THE LAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS. 1870-1871.
The prosperous days of every life pass away at last. Suffering and sorrow, failure and reverse are sure to await all who live out anything like their term of years, and the missionary is perhaps more liable than other men to meet with a great disappointment. 'Success but signifies vicissitude,' and looking at the history of the growth of the Church, it is impossible not to observe that almost in all cases, immediately upon any extensive progress, there has followed what seems like a strong effort of the Evil One at its frustration, either by external persecution, reaction of heathenism, or, most fatally and frequently during the last 300 years, from the reckless misdoings of unscrupulous sailors and colonists. The West Indies, Japan, America, all have the same shameful tale to tell--what wonder if the same shadow were to be cast over the Isles of the South?
It is one of the misfortunes, perhaps the temptations of this modern world, that two of its chief necessaries, sugar and cotton, require a climate too hot for the labour of men who have intelligence enough to grow and export them on a large scale, and who are therefore compelled, as they consider, to employ the forced toil of races able to endure heat. The Australian colony of Queensland is unfit to produce wheat, but well able to grow sugar, and the islands of Fiji, which the natives have implored England to annex, have become the resort of numerous planters and speculators. There were 300 white inhabitants in the latter at the time of the visit of the 'Curacoa' in 1865. In 1871 the numbers were from 5,000 to 6,000. Large sheep farms have been laid out, and sugar plantations established.
South Sea Islanders are found to have much of the negro toughness and docility, and, as has been seen, when away from their homes they are easily amenable, and generally pleasant in manner, and intelligent. Often too they have a spirit of enterprise, which makes them willing to leave home, or some feud with a neighbour renders it convenient. Thus the earlier planters did not find it difficult to procure willing labourers, chiefly from those southern New Hebrides, Anaiteum, Tanna, Erromango, &c., which were already accustomed to intercourse with sandal-wood traders, had resident Scottish or London missionaries, and might have a fair understanding of what they were undertaking.
The Fiji islanders themselves had been converted by Wesleyan Missionaries, and these, while the numbers of imported labourers were small, did not think ill of the system, since it provided the islanders with their great need, work, and might give them habits of industry. But in the years 1868 and 1869 the demand began, both in Queensland and Fiji, to increase beyond what could be supplied by willing labour, and the premium, £8 a head, on an able-bodied black, was sufficient to tempt the masters of small craft to obtain the desired article by all possible means. Neither in the colony nor in Fiji were the planters desirous of obtaining workers by foul means, but labour they must have, and they were willing to pay for it. Queensland, anxious to free herself from any imputation of slave- hunting, has drawn up a set of regulations, requiring a regular contract to be made with the natives before they are shipped, for so many years, engaging that they shall receive wages, and be sent home again at the end of the specified time. No one denies that when once the labourer has arrived, these rules are carried out; he is well fed, kindly treated, not over worked, and at the end of three or five years sent home again with the property he has earned.
A recent traveller has argued that this is all that can be desired, and that no true friend of the poor islander can object to his being taught industry and civilisation. Complaints are all 'missionary exaggeration,' that easy term for disposing of all defence of the dark races, and as to the difficulty of making a man, whose language is not understood, understand the terms of a contract--why, we continually sign legal documents we do not understand! Perhaps not, but we do understand enough not to find ourselves bound to five years' labour when we thought we were selling yams, or taking a pleasure trip. And we have some means of ascertaining the signification of such documents, and of obtaining redress if we have been deceived.
As to the boasted civilisation, a sugar plantation has not been found a very advanced school for the American or West Indian negro, and as a matter of fact, the islander who has fulfilled his term and comes home, bringing tobacco, clothes, and fire-arms, only becomes a more dangerous and licentious savage than he was in his simplicity. It is absolutely impossible, even if the planters wished it, to give any instruction to these poor fellows, so scattered are the settlements, so various the languages on each, and to send a man home with guns and gunpowder, and no touch of Christian teaching, is surely suicidal policy.
Yet, as long as the natives went in any degree willingly, though the Missionaries might deplore their so doing for the men's own sakes, and for that of their islands, it was only like a clergyman at home seeing his lads engage themselves to some occupation more undesirable than they knew. Therefore, the only thing that has been entreated for by all the missions of every denomination alike in the South Seas, has been such sufficient supervision of the labour traffic as may prevent deceit or violence from being used.
For, in the years 1869 and 1870, if not before, the captains of the labour ships, finding that a sufficient supply of willing natives could not be procured, had begun to cajole them on board. When they went to trade, they were thrust under hatches, and carried off, and if the Southern New Hebrides became exhausted, and the labour ships entered on those seas where the 'Southern Cross' was a welcome visitor, these captains sometimes told the men that 'the Bishop gave no pipes and tobacco, he was bad, they had better hold with them.' Or else 'the Bishop could not come himself, but had sent this vessel to fetch them.' Sometimes even a figure was placed on deck dressed in a black coat, with a book in his hand, according to the sailors' notion of a missionary, to induce the natives to come on deck, and there they were clapped under hatches and carried off.
In 1870, H.M.S. 'Rosario,' Captain Palmer, brought one of these vessels, the 'Daphne,' into Sydney, where the master was tried for acts of violence, but a conviction could not be procured, and, as will be seen in the correspondence, Bishop Patteson did not regret the failure, as he was anxious that ships of a fair size, with respectable owners, should not be deterred from the traffic, since the more it became a smuggling, unrecognised business, the worse and more unscrupulous men would be employed in it.
But decoying without violence began to fail; the natives were becoming too cautious, so the canoes were upset, and the men picked up while struggling in the water. If they tried to resist, they were shot at, and all endeavours at a rescue were met with the use of firearms.
They were thus swept off in such numbers, that small islands lost almost all their able-bodied inhabitants, and were in danger of famine for want of their workers. Also, the Fiji planters, thinking to make the men happier by bringing their wives, desired that this might be done, but it was not easy to make out the married couples, nor did the crews trouble themselves to do so, but took any woman they could lay hands on. Husbands pursued to save the wives, and were shot down, and a deadly spirit of hatred and terror against all that was white was aroused.
There is a still lower depth of atrocity, but as far as enquiry of the Government at Sydney can make out, unconnected with labour traffic, but with the tortoise-shell trade. Skulls, it will be remembered, were the ornament of old Iri's house at Bauro, and skulls are still the trophies in the more savage islands. It seems that some of the traders in tortoise-shell are in the habit of assisting their clients by conveying them in their vessels in pursuit of heads. There is no evidence that they actually do the work of slaughter themselves, though suspicion is strong, but these are the 'kill-kill' vessels in the patois of the Pacific, while the kidnappers are the 'snatch-snatch.' Both together, these causes were working up the islanders to a perilous pitch of suspicion and exasperation during the years 1870, 1871, and thus were destroying many of the best hopes of the fruit of the toils of all these years. But the full extent of the mischief was still unknown in Norfolk Island, when in the midst of the Bishop's plans for the expedition of 1870 came the illness from which he never wholly recovered.
Already he had often felt and spoken of himself as an elderly man. Most men of a year or two past forty are at the most vigorous period of their existence, generally indeed with the really individual and effective work of their lives before them, having hitherto been only serving their apprenticeship; but Coleridge Patteson had begun his task while in early youth, and had been obliged to bear at once responsibility and active toil in no ordinary degree. Few have had to be at once head of a college, sole tutor and steward, as well as primary schoolmaster all at once, or afterwards united these charges with those of Bishop, examining chaplain and theological professor, with the interludes of voyages which involved intense anxiety and watchfulness, as well as the hardships of those unrestful nights in native huts, and the exhaustion of the tropical climate. No wonder then that he was already as one whose work was well-nigh done, and to whom rest was near. And though the entrance into that rest was by a sudden stroke, it was one that mercifully spared the sufferings of a protracted illness, and even if his friends pause to claim for it the actual honours (on earth) of martyrdom, yet it was no doubt such a death as he was most willing to die, full in his Master's service-- such a death as all can be thankful to think of. And for the like- minded young man who shared his death, only with more of the bitterness thereof, the spirit in which he went forth may best be seen in part of a letter written in the January of 1870, just after his Ordination:--
'The right way must be to have a general idea of what to aim at, and to make for the goal by what seem, as you go, the best ways, not to go on a course you fixed to yourself before starting without having seen it. It is so easy for people to hold theories, and excellent ones too, of the way to manage or deal with the native races, but the worst is that when you come to work the theory, the native race will never be found what it ought to be for properly carrying it out. I am quite sure that nothing is to be done in a hurry; a good and zealous man in ignorance and haste might do more harm in one year than could be remedied in ten. I would not root out a single superstition until I had something better to put in its place, lest if all the weeds were rooted up, what had before been fertile should become desert, barren, disbelieving in anything. Is not the right way to plant the true seed and nourish it that it may take root, and out-grow and choke the weeds? My objection to Mission reports has always been that the readers want to hear of "progress," and the writers are thus tempted to write of it, and may they not, without knowing it, be at times hasty that they may seem to be progressing? People expect too much. Those do so who see the results of Mission work, who are engaged in it; those do so who send them. We have the precious seed to sow, and must sow it when and where we can, but we must not always be looking out to reap what we have sown. We shall do that "in due time" if we "faint not." Because missionary work looks like a failure, it does not follow that it is.
'Our Saviour, the first of all Christian Missionaries, was thirty years of His life preparing and being prepared for His work. Three years He spake as never man spake, and did not His work at that time look a failure? He made no mistakes either in what He taught or the way of teaching it, and He succeeded, though not to the eyes of men. Should not we be contented with success like His? And with how much less ought we not to be contented! So! The wonder is that by our means any result is accomplished at all.'
These are remarkable words for a young man of twenty-seven, full of life, health, and vigour, and go far to prove the early ripening of a spirit chastened in hopes, even while all was bright.
In the latter part of February, Bishop Patteson, after about six days of warning, was prostrated by a very severe attack of internal inflammation, and for three days--from the 20th to the 22nd--was in considerable danger as well as suffering. Mr. Nobbs's medical knowledge seems, humanly speaking, to have brought him through, and on the 28th, when an opportunity occurred of sending letters, he was able to write a note to his brother and sisters--weak and shattered- looking writing indeed, but telling all that needed to be told, and finishing with 'in a few days (D.V.) I may be quite well;' then in a postscript: 'Our most merciful Father, Redeemer and Sanctifier is merciful indeed. There was a time when I felt drawing near the dark valley, and I thought of Father, Mother, of Uncle Frank, and our little ones, Frankie and Dolly,'--a brother and sister who had died in early infancy.
But it was not the Divine will that he should be well in a few days. Day after day he continued feeble; and suffering much, though not so acutely as in the first attack, Mr. Nobbs continued to attend him, and the treatment was approved afterwards by the physicians consulted. All the clergy took their part in nursing, and the Melanesian youths in turn watched him day and night. He did not leave his room till the beginning of April, and then was only equal to the exertion of preparing two lads for Baptism and a few more for Confirmation. On Easter Sunday he was able to baptize the first mentioned, and confirm the others; and, the 'Southern Cross' having by this time arrived for the regular voyage, he embarked in her to obtain further advice at Auckland.
Lady Martin, his kind and tender hostess and nurse, thus describes his arrival:--
'We had heard of his illness from himself and others, and of his being out of danger in the middle of March. We were therefore much surprised when the "Southern Cross," which had sailed a fortnight before for Norfolk Island, came into the harbour on the morning of the 25th of April, and anchored in our bay with the Bishop's flag flying. We went down to the beach with anxious hearts to receive the dear invalid, and were greatly shocked at his appearance. His beard, which he had allowed to grow since his illness, and his hair were streaked with grey; his complexion was very dark, and his frame was bowed like an old man's.
'The Captain and Mr. Bice almost carried him up the hill to our house. He was very thankful to be on shore, and spoke cheerfully about the improvement he had made on the voyage. It was not very apparent to us who had not seen him for two years. Even then he was looking worn and ill, but still was a young active man. He seemed now quite a wreck. For the first fortnight his faithful attendant Malagona slept in his room, and was ready at all hours to wait upon his beloved Bishop. Day by day he used to sit by the fire in an easy chair, too weak to move or to attend to reading. He got up very early, being tired of bed. His books and papers were all brought out, but he did little but doze.'
Yet, in his despatch of the 2nd of May, where the manuscript is as firm, clear, and beautiful as ever, only somewhat less minute, he says that he had improved wonderfully on the voyage, though he adds that the doctor told him, 'At an office, they would insure your life at fifty, instead of forty-three years of age.'
Dr. Goldsboro had, on examination, discovered a chronic ailment, not likely, with care and treatment, to be dangerous to life, but forbidding active exertion or horse exercise, and warning him that a sudden jar or slip or fall on rugged ground would probably bring on acute inflammation, which might prove fatal after hours of suffering.
After, in the above-mentioned letter, communicating his exact state, he adds:--'The pain has been at times very severe, and yet I can't tell you of the very great happiness and actual enjoyment of many of those sleepless nights; when, perhaps at 2 A.M., I felt the pain subsiding, and prayer for rest, if it were His will, was changed into thanksgiving for the relief; then, as the fire flickered, came restful, peaceful, happy thoughts, mingled with much, I trust, heart- felt sorrow and remorse. And Psalms seemed to have a new meaning, and prayers to be so real, and somehow there was a sense of a very near Presence, and I felt almost sorry when it was 5.30, and I got up, and my kind Melanesian nurse made me my morning cup of weak tea, so good to the dry, furred tongue.
'Well, that is all past and gone; and now the hope and prayer is, that when my time is really come, I may be better prepared to go.
'Sir William and Lady Martin are pretty well; and I am in clover here, getting real rest, and gaining ground pretty well. I have all confidence in the prudence of the other missionaries and leave the work thankfully in their hands, knowing well Whose work it is, and to Whose guidance and protection we all trust.'
On the 9th, in a letter sent by a different route, he adds:--
'So I think it will come to my doing my work on Norfolk Island just as usual, with only occasional inconvenience or discomfort. But I think I shall have to forego some of the more risky and adventurous part of the work in the islands. This is all right. It is a sign that the time is come for me to delegate it to others. I don't mean that I shall not take the voyages, and stop about on the islands (D.V.) as before. But I must do it all more carefully, and avoid much that of old I never thought about. Yet I think it will not, as a matter of fact, much interfere with my work.
'I have, you understand, no pain now, only some discomfort. The fact that I can't do things, move about, &c., like a sound healthy person is not a trial. The relief from pain, the resty feeling, is such a blessing and enjoyment that I don't seem, as yet at all events, to care about the other.'
So of that restful state Lady Martin says: 'Indeed it was a most happy time to us, and I think on the whole to him. It was a new state of things to keep him without any pricks of conscience or restlessness on his part. He liked to have a quiet half-hour by the fire at night; and before I left him I used to put his books near him: his Bible, his Hebrew Psalter, his father's copy of Bishop Andrewes. Sometimes I would linger for a few minutes to talk about his past illness. He used to dwell specially on his dear father's nearness to him at that time. He spoke once or twice with a reverent holy awe and joy of sleepless nights, when thoughts of God had filled his soul and sustained him.
'His face, always beautiful from the unworldly purity of its expression, was really as the face of an angel while he spoke of these things and of the love and kindness he had received. He seemed to have been standing on the very brink of the river, and it was yet doubtful whether he was to abide with us. Now, looking back, we can see how mercifully God was dealing with His servant. A time of quiet and of preparation for death given to him apart from the hurry of his daily life, then a few months of active service, and then the crown.
'At the end of a fortnight (?--you must please to rectify dates) the "Southern Cross" sailed again, with Mr. Bice and Malagona on board; when, just as we were expecting she would have reached Norfolk Island, she was driving back into the harbour.'
The following letter to the Bishop of Lichfield gives an account of her peril:--
'Taurarua: May 11, 1870.
'My dear Bishop,--I have to tell you of another great mercy. The "Southern Cross" left Auckland on May 3--fair wind and fine weather.
'On May 5 she was within 185 miles of Norfolk Island.
'Then came on a fearful gale from the east and northeast to north- west. They were hove-to for three days, everything battened down; port boat and davits carried away by a sea; after a while the starboard boat dashed to pieces.
'Malagona, my nurse at Norfolk Island, who was brought up for a treat, was thrown completely across the cabin by one lurch, when she seemed almost settling down. It was dark. The water in the cabin, which had come through the dead-light, showed a little phosphoric glimmer. "Brother," he said to Bice, "are we dying?" "I don't know; it seems like it. We are in God's hands." "Yes, I know."
'Mr. (Captain) Jacobs was calm and self-possessed. He even behaved excellently. Once, all on deck were washed into the lee scuppers, and one man washed overboard; but he held a rope, and with it and the recoil was borne in again upon the deck. Lowest barometer, 28° 65'! We were startled yesterday at about 4 P.M. with the news of the reappearance of the vessel. I think that some £30 and the replacing the boats will pay damages, but one doesn't think of that.
'We hope to get, at all events, one ready-made boat, so as to cause no delay. The good people at Norfolk Island will be anxious if the vessel does not reappear soon.
'Auckland, June 6th--"Southern Cross" could not sail till May 23. If I am not found by them at Norfolk Island on their return, they are to come on for me. I hope to make a two months' cruise.
'General health quite well, no pain for weeks past. Dr. Goldsboro' says I shall be better in a hot climate; but he won't let me out of his hands yet.
'I really think I shall do very well by-and-by.
'Your very affectionate
'J. C. PATTESON.'
'The repairs took some time (continues Lady Martin). The delay must have been very trying to the Bishop in his weak state, as it threw out all the plans for the winter voyage; but he showed no signs of fretfulness or of a restless desire to go himself to see after matters. The winter was unusually cold after the vessel sailed again; and I used to wonder sometimes whether he lay awake listening to the wind that howled in gusts round the house; he may have, but certainly there was always a look of unruffled calm and peace on his face when we met in the morning.
'Tis enough that Thou shouldst care Why should I the burden bear?
'Our dear friend mended very slowly. It was more than a month before he could bear even to be driven up to Bishop's Court to receive the Holy Communion in the private Chapel, and some time longer before he could sit through the Sunday services. I cannot be sure whether he went first on Ascension Day. His own letters may inform you. I only remember how thankful and happy he was to be able to get there. He had felt the loss of the frequent Communions in which he could join all through his illness.'
He was making a real step towards recovery, and by the 10th of June he was able to go and stay at St. Sepulchre's parsonage with Mr. Dudley, and attend the gathering at the Bishop of Auckland's Chapel on St. Barnabas Day; but the calm enjoyment and soothing indifference which seems so often a privilege of the weakness of recovery was broken by fuller tidings respecting the labour traffic that imperilled his work. A schooner had come in from Fate with from fifteen to twenty natives from that and other islands to work in flax mills; and a little later a letter arrived from his correspondent in Fiji, showing to what an extent the immigration thither had come, and how large a proportion of the young men working in the sugar plantations had been decoyed from home on false pretences.
This was the point, as far as at the time appeared in New Zealand. If violence had then begun, no very flagrant instances were known; and the Bishop was not at all averse to the employment of natives, well knowing how great an agent in improvement is civilisation. But to have them carried off without understanding what they were about, and then set to hard labour, was quite a different thing.
'The difficulty is (he writes) to prove in a court of law what everyone acknowledges to be the case, viz., that the natives of the islands are inveigled on board these vessels by divers means, then put under the hatches and sold, ignorant of their destination or future employment, and without any promises of being returned home.
'It comes to this, though of course it is denied by the planters and the Queensland Government, which is concerned in keeping up the trade.
'There will always be some islanders who from a roving nature, or from a necessity of escaping retaliation for some injury done by them, or from mere curiosity, will paddle off to a ship and go on board. But they can't understand the white men: they are tempted below to look at some presents, or, if the vessel be at anchor, are allowed to sleep on board. Then, in the one case, the hatches are clapped on; in the other, sail is made in the night, and so they are taken off to a labour of which they know nothing, among people of whom they know nothing!
'It is the regulation rather than the suppression of the employment of native labourers that I advocate. There is no reason why some of these islanders should not go to a plantation under proper regulations. My notion is that--
'1. A few vessels should be licensed for the purpose of conveying these islanders backwards and forwards.
'2. That such vessels should be in charge of fit persons, heavily bound to observe certain rules, and punishable summarily for violating them.
'3. That the missionaries, wherever they be situated, should be informed of the names of the vessels thus licensed, of the sailing masters, &c.
'4. That all other vessels engaged in the trade should be treated as pirates, and confiscated summarily when caught.
'5. That a small man-of-war, commanded by a man fit for such work, should cruise among the islands from which islanders are being taken.
'6. That special legislative enactments should be passed enabling the Sydney Court to deal with the matter equitably.
'Something of this kind is the best plan I can suggest.
'It is right and good that the "Galatea" should undertake such work; and yet we want a little tender to the "Galatea" rather than the big vessel, as I think my experience of large vessels is that there is too much of routine; and great delay is occasioned by the difficulty of turning a great ship round, and you can't work near the shore, and even if chasing a little vessel which could be caught at once in the open sea, you may be dodged by her among islands. Yet the sense of the country is expressed very well by sending "Captain Edinburgh" himself to cruise between New Caledonia, Fiji, and the Kingsmill Islands, for the suppression of the illegal deportation of natives. So reads the despatch which the Governor showed me the other day. He asked me to give such information as might be useful to the "Galatea."'
With the Governor, Sir George Bowen, an old Oxford friend, Bishop Patteson spent several days, and submitted to him a memorial to Government, on the subject, both at home and in Queensland, stating the regulations, as above expressed.
