; and you don't want to make them English Christians, you know.'
Walter's history is here completed:--
'January 22, 1868.
'My dear Cousin,--I write you a line: I have not time for more in addition to my other epistle, to tell you that I purpose to baptize, on Sunday next, eight Melanesian youths and one girl. You will, I know, thank God for this. Indeed I hope (though I say it with a kind of trembling and wonder) that a succession of scholars is now regularly established from the Banks Islands.
'These nine are being closely followed by some ten or twelve more, younger than they, averaging from seven to eleven years, who all read and write and know the elements of Christian teaching, but you should see them, bright merry little fellows, and the girls too, full of play and fun. Yet so docile, and obedient, and good-tempered. They all volunteer to stay here again this winter, though they have not been at home since they first left it, in July and August 1866. They have a generation of Christians--I mean one of our generations--some two dozen or more, to help them; they have not the brunt of the battle to bear, like dear George and Henry and others; and because, either here or there, they will be living with Christians; I need not, I think, subject them to a probation. Next year (D.V.) they may be baptized, and so the ranks are being filled up.
'I would call the girl Charlotte were she a favourite of mine, but I wait in hopes that a nicer girl (though this one is good and nice too) may be baptized by your and Mrs. Keble's name. You may well believe that my heart and mind are very full of this. May God grant that they may continue His for ever!
'I confirm on the same day fourteen Norfolk Islanders.
'Walter Hotaswol, from Matlavo, the southern part of Saddle Island, died on the evening of the Epiphany: a true Epiphany to him, I trust. He was remarkably gentle and innocent for one born in a heathen land. His confession, very fully made to me before his first Communion, was very touching, simply given, and, thank God, he had been wonderfully kept from the sins of heathenism. With us, his life for years was blameless. He died almost without pain, after many weeks of lingering in consumption, I verily believe in full faith in his Saviour and his God.
'During his last illness, and for a short time before he actually took to his bed, he frequently received the Holy Communion. And very remarkable were his words to me the day after his first Communion. I was sitting by him, when he said, apropos of nothing, "Very good!"
'"What is very good, Walter?"
'"The Lord's Supper."
'"Why do you think so?"
'"I can't talk about it. I feel it here (touching his heart), I don't feel as I did!"
'"But you have long believed in Him."
'"Yes, but I feel different from that; I don't feel afraid for death. My heart is calm (me masur kal, of a calm following a gale)." His look was very earnest as he added: "I do believe that I am going to Him." Presently, "Bishop!"
'"Last night--no, the night before I received the Lord's Supper, I saw a man standing there, a tanum liana (a man of rank, or authority). He said Your breath is bad, I will give you a new breath.'"
'"I thought it meant, I will give you a new life. I thought it must be JESUS."
'He was weak, but not wandering. "Yes, better to die here with a bright heart than to live in my old home with a dark one."
'January 28th.--The nine young Christians were baptized on Sunday evening; a very touching and solemn service it was, very full of comfort. It may be that now, in full swing of work, I am too sanguine, but I try to be sober-minded, thankful, and hopeful. I try, I say--it is not easy.
'God bless you, my dear Cousin, and as I pray for you, so I know you pray for us.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
A long letter to James Patteson, which was begun a few days later, goes into the man's retrospect of the boy's career:--
'March 3rd.--I think often of your boys. Jack, in two or three years, will be old enough for school, and I suppose it must make you anxious sometimes. I look back on my early days, and see so much, so very much to regret and grieve over, such loss of opportunities, idleness, &c., that I think much of the way to make lessons attractive to boys and girls. I think a good deal may be done simply by the lessons being given by the persons the children love most, and hence (where it can be done) the mother first, and the father too (if he can) are the best people. They know the ways of the child, they can take it at the right times. Of course, at first it is the memory, not the reasoning power, that must be brought into exercise. Young children must learn by heart, learn miles which they can't understand, or understand but very imperfectly. I think I forget this sometimes, and talk to my young Melanesians as I should to older persons. But I feel almost sure that children can follow a simple, lively account of the meaning and reasons of things much more than one is apt to fancy. And I don't know how anything can be really learnt that is not understood. A great secret of success here is an easy and accurate use of illustration--parabolic teaching.
'Every day of my life I groan over the sad loss I daily experience in not having been grounded properly in Latin and Greek. I have gone on with my education in these things more than many persons, but I can never be a good scholar; I don't know what I would not give to have been well taught as a boy. And then at Eton, any little taste one might have had for languages, &c., was never called out.
My fault again, but I can't help thinking that it was partly because the reason of a rule was never explained. Who ever taught in school the difference between an aorist and a perfect, e.g.? And at college I was never taught it, because it was assumed that I knew it. I know that at ten, fifteen, or twenty, I should not in any case have gone into languages as I do now. But I might have learnt a good deal, I think. A thoroughly good preparatory school is, I dare say, very difficult to find. I would make a great point, I think, to send a boy to a good one; not to cram him or make a prig of him, but simply to give him the advantage which will make his whole career in life different from what it will be if his opening days pass by unimproved. Cool of me, Jem, to write all this; but I think of this boy, and my boyish days, and what I might have been, and am not.
'I was always shallow, learned things imperfectly, thought I knew a thing when I knew scarce any part of it, scrawling off common-place verses at Eton, and, unfortunately, getting sent up for them. I had a character which passed at school and at home for that of a fair scholar. Thence came my disgrace at being turned out of the select, my bad examination for the Balliol scholarship, my taking only a second, &c. Nothing was really known! Pretty quick in seizing upon a superficial view of a matter, I had little patience or deter- mination to thoroughly master it. The fault follows me through life. I shall never, I fear, be really accurate and able to think out a matter fully. The same fault I see in my inner life. But it is not right to talk perhaps too much of that, only I know that I get credit for much that I don't do, and for qualities which I don't possess. This is simple truth, not false humility. Some gifts I have, which, I thank God, I have been now taught to employ with more or less of poverty in the service.'
The vessel that took away the above despatches brought the tidings of New Zealand's beloved Primate being appointed to the See of Lichfield. It was another great wrench to the affectionate heart, as will be seen in this filial reply to the intelligence:--
'2nd Sunday in Lent, 10 P.M.
'My dear, dear Bishop,--I don't think I ever quite felt till now what you have been to me for many a long year. Indeed, I do thank God that I have been taught to know and dearly love you; and much I reproach myself (not now for the first time) that I have been wilful, and pained you much sometimes by choosing for myself when I ought to have followed your choice. I could say much, but I can't say it now, and you don't desire it. You know what I think and feel. Your letter of the 3rd reached me last night. I don't yet realise what it is to me, but I think much more still of those dear people at Taurarua. It is perfectly clear to my mind that you could not have acted otherwise. I don't grudge you to the Mother Church one atom!
'I write at this time because I think you may possibly be soon beginning your first Ordination Service in your Cathedral. It was almost my first thought when I began to think quietly after our 8 P.M. prayers. And I pray for those whom you may be leading to their work, as so often you have laid your hands on me. I understand Bishop Andrewes' [Greek text] now.
'What it must have been to you and still is!...
'This move to Norfolk Island does make a great difference, no doubt. And full well I know that your prayers will be around us; and that you will do all that mortal man can do for us and for the islands. Indeed, you must not trouble yourself about me too much. I shall often need you, often sadly miss you, a just return for having undervalued the blessing of your presence. But I do feel that it is right. I humbly pray and trust that God's blessing may be on us all, and that a portion of your spirit may be with us.
'More than ever affectionately yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The tidings had come simultaneously with the history of the Consecration of All Saints, Babbicombe, for indeed the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn were staying with Joanna and Fanny Patteson for the Octave Services when the first offer arrived. So that the two mails whose contents were transported together to Norfolk Island contained matter almost overwhelming for the brother and friend, and he had only one day in which to write his answers. To the sisters the assurance is, 'Only be quite comforted about me!' and then again, 'No, I don't grudge him one bit. There is no room for small personal considerations when these great issues are at stake.'
'I don't think I quite know yet what it is to me. I can't look at his photograph with quite dry eyes yet. But I don't feel at all sad or unhappy. You know the separation, if God, in His mercy, spare me at last, can't be long; and his prayers are always around us, and he is with us in spirit continually, and then it will be such joy and delight to me to watch his work.
'I think with such thankfulness of the last Holy Week; the last Easter Sunday spent wholly with him. I think too, and that sadly enough, of having pained him sometimes by being self-willed, and doing just what he has not done, viz., chosen for myself when I ought to have followed him.
'Do you remember when, on the morning of Mamma's death, we came into the study where Uncle and Aunt Frank were, and our dear Father in his great faith and resignation said, with broken voice, "I thank God, who spared her to me so long"? Surely I may with far greater ease say, "I thank God for the blessing for now thirteen, years of his example and loving care of me." Had he been taken away by death we must have borne it, and we can bear this now by His grace.'
The thought engrossed him most completely. It is plain in all his letters that it was quite an effort to turn his mind to anything but the approaching change. His Primate had truly been a 'Father in God' to him. His affections had wound themselves about him and Mrs. Selwyn, and the society that they formed together with Sir William and Lady Martin had become the next thing to his home and family. Above all, the loneliness of sole responsibility was not complete while the Primate was near to be consulted. There had been an almost visible loss of youth and playfulness ever since the voyages had been made without the leader often literally at the helm; and though Bishop Patteson had followed his own judgment in two decided points-- the removal to Norfolk Island, and the use of Mota language instead of English, and did not repent having done so, yet still the being left with none to whom to look up as an authority was a heavy trial and strain on mind and body, and brought on another stage in that premature age that the climate and constant toil were bringing upon him when most men are still in the fulness of their strength.
The next letter spoke the trouble that was to mark the early part of the year 1868 as one of sickness and sorrow.
'Our two Ambrym boys are coming out; and I am hopeful as to some more decided connection with the north face of the Island. Mahaga lads very promising, but at present Banks Islanders much ahead of the rest. Indeed, of some of them, I may say that while they have no knowledge of many things that an English lad ought to know, yet they have a very fair share of intelligence concentrated on the most important subject, and know a good deal about it. They think.'
Then follows a working out of one of the difficult questions that always beset missionaries respecting the heathen notions--or no notions--about wedlock. Speaking of the persons concerned, the journal continues:--
'They were not able to understand--and how can a man and woman, or rather a girl and boy, understand--what we understand by marriage. They always saw men and women exchanging husbands and wives when they pleased, and grew up in the midst of such ideas and practices, so that there never was a regular contract, nor a regularly well- conceived and clearly-understood notion of living together till "death us do part" in their minds. You will say, "And yet they were baptized." Yes, but I did not know so much about heathen ways then, and, besides, read St. Paul to the Corinthians, and see how the idea of sanctity of marriage, and of chastity in general is about the last idea that the heathen mind comprehends. Long after the heathen know that to break the sixth, eighth, even the ninth and tenth Commandments is wrong, and can understand and practically recognise it to be so, the seventh is a puzzle to them. At the best they only believe it because we say that it is a Commandment of God. Look at the Canons of the early Church on the question; look how Luther sanctioned the polygamy, the double marriage, of the Landgrave of Hesse! So that although now, thank God, our scholars understand more of what is meant by living with a woman, and the relation of husband and wife is not altogether strange to them, yet it was not so at first, and is not likely to be so with any but our well-trained scholars for a long time.'
'Norfolk Island: March 26, 1868. 'My dearest Sisters,--How you are thinking of me this anniversary? Thirteen years since I saw your dear faces and his face. Oh! how thankful I am that it is so long ago. It was very hard to bear for a long long time. Last night as I lay awake I thought of that last Sunday, the words I said in church (how absurdly consequential they seem to me now), the walk home, calling to see C. L., parting with the Vicar and M., the last evening--hearts too full to say what was in them, the sitting up at night and writing notes. And then black Monday! Well, I look back now and see that it was very hard at first, and I don't deny that I found the mere bodily roughnesses very trying at first, but that has long past. My present mode of life is agreeable to me altogether now. Servants and company would be a very great bore indeed. So even in smaller ways, you see, I have all that I can desire. I always try to remember that I may miss these things, and specially miss you if it should please God to send any heavy sickness upon me. I dare say I should be very impatient, and need kind soothing nurses. But I must hope for the best.
'Just now we have some anxiety. There has been and is a bad typhoid fever among the Pitcairners: want of cleanliness, no sewerage, or very bad draining, crowded rooms, no ventilation, the large drain choked up, a dry season, so that the swampy ground near the settlement has been dry, these are secondary causes. For two months it has been going on. I never anticipated such a disease here.
'But the fever is bad. Last night two died, both young women of about twenty. Two, one a married man of thirty, with five children, the other a girl of twelve, had died before. I have been backwards and forwards, but no one else of the party. The poor people like to see me. For three weeks I have felt some anxiety about four or five of our lads, and they have been with me in my room. I don't like the symptoms of one or two of them. But it is not yet a clear case of the fever.'
'Easter Eve.--Dear Sisters, once more I write out of a sick hospital. This typhoid fever, strongly marked, as described in Dr. Watson's books, Graye's edition of Hooper's "Vade Mecum," and, as a very solemn lesson of Lent and Holy Week, seven Pitcairners have died. For many weeks the disease did not touch us; we established a regular quarantine, and used all precautions. We had, I think, none of the predisposing causes of fever at our place. It is high, well-drained, clean, no dirt near, excellent water, and an abundant supply of it; but I suppose the whole air is impregnated with it. Anyhow, the fever is here.
'April 23rd.--My house consists, you know, of Chapel, my rooms, and hospital. This is the abode of the sick and suspected. The hospital is a large, lofty, well-ventilated room; a partition, 6 feet high, only divides it into two; on one side are the sick, on the other side sleep those who are sickening.
'As yet twenty have been in my quarters. Of these seven are now in Codrington's house, half-way between hospital and ordinary school life. They are convalescents, real convalescents. You know how much so-called convalescents need care in recovering from fever, but these seven have had the fever very slightly indeed, thank God; the type of the disease is much less severe than it was at first. One lad of about sixteen, Hofe from Ysabel Island, died last Friday morning. The fever came on him with power from the first. He was very delirious for some days, restless, sleepless, then comatose. The symptoms are so very clearly marked, and my books are so clear in detail of treatment, that we don't feel much difficulty now about the treatment, and the nursery and hospital work we are pretty well used to.
'Barasu, from Ysabel Island, who was near dying on Thursday week, a fortnight ago to-day, has hovered between life and death. I baptized him at 9 P.M. on Holy Thursday (the anniversary of Mr. Keble's death). John Keble: rather presumptuous to give such a name, but I thought he would not have been named here by it for many hours. He is now sitting by the hospital fire. I have just fed him with some rice and milk; and he is well enough to ask for a bit of sweet potato, which he cannot yet hold, nor guide his hand to his mouth. He has had the regular fever, and is now, thank God, becoming convalescent. No other patient is at present in a dangerous state; all have the fever signs more or less doubtful. No one is at present in a precarious state. It has been very severe in the town, and there are many cases yet. Partly it is owing to the utter ignorance or neglect of the most ordinary rules of caution and nursing. Children and men and women all lie on the ground together in the fever or out of it. The contagion fastens upon one after another. In Isaac Christian's house, the mother and five children were all at one time in a dangerous state, wandering, delirious, comatose. Yet the mortality has been small. Only seven have died; some few are still very ill, yet the character of the fever is less severe now. We had some sharp hospital work for a few days and nights, all the accompaniments of the decay of our frail bodies. Now we have a respite. Codrington, Palmer, and I take the nursing; better that the younger ones, always more liable to take fever, should be kept out of contagion; to no one but I have gone among the sick in town, or to town at all. We are all quite well.
'Beef tea, chicken broth, mutton broth, wine, brandy, milk to any extent, rice, &c.--Palmer manufactures all. The Pitcairners, most improvident people, are short of all necessary stores. I give what I can, but I must be stingy, as I tell them, for I never anticipated an attack of typhus here. They will, I trust, learn a lesson from it, and not provoke a recurrence of it by going on in their old ways.
'I don't deny that at times I have been a good deal depressed: about Holy Week and Easter Week was the worst time. Things are much brighter now; though I fully expect that several others, perhaps many others, will yet have the attack, but I trust and fancy it may be only in a modified form. We have regular Chapel and school, but the school is a mild affair now; I who am only in bed from 12.30 or 1 to 5, and in the hospital all day, cannot be very bright in school. I just open a little bit of my red baize door into Chapel, so that the sick in my room join in the service. Nice, is it not?
'This will greatly unsettle plans for the voyage. The "Southern Cross" is expected here about May 10; but I can't leave any sick that may want my care then, and I can't take back to the islands any that are only just convalescent, or indeed any of the apparently healthy who may yet have the seeds of the fever in them. It would be fearful if it broke out on the islands. I must run no risk of that; so I think that very likely I may keep the whole party here another year, and make myself a short visitation. I suppose that the Bishop will come to New Zealand, and I must try to meet him; I should like to see his face once more; but if he doesn't come, or if I can't (by reason of this sickness) go to meet him--well, I shall be spared the parting if I don't have the joy of the meeting, and these things are not now what they once were.
'April 28th.--Barasu (John Keble) died this morning as I read the Commendatory Prayer by his side. He had a relapse some five days ago, how we cannot say, he was always watched day and night. I had much comfort in him, he was a dear lad, and our most hopeful Ysabel scholar. His peaceful death, for it was very peaceful at the last, may work more than his life would have done; some twenty others convalescent, or ailing, or sick. At this moment another comes to say that he feels out of sorts; you know that sensation, and how one's heart seems to stop for a minute, and then one tries to look and speak cheerfully.
