MOTA AND ST. ANDREW'S COLLEGE, KOHIMARAMA. 1859-1862.
With the year 1860 a new period, and one far more responsible and eventful, began. After working for four years under Bishop Selwyn's superintendence, Coleridge Patteson was gradually passing into a sphere of more independent action; and, though his loyal allegiance to his Primate was even more of the heart than of the letter, his time of training was over; he was left to act more on his own judgment; and things were ripening for his becoming himself a Bishop. He had nearly completed his thirty-third year, and was in his fullest strength, mental and bodily; and, as has been seen, the idea had already through Bishop Selwyn's letters become familiar to his family, though he himself had shrunk from entertaining it.
The first great change regarded the locality of the Melanesian school in New Zealand. Repeated experience had shown that St. John's College was too bleak for creatures used to basking under a vertical sun, and it had been decided to remove to the sheltered landing-place at Kohimarama, where buildings for the purpose had been commenced so as to be habitable in time for the freight of 1859.
It should be explained, that the current expenses of the Mission had been defrayed by the Eton and Sydney associations, with chance help from persons privately interested, together with a grant of £200, and afterwards £300 per annum from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The extra expense of this foundation was opportunely met by a discovery on the part of Sir John Patteson, that his eldest son, living upon the Merton Fellowship, had cost him £200 a year less than his younger son, and therefore that, in his opinion, £800 was due to Coleridge. Moreover, the earlier voyages, and, in especial the characters of Siapo and Umao, had been so suggestive of incidents fabricated in the 'Daisy Chain,' that the proceeds of the book were felt to be the due of the Mission and at this time these had grown to such an amount as to make up the sum needful for erecting such buildings as were immediately requisite for the intended College.
These are described in the ensuing letter, which I give entire, because the form of acknowledgment is the only style suitable to what, however lightly acquired, was meant as an offering, even though it cost the giver all too little:
'Kohimarama: Dec. 21, 1859.
'My dear Cousin,--I have received at length from my father a distinct statement of what you have given to the Melanesian Mission. I had heard rumours before, and the Bishop of Wellington had spoken to me of your intentions, but the fact had not been regularly notified to us.
'I think I know you too well to say more than this. May God bless you for what you have lent to Him, and give us, who are specially connected with the Mission, grace to use your gift as you intend it to be used, to His glory in the salvation of souls.
'But you will like to hear how your gift will be appropriated. For three summers the Melanesian scholars lived at St. John's College, which is situated on a low hill, from which the ground falls away on every side, leaving it exposed to every wind that blows across and around the narrow isthmus.
'Thank God, we had no death traceable to the effect of the climate, but we had constant anxiety and a considerable amount of illness. When arrangements were completed for the arrival of a new principal to succeed the Bishop of Wellington, the college was no longer likely to be available for the Mission school. Consequently, we determined to build on the site long ago agreed upon; to put up some substantial buildings, and to remove some of the wooden buildings at the College which would not be required there, and set them up again at Kohimarama.
'Just opposite the entrance into the Auckland harbour, between the island of Eangitoto with its double peak and the easternmost point of the northern shore of the harbour, lies a very sheltered bay, with its sea-frontage of rather more than a quarter of a mile, bounded to the east, south, and west by low hills, which where they meet the sea become sandy cliffs, fringed with the red-flower-bearing pohutakawa. The whole of this bay, the seventy acres of flat rich soil included within the rising ground mentioned, and some seventy acres more as yet lying uncleared, adjoining the same block of seventy acres, and likely to be very valuable, as the land is capital--the whole of this was bought by the Bishop many years ago as the property of the Mission, and is the only piece of Church land over which he retains the control, every other bequest or gift to the amount of 14,000 acres, having been handed over by him to the General Synod. This he retains till the state of the Melanesian Mission is more definitely settled.
'On the west corner of this bay we determined to build. A small tide creek runs for a short way about S.S.E. from the extreme end of the western part of the beach, then turns early eastward, and meets a small stream coming down from the southern hill at its western extremity. This creek encloses a space extending along the whole width of the bay of about eighteen or twenty acres.
'At the east end stand three wooden cottages, occupied by the master, mate, and a married seaman of the "Southern Cross." At the west end stands the Melanesian school. Fences divide the whole space into three portions, whereof the western one forms our garden and orchard; and the others pasture for cows and working bullocks; small gardens being also fenced off for the three cottages. The fifty acres of flat land south of the creek we are now clearing and ploughing.
'The situation here is admirably adapted for our school. Now that we have a solid wall of the scoria from the volcanic island opposite, we have a complete shelter from the cold south wind. The cliff and hill to the west entirely shut off the wind from that quarter, and the north and east winds are always warm. The soil is very dry, and the beach composed exclusively of small "pipi" shells--small bivalves. So that by putting many cart-loads of these under our wooden floors, and around our buildings, we have so perfect a drainage that after heavy rain the soil is quite dry again in a few hours. It causes me no anxiety now, when I am for an hour away from my flock, to be thinking whether they are lying on the ground, forgetting that the hot sun overhead does not destroy the bad effect of a damp clay soil such as that at St. John's College.
'The buildings at present form three sides of a quadrangle, but the south side is only partly filled up. The large schoolroom, eighty feet long, with three sets of transepts, has been removed from the College, and put up again so as to form the east side of the quadrangle. This is of wood; so is the small wooden quadrangle which serves now for dormitories, and a part of which I occupy; my house consisting of three little rooms, together measuring seventeen feet by seven. These dormitories are the southern side of the quadrangle, but do not reach more than half-way from the east to the west side, room being left for another set of dormitories of equal size, when we want them and can afford them. The west side consists of a very nice set of stone buildings, including a large kitchen, store room, and room for putting things in daily and immediate use; and the hall, which is the northern part of the side of the quadrangle, is a really handsome room, with simple open roof and windows of a familiar collegiate appearance. These buildings are of the dark grey scoria, almost imperishable I suppose, and look very well. The hall is just long enough to take seven of us at the high table (so to speak), and thirty-four at the long table, stretching from the high table to the end of the room.
'At present this is used for school also, as the carpenters who are making all our fittings, shelves, &c., are still in the large schoolroom. We take off the north end of the schoolroom, including one set of transepts for our temporary chapel. This part will be lined, i.e. boarded, neatly inside. The rest of the building is very rough, but it answers its purpose.
'In all the stone buildings, the rough stone is left inside just as it is outside. It does not look bad at all to my eye, and I doubt if I would have it lined if we had funds to pay for it.
'I hope eventually that stone buildings will take the place of the present wooden schoolroom and dormitories; but this ought to last many years. Here we live most happily and comfortably. The climate almost tropical in summer. The beautiful scenery of the harbour before our eyes, the smooth sea and clean dry beach within a stone's throw of my window. The lads and young men have their fishing, bathing, boating, and basking in the sun, which all day from sunrise to sunset beats right upon us; for the west cliff does not project more than a few yards to the north of us, and the eastern boundary is low and some way off. I see the little schooner at her moorings whenever I look off my book or my paper, and with an opera-glass can see the captain caulking the decks. All is under my eye; and the lads daily say, "College too cold; Kohimarama very good; all the same Bauro, Mota," as the speaker belongs to one or other of our fourteen islands represented.... The moment we heard of your gift, we said simultaneously, "Let it be given to this or to some specific and definite object." I think you will like to feel not only that the money came most opportunely, but that within the walls built with that money, many many hundreds, I trust, of these Melanesian islanders will be fed and taught, and trained up in the knowledge and fear of God....
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Before the old year was out came the tidings of the death of good Miss Neill, the governess whom Patteson had so faithfully loved from early childhood, and whose years of suffering he had done his best to cheer. 'At rest at last.' In the same letter, in answer to some complaint from his sister of want of detail in the reports, he says: 'Am I trying to make my life commonplace? Well, really so it is more or less to me. Things go on in a kind of routine. Two voyages a year, five months in New Zealand, though certainly two-thirds of my flock fresh every year. I suppose it still sounds strange to you sometimes, and to others always, but they should try to think for themselves about our circumstances.