The 'Rosario,' Captain Palmer, had actually captured the 'Daphne,' a vessel engaged in capturing natives, and brought her into Sydney, where the master was tried; but though there was no doubt of the outrage, it was not possible to obtain a conviction; and a Fiji planter whom the Bishop met in Auckland told him that the seizure of the 'Daphne' would merely lead to the exclusion of the better class of men from the trade, and that it would not stop the demand for native labourers. It would always pay to 'run' cargoes of natives into the many islets of Fiji; and they would be smuggled into the plantations. And there the government was almost necessarily by the whip. 'I can't talk to them,' said the planter; 'I can only point to what they are to do; and if they are lazy, I whip them.'
It was no wonder that Mr. Dudley thought the Bishop depressed; and, moreover, he over-exerted himself, walking a mile and a half one day, and preaching in the little Church of St. Sepulchre's. He longed to return to St. Barnabas, but was in no state to rough it in a common little sailing vessel, so he waited on. 'I am very lazy,' he says: 'I can't do much work. Sir William and I read Hebrew, and discuss many questions in which his opinion is most valuable. I have business letters to write, e.g., about the deportation of islanders and about a clergyman whom the Melbourne people are helping to go to Fiji.... This is perhaps a good trial for me, to be sitting lazily here and thinking of others at work!'
This was written about the middle of July, when the convalescent had regained much more strength, and could walk into town, or stand to read and write according to his favourite custom, as well as thoroughly enjoy conversations with his hosts at Taurarua.
'I never saw (observes Lady Martin) a larger charity united to a more living faith. He knew in Whom he believed; and this unclouded confidence seemed to enable him to be gentle and discriminating in his judgments on those whose minds are clouded with doubt.
'It was pleasant to see how at this time his mind went back to the interests which he had laid aside for years. He liked to hear bits of Handel, and other old masters, and would go back to recollections of foreign travels and of his enthusiasm for music and art as freshly and brightly as he had done in the first days of our acquaintance. But this was only in the "gloaming" or late in the evening when he was resting in his easy chair.
'At the end of July we were expecting a young relation and his bride to spend a week with us before returning to England, and we gave the Bishop the option of going to Bishop's Court for the time, where he was always warmly welcomed. Some years before, he would certainly have slipped away from the chatter and bustle; but now he decided to remain with us, and throw himself into the small interests around, in a way which touched and delighted the young couple greatly. He put away his natural shrinking from society and his student ways, and was willing to enjoy everything as it came. We had a curious instance at this time of the real difficulty the Bishop felt about writing sermons. He had not attempted to preach, save at Mr. Dudley's Church; but a week or two before he left us, Archdeacon Maunsell came to beg of him to preach at St. Mary's, where he had often taken service formerly. He promised to do so without any apparent hesitation, and said afterwards to us that he could not refuse such a request. So on Wednesday he began to prepare a sermon. He was sitting each morning in the room where I was at work, and he talked to me from time to time of the thoughts that were in his mind. The subject was all that was implied in the words, "I have called thee by thy name," the personal knowledge, interest, &c.; and I was rejoicing in the treat in store, when, to my dismay, I saw sheet after sheet, which had been written in his neat, clear hand as though the thoughts flowed on without effort, flung into the fire. "I can't write," was said again and again, and the work put by for another day. At last, on Saturday morning, he walked up to the parsonage to make his excuses. Happily Dr. Maunsell would not let him off, so on Sunday the Bishop, without any notes or sermon, spoke to us out of the fulness of his heart about the Mission work, of its encouragements and its difficulties. He described, in a way that none can ever forget who heard the plaintive tones of his voice and saw his worn face that day, what it was to be alone on an island for weeks, surrounded by noisy heathen, and the comfort and strength gained then by the thought that we who have the full privileges of Christian worship and communion were remembering such in our prayers.
'Our young friends sailed on Sunday, August 7; and we expected the Bishop to sail the next day, but the winds were foul and boisterous, and we had him with us till Friday morning, the 12th. Those last days were very happy ones. His thoughts went back to Melanesia and to his work; and every evening we drew him to tell of adventures and perils, and to describe the islands to us in a way he had scarcely ever done before. I think it was partly to please our Maori maiden, who sat by his side on a footstool in the twilight, plying him with questions with so much lively natural interest that he warmed up in return. Generally, he shrank into himself, and became reserved at once if pressed to tell of his own doings. He spoke one evening quite openly about his dislike to ship life. We were laughing at some remembrance of the Bishop of Lichfield's satisfaction when once afloat; and he burst into an expression of wonder, how anyone could go to sea for pleasure. I asked him what he disliked in particular, and he answered, Everything. That he always felt dizzy, headachy, and unable to read with comfort; the food was greasy, and there was a general sense of dirt and discomfort. As the time drew nigh for sailing, he talked a good deal about the rapidly growing evil of the labour trade. He grew very depressed one day, and spoke quite despondingly of the future prospects of the Mission. He told us of one island, Vanua Lava, I think, where, a few years ago, 300 men used to assemble on the beach to welcome him. Now, only thirty or forty were left. He saw that if the trade went on at the same rate as it had been doing for the last year or two, many islands would be depopulated, and everywhere he must expect to meet with suspicion or open ill will.'
'The next morning the cloud had rolled away, and he was ready to go forth in faith to do the work appointed him, leaving the result in God's hands. We accompanied him to the boat on Friday morning. Bishop and Mrs. Cowie came down, and one or two of the clergy, and his two English boys who were to go with him.
'It was a lovely morning. We rejoiced to see how much he had improved in his health during his stay. He had been very good and tractable about taking nourishment, and certainly looked and was all the better for generous diet. He had almost grown stout, and walked upright and briskly. Sir William parted with him on the beach, where we have had so many partings; and I meant to do so too, but a friend had brought another boat, and invited me to come, so I gladly went off to the "Southern Cross," which was lying about half-a-mile off. The Cowies were very anxious to see the vessel, and the Bishop showed them all about. I was anxious to go down to his cabin, and arrange in safe nooks comforts for his use on the voyage. In half an hour the vessel was ready to sail. One last grasp of the hand, one loving smile, and we parted--never to meet again on earth.'
So far this kind and much-loved friend! And to this I cannot but add an extract from the letter she wrote to his sisters immediately after the parting, since it adds another touch to the character now ripened:--
'I think you are a little mistaken in your notion that your brother would feel no interest in your home doings. He has quite passed out of that early stage when the mind can dwell on nothing but its own sphere of work. He takes a lively interest in all that is going on at home, specially in Church matters, and came back quite refreshed from Bishop's Court with all that Bishop Cowie had told him.
'What he would really dread in England would be the being lionised, and being compelled to speak and preach here, there, and everywhere. And yet he would have no power to say nay. But the cold would shrivel him up, and society--dinners, table talk--would bore him, and he would pine for his warmth and his books. Not a bit the less does he dearly love you all.'
The brother and sisters knew it, and forebore to harass him with remonstrances, but resigned themselves to the knowledge that nothing would bring him home save absolute disqualification for his mission.
His own last letter from Taurarua dwells upon the enjoyment of his conversations with Sir William Martin and Bishop Cowie; and then goes into details of a vision of obtaining young English boys to whom a good education would be a boon, bringing them up at St. Barnabas, and then, if they turned out fit for the Mission there, they would be prepared--if not, they would have had the benefit of the schooling.
Meantime the 'Southern Cross,' with three of the clergy, had made the voyage according to minute directions from the Bishop. Mr. Atkin made his yearly visit to Bauro. He says:--
'I hardly expected that when we came back we should have found the peace still unbroken between Wango and Hane, but it is. Though not very good friends, they are still at peace. In the chief's house I was presented with a piece of pork, about two pounds, and a dish of tauma (their favourite), a pudding made of yams, nuts, and cocoa-nut milk, and cooked by steaming. Fortunately, good manners allowed me to take it away. Before we left the village, it took two women to carry our provisions. A little boy came back with us, to stay with Taki. The two boys who ought to have come last year are very anxious to do so still.
'July 12th.--We anchored the boat on the beach at Tawatana, and I went into the oka (public house) to see the tauma prepared for the feast. There were thirty-eight dishes. The largest, about four feet long, stood nearly three feet high. I tried to lift one from the ground, but could not; it must have been five hundredweight; the smallest daras held eighty or a hundred pounds. I calculated that there was at least two tons. When freshly made it is very good, but at these feasts it is always old and sour, and dripping with cocoa- nut oil. The daras, or wooden bowls, into which it is put, are almost always carved and inlaid with mother-of-pearl shell.
'There was a great crowd at the landing-place at Saa (Malanta) to meet us. Nobody knew Wate at first, but he was soon recognised. The boat was pulled up into a little river, and everything stealable taken out. We then went up to the village, passing some women crying on the way; here, as at Uleawa, crying seems to be the sign of joy, or welcome. Wate's father's new house is the best I have seen in any of these islands. It has two rooms; the drawing-room is about forty- five feet long by thirty wide, with a roof projecting about six feet outside the wall at the end and four feet at the eaves; the bed-room is about eighteen feet wide, so that the whole roof covers about seventy feet by forty. Wate's father lives like a chief of the olden time, with large property, but nothing of his own; all that he has or gets goes as soon as he gets it to his retainers.
'August 3rd.--Went to Heuru. The bwea began about ten o'clock. A bwea means a stage, but the word is used as we speak of "the stage." There is a stage in this case about three feet square, twenty feet from the ground, walled in to three feet height on three sides, with a ladder of two stout poles. On the bwea sit or stand two or three men, on either side having a bag; visitors run up the ladder, put their money or porpoise teeth into the bags if small, give it to the men if large; and, if their present is worth it, make a speech a little way down the ladder. A party from a village generally send up a spokesman, and when he has done go up in a body and give their money. Taki was orator for Waiio, and I led the party with my present of beads, which if red or white pass as money. The object of a bwea is to get money, but it may only be held on proper occasions. The occasion of this was the adoption of a Mara lad by the chief man at Heuru; to get money to pay the lad's friends he held a bwea that all his friends might help him. As he was a connection of Taki's, and Waiio is the richest of the settlements, he got great spoils from thence.... At Tawatana the young men put on petticoats of cocoa-nut leaves, and danced their graceful "mao." I had only seen it before at Norfolk Island; it is very pretty, but must be very difficult to learn; they say that not many know it. At Nora they danced another most dirty dance: all the performers were daubed from head to foot with mud, and wore masks covered with mud and ashes; the aim of the dance, as far as I could see, was to ridicule all sorts of infirmities and imbecilities, tottering, limping, staggering, and reeling, but in time and order. One man had a basket of dripping mud on his head which was streaming down his face and back all the time. A great point is that the actors should not be recognised. Mr. Brooke was likewise dropped at Florida. After this the rest of the party had gone on to Mota, where George Sarawia was found working away well at his school, plenty of attendants, and the whole place clean, well-ventilated, and well-regulated.
A watch sent out as a present to Sarawia was a delight which he could quite appreciate, and he had sent back very sensible right-minded letters. Of Bishop Patteson's voyage the history is pieced together from two letters, one to the sisters, the other to the Bishop of Lichfield. Neither was begun till September, after which they make a tolerably full diary.
'More than five weeks have passed since I left New Zealand, more than three since I left Norfolk Island. Mr. Codrington and I reached Mota on the morning of the eighth day after leaving Norfolk Island. I spent but half an hour on shore with George Sarawia and his people; sailed across to Aroa and Matlavo, where I landed eight or ten of our scholars; and came on at once to the Solomon Islands. On Sunday morning (September 4) what joy to find Mr. Atkin well and hearty!
'Mr. Brooke, who took up his abode at the village of Mboli, had with him Dudley Lankana and Richard Maru, but they were a good deal absorbed by their relations, and not so useful to him as had been hoped, though they kept out of heathen habits, and remained constant to their intention of returning.
'"Brooke," says the Bishop, "knows and speaks the one language of Anudha very well, for there is but one language, with a few dialectical varieties of course."
'A nice little house was built for him at Mboli, which I have always thought to be a very healthy place.
'The coral grit and sand runs a long way in shore under cocoa-nut groves, but there is no very dense undergrowth. The wind when easterly blows freely along and is drawn rather upon the shore there. Two miles to windward of Mboli is the good harbour of Sara, where the vessel anchored with us.
'Brooke's house was raised on poles, five feet from the ground; the floor made of neat smooth bamboos, basket-worked. He had his table and two benches, one easy cane chair, cork bed, boxes, harmonium, and plenty of food.
'Close to his house is the magnificent kiala, or boat house, about 180 feet long, 42 high, and about as many feet broad, a really grand, imposing place. Here Brooke, in surplice, with his little band, had his Sunday services, singing hymns, and chanting Psalms, in parts, in the presence of from 150 to 300, once nearly 400 people, to whom he spoke of course, usually twice, making two sermonets.
'The island is unlike any other; much more open, much less bush, but it is not coral crag that crops out, but almost bare reddish rock, with but little soil on it, and the population, which is large, finds it hard to procure food.
'Three brothers, Takua, Savai, and Dikea, are the principal men. Local chiefs exercise some small authority in each village. Anudha, or Aunta, is properly the name of a small island, for there is no one great mainland, but many islands separated by very narrow salt-water creeks and rivers, along which a skiff may be sculled.
'Brooke has been over every part of it. His only difficulties arose from jealousy on the part of Takua and Savai, who, living at Mboli, were very wroth at his not being their tame Pakeha, at his asserting his independence, his motive in coming to teach all, and make known to all alike a common message. Especially they were indignant at his making up small parties of boys from different parts of the island, as they of course wanted to monopolise him, and through him the trade. He has evidently been firm and friendly too, keeping his temper, yet speaking out very plainly. The result, as far as bringing boys goes, is that we have now thirteen on board, including Dudley and Richard, from six different parts of the island. But so vexed was Takua, that he would not fulfil his promise of sending his two little girls.
'The fortnight spent in the Solomon Islands has been very fine; winds very light, and very little rain. We have at length got Stephen Taroniara's child, a little girl of about seven years old, Paraitaku, from the old grandmother and aunts. So, thank God, she will be brought up as a Christian child. She is a dear little thing.
'This work of Mr. Atkin and Mr. Brooke in the easterly and more north-westerly parts of the Solomon Islands respectively, is the nearest approach that has yet been made to regular missionary operations there. Our short visits in the "Southern Cross," or my short three to ten days' visits on shore are all useful as preparing the way for something more. But it is the quiet, lengthened staying for some months among these islanders that gives opportunities for knowing them and their ways. They do everything with endless talk and discussion about it; and it is only by living with, and moving about constantly among them, that any hold can be gained over them. I think that the Mission is now in a more hopeful state than ever before in these islands.
'Our parties of scholars are large. They trust quite little fellows with us, and for any length of time. True, these little fellows cannot exercise any influence for years to come; but if we take young men or lads of sixteen or eighteen years old, it needs as many years to qualify them (with heathen habits to be unlearned, and with the quickness of apprehension of new teaching already gone) for being useful among their people as would suffice for the arrival of these young children at mature age.'
Three Tikopian giants had made a visit at Mota in the course of this year, attracted by the fame of the hospitality and fertility of the place. George Sarawia had got on well with them, and tried to keep them to meet the Bishop, but one of them fell sick, and the others took him away. This was hailed as a possible opening to those two curious isles, Oanuta and Tikopia, in so far as the 'Southern Cross' work was concerned. The Bishop continues, to his former Primate:--
'On the whole, things seem to be going on favourably. The Banks Islanders are very shy now of the vessels sent to carry off men to Fiji or Queensland. They will find their way into the Solomon Islands soon. One, indeed, a cutter, has taken about twenty men from Ulava. They were all kept under hatches. We warn the people wherever we go.
'The pressing question now is how to supply our young men and women, married Christian couples, with proper occupations to prevent their acquiescing in an indolent, useless, selfish life.
'When their "education is finished," they have no profession, no need to work to obtain a livelihood for themselves, wives, and children. They can't all be clergymen, nor all even teachers in such a sense as to make it a calling and occupation.
'Some wants they have--houses fit for persons who like reading and writing, a table, a bench, a window becomes necessary. Coral lime houses would be good for them. They make and wear light clothing, they wash and cook on new principles, &c.; but these wants are soon supplied. Only a practical sense of the duty of helping others to know what they have been taught will keep them from idleness and its consequences. And how few of us, with no other safeguard against idleness, would be other than idle!
'Some, I think, may be helped by being associated with us, and with their friends of the Solomon Isles, New Hebrides, in spending some months on shore, where they would soon acquire a fair knowledge of the language, and might be of great use to less advanced friends. This would be a real work for them. Just as Mission work is the safeguard of the settled Church, so it must be the safeguard of these young native Churches.
'No doubt the Missionary spirit infused into the Samoan and Karotongan Churches kept them living and fruitful. I am trying to think upon these points.
'If the contrast be too violent between the Mission station with its daily occupations and the island life, it becomes very difficult for the natives to perpetuate the habits of the one amidst the circumstances of the other.
'The habits acquired at Norfolk Island ought to be capable of being easily transferred to the conditions of the Melanesian isles.
'They ought, I think, to wear (in the hot summer and on week days) light loose clothing, which could be worn at home; or clothing of the same shape and fit (though perhaps of warm materials) might be worn.
'The circumstances of the two places must be different, but we must minimise the difference as much as possible.
'I often think of the steady-going English family, with regular family prayers, and attendance twice at Church on Sunday, and the same people spending two months on the Continent. No opportunity is made for family prayers before the table d'hôte breakfast; and at least one part of the Sunday is spent in the Roman Catholic Cathedral, or in a different way from the home use. And if this be so with good respectable folk among ourselves, what must be the effect of altered circumstances on our Melanesians?
'It is not easy to keep up the devotional life on shore at home, or in the islands, or on board ship with the same regularity. And where the convert must be more dependent than we ought to be on external opportunities, the difficulty is increased. So if the alteration be as little as possible, we gain something, we make it easier to our scholars to perpetuate uninterruptedly the Norfolk Island life.
'To live with them and try to show them how, on their island, to keep up the religious life unchanged amidst the changed outward circumstances is a good way, but then we can't live among them very long, and our example is so often faulty.
'Curiously do these practical difficulties make us realise that there may really be some benefit in artificial wants; and that probably the most favourable situation for the development of the human character is a climate where the necessaries of life are just sufficiently difficult of production to require steady industry, and yet that nature should not be so rigorous as to make living so hard a matter as to occupy the whole attention, and dwarf the mental faculties.'
How remarkable, is the date of the following thoughts, almost like a foreboding:--
'September 19th, 10 A.M. (to the sisters).--We are drawing near Santa Cruz, about 100 miles off. How my mind is filled with hopes, not unmingled with anxiety. It is more than eleven years since we sought to make an opening here, and as yet we have no scholar. Last year, I went ashore at a large village called Taive, about seven miles from the scene of our disaster. Many canoes came to us from that spot, and we stood in quite close in the vessel, so that people swam off to us.
'They are all fighting among the various villages and neighbouring islets of the Reef Archipelago, twenty miles north of the main island. It is very difficult what to do or how to try to make a beginning. God will open a door in His own good time. Yet to see and seize on the opportunity when given is difficult. How these things make one feel more than ever the need of Divine guidance, the gift of the Spirit of Wisdom and Counsel and ghostly strength. To human eyes it seems almost hopeless. Yet other islanders were in a state almost as hopeless apparently. Only there is a something about Santa Cruz which is probably very unreal and imaginary, which seems to present unusual difficulties. In a few days, I may, by God's goodness, be writing to you again about our visit to the group. And if the time be come, may God grant us some opening, and grace to use it aright!
'At Piteni, Matama, Nupani, Analogo, I can talk somewhat to the people, who are Polynesians, and speak a dialect connected with the Maori of New Zealand. I think that the people of Indeni (the native name for Santa Cruz) are also more than half Polynesians; but I don't know a single sentence of their language properly. I can say nothing about it. They destroy and distort their organs of pronunciation by excessive use of the betel-nut and pepper leaf and lime, so that no word is articulately pronounced. It is very hard to catch the sounds they make amidst the hubbub on deck or the crowds on shore; yet I think that if we had two or three lads quietly with us at Norfolk Island, we should soon make out something.
'Don't think I am depressed by this. I only feel troubled by the sense that I frequently lose opportunities from indolence and other faults. I am quite aware that we can do very little to bring about an introduction to these islanders; and I fully believe that in some quite unexpected way, or at all events in some way brought about independently of our efforts, a work will be begun here some day, in the day when God sees it to be fit and right.
(To the Bishop of Lichfield.)
'September 27th.--Leaving Santa Cruz we came to this group from Ulava with light fair winds; left Ulava on Saturday at 6 P.M., and sighted the island, making the west side of Graciosa Bay on the next Wednesday; sea quite smooth; thermometer reached 92 degrees.
'Sunday.--Very calm, but a light breeze took us into Nukapu. A canoe came off, I made them understand that it was our day of rest, and that I would visit them atainu (to-morrow), a curious word. I gave a few presents, and we slowly sailed on.
'Monday, 6 A.M.--Off Piteni, canoe off, went ashore, low tide, got into a canoe, and so reached the beach, people well behaved, much talk of taking lads, quite well understood. The speech is (you remember) very Maori indeed. There were some nice lads, but no one came away. Four canoes from Taumaho were here, and two Piteni men came back from Taumaho while I was on shore.
'At Nukapu at 2.30 P.M. High water, went in easily over the reef by a short cut, not by our old winding narrow passage. I was greatly pleased by the people asking me on board, "Where is Bisambe?" "Here I am." "No, no, the Bisambe tuai (of old). Your mutua (father). Is he below? Why doesn't he come up with some hatchets?"
'So you see they remember you. A tall middle-aged man, Moto, said that he was with us in the boat in 1859, and he and I remembered the one-eyed man who piloted us.
'I went here also into the houses. Here is a quaint place; many things, not altogether idols, but uncanny, and feared by the people. Women danced in my honour, people gave small presents, &c., but no volunteers. I could talk with them with sufficient ease; and took my time, lying at my ease on a good mat with cane pillow, Anaiteum fashion. I told them that they had seen on board many little fellows from many islands; that they need not fear to let their children go; that I could not spend time and property in coming year by year and giving presents when they were unwilling to listen to what I said, but they only made unreal promises, put boys in the boat merely to take them out again, and so we went away atrakoi.'