'April 29th.--I read the Service over another child to-day, son of James and Priscilla Quintall, the second child they have lost within a few days, and Priscilla herself is lying ill of the fever. Poor people, I did what little I could to comfort them; the poor fellow is laid up too with a bad foot; a great many others are very ill, some young ones especially.
'May 5th.--Jemima Young sent for me yesterday morning. I was with her the day before, and she was very ill. I reached the room at 11.45, and she died at noon. [Jemima Young had been particularly bright, pleasant, and helpful when Mrs. Selwyn was on the island].
'May 7th.--The sick ones doing pretty well. You must not think it is all gloom, far from it, there is much to cheer and comfort us. The hearty co-operation of these excellent fellow-workers is such a support, and is brought out at such times.
'We are going on with divers works, but not very vigorously just now. We are sawing the timber for our large hall: the building still to be put up, and then our arrangements will be complete for the present.
'Then our fencing goes on. We have one large field of some ninety or one hundred acres enclosed, the sea and a stream bounding two sides, and two other fields of about forty and twenty acres. I have good cart mares and one cart horse, a riding mare which I bought of Mr. Pritt, and Atkin has one also, eleven cows, and as many calves, poultry (sadly destroyed by wild cats) and pigs, and two breeding sows, and a flock of fifty well-bred sheep imported. These cost me £4. 10s. a head; I hope they are the progenitors of a fine flock. The ram cost £12. We have plenty of work, and must go on fencing and subdividing our fields. Most of the land is wooded; but a considerable quantity can easily be cleared. Indeed 200 or 300 acres are clear now of all but some smaller stuff that can easily be removed. A thick couch-grass covers all. It is not so nutritious as the ordinary English grasses; but cattle, sheep, and horses like it, only a larger quantity is needed by each animal. It gives trouble when one wants to break it up, it is such a network of roots; but once out of the ground and the soil clear, and it will grow anything. Our crops of sweet potatoes are excellent. The ordinary potato does very well too; and maize, vegetables of all sorts, many fruit trees, all the semi-tropical things, capitally; guavas by the thousand, and very soon I hope oranges; lemons now by thousands, melons almost a weed, bananas abundant; by-and-by coffee, sugar-cane, pineapples (these last but small), arrowroot of excellent quality. Violets from my bed, and mignonette from Palmer's, scent my room at this minute. The gardeners, Codrington, Palmer, and Atkin, are so kind in making me tidy, devising little arrangements for my little plot of ground, and my comfort and pleasure generally. Well, that is a nice little chat with you. Now it is past 8 P.M., and the mutton broth for Clement and Mary is come. I must feed my chicks. Excellent patients they are, as good as can be. They don't make the fuss that I did in my low fever when I was so savage with your doves that would go on cooing at my window, don't you remember?
'My dear Bishop will be touched by the confidence in him shown by his late Diocesan Synod in entrusting to him the nomination of his successor. It was clearly the right thing to do. As for me, no one who knows anything about it or me would dream of removing me from Melanesia, as long as I have health and strength, and still less of putting me into another diocese. When I break down, or give up, it will not be to hold any other office, as I think.
'May 8th.--All going on pretty well, thank God. Mary is weak, but I think better; did not wander last night. Clement, with strong typhoid symptoms, yet, at all events, not worse. But he is a very powerful, thickset fellow, not a good subject for fever. I feel that I am beginning to recover my interest in things in general, books, &c. For two months I was entirely occupied with hospital work, and with visiting daily the sick Pitcairners, and I was weary and somewhat worn out. Now I am better in mind and body; some spring in me again. This may be to fit me for more trials in store; but I think that the sunshine has come again.'
There were, however, two more deaths--the twins of Mwerlau. Clement died on the 24th of May; the other brother, Richard, followed him a fortnight later. They were about seventeen, strong and thick-set; Clement had made considerable progress during his two years of training, and had been a Communicant since Christmas. Before passing to the other topics with which, as the Bishop said, he could again be occupied, here is Mr. Codrington's account of this period of trouble:--
'A great break in the first year was caused by the visitation of typhus fever in the earlier part of 1868. This disease, brought as I always believed by infection from a vessel that touched here, first attacked a Norfolk Islander who did not live in the town. He was ill in the middle of February, others of the Pitcairn people soon after. The Bishop began at once to visit the sick very diligently, and continued to visit them throughout, though after a time our own hospital was full. Our first case was on the llth of March, and our last convalescents did not go out until near the end of June. For some time there was hard work to be done with nursing the sick. The Bishop had the anxiety and the charge of medically treating the sick. Mr. Nobbs, as always, was most kind in giving the benefit of his experience, but he was too fully occupied with the care of his own flock to be able to help us much. It was agreed, as soon as we saw the disease was among us, that the three elder members of the Mission should alone come into communication with the sick. We kept watch in turns, but the Bishop insisted on taking a double share, i.e., he allowed us only to take regular watches in the night, undertaking the whole of the day's work, except during the afternoon when he was away with the Pitcairn people. He seemed quite at home in the hospital, almost always cheerful, always very tender, and generally very decided as to what was to be done. He was fond of doctoring, read a good deal of medical books, and knew a good deal of medical practice; but the weight of such a responsibility as belonged to the charge of many patients in a fever of this kind was certainly heavy upon him. The daily visit to the Pitcairn people on foot or on horseback was no doubt a relief, though hard work in itself. Of the four lads we lost, two, twins, had been some time christened, one was baptized before his death, the first who died had not been long with the Mission. It is characteristic of Bishop Patteson that I never heard him say a word that I remember of religion to one of the sick. On such things he would not, unless he was obliged, speak except with the patient alone.
'Before the sickness was quite over, the "Southern Cross" arrived for the winter voyage. The danger of carrying infection to the islands could not be incurred, and the vessel was sent back to Auckland for a time.'
The letters she carried back refer again to the growing anxiety about the 'labour traffic.'
'May 6th.--I am corresponding with a Wesleyan Missionary in Ovalau (Fiji) on a matter that you may see mentioned some day in the papers, a very questionable practice of importing from the Southern New Hebrides (principally Tanna) natives to work on the cotton plantations of white settlers in Fiji. It is all, as I am assured, under the regulation of the Consul at Ovalau, and "managed" properly. But I feel almost sure that there is, or will be, injuries done to the natives, who (I am sure) are taken away under false pretences. The traders don't know the Tannese language, and have no means of making the people understand any terms, and to talk of any contract is absurd. Yet, a large number of Tanna men, living on really well- conducted plantations, owned by good men, might lead to a nucleus of Christian Tannese. So says Mr. M. True, say I, if (!) you can find the good planters and well-conducted plantations. Mr. M. assures me that they (the Wesleyan Missionaries) are watching the whole thing carefully. He writes well and sensibly on the whole, and kindly asks me to visit his place, and judge for myself.
'Tanna is in the hands of the Nova Scotia Presbyterians--Mr. Greddie, Inglis, and others; but the adjacent islands we have always visited and considered ours, and of course a plague of this kind soon spreads. My letter to Mr. Attwood on the matter was read by Sir John Young and Commodore Lambert, and they expressed a warm interest in the matter. Mr. M. says that they think it would be well to accept some rule of conduct in the matter from the Commodore, which is, I think, likely to do good.'
By the 15th of June the glad intelligence was received that the hospital had been empty for a fortnight; and the house that was to have been carried to Mota was put up for the married couples, for whom it afforded separate sleeping rooms, though the large room was in common. Two weddings were preparing, and B---- and his wife had become reconciled.
'We may hope that this time it is not a case of two children, then unbaptized, living together, heathen fashion, obeying mere passion, ignorant of true love, but a sober, somewhat sad reunion of two clever and fairly-educated grown-up people, knowing much of life and its sad experience, understanding what they are about, and trying to begin again with prayer to God and purposes of a good life.'
This time of convalescence was a time of great progress. A deep impression had been made on many, and there was a strong spirit of enquiry among them. The Bishop then began a custom of preaching to his black scholars alone after the midday service, dismissing his five or six white companions after prayers, because he felt he could speak more freely and go more straight to the hearts of his converts and catechumens if he had no other audience.
The other inhabitants of the island suffered long after the St. Barnabas scholars were free, and deaths continued. It was impossible to enforce on such an undisciplined race the needful attention to cleanliness, or even care of the sick; the healthy were not kept apart, nor was the food properly prepared for the sick. It was impossible to stir or convince the easy-going tropical nature, and there was no authority to enforce sanitary measures, so the fever smouldered on, taking first one, then another victim, and causing entire separation from St. Barnabas, except as far as the Bishop was concerned.
Meantime, a house was being put up to receive Mr. Palmer's intended wife, the daughter of that Mr. Ashwell who had shared in the disastrous voyage when the 'Southern Cross' had been wrecked. She had been brought up to Mission work, and was likely to be valuable among the young girls. After this announcement, the Bishop continues:--
'My mind is now made up to take the great step of ordaining dear George Sarawia, for nine years my pupil, and for the last three or four my friend and helper. Codrington is only surprised that he is not ordained already. Humanly speaking, there can be no doubt of his steadfastness. He is, indeed, a thoroughly good conscientious man, humble without servility, friendly and at his ease without any forwardness, and he has a large share of good sense and clear judgment. Moreover, he has long held a recognised position with all here and in New Zealand, and for the last two years the Mota people and the neighbouring islanders have quite regarded him as one whom they recognise as their leader and teacher, one of our own race, yet not like us--different; he knows and does what we can't do and don't know."
'They quite look upon him as free from all the difficulties which attend a man's position as inheriting feuds, animosities, &c. He goes anywhere; when the island may be in a disturbed state, no one would hurt him; he is no partisan in their eyes, a man of other habits and thoughts and character, a teacher of all.
'I think, oh! with such feelings of thankfulness and hope too, of the first Melanesian clergyman! I should almost like to take him to Auckland, that the Bishop might ordain him; but he ought to be ordained here, in the presence of the Melanesians; and in the hasty confusion of the few weeks in New Zealand, George would be at a sad loss what to do, and the month of October is cold and raw. But you may get this just in time to think of his Ordination, and how you will pray for him! His wife Sara is a weakly body, but good, and she and I are, and always have been, great friends. She has plenty of good sense. Their one child, Simon, born in Norfolk Island some fourteen months ago, is a very nice-looking child, and healthy enough.
Meantime the spirit of enquiry and faith was making-marked progress. Mr. Codrington says: 'The stir in the hearts and minds of those already christened might be called a revival, and the enquiring and earnest spirit of many more seemed to be working towards conversions. During this time, there might be seen on the cliff or under the trees in the afternoon, or on Sundays, little groups gathered round some of the elder Christians, enquiring and getting help. It was the work that George evidently was enabled to do in this way that convinced everyone that the time had quite come for his Ordination. It is worth mentioning that the boys from one island, and one individual in particular, were much influenced by the last conversations of the first Christian who died here (Walter Hotaswol), who had told his friends to be "sure that all the Bishop had told them was true."'
This quickening and its results are further described in the ensuing letter, wherein is mention of the Bauro man Taroniara, the most remarkable of the present conversions, and destined three years after to die with the Bishop and Mr. Atkin.
'June 20, 9 P.M., 1868.
'My dear Sisters,--You know how I am thinking of him to-day. Seven years ago! I think that he seems more and more present to my mind than ever. How grateful it is to me to find the dear Bishop ever recurring to him in his sermons, &c.; but indeed we all have the great blessing and responsibility of being his children. The thought of meeting him again, if God be so merciful, comes over me sometimes in an almost overpowering way: I quite seem to see and feel as if kneeling by his side before the Great Glory, and even then thinking almost most of him. And then, so many others too--Mamma, Uncle James, Frank, &c., and you, dear Joan, think of your dear Mother. It seems almost too much. And then the mind goes on to think of the Saints of God in every generation, from one of the last gathered in (dear Mr. Keble) to the very first; and as we realise the fact that we may, by God's wonderful mercy, be companions, though far beneath the feet, of Patriarchs, and Apostles, and Martyrs, and even see Him as He is--it is too great for thought! and yet, thank God, it is truth.
'My heart is full too of other blessed thoughts. There seems to be a stirring of heart among our present set of scholars, the younger ones I mean; they come into my room after evening Chapel and school, one or two at a time, but very shy, sit silent, and at last say very softly, "Bishop, I wish to stop here for good."
'"I do wish to be good, to learn, to be like George and Henry and the rest."
'This morning I baptized Charlotte and Joanna. Charlotte will be married to Fisher on Wednesday, when Benjamin and Marion will also be married. Oh, what blessings are these! I spoke earnestly of the service in my preachment.
'Taroniara, from San Cristoval, said to me the other night, "Bishop, why is it that now I think as I never thought before? I can't tell quite what I think. You know I used to be willing to learn, but I was easily led away on my own island; but I think that I shall never wish again to listen to anything but the Word of God. I know I may be wrong, but I think I shall never be inclined to listen to anything said to me by my people to keep me from you and from this teaching. I feel quite different: I like and wish for things I never really used to care for; I don't care for what I used to like and live for. What is it?"
'"What do you think it is?"
'"I think--but it is so (mava) great--I think it is the Spirit of God in my heart."
'As for the Mota and Matlavo fellows, and the girls too, they have now good examples before them, and one and all wish to stop here as long as I please. And that being so, the return to their homes not being a return to purely heathen islands, I trust that they may soon be baptized. So my heart is full of thankfulness and wonder and awe.
'All this time I write with a full sense of the uncertainty of this and every human work. I know the Bishop is preaching on failures, and I try to think he is preaching to me.
'July 2nd, 8 A.M.--My dear Sisters, what a day we had yesterday! so full of happiness and thankfulness. It was the wedding-day of Fisher and Charlotte, Benjamin and Marion.
'The chapel was so prettily dressed up by Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice, under whose instructions some of the lads made evergreen ornaments, &c., large white arums and red flowers also.
'At 7 A.M. Morning- Prayers, as usual. At 9.30 the wedding. All the Melanesians in their places in Chapel; and as we came into the Chapel from my room, the 100th Psalm was chanted capitally. Mr. Codrington said he never was present at so thoroughly devotional a wedding. It was a really solemn religious service.
'Then I gave good presents to everyone in the school, even the smallest boys came in for a knife, beads, &c. Then cricket, for the day was beautifully fine, though it is midwinter. And all sorts of fun we had. Then a capital dinner, puddings, &c. Then cricket, running races, running in sacks (all for prizes), then a great tea, 7 P.M. Chapel, then native dances by a great bonfire. Then at 10 P.M. hot coffee and biscuits, then my little speech, presenting all our good wishes to the married couples, and such cheering, I hope it may be well remembered. The deeper feeling of it all is bearing fruit. Already lads and young men from the Solomon Islands say, "We begin to see what is meant by a man and woman living together." The solemnity of the service struck them much.
'The bridegrooms wore their Sunday dresses, nice tidy trousers of dark tweed, Crimean shirt, collar and tie, and blue serge coat. The brides, white jackets trimmed with a bit of red, white collar and blue skirts. All the answers quietly and reverently made; the whole congregation answering "Amen" to the word of blessing in an unmistakeable way. The 67th Psalm was chanted, of course.
'My plan is to have Psalms, with reading and singing to suit each day, regarded as commemorative of the great facts and doctrines, so that every week we read in chapel about forty Psalms, and sing about twelve hymns. These are pretty well known by heart, and form already a very considerable stock of Scriptural reference. The Resurrection and the Gift of the Spirit, the Nativity, Manifestation, Betrayal, Ascension, Crucifixion, Burial, with the doctrines connected with them, come in this way every week before their minds. I translated Psalms chosen with reference to this plan, and wrote hymns, &c. in the same way.
'I wish you could have been with us yesterday. It was really a strikingly solemn service. Then our fortnightly 7 A.M. Communions, our daily 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. Services, our Baptisms, yes and our burials too, all are so quiet, and there is so much reverence. You see that they have never learnt bad habits. A Melanesian scholar wouldn't understand how one could pray in any other posture than kneeling.
'The evening Catechumen classes, so happy. And then the dear fellows at their private prayers. The Chapel is always open, you know, and in the early morning and late evening little knots of three and four, or eight and ten, are kneeling about, quietly saying their prayers. The sick lads--dear Clement and Richard who died--as long as they could move, knelt up in hospital to say their prayers, and all but quite the new comers did the same. It was touching to see them, weak and in much pain, yet I did not of course tell them that they might as well pray as they lay on their rugs. Better for them even if it did a little exhaust them. It is no mere formal observance of a rule, for there never has been any rule about it. I have given them short simple prayers, and they first learn to kneel down with me here in my room, or with Codrington in his room, &c. But I merely said (long ago at Kohimarama), "You know you can always go into the Chapel whenever you like."
'Sometimes I do wish you could see them; but then unless you could talk with them, and indeed unless you knew the Melanesian mind and nature, you couldn't estimate these things rightly.
'But never did I feel so hopeful, though my old text is ever in my mind, Isaiah lx. 5: "Thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged." That's exactly it.
'July 18th.--To-morrow I baptize Taroniara, of San Cristoval, a young man full of promise. He has a wife and little girl of about four years old. He may become, by God's blessing, the teacher of the people of his island.'
(From a letter of the same date to myself, I add the further particulars about one who was to teach by his death instead of his life, and for whom the name of the first martyr was chosen):--
'He has been with me for some years, always good and amiable; but too good-natured, too weak, so that he did not take a distinct line with his people. He is a person of some consequence in his neighbourhood. Now he gives all the proofs that can well be given of real sincerity. He wonders himself, as he contrasts his present with his former thoughts. I feel, humanly speaking, quite convinced that he is thoroughly in earnest. His wife and little child are in the islands. "How foolish of me not to have listened to you, and brought them here at once. Then we could stop here for good." But he will return with them, all being well, or without them, if anything has happened to them, and I see in him, as I hope and pray, the pioneer for San Cristoval at last.