'And you know, Fan, I can't write for the world at large anecdotes of missionary life, and swell the number of the "Gems" and other trashy books. If people who care to know, would think of what their own intuition tells them of human nature, and history tells them of heathenism, they can make out some notion of real missionary work.
'The school is the real work. Teaching adults to read a strange tongue is hard work; I have little doubt but that the Bishop is right in saying they must be taught English; but it is so very difficult a language, not spelt a bit as pronounced; and their language is all vocalic and so easy to put into writing.
'But if you like I will scatter anecdotes about--of how the Bishop and his chaplain took headers hand in hand off the schooner and roundhouse; and how the Bishop got knocked over at Leper's Island by a big wave; and how I borrowed a canoe at Tariko and paddled out yams as fast as the Bishop brought them to our boat, &c.--but this is rubbish.'
This letter is an instance of the reserve and reticence which Mr. Patteson felt so strongly with regard to his adventures and pupils. He could not endure stories of them to become, as it were, stock for exciting interest at home. There was something in his nature that shrank from publishing accounts of individual pupils as a breach of confidence, as much, or perhaps even more, than if they had been English people, likely to know what had been done. Moreover, instances had come to his knowledge in which harm had been done to both teachers and taught by their becoming aware that they were shown off to the public in print. Such things had happened even where they would have seemed not only unlikely, but impossible; and this rendered him particularly cautious in writing of his work, so that his reports were often dry, while he insisted strongly on his letters to his family being kept private.
The actual undertakings of the Mission did not exceed its resources, so that there was no need for those urgent appeals which call for sensation and incident to back them; and thus there sometimes seemed to the exterior world to be a lack of information about the Mission.
The letters of January 1860 show how the lads were fortified against weather: 'They wear a long flannel waistcoat, then a kind of jersey- shaped thing, with short trousers, reaching a little below the knee, for they dabble about like ducks here, the sea being not a hundred yards from the building. All the washing, of course, and most of the clothes-making they can do themselves; I can cut out after a fashion, and they take quickly to needle and thread; but now the Auckland ladies have provided divers very nice garments, their Sunday dresses are very nice indeed.'
The question of the Bishopric began to come forward. On the 18th of January a letter to Sir John Patteson, after speaking of a playful allusion which introduced the subject, details how Mrs. Selwyn had disclosed that a letter had actually been despatched to the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, asking permission to appoint and consecrate John Coleridge Patteson as Missionary Bishop of the Western Pacific Isles.
J.C.P.--'Well, then, I must say what I feel about it. I have known for some time that this was not unlikely to come some day; but I never spoke seriously to you or to the Martins when you insinuated these things, because I thought if I took it up gravely it would come to be considered a settled thing.'
Mrs. S.--'Well, so it has been, and is----'
J.C.P.--'But has the Bishop seriously thought of this, that he has had no trial of any other man; that I could give any other man who may come, perhaps, the full benefit of my knowledge of languages, and of my acquaintance with the islands and the people, while we may reasonably expect some one to come out before long far better fitted to organise and lead men than I am? Has he fairly looked at all the per contra?
Mrs. S.--'I feel sure he has.'
J.C. P.--'I don't deny that my father tells me I must not shrink from it; that some things seem to point to it as natural; that I must not venture to think that I can be as complete a judge as the Bishop of what is good for Melanesia--but what necessity for acting now?'
Here came an interruption, but the conversation was renewed later in the day with the Bishop himself, when Patteson pleaded for delay on the score that the isles were as yet in a state in which a missionary chaplain could do all that was requisite, and that the real management ought not to be withdrawn from the Bishop; to which the reply was that at the present time the Bishop could do much to secure such an appointment as he wished; but, in case of his death, even wishes expressed in writing might be disregarded. After this, the outpouring to the father continues:--
'I don't mean to shrink from this. You tell me that I ought not to do so, and I quite believe it. I know that no one can judge better than you can as to the general question, and the Bishop is as competent to decide on the special requirements of the case.
'But, my dear father, you can hardly tell how difficult I find it to be, amidst all the multiplicity of works, a man of devotional prayerful habits; how I find from time to time that I wake up to the fact that while I am doing more than I did in old times, yet that I pray less. How often I think that "God gives" habitually to the Bishop "all that sail with him;" that the work is prospering in his hands; but will it prosper in mine? I know He can use any instrument to His glory: I know that, and that He will not let my sins and shortcomings hinder His projects of love and blessing to these Melanesian islanders; but as far as purity of motive, and a spirit of prayer and self-denial do go for anything in making up the qualification on the human side for such an office--in so far, do they exist in me? You will say I am over sensitive and expect too much. That, I think, very likely may be true. It is useless to wait till one becomes really fit, for that of course I never shall be. But while I believe most entirely that grace does now supply all our deficiencies when we seek it fully, I do feel frightened when I see that I do not become more prayerful, more real in communion with God. This is what I must pray for earnestly: to become more prayerful, more constantly impressed with the necessity of seeking for everything from Him.
'You all think that absence from relations, living upon yams, want of the same kind of meat and drink that I had at home, that these things are proofs of sincerity, &c. I believe that they all mean just nothing when the practical result does not come to this--that a man is walking more closely with his God. I dare not say that I can feel humbly and reverently that my inner life is progressing. I don't think that I am as earnest in prayer as I was. Whether it be the effect of the amount of work distracting me; or, sometimes, of physical weariness, or of the self-indulgence (laugh as you may) which results from my never being contradicted or interfered with, or much worried, still I do feel this; and may He strengthen me to pray more for a spirit of prayer.
'I don't know that the actual time for my being consecrated, if I live, is nearer by reason of this letter: I think it most probable that it may take place when the General Synod meets, and, consequently, five bishops will be present, in 1862, at Nelson. But I suppose it is more fixed than it has been hitherto, and if the Bishop writes to you, as he may do, even more plainly than he speaks to me, you will know what especially to ask for me from God, and all you dear ones will recollect daily how I do inwardly tremble at the thoughts of what is to come. Do you remember how strangely I was upset before leaving home for my ordination as a deacon; and now it is coming to this--a church to be planted, organised, edified among the wild heathen inhabitants of Melanesia; and what hope can there be for me if there is to be no growth of a fervent, thankful, humble spirit of prayer and love and adoration? Not that, as I feel to my great comfort, God's work is dependent upon the individual growth in grace even of those who are entrusted with any given work; but it is in some way connected with it.
'And yet, the upshot of it all is that I shall do (D.V.) what the Bishop tells me is right. I hope he won't press on the matter, but I am content now to leave it with him, knowing what you have said, and being so thankful to leave it with you and him.'
There is a letter to his sister Fanny of the same date, beginning merrily about the family expostulation on receiving a box of reports where curiosities had been expected:--
'Fancy not thinking your worthy brother's important publications the most satisfactory treasures that any box could contain! The author's feelings are seriously injured! What are Melanesian shells to Melanesian statistics, and Lifu spears to a dissertation on the treatment of Lifu diseases? Great is the ingratitude of the houses of Feniton and Dawlish!
'Well, it must have been rather a "sell," as at Eton it is called, to have seen the long-desired and highly-paid-for box disgorge nought but Melanesian reports! all thanks to Mrs. Martin, who packed it after I was off to the Islands.
'I cannot send you anything yet, but I will bear in mind the fact that reports by themselves are not considered satisfactory. Does anybody read them, after all? for they really cost me some days' trouble, which I can't find time for again. This year's report (for I suppose there must be one) is not begun, and I don't know what to put in it. I have but little news beyond what I have written once for all to Father.