There is a little weariness of spirits--not of spirit--in the contemporaneous words to the home party:--
'I don't know what to write about this voyage. You have heard all about tropical vegetation, Santa Cruz canoes, houses, customs, &c. If indeed I could draw these fellows, among whom I was lying on a mat on Monday; if you could see the fuzzy heads, stained white and red, the great shell ornaments on the arms, the round plate of shell as big as a small dinner plate hanging over the chest, the large holes in the lobes of the ears rilled with perhaps fifteen or twenty rings of tortoise-shell hung on to one another; the woven scarves and girdles stained yellow with turmeric and stamped with a black pattern: then it would make a curious sight for you; and your worthy brother, much at his ease, lying flat on his back on two or three mats, talking to the people about his great wish to take away some of the jolly little fellows to whom he was giving fish-hooks, would no doubt be very "interesting." But really all this has become so commonplace, that I can't write about it with any freshness. The volcano in this group, Tenakulu, is now active, and was a fine sight at night, though the eruption is not continuous as it was in 1859.
'October 9th--Near Ambrym [to the Bishop]. Some people from Aruas, the large western bay of Vanua Lava, had been taken by force to Queensland or Fiji. The natives simply speak of "a ship of Sydney."
'Wednesday.--Aroa and Matlavo. 'Henry Tagalana and Joanna and their baby Elizabeth, William Pasvorang and Lydia, and six others, all baptized, and four communicants among them, had spent five weeks on shore; a very nice set. Six of them lived together at Aroa, had regular morning and evening prayers, sang their hymns, and did what they could, talking to their people. Codrington went over in a canoe, and spent four days with them, much pleased. We brought three scholars for George from thence.
'Thursday, Mota.--Codrington says the time is come, in his opinion, for some steps to be taken to further the movement in Mota. Grown-up people much changed, improved, some almost to be regarded as catechumens.
'We left Mota, bringing all that were to come; indeed, we scarcely know what it is nowadays to lose a boy or man--a great blessing. There had been another visit of eleven canoes of Tikopians; friendly, though unable to converse, and promising to return again in two months.
'October 11th.--A topsail schooner in sight, between Ambrym and Paama--one of those kidnapping vessels. I have any amount of (to me) conclusive evidence of downright kidnapping. But I don't think I could prove any case in a Sydney Court. They have no names painted on some of their vessels, and the natives can't catch nor pronounce the names of the white men on board. They describe their appearance accurately, and we have more than suspicions about some of these fellows.
'The planters in Queensland and Fiji, who create the demand for labourers, say that they don't like the kidnapping any more than I do. They pay occasionally from £6 to £12 for an "imported labourer," and they don't want to have him put into their hands in a sullen irritable state of mind.'
Touching at Nengone, the Bishop saw Mr. Creagh, who had recently visited New Caledonia, whither Basset, the poor chief who had been banished to Tahiti for refusing to receive a French priest, had been allowed to return, on the Emperor Napoleon forbidding interference with Protestant missionaries or their converts.
Wadrokala and his wife and child were brought away, making up a number of 65 black passengers, besides the 60 scholars already at Norfolk Island. The weather throughout the voyage had been unusually still, with frequent calms, the sea with hardly any swell. And this had been very happy for the Bishop; but he was less well than when he had left Taurarua, and was unequal to attending the General Synod in New Zealand, far more so to another campaign in Australia, though he cherished the design of going to see after the condition of the labourers in Fiji.
He finishes his long letter to his former Primate:--
It is perhaps cowardly to say that I am thankful that I am not a clergyman in England. I am not the man even in a small parish to stand up and fight against so many many-headed monsters. I should give in, and shirk the contest. The more I pray that you may have strength to endure it. I don't think I was ever pugnacious in the way of controversy; and I am very very thankful to be out of it.'
Indeed, the tone of the references to Church matters at home had become increasingly cautious; and one long letter to Mrs. Martyn he actually tore up, lest it should do harm. His feeling more and more was to wish for patience and forbearance, and to deprecate violent words or hasty actions--looking from his hermit life upon all the present distress more as a phase of Church history that would develop into some form of good, and perhaps hardly sensible of the urgency of the struggle and defence. For peace and shelter from the strife of tongues was surely one of the compensating blessings conferred on him. But, as all his companions agree, he was never the same man again after his illness. There was a lower level of spirits and of energy, a sensitiveness to annoyances, and an indisposition to active exertion, which distressed him.
His day began as early as ever, and was mapped out as before, for classes of all kinds, Hebrew and reading; but he seldom left his room, except for Chapel and meals, being unable to take much out-door exercise. He did not see so much of his elder scholars as before, chiefly because the very large number of newer pupils made it necessary to employ them more constantly; but he never failed to give each of them some instruction for a short time every day, though with more effort, for indeed almost everything had become a burthen to him. Mr. Codrington's photograph taken at this time shows how much changed and aged he had become. The quiet in which he now lived resulted in much letter-writing, taking up correspondences that had slumbered in more busy times, as his mind flew back to old friends: though, indeed, the letters given in the preceding Memoir must not be taken by any means to represent the numbers he wrote. When he speaks of sending thirty-five by one mail, perhaps only one or two have come into my hands; and of those only such portions are of course taken as illustrate his life, work, character, and opinions without trenching on the reserve due to survivors. Thus multitudes of affectionate letters, participating in the joys and sorrows of his brother, his cousins and friends, can necessarily find no place here; though the idea of his character is hardly complete without direct evidence of the unbroken or more truly increasing sympathy he had with those whom he had not met for sixteen years, and his love for his brother's wife and children whom he had never seen.
Soon after his return to Norfolk Island came a packet with a three months' accumulation of home despatches. He read and replied in his old conversational way, with occasionally a revelation of his deep inner self:--
'I have been thinking, dear old Fan, about your words, "there would be a good deal to give and take if you came home for a time;" less perhaps now than before I was somewhat tamed by my illness. I see more of the meaning of that petition, "from all blindness of heart, from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; and from all uncharitableness."
'Alas! you don't know what a misspent life I looked back upon, never losing hold, God be praised, of the sure belief in His promises of pardon and acceptance in Christ. I certainly saw that a want of sympathy, an indifference to the feelings of others, want of consideration, selfishness, in short, lay at the bottom of very much that I mourned over.
'There is one thing, that I don't mention as an excuse for a fault which really does exist, but simply as a fact, viz., that being always, even now, pressed for time, I write very abruptly, and so seem to be much more positive and dogmatic than I hope, and really think, is the case. I don't remember ever writing you a letter in which I was able to write but as I would have talked out the matter under discussion in all its bearings. This arises partly from impatience, my pen won't go fast enough; but as I state shortly my opinion, without going through the reasons which lead me to adopt it, no doubt much that I say seems to be without reason, and some of it no doubt is.'
I need make no excuse for giving as much as possible of the correspondence of these last few months, when--though the manner of his actual departure was violent, there was already the shadow, as it were, of death upon him.
To Sir J. T. Coleridge the letter was:--
'December 9, 1870.
'My dearest Uncle,--How long it is since I wrote to you!... And yet it is true that I think more often of you than of anyone, except Jem, Joan and Fan. In fact, your name meets me so often in one way or another--in papers from England, and much more in books continually in use, that I could not fail to think of you if I had not the true, deep love that brings up the old familiar face and voice so often before my eyes....
'I wish I could talk with you, or rather hear you answer my many questions on so many points. I get quite bewildered sometimes. It is hard to read the signs of our times; so hard to see where charity ends and compromise begins, where the old opinion is to be stoutly maintained, and where the new mode of thought is to be accepted. I suppose there always was some little difference among divines as to "fundamentals," and no ready-made solution exists of each difficult question as it emerges.
'There is reason for that being so, because it is part of our duty and trial to exercise our own power of discretion and judgment. But so much now seems to be left to individuals, and so little is accepted on authority. In Church matters I have for years thought Synods to be the one remedy. If men meet and talk over a difficulty, there is a probability of men's understanding each other's motives, and thus preserving charity. If one-twentieth part of a diocese insists upon certain observances which nineteen-twentieths repudiate, it seems clear that the very small minority is put out of court. Yet how often the small minority contains more salt than the large majority!
'I know indeed I am speaking honestly, that I am not worthy to understand dear Mr. Keble on many points. "The secret of our Lord" is with such men, and we fail to understand him, nous autres I mean, outside the sanctuary. Yet there is, I must confess it to you, my dear uncle, a something about his book on Eucharistic Adoration which has the character to me of foreign rather than of English divinity. I don't want to be exclusive, far from it. I don't want to be Anglican versus Primitive; but yet somehow, to me, there is a something which belongs more to French or Italian than to English character about some parts of the book. It is no doubt because I can't see what to his eye was plain.'
[An account of the voyage follows as before given.] 'The islanders are beginning to find out the true character of the many small vessels cruising among them, taking away people to the plantations in Queensland, Fiji, &c. So now force is substituted for deceit. Natives are enticed on board under promises (by signs of course, for nowhere can they talk to them) of presents, tempted down below into the hold to get tomahawks, beads, biscuit, &c., then the hatches are clapped on, and they are stolen away. I have to try and write a statement about it, which is the last thing I can do properly.'
[Then the history of the weddings and baptisms.] 'There is another pleasant feature to be noticed. The older scholars, almost all of whom are Banks Islanders, talk and arrange among themselves plans for helping natives of the islands. Thus Edward Wogale, of Mota, volunteers to go to Anudha, 300 or 400 miles off, to stay there with his friend Charles Sapinamba of that island, to aid him in working among his people. Edward is older and knows more than Charles. They talk in Mota, but Edward will soon have to speak the tongue of Anudha when living there. B---- and his wife offer to go to Santa Maria, Robert Pantatun and his wife to go to Matlavo, John Nonono to go to Savo, and Andrew Lalena also. This is very comforting to me. It is bona fide giving up country and home. It is indicative of a real desire to make known the Gospel to other lands. So long as they will do this, so long I think we may have the blessed assurance that God's Holy Spirit is indeed working in their hearts. Dear fellows! It makes me very thankful.
'My clerical staff is increased by a Mr. Jackson, long a friend and supporter of the Mission....
'Atkin is a steady-going fellow, most conscientious, with a good head-piece of his own, diligent and thoughtful rather than quick. He and Bice read Hebrew daily with me, and they will have soon a very fair knowledge of it. Joe Atkin knows his Greek Testament very fairly indeed: Ellicott, Trench, Alford, Wordsworth and others are in use among us.
'I wish you could see some of these little fellows. It is, I suppose, natural that an old bachelor should have pleasure in young things about him, ready-made substitutes for children of his own. I do like them. With English children, save and except Pena, I never was at my ease, partly I think from a worse than foolish self- consciousness about so ugly a fellow not being acceptable to children. Anyhow, I don't feel shy with Melanesians; and I do like the little things about me, even the babies come to me away from almost anyone, chiefly, perhaps, because they are acquainted at a very early age with a corner of my room where dwells a tin of biscuits.
'To this day I shut up and draw into my shell when any white specimen of humanity looms in sight. How seldom do one's natural tastes coincide with one's work. And I may be deceiving myself all along. It is true that I have a very small acquaintance with men; not so very small an acquaintance with men passed from this world who live in their books; and some living authors I read--our English Commentators are almost all alive.
'I think that I read too exclusively one class of books. I am not drawn out of this particular kind of reading, which is alone really pleasant and delightful to me, by meeting with persons who discuss other matters. So I read divinity almost if not quite exclusively. I make dutiful efforts to read a bit of history or poetry, but it won't do. My relaxation is in reading some old favourite, Jackson, Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, &c. Not that I know much about them, for my real studying time is occupied in translating and teaching. And so I read these books, and others some German, occasionally (but seldom) French: Reuss, for example, and Guizot. And on the whole I read a fair amount of Hebrew; though even now it is only the narrative books that I read, so to say, rapidly and with ease.
'I wish some of our good Hebrew scholars were sound Poly- and Melanesian scholars also. I believe it to be quite true that the mode of thought of a South Sea islander resembles very closely that of a Semitic man. And their state of mental knowledge or ignorance, too. It is certainly a mistake to make the Hebrew language do the work of one of our elaborated European languages, the products of thoughts and education and literary knowledge which the Hebrew knew nothing of. A Hebrew grammar constructed on the principle of a Greek or a Latin grammar is simply a huge anachronism.
'How did the people of the time of Moses, or David, or Jeremiah think? is the first question. How did they express their thoughts? is the second. The grammar is but the mode adapted in speech for notifying and communicating thoughts. That the Jew did not think, consequently did not speak, like a European is self-evident. Where are we to find people, children in thought, keenly alive to the outer world, impressible, emotional, but devoid of the power of abstract thought, to whom long involved processes of thought and long involved sentences of speech are unknown? Consequently, the contrivances for stringing together dependent clauses don't exist. Then some wiseacre of an 18th or 19th century German writes a grammar on the assumption that a paulo-post-futurum is necessarily to be provided for the unfortunate Israelite who thought and talked child's language. Now, we Melanesians habitually think and speak such languages. I assure you the Hebrew narrative viewed from the Melanesian point of thought is wonderfully graphic and lifelike. The English version is dull and lifeless in comparison. No modern Hebrew scholar agrees with any other as to the mode of construing Hebrew. Anyone makes anything out of those unfortunately misused tenses. Delitzsch, Ewald, Gesenius, Perowne, Thrupp, Kay too, give no rule by which the scholar is to know from the grammar whether the time is past, present, or future, i.e., whether such and such a verse is a narrative of a past fact or the prophecy of a future one. It is much a matter of exegesis; but exegesis not based on grammar is worth very little.
'Really the time is not inherent in the tense at all. But that is a strong assertion, which I think I could prove, give me time and a power of writing clearly. Sir William Martin is trying to prove it.
'All languages of the South Seas are constructed on the same principle. We say, "When I get there, it will be right." But all South Sea Islanders, "I am there, and it is right." The time is given by something in the context which indicates that the speaker's mind is in past, present, or future time. "In the beginning God made" rightly, so, but not because the tense gives the past sense, for the same tense very often can't have anything to do with a past sense, but in the beginning indicates a past time.
'The doctrine of the Vaw conversive is simply a figment of so-called grammarians; language is not an artificial product, but a natural mode of expressing ideas.
'And if they assume that Hebrew has a perfect and imperfect, or past and future (for the grammars use all kinds of names), why on earth should people who have, on their showing, a past tense, use a clumsy contrivance of turning a future tense into a past, and vice versa?
'If people had remembered that language is not a trick invented and contrived by scholars at their desks, but a natural gift, simple at first, and elaborated by degrees, they could not have made such a mess.
'The truth is, I think, that such a contrivance was devised to make Hebrew do what European scholars decided it must do, these very men being ignorant of languages in a simple uncivilised form.
'But, my dear Uncle, what a prose! Only, as I think a good deal about it, you will excuse it, I know.
'Well, it is time for the weddings! The Chapel looks so pretty, and (you can't believe it) so do the girls, Emma, Eliza, and Minnie, to be married to Edwin, Mulewasawasa, Thomas. The native name is a baptismal one, nevertheless, and a good fellow he is, my head nurse in my illness.
'I can't write about politics. Then comes the astounding news of this fearful war. What am I to say to my Melanesians about it? Do these nations believe in the Gospel of peace and goodwill? Is the Sermon on the Mount a reality or not? Is such conduct a repudiation of Christianity or not? Are nations less responsible than individuals? What possible justification is there for this war? It is fearful, fearful on every ground. Oh, this mighty belauded nineteenth-century civilisation!
'Yet society has improved in some ways. Even war is not without its accompaniment of religion. And it brings out kindly sympathy and stimulates works of charity. But what a fearful responsibility lies upon the cause of the war. It is hard to acquit Louis Napoleon of being really the cause.
'There would be great pleasure in seeing all the younger ones, not equal of course to that of seeing you all; but as I get older in my ways and habits, I think that my mind goes back more to the young ones. True, I have a large family about me, 145 Melanesians here now. Yet there is the want of community of thought on some subjects, and the difficulty of perfectly easy communication with them. No Melanesian tongue is like English to me.
'I wrote a first sheet, but filled it up with mere stupid thoughts about questions of the day, not worth sending. And this long letter, badly written, too, will weary your eyes.
'I must end. My kindest love to Aunt, Mary, and all. Always, my dearest Uncle,
'Your loving and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Two letters of December 12 follow; the first to Bishop Abraham.
Mrs. Palmer's picture of the brides, at the last of the weddings the Bishop so enjoyed, may be acceptable. It went to Mrs. Abraham by the same opportunity:--
'Three were married a short time before Christmas; they, with five others, were baptized on Advent Sunday. They had been here about thirteen months, and had got on very well during that time, improved in every way. I think some of them are loveable girls, and it is pleasant to see them so happy and at home here.
'They were a queer-looking set when they first came, or I suppose I thought them so.
'I got some of the older girls to give them a good wash all over in warm water, and then gave them the new clothes. They looked at me in such a curious way. They had heard of me, "Palmer's wife," from the others, but had not seen an Englishwoman before. A few days after they came, I ran into their room with my hair down, and they exclaimed with wonder "We ura ras" ("very good"), almost shouting, and then I told them to feel it, and some kissed it with gentle reverence, as though it were something very extraordinary.
'They are very kind and obliging in doing anything I want. They have to be looked after a good bit, but are very obedient. I did not imagine they would give so little trouble. They are great chatterboxes, and very noisy, but all in an innocent way. They seldom quarrel among themselves. I don't think their feelings are so strong as those of the Maoris, either of love or hate.
'I wish you could have been present at the baptism. They looked so solemn, and spoke out very distinctly. They wore white calico jackets, and the Font was prettily decorated. The whole service was impressive, and not less so our good Bishop's voice and manner. They looked very nice, and it was amusing to see how they took it. Only one could I get to look in the glass; and she said the flowers were too large: the other two only submitted to being beautified.'
I return to the Bishop's correspondence:--
'Norfolk Island: Fourth Sunday in Advent, 1870.
'My dearest Joan,--I am choosing--a strange moment to write in. It is 8.30 A.M., and in an hour I am going to the New Church, built by the Pitcairners, to ordain Mr. C. Bice, Priest. I was up as usual early this morning, and I am not well, and feeling queer, and having already read and had Morning Chapel Service, I take now this means of quieting myself. You see it is nearly three miles to the "town;" the service will be nearly three hours; I don't quite know how I shall get through it. I thought of having the service here; but our little Chapel won't hold even our Melanesian party (80 out of 145) who attend public prayers, and of course the islanders want to see, and it is good for them to see an ordination.
'This is my first expedition to the town since I came from the islands, I shall have a horse in case I am very tired, but I would rather walk all the way if I can.
'Just now I am headachy, and seedy too; but I think it is all coming right again. I hope to have a bright happy Christmas.
'After this day's Ordination we shall number one Bishop, six Priests, and one Deacon. There are three or four Melanesians who ought soon to be ordained; and if it is possible for me to spend two or three months this next winter at Mota, I must read with George, and perhaps ordain him Priest. It troubles me much that during all these summer months there can be no administration of the Holy Communion, though there are six communicants, besides George, now living for good at Mota. There will be four or five next year taking up their abode at the neighbouring island of Aroa.
'Dear Joan! At such times as these, when one is engaged in a specially solemn work, there is much heart-searching, and I can't tell you how my conscience accuses me of such systematic selfishness during many long years. I do see it now, though only in part. I mean, I see how I was all along making self the centre, and neglecting all kinds of duties, social and others, in consequence.
'I think that self-consciousness, a terrible malady, is one's misfortune as well as one's fault. But the want of any earnest effort at correcting a fault is worse perhaps than the fault itself. And I feel such great, such very great need for amendment here. This great fault brings its punishment in part even now. I mean, there is a want of brightness, cheerfulness, elasticity of mind about the conscious man or woman. He is prone to have gloomy, narrow, sullen thoughts, to brood over fancied troubles and difficulties; because, making everything refer to and depend on self, he naturally can get none of that comfort which they enjoy whose minds naturally turn upwards for help and light.
'In this way I do suffer a good deal. My chariot-wheels often drag very heavily. I am not often in what you may call good spirits. And yet I am aware that I am writing now under the influence of a specially depressing disorder, and that I may misinterpret my real state of mind. No one ought to be happier, as far as advantages of employment in a good service, and kindness of friends, &c., can contribute to make one happy. And, on the whole, I know my life is a happy one. I am sure that I have a far larger share of happiness than falls to the lot of most people. Only I do feel very much the lack, almost the utter lack of just that grace which was so characteristic of our dear Father, that simplicity and real humility and truthfulness of character!
'Well, one doesn't often say these things to another person! But it is a relief to say them. I know the remedy quite well. It is a very simple case for the doctor to deal with; but it costs the patient just everything short of life, when you have to dig right down and cut out by the roots an evil of a whole life standing. I assure you that it is hard work, because these feelings of ours are such intangible, untractable things! It is hard to lay hold of, and mould and direct them.
'But I pray God that I may not willingly yield to these gloomy unloving feelings. As often as I look out of myself upon Him, His love and goodness, then I catch a bright gleam. I think that you will not suspect me of being in a morbid state of mind. You will say, "Poor old fellow! he was seedy and depressed when he wrote all that." And that's true, but not the whole truth. I have much need of your prayers, indeed, for grace and strength to correct faults of which I am conscious, to say nothing of unknown sin.
'The Ordination is over, a quiet solemn service. The new Church, which I had not seen, is very creditable to the people, who built it themselves. It is wooden, about thirty-six or thirty-eight feet high, will hold 500 people well.
'Mr. Nobbs preached a very good sermon. I got on very well. Singing very good. Five Priests assisting in this little place!