'(Resuming the home letter.) The language of Mota now is beginning to be a very fair channel for communicating accurate theological teaching. We have, of course, to a large extent made it so by assigning deeper meanings to existing words (we have introduced very few words). This is the case in every language. On Sunday night, if you had been here, and been able to understand my teaching on St. John vi. to the Communicants, you would have been surprised, I think. Something of Hooker's fifth book was being readily taken in by several of those present. An Old Testament history they don't learn merely as certain events. They quickly take up the meaning, the real connection. I use the "Sunday Teaching," or work them at all events on that plan. Well, you mustn't say too much of the bright side of the picture. It is so easy to misunderstand.
'The time has been bad for our "lambing." We have thirty-five lambs, looking well, and have lost, I think, nine. Yesterday a great event occurred. One of the cart-mares foaled; great was the satisfaction of the Melanesians at the little filly. Calves are becoming too common, as we have now fourteen or fifteen cows, and five more are owing to us for goods which the people take in exchange--not money, which would not suit them as well. We have fenced in plenty of grass, and I don't wan't to pay any more for keep. Of course, we use a good deal of salt beef on shore here, as well as seek to supply the "Southern Cross" on her voyages.
'It is pleasant to walk about and see the farm and gardens thriving. All being well, we shall have some 300 bananas next year, lots of sugar-canes; many fruit trees are being planted, pine-apples, coffee, &c. Guavas grow here like weeds. I don't care for these things; but the others do, and of course the scholars rejoice in them.
'I think of the islands, and see them in my waking dreams, and it seems as if nothing was done. But I think again of what it was only a very short time ago, and oh! I do feel thankful indeed, and amazed, and almost fearful. I should like much, if I am alive and well, to see my way to spending more of my time on the islands. But the careful training of picked scholars for future missionaries is, I am sure, the most important part of our work (though it must be combined as much as possible with residence in the islands). If I could feel that the school was well able to get on without me, I would be off to the islands for a good spell. On the other hand, I feel most strongly that my chief business is to make such provision as I may for the multiplication of native missionaries, and the future permanent development and extension of the Mission; and to do this, our best scholars must be carefully trained, and then we may hope to secure a competent staff of native clergymen for the islands.
'Mind, I am not disposed to act in a hasty way. Only I don't mean to let conventional notions about an English clergyman hinder my providing Melanesian islands with a Melanesian ministry. These scholars of ours know very much more, and I imagine possess qualifications of all kinds for their work in Melanesia, greater than the majority of the missionaries in the old missionary times.
'How many men did good work who could hardly read, only repeat a few portions of the Service-book, &c.!
'I need not say that we wish to educate them up to the maximum point of usefulness for their practical work. But, given earnestness and steadfastness of character, a fair amount of teaching power, and a sound knowledge of fundamental truths, of the Church Services, and the meaning and spirit of the Prayer-book, and we may surely trust that, by God's grace, they may execute the office of the Ministry to the glory of God, and the edification of the Church.
'They have now in Mota, in print, St. Luke, the Acts; soon will have St. John, which is all ready; the Prayer-book, save some of the Psalms, and a few other small portions. And in MS. they have a kind of manual of the Catechism, abstract of the Books of the Old Testament, papers on Prophecy, &c., &c. All this work, once done in Mota, is, without very much labour, to be transferred into Bauro, Mahaga, Mara, &c., &c. as I hope; but that is in the future.'
In the birthday letter to his sister Fanny, his chilly nature confesses that August cold was making itself felt; and it was becoming time for him to make a journey to the settled world, both on account of a small tumour under his eyelid, and of the state of his teeth. Moreover, no letters from home had reached him since the 2nd of March. But he writes on the 7th of September to his brother:--
'This does not a bit distress me. I like the freedom from all external excitement. It gives me uninterrupted time from my own work; and the world does not suffer from my ignorance of its proceedings. How you exist with all the abominations of daily papers, I can't imagine. Your life in England seems to be one whirl and bustle, with no real time for quiet thought and patient meditation, &c. And yet men do think and do great things, and it doesn't wear them out soon either. Witness Bishops and Judges, &c., living to eighty and even ninety in our own days.
'I like quiet and rest, and no railroads and no daily posts; and, above all, no visitors, mere consumers of time, mere idlers and producers of idleness. So, without any post, and nothing but a cart on wheels, save a wheelbarrow, and no visitors, and no shops, I get on very happily and contentedly. The life here is to me, I must confess, luxurious, because I have what I like, great punctuality, early hours, regular school work, regular reading, very simple living; the three daily meals in hall take about seventy minutes all put together, and so little time is lost; and then the climate is delightful. Too cold now, but then I ought to be in the islands. The thermometer has been as low as 56° in my room; and I am standing in my room and writing now with my great coat on, the thermometer being 67°.
'You know that I am not cut out for society, never was at my ease in it, and am glad to be out of it. I am seldom at my ease except among Melanesians: they and my books are my best companions. I never feel the very slightest desire for the old life. You know how I should like to see you dear ones, and...[others by name] but I couldn't stand more than a week in England, if I could transplant myself there in five minutes! I don't think this augurs any want of affection; but I have grown into this life; I couldn't change it without a most unpleasant wrench.'
The letter was at this point, when the 'Southern Cross' arrived, on September 10, to carry off the Bishop and Mr. Palmer: the one to the General Synod, and to take leave of his most loved and venerated friend; the other, to fetch his bride.
He arrived on the 18th of the month, looking ill, and much worn and even depressed, more so than Lady Martin had ever seen him, for the coming parting pressed heavily upon him. The eye and teeth were operated upon without loss of time, and successfully; but this, with the cold of the voyage, made him, in his own word, 'shaky,' and it was well that he was a guest at Taurarua, with Lady Martin to take care of him, feed him on food not solid, and prevent him on the ensuing Sunday from taking more than one of the three services which had been at once proffered to him.
It was no small plunge from the calm of St. Barnabas. 'We agree,' said Lady Martin, in a note within his envelope, 'that we cannot attempt to write letters just now. We are in a whirl, mental and bodily; one bit of blue sky has just shown itself, viz. that Coley may possibly stay on with us for a week or two after the Selwyns have left us. This really is proeter spem, and I mean to think that it will come to pass.'
But in all this bustle, he found time to enclose a kind little note to me; showing his sympathy with the sorrow of that summer, in my mother's illness:--
'Auckland. October 3, 1868.
'I add one line, my dear Cousin, to assure you of my prayers being offered for you, now more especially when a heavy trial is upon you and a deep sorrow awaiting you. May God comfort and bless you! Perhaps the full experience of such anxiety and the pressure of a constant weight may, in His good Providence, qualify you more than ever to help others by words put into your mouth out of your own heart-felt troubles.
'Yet in whatever form the sorrow comes, there is the blessing of knowing that she is only being mysteriously prepared for the life of the world to come. There is no real sorrow where there is no remorse, nor misery for the falling away of those we love. You have, I dare say, known (as I have) some who have the bitterness of seeing children turn out badly, and this is the sorrow that breaks one down.'
It was during these spring days of October, that last Sunday before the final parting, that being hindered by pouring rain from going with the Primate, who was holding a farewell service with the sick at the hospital, Bishop Patteson said the prayers in the private chapel. After these were ended (Lady Martin says), 'he spoke a few words to us. He spoke of our Lord standing on the shore of the Lake after His Resurrection; and he carried us, and I think himself too, out of the heaviness of sorrow into a region of peace and joy, where all conflict and partings and sin shall cease for ever. It was not only what he said, but the tones of his musical voice, and expression of peace on his own face, that hushed us into a great calm. One clergyman, who was present, told Sir William Martin that he had never known anything so wonderful. The words were like those of an inspired man.
'Three days after, our dear friends sailed. I will not dwell on the last service at St. Paul's Church, when more than four hundred persons received the Holy Communion, where were four Bishops administering in the body of the church and the transepts; but in the chancel, the Primate and his beloved son in the faith were partaking together for the last time of the Bread of Life.
'From the Church we accompanied our beloved friends to the ship, and drove back on a cold, dry evening, a forlorn party, to the desolate house. But from that time dear Bishop Patteson roused himself from his natural depression (for to whom could the loss be greater than to him?) and set himself to cheer and comfort us all. How gentle and sympathising he was! He let me give him nourishing things, even wine--which he had long refused to take--because I told him Mrs. Selwyn wished him to have it. Many hearts were drooping, and he no longer shrank from society, but went about from one to another in the kindest manner. I do not know how we could have got on without him. He loved to talk of the Bishop. In his humility he seemed to feel as if any power of usefulness in himself had been gained from him. It was like him to think of our Auckland poor at this time. They would so miss the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn. He prayed me to draw £50 a year for the next year or two, to be spent in any way I should think best. And he put it as a gift from his dear Father, who would have wished that money of his invested here should be used in part for the good of the townspeople. This did not include his subscriptions to the Orphan Home and other charities.'
To make his very liberal gifts in time of need in the name of his Father, was his favourite custom; as his former fellow-labourer, the Rev. B. T. Dudley, found when a case of distress in his own parish in the Canterbury Settlement called forth this ready assistance.
Perhaps the young Church of New Zealand has never known so memorable or so sorrowful a day as that which took from her her first Bishop: a day truly to be likened to that when the Ephesians parted with their Apostle at Miletus. The history of this parting Bishop Patteson had himself to read on Saturday, October 17, the twenty-seventh anniversary of Bishop Selwyn's Consecration. It was at the Celebration preceding the last meeting of the Synod, when Collect, Epistle, and Gospel were taken from the Order for the Consecration of Bishops; and as the latter says,--'He has always told me to officiate with him, and I had, by his desire, to read Acts xx. for the Epistle. I did read it without a break-down, but it was hard work.' Then followed the Sunday, before described by Lady Martin; and on Tuesday the 20th, that service in St. Mary's--the parting feast:--
'Then,' writes the younger Bishop, 'the crowded streets and wharf, for all business was suspended, public offices and shops shut, no power of moving about the wharf, horses taken from the carriage provided for the occasion, as a mixed crowd of English and Maoris drew them to the wharf. Then choking words and stifled efforts to say, "God bless you," and so we parted!
'It is the end of a long chapter. I feel as if "my master was taken from my head."
'Ah! well, they are gone, and we will try to do what we can.
'I feel rather no-how, and can't yet settle down to anything!'
But to the other sister on the same day comes an exhortation not to be alarmed if friends report him as 'not up to the mark.' How could it be otherwise at such a time? For truly it was the last great shock his affections sustained. In itself, it might not be all that the quitting home and family had been; but not only was there the difference between going and being left behind, but youth, with its spirit of enterprise and compensation, was past, and he was in a state to feel the pain of the separation almost more intensely than when he had walked from the door at Feniton, and gathered his last primrose at his mother's grave. Before leaving Auckland, the Bishop married the Rev. John Palmer to Miss Ashwell; and while they remained for a short time in New Zealand, he returned for the Ember Week.
'St. Thomas, Norfolk Island: December 21, 1868.
'My dear Cousin,--I must write you a few lines, not as yet in answer to your very interesting letter about Mr. Keble and about Ritualism, &c., but about our great event of yesterday.
'George Sarawia was ordained Deacon in our little chapel, in the presence of fifty-five Melanesians and a few Norfolk Islanders. With him Charles Bice, a very excellent man from St. Augustine's, was ordained Deacon also. He has uncommon gifts of making himself thoroughly at home with the Melanesians. It comes natural to him, there is no effort, nothing to overcome apparently, and they of course like him greatly. He speaks the language of Mota, the lingua franca here, you know.
'But what am I to say of George that you cannot imagine for yourself? It was in the year 1857 that the Bishop and I first saw him at Vanua Lava Island. He has been with us now ten years; I can truly say, that he has never given me any uneasiness. He is not the cleverest of our scholars; but no one possesses the confidence of us all in the same degree. True, he is the oldest of the party, he can hardly be less than twenty-six years old, for he had been married a year when first we saw him; but it is his character rather than his age which gives him his position. For a long time he has been our link with the Melanesians themselves whenever there was something to be done by one of themselves rather than by us strangers. Somehow the other scholars get into a way of recognising him as the A 1 of the place, and so also in Mota and the neighbouring islands his character and reputation are well known. The people expect him to be a teacher among them, they all know that he is a person of weight.
'The day was warm and fine.
'At 7.20 A.M. we had the Morning Service, chanting the 2nd Psalm. I read Isa. xlii. 5-12 for the First Lesson, and 1 Tim. iii. 8-13 for the Second, and the Collect in the Ordination Service before the Prayer of St. Chrysostom. Mr. Codrington, as usual, read the prayers to the end of the third Collect, after which we sang our Sunday hymn.
'At 11 A.M. we began the Ordination Service. One Epiphany hymn, my short sermon, then Mr. Codrington presented the candidates, speaking Mota for one and English for the other. The whole service was in Mota, except that I questioned Bice, and he answered in English, and I used the English words of Ordination in his case. George was questioned and answered in Mota, and then Bice in English, question by question. Mr. Nobbs was here and a few of the people, Mr. Atkin, Mr. Brooke, so we made a goodly little party of seven in our clerical supper.
'What our thoughts were you can guess as we ordained the first Melanesian clergyman. How full of thankfulness, of awe, of wonderment, the fulfilment of so much, the pledge of it, if it be God's will, of so much more! And not a little of anxiety, too--yet the words of comfort are many; and it does not need much faith, with so evident a proof of God's Love and Power and Faithfulness before our very eyes, to trust George in His Hands.
'The closing stanzas of the Ordination Hymn in the "Christian Year" comforted me as I read them at night; but I had peace and comfort, thank God, all through.
'Others, too, are pressing on. I could say, with truth, to them in the evening in the Chapel, "This is the beginning, only the beginning, the first fruit. Many blossoms there are already. I know that God's Spirit is working in the hearts of some of you. Follow that holy guidance, I pray always that you may be kept in the right way, and that you may be enabled to point it out to others, and to guide them in it."
'And yet no words can express what the recoil of the wave heathenism is, but "when the enemy shall come in like a flood," and it has indeed its own glorious word of Promise. It is like one who was once a drunkard and has left off drinking, and then once more tastes the old deadly poison, and becomes mad for drink; or like the wild furious struggles (as I suppose) of poor penitents in penitentiaries, when it seems as if the devil must whirl them back into sin. You know we see things which look like "possession," a black cloud settling down upon the soul, overwhelming all the hopeful signs for a time. And then, when I have my quiet talk with such an one (and only very few, and they not the best among us), he will say, "I can't tell, I didn't mean it. It was not I. What was it?" And I say, "It was the devil, seeking to devour you, to drag you back into the old evil dark ways." "It is awful, fearful." "Then you must gird your loins and pray the more, and remember that you are Christ's, that you belong to Him, that you are God's child, that Satan has no right to claim you now. Resist him in this name, in the strength of the Spirit whom Christ has sent to us from the Father, and he will flee from you."
'It is of course the same more or less with us all, but it comes out in, a shape which gives it terrible reality and earnestness. Only think, then, more than ever, of them and of me, and pray that "the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard against the enemy." At times we do seem to realise that it is a downright personal struggle for life or death.'
There the writer paused, and the next date is
'Christmas Day, 1868.
'My dearest Sisters,--What a happy happy day! At 12.5 A.M. I was awoke by a party of some twenty Melanesians, headed by Mr. Bice, singing Christmas carols at my bedroom door. It is a glass window, opening on to the verandah. 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 heathen scholars, took up as it were the strain. Their voices sounded so fresh and clear in the still midnight, the perfectly clear sky, the calm moon, the warm genial climate.
'I lay awake afterwards, thinking on the blessed change wrought in their minds, thinking of my happy happy lot, of how utterly undeserved it was and is, and (as is natural) losing myself in thoughts of God's wonderful goodness and mercy and love.
'Then at 4.45 A.M. I got up, a little later perhaps than usual. Codrington and Brooke were very soon at work finishing the decorations in the Chapel; branches of Norfolk Island pines, divers evergreens, pomegranates and oleanders and lilies (in handfuls) and large snow-white arums; on the altar-table arums above, and below lilies and evergreens. Oleanders and pomegranates marked the chancel arch. The rugs looked very handsome, the whole floor at the east end is covered with a red baize or drugget to match the curtains.
'7 A.M., Holy Communion. Six clergymen in surplices and fifteen other communicants. At 10 A.M., a short, very bright, joyful service, the regular Morning Prayers, Psalms xcv. xix. cx. all chanted. Proper Lessons, two Christmas hymns.
'Then games, cricket, prisoner's base, running races. Beef, pork, plum-puddings.
'Now we shall soon have evening Chapel, a great deal of singing, a few short words from me; then a happy, merry, innocent evening, native dances, coffee, biscuit, and snapdragons to finish with.
'If you had been here to-day, you would indeed have been filled with surprise and thankfulness and hope. There is, I do think, a great deal to show that these scholars of ours so connect religion with all that is cheerful and happy. There is nothing, as I think, sanctimonious about them. They say, "We are so happy here! How different from our lands!"
'And I think I can truly say that this is not from want of seriousness in those of an age to be serious.
'I pour this out to you in my happy day--words of hope and joy and thankfulness! But remember that I feel that all this should make me thoughtful as well as hopeful. How can I say but what sorrow and trial may even now be on their way hither? But I thank God, oh! I do thank Him for his great love and mercy, and I do not think it wrong to give my feelings of joy some utterance.'
With this year the Eucharist was administered weekly, the Melanesians still attending fortnightly; but it proved to have been a true foreboding that a sorrow was on its way:-
'January 8th.--A very joyful Christmas, but a sad Epiphany!