'The decisive letter from the Bishop of New Zealand to the Duke of Newcastle is in the Governor's hands, and all discussion of the question is at an end. May God bring out of it all that may conduce to His glory; but how I dread what is to come, you, who remember my leaving home first for my deacon's ordination, can well imagine.
'It is true I have seen this coming for a year or two, and have seen no way of preventing its coming upon me--no one else has come out; the Bishop feels he cannot work his present diocese and Melanesia: he is satisfied that he ought to take New Zealand rather than the islands; that the time is come for settling the matter while he is able to settle it; and I had nothing to say, for all personal objections he overruled. So then, if I live, it is settled; and that, at all events, is a comfort.... Many of my Melanesians have heavy coughs--some twelve, but I don't think any of them seriously ill, only needing to be watched. I am very well, only I want some more exercise (which, by the bye, it is always in my power to take), and am quite as much disposed as ever to wish for a good game at tennis or fives to take it out of me.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The birthday letter of February 11 is a happy one, though chiefly taken up with the business matters respecting the money required for the Mission, of which Sir John was one trustee. Life was pleasant then, for Patteson says:--
'I do feel sometimes that the living alone has its temptations, and those great ones; I mean that I can arrange everything--my work, my hours, my whole life--after my own pleasure a great deal more than probably is good for me; and it is very easy to become, in a manner, very self-indulgent. I think that most likely, as our work (D.V.) progresses, one or two men may be living with me, and that will supply a check upon me of some kind. At present I am too much without it. Here I am in my cosy little room, after my delicious breakfast of perfect coffee, made in Jem's contrivance, hot milk and plenty of it, dry toast and potato. Missionary hardships! On the grass between me and the beach--a distance of some seventy yards--lie the boys' canvas beds and blankets and rugs, having a good airing. The schooner lies at anchor beyond; and, three or four miles beyond the schooner, lies Eangitoto, the great natural breakwater to the harbour. With my Dollond's opera-glass that you gave me, I can see the master and mate at their work refitting. Everything is under my eye. Our long boat and whale boat (so-called from their shapes) lie on the beach, covered with old sails to protect them from the sun. The lads are washing clothes, or scrubbing their rooms, and all the rooms--kitchen, hall, store-room, and school-room. There is a good south-western breeze stirring--our cold wind; but it is shut off here, and scarcely reaches us, and the sun has great power.
'I have the jolliest little fellows this time--about seven of them-- fellows scarcely too big to take on my knee, and talk to about God, and Heaven, and Jesus Christ; and I feel almost as if I had a kind of instinct of love towards them, as they look up wonderingly with their deep deep eyes, and smooth and glossy skins, and warm soft cheeks, and ask their simple questions. I wish you could have seen the twenty Banks Islanders as I told them that most excellent of all tales--the story of Joseph. How their eyes glistened! and they pushed out their heads to hear the sequel of his making himself known to his brethren, and asking once more about "the old man of whom ye spake, is he yet alive?"
'I can never read it with a steady voice, nor tell it either.'
Sir John had thus replied to the tirade against English conventional luxury:--
'The conventional notions in this old country are not always suited to your country, and I quite agree that even here they are carried too far. Yet there are other people than the needy whose souls are entrusted to the clergy here, and in order to fulfil that trust they must mix on some degree of equality with the gentry, and with the middle classes who are well-to-do. Then again, consider both as to clergy and laity here. If they were all to lower themselves a peg or two, and give up many not only luxuries, but comforts, numbers of tradesmen, and others working under them, aye, even merchants, manufacturers, and commercial men of all sorts, would be to some extent thrown out of employ. The artificial and even luxurious state of society here does really prevent many persons from falling into the class of the needy. All this should be regulated in its due proportion. Every man ought so to limit his expenses as to have a good margin for charitable purposes of all sorts, but I cannot think that he is doing good by living himself like a pauper in order to assist paupers. If all men did so, labour of all kinds would be overstocked with hands, and more paupers created. True it is, that we all are too apt as means increase, some to set our hearts upon them, which is wickedness; some to indulge in over much luxury, which is wicked also; there should be moderation in all things. I believe that more money is given in private charities of various kinds in helping those who are struggling with small means, and yet not apparently in the class of the needy, than the world is aware of; and those who do the most are precisely those who are never heard of. But do not mistake me. I am no advocate for luxury and idle expenditure. Yet I think you carry your argument a little farther than is just. The impositions that are practised, or attempted to be practised, upon charitable people are beyond all conception.' The following is the answer:--
'April 23, 1860.
'My dearest Father,--Thank you for writing your views about luxuries, extravagant expenditure, and the like. I see at once the truth of what you say.
'What I really mean is something of this kind. A high degree of civilisation seems to generate (perhaps necessarily) a state of society wherein the natural desires of people to gratify their inclinations in all directions, conjoined with the power of paying highly for the gratification of such inclinations, tends to call forth the ingenuity of the working class in meeting such inclinations in all agreeable ways. So springs up a complicated mechanism, by which a habit of life altogether unnecessary for health and security of life and property is introduced and becomes naturalised among a people.
If this is the necessary consequence of the distinction between rich and poor, and the course of civilisation must result in luxury and poverty among the two classes respectively (and this seems to be so), it is, of course, still more evident that the state of society being once established gradually, through a long course of years, no change can subsequently be introduced excepting in one way. It is still in the power of individuals to act upon the community by their example-- e.g., the early Christians, though only for a short time, showed the result of the practical acceptance of the Lord's teaching in its effect upon society. Rich and poor, comparatively speaking, met each other half way. The rich man sold his possessions, and equal distribution was made to the poor.
'All that I contend for is that, seeing the fearful deterioration, and no less fearful extravagance, of a civilised country, the evil is one which calls loudly for careful investigation. Thousands of artisans and labourers who contribute nothing to the substantial wealth of the country, and nothing towards the production of its means of subsistence, would be thrown out of employment, and therefore that plan would be wrong. Jewellers, &c., &c., all kinds of fellows who simply manufacture vanities, are just as honest and good men as others, and it is not their fault, but the fault (if it be one at all) of civilisation that they exist. But I don't see why, the evil being recognised, some comprehensive scheme of colonisation might not be adopted by the rulers of a Christian land, to empty our poor-houses, and draft off the surplus population, giving to the utterly destitute the prospect of health, and renewed hopes of success in another thinly-inhabited country, and securing for those who remain behind a more liberal remuneration for their work by the comparative absence of competition.
'I hardly know what to write to you, my dear Father, about this new symptom of illness. I suppose, from what you say, that at your time of life the disease being so mild in its form now, will hardly prove dangerous to you, especially as you submit at once to a strictness of diet which must be pretty hard to follow out--just the habit of a whole life to be given up; and I know that to forego anything that I like, in matters of eating and drinking, wants an effort that I feel ashamed of being obliged to make. I don't, therefore, make myself unnecessarily anxious, though I can't help feeling that such a discipline must be hard. You say that in other respects you are much the same; but that means that you are in almost constant pain, and that you cannot obtain entire relief from it, except in bed.
'Still, my dear Father, as you do bear it all, how can we wish that God should spare you one trial or infirmity, which, we know, are, in His providence, making you daily riper and riper for Heaven? I ought not to write to you like this, but somehow the idea of our ever meeting anywhere else has so entirely passed from my mind, that I try to view things with reference to His ultimate purpose and work.
'Your loving and dutiful Son,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The most present trouble of this summer was the sickness of Simeona. The account of him on Ash Wednesday is: 'He is dying of consumption slowly, and may go back with us two months hence, but I doubt it. Poor fellow, he makes the worst of his case, and is often discontented and thinks himself aggrieved because we cannot derange the whole plan of the school economy for him. I have everything which is good for him, every little dainty, and everyone is most kind; but when it comes to a complaint because one pupil-teacher is not set apart to sit with him all day, and another to catch him fish, of course I tell him that it would be wrong to grant what is so unreasonable. Some one or other of the most stupid of the boys catches his fish just as well as a pupil-teacher, and he is quite able to sit up and read for two or three hours a day, and would only be injured by having another lad in the room on purpose to be the receptacle of all his moans and complaints, yet I know, poor fellow! it is much owing to the disease upon him.'