'Christmas Eve.--What a meaning one of my favourite hymns (xxxviii. in "Book of Praise") has, when one thinks of this awful war, how hard to realize the suffering and misery; the rage and exasperation; the pride and exaltation! How hard to be thankful enough for the blessings of peace in this little spot!
'Our Chapel is beautifully decorated. A star at the east end over the word Emmanuel, all in golden everlasting flame, with lilies and oleanders in front of young Norfolk Island pines and evergreens.
'Seven new Communicants to-morrow morning. And all things, God be praised, happy and peaceful about us. All Christmas blessings and joys to you, dear ones!
'Christmas Day, 3 P.M.--Such a happy day! Such a solemn, quiet service at 7 A.M., followed by a short joyous 11 A.M. service. Christmas Hymn, one with words set to the tune for "Hark! the herald Angels sing."
'You know we never have the Litany on Sundays, because everybody is in Chapel twice a day, and we of course have it on Wednesday and Friday, and every native Communion Sunday, i.e., every alternate Sunday; we have no Communion Service at 11 A.M. as our Communicants have been in Chapel at the 7 o'clock service; so to-day, the Lessons being short, the service, including my short service, was over by 11.20.
'Now we have a week's holiday, that is, no school; though I think it is hard work, inasmuch as the preparing plans for school lessons, rearranging classes, sketching out the work, is tiring to me.
'Then I have such heaps of letters, which do worry me. But, on the other hand, I get much quiet time for some reading, and I enjoy that more than anything. Ten of our party were in Chapel at 11 A.M. with us for the first time. You know that we don't allow everyone to come, but only those that we believe to be aware of the meaning of Prayer, and who can read, and are in a fair way to be Catechumens. All these ten will, I hope, be baptized this summer.
'We are obliged, seriously, to think of a proper Chapel. The present one is 45 ft. by 19 ft. and too small. It is only a temporary oblong room; very nice, because we have the crimson hangings, handsome sandal-wood lectern, and some good carving. But we have to cram about eighty persons into it, and on occasions (Baptisms and Confirmations, or at an Ordination) when others come, we have no room. Mr. Codrington understands these things well, and not only as an amateur archaeologist; he knows the principle of building well in stone and wood. Especially useful in this knowledge here, where we work up our own material to a great extent. Our notion--his notion rather--is to have stone foundations and solid stone buttresses to carry a light roof. Then the rest will be wood. It ought to be about sixty feet by thirty, exclusive of chancel and apse. When we get all the measurements carefully made, we shall send exact accounts of the shape and size of the windows, and suggest subjects for stained glass by Hardman, or whoever might now be the best man. I hope that it won't cost very much, £perhaps 500.
December 21st.--We have not had a fine Christmas week, heavy rain and hot winds. But the rain has done much good. The Norfolk Islanders have much influenza, but we are at present quite free from it.
'Yesterday I spent two hours in training and putting to rights my stephanotis, which now climbs over half my verandah. I have such Japanese lilies making ready to put forth their splendours. Two or three azaleas grow well. Rhododendrons won't grow well. My little pines grow well, and are about seven feet high. It is very pleasant to see the growth of these things when I return from the voyage. The "pottering about" the little gardens, the park-like paddocks, with our sheep and cattle and horses, gives me some exercise every day. I go about quietly, and very often by myself, with a book. After thinking of all kinds of things and persons, I think that my increased and increasing unwillingness to write is one proof of my not being so strong or vigorous. I can't tell you what an effort it is to me to write a business letter; and I almost dread a long effusion from anyone, because, though I like reading it, I have the thought of the labour of answering it in my mind.
'Then again, I who used to be so very talkative, am taciturn now. Occasionally, I victimize some unfortunate with a flow of language about some point of divinity, or if I get a hearer on South Sea languages, I can bore him with much satisfaction to myself. But I am so stupid about small talk. I cannot make it. When I have to try with some Norfolk Islander, e.g. it does weary me so! Mind, I don't despise it. But instead of being a relaxation, it is of all things the hardest work to me. I am very dull in that way, you know. And sometimes I think people must take me to be sullen, for I never know how to keep the talk going. Then if I do talk, I get upon some point that no one cares for, and bore everybody. So here, too, I fall back on my own set of friends, who are most tolerant of my idiosyncrasies, and on my Melanesians who don't notice them.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
In spite of this distaste for writing, a good many letters were sent forth during the early months of 1871, most of them the final ones to each correspondent. The next, to Miss Mackenzie, is a reply to one in which, by Bishop Wilkinson's desire, she had sought for counsel regarding the Zulu Mission, especially on questions that she knew by experience to be most difficult, i.e., of inculcating Christian modesty, and likewise on the qualifications of a native ministry:--
'Norfolk Island: Jan. 26, 1871.
'My dear Miss Mackenzie,--In addition to a very long and interesting letter of yours, I have a letter from my sister, who has just seen you at Havant, so I must lose no more time in writing.
'First, let me say that I am as sure as I can be of anything that I have not registered, that I wrote to thank you for the prints long ago. Indeed, all these many gifts of yours are specially valuable as having been once the property of your brother, of whom it seems presumptuous for me to speak, and as having actually been used in Mission work in so distant a part of the world.
'I need not say that "Thomas a Kempis," his sextant, and his pedometer, are among my few real valuables. For the use of the prints, I can't say much on my own knowledge. My classes are for the most part made up of lads and young men, teachers, or preparing for Confirmation or Holy Communion; one class, always of younger ones, being prepared for Baptism; and sometimes youths, newcomers, when we have to take in hand a new language. Those prints are not of much use, therefore, to my special classes. Most of them have passed beyond the stage of being taught by pictures, though they like to look at them. But Mrs. Palmer has been using them constantly with the girls' classes, and so with the less advanced classes throughout the school.
'One difficulty will to the end be, that by the time we can talk freely to our scholars, and they can understand their own language employed as a vehicle for religious teaching, they are not sufficiently supplied with books. True, we have translations of such parts of the Bible as quite enable us to teach all that a Christian need know and do; but I often wish for plenty of good useful little books on other subjects, and I don't see my way to this. Our own press is always at work printing translations, &c. It is not easy to write the proper kind of book in these languages, and how are they to be printed? We haven't time to print them here, and who is to correct the press elsewhere? The great fact in your letter is the account of Bishop Wilkinson's Consecration. I am heartily glad to hear of it, and I will send, if I can, now, if not, soon, an enclosure to him for you to forward. I doubt if I can help him by any means as to qualifications of candidates for Holy Orders, &c. Our work is quite in a tentative state, and I am sometimes troubled to see that this Mission is supposed to be in a more advanced state than is really the case.
'For example, the report of a man going ashore dressed as a Bishop with a Bible in his hand to entice the natives away, assumes islands to be in a state where the conventional man in white tie and black- tail coat preaches to the natives. My costume, when I go ashore, is an old Crimean shirt, a very ancient wide-awake. Not a syllable has in all probability ever been written, except in our small note-books, of the language of the island. My attention is turned to keeping the crowd in good-humour by a few simple presents of fish-hooks, beads, &c. Only at Mota is there a resident Christian; and even there, people who don't know what Mota was, and what a Melanesian island, for the most part, alas! still is, would see nothing to indicate a change for the better, except that the people are unarmed, and would be friendly and confiding in their manner to a stranger.
'I hardly know how to bring my Melanesian experience to bear upon Zululand. The immorality, infanticide, superstition, &c., seem to be as great in a Melanesian island as in any part of the heathen world. And with our many languages, it is not possible for us to-know the "slang" of the various islands.
'We must be cheery about it all. Just see what the old writers, e.g. Chrysostom, say about Christian (nominally) morals and manners at wedding feasts, and generally. Impurity is the sin, par excellence, of all unchristian people. Look at St. Paul's words to the Corinthians and others. And we must not expect, though we must aim at, and hope, and pray for much that we don't see yet.
'What opportunity will Bishop Wilkinson have for testing the practical teaching power and steady conduct of his converts?
'Many of our Melanesians have their classes here, and we can form an opinion of their available knowledge, how far they can reproduce what they know, &c. We can see, too, whether they exercise any influence over the younger ones.
'Twelve (this season) are counted as sixth form, or monitors, or whatever you please to call them. [Then ensues an account of the rotation of industrial work, &c.]
'The other day I was examining an Ysabel lad, not formally in school, but he happened to be in my room, as they are always hanging about (as you know). He knew much more than I expected: "Who taught you all this? I am very well pleased."
'"Wogale," was the answer.
'Edward Wogale is George Sarawai's own brother, volunteering now to go to Anudha (Florida), near Ysabel Island. If I see that a young man (by his written notes, little essays so to say, analysis of lessons) understands what he has been taught; and if I see (by the proficiency of his pupils) that he can reproduce and communicate this teaching to others, then one part of the question of his fitness is answered. If he has been here for years, always well conducted, and if when at home occasionally he has always behaved well and resisted temptation; and perhaps I should add, if he is respectably married, or about to be married, to a decent Christian girl, then we may hope that the matter of moral fitness may be hopefully settled. Assuming this, and thank God, I believe I may assume that it is the case with several here now, as soon as a Deacon is required in any place that he is willing to work in, I should not hesitate to ordain him; but I can't specify exactly what his qualifications ought to be, because I can't undertake to settle the difficult question of what constitutes absolutely essential teaching for a Christian, i.e., the doctrine of fundamentals. Practically one can settle it; and that quite as well as in England, where there is, and must be any amount of inequality in the attainments and earnestness of the candidates, and where no examination can secure the fitness or even the mental capacity of the minister.
'I say to myself, "Here is an island or a part of an island from which we have had a good many scholars. Some married ones are going back to live permanently. They are Christians, and some are Communicants. They wish to do what they can to get the young ones about them for regular school and to talk to the older people. They all have and can use their Prayer-books. The people are friendly. Is there one among them of whom I can (humanly speaking) feel sure that, by God's blessing, he will lead a good life among them, and that he can and will teach them faithfully the elements of Christian truth and practice? If we all agree that there is such a one, why not ordain him?
'But I want to see people recognising the office of Deacon as something very distinct indeed from that of the Priest. It is a very different matter indeed, when we come to talk about candidates for Priest's orders.
'Again, look at the missionary clergy of old times. No doubt in mediaeval times so much stress was laid upon the mere perfunctory performance of the ministerial act, as apart from careful teaching of the meaning and purport of the act, that the mediaeval missionary is so far not a very safe model for us to imitate.
'But I suppose that multitudes of men did good work who could no more comprehend nor write out the result of lessons that Edward, Henry, Edmund, Robert and twenty others here are writing out, than our English peasant can comprehend a learned theological treatise.
'And we must consider the qualifications of one's native clergy in relation to the work that they have to do. They have not to teach theology to educated Christians, but to make known the elements of Gospel truth to ignorant heathen people. If they can state clearly and forcibly the very primary leading fundamental truths of the Gospel, and live as simple-minded humble Christians, that is enough indeed.
'Perhaps this is as likely to make the Bishop understand my notions on the subject as any more detailed account of the course of instruction. I really have not time to copy out some ten or twelve pages of some older lad's note-book. I think you would be satisfied with their work. I don't mean, of course, the mere writing, which is almost always excellent, but there is a ready apprehension of the meaning of any point clearly put before them, which is very satisfactory. I am now thinking of the twenty or thirty best among our 145 scholars. This is a confused, almost unintelligible scrawl; but I am busy, and not very fresh for work.
'Yours very truly,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
A letter to Bishop Abraham was in hand at the same time, full of replies to the information in one newly received from this much valued friend. After deploring an attack of illness from which Mrs. Abraham had been suffering, comes the remark--
'You know what one always feels, that one can't be unhappy about good people, whatever happens to them. I do so enjoy your talk about Church works in England. It makes the modern phraseology intelligible. I know now what is meant by "missions" and "missioners" and "retreats."
'I was thinking lately of George Herbert at Hereford, as I read the four sermons which Vaughan lately preached there, one on the Atonement, which I liked very much indeed. The Cathedral has been beautifully restored, has it not? Then, I think of you in York Minster on November 20, with that good text from Psalm xcvi. I read your letter on Tuesday; on which day our morning Psalms in Chapel are always chanted, xcv., xcvi., xcvii. The application seems very natural, but to work out those applications is difficult. The more I read sermons, and I read a good many, the more I wonder how men can write them!
'Mind, I will gladly pay Charley ten shillings a sermon, if he will copy it out for me. It will do the boy good. Dear old Tutor used to fag me to write copies of the Bishop's long New Zealand letters, as I wrote a decent hand then. Don't I remember a long one from Anaiteum, and how I wondered where on earth or sea Anaiteum could be!
'I want to hear men talk on these matters (the Eucharistic question) who represent the view that is least familiar to me. And then I feel, when it comes to a point of Greek criticism, sad regret and almost remorse at my old idleness and foolish waste of time when I might have made myself a decent scholar. I cram up passages, instead of applying a scholarly habit of mind to the examination of them. And now too, it is harder than ever to correct bad habits of inattention, inaccuracy, &c. I am almost too weary oftentimes to do my work anyhow, much less can I make an effort to improve my way of doing it. But I must be content, thankful to get on somehow or other, and to be able to teach the fellows something.
'It is quite curious to see how often one is baffled in one's attempts to put oneself en rapport with the Melanesian mind. If one can manage it, they really show one that they know a good deal, not merely by heart, or as matter of memory, that is worth little; but they show that they can think. But often they seem utterly stupid and lost, and one is perplexed to know what their difficulty can possibly be. One thing is clear, that they have little faculty of generalization. As you know, they seldom have a name for their island, but only names for each tiny headland, and bay, and village. The name for the island you must learn from the inhabitants of another island who view the one whose name you are seeking as one because, being distant, it must appear to them in its oneness, not in its many various parts. Just so, they find it very difficult to classify any ideas under general heads. Ask for details, and you get a whole list of them. Ask for general principles, and only a few can answer.
'For example, it is not easy to make them see how all temptations to sin were overcome in the three representative assaults made upon Him in the wilderness; how love is the fulfilling of the Law; or how the violation of one Commandment is the violation (of the principle) of all.
'Then they have much difficulty (from shyness partly, and a want of teaching when young) in expressing themselves. They really know much that only skilful questioning, much more skilful than mine, can get out of them. It wants--all teaching does--a man with lots of animal spirits, health, pluck, vigour, &c. Every year I find it more difficult.'
To another of the New Zealand friends who had returned to England there was a letter on Jan. 31:--
'My dear Mr. Lloyd,--I must send you a line, though I have little to say. And I should be very sorry if we did not correspond with some attempt at regularity.
'What can one think of long without the mind running off to France? What a wonderful story it is! Only Old Testament language can describe it, only a Prophet can moralise upon it. It is too dreadful in its suddenness and extent. One fears that vice and luxury and ungodliness have destroyed whatever of chivalry and patriotism there once was in the French character. To think that this is the country of St. Louis and Bayard! The Empire seems almost systematically to have completed the demoralisation of the people. There is nothing left to appeal to, nothing on which to rally. It is an awful thing to see such judgments passing before our very eyes. So fearful a humiliation may do something yet for the French people, but I dread even worse news. It nearly came the other day to a repetition of the old Danton and Robespierre days.
'Here we are going on happily.... I would give something to spend a quiet Sunday with you in your old Church. How pleasant to have an old Church.
'Always yours affectionately,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
My own last letter came at the same time:--
'Norfolk Island: February 16th, 1871.
'My dear Cousin,--I must not leave your letter of last October without an instalment of an answer, though this is only a chance opportunity of sending letters by a whaler, and I have only ten minutes.
'Your account of the Southampton Congress is a regular picture. I thinly I can see the Bishops of Winton, Sarum, and Oxon; and all that you say by way of comment on what is going off in the Church at home interests me exceedingly. You can't think what a treat your letters are.
'You see Mr. Codrington is the only one of my age, and (so to say) education here, and so to commune with one who thinks much on these matters, which of course have the deepest interest for me, is very pleasant and useful. On this account I do so value the Bishop of Salisbury's letters, and it is so very kind of him to write to me in the midst of the overwhelming occupations of an English diocese.
'I don't think you have mentioned Dr. Vaughan. I read his books with much interest. He doesn't belong to the Keble theology; but he seems to me to be a thoughtful, useful, and eminently practical writer. He seems to know what men are thinking of, and to grapple with their difficulties. I am pleased with a little book, by Canon Norris, "Key to the New Testament": the work of a man who has read a good deal, and thought much.
'He condenses into a 2s. 6d. book the work of years.
'You are all alive now, trying to work up your parochial schools to "efficiency" mark--rather you were doing so, for I think there was only time allowed up to December 31, 1870. I hope that the efforts were successful. At such times one wishes to see great noble gifts, men of great riches giving their £10,000 to a common fund. Then I remember that the claims and calls are so numerous in England, that very wealthy men can hardly give in that way.
'Certainly I am spared the temptation myself of seeing the luxury and extravagance which must tempt one to feel hard and bitter, I should fear. We go on quietly and happily. You know our school is large. Thank God, we are all well, save dear old Fisher, who met with a sad boating accident last week. A coil of the boat raft caught his ankle as the strain was suddenly tightened by a rather heavy sea, and literally tore the front part of his foot completely off, besides dislocating and fracturing the ankle-bone. He bears the pain well, and he is doing very well; but there may be latent tetanus, and I shall not feel easy for ten days more yet.
'His smile was pleasant, and his grasp of the hand was an indication of his faith and trust, as he answered my remark, "You know Fisher, He does nothing without a reason: you remember our talk about the sparrows and the hairs of our heads."
'"I know," was all he said; but the look was a whole volume....
'Your Charlotte is Fisher's wife, you know, and a worthy good creature she is. Poor old Fisher, the first time I saw tears on his cheeks was when his wife met him being carried up, and I took her to him.
'The mail goes. Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
It may as well be here mentioned that Fisher Pantatun escaped tetanus, lived to have his limb amputated by a medical man, who has since come to reside at Norfolk Island, and that he has been further provided with a wooden leg, to the extreme wonder and admiration of his countrymen at Mota, where he has since joined the Christian community.
The home letter, finished the last, had been begun before the first, on Feb. 11, 'My birthday,' as the Bishop writes, adding:--'How as time goes on we think more and more of him and miss him. Especially now in these times, with so many difficult questions distressing and perplexing men, his wise calm judgment would have been such a strength and support. You know I have all his letters since I left England, and he never missed a mail. And now it is nearly ten years since he passed away from this world. What would he say to us all? What would he think of all that has taken place in the interval? Thank God, he would certainly rejoice in seeing all his children loving each other more and more as they grow older and learn from experience the blessedness and infrequency of such a thoroughly united, happy set of brothers and sisters. Why, you have never missed a single mail in all these sixteen years; and I know, in spite of occasional differences of opinion, that there is really more than ever of mutual love, and much more of mutual esteem than ever. There is no blessing like this. And it is a special and unusual blessing. And surely, next to God, we owe it to our dear parents, and perhaps especially to him who was the one to live on as we grew up into men and women. What should I have done out here without a perfect trust in you three, and without your letters and loving remembrances in boxes, &c.? I fancy that I should have broken down altogether, or else have hardened (more than I have become) to the soft and restful influences of the home life. I see some people really alone in these countries, really expatriated. Now I never feel that; partly because I have your letters, partly because I have the knowledge that, if ever I did have to go to England, I should find all the old family love, only intensified and deepened. I can tell you that the consciousness of all this is a great help, and carries one along famously. And then the hope of meeting by-and-by and for ever!'
'True to the kindred points of heaven and home.' Surely such loyalty of heart, making a living influence of parents so long in their graves, has been seldom, at least, put on record, though maybe it often and often has existed.
Again, on March 8:--'Such a fit came over me yesterday of old memories. I was reading a bit of Wordsworth (the poet).
I remembered dear dear Uncle Frank telling me how Wordsworth came over to Ottery, and called on him, and how he felt so honoured; and so I felt on thinking of him, and the old (pet) names, and most of all, of course, of Father and Mother, I seemed to see them all with unusual clearness. Then I read one of the two little notes I had from Mr. Keble, which live in my "Christian Year," and so I went on dreaming and thinking.
'Yes, if by His mercy I may indeed be brought to the home where they dwell! But as the power of keen enjoyment of this world was never mine, as it is given to bright healthy creatures with eyes and teeth and limbs sound and firm, so I try to remember dear Father's words, that "he did not mean that he was fit to go because there was little that he cared to stop here for." And I don't feel morbid like, only with a diminished capacity for enjoying things here. Of the mere animal pleasures, eating and drinking are a serious trouble. My eyes don't allow me to look about much, and I walk with "unshowing eye turned towards the earth." I don't converse with ease; there is the feeling of difficulty in framing words. I prefer to be alone and silent. If I must talk, I like the English tongue least of all. Melanesia doesn't have such combinations of consonants and harsh sounds as our vernacular rejoices in. If I speak loud, as in preaching, I am pretty clear still; but I can't read at all properly now without real awkwardness.
'I am delighted with Shairp's "Essays" that Pena sent me. He has the very nature to make him capable of appreciating the best and most thoughtful writers, especially those who have a thoughtful spirit of piety in them. He gives me many a very happy quiet hour. I wish such a book had come in my way while I was young. I more than ever regret that Mr. Keble's "Praelectiones" was never translated into English. I am sure that I have neglected poetry all my life for want of some guide to the appreciation and criticism of it, and that I am the worse for it. If you don't use Uncle Sam's "Biographia Literaria," and "Literary Remains," I should much like to have them.
'Do you, Fan, care to have any of my German books? I have, indeed, scarce any but theological ones. But no one else reads German here, and I read none but the divinity; and, indeed, I almost wish I had them in translations, for the sake of the English type and paper. My eyes don't like the German type at all.