'U---, dearer to me than ever, has (I now hear from him) been putting himself in the way of temptation. I had noticed that he was not like himself, and spoke to him and warned him. I told him that if he wished to be married at once, I was quite willing to marry him; but he said they were too young, and yet he was always thinking of the young fiancee. Alas! he had too often (as he says) put himself in the way of temptation with his eyes open, and he fell. He was frightened, terrified, bewildered.
'Alas! it is our first great sorrow of the kind, for he was a Communicant of nearly three years' standing. Yet I have much comfort.
'I can have no doubt, 1st, that a fall was necessary, I believe fully. His own words (not suggested by me) were, "I tempted God often, and He let me fall; I don't mean He was the cause of it, it is of course only my fault; but I think I see that I might have gone on getting more and more careless and wandering further and further from Him unless I had been startled and frightened." And then he burst out, "Oh! don't send me away for ever. I know I have made the young ones stumble, and destroyed the happiness of our settlement here. I know I must not be with you all in Chapel and school and hall. I know I can't teach any more, I know that, and I am miserable, miserable. But don't tell me I must go away for ever. I can't bear it! "
'I did manage to answer almost coldly, for I felt that if I once let loose my longing desire to let him see my real feeling, I could not restrain myself at all. "Who wishes to send you away, U--? It is not me whom you have displeased and injured."
'"I know. It is terrible! But I think of the Prodigal Son. Oh! I do long to go back! Oh! do tell me that He loves me still."
'Poor dear fellow! I thought I must leave him to bear his burthen for a time. We prayed together, and I left him, or rather sent him away from my room, but he could neither eat nor sleep.
'The next day his whole manner, look, everything made one sure (humanly speaking) that he was indeed truly penitent; and then when I began to speak words of comfort, of God's tender love and compassion, and told him how to think of the Lord's gentle pity when He appeared first to the Magdalene and Peter, and when I took his hand in the old loving way, poor fellow, he broke down more than ever, and cried like a child.
'Ah! it is very sad; but I do think he will be a better, more steadfast man: he has learnt his weakness, and where to find strength, as he never had before. And the effect on the school is remarkable. That there should be so much tenderness of conscience and apprehension of the guilt of impurity among the children of the heathen in among many brought up in familiarity with sin, is a matter for much thankfulness.'
To this may well be added an extract from Joseph Atkin's journal, showing his likemindedness both in thoughtfulness and charity:--
'I feel quite sure that we must be prepared for many such cases. The whole associations and training of the early lives of these people must influence them as long as they live. The thought of what my mother and sister would think, never occur to them as any influence for good; and although this may be said to be a low motive for doing right, it is a very powerful one, and it is more tangible because it is lower.
'The Bishop, in speaking of it to-day, told the boys that they ought not to do right to please him, but because it was right to please God; but I can't help thinking that pleasing the Bishop may and can help the other very much. Is it not right for a child to do right to please its parents, and for older children too to be helped by the thought that they are pleasing those they love and honour?
'We had a council to-day of all the Church members to talk about how U--- was to be treated. For himself, poor fellow, I should think kindness would be harder to bear than neglect.
'Mr. Codrington says, "On this occasion all the male Communicants went together to some little distance, where a group of boulders under the pines gave a convenient seat. The Bishop set out the case, and asked what was the opinion of the elder boys as to the treatment of the offender. They were left alone to consider; and when we came back, they gave their judgment, that he should not eat in the hall at what may be called the high table, that he should not teach in school, and should not come into Chapel."
'This was of course what was intended, but the weight of the sentence so given was greater with the school, and a wholesome lesson given to the judges. How soon the Bishop's severity, which never covered his pity, gave way to his affection for one of his oldest and dearest pupils, and his tenderness for the penitent, and how he took a large share of blame upon himself, just where it was not due, can well be understood by all who knew him.'
There was soon a brighter day. On January 25, writes Mr. Atkin:--
'We had a great day. In the morning some who were baptized last summer were confirmed, and at night there were baptized three girls and thirteen boys. Most of them were quite little fellows. I don't think any of us will easily forget their grave and sober but not shy looks, as one by one they stepped up to the Bishop. I think that all understood and meant what they said, that Baptism was no mere form with them, but a real solemn compact. All who were in my class (nine), or the Sunday morning school, were baptized in the evening. While we were standing round the font, I thought of you at home, and half wished that you could have seen us there. I was witness for my son (Wate); he was called Joseph, so that I shall lose my name that I have kept so long.'
Joseph Wate, the little Malanta boy, was always viewed by the Atkin family as a kind of child, and kept up a correspondence with his godfather's sister, Mother Mary as he called her.
On the same day the Bishop wrote to Judge Pohlman:-
'My very dear Friend,--I must not let our correspondence drop, and the less likely it seems to be that we may meet, the more I must seek to retain your friendship, by letting you know not only the facts that occur here, but my thoughts and hopes and fears about them.'
(Then, after mentioning the recent transgression, the letter continues respecting the youth.)
'His fright and terror, his misery and deep sorrow, and (I do believe) godly repentance, make me say that he is still, as I trust, one of our best scholars. But it is very sad. For three weeks he did not come even into chapel with us. He not only acquiesced, but wished that it should be so.
'Last Saturday evening he was readmitted, without any using of fine names. I did as a matter of fact do what was the practice of the early Christians, and is recognised in our Ash Wednesday service now. It was very desirable that great notice should be taken of the commission of an act which it is hard for a heathen to understand to be an act of sin, and the effect upon the whole school of the sad and serious way in which this offence was regarded has been very good.
'In the circumstances it is so easy to see how the discipline of the early Church was not an artificial, but a necessary system, though by degrees elaborated in a more complicated manner. But I find, not seldom, that common sense dictates some course which afterwards I come across in Bingham, or some such writer, described as a usage of the early Christians.
'In our English nineteenth century life such practices could hardly be reintroduced with benefit. Yet something which might mark open offences with the censure of the Christian Body is clearly desirable when you can have it; and of course with us there is no difficulty whatever.
'I cannot be surprised, however deeply grieved at this sad occurrence; and though it is no comfort to think how many English persons would think nothing of this, and certainly not show the deep compunction and sorrow which this poor fellow shows, yet, as a matter of fact, how few young Englishmen are there who would think such an act, as this young Melanesian thinks it to be, a grievous sin against God, and matter for continual sorrow and humiliation. So I do rejoice that he is sorrowing after a godly sort.
'In other respects there is a very hopeful promising appearance just now. We number seven clergymen, including myself. We have a very efficient band of Melanesian teachers, and could at this moment work a school of 150 scholars.
'George Sarawia will (D.V.) start with a little company of Christian friends at his own island. The scholars from all the different islands fraternise excellently well, and in many cases the older and more advanced have their regular chums, by private arrangement among themselves, whom they help, and to whose islands they are quite prepared to be sent, if I think fit so to arrange; and I really do believe that from the Banks Islands we may send out missionaries to many of the Melanesian islands, as from Samoa and Karotonga they have gone out to the islands of the Eastern Pacific. Humanly speaking, I see no difficulty in our drawing into our central school here any number of natives that we can support, from the New Hebrides, Banks and Solomon Islands, and I trust soon from the Santa Cruz Islands also.
'Here must be the principal work, the training up missionaries and steadfast Christian men and women, not of ability sufficient to become themselves missionaries, but necessary to strengthen the hands of their more gifted countrymen. This training must be carried on here, but with it must be combined a frequent visitation and as lengthened sojourns in the islands as possible. The next winter we hope that the Rev. J. Atkin will be some time at San Cristoval, the Rev. C. H. Brooke at Florida, the Rev. J. Palmer at Mota. But I am more than ever convinced that the chiefest part of our work is to consist in training up Melanesian clergymen, and educating them up to the point of faithfully reproducing our simple teaching. We must hope to see native self-supporting Melanesian Churches, not weak indolent Melanesians dependent always on an English missionary, but steadfast, thoughtful men and women, retaining the characteristics of their race so far as they can be sanctified by the Word of God in prayer, and not force useless imitations of English modes of thought and nineteenth century civilisation.
'It is sometimes a consequence of our national self-conceit, sometimes of want of thought, that no consideration is shown to the characteristic native way of regarding things. But Christianity is a universal religion, and assimilates and interpolates into its system all that is capable of regeneration and sanctification anywhere.
'Before long I hope to get something more respectable in the way of a report printed and circulated. It seems unreasonable to say so, but really I have very little time that I can spare from directly Melanesian work, what with school, translations, working out languages, and (thank God) the many, many hours spent in quiet interviews with Melanesians of all ages and islands, who come to have private talks with me, and to tell me of their thoughts and feelings. These are happy hours indeed. I must end. Always, my dear friend, affectionately and sincerely yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The readmission thus mentioned was by the imposition of hands, when the penitent was again received, and his conduct ever since has proved his repentance true.
February brought Mr. and Mrs. Palmer to their new home, and carried away Mr. Codrington for a holiday. The budget of letters sent by this opportunity contained a remarkable one from young Atkin. Like master, like scholar:-
'February 24, 1869.
'My dear Mother,--You must not think about my coming back; I may have to do it, but if I do, it will seem like giving up the object of my life. I did not enter upon this work with any enthusiasm, and it is perhaps partly from that cause that I am now so attached to it that little short of necessity would take me away; my own choice, I think, never. I know it is much harder for you than for me. I wish I could lighten it to you, but it cannot be. It is a great deal more self- denial for you to spare me to come away than for me to come away. You must think, like David, "I will not offer unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing." If you willingly give Him what you prize most, however worthless the gift may be, He will prize it for the willingness with which it is given. If it had been of my own choosing that I came away, I should often blame myself for having made a selfish choice in not taking harder and more irksome work nearer home, but it came to me without choosing. I can only be thankful that God has been so good to me.'
Well might the Bishop write to the father, 'I thank you in my heart for Joe's promise.'
How exactly his own spirit, in simple, unconscious self-abnegation and thorough devotion to the work. How it chimes in with this, written on the self-same morning to the Bishop of Lichfield:-
'St. Matthias Day, 6.45 A.M., 1869.
My dear Bishop,--You do not doubt that I think continually of you, yet I like you to have a line from me to-day. We are just going into Chapel, altering our usual service to-day that we may receive the Holy Communion with special remembrance of my Consecration and special prayer for a blessing on the Mission. There is much to be thankful for indeed, much also that may well make the retrospect of the last eight years a somewhat sad and painful one as far as I am myself concerned. It does seem wonderful that good on the whole is done. But everything is wonderful and full of mystery....
'It is rather mean of me, I fear, to get out of nearly all troubles by being here. Yet it seems to me very clear that the special work of the Mission is carried on more conveniently (one doesn't like to say more successfully) here, and my presence or absence is of no consequence when general questions are under discussion....
'Your very affectionate
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The same mail brought a letter to Miss Mackenzie, with much valuable matter on Mission work:-
'February 26, 1869.
'Dear Miss Mackenzie,--I have just read your letter to me of April 1867, which I acknowledged, rather than answered, long ago.
'I can't answer it as it deserves to be answered now. I think I have already written about thirty-five letters to go by this mail, and my usual work seldom leaves me a spare hour.
'But I am truly thankful for the hopes that seem to show themselves through the mists, in places where all Christian men must feel so strong an interest. I do hope to hear that the new Bishopric may soon be founded, on which Mr. Robertson and you and others have so set your hearts. That good man! I often think of him, and hope soon to send him, through you, £10 from our Melanesian offertory.
'You know we have, thank God, thirty-nine baptized Melanesians here, of whom fifteen are communicants, and one, George Sarawia, a clergyman. He was ordained on December 20.
'There are many little works usually going ons which I don't consider it fair to reckon among the regular industrial work of the Mission. I pay the young men and lads and boys small sums for such things, and I think it right to teach the elder ones the use of money by giving them allowances, out of which they buy their clothing, &c., when necessary, all under certain regulations. I say this that you may know that our weekly offertory is not a sham. No one knows what they give, or whether they give or not. A Melanesian takes the offertory bason, and they give or not as they please. I take care that such moneys as are due to them shall be given in 3d., 4d., and 6d. pieces.
'Last year our offertory rather exceeded £40, and it is out of this that my brother will now pay you £10 for the Mackenzie fund. I write all this because you will like to think that some of this little offertory comes bond fide from Melanesians.
'...You take me to mean, I hope, that Christianity is the religion for mankind at large, capable of dealing with the spiritual and bodily needs of man everywhere.
'It is easy for us now to say that some of the early English Missions, without thinking at all about it, in all probability, sought to impose an English line of thought and religion on Indians and Africans. Even English dress was thought to be almost essential, and English habits, &c., were regarded as part of the education of persons converted through the agency of English Missions. All this seems to be burdening the message of the Gospel with unnecessary difficulties. The teacher everywhere, in England or out of it, must learn to discriminate between essentials and non-essentials. It seems to me self-evident that the native scholar must be educated up to the highest point that is possible, and that unless one is (humanly speaking) quite sure that he can and will reproduce faithfully the simple teaching he has received, he ought not to teach, much less to be ordained.
'All our elder lads and girls here teach the younger ones, and we know what they teach. Their notes of our lessons are brought to me, books full of them, and there I see what they know; for if they can write down a plain account of facts and doctrines, that is a good test of their having taken in the teaching. George Sarawia's little essay on the doctrine of the Communion is to me perfectly satisfactory. It was written without my knowledge. I found it in one of his many note-books accidentally.
'As for civilisation, they all live entirely with us, and every Melanesian in the place, men and women, boys and girls, three times a day take their places with all of us in hall, and use their knives and forks, plates, cups and saucers (or, for the passage, one's pannikins) just as we do. George and two others, speaking for themselves and their wives, have just written out, among other things, in a list which I told them to make out: plates, cups, saucers, knives, forks, spoons, tubs, saucepans, kettles, soap, towels, domestic things for washing, ironing, &c.
'The common presents that our elder scholars take or send to their friends include large iron pots for cooking, clothing, &c. They build improved houses, and ask for small windows, &c., to put in them, boxes, carpet bags for their clothes, small writing desks, note-books, ink, pens. They keep their best clothes very carefully, and on Sundays and great days look highly respectable. And for years we know no instance of a baptized Melanesian throwing aside his clothing when taking his holiday at home.
'As far as I can see my way to any rule in the matter, it is this: all that is necessary to secure decency, propriety, cleanliness, health, &c., must be provided for them. This at once involves alteration of the houses, divisions, partitions. People who can read and write, and cut out and sew clothes, must have light in their houses. This involves a change of the shape and structure of the hut. They can't sit in clean clothes on a dirty floor, and they can't write, or eat out of plates and use cups, &c., without tables or benches, and as they don't want to spend ten hours in sleep or idle talk, they must have lamps for cocoa-nut and almond oil.
'These people are not taught to adopt these habits by word of mouth. They live with us and do as we do. Two young married women are sitting in my room now. I didn't call them in, nor tell them what to do. "We didn't quite understand what you said last night." "Well, I have written it out,--there it is." They took, as usual, the MS., sat down, just as you or anyone would do, at the table to read it, and are now making their short notes of it. Anyone comes in and out at any time, when not at school, chapel, or work, just as they please. We each have our own sitting-room, which is in this sense public property, and of course they fall into our ways.
'There is perhaps no such thing as teaching civilisation by word of command, nor religion either. The sine qua non for the missionary-- religious and moral character assumed to exist--is the living with his scholars as children of his own. And the aim is to lift them up, not by words, but by the daily life, to the sense of their capacity for becoming by God's grace all that we are, and I pray God a great deal more; not as literary men or scholars, but as Christian men and women, better suited than we are for work among their own people. "They shall be saved even as we." They have a strong sense of and acquiescence in, their own inferiority. If we treat them as inferiors, they will always remain in that position of inferiority.
'But Christ humbled Himself and became the servant and minister that He might make us children of God and exalt us.
'It is surely very simple, but if we do thus live among them, they must necessarily accept and adopt some of our habits. Our Lord led the life of a poor man, but He raised His disciples to the highest pitch of excellence by His Life, His Words, and His Spirit, the highest that man could receive and follow. The analogy is surely a true one. And exclusiveness, all the pride of race must disappear before such considerations.
'But it is not the less true that He did not make very small demands upon His disciples, and teach them and us that it needs but little care and toil and preparation to be a Christian and a teacher of Christianity. The direct contrary to this is the truth.
'The teacher's duty is to be always leading on his pupils to higher conceptions of their work in life, and to a more diligent performance of it. How can he do this if he himself acquiesces in a very imperfect knowledge and practice of his duty?
'"And yet the mass of mediaeval missionaries could perhaps scarce read." That may be true, but that was not an excellence but a defect, and the mass of the gentry and nobility could not do so much. They did a great work then. It does not follow that we are to imitate their ignorance when we can have knowledge.
'But I am wasting your time and mine.
'Yours very truly,
'J. C. PATTESON.
'P.S.--George and his wife and child, Charles and his wife, Benjamin and his wife, will live together at Mota on some land I have bought. A good wooden house is to be put up by us this winter (D.V.) with one large room for common use, school, &c., and three small bed-rooms opening on to a verandah. One small bed-room at the other end which any one, two or three of us English folks can occupy when at Mota. I dare say, first and last, this house will cost seventy or eighty pounds.
'Then we hope to have everything that can be sown and planted with profit in a tropical climate, first-class breed of pigs, poultry, &c., so that all the people may see that such things are not neglected. These things will be given away freely-settings of eggs, young sows, seeds, plants, young trees, &c. All this involves expense, quite rightly too, and after all, I dare say that dear old George will cost about a sixth or an eighth of what we English clergymen think necessary. I dare say £25 per annum will cover his expenses.'
On Easter Sunday the penitent was readmitted to the Lord's Table. A happy letter followed:-
'Easter Tuesday, 1869.