In spite of his fretfulness and exactions, the young man, meeting not with spoiling, but with true kindness, responded to the touch. Lady Martin tells us: 'I shall never forget dear Mr. Patteson's thankfulness when, after a long season of reserve, he opened his heart to him, and told him how, step by step, this sinfulness of sin had been brought home to him. He knew he had done wrong in his heathen boyhood, but had put away such deeds when he was baptized, and had almost forgotten the past, or looked on it as part of heathenism. But in his illness, tended daily and hourly by our dear friend, his conscience had become very tender. He died in great peace.'
His death is mentioned in the following letter to Sir John Coleridge:--
'March 26, 1860. '(This day 5 years I left home. It was a Black Monday indeed.)
'My dear Uncle,--At three this morning died one of my old scholars, by name George Selwyn Simeona, from Nengone. He was here for his third time; for two years a regular communicant, having received a good deal of teaching before I knew him. He was baptized three years ago. I did not wish to bring him this time, for it was evident that he could not live long when we met last at Nengone, and I told him that he had better not come with us; but he said, "Heaven was no farther from New Zealand than from Nengone;" and when we had pulled some little way from shore, he ran down the beach, and made us return to take him in. Gradual decline and chronic bronchitis wore him to a skeleton. On Thursday the Bishop and I administered the Holy Eucharist to him; and he died at 3 A.M. to-day, with his hand in mine, as I was in the act of commending his soul to God. His wife, a sweet good girl, one of Mrs. Selwyn's pupils from Nengone in old times, died last year. They leave one boy of three years, whom I hope to get hold of entirely, and as it were adopt him.
'The clear bright moon was right over my head as after a while, and after prayer with his friends, I left his room; the quiet splash of the tiny waves on our sheltered shore, and the little schooner at her anchorage: and I thanked God that one more spirit from among the Melanesian islanders was gone to dwell, we trust, with JESUS CHRIST in Paradise.
'He will not be much missed in the Melanesian school work, for, for months, he could not make one of us....
'I find Trench's Notes on the Authorised Version of the New Testament very useful, chiefly as helping one to acquire a habit of accurate criticism for oneself, and when we come (D.V.) to translate any portion of the Scriptures, of course such books are very valuable.'
'Last mail brought me but a very few letters. The account of my dear Father's being obliged to submit to discipline did not alarm me, though I know the nature of the disease, and that his father died of it. It seems in his case likely to be kept under, but (as I have said before) I cannot feel uneasy and anxious about him, be the accounts what they may. It is partly selfish, for I am spared the sight of his suffering, but then I do long for a look at his dear face and for the sound of his voice. Five years of absence has of course made so much change in my mind in this respect, that I do not now find myself dreaming of home, constantly thinking of it; the first freshness of my loss is not felt now. But I think I love them all and you all better than ever; and I trust that I am looking inward on the whole to the blessedness of our meeting hereafter.
'But this work has its peculiar dangers. A man may become so familiarised with the habits of the heathen that insensibly his conscience becomes less sensitive.
'There is a danger in living in the midst of utter lawlessness and violence; and though the blessings and privileges far excel the disadvantages, yet it is not in every way calculated to help one forward, as I think I have in some ways found by experience.
'Well, this is all dull and dry. But our life is somewhat monotonous on shore, varied only by the details of incidents occurring in school, and witnessing to the growth of the minds of my flock. They are a very intelligent set this year, and there are many hopeful ones among them. We have worked them hard at English, and all can read a little; and some eight or ten really read nicely, but then they do not understand nearly all they read without an explanation, just like an English boy beginning his knowledge of letters with Latin (or French, a still spoken language).
'In about a month we shall (D.V.) start to take them back; but the vessel will be absent but a short time, as I shall keep the Solomon Islanders with me in the Banks Archipelago for the winter, and so avoid the necessity of the schooner running 200 or 300 miles to leeward and having to make it up again. I have slept ashore twice in the Banks Islands, but no other white man has done so, and that makes our course very clear, as they have none of the injuries usually committed by traders, &c., to revenge.
'Good-bye once more, my dearest Uncle,
'Your affectionate and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The calmness of mind respecting his father which is here spoken of was not perpetual, and his grief broke out at times in talks with his young friend and companion, Mr. Dudley, as appears by this extract:--
'I remember his talking to me more than once on the subject of his father, and especially his remarking on one occasion that his friends were pressing him to come out there oftener, and suggesting, when he seemed out of health and spirits, that he was not taking care of himself; but that it was the anguish he endured, as night after night he lay awake thinking of his father gradually sinking and craving for him, and cheerfully resigning him, that really told upon him. I know that I obtained then a glimpse of an affection and a depth of sorrow such as perfectly awed me, and I do not think I have witnessed anything like it at all, either before or since. It was then that he seemed to enter into the full meaning of those words of our Lord, in St. Mark x. 29-30, i.e., into all that the "leaving" there spoken of involved.'
Yet in spite of this anxiety there was no flinching from the three months' residence at Mota, entirely out of reach of letters. A frame house, with planks for the floor, was prepared at Auckland to be taken out, and a stock of wine, provisions, and medicines laid in. The Rev. B. Y. Ashwell, a New Zealand clergyman, joined the Mission party as a guest, with two Maori youths, one the son of a deacon; and, besides Mr. Dudley, another pupil, Mr. Thomas Kerr, was beginning his training for service in the Mission. Sailing on one of the last days of April, there was a long passage to Nengone, where the party went ashore, and found everything in trouble, the French constantly expected, and the chiefs entreating for a missionary from the Bishop, and no possibility of supplying them. Lifu was rendered inaccessible by foul winds.
'Much to my sorrow,' writes Mr. Patteson, 'I could not land my two pupil-teachers, who, of course, wished to see their friends, and who made me more desirous to give them a run on shore, by saying at once: "Don't think of us, it is not safe to go." But I thought of what my feelings would be if it were the Devonshire coast, somewhere about Sidmouth, and no landing!' However, they, as well as the three Nengonese, Wadrokala, Harper Malo, and Martin Tahia, went on contentedly.
'Off Mai, May 19th.--Mr. Kerr has been busy taking bearings, &c., for the purpose of improving our MS. chart, and constructing a new one. Commodore Loring wanted me to tell him all about Port Patteson, and asked me if I wished a man-of-war to be sent down this winter to see me, supposing the New Zealand troubles to be all over. I gave him all the information he wanted, told him that I did not want a vessel to come with the idea of any protection being required, but that a man-of-war coming with the intention of supporting the Mission, and giving help, and not coming to treat the natives in an off-hand manner, might do good. I did not speak coldly; but really I fear what mischief even a few wildish fellows might do on shore among such people as those of the Banks Islands!
'A fore-and-aft schooner in sight! Probably some trader. May be a schooner which I heard the French had brought for missionary purposes. What if we find a priest or two at Port Patteson! However, my course is clear any way: work straight on.
'May 21st.--Schooner a false alarm. We had a very interesting visit on Saturday afternoon at Mai. We could not land till 4 P.M.; walked at once to the village, a mile and a half inland. After some excitement caused by our appearance, the people rushing to welcome us, we got them to be quiet, and to sit down. I stood up, and gave them a sermonette, then made Dudley, who speaks good Mai, say something. Then we knelt down, and I said the second Good Friday Collect, inserted a few petitions which you can imagine anyone would do at such a time, then a simple prayer in their language, the Lord's Prayer in English, and the Grace.'
On Friday Mota was reached, and the people showed great delight when the frame of the house was landed at the site purchased for a number of hatchets and other goods, so that it is the absolute property of the Mission. Saturday was spent in a visit to Port Patteson, where the people thronged, while the water-casks were being filled, and bamboos cut down, with entreaties that the station might be there; and the mosquitoes thronged too--Mr. Patteson had fifty-eight bites on one foot.