'Moreover, now (it was not so years ago), all that is worth reading in their language is in a good serviceable English dress, and passed, moreover, through the minds of clear English thinkers--and the Germans are such wordy, clumsy, involved writers. A man need not be a German scholar to be well acquainted with all useful German theology. Döllinger is almost the only clear, plain writer I know among them. Dorner, the great Lutheran divine, gives you about two pages and a half of close print for a single sentence--awful work, worse than my English!... But I know that if I read less, and thought more, it would be better. Only it is such hard work thinking, and I am so lazy! I was amused at hearing, through another lad, of Edward Wogale's remark, "This helping in translation" (a revisal of the "Acts" in Mota) "is such hard work!" "Yes, my boy, brain work takes it out of you." I wish I had Jem's power of writing reports, condensing evidence into clear reliable statements. Lawyers get that power; while we Clergymen are careless and inaccurate, because, as old Lord Campbell said, "there is no reply to our sermons."
'What would I give to have been well drilled in grammar, and made an accurate scholar in old days! Ottery School and Eton didn't do much for me in that way, though of course the fault was chiefly in myself.
'But most of all, I think that I regret the real loss to us Eton boys of the weekly help that Winchester, Rugby, and Harrow boys had from Moberly, Arnold, and Vaughan in their sermons! I really think that might have helped to keep us out of harm!
'It is now 4.30 P.M., calm and hot. Such a tiger-lily on my table, and the pretty delicate achimenes, and the stephanotis climbing up the verandah, and a bignonia by its side, with honeysuckle all over the steps, and jessamine all over the two water-tanks at the angle of the verandah. The Melanesians have, I think, twenty-nine flower gardens, and they bring the flowers, &c.--lots of flowers, and the oleanders are a sight! Some azaleas are doing well, verbenas, hibiscus of all kinds. Roses and, alas! clove carnations, and stocks, and many of the dear old cottage things won't grow well. Scarlet passion flowers and splendid Japanese lilies of perfect white or pink or spotted. The golden one I have not yet dared to buy. They are most beautiful. I like both the red and the yellow tritoma; we have both. But I don't think we have the perfume of the English flowers, and I miss the clover and buttercup. And what would I give for an old-fashioned cabbage rose, as big as a saucer, and for fresh violets, which grow here but have little scent, and lilies of the valley! Still more, fancy seeing a Devonshire bank in spring, with primroses and daisies, or meadows with cowslip and clover and buttercups, and hearing thrushes and blackbirds and larks and cuckoos, and seeing trout rise to the flies on the water! There is much exaggeration in second-rate books about tropical vegetation. You are really much better off than we are. No trees equal English oaks, beeches, and elms, and chestnuts; and with very little expense and some care, you have any flowers you like, growing out of doors or in a greenhouse. You can make a warmer climate, and we can't a colder one. But we have plenty to look at for all that. There, what a nice hour I have spent in chatting with you!'
This same dreamy kind of 'chat,' full of the past, and of quiet meditation over the present, reminding one of Bunyan's Pilgrims in the Land of Beulah, continues at intervals through the sheets written while waiting for the 'Southern Cross.' Here is a note (March 14) of the teaching:--
'I am working at the Miracles with the second set, and I am able to venture upon serious questions, viz. the connection between sin and physical infirmity or sickness, the Demoniacs, the power of working miracles as essential to the Second Adam, in whom the prerogative of the Man (the ideal man according to the idea of his original condition) was restored. Then we go pretty closely into detail on each miracle, and try to work away till we reach a general principle or law.
'With another class I am making a kind of Commentary on St. Luke. With a third, trying to draw out in full the meaning of the Lord's Prayer. With a fourth, Old Testament history. It is often very interesting; but, apart from all sham, I am a very poor teacher. I can discourse, or talk with equals, but I can't teach. So I don't do justice to these or any other pupils I may chance to have. But they learn something among us all.'
He speaks of himself as being remarkably well and free from the discomforts of illness during the months of March and April: and these letters show perfect peace and serenity of spirit; but his silence and inadequacy for 'small talk' were felt like depression or melancholy by some of his white companions, and he always seemed to feel it difficult to rouse himself. To sit and study his Hebrew Isaiah with Delitzsch's comment was his chief pleasure; and on his birthday, April 1, Easter Eve, and the ensuing holy days, he read over all his Father's letters to him, and dwelt, in the remarks to his sisters, upon their wisdom and tenderness.
Mr. Codrington says: 'Before starting on the voyage he had confirmed some candidates in the Church in town: on which occasion he seemed to rouse himself with difficulty for the walk, and would go by himself; but he was roused again by the service, and gave a spirited and eloquent address, and came back, after a hearty meal and lively conversation, much refreshed in mind and body. This was on Palm Sunday. On Easter Day he held his last confirmation of three girls and two Solomon Island boys.
Then came the 'Southern Cross,' bringing with her from New Zealand a box with numerous books and other treasures, the pillow that the old Bishop of Exeter was leaning on when he died; a photograph, from the Bishop of Salisbury, of his Cathedral, and among the gifts for the younger Melanesians, a large Noah's ark, which elicited great shouts of delight.
'Well! [after mentioning the articles in order] all these things, and still more the thought of the pains taken and the many loving feelings engaged in getting them together, will help me much during the coming months. All the little unexpected things are so many little signs of the care and love you always have for me, and that is more than their own value, after all. I always feel it solemn to go off on these voyages. We have had such mercies. Fisher is doing quite well, getting about on crutches; and that is the only hospital case we have had during the whole summer.'
'April 27th.--We start in a few hours (D.V.). The weather is better. You have my thoughts and hopes and prayers. I am really pretty well: and though often distressed by the thought of past sins and present ones, yet I have a firm trust in God's mercy through Christ, and a reasonable hope that the Holy Spirit is guiding and influencing me. What more can I say to make you think contentedly and cheerfully about me? God bless you all!'
So the last voyage was begun. The plan was much the same as usual. On the way to Mota, the Bishop landed on Whitsuntide Island, and there was told that what the people called a 'thief ship' had carried off some of their people. Star Island was found nearly depopulated. On May 16, the Bishop, with Mr. Bice and their scholars, landed at Mota, and the 'Southern Cross' went on with Mr. Brooke to Florida, where he found that the 'Snatch-snatch' vessels, as they were there called, had carried off fifty men. They had gone on board to trade, but were instantly clapped under hatches, while tobacco and a hatchet were thrown to their friends in the canoe. Some canoes had been upset by a noose from the vessel, then a gun was fired, and while the natives tried to swim away, a boat was lowered, which picked up the swimmers, and carried them off. One man named Lave, who jumped overboard and escaped, had had two fingers held up to him, which he supposed to mean two months, but which did mean two years.
It was plain that enticing having failed, violence was being resorted to; and Mr. Brooke was left to an anxious sojourn, while Mr. Atkin returned to Mota on his way to his own special charge at Bauro. He says, on June 9:--
'The Bishop had just come back from a week's journeying with William in his boat. They had been to Santa Maria, Vanua Lava, and Saddle Island; the weather was bad, but the Bishop, although he is tired, does not think he is any the worse for his knocking about. He is not at all well; he is in low spirits, and has lost almost all his energy. He said, while talking about the deportation of islanders to Fiji, that he didn't know what was to be done; all this time had been spent in preparing teachers qualified to teach their own people, but now when the teachers were provided, all the people were taken away. The extent to which the carrying off of the natives has gone is startling. It certainly is time for us to think what is to be done next. I do not think that it is an exaggerated estimate, others would say it is under the mark, that one half the population of the Banks Islands over ten years of age have been taken away. I am trying not to expect anything about the Solomon Islands before we are there, but we have heard that several vessels have cargoes from there. If the people have escaped a little longer for their wildness, it will not be for long.
'The Bishop still remained at Mota, while I went back to the Solomon Islanders. The cliffs of Mota, and perhaps the intelligence of the people, had comparatively protected it, though Port Patteson had become a station of the "labour ships." The village of Kohimarama was not a disappointment.'
Bishop Patteson proceeds:--
'Things are very different. I think that we may, without danger, baptize a great many infants and quite young children--so many parents are actually seeking Christian teaching themselves, or willing to give their children to be taught. I think that some adults, married men, may possibly be baptized. I should think that not less than forty or fifty are daily being taught twice a day, as a distinct set of Catechumens. Besides this, some of the women seem to be in earnest.
'About two hours and a half are spent daily by me with about twenty- three grown-up men. They come, too, at all hours, in small parties, two or three, to tell their thoughts and feelings, how they are beginning to pray, what they say, what they wish and hope, &c.
'There is more indication than I ever saw here before of a "movement," a distinct advance, towards Christianity. The distinction between passively listening to our teaching, and accepting it as God's Word and acting upon it, seems to be clearly felt. I speak strongly and habitually about the necessity of baptism. "He that believeth, and is baptized" &c. Independently of the doctrinal truth about baptism, the call to the heathen man to take some step, to enter into some engagement, to ally himself with a body of Christian believers by some distinct act of his own, needing careful preparation, &c., has a meaning and a value incalculably great.
'"Yes, JESUS is to us all a source of pardon, light, and life, all these treasures are in Him. But he distributes these gifts by His Spirit in His appointed ways. You can't understand or receive the Gospel with a heart clinging to your old ways. And you can't remake your hearts. He must do it, and this is His way of doing it. You must be born again. You must be made new men."
'But why write all this, which is so commonplace?
'I feel more than ever the need of very simple, very short services for ignorant Catechumens.
'They used to throng our morning and evening prayer, perhaps 130 being present, for about that number attend our daily school; but they could not understand one sentence in ten of the Common Prayer- book. And it is bad for people to accustom themselves to a "formal" service. So I have stopped that. We baptized people have our regular service and at the end of my school, held in the dark, 7-8.30 P.M., in the verandah, we kneel down, and I pray extempore, touching the points which have formed the lesson.
'I don't like teaching these adults who can't read a form of private prayer. I try to make them understand that to wish earnestly is to pray; that they must put what they wish for clearly before their own minds, and then pray to God for it, through Christ. But I must try to supply progressive lessons for the Catechumens and others, with short prayers to be read by the teacher at the end (and beginning, too, perhaps) of the lesson. Much must depend on the individual teacher's unction and force.
'Well, I hope and trust to be able to tell you two months hence of some of these people being baptized. Only three adults have been baptized here on the island, and all three were dying.
'It is very comforting to think that all of us have been engaged in this Mota work, Dudley, and Mr. Pritt, and Mr. Kerr, too, and all our present staff have had much to do with it. Especially I think now of three young men, all married, who came to me lately, saying, "All these years (an interval of six or seven years) we have been thinking now and then about what we heard years ago, when we were with you in New Zealand for a few months." They are now thoroughly in earnest, as far as I can judge, and their wives, as I hope, move along with them. How one old set must have influenced them a long time ago. Bice, who speaks Mota very well, was very energetic during his fortnight here. He is now gone on with Mr. Brooke and Mr. Atkin that he may see the work in the Solomon Isles. I meant to go; but there seemed to be a special reason why I should stay here just now, vessels seeking labourers for Fiji and Queensland are very frequently calling at these islands.
'Mr. Thurston, late Acting Consul at Fiji, was with me the day before yesterday. He has taken a very proper view of this labour question; and he assures me that the great majority of the Fiji planters are very anxious that there should be no kidnapping, no unfair treatment of the islanders. I have engaged to go to Fiji (D.V.) at the end of my island work, i.e., on my return to Norfolk Island, probably about the end of September. I shall go there in the "Southern Cross," send her on to her summer quarters in New Zealand, and get from Fiji to New Zealand, after six or eight weeks in Fiji, in some vessel or other. There are about 4,000 or 5,000 white people in Fiji, mostly Church of England people, but (as I suppose) not very clearly understanding what is really meant by that designation. It is assumed that I am to act as their Bishop; and I ought to have been there before. But really a competent man might work these islands into a Bishopric before long.
'We must try to follow these islanders into Fiji or Queensland. But how to do it? On a plantation of, say, one hundred labourers, you may find natives of eight or ten islands. How can we supply teachers at the rate of one for every fifteen or twenty people? And there are some 6,000 or 7,000 islanders already on the Fiji plantations, and I suppose as many in Queensland.
'Some one knowing several languages, and continually itinerating from one plantation to another, might do something; but I don't think a native clergyman could do that. He must move about among white people continually in the boats, &c. I ought to do it; but I think my day has gone by for that kind of thing.
'I hope to judge of all this by-and-by. It might end in my dividing my year into Melanesian work as of old, and Melanesian work in Fiji, combined with the attempt to organise the white Church of England community, and only a month or two's work in Norfolk Island. To do this I must be in pretty good health. I may soon find out the limit of my powers of work, and then confine myself to whatever I find I can do with some degree of usefulness. We ought to make no attempt to proselytise among the Fiji natives, who have been evangelised by the Wesleyans. But there is work among our Western Pacific imported islanders and the white people.
'Norfolk Island could be quite well managed without me. Mr. Codrington could take that entirely into his own hands. I might spend a month or two there, and confirm Melanesians and Norfolk Islanders, and quietly fall into a less responsible position and be a moveable clergyman in Fiji or anywhere else, as long as my strength lasts.
'Norfolk Island certainly was rather my resting-place. But I think I am becoming more and more indifferent to that kind of thing. A tropical climate suits me, and Fiji is healthy--no ague. Dysentery is the chief trouble there. These are notions, flying thoughts, most likely never to be fully realised. Indeed, who can say what may befall me?'
Never to be fully realised! No. He, who in broken health so freely and simply sacrificed in will his cherished nook of rest on earth for a life so trying and distasteful, was very near the 'Rest that remaineth for the people of God.'
On June 26, the first public baptism in Mota took place, of one man, the Bishop and Sarawia in surplices in front of their verandah, the people standing round; but unfortunately it was a very wet day, and the rush of rain drowned the voices, as the Bishop made his convert Wilgan renounce individually and by name individual evil fashions of heathenism, just as St. Boniface made the Germans forsake Thor and Odin by name. There were twenty-five more nearly ready, and a coral-lime building was finished, 'like a cob wall, only white plaster instead of red mud,' says the Devonshire man. It was the first Church of Mota, again reminding us of the many 'white churches' of our ancestors; and on the 25th of June at 7 A.M., the first Holy Eucharist was celebrated there. It is also the place of private prayer for the Christians and Catechumens of Kohimarama.
The weather was exceedingly bad, drenching rain continually, yet the Bishop continued unusually well. His heart might well be cheered, when, on that Sunday evening in the dark, he was thus accosted:--
'I have for days been watching for a chance of speaking to you alone! Always so many people about you. My heart is so full, so hot every word goes into it, deep deep. The old life seems a dream. Everything seems to be new. When a month ago I followed you out of the Said Goro, you said that if I wanted to know the meaning and power of this teaching, I must pray! And I tried to pray, and it becomes easier as every day I pray as I go about, and in the morning and evening; and I don't know how to pray as I ought, but my heart is light, and I know it's all true, and my mind is made up, and I have been wanting to tell you, and so is Sogoivnowut, and we four talk together, and all want to be baptized.'
This man had spent one season at St. John's, seven years before; but on his return home had gone back to the ordinary island life, until at last the good seed was beginning to take root.
The next Sunday, the 2nd of July, ninety-seven children were baptized, at four villages, chosen as centres to which the adjacent ones could bring their children. It was again a wet day, but the rain held up at the first two places. The people stood or sat in a great half-circle, from which the eldest children, four or five years old, walked out in a most orderly manner, the lesser ones were carried up by their parents, and out of the whole ninety-seven only four cried! The people all behaved admirably, and made not a sound. At the last two places there was a deluge of rain; but as sickness prevailed in them, it was not thought well to defer the Baptism.
'It was a day full of thankful and anxious feelings. I was too tired, and too much concerned with details of arrangements, new names, &c., to feel the more contemplative devotional part of the whole day's services till the evening. Then, for I could not sleep for some hours, it came on me; and I thought of the old times too, the dear Bishop's early visits, my own fourteen years' acquaintance with this place, the care taken by many friends, past and present members of the Mission. The Sunday Collects as we call them, St. Michael's, All Saints', Saint Simon and St. Jude's calmed me, and my Sunday prayer, (that beautiful prayer in the Ordination of Priests, 'Almighty God and Heavenly Father,' slightly altered) was very full of meaning. So, thank God, one great step has been taken, a great responsibility indeed, but I trust not rashly undertaken.'
On July 4 the 'Southern Cross' returned, and the cruise among the New Hebrides was commenced. Mr. Bice was left to make a fortnight's visit at Leper's Island; and the Bishop, going on to Mai, found only three men on the beach, where there used to be hundreds, and was advised not to go to Tariko, as there had been fighting.
At Ambrym there was a schooner with Mr. Thurston on board, and fifty- five natives for Fiji. On the north coast was the 'Isabella,' with twenty-five for Queensland. The master gave Captain Jacob his credentials to show to the Bishop, and said the Bishop might come on board and talk to the people, so as to be convinced they came willingly, but weighed anchor immediately after, and gave no opportunity; and one man who stood on the rail calling out 'Pishopa, Pishopa,' was dragged back.
Mr. Bice was picked up again on the 17th, having been unmolested during his visit; but two of the 'Lepers,' who had been at Espiritu Santo, had brought back a fearful story that a small two-masted vessel had there been mastered by the natives, and the crew killed and eaten in revenge for the slaughter of some men of their own by another ship's company some time back.
On the voyage he wrote to the Bishop of Lichfield:--
'Off Tariko. Sloop: July 8, 1871.
'My dear Bishop,--Towards the end of April I left Norfolk Island, and after a six days' passage reached Mota. I called at Ambrym (dropping three boys) at three places; at Whitsuntide; at Leper's Island, dropping seven boys; Aurora, two places; Santa Maria, where I left B----, and so to Mota on the day before Ascension Day, and sent the vessel back at once to Norfolk Island for the Solomon Island scholars. All our Aroa and Matlavo party wished to spend Ascension Day with us; and after Holy Communion they went across with Commodore William Pasvorang in a good whale boat, which I brought down on the deck of the schooner, and which Willy looks after at Aroa. We want it for keeping up a visitation of the group.
'Bice, ordained Priest last Christmas, was with me. We found George and all well, George very steady and much respected. Charles Woleg, Benjamin Vassil and James Neropa, all going on well. The wives have done less than I hoped; true, they all had children to look after, yet they might have done more with the women. [Then as before about the movement.]
'After a week I went off in the boat, leaving Bice at Kohimarama, the Mota station. I went to B---- first at the north-east part of the island; back to Tarasagi (north-east point); sailed round to Lakona, our old Cock Sparrow Point, where B---- and I selected one or two boys to stay with him at Tarasagi. Thence we sailed to Avreas Bay, the great bay of Vanua Lava, B---- going back to Tarasagi by land. Heavy sea and rain; reached land in the dark 8 P.M., thankful to be safe on shore.
'On to Aroa, where I spent two days; Willie and Edwin doing what they can. Twenty children at school; but the island is almost depopulated, some seven hundred gone to Brisbane and Fiji. I did not go to Uvaparapara; the weather was bad, I was not well, and I expected the "Southern Cross" from Norfolk Island. Next day, after just a week's trip in the boat, I got to Mota; and the next day the "Southern Cross" arrived with Joe Atkin and Brooke and some twenty- four Solomon Islanders, many of them pressing to stay at Norfolk Island, where about eighty scholars in all are under the charge of Codrington, Palmer, and Jackson.
'I sent Bice on in the "Southern Cross," as he ought to see something of his brethren's work in the north and west. I had just a month at Mota, very interesting.
'I hope to spend three weeks more at Mota, if this New Hebrides trip is safely accomplished, and to baptize the rest of the children, and probably some ten or fifteen adults. All seem thoroughly in earnest. Some of the first scholars, who for years have seemed indifferent, are now among my class of thirty-three adults. It would be too long a story to tell you of their frequent private conversations, their stories, their private prayers, their expressions of earnest thankfulness that they are being led into the light.
'Some of the women, wives of the men, are hopeful. George's old mother said to me, "My boys are gone; George, Woleg, Wogale--Lehna died a Christian; Wowetaraka (the first-born) is going. I must follow. I listen to it all, and believe it all. When you think fit, I must join you," i.e. be baptized.
'It is very comforting that all the old party from the beginning are directly (of course indirectly also) connected with this movement. Some of those most in earnest now came under the influence of the early workers, Dudley, Mr. Pritt, &c.
'We need this comfort.
'From Mota some thirty or more have gone or been taken away, but the other islands are almost depopulated. Mr. Thurston, late Acting Consul in Fiji, was at Mota the other day seeking labourers. He says that about 3,000 natives from Tanna and Uvaparapara are now in Fiji, and Queensland has almost as many.
'He admits that much kidnapping goes on. He, with all his advantages of personal acquaintance with the people and with native interpreters on board, could only get about thirty. Another, Captain Weston, a respectable man who would not kidnap, cruised for some weeks, and left for Fiji without a single native on board. How then do others obtain seventy or one hundred more?
'But the majority of the Fiji settlers, I am assured, do not like these kidnapping practices, and would prefer some honest way of obtaining men. Indeed, many natives go voluntarily.
'In the Solomon Isles a steamer has been at Savo and other places, trying to get men.
'Three or four of these vessels called at Mota while I was there. On one day three were in sight. They told me they were shot at at Whitsuntide, Sta. Maria, Vanua Lava, &c. And, indeed, I am obliged to be very careful, more so than at any time; and here, in the North Hebrides, I never know what may happen, though of course in many places they know me.
'We are now at our maximum point of dispersion: Brooke at Anudha, J. Atkin at or near San Cristoval, Gr. Sarawia at Mota, B---- at Santa Maria, Bice at Leper's Island, Codrington at Norfolk Island, I on board "Southern Cross."
'Leper's Island is very pleasant; I longed to stay there. All the people wanting to come with us, and already discriminating between us and the other white visitors, who seem to have had little or no success there.