'My dearest Sisters,--Another opportunity of writing. I will only say a word about two things. First, our Easter and the Holy Week preceding it; secondly, how full my mind has been of Mr. Keble, on his two anniversaries, Holy Thursday and March 29. And I have read much of the "Christian Year," and the two letters I had from him I have read again, and looked at the picture of him, and felt helped by the memory of his holy saintly life, and I dared to think that it might be that by God's great mercy in Christ, I might yet know him and other blessed Saints in the Life to come.
'Our Holy Week was a calm solemn season. All the services have long been in print. Day by day in school and chapel we followed the holy services and acts of each day, taking Ellicott's "Historical Lectures" as a guide.
'Each evening I had my short sermonet, and we sought to deepen the impressions made evidently upon our scholars by whatever could make it a real matter of life and death to them and us. Then came Good Friday and Easter Eve, during which the Melanesians with Mr. Brooke were busily engaged in decorating the Chapel with fronds of tree- ferns, bamboo, arums, and oleander blossoms.
'Then, at 7 A.M. on Easter Morning, thirty of us--twenty-one, thank God, being Melanesians--met in Chapel for the true Easter Feast.
'Then, at 11 A.M., how we chanted Psalms ii, cxiii, cxiv, and Hymn, and the old Easter Hallelujah hymn to the old tune with Mota words. Then at 7 P.M. Psalms cxviii, cxlviii, to joyful chants, and singing Easter and other hymns.
'So yesterday and so to-day. The short Communion Service in the morning with hymn, and in the evening we chant Psalm cxviii, and sing out our Easter hymn. Ah well! it makes my heart very full. It is the season of refreshing, perhaps before more trails.
'Dear U--- was with us again on Easter morn, a truly repentant young man, I verily believe, feeling deeply what in our country districts is often not counted a sin at all to be a foul offence against his Father and Saviour and Sanctifier.
'Six were there for their first Communion, among them honest old Stephen Taroniara, the first and only communicant of all the Solomon Isles--of all the world west of Mota, or east of any of the Bishop of Labuan's communicants. Think of that! What a blessing! What a thought for praise and hope and meditation!
'I sit in my verandah in the moonlight and I do feel happy in spite of many thoughts of early days which may well make me feel unhappy.
'But I do feel an almost overpowering sensation of thankfulness and peace and calm tranquil happiness, which I know cannot last long. It would not, I suppose, be good: anyhow it will soon be broken by some trial which may show much of my present state to be a delusion. Yet I like to tell you what I think, and I know you will keep it to yourselves.
'Good-bye, and all Easter blessings be with you.
'Your loving brother,
'J. C. PATTESON '
The island voyage was coming near, and was to be conducted, on a larger scale, after the intermission of a whole year. Mr. Brooke was to make some stay at Florida, Mr. Atkin at Wango in Bauro, and the Bishop himself was to take the party who were to commence the Christian village at Mota, while Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice remained in charge of twenty-seven Melanesians. The reports of the effects of the labour traffic were becoming a great anxiety, and not only the Fiji settlers, but those in Queensland were becoming concerned in it.
The 'Southern Cross' arrived in June, but the weather was so bad that, knocking about outside the rocks, she sustained some damage, and could not put her freight ashore for a week. However, on the 24th she sailed, and put down Mr. Atkin at Wango, the village in Bauro where the Bishop had stayed two years previously.
Mr. Atkin gives a touching description of Taroniara's arrival:--
'Stephen was not long in finding his little girl, Paraiteka. She was soon in his arms. The old fellow just held her up for the Bishop to see, and then turned away with her, and I saw a handkerchief come out privately and brush quickly across his eyes, and in a few minutes he came back to us.'
The little girl's mother, for whose sake Taroniara had once refused to return to school, had been carried off by a Maran man; and as the heathen connection had been so slight, and a proper marriage so entirely beyond the ideas of the native state, it was thought advisable to leave this as a thing of heathen darkness, and let him select a girl to be educated into becoming fit for his true wife.
Besides Stephen, Joseph Wate and two other Christian lads were with Mr. Atkin, and he made an expedition of two days' visit to Wate's father. At Ulava he found that dysentery had swept off nearly all the natives, and he thought these races, even while left to themselves, were dying out. 'But,' adds the brave man in his journal, 'I will never, I hope, allow that because these people are dying out, it is of no use or a waste of time carrying the Gospel to them. It is, I should rather say, a case where we ought to be the more anxious to gather up the fragments.'
So he worked on bravely, making it an object, if he could do no more, to teach enough to give new scholars a start in the school, and to see who were most worth choosing there. He suffered a little loss of popularity when it was found that he was not a perpetual fountain of beads, hatchets, and tobacco, but he did the good work of effecting a reconciliation between Wango and another village named Hane, where he made a visit, and heard a song in honour of Taroniara. He was invited to a great reconciliation feast; which he thus describes, beginning with his walk to Hane by short marches:--
'We waited where we overtook Taki, until the main body from Wango came up. They charged past in fine style, looking very well in their holiday dress, each with his left hand full of spears, and one brandished in the right. It looked much more like a fighting party than a peace party; but it is the custom to make peace with the whole army, to convince the enemy that it is only for his accommodation that they are making peace, and not because they are afraid to fight him. It was about 12 o'clock when we reached the rendezvous. There was a fine charge of all, except a dozen of the more sedate of the party; they rattled their spears, and ran, and shouted, and jumped, even crossing the stream which was the neutral ground. We halted by the stream for some time; at last some Hane people came to their side; there was a charge again almost up to them, but they took it coolly. At about 10 o'clock the whole body of the Hane men came, and two or three from Wango went across to them. I was tired of waiting, and asked Taki if I should go. "Yes, and tell them to bring the money," he said.
'While I was wading through the stream, the Hane men gathered up and advanced; I turned back with them. They rushed, brandishing their spears, to within ten or twelve paces of the Wango party, who had joined into a compact body, and so seated themselves as soon as they saw the movement.
'Kara, a Hane man, made his speech, first running forwards and backwards, shaking his spear all the time; and at the end, he took out four strings of Makira money, and gave it to Taki. Hane went back across the stream; and Wango went through the same performance, Taki making the speech. He seemed a great orator, and went on until one standing by him said, "That's enough," when he laughed, and gave over. He gave four strings of money, two shorter than the others, and the shortest was returned to him, I don't know why; but in this way the peace was signed.'
After nineteen days, during which the Bishop had been cruising about, Mr. Atkin and his scholars were picked up again, and likewise Mr. Brooke, who had been spending ten days at Florida with his scholars, in all thirty-five; and then ensued a very tedious passage to the Banks Islands, for the vessel had been crippled by the gale off Norfolk Island, and could not be pressed; little canvas was carried, and the weather was unfavourable.
However, on September 6, Mota was safely reached; and great was the joy, warm the welcome of the natives, who eagerly assisted in unloading the vessel, through storms of rain and surf.
The old station house was in entire decay; but the orange and lemon trees were thirty feet high, though only the latter in bearing.
The new village, it was agreed, should bear the name of Kohimarama, after the old home in New Zealand, meaning, in Maori, 'Focus of Light.' After landing the goats, the Bishop, Mr. Atkin, and five more crossed to Valua. They were warmly welcomed at Ara, where their long absence had made the natives fancy they must all be dead. The parents of Henry, Lydia, and Edwin were the first to approach the boat, eager to hear of their children left in Norfolk Island; and the mother walked up the beach with her arm round Mr. Atkin's neck. But here it appeared that the vessels of the labour traffic had come to obtain people to work in the cotton plantations in Queensland, and that they had already begun to invite them in the name of the Bishop, whose absence they accounted for by saying his ship had been wrecked, he had broken his leg, he had gone to England, and sent them to fetch natives to him. No force had been used as yet, but there was evident dread of them; and one vessel had a Mota man on board, who persuaded the people to go to Sydney. About a hundred natives had been taken from the islands of Valua, Ara, and Matlavo, and from Bligh Island twenty-three were just gone, but Mota's inaccessibility had apparently protected it. It will be remembered that it has a high fortification of coral all round the beach, with but one inconvenient entrance, and that the people are little apt to resort to canoes. This really has hitherto seemed a special Providence for this nucleus of Christianity.
They spent the night at Ara, making a fire on the sandy beach, where they boiled their chocolate, and made gravy of some extract of meat to season their yam, and supped in public by firelight, reclining upon mats. Afterwards they went up to the Ogamal, or barrack tent: it was not an inviting bed-chamber, being so low that they could only kneel upright in it, and so smoky that Stephen remarked, 'We shall be cooked ourselves if we stay here,' proving an advance in civilisation. One of the private houses was equally unattractive, and the party slept on the beach.
The next morning they started to walk round the island: taking two cork beds, a portmanteau and a basket of provisions; stopping wherever a few people were found, but it was a thinly peopled place, and the loss of the men carried off was sensibly felt.
One village had had a fight with a boat's crew from Sydney. They made no secret of it, saying that they would not have their men taken away; and they had been sharp enough to pour water into the guns before provoking the quarrel.
Further on there was a closer population, where the Bishop was enthusiastically welcomed, and an Ogamal was found, making a good shelter for the night. Then they returned to Ara, where Mr. Atkin notes, in the very centre of the island, a curious rock, about 200 feet high, and on the top, 20 or 30 feet from the nearest visible soil, a she-oak stump, and two more green and flourishing a little below. The rock was of black scoriae, too hot in the middle of the day to sit upon, and near it was a pool of water. 'Such water, so rotten.' The water used by the visitors had been brought from Auckland. The natives do not trouble water much, I don't think they ever drink it, and they certainly don't look as if they ever washed.
On the following day they recrossed to Vanua Lava, where they spent a quiet calm Sunday in the vessel, landing in the afternoon to see Fisher Young's grave, which they found well kept and covered with a pretty blue creeper.
The next Sunday they spent at Kohimarama: beginning with Celebration at 7.30 A.M., and in the afternoon making the circuit of the island, about ten miles. In one place Mr. Atkin bent over the edge of the natural sea wall, and saw the sea breaking 150 or 200 feet below!
After a fortnight spent in this manner, he and the other two clergymen carried off their Melanesians to Norfolk Island, leaving the Bishop to be fetched away in a month's time. Here is the letter written during his solitude:--
'Kohimarama, Mota Island: September 23, 1869.
'My dearest Joan and Fan,--Here I am sitting in a most comfortable house in our new Kohimarama, for so the Melanesians determine to call our station in Mota. The house is 48 feet by 18, with a 9-foot verandah on two sides. It has one large room, a partition at each end, one of which is subdivided into two small sleeping rooms for George and his wife, and Charles and his wife. There is no ceiling, so that we have the full advantage of the height of the house, and plenty of ventilation, as the space beyond where the roof comes down upon the wall plates is left open.
'The verandah is a grand lounging place; very commodious for school also, when other classes fill the large room, and a delightful place to sit or lie about on in this genial warm climate. These bright moonlight nights are indeed delicious. The mosquito gives no trouble here to speak of. The cocoa-nut trees, the bread-fruit trees, yam gardens, and many kinds of native trees and shrubs, are all around us; the fine wooded hill of Mota shows well over the house. The breeze always plays round it; and though it is very hot, it is only when the wind comes from the north and north-west, as in the midsummer, that the heat is of an oppressive and sickly nature.
'About twenty lads and young men live here, and about forty attend daily school; but I think there is every indication of all Mota sending its young people here as soon as we have our crops of yams, &c., &c., to provide sufficient food. Improved native huts will, I think, soon be built over our little estate here.
'Many girls I hope to take to Norfolk Island. They could hardly be brought together with safety to this place yet. The parents see and admit this, and consent to my taking them. I tell them that their sons will not marry ignorant heathen girls (their sons I mean who have been and are still with us); that all the young fellows growing up at Kohimarama must have educated wives provided for them, and that I must therefore take away many young girls with me to Norfolk Island. The fashion here is to buy at an early age young girls for their sons, though occasionally a girl may be found not already betrothed, but almost grown up. I now say, "I want to train up wives for my sons," and the fashion of the place allows of my buying or appropriating them. You would be amused to see me engaged in this match-making. It is all the same a very important matter, for clearly it is the best way to secure, as I trust, the introduction of Christian family life among these people.
'George and I are satisfied that things are really very promising here. Of course, much old heathen ignorance, and much that is very wrong, will long survive. So you recollect perhaps old Joe (great- Uncle Edward's coachman) declaring that C. S. as a witch, and there is little proof of practical Christianity in the morals of our peasants of the west, and of Wales especially.
'It is not that one should acquiesce in what is wrong here, but one ought not to be surprised at it. Public opinion, the constraint of law, hereditary notions, are more effective in preventing the outbreak of evil passions into criminal acts in very many cases and districts in England.
'Now these restraints are, indeed, indirect consequences of Christianity, but do not imply any religion in the individuals who are influenced by them. These restraints don't exist here. If they did, I think these Mota people now would live just as orderly decent lives as average English folk. Christianity would not be a vigorous power in the one case or in the other. Exceptional cases would occur here and there.
'If I am asked for proofs of the "conversion" of this people, I should say, "Conversion from what to what?" and then I should say, "Ask any close observer in England about the commercial and social morality existing in not only the most ignorant ranks of society: how much is merely formal, and therefore, perhaps, actually detrimental to a true spirit of religion! Here you don't find much that you associate with religion in England, in the external observances of it; but there are not a few ignorant people (I am not speaking of our trained scholars) who are giving up their old habits, adopting new ways, accepting a stricter mode of life, foregoing advantages of one kind and another, because they believe that this "Good news," this Gospel, is true, and because the simple truths of Christianity are, thank God, finding some entrance into their hearts.
'I dread the imposition from without of some formal compliances with the externals of religion while I know that the meaning and spirit of them cannot as yet be understood. Can there be conceived anything more formal, more mischievous, than inculcating a rigid Sabbatarian view of the Lord's Day upon a people who don't know anything about the Cross and the Resurrection? Time enough to talk about the observance when the people have some knowledge of the vital living truth of a spiritual religion.
'So about clothing. If I tried to do it, I think I could make the people here buy, certainly accept, and wear, clothing. With what result at present? That they would think that wearing a yard of unbleached calico was a real evidence of the reception of the new teaching.
'Such things are, in this stage of Mission work, actually hurtful. The mind naturally takes in and accepts the easy outward form, and by such treatment you actually encourage it to do so, and to save itself the trouble of thinking out the real meaning and teaching which must of course be addressed to the spirit.
'These outward things all follow as a matter of course after a time, as consequences of the new power and light felt in the soul; but they may be so spoken of as to become substitutes for the true spiritual life, and train up a people in hypocrisy.
'I beg your pardon really for parading all these truisms. Throw it in the fire.
'I don't for a moment mean or think that religion is to be taught by mere prudence and common sense. But a spiritual religion is imperilled the moment that you insist upon an unspiritual people observing outward forms which are to them the essence of the new teaching. Anything better than turning heathens into Pharisees! What did our Lord call the proselytes of the Pharisee and the Scribe?
'And while I see and love the beauty of the outward form when it is known and felt to be no more than the shrine of the inward spiritual power; while I know that for highly advanced Christians, or for persons trained in accurate habits of thought, all that beauty of holiness is needful; yet I think I see that the Divine wisdom of the Gospel would guard the teacher against presenting the formal side of religion to the untaught and ignorant convert. "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth," is the great lesson for the heathen mind chained down as it is to things of sense.
'"He that hateth his brother is a murderer: "not the outward act, but the inward motive justifies or condemns the man. Every day convinces me more and more of the need of a different mode of teaching than that usually adopted for imperfectly taught people. How many of your (ordinary) parishioners even understand the simple meaning of the Prayer-book, nay, of their well-known (as they think) Gospel miracles and parables? Who teaches in ordinary parishes the Christian use of the Psalms? Who puts simply before peasant and stone-cutter the Jew and his religion, and what he and it were intended to be, and the real error and sin and failure?--the true nature of prophecy, the progressive teaching of the Bible, never in any age compromising truth, but never ignoring the state, so often the unreceptive state, of those to whom the truth must therefore be presented partially, and in a manner adapted to rude and unspiritual natures? What an amount of preparatory teaching is needed! What labour must be spent in struggling to bring forth things new and old, and present things simply before the indolent, unthinking, vacant mind! How much need there is of a more special training of the Clergy even now! Many men are striving nobly to do all this. But think of the rubbish that most of us chuck lazily out of our minds twice a week without method or order. It is such downright hard work to teach well. Oh! how weary it makes me to try. I feel as if I were at once aware of what should be attempted, and yet quite unable to do it!
'St. Michael's Day.--[After an affectionate review of most of his relations at home.]--When the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn pressed me a good deal to go with them to England, it obliged me a little to analyse my feelings. You won't suspect me of any want of longing to see you, when I say that it never was a doubtful matter to me for five minutes. I saw nothing to make me wish to go to England in comparison with the crowd of reasons for not doing so. They, good people, thought it would be rest and refreshment to me. Little they know how a man so unlike them takes his rest! I am getting it here, hundreds of miles out of reach of any white man or woman, free from what is to me the bother of society. I am not defending myself; but it is true that to me it is a bore, the very opposite of rest, to be in society. I like a good talk with Sir William Martin above anything, but I declare that even that is dearly purchased by the other accompaniments of society.
'And I could not spend a quiet month with you at Weston. I should have people calling, the greatest of all nuisances, except that of having to go out to dinner. I should have to preach, and perhaps to go to meetings, all in the way of my business, but not tending to promote rest.
'Seriously, I am very well now; looking, I am sure, and feeling stronger and stouter than I was in New Zealand in the winter. So don't fret yourself about me, and don't think that I shouldn't dearly love to chat awhile with you. What an idle, lazy letter. You see I am taking my rest with you, writing without effort.'