On Whit Sunday, after Holy Communion on board, the party went on shore, and prayed for, 'I cannot say with the people of Vanua Lava.'
And on Whit Monday the house was set up 'in a most lovely spot,' says Mr. Dudley, 'beneath the shade of a gigantic banyan tree, the trunk and one long horizontal branch of which formed two sides of as beautiful a picture as you would wish to look upon; the sloping bank, with its cocoa-nut, bread-fruit, and other trees, forming the base of the picture; and the coral beach, the deep, clear, blue tropical ocean, with others of the Banks Islands, Valua, Matlavo, and Uvaparapara, in the distance, forming the picture itself.'
At least a hundred natives came to help, pulling down materials from their own houses to make the roof, and delighted to obtain a bit of iron, or still better of broken glass, to shave with. In the afternoon, the master of the said house, using a box for a desk, wrote: 'Our little house will, I think, be finished to-night; anyhow we can sleep in it, if the walls are but half ready; they are merely bamboo canes tied together. We sleep on the floor boarded and well raised on poles, two feet and more from the ground--beds are superfluous here.'
Here then was the first stake of the Church's tabernacle planted in all Melanesia!
The boards of the floor had been brought from New Zealand, the heavy posts on which the plates were laid were cut in Vanua Lava, and the thatch was of cocoa-nut leaves, the leaflets ingeniously bound together, native fashion, and quite waterproof; but a mat or piece of canvas had to be nailed within the bamboo walls to keep out the rain.
On Wednesday a short service was held, the first ever known in Mota; and then Mr. Ashwell and Mr. Kerr embarked, leaving Mr. Patteson and Mr. Dudley with their twelve pupils in possession. Mr. Dudley had skill to turn their resources to advantage. Space was gained below by making a frame, to which knapsacks, bags, &c., could be hung up, and the floor was only occupied by the four boxes, which did the further part of tables, desks, and chairs in turn. As to beds, was not the whole floor before them? and, observes the Journal: 'Now I see the advantage of having brought planks from New Zealand to make a floor. We all had something level to lie on at night, and when you are tired enough, a good smooth plank or a box does just as well as a mattress.'
Fresh water was half a mile off, and had to be fetched in bamboos; but this was a great improvement upon Lifu, where there was none at all; and a store of it was always kept in four twenty-gallon casks, three on the beach, and one close to the house.
The place was regularly purchased:--
'June 8th.--I have just bought for the Mission this small clearing of half an acre, and the two acres (say) leading to the sea, with twenty or more bread-fruits on it. There was a long talk with the people, and some difficulty in finding out the real proprietors, but I think we arranged matters really well at last. You would have been amused at the solemnity with which I conducted the proceeding: making a great show of writing down their names, and bringing each one of the owners up in their turn to see his name put down, and making him touch my pen as I put a cross against his name. Having spent about an hour in enquiring whether any other person had any claim on the land or trees, I then said, "Now this all belongs to me," and they assented. I entered it in my books--"On behalf of the Melanesian Mission," but they could only understand that the land belonged to the Bishop and me, because we wanted a place where some people might live, who should be placed by the Bishop to teach them. Of course the proceeding has no real validity, but I think they will observe the contract: not quite the same thing as the transfer of land in the old country! Here about 120 men, quite naked, represented the interests of the late owners, and Dudley and I represented the Mission.'
The days were thus laid out--Morning school in the village, first with the regular scholars, then with any one who liked to come in; and then, when the weather permitted, a visit to some village, sometimes walking all round, a circuit of ten miles, but generally each of the two taking a separate village, talking to the people, teaching them from cards, and encouraging interrogatories. Mr. Patteson always had such an attraction for them that they would throng round him eagerly wherever he went.
The Mota people had a certain faith of their own; they believed in a supreme god called Ikpat, who had many brothers, one of whom was something like Loki, in the Northern mythology, always tricking him. Ikpat had disappeared in a ship, taking the best of everything with him. It was also believed that the spirits of the dead survived and ranged about at night, maddening all who chanced to meet them; and, like many other darkly coloured people, the Motans had begun by supposing their white visitors to be the ghosts of their deceased friends come to revisit them.
There were a good many other superstitions besides; and a ceremony connected with one of them was going on the second week of the residence at Mota--apparently a sort of freemasonry, into which all boys of a certain age were to be initiated.
The Journal says:--
'There is some strange superstitious ceremony going on at this village. A space had been enclosed by a high hedge, and some eighteen or nineteen youths are spending a month or more inside the fence, in a house where they lie wrapped up in mats, abundantly supplied with food by the people, who, from time to time, assemble to sing or perform divers rites. I had a good deal of trouble with the father of our second year's pupil Tagalana, who insisted upon sending his son thither. I warned him against the consequences of hindering his son, who wished to follow Christ. He yielded, because he was evidently afraid of me, but not convinced, as I have no right to expect he should be.
'The next morning comes an old fellow, and plants a red-flowering branch in our small clearing, whereupon our Mota boys go away, not wishing to go, but not daring to stay. No people came near us, but by-and-by comes the man who had planted it, with whom I had much talk, which ended in his pulling up and throwing away the branch, and in the return of our boys.
'In the evening many people came, to whom I spoke very plainly about the necessity of abandoning these customs if they were in earnest in saying they wished to embrace the Word of God. On Sunday they gave up their singing at the enclosure, or only attempted it in a very small way.
'June 6th.--I am just returned from a village a mile and a half off, called Tasmate, where one of their religious ceremonies took place this morning. The village contains upwards of twenty houses, built at the edge of the bush, which consists here almost exclusively of fruit-bearing trees--cocoa-nut trees, bananas, bread-fruit, and large almond trefts are everywhere the most conspicuous. The sea view looking south is very beautiful.
'I walked thither alone, having heard that a feast was to be held there. As I came close to the spot, I heard the hum of many voices, and the dull, booming sound of the native drum, which is nothing but a large hollow tree, of circular shape, struck by wooden mallets. Some few people ran off as I appeared, but many of them had seen me before. The women, about thirty in number, were sitting on the ground together, in front of one of the houses, which enclosed an open air circular space; in front of another house were many children and young people. In the long narrow house which forms the general cooking and lounging room of the men of each village, and the sleeping room of the bachelors, were many people preparing large messes of grated yam and cocoa-nut in flat wooden dishes. At the long oblong-shaped drum sat the performers, two young men, each with two short sticks to perform the kettledrum part of the business, and an older man in the centre, whose art consisted in bringing out deep, hollow tones from his wooden instrument. Around them stood some thirty men, two of whom I noticed especially, decked out with red leaves, and feathers in their hair. Near this party, and close to the long, narrow house in the end of which I stood, was a newly raised platform of earth, supported on stones. On the corner stone were laid six or eight pigs' jaws, with the large curling tusks left in them. This was a sacred stone. In front of the platform were three poles, covered with flowers, red leaves, &c.
'For about an hour and a half the men at or around the drum kept up an almost incessant shouting, screaming and whistling, moving their legs and arms in time, not with any wild gesticulations, but occasionally with some little violence, the drum all the time being struck incessantly. About the middle of the ceremony, an old, tall, thin man, with a red handkerchief, our gift at some time, round his waist, began ambling round the space in the middle of the houses, carrying a boar's skull in his hand. This performance he repeated three times. Then a man jumped up upon the platform, and, moving quickly about on it and gesticulating wildly, delivered a short speech, after which the drum was beat louder than ever; then came another speech from the same man; and then the rain evidently hastening matters to a conclusion to the whole thing, without any ceremony of consecrating the stone, as I had expected.