'July 21st.--At anchor, Lakona, west side of Santa Maria. Pleasant to be quietly at anchor on our old "shooting ground." We anchored for a day and a night at Ambrym, near the east point, very safe and comfortable place. Nine lads from five villages are on board. I bought about three and a half tons of yams there. Anchored again at the end of Whitsuntide, where I am thankful to say we have at last received two lads, one a very pleasant-looking fellow. That sad year of the dysentery, 1862, when Tanau died and Tarivai was so ill, two out of only three scholars from the island, made them always unwilling to give up lads.
'Next day at Leper's Island. Anchored a night off Wehurigi, the east end of the high land, the centre part of the island.
'Bice was quite feted by the people. We brought away three old and twelve new scholars, refusing the unpromising old scholars. There is, I hope, a sufficient opening now at Ambrym and Leper's Island to justify my assigning these islands to Jackson and Bice respectively.
'Our plan now is to take very few people indeed from the Banks Islands to Norfolk Island, as they have a permanent school and resident clergyman at Mota. The lads who may turn out clever and competent teachers are taken to Norfolk Island, none others.
'We must take our large parties from islands where there is as yet no permanent teacher: Ambrym, Leper's Island, the Solomon Islands.
'Meanwhile the traders are infesting these islands, as Captain Jacobs says, "like mosquitoes." Three vessels anchored at Mai during the day I was there. Three different vessels were at Ambrym. To-day I saw four, three anchored together near the north-east side of Santa Maria. B---- saw six yesterday.
'The people now refuse to go in them, they are much exasperated at their people being kept away so long. Sad scenes are occurring. Several white men have been killed, boats' crews cut off, vessels wrecked,
'We shall hear more of such doings; and really I can't blame the islanders. They are perfectly friendly to friends; though there is much suspicion shown even towards us, where we are not well known.
'As far as I can speak of my own plans, I hope to stay at Mota for a time, till the "Southern Cross" returns from Norfolk Island; then go to the Solomon Islands; return by way of Santa Cruz and probably Tikopia, to Mota; thence to Norfolk Island; thence probably to New Zealand, to take the steamer for Fiji. We have no chart on board of Fiji; and I don't think it right to run the risk of getting somehow to Levuka with only the general chart of the South Pacific, so I must go, as I think, to New Zealand, and either take the steamer or procure charts, and perhaps take Mr. Tilly as pilot. I don't like it; it will be very cold; but then I shall (D.V.) see our dear Taurarua friends, the good Bishop and others, and get advice about my Fiji movements. The Church of England folk there regard me as their Bishop, I understand; and the Bishops of Sydney and Melbourne assume this to be the fitting course. A really able energetic man might do much there, and, in five years, would be Bishop of Levuka.
'This is all of Melanesia and myself; but you will like to have this scrawl read to you.
'How I think of you as I cruise about the old familiar places, and think that you would like to have another trip, and see the old scenes with here and there, thank God, some little changes for the better. Best love, my dear dear Bishop, to Mrs. Selwyn, William and John.
'Your very affectionate
'J. C. PATTESON.'
About forty, old scholars and new, had been collected and brought back to Mota; where, after landing the Bishop, Captain Jacobs sailed back to Norfolk Island, carrying with him the last letters that were to be received and read as from a living man. All that follow only came in after the telegram which announced that the hand that had written them was resting beneath the Pacific waters. But this was not until it had been granted to him to gather in his harvest in Mota, as will be seen:--
'Mota: July 31, 1871.
'My dearest Sisters,--You will be glad to know that on my return hither after three weeks' absence, I found no diminution of strong earnest feeling among the people. George Sarawia had, indeed, been unable to do very much in the way of teaching 60 or 90 men and women, but he had done his best, and the 100 younger people were going on with their schooling regularly. I at once told the people that those who wished to be baptized must let me know; and out of some 30 or 40 who are all, I think, in earnest, 15, and some few women are to be baptized next Sunday. These will be the first grown-up people, save John Wilgan, baptized in Mota, except a few when in an almost dying state. They think and speak much of the fact that so many of their children have been baptized, they wish to belong to the same set. But I believe them all to be fairly well instructed in the great elementary truths. They can't read; all the teaching is oral, no objection in my eyes. It may be dangerous to admit it, but I am convinced that all that we can do is to elevate some few of the most intelligent islanders well, so that they can teach others, and be content with careful oral teaching for the rest. How few persons even among ourselves know how to use a book! And these poor fellows, for I can only except a percentage of our scholars, have not so completely mastered the mechanical difficulty of reading as to leave their minds free for examination of the meaning and sense of what they read. I don't undervalue a good education, as you know. But I feel that but few of these islanders can ever be book-learned; and I would sooner see them content to be taught plain truths by qualified persons than puzzling themselves to no purpose by the doubtful use of their little learning. You know that I don't want to act the Romish Priest amongst them. I don't want to domineer at all. And I do teach reading and writing to all who come into our regular school, and I make them read passages to verify my teaching. At the same time, I feel that the Protestant complaint of "shutting up the Bible from the laity," is the complaint of educated persons, able to read, think, and reflect.
'The main difficulty is, of course, to secure a supply of really competent teachers. George, Edward, Henry, Robert, and some three or four others are trustworthy. I comfort myself by thinking that a great many of the mediaeval Clergy certainly did not know as much nor teach as well.
'Yesterday I baptized 41 more children and infants on again an unpropitious day. I was obliged to leave 42 to be baptized at some future time. The rain poured down. The people will bring them over to-morrow. The whole number of infants and children will amount to 230 or more, of adults to perhaps 25 or 30. You will pray earnestly for them that they may lead the rest of their lives "according to this beginning."
'There is much talk, something more than talk, I think, about putting up a large church-house here, on this side of the island (north-west side) and of a school-house, for church also, on the south-east side.
'We have all heavy coughs and colds; and I have had two or three very disturbed nights, owing to the illness of one of the many babies. The little thing howls all night.
'All our means of housing people are exhausted. People flock here for the sake of being taught. Four new houses have been built, three are being built. We shall have a large Christian village here soon, I hope and trust. At present every place is crammed, and 25 or 30 sleep on the verandah. The little cooking house holds somehow or other about 24 boys; they pack close, not being burdened with clothes and four-posters. I sleep on a table, people under and around it. I am very well, barring this heavy cold and almost total loss of voice for a few hours in the morning and evening.
'August 1st.--Very tired 7 A.M., Prayers 7.20-8.20, school 8.20-10; baptized 55 infants and young children. Now it is past 1; a boisterous day, though as yet no rain. I had a cup of cocoa at 6.30, and at 10.30 a plate of rice and a couple of eggs, nice clean fare. The weather is against me, so cold, wet, and so boisterous. I got a good night though, for I sent Mrs. Rhoda and her squalling baby to another house, and so slept quietly.
'I am sorry that teaching is so irksome to me. I am, in a sense, at it all day. But there is so much to be done, and the people, worthy souls, have no idea that one can ever be tired. After I was laid down on my table, with my air-pillow under my head and my plaid over me, I woke up from a doze to find the worthy Tanoagnene sitting with his face towards me, waiting for a talk about the rather comprehensive subject of Baptism.
'And at all odd times I ought to be teaching George and others how to teach, the hardest work of all. I think what a life a real pedagogue must have of it. There is so much variety with me, so much change and holiday, and so much that has its special interest.
'The "Southern Cross" has been gone a week. I hope they have not this kind of weather. If they have, they are getting a good knocking about, and they number about 55 on board.
'August 6th.--To-day there is no rain, for the first time for weeks. It blew a heavy gale all night, and had done so with heavy rain for some days before.
'At 8 A.M. to-day I baptized 14 grown men, one an old bald man, and another with a son of sixteen or so, five women and six lads, taught entirely in George's school. Afterwards, at a different service, 7 infants and little children were baptized. 238 + 5 who have died have now been baptized since the beginning of July. To-day's service was very comforting. I pray and trust that these grown-up men and women may be kept steadfast to their profession. It is a great blessing that I could think it right to take this step. You will, I know, pray for them; their position is necessarily a difficult one.
'It is 2 P.M., and I feel tired: the crowds are gone, though little fellows are as usual sitting all round one. I tell them I can't talk; I must sit quietly, with Charlotte Yonge's "Pupils of St. John the Divine." Dear me, what advantage young folks have nowadays, though indeed the dangers of these times far outweigh those of our young days.
'I suppose Lightfoot's "Commentaries" hardly come in your way. They are critical and learned on the Greek of St. Paul's Epistles. But there are dissertations which may be read by the English reader. He seems to me to be a very valuable man, well fitted by his learning, and moderation, and impartiality, and uncontroversial temper to do much good. His sympathies with the modern school of thought are, I fancy, beyond me.
'There is no doubt that Matthew Arnold says much that is true of the narrowness, bigotry, and jealous un-Christian temper of Puritanism; and I suppose no one doubts that they do misrepresent the true doctrine of Christianity, both by their exclusive devotion to one side only of the teaching of the Bible, and by their misconception of their own favourite portions of Scripture. The doctrine of the Atonement was never in ancient times, I believe, drawn out in the form in which Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and others have lately stated it.
'The fact of the Atonement through the Death of Christ was always clearly stated; the manner, the "why," the "how" man's Redemption and Reconciliation to God is thus brought about, was not taught, if at all, after the Protestant fashion.
'Oxenham's "History of the Catholic Doctrine of the Atonement" is a fairly-written statement of what was formerly held and taught. Such words as "substitution," "satisfaction," with all the ideas introduced into the subject from the use of illustrations, e.g. of criminals acquitted, debts discharged, have perplexed it perhaps, rather than explained, what must be beyond explanation.
'The ultra-Calvinistic view becomes in the mind and language of the hot-headed ignorant fanatic a denial of God's Unity. "The merciful Son appeasing the wrath of the angry Father" is language which implies two Wills, two Counsels in the Divine Mind (compare with this John iii. 16).
I suppose that an irreverent man, being partly disgusted with the popular theology, having no scruples about putting aside Inspiration, &c., and conceiving that he himself is an adequate representative of the nineteenth century's intelligence, and that the nineteenth century's intelligence is most profound and infallible, sets to work to demolish what is distasteful to himself, and what the unerring criticism of the day rejects, correcting St. Paul's mistakes, patronising him whenever he is fortunate enough to receive the approbation of the great thinkers of our day, and so constructs a vague "human" religion out of the Christianity which he criticises, eliminating all that lies beyond the speculative range of the mind, and that demands assent by its own authority as God's Revelation. I don't know how to state briefly what I mean.
'I think I can understand that this temper of mind is very prevalent in England now, and that I can partly trace the growth of it. Moreover, I feel that to ignore, despise, or denounce it, will do no good.
'As a matter of fact, thousands of educated men are thinking on these great matters as our fathers did not think of them. Simplicity of belief is a great gift; but then the teaching submitted to such simple believers ought to be true, otherwise the simple belief leads them into error. How much that common Protestant writers and preachers teach is not true! Perhaps some of their teaching is untrue absolutely, but it is certainly untrue relatively, because they do not hold the "proportion of the faith," and by excluding some truths and presenting others in an extravagant form they distort the whole body of truth.
'But when a man not only points out some of the popular errors, but claims to correct St. Paul when he Judaizes, and to do a little judicious Hellenizing for an inspired Apostle, one may well distrust the nineteenth century tone and spirit.
'I do really and seriously think that a great and reverently-minded man, conscious of the limits of human reason--a man like Butler-- would find his true and proper task now in presenting Christian teaching in an unconventional form, stripped of much error that the terms which we all employ when speaking doctrine seem unavoidably to carry with them.
'Such a man might ask, "What do you mean by your theory of Substitution, Satisfaction, &c.?" "Where do you find it?" "Prove it logically from the Bible." "Show that the early Church held it."
'Butler, as you know, reproved the curiosity of men who sought to find out the manner of the Atonement. "I do not find," he says, "that it is declared in the Scriptures." He believed the fact, of course, as his very soul's treasure. "Our ignorance," he says, "is the proper answer to such enquiries."
'At the same time, no one now can do, it seems, what another Butler might do, viz., deal with the Bible as the best of the nineteenth- century men wish to hear a divine deal with it. He would never make mere assertions. He would never state as a proved truth, to be presented to a congregation's acceptance, a statement or a doctrine which really equalled only an opinion of Wesley or any other human teacher. He would never make arbitrary quotations from Scripture, and try to prove points by illogical reasoning, and unduly pressing texts which a more careful collation of MSS. has shown to be at least doubtful. And by fairness and learning he would win or conciliate right-minded men of the critical school. What offends these men is the cool reckless way in which so many preachers make the most audacious statements, wholly unsupported by any sound learning and logical reasoning. A man makes a statement, quotes a text or two, which he doesn't even know to be capable of at least one inter- pretation different from that which he gives to it; and so the critical hearer is disgusted, and no wonder.
'One gain of this critical spirit is, that it makes all of us Clergy more circumspect in what we say, and many a man looks at his Greek Testament nowadays, and at a good Commentary too, before he ventures to quote a text which formerly would have done duty in its English dress and passed muster among an uncritical congregation. Nowadays every clergyman knows that there are probably men in his congregation who know their Bible better than he does, and as practical lawyers, men of business, &c., are more than his match at an argument. It offends such men to have a shallow-minded preacher taking for granted the very points that he ought to prove, giving a sentence from some divine of his school as if it settled the question without further reference even to the Bible.
'This critical spirit becomes very easily captious; and a man needn't be unbelieving because he doesn't like to be credulous. Campbell's book on the Atonement is very hard, chiefly because the man writes such unintelligible English. I think Shairp in his "Essays," gives a good critique as far as it goes on the philosophical and religious manner of our day.
'Alexander Knox says somewhere in his correspondence with Bishop Jebb that he couldn't understand the Protestant theory of Justification. And it does seem to be often stated as if the terms employed in describing a mere transaction could adequately convey the true power and meaning of a Divine mystery.
'But I only puzzle you, I dare say, and certainly I am liable to the charge of not writing intelligible English. I can tell you I am glad enough that I am not called on to preach on these subjects after the fashion that a preacher in England must go to work.
'It is a cool thing to say, but I do believe that what half our English congregations want is just the plain simple teaching that our Melanesians get, only the English congregations wouldn't stand it.'
A letter to Arthur Coleridge is of the same date:--
'Mota Island: August 6, 1871-
'My dear Arthur,--I have had a busy day, having baptized thirty-two persons, of whom twenty-five are adults; and then the crowd, the incessant talking, teaching, and the anxious feeling which attend any step of so much importance as the Baptism from heathenism. Fourteen of the men are married, two are elderly, several are middle-aged, five women are among the number. I believe that God's spirit is indeed working in the hearts of these people. Some twelve or thirteen years have passed, and only now have I felt that I could take the step of baptizing the infants and young children here, the parents promising that they shall be sent to school as they grow up. About 200 young children have during the past month been baptized: things seem hopeful. It is very happy work; and I get on pretty well, often very tired, but that doesn't matter.
'I could wish all my good friends were here, that those who have been enabled to contribute to this end might see for themselves something of the long hoped for beginning of a new state of things in this little island.
'August 11.--In a little more than a month 248 persons have been baptized here, twenty-five of them adults, the rest infants and young children. I am very sorry to think that I must leave them soon, for I expect the "Southern Cross" in a few days; and I must go to the Solomon Islands, from them to Santa Cruz Island, and so to Norfolk Island, calling here on the way. Then I am off to the Fiji Islands for, I suppose, a month or six weeks. There are some 6,000 or 7,000 white people there, and it is assumed by them and the Church people in this part of the world that I must be regarded as their Bishop. Very soon a separate Bishop ought to be at work there, and I shall probably have to make some arrangement with the settlers. Then, on the other hand, I want to look into the question of South Sea Islanders who are taken to the Fiji plantations.
'How far I can really examine into the matter, I hardly know. But many of the settlers invite me to consider the matter with them.
'I believe that for the most part the islanders receive good treatment when on the plantations, but I know that many of them are taken away from their islands by unfair means.
'The settlers are only indirectly responsible for this. The traders and sailing masters of the vessels who take away the islanders are the most culpable. But the demand creates the supply.
'Among all my multifarious occupations here, I have not much time for reading; I am never alone night or day. I sleep on a table, with some twelve or more fellows around me; and all day long people are about me, in and out of school hours. But I have read, for the third time I think, Lightfoot's "Galatians"--and I am looking forward to receiving his book on the Ephesians. He doesn't lay himself out to do exactly the work that Bishop Ellicott has done so excellently, and his dissertations are perhaps the most valuable part of his work. He will gain the ear of the men of this generation, rather than Ellicott; he sympathises more with modern modes of thought, and is less rigid than Ellicott. But he seems very firm on all the most essential and primary points, and I am indeed thankful for such a man. I don't find much time for difficult reading; I go on quietly, Hebrew, &c. I have many good books on both Old and New Testaments, English and German, and some French, e.g. Keuss and Guizot.
'I like to hear something of what this restless speculative scientific generation is thinking and doing. But I can't read with much pleasure the fragmentary review literature of the day. The "Cornhill" and that class of books I can't stand, and sketchy writings. The best specimens of light reading I have seen of late are Charlotte Yonge's "Pupils of St. John the Divine," and Guizot's "St. Louis," excellent.
'I did read, for it was put on board, Disraeli's novel. I was on my back sea-sick for four days; what utter rubbish! clever nonsense! And I have read Mr. Arnold's "St. Paul and Protestantism." He says some clever things about the Puritan mind, no doubt. But what a painful book it is: can't he see that he is reducing all that the spirit of a man must needs rest on to the level of human criticism? simply eliminating from the writings of the Apostles, and I suppose from the words of the Saviour, all that is properly and strictly Divine.--[Then follows much that has been before given.]--How [winding up thus] thankful I am that I am far away from the noise and worry of this sceptical yet earnest age!
'There is something hazy about your friend Davis's writings. I know some of his publications, and sympathise to a very considerable extent with him. But I can't be sure that I always understand him: that school has a language of its own, and I am not so far initiated as to follow.
'I can't understand Maurice, much as I respect him. It is simply wasting my time and my brains to attempt to read him; he has great thoughts, and he makes them intelligible to people less stupid than me, and many writers whom I like and understand have taken their ideas from him; but I cannot understand him. And I think many of his men have his faults. At least I am so conceited as to think it is not all my fault.
'Do you know two little books by Norris, Canon of Bristol, "Key to the Gospel History," and a Manual on the Catechism?
'They are well worth reading, indeed I should almost say studying, so as to mould the teaching of your young ones upon them.
'How you would be amused could you see the figures and scenes which surround me here! To-day about 140 men, women, lads and girls are working voluntarily here, clearing and fencing the gardens, and digging the holes for the yams, and they do this to help us in the school; we have two pigs killed, and give them a bit of a feast. The feeling is very friendly. A sculptor might study them to great advantage, though clothing is becoming common here now. Our thirty- four baptized adults and our sixteen or twenty old scholars wear decent clothing, of course.
'Well, I must leave off.
'I think very often of you, your wife and children, and, indeed, of you all. It would be very nice to spend a few weeks with you, but I should not get on well in your climate.
'The heat seems to suit me better, and I am pretty well here. Indeed I am better than I have been for more than a year, though I have a good deal of discomfort.
'Good-bye, dear Arthur. How often I think of your dear dear Father.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
To the sisters, the journal continues--recording, on August 14, the Baptism of twelve men and women the day before, the Communion of sixteen at 7 A.M., the presence of fifty-six baptized persons at morning service. More than 100 were working away the ensuing day in preparing yam gardens for Kohimarama, while two pigs were stewing in native ovens to feast them afterwards; and the Bishop was planting cocoa-nut trees and sowing flower seeds, or trying experiments with a machine for condensing water, in his moments of relaxation, which were few, though he was fairly well, and very happy, as no one can doubt on reading this:--
'Lots of jolly little children, and many of them know me quite well and are not a bit shy. They are often very sad-looking objects, and as they don't get regularly washed, they often have large sores and abscesses, poor little things. But there are many others--clean- skinned, reddish brown, black-eyed, merry little souls among them. The colour of the people is just what Titian and the Venetian painters delighted in, the colour of their own weather-beaten Venetian boatmen, glowing warm rich colour. White folks look as if they were bleached and had all the colour washed out of them.
'Some of the Solomon Islanders are black, and some of the New Hebrides people glossy and smooth and strong-looking; but here you seldom see any very dark people, and there are some who have the yellow, almost olive complexion of the South European. Many of the women are tattooed from head to foot, a regular network of a bluish inlaid pattern. It is not so common with the men, rather I ought to say very unusual with them, though many have their bodies marked pretty freely.'
On the 17th sixteen more adults were baptized, elderly men, whose sons had been baptized in New Zealand coming in, and enemies resigning deadly feuds.
The work in Mota is best summed up in this last letter to Bishop Abraham, begun the day after what proved the final farewell to the flock there, for the 'Southern Cross' came in on the 19th, and the last voyage was at once commenced:--
"'Southern Cross": Sunday, August 20, 1871.
'My dear dear Friends,--Yesterday the "Southern Cross" came to me at Mota, twenty-seven days after leaving that island for Norfolk Island with some fifty Melanesians on board under charge of Bice.
'Into what a new world your many kind affectionate letters take me! And how good it must be for me to be taught to think more than I, alas! usually do, about the trials and sorrows of others.
'I have had such a seven weeks at Mota, broken by a three weeks' course in the New Hebrides, into two portions of three and four weeks.
'Last year we said in our Report, that the time seemed to be come when we should seek to move the people in Mota to do more than assent to the truth of our words and the blessings promised in the Gospel, when we should urge them to appropriate to themselves those blessings, by abandoning their ignorant heathen ways, and embracing Christianity.