He was looking well. Kohimarama must be more healthily situated than the first station, for all his three visits there were beneficial to him; and there seems to have been none of the tendency to ague and low fever which had been the trouble of the first abode.
Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice came back in the schooner early in October, and were landed at Mota, while the Bishop went for a cruise in the New Hebrides; but the lateness of the season and the state of the vessel made it a short one, and he soon came back with thirty- five boys. Meanwhile, a small harmonium, which was to be left with the Christian settlement, had caused such an excitement that Mr. Bice was nearly squeezed to death by the crowds that came to hear it. He played nearly all day to successive throngs of men, but when the women arrived, they made such a clatter that he was fain to close the instrument. Unbleached calico clothing had been made for such of the young ladies as were to be taken on board for Norfolk Island, cut out by the Bishop and made up by Robert, William, and Benjamin, his scholars; and Mr. Codrington says, 'It was an odd sight to see the Bishop on the beach with the group of girls round him, and a number of garments over his arm. As each bride was brought by her friends, she was clothed and added to the group.
'Esthetically, clothes were no improvement. "A Melanesian clothed," the Bishop observes, "never looks well; there is almost always a stiff, shabby-genteel look. A good specimen, not disfigured by sores and ulcers, the well-shaped form, the rich warm colour of the skin, and the easy, graceful play of every limb, unhurt by shoe or tight- fitting dress, the flower stuck naturally into the hair, &c., make them look pleasant enough to my eye. You see in Picture Bibles figures draped as I could wish the Melanesians to be clothed."'
To continue Mr. Codrington's recollections of this stay in Mota:--
'I remember noticing how different his manner was from what was common at home. His eyes were cast all about him, keeping a sharp look-out, and all his movements and tones were quick and decisive. In that steaming climate, and those narrow paths, he walked faster than was at all agreeable to his companions, and was dressed moreover in a woollen coat and waistcoat all the time. In fact, he thoroughly enjoyed the heat, though no doubt it was weakening him; he liked the food, which gave him no trouble at all to eat, and he liked the natives.
'He felt, of course, that he was doing his work all the while; but the expression of his countenance was very different while sitting with a party of men over their food at Mota, and when sitting with a party in Norfolk Island.
'The contrast struck me very much between his recluse studious life there, and his very active one at Mota, with almost no leisure to read, and very little to write, and with an abundance of society which was a pleasure instead of a burthen.
'I think that the alert and decisive tone and habit which was so conspicuous in the islands, and came out whenever he was roused, was not natural to his disposition, but had been acquired in early years in a public school, and faded down in the quiet routine of St. Barnabas, and was recalled as occasion required with more effort as time went on. No doubt, his habitual gentleness made his occasional severity more felt, but at Mota his capacity for scolding was held in respect. I was told when I was last there, that I was no good, for I did not know how to scold, but that the Bishop perfectly well understood how to do it. Words certainly would never fail him in twenty languages to express his indignation, but how seldom among his own scholars had he to do it in one!'
This voyage is best summed up in the ensuing letter to one of the Norfolk relations:--
'"Southern Cross" Schooner, 20 miles East of Star Island.
'My dear Cousin,--We are drawing near the end of a rather long cruise, as I trust, in safety. We left Norfolk Island on the 24th June, and we hope to reach it in about ten days. We should have moved about in less time, but for the crippled state of the schooner. She fell in with a heavy gale off Norfolk Island about June 20th- 23rd; and we have been obliged to be very careful of our spars, which were much strained. Indeed, we still need a new mainmast, main boom, and gaff, a main topmast, foretopmast, and probably new wire rigging, besides repairs of other kinds, and possibly new coppering. Thank God, the voyage has been so far safe, and, on the whole, prosperous. We sailed first of all to the Banks Islands, only dropping two lads at Ambrym Island on our way. We spent a week or more at Mota, while the vessel was being overhauled at the harbour in Vanua Lava Island, seven miles from Mota. It was a great relief to us to get the house for the station at Mota out of the vessel, the weight of timber, &c., was too much for a vessel not built for carrying freight. After a few days we left Mr. Palmer, George Sarawia, and others at Mota, busily engaged in putting up the house, a very serious matter for us, as you may suppose.
'Our party was made up of Mr. Atkin, Mr. Brooke, and two Mota volunteers for boat work, and divers Solomon Islanders. We were absent from Mota about seven years, during which time we visited Santa Cruz, and many of the Solomon Isles. Mr. Atkin spent three weeks in one of the isles, and Mr. Brooke in another, and we had more than thirty natives of the Solomon Islands on board, including old scholars, when we left Ulava, the last island of the Solomon group at which we called.
'Mr. Palmer, Mr. Atkin, and Mr. Brooke went on to Norfolk Island, the whole number of Melanesians on board being sixty-two. I had spent a very happy month at Mota when the vessel returned from Norfolk Island both with Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice on board, bringing those of the Melanesians (nearly thirty in all) who chose to stay on Norfolk Island. Then followed a fortnight's cruise in the New Hebrides, and now with exactly fifty Melanesians on board from divers islands, we are on our way to Norfolk Island. We have fourteen girls, two married, on board, and there are ten already at Norfolk Island. This is an unusual number; but the people understand that the young men and lads who have been with us for some time, who are baptized and accustomed to decent orderly ways, are not going to marry heathen wild girls, so they give up these young ones to be taught and qualify to become fit wives for our rapidly increasing party of young men.
'It is quite clear that we must aim at exhibiting, by God's blessing, Christian family life in the islands, and this can only be done by training up young men and women.
'Three married couples, all Communicants, live now at Kohimarama, the station at Mota. George has two children, Benjamin one. It is already a small specimen of a little Christian community, and it must be reinforced, year by year, by accessions of new couples of Christian men and women.
'About twenty lads live at the station, and about forty more come daily to school. It may grow soon into a real working school, from which the most intelligent and best conducted boys may be taken to Norfolk Island for a more complete education. I am hopeful about a real improvement in Mota and elsewhere.
'But a new difficulty has lately been caused by the traders from Sydney and elsewhere, who have taken many people to work in the plantations at Brisbane, Mimea, (New Caledonia), and the Fiji Islands, actual kidnapping, and this is a sad hindrance to us. I know of no case of actual violence in the Banks Islands; but in every case, they took people away under false pretences, asserting that "the Bishop is ill and can't come; he has sent us to bring you to him." "The Bishop is in Sydney, he broke his leg getting into his boat, and has sent us to take you to him," &c., &c. In many of these places some of our old scholars are found who speak a little English, and the traders communicated with them.
'In most places where any of our young people happened to be on shore, they warned their companions against these men, but not always with success. Hindrances there must be always in the way of all attempts to do some good. But this is a sad business, and very discreditable to the persons employed in it and the Government which sanctions it, for they must know that they cannot control the masters of the vessels engaged in the trade; they may pass laws as to the treatment the natives are to receive on the plantations, as to food, pay, &c., the time of service, the date of their being taken home, but they know that the whole thing is dishonest. The natives don't intend or know anything about any service or labour; they don't know that they will have to work hard, and any regular steady work is hard work to South Sea Islanders. They are brought away under false pretences, else why tell lies to induce them to go on board?
'I dare say that many young fellows go on board without much persuasion. Many causes may be at work to induce them to do so, e.g., sickness in the island, quarrels, love of excitement, spirit of enterprise, &c., but if they knew what they were taken for, I don't think they would go.
'November 2nd.--In sight of Norfolk Island. All well on board.
'November 6th.--Yesterday we all landed safely, and found our whole party quite well. Our new hall is finished, and in good time to receive 134 Melanesians.'
Before the full accumulation of letters arrived from Auckland, a report by a passing ship from Sydney stirred the hermit Bishop deeply, and elicited the following warm congratulation:--
'Norfolk Island: November 17, 1869.
'My dear Dr. Moberly,--Since my return--a fortnight since--from the islands a rumour has reached us, brought hither in a small trader, that the Bishop of Winchester has resigned his see, and that you are his successor. It is almost too good to be true. I am waiting with great anxiety for a vessel expected soon; I have had no English news since letters of April. But in all seriousness, private news is of small moment compared with the news of what is to become of that great Diocese. And especially now, when almost all the south of England is so sadly in want of officers to command the Church's army. Exeter, Bath and Wells, Salisbury, Chichester (very old), and till now (if this rumour be true) Winchester, from old age or sickness almost, if not quite, unfit for work. If indeed I hear that God's Providence has placed you in charge of that great see, it will give a different hue to the prospect, dreary enough, I confess, to me; though I hope I am mistaken in my gloomy forebodings of the results of all those many Dioceses being so long without active Bishops. Salisbury of course I except, and Chichester is a small Diocese comparatively, and the good Bishop, I know, works up to the maximum of his age and strength. But if this be a true rumour, and I do sincerely trust and pray that it may be so, indeed it will give hope and courage and fresh life and power to many and many a fainting soul. If I may presume to say so, it is (as Mrs. Selwyn wrote to me when he was appointed to Lichfield) "a solemn and anxious thing to undertake a great charge on the top of such great expectations." But already there is one out here anyhow who feels cheered and strengthened by the mere hope that this story is true; and everywhere many anxious men and women will lift up their hearts to God in thankfulness, and in earnest prayers that you may indeed do a great work to His glory and to the good of His Church in a new and even greater sphere of usefulness. No doubt much of my thoughts and apprehensions about the religious and social state of England is very erroneous. I have but little time for reading about what is going on, and though I have the blessing of Codrington's good sense and ability, yet I should like to have more persons to learn from on such matters. I am willing and anxious to believe that I am not cheerful and faithful enough to see the bright side as clearly as I ought. Your letters have always been a very great help to me; not only a great pleasure, much more than a pleasure. I felt that I accepted, occasionally even that I had anticipated, your remarks on the questions of the day, the conduct of parties and public men, books, &c. It has been a great thing for me to have my thoughts guided or corrected in this way.
'Your last present to me was your volume of "Bampton Lectures," of which I need not say how both the subject and the mode of treating it make them especially valuable just now. And there is a strong personal feeling about the work and writings of one where the public man is also the private friend, which gives a special zest to the enjoyment of reading a work of this kind.
'Certainly it is one of the many blessings of my life that I should somehow have been allowed to grow into this degree of intimacy with you, whom I have always known by name, though I don't remember ever to have seen you. I think I first as a child became familiar with your name through good Miss Rennell, whom I dare say you remember: the old Dean's daughter. What a joy this would have been to dear Mr. and Mrs. Keble; what a joy it is to Charlotte Yonge; and there may be others close to Winchester whose lives have been closely bound tip with yours.
'But, humanly speaking, the thing is to have Bishops who can command the respect and love and dutiful obedience of their clergy and laity alike.
'One wants men who, by solid learning, and by acquaintance too with modern modes of criticism and speculation, by scholarship, force of character, largeness of mind, as well as by their goodness, can secure respect and exercise authority. It is the lawlessness of men that one deplores; the presumption of individual priests striking out for themselves unauthorised ways of managing their parishes and officiating in their churches. And, if I may dare to touch on such a subject, is there not a mode of speaking and writing on the Holy Eucharist prevalent among some men now, which has no parallel in the Church of England, except, it may be, in some of the non-jurors, and which does not express the Church of England's mind; which is not the language of Pearson, and Jackson, and Waterland, and Hooker, no, nor of Bull, and Andrewes, and Taylor, &c.? I know very little of such things--very little indeed. But it is oftentimes a sad grief to me that I cannot accept some of the reasonings and opinions of dear Mr. Keble in his book on "Eucharistic Adoration." I know that I have no right to expect to see things as such a man saw them: that most probably the instinctive power of discerning truth--the reward of a holy life from early childhood--guided him where men without such power feel all astray. But yet, there is something about the book which may be quite right and true, but does not to me quite savour of the healthy sound theology of the Church of England; the fragrance is rather that of an exotic plant; here and there I mean--though I feel angry with myself for daring to think this, and to say it to you, who can understand him.
'November 27th.--I leave this as I wrote it, though now I know from our mails, which have come to us, that you are Bishop of Salisbury, not of Winchester. I hardly stop to think whether it is Winchester or Salisbury, so great is my thankfulness and joy at the report being substantially true. Though it did seem that Winchester was a natural sphere for you, I can't help feeling that at Salisbury you can do (D.V.) what perhaps scarcely any one else could do. And now I rejoice that you have had the opportunity of speaking with no uncertain sound in your "Bampton Lectures." Anyone can tell what the Bishop of Salisbury holds on the great questions of Church Doctrine and Church Government. The diocese knows already its Bishop, not only by many former but by his latest book. Surely you will have the confidence of all Churchmen, and be blessed to do a great work for the glory of God and the edification of the Church.
'And now, my dear Bishop of Salisbury, you will excuse my writing on so freely, too freely I fear. I do like to think of you in that most perfect of Cathedrals. I hope and trust that you will have ere long, right good fellow-workers in Exeter, Winton, and Bath and Wells.
'But in the colonies you have a congeries of men from all countries, and with every variety of creed, jumbled up together, with nothing whatever to hold them together--no reverence--no thoughts of the old parish church, &c. They are restless, worldly people to a great extent, thinking of getting on, making money. To such men the very idea of the Church as a Divine Institution, the mystical Body of the Lord, on which all graces are bestowed, and through whose ministrations men are trained in holiness and truth, is wholly unknown. The personal religion of many a man is sincere; his position and duty as a Churchman he has never thought about. I wish the clergy would master that part, at all events, of your Lectures which deals with this great fundamental point, and then, as they have opportunity, teach it to their people. And by-and-by, through the collective life of the Church in its synods, &c., many will come to see it, we may hope.
'I think that I may give you a cheering account of ourselves. I was nineteen weeks in the islands--met with no adventures worth mentioning, only one little affair which was rather critical for a few minutes, but ended very well--and in some of the Solomon Islands made more way than heretofore with the people. We have 134 Melanesians here and a baby. George Sarawia and his wife and two children, and two other married couples--all Communicants--are at Mota, in a nice place, with some twenty-two lads "boarding" with them, and about thirty more coming to daily school.
'The vessel was much knocked about in a violent gale in June off Norfolk Island, and we had to handle her very carefully. The whole voyage was made with a mainmast badly sprung, and fore topmast very shaky. Mr. Tilly was very watchful over the spars, and though we had a large share of squally weather, and for some days, at different times, were becalmed in a heavy swell, the most trying of all situations to the gear of a vessel, yet, thank God, all went well, and I have heard of the schooner safe in Auckland harbour. About forty of our Melanesians here are Solomon Islanders, from seven different islands; a few came from the New Hebrides, the rest from the Banks Islands. We are already pretty well settled down to our work. Indeed, it took only a day or two to get to work; our old scholars are such great helpers to us. We number six clergymen here (G. Sarawia being at Mota). Ten or twelve of the sixth form are teachers. If you care to hear more; I must refer you to a letter just written to Miss Yonge. But it is not easy to write details about 134 young people. Their temptations are very great when they return to their islands; every inducement to profligacy, &c., is held out to them. One of our young baptized lads fell into sinful ways, and is not now with us. He was not one of whom we had great expectations, though we trusted that he would go on steadily. Many others, thank God, were kept pure and truthful in the midst of it all, refusing even to sleep one night away from our little hut, and in some cases refusing even to leave the schooner. "No, I will wait till I am married," said two lads to me, who were married here to Christian girls on November 24th, "and then go ashore for a time with my young wife. I don't think I should yield, but I don't want to put myself in the way of such temptations." And so, when I had naturally expected that they would take their six weeks' holiday on shore, while the "Southern Cross" went from Mota to Norfolk Island and back (during my stay at Mota), they remained on board, rejoining me, as they were two of my boating crew, for the New Hebrides trip! This was very comforting. And when I married three couples on November 24th, and knew that they were pure, youths and girls alike, from the great sin of heathenism, you can well think that my heart was very full of thankfulness and hope.
'I must end my long letter. How will you find time to read it? Send me some day a photograph of your beautiful Cathedral.
'Yours very faithfully,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Before the letter to which Bishop Moberly is referred, Mr. Codring- ton's bit about the weddings seems appropriate:--
'These wedding days were great festivals, especially before many had been seen. The Chapel was dressed with flowers, the wedding party in as new and cheerful attire as could be procured, the English Marriage Service translated into Mota. We make rings out of sixpences or threepenny bits. The place before is full of the sound of the hammer tapping the silver on the marlingspike. The wedding ceremony is performed with as much solemnity as possible, all the school present in their new clothes and with flowers in their hair. There is even a kind of processional Psalm as the wedding party enters the Chapel. There is of course a holiday, and after the service they all go off, taking with them the pig that has been killed for the feast. An enormous quantity of plum pudding awaits them when, in the evening, they come back to prayers and supper. Rounds of hearty cheers, led off by the Bishop, used to complete the day. Weddings of this kind between old scholars, christened, confirmed, and trustworthy, represented much anxiety and much teaching and expense, but they promise so much, and that so near of what has been worked for, that they have brought with them extraordinary pleasure and satisfaction.'
'Norfolk Island: November 24, 1869.
'My dear Cousin,--To-day we married three young couples: the bridegrooms. Robert Pantatun, William Pasvorang, and Marsden Sawa, who have been many years with us, and are all Communicants; the brides, Emily Milerauwe, Lydia Lastitia, and Rhoda Titrakrauwe, who were baptized a year ago.
'The Chapel was very prettily dressed up with lilies and many other flowers. The bridegrooms wore white trousers, shirts, &c., the brides wore pretty simple dresses and flowers in their hair. We crowded as many persons as possible into our little Chapel. Mr. Nobbs and some ten or twelve of our Pitcairn friends were all the visitors that we could manage to make room for.
'Great festivities followed, a large pig was killed yesterday and eaten to-day, and Mr. Palmer had manufactured puddings without end, a new kind of food to many of the present set of scholars, but highly appreciated by most of them. Then followed in the evening native dances and songs, and a supper to end with, with cheers for the brides and bridegrooms.