'In the long room afterwards I had the opportunity of saying quietly what I had said to those about me during the ceremony: the same story of the love of God, especially manifested in JESUS CHRIST, to turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. With what power that verse speaks to one while witnessing such an exhibition of ignorance, or fear, or superstition as I have seen to- day! And through it all I was constantly thinking upon the earnestness with which these poor souls follow out a mistaken notion of religion. Such rain as fell this morning would have kept a whole English congregation from going to church, but they never sought shelter nor desisted from their work in hand; and the physical effect was really great, the perspiration streamed down their bodies, and the learning by heart all the songs and the complicated parts of the ceremony implied a good deal of pains. Christians do not always take so much pains to fulfil scrupulously their duties as sometimes these heathens do. And, indeed, their bondage is a hard one, constant suspicion and fear whenever they think at all. Everything that is not connected with the animal part of our nature seems to be the prey of dark and gloomy superstitions; the spiritual part is altogether inactive as an instrument of comfort, joy, peace and hope. You can imagine that I prayed earnestly for these poor souls, actually performing before me their strange mysteries, and that I spoke earnestly and strongly afterwards.
'The argument with those who would listen was: What good comes of all this? What has the spirit you call Ikpat ever done for you? Has he taught you to clothe yourselves, build houses, &c.? Does he offer to make you happy? Can you tell me what single good thing has come from these customs? But if you ask me what good thing has come to us from the Word of God, first you had better let me tell you what has happened in England of old, in New Zealand, Nengone, or Lifu, then I will tell you what the Word of God teaches;--and these with the great outline of the Faith.'
Every village in the island had the platforms, poles, and flowers; and the next day, at a turn in the path near a village, the Mission party suddenly came upon four sticks planted in a row, two of them bearing things like one-eyed masks; two others, like mitres, painted red, black, and white. As far as could be made out, they were placed there as a sort of defiance to the inhabitants; but Mr. Patteson took down one, and declared his intention of buying them for fish-hooks, to take to New Zealand, that the people might see their dark and foolish customs!
Some effect had already been produced, the people declared that there had been much less of fighting since the missionaries had spoken to them eighteen months back, and they had given up some of the charms by which they used to destroy each other; but there was still much carrying of bows; and on the way home from this expedition, Mr. Patteson suddenly came on six men with bows bent and arrows pointed in his direction. He at once recognised a man from Veverao, the next village to the station, and called out 'All right!' It proved that a report had come of his being attacked or killed on the other side of the island, and that they had set out to defend or avenge him.
He received his champions with reproof:--'This is the very thing I told you not to do. It is all your foolish jealousy and suspicion of them. There is not a man on the island who is not friendly to me! And if they were not friendly, what business have you with your bows and arrows? I tell you once more, if I see you take your bows again, though you may do it as you think with a good intention towards me, I will not stay at your village. If you want to help me, receive the Word of God, abandon your senseless ceremonies. That will be helping me indeed!'
'Cannot you live at peace in this little bit of an island?' was the constant theme of these lectures; and when Wompas, his old scholar, appeared with bow and arrows, saying, I am sent to defend you,' the answer was, 'Don't talk such nonsense! Give me the bow!' This was done, and Patteson was putting it across his knee to break it, when the youth declared it was not his. 'If I see these things again, you know what will become of them!'
The mitres and masks were gone; but the Veverao people were desperately jealous of the next village, Auta, alleging that the inhabitants were unfriendly, and by every means trying to keep the guest entirely to themselves; while he resolutely forced on their reluctant ears, 'If you are sincere in saying that you wish to know God, you must love your brother. God will not dwell in a divided heart, nor teach you His truth while you wilfully continue to hate your brother!'
The St. Barnabas Day on which most of this was written was a notable one, for it was marked by the first administration of both the Sacraments in Mota. In the morning one English and four Nengonese communicants knelt round their pastor; and, in the evening, after a walk to Auta, and much of this preaching of peace and goodwill, then a dinner, which was made festive with preserved meat and wine, there came a message from one Ivepapeu, a leading man, whose child was sick. It was evidently dying, and Mr. Patteson, in the midst of the people, told them that--
'The Son of God had commanded us to teach and baptize all nations; that they did not understand the meaning of what he was about to do, but that the word of JESUS the Son of God was plain, and that he must obey it; that this was not a mere form, but a real gift from heaven, not for the body but the soul; that the child would be as likely to die as before, but that its spirit would be taken to God, and if it should recover, it must be set apart for God, not taken to any heathen rites, but given to himself to be trained up as a child of God.' The parents consented: 'Then,' he continues, 'we knelt, and in the middle of the village, the naked group around me, the dying child in its mother's lap, I prayed to God and Christ in their language to bless the child according to His own promise, to receive it for His own child, and to convey to it the fulness of the blessing of His holy Sacrament. Then while all were silent, I poured the water on its head, pronouncing the form of words in English, and calling the child John, the first Christian child in the Banks Islands. Then I knelt down again and praised God for His goodness, and prayed that the child might live, if it were His good pleasure, and be educated to His glory; and then I prayed for those around me and for the people of the island, that God would reveal to them His Holy Name and Word and Will; and so, with a few words to the parents and people, left them, as darkness settled down on the village and the bright stars came out overhead.'
The innocent first-fruits of Mota died three days later, and Mr. Patteson found a great howling and wailing going on over its little grave under a long low house. This was hushed when he came up, and spoke of the Resurrection, and described the babe's soul dwelling in peace in the Kingdom of the Father, where those would join it who would believe and repent, cast away their evil practices, and be baptized to live as children of God. Kneeling down, he prayed over it, thanking God for having taken it to Himself, and interceding for all around. They listened and seemed touched; no opposition was ever offered to him, but he found that there was much fighting and quarrelling, many of the villages at war with each other, and a great deal too much use of the bow and arrow, though the whole race was free from cannibalism. They seemed to want to halt between two opinions: to keep up their orgies on the one hand, and to make much of the white teacher on the other; and when we recollect that two unarmed Englishmen, and twelve blacks from other islands, were perfectly isolated in the midst of a heathen population, having refused protection from a British man-of-war, it gives a grandeur to the following narrative:--
'June 7th.--One of their chief men has just been with two bread-fruit as a present. I detected him as a leader of one of their chief ceremonies yesterday, and I have just told him plainly that I cannot accept anything from him, neither can I suffer him to be coming to my place while it is notorious that he is teaching the children the very things they ought not to learn, and that he is strongly supporting the old false system, while he professes to be listening attentively to the Word of God. I made him take up his two bread-fruit and carry them away; and I suppose it will be the story all over the village that I have driven him away.
'"By-and-by we will listen to the Word of God, when we have finished these ceremonies."
'"Yes, you hearken first to the voice of the evil spirit; you choose him firsthand then you will care to hear about God.'"
The ceremony was to last twenty days, and only affected the lads, who were blackened all over with soot, and apparently presented pigs to the old priest, and were afterwards admitted to the privileges of eating and sleeping in the separate building, which formed a kind of club-house for the men of each village, and on which Mr. Patteson could always reckon as both a lecture room and sleeping place.
The people kept on saying that 'by-and-by' they would make an end of their wild ritual, and throw down their enclosures, and at the same time they thronged to talk to him at the Mission station, and built a shed to serve for a school at Auta.
Meantime the little estate was brought into order. A pleasant day of landscape-gardening was devoted to clearing gaps to let in the lovely views from the station; and a piece of ground was dug and planted with pine-apples, vines, oranges, and cotton, also a choicer species of banana than the indigenous one. Bread-fruit was so plentiful that breakfast was provided by sending a boy up a tree to bring down four or five fruits, which were laid in the ashes, and cooked at once; and as to banana leaves 'we think nothing of cutting one down, four feet long and twenty inches wide, of a bright pale green, just to wrap up a cooked yam or two.'
The first week in July, with Wadrokala, Mark, and two Malanta men, Mr. Patteson set forth in the boat that had been left with him, for an expedition among the other islands, beginning with Saddle Island, or Valua, which was the proper name.