'That time has come in the good Providence of God, in answer to His all-prevailing Intercession, and hastened (who can doubt it?) by the prayers of the faithful everywhere--your Whit-Sunday thoughts and prayers, your daily thoughts and prayers, all contributing to bring about a blessed change indeed in the little island.
'In these two months I have baptized 289 persons in Mota, 231 children and infants, seventeen of the lads and boys at Kohimarama, George Sarawia's school, and forty-one grown and almost all married men and women.
'I have tried to proceed cautiously and to act only when I had every human probability of a personal conviction and sincere desire to embrace Christian teaching and to lead a Christian life. I think the adult candidates were all competently instructed in the great truths.
'I feel satisfied of their earnestness, and I think it looks like a stable, permanent work. Yet I need not tell you how my old text is ever in my mind, "Thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged." Now more than ever are your prayers needed for dear old George Sarawia and his infant Church.
'I never had such an experience before. It is something quite new to me. Classes regularly, morning and evening, and all day parties coming to talk and ask questions, some bringing a wife or child, some a brother, some a friend. We were 150 sleeping on the Mission premises, houses being put up all round by people coming from a distance.
'Scarce a moment's rest, but the work so interesting and absorbing, that I could scarcely feel weariness. The weather for six out of the seven weeks was very rainy and bad generally; but I am and was well, very well--not very strong, yet walking to Gatava and back, five or six miles, on slippery and wet paths, and schooling and talking all day.
'The actual services were somewhat striking. The behaviour of the people reverent and quiet during the infants' and children's baptisms; and remarkably so during the baptisms of adults.
'You can understand the drift of my teaching: trying to keep to the great main truths, so as not to perplex their minds with a multiplicity of new thoughts.
'I think that I shall have to stay a few days at Mota on my return (D.V.) from Solomon and Santa Cruz Islands, as there are still many Catechumens.
'I am half disposed to ordain George Priest on my return (D.V.) Yet on the whole I think it may be better to wait till another year. But I am balancing considerations. Should any delay occur from my incapacity to go to Mota, which I don't at all anticipate, it would be a serious thing to leave such a work in the hands of a Deacon, e.g. ten communicants are permanent dwellers now in Mota; and I really believe that George, though not learned, is in all essentials quite a fit person to be ordained Priest. This growth of the work, owing, no doubt, much to him, is a proof of God's blessing on him.
'I pray God that this may be a little gleam of light to cheer you, dear friends, on your far more toilsome and darksome path. It is a little indeed in one sense; yet to me, who know the insufficiency of the human agency, it is a proof indeed that the Gospel is dunamis Theou eis soterian.
'I can hardly realize it all yet. It is good to be called away from it for a month or two. I often wished that Codrington, Palmer, and the rest could be with me: it seemed selfish to be witnessing by myself all this great happiness--that almost visible victory over powers of darkness.
'There is little excitement, no impulsive vehement outpouring of feeling. People come and say, "I do see the evil of the old life; I do believe in what you teach us. I feel in my heart new desires, new wishes, new hopes. The old life has become hateful to me; the new life is full of joy. But it is so mawa (weighty), I am afraid. What if after making these promises I go back?"
"What do you doubt--God's power and love, or your own weakness?"
'"I don't doubt His power and love; but I am afraid."
'"Afraid of what?" '"Of falling away."
'"Doesn't He promise His help to those who need it?"
'"Yes, I know that." '"Do you pray?"
'"I don't know how to pray properly, but I and my wife say--God, make our hearts light. Take away the darkness. We believe that you love us because you sent JESUS to become a Man and die for us, but we can't understand it all. Make us fit to be baptized."
'"If you really long to lead a new life, and pray to God to strengthen you, come in faith, without doubting."
'Evening by evening my school with the baptized men and women is the saying by heart (at first sentence by sentence after me, now they know them well) the General Confession, which they are taught to use in the singular number, as a private prayer, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, the ten Commandments (a short version). They are learning the Te Deum. They use a short prayer for grace to keep their baptismal vows.
'I think that they know fairly well the simpler meaning of these various compendiums of Prayer, Faith and Duty. But why enter into details? You know all about it. And, indeed, you have all had your large share, so to say, in bringing about this happy change.
'And then I turn from all this little secluded work to the thoughts of England and France, the Church at home, &c....
'I have now read the "Guardian's" account of the civil war in France. There is nothing like it to be read of, except in the Old Testament perhaps. It is like the taking of Jerusalem.
'It is an awful thing! most awful! I never read anything like it. Will they ever learn to be humble? I don't suppose that even now they admit their sins to have brought this chastening on them. It is hard to say this without indulging a Pharisaic spirit, but I don't mean to palliate our national sins by exaggerating theirs. Yet I hardly think any mob but a French or Irish mob could have done what these men did.
'And what will be the result? Will it check the tendency to Republicanism? Will Governments unite to put down the many-headed monster? Will they take a lesson from the fate of Paris and France? Of course Republicanism is not the same thing as Communism. But where are we to look for the good effects of Republicanism?
'August 22nd.--The seventh anniversary of dear Fisher's death. May God grant us this year a blessing at Santa Cruz!
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The last letter to the beloved sister Fanny opened with the date of her never-forgotten birthday, the 27th of August, though it was carried on during the following weeks; and in the meantime Mr. Atkin, Stephen, Joseph and the rest were called for from Wango, in Bauro, where they had had a fairly peaceable stay, in spite of a visit from a labour traffic vessel, called the 'Emma Bell,' with twenty-nine natives under hatches, and, alas! on her way for more. After picking the Bauro party up, the Bishop wrote to the elder Mr. Atkin:--
'Wango Bay (at anchor): August 25, 1871.
'My dear Mr. Atkin,--You may imagine my joy at finding Joe looking really well when we reached this part of the world on the 23rd. I thought him looking unwell when he spent an hour or two with me at Mota, about ten weeks since, and I begged him to be careful, to use quinine freely, &c. He is certainly looking now far better than he was then, and he says that he feels quite well and strong. There is the more reason to be thankful for this, because the weather has been very rough, and rain has been falling continually. I had the same weather in the Banks Islands; scarcely a day for weeks without heavy rain. Here the sandy soil soon becomes dry again, it does not retain the moisture, and so far it has the advantage over the very tenacious clayey soil of Mota.
'Nearly all the time of the people here has been spent--wasted, perhaps, we should say--in making preparations for a great feast: so that Joe found it very hard to gain the attention of the people, when he tried to point out to them better things to think of than pigs, native money, tobacco and pipes. Such advance as has been made is rather in the direction of gaining the confidence and good-will of the people all about, and in becoming very popular among all the young folks. Nearly all the young people would come away with him, if the elders would allow them to do so. I have no doubt that much more has been really effected than is apparent to us now. Words have been said that have not been lost, and seed sown that will spring up some day. Just as at Mota, now, after some twelve or thirteen years, we first see the result in the movement now going on there, so it will be, by God's goodness, some day here. There at Mota the good example of George Sarawia, the collective result of the teaching of many years, and the steady conduct, with one exception, of the returned scholars, have now been blessed by God to the conversion of many of the people. We no longer hesitate to baptize infants and young children, for the parents engage to send them to school when they grow up, and are themselves receiving instruction in a really earnest spirit.
'Many, too, of those who have for some time abandoned the old ways, but yet did not distinctly accept the new teaching, have now felt the "power of the Gospel;" and though many candidates are still under probation, and I sought to act with caution, and to do all that lay in my power to make them perceive the exceeding solemnity of being baptized, the weighty promises, the great responsibility, yet I thought it right to baptize not less than forty-one grown men and women, besides seventeen lads of George's school, about whom there could be no hesitation. It has, indeed, been a very remarkable season there. I spent seven weeks broken by a New Hebrides trip of three weeks' duration into two periods of three and four weeks. Bice was with me for the first three weeks; and with a good many of our scholars turned into teachers here, we three (Bice, George, and I) kept up very vigorous school: a continual talking, questioning, &c., about religion, were always going on day and night. Many young children and infants were baptized, about 240 in all + 41 + 17.
'You will, I am sure, pray more than ever for George and all these converts to Christianity, that they may be strengthened and guarded against all evil, and live lives worthy of their profession. We hope to spend two or three days there on our return (D.V.); and if so, Joe will write you his impressions. Meanwhile, I tell him what I fully believe, that no one hearty effort of his to benefit these poor people is thrown away. Already they allow us to take boys, and perhaps this very day we may go off with two young girls also. And all this will result in some great change for the better some day.
'You will want to hear a word about myself. I am much better, partly I confess owing to the warmth of the climate, which certainly agrees with me. I may feel less well as we draw by-and-by to the south once more.
'I can't take strong exercise, and that is a privation. It did me good, and I feel the want of it; but I am much better than I was a year or ten months ago, and I do my work very fairly, and get about better than I expected. Remember me kindly to Mrs. Atkin and Mary, and believe me to be
'Your very sincere Friend,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Mr. Brooke and Edward Wogale had had a far more trying sojourn at Florida.
'Wogale suffered much from his eyes; and the labour ships were frequently on the coast--all the three varieties: the fairly conducted one with a Government agent on board; the "Snatch-snatch," which only inveigled, but did not kill without necessity; and the "Kill-kill," which absolutely came head-hunting. It was a dreary eleven weeks.
'On July 11, a "Sydney vessel," as the natives called it, was on the west of the island, and nine natives were reported to Mr Brooke as having been killed, and with so much evidence that he had no doubt on the subject.
'On the 13th Takua came to him to say the "Kill-kill" vessel had anchored four miles off. What was he to do?
'"How was it you and Bisope came first, and then these slaughterers? Do you send them?"
'Mr. Brooke advised them to remain on shore; but if the strangers landed and wanted to kill or burn them, to fight for their lives. "Your words are the words of a chief," said Takua.
'This ship, however, sailed away; but on August 13 another came, much like the "Southern Cross," and canoes went out to her, in one of them Dudley Lankona. These returned safely, but without selling their fruit; and Dudley related that the men said, "Bishop and Brooke were bad, but they themselves were good, and had pipes and tobacco for those who would go with them."
'These, however, went away without doing them harm, only warning them that another vessel which was becalmed near at hand was a "killer," and the people were so uneasy about her that Mr. Brooke went on board, and was taken by the captain for a maker of cocoa-nut oil. He was a Scotchman, from Tanna, where he had settled, and was in search of labourers; a good-natured friendly kind of person on the whole, though regarding natives as creatures for capture.
'"If I get a chance to carry a lot of them off," he said, "I'll do it; but killing is not my creed."
'Mr. Brooke hinted that the natives might attack him, and he pointed to six muskets. "That's only a few of them. Let them come. We'll give it them pretty strong."
'He was rather taken aback when he found that he was talking to a clergyman. "Well, wherever you go nowadays there's missionaries. Who would have thought you'd got so far down?"
'And he looked with regret at Mr. Brooke's party of natives in their canoes, and observed, "Ah! my fine fellows, if your friend was not here I'd have the whole lot of you: what a haul!"
'He said the other ship was from Queensland, and had a Government agent on board, of whom he spoke with evident awe.
'On Mr. Brooke's return, Takua and Dikea were furbishing up old guns which some incautious person on board the "Curacoa" had given them, and they were disappointed to find that there could be no attack on the vessel.'
She, however, was scarcely gone before, at the other end of the island, Vara, four out of five men were killed by a boat's crew. The survivor, Sorova, told Mr. Brooke that he and one companion had gone out in one canoe, and three more in another, to a vessel that lay near the shore. He saw four blacks in her, as he thought Ysabel men. A white man came down from the boat, and sat in the bow of Sorova's canoe, but presently stood up and capsized both canoes, catching at Sorova's belt, which broke, and the poor fellow was thus enabled to get away, and shelter himself under the stern of the canoe, till he could strike out for land; but he saw a boat come round from the other side of the ship, with four men--whether whites or light- coloured islanders was not clear--but they proceeded to beat his companions with oars, then to fall on them with tomahawks, and finally cut off their heads, which were taken on board, and their bodies thrown to the sharks.
These men evidently belonged to that lowest and most horrible class of men-stealers, who propitiate the chiefs by assisting them in head- hunting.
Of course the island was full of rage, and on the 26th again another brig was in sight. Spite of warning, desire to trade induced five men to put off in a canoe. Two boats came down, and placed themselves on either side. Mr. Brooke could not watch, but a fierce shout arose from the crowd on shore, they rushed to the great canoe house, and a war fleet was launched, Dikea standing up in the foremost, with a long ebony spear in his hand. Fortunately they were too late: the boats were hauled up, and the brig went off at full sail. Whether the five were killed or carried captive is not clear.
The whole place was full of wailing. Revenge was all the cry. 'Let not their pigs be killed,' said Takua; 'we will give them to Bisope, he shall avenge us.' His brother Dikea broke out: 'My humour is bad because Bisope does not take us about in his vessel to kill-kill these people!'
When, two days later, the 'Southern Cross' was unmistakeably in sight, Takua said, 'Let Bisope only bring a man-of-war, and get me vengeance on my adversaries, and I shall be exalted like--like--like our Father above!'
The residence of Mr. Brooke in the island, and the testimony of their own countrymen to the way of life in Norfolk Island, had taught the Floridians to separate the Bishop from their foes; but it could scarcely be thus in places where confidence in him had not been established.
The Bishop meanwhile wrote on:--
'The New Zealand Bishops have sent me a kind letter, a round robin, urging me to go to England; but they are ignorant of two things:-- 1st, that I am already much better; 2nd, that I should not derive the benefit generally to my spirits, &c. from a visit to England as they would, and take it for granted that I should do so.
'They use only one other argument, viz., that I must rest after some years' work. That is not so. I don't feel the pressure of work for a very simple reason, viz., that I don't attempt to work as I used to do.
'But just now, it is quite clear that I must not go, unless there were a very obvious necessity for it. For, 1st, Mota needs all the help we can give; 2nd, several Melanesians are coming on rapidly to the state when they ought to be ordained; 3rd, we are about to start (D.V.) new stations at Ambrym, Leper's Island, and Savo; 4th, the school is so large that we want "all hands" to work it; 5th, I must go to Fiji, and watch both Fiji and Queensland; 6th, after the 1872 voyage, we shall need, as I think, to sell this vessel, and have another new one built in Auckland. The funds will need careful nursing for this. But I will really not be foolish. If I have a return of the bad symptoms, I will go to Dr. Goldsboro', and if he advises it strongly, will go to England.
'The deportation of natives is going on to a very great extent here, as in the New Hebrides and Banks Islands. Means of all kinds are employed: sinking canoes and capturing the natives, enticing men on board, and getting them below, and then securing hatches and imprisoning them. Natives are retaliating. Lately, two or three vessels have been taken and all hands killed, besides boats' crews shot at continually. A man called on me at Mota the other day, who said that five out of seven in the boat were struck by arrows a few days before. The arrows were not poisoned, but one man was very ill. It makes even our work rather hazardous, except where we are thoroughly well known. I hear that a vessel has gone to Santa Cruz, and I must be very cautious there, for there has been some disturbance almost to a certainty.
'Whatever regulations the Government of Queensland or the Consul of Fiji may make, they can't restrain the traders from employing unlawful means to get hold of the natives. And I know that many of these men are utterly unscrupulous. But I can't get proofs that are sufficient to obtain a verdict in a court of law.
'Some islands are almost depopulated; and I dread the return of these "labourers," when they are brought back. They bring guns and other things, which enable them to carry out with impunity all kinds of rascality. They learn nothing that can influence them for good. They are like squatters in the bush, coming into the town to have their fling. These poor fellows come back to run riot, steal men's wives, shoot, fight, and use their newly acquired possessions to carry out more vigorously all heathen practices.
'September 3rd.--At anchor: Savo Island: Sunday. The experiment of anchoring at Sara (Florida) and this place answers well. The decks were crowded and crammed; but the people behaved very well, barring the picking up of everything they could lay hands upon, as is natural to many persons whose education has been neglected.
'Yesterday I took Wadrokala (of Nengone) to the village here, where he is to live with some of our old scholars from these parts, and try to begin a good work among the people. He has four baptized friends, a married couple being two, and three other very good lads, to start with. It was a long and very hot walk. A year ago I could not have got through it. I was tired, but not over-tired.
'And now we have had Holy Communion; and this afternoon we take our party on shore: Wadrokala's wife Carry, and Jemima, their daughter of eight or nine. There is no fighting or quarrelling here now. I know all the people, so I leave them with good hope.'
On the 7th, Joseph Atkin began a letter as follows:--
'Our Bishop is much improved in health and strength. His stay at Mota has put new life into him again; the whole island is becoming Christian.
'The Bishop is now very strong and clear about establishing permanent schools on the islands; I fear in almost too great a hurry. The great requisite for a school is a native teacher; and generally, if not always, a teacher ought, as George was at Mota, to be well supported by a little band of native converts, who, if their teaching, in the common use of the word, is not much, can, by their consistent lives, preach a continual sermon, that all who see may understand. What is the use of preaching an eloquent sermon on truth to a people who do not know what it means, or purity of which they have never dreamt? Their ears take in the words, they sound very pleasant, and they go away again to their sin; and the preacher is surprised that they can do so. I do not forget the power of the Spirit to change men's hearts, but do not expect the Holy Spirit to work with you as He never worked with anyone else, but rather as He always has worked with others.... If in looking into the history of Missions, you find no heathen people has been even nominally and professionally Christianised within, say, ten or fifteen years, why not be content to set to work to try that the conversion of those to whom you are sent may be as thorough and real as possible in that time, and not to fret at being unable to hurry the work some years?'....
This letter too was destined never to be finished, though it was continued later, as will be seen.
The Bishop's next letter is dated--
'September 16th.--Off the Santa Cruz group, some twenty miles distant. To-morrow, being Sunday, we stay quietly some way off the islands; and on Monday (D.V.) we go to Nukapu, and perhaps to Piteni too, wind permitting. You can enter into my thoughts, how I pray God that if it be His will, and if it be the appointed time, He may enable us in His own way to begin some little work among these very wild but vigorous energetic islanders. I am fully alive to the probability that some outrage has been committed here by one or more vessels. The master of the vessel that Atkin saw did not deny his intention of taking away from these or from any other islands any men or boys he could induce to come on board. I am quite aware that we may be exposed to considerable risk on this account. I trust that all may be well; that if it be His will that any trouble should come upon us, dear Joseph Atkin, his father and mother's only son, may be spared. But I don't think there is very much cause for fear; first, because at these small reef islands they know me pretty well, though they don't understand as yet our object in coming to them, and they may very easily connect us white people with the other white people who have been ill-using them; second, last year I was on shore at Nukapu and Piteni for some time, and I can talk somewhat with the people; third, I think that if any violence has been used to the natives of the north face of the large island, Santa Cruz, I shall hear of it from these inhabitants of the small islets to the north, Nukapu, and Piteni, and so be forewarned.
'If any violence has been used, it will make it impossible for us to go thither now. It would simply be provoking retaliation. One must say, as Newman of the New Dogma, that the progress of truth and religion is delayed, no one can say how long. It is very sad. But the Evil One everywhere and always stirs up opposition and hindrance to every attempt to do good. And we are not so sorely tried in this way as many others.'
Contrary winds--or rather a calm, with such light wind as there was, contrary--kept the vessel from approaching the island for four days more, while the volcano made every night brilliant, and the untiring pen ran on with affectionate responses to all that the last home packet had contained, and then proceeded to public interests:--
'Then the great matters you write about--the great social and religious crisis in England now. Moreover, who can estimate the effect of this German and French war upon the social state of Europe? Possibly a temporary violent suppression in North Germany of Republican principles, a reaction, an attempt to use the neutrality of England as a focus for political agitation. And then the extravagant luxury side by side with degrading poverty! It is a sad picture; and you who have to contemplate it have many trials and troubles that are in one sense far away from me.
'September 19th.--Here we are becalmed; for three days we have scarcely made ten miles in the direction we want to go. It is not prudent to go near the large island, unless we have a good breeze, and can get away from the fleets of canoes if we see reason for so doing. We may have one hundred and fifty canoes around us, and perhaps sixty or eighty strong men on deck, as we had last year; and this year we have good reason for fearing that labour vessels have been here. Many of the people here would distinguish between us and them; but it is quite uncertain, for we can't talk to the people of the large island, and can't therefore explain our object in so doing. 'Yesterday, being becalmed, a large canoe, passing (for there was occasionally a light air from the north) from Nupani to Santa Cruz, came near us. It could not get away, and the "Southern Cross" could not get near it. So we went to it in the boat. I can talk to these Nupani people, and we had a pleasant visit. They knew my name directly, and were quite at ease the moment they were satisfied it was the Bishop. They will advertise us, I dare say, and say a good word for us, and we gave them presents, &c.
'I shall be thankful if this visit ends favourably, and oh! how thankful if we obtain any lads. It seems so sad to leave this fine people year after year in ignorance and darkness, but He knows and cares for them more than we do. 'The sun is nearly vertical; thermometer 91°, and 88° at night; I am lazy, but not otherwise affected by it, and spend my day having some, about an hour's, school, and in writing and reading.
'I think that the Education question has been more satisfactorily settled than I dared to hope a year ago. A religious, as opposed to an irreligious education has been advisedly chosen by the country, and denominationalism (what a word!) as against secularism. Well, that's not much from a Christian country; but it isn't the choice of an anti-Christian, or even of a country indifferent to Christianity.
'Mrs. Abraham and Pena have sent me Shairp's little book on "Religion and Culture." It is capital; and if you knew the man you would not wonder at his writing such sensible, thoughtful books. He is one of the most "loveable" beings I ever knew. His good wholesome teaching is about the best antidote I have seen to much of the poison circulating about in magazines and alluring ignorant, unsound people with the specious name of philosophy. And he is always fair, and credits his opponents with all that can possibly be imagined to extenuate the injury they are doing by their false and faithless teaching.'