'There are now six married couples here, three more at Mota, and one or two more weddings will take place soon. Very fortunately, a vessel came from Auckland only three or four days ago, the first since the "Southern Cross," in June, It brought not only five mails for us English folk, but endless packages and boxes for the Mission, ordered by us long ago, stores, clothing, &c. We had all ordered more or less in the way of presents for scholars, and though we keep most of these treasures for Christmas gifts, yet some are distributed now.
'These presents are for the most part really good things. It is quite useless for kind friends to send presents to Melanesians as they would do to an English lad or girl. To begin with, most of our scholars are grown up, and are more like English young people of twenty or eighteen years old than like boys and girls, and not a few are older still; and secondly, no Melanesian, old or young, cares a rush about a toy. They, boys and girls, men and women, take a practical view of a present, and are the very reverse of sentimental about it, though they really do like a photograph of a friend. But a mere Brummagem article that won't stand wear is quite valueless in their eyes.
'Whatever is given them, cheap or dear, is estimated according to its usefulness; and whatever is given, though it may cost but a shilling, must be good of its kind. For example, a rough-handled, single- bladed knife, bought for a shilling, they fully appreciate; but a knife with half-a-dozen blades, bought for eighteen-pence, they would almost throw away. And so about everything else. I mention this as a hint to kind friends. They do like to hear that people think of them and are kind to them, but they don't understand why useless things should be sent from the other end of the world when they could buy much better things with their own money out of the mission store here.
'They are very fond of anything in the way of notebooks, 8vo and 12mo sizes (good paper), writing-cases (which must be good if given at all), patent safety inkstands--these things are useful on board ship, and can be carried to the islands and brought back again safely. Work-baskets or boxes for the girls, with good serviceable needles, pins, thread, scissors, thimbles, tapes, &c. &c., not a plaything. Here we can buy for them, or keep in the store for them to buy, many things that are much too bulky to send from a distance, the freight would be ruinous. The "Southern Cross" brings them usually to us. Such things I mean as good carpet-bags, from 5s. to 10s., stout tin boxes with locks and keys, axes, tools, straw hats, saucepans, good strong stuff (tweed or moleskin) for trousers and shirts, which they cut out and make up for themselves, quite understanding the inferior character of "slop" work, good flannel for under-shirts, or for making up into Crimean shirts, Nottingham drill, good towelling, huckaback, &c., ought to be worth while to send out, and if bought in large quantities at the manufacturer's, it would pay us to get it in England, especially if the said manufacturer reduced the price a little in consequence of the use to be made of his goods.
'Dull small blue beads are always useful, ditto red. Bright glittering ones are no use, few Melanesians would take them as a gift. Some islanders like large beads, as big or bigger than boys' marbles. These are some hints to any kind people who may wish to contribute in kind rather than in money.
'Mr. Codrington has given these fellows a great taste for gardening. Much of their spare hours (which are not many) are spent in digging up, fencing in and preparing little pieces of land close about the station, two or three lads generally making up a party, and frequently the party consists of lads and young men from different islands. Then they have presents of seeds, cuttings, bulbs, &c., from Mr. Codrington chiefly, and Mrs. Palmer and others contribute. Some of these little gardens are really very nicely laid out in good taste and well looked after. They have an eye to the practically useful here too, as every garden has its stock of bananas, and here and there we see the sugar-cane too.
'From 3.30 P.M. to 6 P.M. is the play time, although they do not all have this time to themselves. For three lads must milk from 5 to 6, one or two must drive in the cows, seven or eight are in the kitchen, three or four must wash the horses, one must drive the sheep into the fold, all but the milkers have only their one week of these diverse occupations. There are about twelve head cooks, who choose their helpers (the whole school, minus the milkers and two or three overlookers, being included), and so the cooking work comes only once in twelve weeks. The cooks of the one week drive up the cows and water the horses the next week, and then there is no extra work, that is, nothing but the regular daily work from 9.30 A.M. after school to 1 P.M. Wednesday is a half-holiday, Saturday a whole holiday. There are six milkers, one of whom is responsible for the whole. One receives 2s. 0d. per week, his chief mate 1s. 6d., and the other four 1s. each. They take it in turns, three each week. This is the hardest work in one sense; it brings them in from their play and fishing, or gardening, &c., and so they are paid for it. We do not approve of the white man being paid for everything, and the Melanesian being expected to work habitually extra hours for nothing. There are many other little extra occupations for which we take care that those engaged in them shall have some reward, and as a matter of fact a good deal of money finds its way into the hands of the storekeeper, and a very fair amount of 3d., 4d. and 6d. pieces may be seen every Sunday in the offertory bason.
'Perhaps I should say that we have seldom seen here any indications of these Melanesians expecting money or presents; but we want to destroy the idea in their minds of their being fags by nature, and to help them to have some proper self-respect and independence of character. We see very little in them to make us apprehensive of their being covetous or stingy, and indisposed to give service freely.
'School hours 8-9.20, 2-3.30, singing 7-8 P.M., chapel 6.45 A.M., 6.30 P.M.
'Of the 134 Melanesians, besides the baby, ten are teachers, and with their help we get on very fairly. There are sixteen of us teachers in all, so that the classes are not too large.
'Mr. Codrington takes at present the elder Banks Islanders, Mr. Palmer the next class, and Mr. Bice the youngest set of boys from the same group.
'Mr. Atkin takes the Southern Solomon Islanders, and Mr. Brooke those from the northern parts of the same group. I have been taking some Leper's Islanders and Maiwo or Aurora Islanders as new comers, and other classes occasionally.
'Out of so many we shall weed out a good number no doubt. At present we don't condemn any as hopelessly dull, but it will not be worth while to spend much time upon lads who in five months must go home for good, and some such there must be; we cannot attempt to teach all, dull and clever alike. We must make selections, and in so doing often, I dare say, make mistakes. But what can we do?
'Our new hall is a great success. We had all the framework sawn out here; it is solid, almost massive work, very unlike the flimsy wooden buildings that are run up in a week or two in most colonial villages. It is so large that our party of 145, plus 9 English, sit in the aisles without occupying any part of the middle of the room. This gives us ample accommodation for the present. Indeed we might increase our numbers to 200 without any more buildings being necessary. The married people give the most trouble in this respect, as they have their separate rooms, and four or five married couples take up more room than three times the number of single folk. However we have here room for all, I am thankful to say, though we must build again if more of our young people take it into their heads to be married. They pass on quickly, however, when married, into the next stage, the life in their own islands, and so they leave their quarters here for some successors.
'I hope you can understand this attempt at a description, but I never could write properly about such things, and never shall do so, I suppose. I like the life, I know, a great deal better than I can write about it. Indeed, it is a quiet restful life here, comparatively. Some anxieties always, of course, but, as compared with the distractions of New Zealand life, it is pleasant indeed. We have very few interruptions here to the regular employment of our time, and need not waste any of it in visits or small talk, which seems to be a necessary, though most wearisome part of civilised life.
'Your namesake goes on well; not a clever girl, but very steady and good; her sister and brother are here; the sisters are much alike in character and ability, the brother is sharper. You will, I know, specially think of George Sarawia and his wife Sarah at Mota, with Charles and Ellen, Benjamin and Marion. They are all Communicants, but the temptations which surround them are very great, and early familiarity with heathen practices and modes of thought may yet deaden the conscience to the quick apprehension of the first approaches of sin. They do indeed need the earnest prayers of all.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
How many sons who have lost a mother at fifteen or sixteen dwell on the thought like this affectionate spirit, twenty-seven years later?
'Advent Sunday, November 20, 1869.
'It is a solemn thing to begin a new year on the anniversary of our dear Mother's death. I often think whether she would approve of this or that opinion, action, &c. Wright's painting is pleasant to look upon. I stand in a corner of my room, at father's old mahogany desk. Her picture and his, the large framed photographs from Richmond's drawing, and a good photograph of the Bishop are just above. I wish you could see my room. I write now on December 3, a bright summer day, but my room with its deep verandah is cool and shady. It is true that I refuse carpet and curtains. They only hold dust and make the room fusty. But the whole room is filled with books, and those pictures, and the Lionardo da Vinci over the fireplace, and Mr. Boxall's photograph over it, and his drawing vis-a-vis to it at the other end of the room, and by my window a splendid gloxinia with fine full flowers out in a very pretty porcelain pot, both Mr. Codrington's gift. On another glass stand (also his present) a Mota flower imported here, a brilliant scarlet hibiscus, and blossoms of my creepers and bignonia, most beautiful. So fresh and pretty. The steps of the verandah are a mass of honeysuckle. The stephanotis, with the beautiful scented white flowers and glossy leaves, covers one of the posts. How pleasant it is. Everyone is kind, all are well, all are going on well just now. Such are missionary comforts. Where the hardships are I have not yet discovered. Your chain, dear Joan, is round my neck, and the locket (Mamma's) in which you, Fan, put the hair of you five, hangs on it.
'I am dipping my pen into the old silver inkstand which used to be in the front drawing-room. Every morning at about 5 A.M. I have a cup of tea or coffee, and use Grandmamma Coleridge's old-fashioned silver cream-jug, and the cup and saucer which Augusta sent out years ago, my old christening spoon, and the old silver tea-pot and salver. Very grand, but I like the old things.
'This day fortnight (D.V.) I ordain J. Atkin and C. H. Brooke Priests.
'I have no time to answer your April and September letters. I rejoice with all my heart to hear of Dr. Moberly's appointment. What a joyful event for Charlotte Yonge. That child Pena sent me Shairp's (dear old Shairp) book, which I wanted. I must write to Sophy as soon as I can. You will forgive if I have seemed to be, or really have been, unmindful of your sorrows and anxieties. Sometimes I think I am in too great a whirl to think long enough to realise and enter into all your doings.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
The intended letter to Mrs. Martyn was soon written. The death there referred to was that of Mrs. William Coleridge, widow of the Bishop of Barbadoes:-
'Norfolk Island: December 14, 1869.
'My dear Sophy,--I should be specially thinking of you as Christmas draws nigh with its blessed thoughts, and hopes, and the St. Stephen's memories in any case I should be thinking of you. But now I have lately received your long loving letter of last Eastertide, partly written in bed.
Then your dear child's illness makes me think greatly (and how lovingly!) of you three of the three generations. Lastly, I hear of dear Aunt William's death. You know that I had a very great affection for her, and I feel that this is a great blow probably to you all, though dear Aunty (as I have noticed in all old persons, especially when good as well as old) takes this quietly, I dare say. The feeling must be, "Well, I shall soon meet her again; a few short days only remain."
'I suppose that you, with your quarter of a century's widowhood, still feel as if the waiting time was all sanctified by the thought of the reunion. Oh! what a thought it is: too much almost to think that by His wonderful mercy, one may hope to be with them all, and for ever; to behold the faces of Apostles, and Apostolic men, and Prophets, and Saints, holy men and women; and, as if this were not enough, to see Him as He is, in His essential perfections, and to know Him. One can't sustain the effort of such a thought, which shows how great a change must pass on one before the great Consummation. Well, the more one can think of dear Father and Mother, and dear dear Uncle James and Uncle Frank, and Cousin George, and Uncle and Aunt William, others too, uncles and aunts, and your dear Fanny, and your husband, though it would be untrue to say I knew him, taken so early--the more one thinks of them all the better. And I have, Sophy, so many very different ones to think of Edwin and Fisher, and so many Melanesians taken away in the very first earnestness and simplicity of a new convert's faith. How many have died in my arms--God be thanked--in good hope!
'If by His great mercy there be a place for me there, I feel persuaded that I shall there find many of those dear lads, whom indeed I think of with a full heart, full of affection and thankfulness.
'I have been reading the "Memoir of Mr. Keble," of course with extreme interest. It is all about events and chiefly about persons that one has heard about or even known. I think we get a little autobiography of our dear Uncle John in it too, for which I don't like it the less.
There are passages, as against going to Borne, which I am glad to see in print; they are wanted now again, I fear. I am glad you like Moberly's "Bampton Lectures." His book on "The Great Forty Days," his best book (?) after all, has the germ of it all. I am so thankful for his appointment to Salisbury. I dare say you know that he is kind enough to write to me occasionally; and he sends me his books, one of the greatest of the indirect blessings of being known to Mr. Keble. I do very little in the way of reading, save that I get a quiet hour for Hebrew, 5-6 A.M., and I do read some theology. In one sense it is easier reading to me than other books, history, poetry, because, though I don't know much about it, I know nothing about them.
'My pleasure would be, if with you, in talking over such little insight as I may have received into the wondrous harmony and symmetry of the whole Bible, by tolerably close examination of the text of the Greek, and to some extent of the Hebrew. The way in which a peculiar word brings a whole passage or argument en rapport with a train of historical associations or previous statements is wonderful; e.g., the verb of which Moses is formed occurs only in Exodus ii. 10, 2 Samuel xxii. 17, Psalm xviii. 16. See how the magnificent description of the Passage of the Red Sea in Psalm xviii. is connected with Moses by this one word. These undesigned coincidences, and (surely) proofs of inspiration are innumerable.
'I do delight in it: only I want more help, far more. We have great advantages in this generation. Dear Uncle James had no Commentary, one might almost say, on Old Testament or New Testament. Ellicott, Wordsworth, and Alford on the New Testament were not in existence; and the Germans, used with discrimination, are great helps. An orthodox Lutheran, one Delitzsch (of whom Liddon wrote that Dr. Pusey thinks highly of his Hebrew scholarship), helps me much in Isaiah. He has sucked all the best part out of Vitringa's enormous book, and added much minute, and I am told correct criticism. And how grand it is! This morning--it is now 6.15 A.M.--I have been reading part of that wonderful chapter xxvi.
'It strikes me that the way to teach a class or a congregation is to bring out the doctrine from the very words of Scripture carefully, critically examined and explained. Only think, Sophy, of the vague desultory way in which we all, more or less, read; and we have accepted a phraseology without enquiring to a great extent, and use words to which we attach no definite meaning. Few in the congregation could draw out in clear words what they mean when they talk of faith, justification, regeneration, conversion, &c. &c. All language denoting ideas and thoughts is transferred to the region of the mind from denoting at first only external objects and sensations. This is in accordance with the mystery of all, the union of mind and matter--which no pagan philosopher could comprehend--the extreme difficulty of solving which caused Dualism and Asceticism on the one hand, and neglect of all bodily discipline on the other. Mind and matter must be antagonistic, the work of different beings: man must get rid of his material part to arrive at his true end and perfection.
'So some said, "Mortify, worry the body, which is essentially and inherently evil." "No," said others, "the sins of the body don't hurt the mind; the two things are distinct, don't react on one another." (St. Paul deals with all this in the Colossians.) The Incarnation is the solution or the culmination of the mystery.
'What a prose! but I meant, that people so often use words as if the use of a word was equivalent to the knowledge of the thought which, in the mind of an accurate thinker, accompanies the utterance of the word.
'I should think that three-fourths of what we clergymen say is unintelligible to the mass of the congregation. We assume an acquaintance with the Bible and Prayer-book, thought, and a knowledge of the meaning of words which few, alas! possess. We must begin, then, with the little ones; as far as I see, all children are apt to fail at the point when they ought to be passing from merely employing the memory (in learning by heart, e.g., the Catechism) by exercising the reasoning and thinking faculty.
'"Well now, you have said that very well, now let us think what it means."
'How well Dr. Pusey says, in his Sermons, "Not altogether intentional deliberate vice, but thoughtlessness is destroying souls."
'I run on at random, dear Sophy, hoping to give you one and a half hour's occupation on a sick bed or couch, and because, as you say, this is the only converse we are likely to have on earth.
'I think I am too exclusively fond of this reading, very little else interests me. I take up a theological book as a recreation, which is, perhaps, hardly reverent, and may narrow the mind; but even Church history is not very attractive to me. I like Jackson and Hooker, and some of the moderns, of whom I read a good many; and I lose a good deal of time in diving into things too deep by half for me, while I forget or don't learn simple things.
'All this modern rage for reviews, serials, magazines, I can't abide. My mind is far too much distracted already, and that fragmentary mode of reading is very bad for many people, I am sure.
'Naturally enough at forty-two years of age ninety-nine hundredths of the "lighter" books seem to me mere rubbish. They come to me occasionally. However, there are younger ones here, so it isn't sheer waste to receive such donations: they soon get out of my room. Not, mind you, that I think this the least evidence of my being wiser, or employing my time more carefully than other folk. Only I want you to know what I am, and what I think.
'Pena has sent me a nice book which I wanted: 1st. Because I have a great personal liking for Shairp, a simple-minded, affectionate man, with much poetical feeling and good taste-a kindly-natured man. 2nd. Because he writes in an appreciative kind of way, and is the very opposite of .... whom I can't stand with his insufferable self- sufficiency, and incapacity for appreciating the nobler, simpler, more generous natures who are unlike him. Well! that is fierce. But there is a school of men whom I can't stand. Their nature repels me, and I hardly wish to like them; which is an evil feeling.
'I shall add a line in a few days.
'My very dearest love to Aunty--dear Aunty; and if I can't write to Pena, give her my best love and thanks for her book.
'Dear Sophy, your loving Cousin,
'J. C. P.'