The day after leaving Eowa, the weather changed; and as on these perilous coasts there was no possibility of landing, two days and the intervening night had to be spent in the open four-oared boat, riding to a grapnel!
Very glad they were to get into Port Patteson, and to land in the wet, 'as it can rain in the tropics.' The nearest village, however, was empty, everybody being gone to the burial wake of the wife of a chief, and there was no fire to cook the yams, everything dreary and deserted, but a short walk brought the wet and tired party to the next village, where they were made welcome to the common house; and after, supping on yams and chocolate, spent a good night, and found the sea smooth the next day for a return to head-quarters.
These first weeks at Mota were very happy, but after that the strain began to tell. Mr. Patteson had been worn with anxiety for his father, and no doubt with awe in the contemplation of his coming Episcopate, and was not in a strong state of health when he left Kohimarama, and the lack of animal food, the too sparing supply of wine, and the bare board bed told upon him. On the 24th of July he wrote in a letter to his Uncle Edward:--
'I have lost six days: a small tumour formed inside the ear about two inches from the outer ear, and the pain has been very considerable, and the annoyance great. Last night I slept for the first time for five nights, and I have been so weary with sleeplessness that I have been quite idle. The mischief is passing away now. That ear is quite deaf; it made me think so of dear Father and Joan with their constant trial. I don't see any results from our residence here; and why should I look for them? It is enough that the people are hearing, some of them talking, and a few thinking about what they hear. All in God's own time!'
Mr. Dudley adds: 'His chief trouble at this time was with one of his ears. The swelling far in not only made him deaf while it lasted, but gave him intense and protracted agony. More than once he had to spend the whole night in walking up and down the room. But only on one occasion during the whole time do I remember his losing his patience, and that was when we had been subjected to an unusually protracted visitation from the "loafers" of the village, who would stretch themselves at full length on the floor and table, if we would let them, and altogether conduct themselves in such a manner as to call for summary treatment, very different from the more promising section. The half jocular but very decided manner in which he cleared the house on this occasion, and made them understand that they were to respect our privacy sometimes, and not make the Mission station an idling place, was very satisfactory. It was no small aggravation of the pain to feel that this might be the beginning of permanent deafness, such as would be fatal to his usefulness in a work in which accuracy of ear was essential.'
However, this gradually improved; and another boat voyage was made, but again was frustrated by the torrents of rain. In fact, it was an unusually wet and unwholesome season, which told upon everyone. Mark Chakham, the Nengonese, was brought very near the grave by a severe attack of dysentery. All the stores of coffee, chocolate, wine and biscuit were used up. The 'Southern Cross' had been due full a month, and nothing was heard of her through the whole of September.
Teaching and conversation went on all this time, trying as it was; and the people still came to hear, though no one actually undertook to forsake his idols.
'I am still hopeful about these people,' is the entry on September 18, 'though all their old customs and superstitions go on just as before. But (1) they know that a better teaching has been presented to them. (2) They do not pursue their old habits with the same unthinking-security. (3) There are signs of a certain uneasiness of mind, as if a struggle was beginning in them. (4) They have a vague consciousness, some of them, that the power is passing away from their witchcrafts, sorceries, &c., by which unquestionably they did and still do work strange effects on the credulous people, like 'Pharaoh's magicians of old.'
This was ground gained; and one or two voyages to Vanua Lava and the other isles were preparatory steps, and much experience had been acquired, and resulted in this:--
'The feasibility of the Bishop's old scheme is more and more apparent to me. Only I think that in taking away natives to the summer school, it must be understood that some (and they few) are taken from new islands merely to teach us some of their languages and to frank us, so that we may have access in safety to their islands. Should any of them turn out well, so much the better; but it will not be well to take them with the expectation of their becoming teachers to their people. But the other section of the school will consist of young men whose behaviour we have watched during the winter in their own homes, whose professions we have had an opportunity of testing-- they may be treated as young men on the way to become teachers eventually to their countrymen. One learns much from living among a heathen people, and only by living in our pupils' homes shall we ever know their real characters. Poor fellows! they are adepts in all kinds of deceitfulness at a very early age, and so completely in our power on board the schooner and at Kohimarama, that we know nothing of them as they are.'
The very paper this is copied from shows how the stores were failing, for the full quarto sheets have all failed, and the journal is continued on note paper.
Not till October 1 was Mr. Patteson's watch by a poor dying woman interrupted by tidings that a ship was in sight. And soon it was too plain that she was not the 'Southern Cross,' though, happily, neither trader nor French Mission ship. In a short time there came ashore satisfactory letters from home, but with them the tidings that the little 'Southern Cross' lay in many fathoms water on the New Zealand coast!
On her return, on the night of the 17th of June, just as New Zealand itself was reached, there was a heavy gale from the north-east. A dangerous shoal of rocks, called the Hen and Chickens, stands out from the head of Ngunguru Bay; and, in the darkness and mist, it was supposed that these were safely passed, when the ship struck on the eastern Chicken, happily on a spot somewhat sheltered from the violence of the breakers. The two passengers and the crew took refuge in the rigging all night; and in the morning contrived to get a line to land, on which all were safely drawn through the surf, and were kindly received by the nearest English settlers.
So, after five years' good service, ended the career of the good 'Southern Cross' the first. She had gone down upon sand, and much of the wreck might have been recovered and made useful again had labour not been scarce at that time in New Zealand that the Bishop could find no one to undertake the work, and all he could do was to charter another vessel to be despatched to bring home the party from Mota. Nor were vessels fit for the purpose easy to find, and the schooner 'Zillah'--welcome as was the sight of her--proved a miserable substitute even in mere nautical capabilities, and her internal arrangements were of course entirely inappropriate to the peculiar wants of the Mission.
This was the more unfortunate because the very day after her arrival Mr. Dudley was prostrated by something of a sunstroke. Martin Tehele was ill already, and rapidly became worse; and Wadrokala and Harper Malo sickened immediately, nor was the former patient recovered. Mr. Dudley, Wadrokala and Harper were for many days in imminent danger, and were scarcely dragged through by the help of six bottles of wine, providentially sent by the Bishop. Mr. Dudley says:--
'During the voyage Mr. Patteson's powers of nursing were severely tried. Poor Martin passed away before we arrived at Nengone, and was committed to the deep. Before he died he was completely softened by Mr. Patteson's loving care, and asked pardon for all the trouble he had given and the fretfulness he had shown. Poor fellow! I well remember how he gasped out the Lord's Prayer after Mr. Patteson a few minutes before he died. We all who had crawled up round his bed joining in with them.
'Oh, what a long dreary time that was! Light baffling winds continually, and we in a vessel as different from the "Southern Cross" as possible, absolutely guiltless, I should think, of having ever made two miles an hour to windward "in a wind." The one thing that stands out as having relieved its dreariness is the presence of Mr. Patteson, the visits he used to pay to us, and the exquisite pathos of his voice as, from the corner of the hold where we lay, we could hear him reading the Morning and Evening Prayers of the Church and leading the hymn. These prevented these long weary wakeful days and nights from being absolutely insupportable.'
At last Nengone was reached, and Wadrokala and Harper were there set ashore, better, but very weak. Here the tidings were known that in Lifu John Cho had lost his wife Margaret, and had married the widow of a Karotongan teacher, a very suitable match, but too speedy to be according to European ideas; and on November 26 the 'Zillah' was off the Three Kings, New Zealand.
'Monday: Nov. 26, 1860. '"Zillah" Schooner, off the Three Kings, N. of New Zealand.