Here the letter suddenly ceases. No doubt this last sentence had given the last impulse towards addressing the old Balliol friend above named, now Principal of St. Andrew's, in the following:--
'"Southern Cross" Mission Schooner,
'In the Santa Cruz Group, S.W. Pacific: September 19.
'My dear Principal,--You won't remember my name, and it is not likely that you can know anything about me, but I must write you a line and thank you for writing your two books (for I have but two) on "Studies on Poetry and Philosophy," and "Religion and Culture."
'The "Moral Dynamic " and the latter book are indeed the very books I have longed to see; books that one can put with confidence and satisfaction into the hands of men, young and old, in these stirring and dangerous times.
'Then it did me good to be recalled to old scenes and to dream of old faces.
'I was almost a freshman when you came up to keep your M.A. term; and as I knew some of the men you knew, you kindly, as I well remember, gave me the benefit of it. As John Coleridge's cousin and the acquaintance of John Keate, Cumin, Palmer, and dear James Eiddell, I came to know men whom otherwise I could not have known, and of these how many there still are that I have thought of and cared for ever since!
'You must have thought of Riddell, dear James Riddell, when you wrote the words in p. 76 of your book on "Religion and Culture": "We have known such." Yes, there was indeed about him a beauty of character that is very very rare. Sellar is in the north somewhere, I think I have seen Essays by him on Lucretius.
'I think that he is Professor at some University. I am ashamed to know so little about him. Should you see him, pray remember me most kindly to him. As year after year passes on, it is very pleasant to think there are men on the other side of the world that I can with a certainty count upon as friends.
'I find it difficult to read much of what is worth reading nowadays, and I have little taste for magazines, &c., I confess.
'But I know enough of what is working in men's minds in Europe to be heartily thankful for such thoughtful wholesome teaching as yours.
'Indeed, you are doing a good work, and I pray God it may be abundantly blessed.
'I remain, my dear Friend,
'Very sincerely yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
This is the last letter apparently finished and signed!
To the Bishop of Lichfield the long journal-letter says:--
'Tenakulu (the volcano) was fine last night, but not so fine as on that night we saw it together. But it was very solemn to look at it, and think how puny all man's works are in comparison with this little volcano. What is all the bombardment of Paris to those masses of fire and hundreds of tons of rock cast out into the sea? "If He do but touch the hills, they shall smoke."
'And now what will the next few days bring forth? It may be God's will that the opening for the Gospel may be given to us now. Sometimes I feel as if I were almost too importunate in my longings for some beginning here; and I try not to be impatient, and to wait His good time, knowing that it will come when it is the fulness of time. Then, again, I am tempted to think, "If not soon, if not now, the trading vessels will make it almost impossible, as men think, to obtain any opening here." But I am on the whole hopeful, though sometimes faint-hearted.
'To day's First Lesson has a good verse: Haggai, ii. 4;l and there is Psalm xci. also.'
Then follows a good deal about further plans, and need of men; ending with the decision that the present 'Southern Cross' ought to be sold, and that a new one could be built at Auckland for £2,000, which the Bishop thought he could obtain in New Zealand and Australia.
'Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts.'
A much smaller additional vessel would be useful; and he merrily says:--
'You don't know an amiable millionaire, with a nice quick yacht from 70 to 120 tons, to be given away, and sent out to Auckland free of expense, I suppose.
'We must give up all idea of our Chapel for a time, but we can do without it. And a vessel is necessary.'
The last of this letter is on Delitzsch and Biblical criticism, but too much mixed up with other persons' private affairs for quotation.
Reading Hebrew with Mr. Atkin, or studying Isaiah alone, had been the special recreation throughout the voyage.
His scholar Edward Wogale has given a touch of that last morning of the 20th:--
'And as we were going to that island where he died, but were still in the open sea, he schooled us continually upon Luke ii. iii. up to vi., but he left off with us with his death. And he preached to us continually at Prayers in the morning, every day, and every evening on the Acts of the Apostles, and he spoke as far as to the seventh chapter, and then we reached that island. And he had spoken admirably and very strongly indeed to us, about the death of Stephen, and then he went up ashore on that island Nukapu.'
That island Nukapu lay with the blue waves breaking over the circling reef, the white line of coral sand, the trees coming down to it; and in the glowing sun of September 20, the equatorial midsummer eve, four canoes were seen hovering about the reef, as the 'Southern Cross' tried to make for the islet.
Mr. Brooke says that this lingering had seemed to intensify the Bishop's prayer and anxiety for these poor people; and, thinking that the unusual movements of the vessel puzzled the people in the canoes, and that they might be afraid to approach, he desired that at 11.30 A.M. the boat should be lowered, and entered it with Mr. Atkin, Stephen Taroniara, James Minipa, and John Nonono. He sat in the stern sheets, and called back to Mr. Brooke: 'Tell the captain I may have to go ashore.' Then he waited to collect more things as presents to take on shore, and pulled towards the canoes; But they did not come to meet the boat, and seemed undecided whether to pull away or not. The people recognized the Bishop; and when he offered to go on shore they assented, and the boat went on to a part of the reef about two miles from the island, and there met two more canoes, making six in all. The natives were very anxious that they should haul the boat up on the reef, the tide being too low for her to cross it, but, when this was not consented to, two men proposed to take the Bishop into their boat.
It will be remembered that he had always found the entering one of their canoes a sure way of disarming suspicion, and he at once complied. Mr. Atkin afterwards said he thought he caught the word 'Tabu,' as if in warning, and saw a basket with yams and other fruits presented; and those acquainted with the customs of the Polynesians - -the race to which these islanders belonged--say that this is sometimes done that an intended victim may unconsciously touch something tabu, and thus may become a lawful subject for a blow, and someone may have tried to warn him.
There was a delay of about twenty minutes; and then two canoes went with the one containing the Bishop, the two chiefs, Moto and Taula, who had before been so friendly to him, being in them. The tide was so low that it was necessary to wade over the reef, and drag the canoes across to the deeper lagoon within. The boat's crew could not follow; but they could see the Bishop land on the beach, and there lost sight of him.
The boat had been about half-an-hour drifting about in company with the canoes, and there had been some attempt at talk, when suddenly, at about ten yards off, without any warning, a man stood up in one of them, and calling out, 'Have you anything like this?' shot off one of the yard-long arrows, and his companions in the other two canoes began shooting as quickly as possible, calling out, as they aimed, 'This for New Zealand man! This for Bauro man! This for Mota man!' The boat was pulled back rapidly, and was soon out of range, but not before three out of the four had been struck; James only escaped by throwing himself back on the seat, while an arrow had nailed John's cap to his head, Mr. Atkin had one in his left shoulder, and poor Stephen lay in the bottom of the boat, 'trussed,' as Mr. Brooke described it, with six arrows in the chest and shoulders.
It was about two hours since they had left the ship when they reached it again: and Mr. Atkin said, 'We are all hurt? as they were helped on board; but no sooner had the arrow-head, formed of human bone, and acutely sharp, been extracted, than he insisted on going back to find his Bishop. He alone knew the way by which the reef could be crossed in the now rising tide, so that his presence was necessary. Meantime Mr. Brooke extracted as best he might the arrows from poor Stephen.
'We two Bisope,' said the poor fellow, meaning that he shared the same fate as the Bishop.
As Joseph Wate, a lad of fifteen, Mr. Atkin's Malanta godson and pupil, wrote afterwards, 'Joe said to me and Sapi, "We are going to look for the Bishop, are you two afraid?"
'"No, why should I be afraid?"
'"Very well, you two go and get food for yourselves, and bring a beaker full of water for us all, for we shall have to lie on our oars a long time to-day."'
The others who pulled the boat were Charles Sapinamba, a sailor, and Mr. Bongarde, the mate, who carried a pistol, for the first time in the records of the 'Southern Cross.'
They had long to wait till the tide was high enough to carry them across the reef, and they could see people on shore, at whom they gazed anxiously with a glass.
About half-past four it became possible to cross the reef, and then two canoes rowed towards them: one cast off the other and went back; the other, with a heap in the middle, drifted towards them, and they rowed towards it.
'But' (says Wate), 'when we came near we two were afraid, and I said to Joe, "If there is a man inside to attack us, when he rises up, we shall see him."'
Then the mate took up his pistol, but the sailor said, 'Those are the Bishop's shoes.'
As they came up with it, and lifted the bundle wrapped in matting into the boat, a shout or yell arose from the shore. Wate says four canoes put off in pursuit; but the others think their only object was to secure the now empty canoe as it drifted away. The boat came alongside, and two words passed, 'The body!' Then it was lifted up, and laid across the skylight, rolled in the native mat, which was secured at the head and feet. The placid smile was still on the face; there was a palm leaf fastened over the breast, and when the mat was opened there were five wounds, no more.
The strange mysterious beauty, as it may be called, of these circumstances almost makes one feel as if this were the legend of a martyr of the Primitive Church; but the fact is literally true, and can be interpreted, though probably no account will ever be obtained from the actors in the scene.
The wounds were, one evidently given with a club, which had shattered the right side of the skull at the back, and probably was the first, and had destroyed life instantly, and almost painlessly; another stroke of some sharp weapon had cloven the top of the head; the body was also pierced in one place; and there were two arrow wounds in the legs, but apparently not shot at the living man, but stuck in after his fall, and after he had been stripped, for the clothing was gone, all but the boots and socks. In the front of the cocoa-nut palm, there were five knots made in the long leaflets. All this is an almost certain indication that his death was the vengeance for five of the natives. 'Blood for blood' is a sacred law, almost of nature, wherever Christianity has not prevailed, and a whole tribe is held responsible for the crime of one. Five men in Fiji are known to have been stolen from Nukapu; and probably their families believed them to have been killed, and believed themselves to be performing a sacred duty when they dipped their weapons in the blood of the Bisope, whom they did not know well enough to understand that he was their protector. Nay, it is likely that there had been some such discussion as had saved him before at Mai from suffering for Petere's death; and, indeed, one party seem to have wished to keep him from landing, and to have thus solemnly and reverently treated his body.
Even when the tidings came in the brief uncircumstantial telegram, there were none of those who loved and revered him who did not feel that such was the death he always looked for, and that he had willingly given his life. There was peace in the thought even while hearts trembled with dread of hearing of accompanying horrors; and when the full story arrived, showing how far more painless his death had been than had he lived on to suffer from his broken health, and how wonderfully the unconscious heathen had marked him with emblems so sacred in our eyes, there was thankfulness and joy even to the bereaved at home.
The sweet calm smile preached peace to the mourners who had lost his guiding spirit, but they could not look on it long. The next morning, St. Matthew's Day, the body of John Coleridge Patteson was committed to the waters of the Pacific, his 'son after the faith,' Joseph Atkin, reading the Burial Service.
Mr. Atkin afterwards wrote to his mother. He had written to his father the day before; but the substance of his letter has been given in the narrative:--
'September 21, 1871.
'My dear Mother,--We have had a terrible loss, such a blow that we cannot at all realise it. Our Bishop is dead; killed by the natives at Nukapu yesterday. We got the body, and buried it this morning. He was alone on shore, and none of us saw it done. We were attacked in the boat too, and Stephen so badly wounded that I am afraid there is small hope of his recovery. John and I have arrow wounds, but not severe. Our poor boys seem quite awe-stricken. Captain Jacobs is very much cut up. Brooke, although not at all well, has quite devoted himself to the wounded, and so has less time to think about it all.
'It would only be selfish to wish him back. He has gone to his rest, dying, as he lived, in his Master's service.
It seems a shocking way to die; but I can say from experience that it is far more to hear of than to suffer. In whatever way so peaceful a life as his is ended, his end is peace. There was no sign of fear or pain on his face--just the look that he used to have when asleep, patient and a little wearied. "What a stroke his death will be to hundreds!" What his Mission will do without him, God only knows Who has taken him away. His ways are not as our ways. Seeing people taken away, when, as we think, they are almost necessary to do God's work on earth, makes one think that we often think and talk too much about Christian work. What God requires is Christian men. He does not need the work, only gives it to form or perfect the character of the men whom He sends to do it.
'Stephen is in great pain at times to-night; one of the arrows seems to have entered his lungs, and it is broken in, too deep to be got out. John is wounded in the right shoulder, I in the left. We are both maimed for the time; but, if it were not for the fear of poison, the wounds would not be worth noticing. I do not expect any bad consequences, but they are possible. What would make me cling to life more than anything else is the thought of you at home; but if it be God's will that I am to die, I know He will enable you to bear it, and bring good for you out of it.
'Saturday, 23rd.--We are all doing well. Stephen keeps up his strength, sleeps well, and has no long attacks of pain. We have had good breezes yesterday and to-day--very welcome it is, but the motion makes writing too much labour. Brooke and Edward Wogale are both unwell--ague, I believe, with both of them; and Brooke's nerves are upset. He has slept most of to-day, and will probably be the better for it.'....
His private journal adds:--
'September 21st.--Buried the Bishop in the morning. The wounded all doing well, but Stephen in pain occasionally. Calm day, passed over a reef in the morning, about eighteen miles north of Nukapu, nine fathoms on it. Thermometer ninety-one degrees yesterday and to-day. Began writing home at night. Began reading Miss Yonge's "Chaplet of Pearls."
'Friday, 22nd.--A light breeze came up in the evening, which freshened through the night, and carried us past Tenakulu. Stephen doing very well, had a good night, and has very little pain to-day. A breeze through the day, much cooler. I am dressing my shoulder with brine. Read some sermons of Vaughan's, preached at Doncaster during Passion Week.
'Saturday, 23rd.--Breeze through the day. A few showers of rain. Brooke and Wogale down with ague; gave Wogale ipecacuanha and quinine afterwards. Read Mota prayers in evening. All wounds going on well. Finished "Chaplet of Pearls," and wrote a little.
'Sunday, 24th.--This morning the wind went round to N.E. and N. and then died away. We were 55 miles W. of the Torres Islands at noon. Brooke took English and Mota morning Prayers. I celebrated Holy Communion afterwards. John came into cabin; I went out to Stephen.
'Brooke and Wogale both better, but B---- quite weak.'
During that Celebration, while administering the Sacred Elements, Mr. Atkin's tongue stumbled and hesitated over some of the words.
Then the Mota men looked at one another, and knew what would follow.
He knew it himself too, and called to Joseph Wate, his own special pupil, saying (as the lad wrote to Mr. Atkin the elder), 'Stephen and I again are going to follow the Bishop, and they of your country--! Who is to speak to them?'
'I do not know.'
Then he said again, 'It is all right. Don't grieve about it, because they did not do this thing of themselves, but God allowed them to do it. It is very good, because God would have it so, because He only looks after us, and He understands about us, and now He wills to take away us two, and it is well.'
There was much more for that strong young frame to undergo before the vigorous life could depart. The loss was to be borne. The head of the Mission, who had gone through long sickness, and lain at the gates of the grave so long, died almost painlessly: his followers had deeply to drink of the cup of agony. The night between the 26th and 27th was terrible, the whole nervous system being jerked and strained to pieces, and he wandered too much to send any message home; 'I lost my wits since they shot me,' he said. Towards morning he almost leapt from his berth on the floor, crying 'Good-bye.'
Mr. Brooke asked if he would have a little Sal volatile.
'A little brandy?'
'Do you want anything?'
'I want nothing but to die.'
Those were his last words. He lay convulsed on a mattress on the floor for about an hour longer, and was released on the morning of the 29th.
Stephen, with an arrow wound in the lungs, and several more of these wounds in the chest, could hardly have lived, even without the terrible tetanus. He had spent his time in reading his Mota Gospel and Prayer-book, praying and speaking earnestly to the other men on board, before the full agony came on. He was a tall, large, powerfully framed man; and the struggles were violent before he too sank into rest on the morning of the 28th, all the time most assiduously nursed by Joseph Wate. On St. Michael's Day, these two teachers of poor Bauro received at the same time their funeral at sea.
John Coleridge Patteson was forty-four years and a half old.
Joseph Atkin, twenty-nine.
Stephen Taroniara probably twenty-five--as he was about eighteen when he joined the Mission in 1864. His little girl will be brought up at Norfolk Island; his wife Tara, to whom he had been married only just before his voyage, became consumptive, and died January, 1873, only twenty minutes after her Baptism. As one of the scholars said, "Had the songs of the angels for joy of her being made a child of God finished before they were again singing to welcome her an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven?'
John Nonono showed no symptoms of tetanus, but was landed at Mota to recover under more favourable circumstances than the crowded cabin could afford.
Calms and baffling winds made the return to this island trying and difficult, and Mota was not reached till the 4th of October. George Sarawia was still perfectly satisfactory; and his community, on the whole, going on hopefully. Want of provisions, which Mota could not supply, made the stay very brief; and after obtaining the necessary supplies at Aurora, the 'Southern Cross' brought her sad tidings to Norfolk Island on the 17th. That day Mrs. Palmer wrote:--
'On Monday afternoon, 15th, Mr. Codrington went for a ride to the other side of the island, and there espied the schooner, eight miles off. He rode home quickly, and soon the shouting and racing of the boys told us that the vessel had come. They were all at arrowroot- making. Never, I think, had the whole party, English and natives, seemed in higher spirits. Mr. Bice walked to the settlement, to see if she was far in enough to land that night; we asked him to call and tell us on his way home.
'Next morning Mr. Bice rode down to see if it really was the schooner, and was back to breakfast, all thinking we should soon see them come up.
'Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice got their horses ready to ride down, and I got the rooms ready, when, in an hour, a Norfolk Island boy rode up to say the flag was half-mast high.'
'We told the boys and girls something was wrong, to stop their joyous shouting and laughing; and then I waited till Mr. Jackson returned, and all he could say was, "Only Brooke has come!"'
What more shall I tell? Comments on such a life and such a death are superfluous; and to repeat the testimonies of friends, outpourings of grief, and utterances in sermons is but to weaken the impression of the reality!
There is pain too in telling the further fate of Nukapu. H.M.S. 'Rosario,' Commander Markham, then cruising in the Southern Pacific, touched at Norfolk Island, and Captain Markham undertook at once to go to the island and make enquiries.
A protest was drawn up and signed by all the members of the Mission against any attempt to punish the natives for the murder; and Captain Markham, a kind, humane, and conscientious man, as no one can doubt, promised that nothing of the kind should be attempted.
But the natives could not but expect retaliation for what they had done. There was no interpreter. They knew nothing of flags of truce; and when they saw a boat approaching, full of white men, armed, what could they apprehend but vengeance for 'Bisope'? So they discharged a volley of arrows, and a sergeant of marines was killed. This was an attack on the British flag, and it was severely chastised with British firearms. It is very much to be doubted whether Nukapu will ever understand that her natives were shot, not for killing the Bishop, but for firing on the British flag. For the present the way is closed, and we can only echo Fisher Young's sigh, 'Poor Santa Cruz people!'
Bishop Patteson's will bequeathed his whole inheritance to the Melanesian Mission, and appointed that the senior Priest should take charge of it until another Bishop should be chosen.
The Rev. Robert Codrington, therefore, took the management, though refusing the Episcopate; and considering the peculiar qualifications needful for a Melanesian Bishop, which can only be tested by actual experiment on physical as well as moral and spiritual abilities, it has, up to the present moment (May 1873), been thought better to leave the See vacant, obtaining episcopal aid from the Bishop of Auckland.
But this implies no slackness nor falling off in the Mission. By God's good providence, Coleridge Patteson had so matured his system that it could work without him. Mr. Codrington and the other clergy make their periodic voyages in the 'Southern Cross.' Kohimarama flourishes under George Sarawia, who was ordained Priest at Auckland on St. Barnabas Day, 1873. Bishop Cowie has paid a visit to Norfolk Island, and ordained as Deacons, Edward Wogale, Robert Pantatun, Henry Tagalana, to work in Mota, Santa Maria, and Ara. Joseph Wate remains the chief teacher of the lads from Bauro; but there is much to be done before the work in that island can be carried on. The people there seem peculiarly devoid of earnestness; and it is remarkable that though they were among the first visited, and their scholars the very earliest favourites, Stephen has been the only one whose Christianity seems to have been substantial. But the sight of his patient endurance had the same effect on those who were with him in the ship as Walter Hotaswol's exhortations had had on himself, and several of them began in earnest to prepare for Baptism.
The English staff of the Mission has been recruited by the Rev. John R. Selwyn, and the Rev. John Still, as well as by Mr. Kenny from New Zealand. And there is good hope that 'He who hath begun a good work will perform it unto the day of the Lord.'
As to the crimes connected with the murder, the Queen herself directed the attention of Parliament to it in her Speech at the commencement of the Session of 1872. The Admiralty do what in them lies to keep watch over the labour vessels by means of Queen's ships; and in Queensland, regulations are made; in Fiji, the British Consul endeavours to examine the newly arrived, whether they have been taken away by force. But it may be feared that it will not be possible entirely to prevent atrocities over so wide a range; though if, as Bishop Patteson suggested, all vessels unregistered, and not committed to trustworthy masters, were liable to be seized and confiscated, much of the shameless deceit and horrible skull-hunting would be prevented.
Perhaps the fittest conclusion to the Bishop's history will be the words written by Henry Tagalana, translated literally by Mr. Codrington:--
'As he taught, he confirmed his word with his good life among us, as we all know; and also that he perfectly well helped anyone who might be unhappy about anything, and spoke comfort to him about it; and about his character and conduct, they are consistent with the law of God. He gave the evidence of it in his practice, for he did nothing carelessly, lest he should make anyone stumble and turn from the good way; and again he did nothing to gain anything for himself alone, but he sought what he might keep others with, and then he worked with it: and the reason was his pitifulness and his love. And again, he did not despise anyone, nor reject anyone with scorn; whether it were a white or a black person he thought them all as one, and he loved them all alike.'
'He loved them all alike!' That was the secret of John Coleridge Patteson's history and his labours.
Need more be said of him? Surely the simple islander's summary of his character is the honour he would prefer.
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