Two other letters, one to each of the sisters, were in progress at this time. To Joanna, who had been grieved for the poor girl whose transgression had occurred in the beginning of the year, he says:--
'About Semtingvat, you must be comforted about her. For a poor child who, two short years before, had assumed as a matter of course that a woman simply existed to be a man's slave in every kind of way, her fault could not, I think, be regarded as very great. Indeed, there was much comfort from the first; and since that time they not only have gone on well, but I do believe that their religious character has been much strengthened by the kind of revelation they then obtained of what Christianity really does mean. Anyhow, all notice the fact that U---- has improved very much, and they all sing Semtingvat's praises. I had no difficulty about marrying them after a little while. I spoke openly in chapel to everyone about it. Their wedding was not as other weddings--no festivity, no dressing of the chapel, no feast, no supper and fun and holiday. It was perfectly understood to be in all respects different from a bright, happy wedding. But it was quite as much for the sake of all, for the sake of enforcing the new teaching about the sanctity of marriage, that we made so very much of what (as men speak) was under the circumstances a comparatively light fault, less than an impure thought on the part of such as have been taught their duty from their childhood.
'I am almost confused with the accounts from England. All seems in a state of turmoil and confusion; all the old landmarks being swept away by a deluge of new opinions as to all matters civil and ecclesiastical. I don't think that we ought to refuse to see these signs of a change in men's mode of regarding great political and religious questions. A man left high and dry on the sand-bank of his antiquated notions will do little good to the poor folk struggling in the sea way, though he is safer as far as he is himself concerned by staying where he is than by plunging in to help them.
'It is a critical time in every sense. Men and women can hardly be indifferent; they must be at the pains of making up their minds. As for us clergy, everywhere but in Norfolk Island, we must know that people are thinking of matters which all were content a few years ago to keep back in silence, and that they expect us to speak about them. How thankful I am that we fortunate ones are exempt from this. Yet in my way I, too, try to think a bit about what is going on; and I don't want to be too gloomy, or to ignore some good in all this ferment in men's minds. It is better than stagnation and indolent respectability. There is everywhere a consciousness of a vast work to be done, and sincere efforts are made to do it. I suppose that is a fact; many, many poor souls are being taught and trained for heaven through all these various agencies which seem to a distant and idle critic to be so questionable in some ways.
'Of old one thought that the sober standard of Church of England divinity was the rule to which all speculations should be reduced; and one thought that Pearson, Hooker, Waterland, Jeremy Taylor also, and Andrewes, and Bull, and Jackson, and Barrow, &c., stood for the idea of English divinity. Now we are launched upon a wider sea. Catholic usage and doctrine take the place of Church of England teaching and practice; rightly, I dare say, only it may be well to remember that men who can perhaps understand a good deal of the English divines, can hardly be supposed to be equally capable of understanding the far wider and more difficult range of ecclesiastical literature of all ages and all writers.
'Everyone knows and is struck by the fact that passages of old writers are continually quoted by men of quite different schools of thought in favour of their own (different) views. Clearly they can't both understand the mind and spirit of these writers; and the truth is, isn't it, that only they who by very long study, and from a large share of the true historical imagination, sympathise with and really enter into the hearts and minds of these writers, are competent to deal with and decide upon such wide and weighty matters?
'It seems to me as if men who are in no sense divines, theologians, or well read, speak strongly and use expressions and teach doctrines which, indeed, only very few men should think of uttering or teaching.
'And yet, don't think I wish to be only an exclusive Anglican, without sympathy for East or West; still less that I wish to ignore the Catholic Church of the truly primitive times; but I take the real, so to say, representative teaching of the Church of England to be the divinity of the truly primitive Church, to which our formularies and reformers appeal. I know, moreover, that our dear Father accepted Jackson and Waterland; and I don't feel disposed to disparage them, as it is the fashion to do nowadays. Few men, in spite of occasional scholastic subtlety, go so deep in their search right down into principles as Jackson. Few men so analyse, dissect, search out the precise, exact meaning of words and phrases, so carry you away from vague generalities to accurate defined meanings and doctrines. He had an honest and clear brain of his own, though he was a tremendous book-worm; and I think he is a great authority, though I know about him and his antagonism to Rome. I don't fear to weary you by this kind of talk; but don't I wish I could hear three or four of our very best men discuss these points thoroughly. In all sincerity I believe that I should be continually convinced of error, shallow judgments, and ignorance. But then I should most likely get real light on some points where I would fain have it.'
To this unconscious token of humility, another must be added, from the same letter, speaking of two New Zealand friends:--'To me she has always been kindness itself, with her husband overrating me to such an amusing extent that I don't think it hurt even my vanity.'
Full preparation was going on for the ordination, of the two priests.
No special account of the actual service seems to have been written; and the first letter of January was nearly absorbed by the tidings of the three Episcopal appointments of the close of 1869, the Oxford choice coming near to Bishop Patteson by his family affections, and the appointment to Exeter as dealing with his beloved county at home.
And now, before turning the page, and leaving the period that had, on the whole, been full of brightness, will be the best time to give Mr. Codrington's account of the manner of life at St. Barnabas, while the Bishop was still in his strength:--
'Certainly one of the most striking points to a stranger would have been the familiar intercourse between the Bishop and his boys, not only the advanced scholars, but the last and newest comers. The kindly and friendly disposition of the Melanesians leads to a great deal of free and equal familiarity even where there are chiefs, and the obsequious familiarity of which one hears in India is here quite unknown. Nevertheless, I doubt very much whether other Melanesians live in the same familiarity with their missionaries--e.g., Carry, wife of Wadrokala, writes thus:--"I tremble very much to write to you, I am not fit to write to you, because, does an ant know how to speak to a cow? We at Nengone would not speak to a great man like you; no, our language is different to a chief and a missionary."
'Making every allowance, and, looking at the matter from within, that perfect freedom and affectionateness of intercourse that existed with him seems very remarkable.
'The secret of it is not far to seek. It did not lie in any singular attractiveness of his manner only, but in the experience that everyone attracted gained that he sought nothing for himself; he was entirely free from any desire to be admired, or love of being thought much of, as he was from love of commanding for the sake of being obeyed. The great temptations to missionaries among savage people, as it seems, are to self-esteem, from a comparison of themselves with their European advantages and the natives among whom they live; and to a domineering temper, because they find an obedience ready, and it is delightful to be obeyed. Bishop Patteson's natural disposition was averse to either, and the principles of missionary work which he took up suited at once his natural temper and his religious character. He was able naturally, without effort, to live as a brother among his black brothers, to be the servant of those he lived to teach. The natural consequence of this was, the unquestioned authority which he possessed over those with whom he lived on equal terms. No one could entertain the idea that anything was ordered from a selfish motive, for any advantage to himself, or that anything was forbidden without some very good reason. This familiarity with a superior, which is natural with Melanesians, is accompanied, especially in Banks Islanders, with a very great reserve about anything that touches the feelings or concerns character. Thus a boy, who would use the Bishop's room as if it were his own, coming in unasked, to read or write, or sit by the fire there, would with very great difficulty get over the physical trembling, which their language implies, that would come upon him, if he wished to speak about his own feelings on religious matters, or to tell him something which he well knew it was his duty to make known. When one knows how difficult it is to them to speak openly, their openness with the Bishop is more appreciated, though he indeed often enough complained of their closeness with him. The real affection between the boys and the Bishop required no acquaintance with the character of either to discern, and could surprise no one who knew anything of the history of their relation one to another. It is well known that he wished his elder boys to stand in the place of the sixth form of a public school; and to some extent they did so, but being mostly Banks Islanders, and Banks Islanders being peculiarly afraid of interfering with one another, his idea was never reached. Still no doubt a good deal is attained when they arrive rather at the position of pupil- teacher in a National School; and this at least they occupy very satisfactorily, as is shown by the success with which so large a school has been carried on since the Bishop's death. No doubt the Ordination of more from among their number would go far to raise them in their own estimation.
'In truth, the carrying out of the principle of the equality of black and white in a missionary work, which is the principle of this mission, is very difficult, and cannot be done in all particulars in practice by anyone, and by most people, unless brought up to it, probably not at all. Nevertheless, it is practicable, and, as we think, essential, and was in all main points carried out by Bishop Patteson. But the effect of this must not be exaggerated. It is true that we have no servants, yet a boy regularly brought water, &c., for the Bishop, and a woman regularly swept and cleaned his rooms, and received regular wages for it. The Bishop never cooked his dinner or did any such work except upon occasions on which a bachelor curate in England does much of the kind, as a matter of course. The extraordinary thing is that it is, as he at any rate supposed, the custom in other missions to make scholars and converts servants as a matter of course; and the difference lies not in the work which is done or not done by the one party or the other, but in the social relation of equality which subsists between them, and the spirit in which the work is asked for and rendered.
'The main thing to notice about the Bishop is that there was nothing forced or unnatural in his manner of taking a position of equality, and equality as real in any way as his superiority in another. Consequently, there was never the least loss of dignity or authority on his part.
'There never was visible the smallest diminution of freedom and affection in the intercourse that went on. It required some knowledge in one respect to appreciate the extraordinary facility with which he conversed with boys from various islands. A stranger would be struck with his bright smiles and sweet tones as he would address some little stranger who came into his room; but one who knew a little of the languages alone could know with what extraordinary quickness he passed from one language to another, talking to many boys in their own language, but accommodating his tongue with wonderful readiness to each in succession. It would be hard to say how many languages he could speak; those which he spoke quite freely, to my knowledge, were not so many: Mota, Bauro, Mahaga, and Nengone, certainly; some others no doubt quite readily when among the people who spoke them; and very many only with a small vocabulary which was every instant being enlarged. It does not appear to me that his scientific philological acquirements were extraordinary; but that his memory for words giving him such a command of vocabulary, and so wide a scope for comparison, and his accurate and delicate ear to catch the sounds, and power of reproducing them, were altogether wonderful and very rarely equalled. A man of his faculty of expression and powers of mind could not speak like a native; he spoke better than a native, than a native of Mota at least. That is that, although no doubt he never was quite master of the little delicate points of Mota scholarship, which no one not a native can keep quite right, and no native can account for, yet his vocabulary was so large and accurate, and his feeling of the native ways of looking at things and representing them in words so true, that he spoke to them more clearly and forcibly than even any native spoke, and with the power of an educated mind controlling while following the native taste. He was an enthusiast, no doubt, about these languages, and jealous of their claim to be considered true language, and not what people suppose them to be, the uncouth jargon of savages. I will only say that his translations of some of the Psalms into Mota are as lofty in their diction and as harmonious in their rhythm, in my estimation, as anything almost I read in any language. This no doubt sounds exaggerated, and must be taken only for what it is worth.
'It was probably in a great measure because his natural power of acquiring languages was so extraordinary, and needed so very little labour in him, that he did so very little to put on paper what he knew of all those many tongues. All there is in print I have put together. Besides this, he carried the same unfortunate way of leaving off what he had begun into these notes on language also. In the year '63-'64 he got printed a number of small grammatical papers in almost all the languages he knew, because he felt he ought not to subject them to the risk of being lost. Another reason why he did not go into any laborious manuscript or printing work with the various languages was, that he saw as time went on, first, that it was so very uncertain what language would come in practice into request; and, secondly, that one language would suffice for the use, in practice, of all natives of a neighbourhood. For example, the language of part of Mae (Three Hills), in the New Hebrides, was once studied and well known. Nothing whatever came of the intercourse with that island, once so constant, I don't know why, and now the people themselves are destroyed almost, and hopes of doing them good destroyed by the slave trade. And, secondly, the use of the Mota language in our ordinary intercourse here has very much diminished the need for any one's knowing a particular language beyond the missionary who has charge of the boys who speak it. Thus the Bishop rather handed over the language of Bauro to Mr. Atkin, of Florida to Mr. Brooke, of Leper's Island to Mr. Price; and as the common teaching of all boys who belonged to either of the principal groups into which the school fell went on in Mota, there was no practical use in the other tongues the Bishop knew, except in his voyages, and in giving him more effectual powers of influencing those to whom he could speak in their own tongue. Besides, he saw so clearly the great advantage, on the one hand, of throwing together in every possible way the boys from all the islands, which was much helped by the use of one language, and, on the other hand, the natural tendency in a group of boys from one island or neighbourhood to keep separate, and of the teacher of a particular set to keep them separate with himself, that, without saying much about it, he discouraged the printing of other languages besides Mota, and in other ways kept them rather in the background. How things would have arranged themselves if Mota had not by circumstances come into such prominence I cannot say, but the predominance of Mota came in with the internal organisation of the Mission by Mr. Pritt. It is impossible for one who knew Bishop Patteson intimately, and the later condition of the Mission intimately, to lose sight for long of Mr. Pritt's influence and his useful work.'
Perhaps this chapter can best be completed by the external testimony of a visitor to Norfolk Island, given in a letter to the Editor of the 'Australian Churchman':--
'Daily at 7 A.M. the bell rings for chapel about one minute, and all hands promptly repair thither. In spite of the vast varieties of language and dialect spoken by fifty or sixty human beings, collected from twenty or thirty islets of the Pacific main, no practical difficulty has been found in using the Mota as the general language in Chapel and school, so that in a short time a congregation of twenty languages are able to join in worship in the one Mota tongue, more or less akin to all the rest, and a class of, say, nine boys, speaking by nature five different languages, easily join in using the one Mota language, just as a Frenchman, a German, a Russian, a Pole, an Italian, and an Englishman, all meeting in the same cafe or railway carriage, on the same glacier or mountain top, might harmoniously agree to use the French language as their medium of communication. So the service is conducted in Mota with one exception only. The collect for the day is read in English, as a brief allowable concession to the ears and hearts of the English members of the Mission. The service consists of the greater part of the Church of England Service translated. Some modifications have been made to suit the course of religious instruction. The Psalms are chanted and hymns sung in parts, and always in admirable tune, by the congregation. Noteworthy are the perfect attention, the reverent attitude, the hearty swing and unison of the little congregation, a lesson, I felt with shame, to many of our white congregations.
'Immediately after service clinks out the breakfast bell, and, with marvellous promptitude and punctuality, whites and blacks, lay and clerical, are seen flocking to the mess-room. The whites sit at the upper end of the table, but beyond the special privilege of tea, all fare alike, chiefly on vegetables: yams or sweet potatoes, and carrots or vegetable marrows, as may suit the season, with plenty of biscuit for more ambitious teeth, and plenty of milk to wash it down. Soon afterwards comes school for an hour and a half. Then work for the boys and men, planting yams, reaping wheat, mowing oats, fencing, carting, building, as the call may be, only no caste distinction or ordering about; it is not go and do that, but come and do this, whether the leader be an ordained clergyman, a white farm bailiff, or a white carpenter. This is noteworthy, and your readers will gain no clear idea of the Mission if they do not seize this point, for it is no matter of mere detail, but one of principle. The system is not that of the ship or the regiment, of the farm or the manufactory of the old country, but essentially of the family. It is not the officer or master saying "Go" but the father or the brother saying "Come." And to this, I firmly believe, is the hearty cheerful following and merry work of the blacks chiefly due. At 1 P.M. is dinner, much the same as breakfast. Meat, though not unknown, is the weak point of the Mission dietary. In the afternoon, work. At 6, tea. In the evening, class again for an hour or two; this evening class being sometimes a singing lesson, heartily enjoyed by the teacher. I forget precisely when the boys have to prepare matter arising out of the lessons they have received viva voce.
'There are evening prayers, and bed-time is early. Noteworthy are the happy conjunctions of perfect discipline with perfect jollity, the marvellous attainment of a happy familiarity which does not "breed contempt."
'I presume I need scarcely say to your readers that besides education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, through the medium of the Mota language, instruction in the Holy Scriptures and the most careful explanations of their meaning and mutual relation, forms a main part of the teaching given. The men and boys of the senior classes take notes; notes not by order expressly to be inspected, but, so to say, private notes for the aid of their memories; and from the translation given to me by Bishop Patteson of some of these, I should say that few, if any, of the senior class of an English Sunday School could give anything like so close, and sometimes philosophical, an explanation of Scripture, and that sometimes in remarkably few words.
'There remains to be noticed one most effectual means of doing good. After evening school, the Bishop, his clergy, and his aides, retire mostly into their own rooms. Then, quietly and shyly, on this night or the other night, one or two, three or four of the more intelligent of the black boys steal silently up to the Bishop's side, and by fits and starts, slowly, often painfully, tell their feelings, state their difficulties, ask for help, and, I believe, with God's blessing, rarely fail to find it. They are not gushing as negroes, but shy as Englishmen; we Englishmen ought, indeed, to have a fellow-feeling for these poor black boys and help them with all our hearts.
'Such is the routine for five of the six work days. Saturday is whole holiday, and all hands go to fish if the sea permits; if not, to play rounders or what not. Merry lads they are, as ever gladdened an English playground.
'On Sunday, the early Chapel is omitted. The full Liturgy is divided into two services--I forget the laws--and a kind of sermon in Mota is given; and in the afternoon, the Bishop, or one of the ordained members of the Mission, usually goes down to the town to relieve Mr. Nobbs in his service for the Pitcairners.
'As regards the manual work of the station, this general principle is observed--women for washing and house-work; the men for planting and out-of-door work; but no one, white or black, is to be too grand to do his share. The Bishop's share, indeed, is to study and investigate and compare the languages and necessary translations, but no one is to be above manual labour. No one, because he is a white man, is to say, "Here, black fellow, come and clean my boots." "Here, black people, believe that I have come to give you a treasure of inestimable price. Meantime, work for me, am I not your superior? Can I not give you money, calico, what not?"
'This Christian democracy, if I may so call it, has worked well in the long run.'
This observer does seem to have entered well into the spirit of the place; and there can be no doubt that the plan and organisation of the Mission had by this time been well tested and both found practicable, and, as at present worked, more than ordinarily successful. The college was in full working order, with a staff of clergy, all save one formed under the Bishop, one native deacon and two teachers living with their wives in a population that was fast becoming moulded by the influence of Christianity, many more being trained up, and several more islands in course of gradual preparation by the same process as was further advanced in Mota.
Such were the achievements which could be thankfully recounted by the end of 1869.