'You know pretty well that Kohimarama is a small bay, about one-third of a mile along the sea frontage, two-and-a-half miles due east of Auckland, and just opposite the entrance into the harbour, between the North Head and Eangitoto. The beach is composed entirely of the shells of "pipi" (small cockles); always, therefore, dry and pleasant to walk upon. A fence runs along the whole length of it. At the eastern end of it, a short distance inside this N. (= sea) fence, are the three cottages of the master and mate and Fletcher. Sam Fletcher is a man-of-war's man, age about thirty-eight, who has been with us some four years and a half. He has all the habits of order and cleanliness that his life as coxswain of the captain's gig taught him; he is a very valuable fellow. He is our extra man at sea.
'Each of these cottages has its garden, and all three men are married, but only the master (Grange) has any family, one married daughter.
'Then going westward comes a nine-acre paddock, and then a dividing fence, inside (i.e. to W.) of which stand our buildings.
'Now our life here is hard to represent. It is not like the life of an ordinary schoolmaster, still less like that of an ordinary clergyman. Much of the domestic and cooking department I may manage, of course, to superintend. I would much rather do this than have the nuisance of a paid servant.
'So at 5 A.M., say, I turn out; I at once go to the kitchen, and set the two cooks of the week to work, light fire, put on yams or potatoes, then back to dress, read, &c.; in and out all the time, of the kitchen till breakfast time: say 8 or 8.30. You would be surprised to see how very soon the lads will do it all by themselves, and leave me or Mr. Kerr to give all our attention to school and other matters.
'So you can fancy, Joan, now, the manner of life. My little room with my books is my snuggery during the middle of the day, and at night I have also a large working table at one end of the big school- room, covered with books, papers, &c., and here I sit a good deal, my room being too small to hold the number of books that I require to have open for comparison of languages, and for working out grammatical puzzles. Then I am in and out of the kitchen and store- room, and boys' rooms, seeing that all things, clothes, blankets, floors, &c., are washed and kept clean, and doing much what is done in every house.'
Snuggery no doubt it looked compared with the 'Zillah;' but what would the 'Eton fellow' of fifteen years back have thought of the bare, scantily furnished room, with nothing but the books, prints, and photographs around to recall the tastes of old, and generally a sick Melanesian on the floor? However, he was glad enough to return thither, though with only sixteen scholars from ten places. Among them was Taroniara from Bauro, who was to be his follower, faithful to death. The following addition was made to the letter to Mr. Edward Coleridge, begun in Banks Islands:--
'Kohimarama: Dec. 1, 1860.
'One line, my dear tutor, before I finish off my pile of hastily written letters for this mail.
'Alas! alas! for the little schooner, that dear little vessel, our home for so many months of each year, so admirably qualified for her work. Whether she may be got off her sandy bed, no one can say. Great expense would certainly be incurred, and the risk of success great also.
'I have not yet had time to talk to the Bishop, I only reached New Zealand on November 28. We cannot, however, well do our work in chartered vessels [then follows a full detail of the imperfections of the 'Zillah' and all other Australian merchant craft; then-- But, dear old tutor, even the "Southern Cross" (though what would I give to see her now at her usual anchorage from the window at which I am now sitting!) for a time retires into the distance, as I think of what is to take place (D.V.) in January next.
'I hoped that I had persuaded the Bishop that the meeting of the General Synod in February 1862 would be a fit time. I do not see that the Duke's despatch makes any difference in the choice of the time. But all was settled in my absence; and now at the Feast of the Epiphany or of the Conversion of St. Paul (as suits the convenience of the Southern Bishops) the Consecration is to take place. I am heartily glad that the principle of consecrating Missionary Bishops will be thus affirmed and acted upon; but oh! if some one else was to be the Bishop!
'And yet I must not distrust God's grace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable me for this work. I try and pray to be calm and resigned, and I am happy and cheerful.
'And it is a blessed thing that now three of your old dear friends, once called Selwyn, Abraham, Hobhouse should be consecrating your own nephew and pupil, gathered by God's providence into the same part of God's field at the ends of the earth.'
Still with his heart full of the never-forgotten influence of his mother, he thus begins his home letter of the same date:--
'Kohimarama: Dec. 1.
'My dearest Father,--I could not write on November 28, but the memory of that day in 1842 was with me from morning to night. We anchored on that day at 1 A.M., and I was very busy till late at night. I had no idea till I came back from the Islands that there was any change in the arrangements for the consecration in February 1862. But now the Bishops of Wellington and Nelson have been summoned for the Feast of the Epiphany, or of the conversion of St. Paul, and all was done in my absence. I see, too, that you in England have assumed that the consecration will take place soon after the reception of the Duke's despatch.
'I must not now shrink from it, I know. I have full confidence in your judgment, and in that of the Bishop; and I suppose that if I was speaking of another, I should say that I saw reasons for it. But depend upon it, my dear Father, that a man cannot communicate to another the whole of the grounds upon which he feels reluctant to accept an office. I believe that I ought to accept this in deference to you all, and I do so cheerfully, but I don't, say that my judgment agrees wholly with you all.
'And yet there is no one else; and if the separation of New Zealand and Melanesia is necessary, I see that this must be the consequence. So I regard it now as a certainty. I pray God to strengthen and enable me: I look forward, thanks to Him, hopefully and cheerfully. I have the love and the prayers of many, many friends, and soon the whole Church of England will recognise me as one who stands in special need of grace and strength from above.
'Oh! the awful power of heathenism! the antagonism, not of evil only, but of the Evil One, rather, I mean the reality felt of all evil emanating from a person, as St. Paul writes, and as our Lord spoke of him. I do indeed at times feel overwhelmed, as if I was in a dream. Then comes some blessed word or thought of comfort, and promised strength and grace.
'But enough of this.
'The "Southern Cross" cannot, I think, be got off without great certain expense and probable risk. I think we shall have to buy another vessel, and I dare say she may be built at home, but I don't know what is the Bishop's mind about it....
'I shall write to Merton, I don't know why I should needs vacate my fellowship. I have no change of outward circumstances brought upon me by my change presently from the name of Presbyter to Bishop, and we want all the money.
'What you say about a Missionary Bishop being for five months of the year within the diocese of another Bishop, I will talk over with the Bishop of New Zealand. I think our Synodical system will make that all right; and as for my work, it will be precisely the same in all respects, my external life altered only to the extent of my wearing a broader brimmed and lower crowned hat. Dear Joan is investing moneys in cutaway coats, buckles without end, and no doubt knee-breeches and what she calls "gambroons" (whereof I have no cognizance), none of which will be worn more than (say) four or five times in the year. Gambroons and aprons and lawn sleeves won't go a-voyaging, depend upon it. Just when I preach in some Auckland church I shall appear in full costume; but the buckles will grow very rusty indeed!
'How kind and good of her to take all the trouble, I don't laugh at that, and at her dear love for me and anxiety that I should have everything; but I could not help having a joke about gambroons, whatever they are....
'Good-bye once more, my dearest Father. You will, I trust, receive this budget about the time of your birthday. How I think of you day and night, and how I thank you for all your love, and perhaps most of all, not only letting me come to Melanesia, but for your great love in never calling me away from my work even to see your face once more on earth.
'Your loving and dutiful son,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Remark upon a high-minded letter is generally an impertinence both to the writer and the reader, but I cannot help pausing upon the foregoing, to note the force of the expression that thanks the father for the love that did not recall the son. What a different notion these two men had of love from that which merely seeks self- gratification! Observe, too, how the old self-contemplative, self- tormenting spirit, that was unhappiness in those days of growth and heart-searching at the first entrance into the ministry, had passed into humble obedience and trust. Looking back to the correspondence of ten years ago, volumes of progress are implied in the quiet 'Enough of this.'
There were, however, some delays in bringing the three together, and on the New Year's Day of 1861, the designate writes to Bishop Abraham: 'I dare say the want of any positive certainty as to the time of the Consecration is a good discipline for me. I think I feel calm now; but I know I must not trust feelings, and when I think of those islands and the practical difficulty of getting at them, and the need of so many of those qualities which are so wonderfully united in our dear Primate, I need strength from above indeed to keep my heart from sinking. But I think that I do long and desire to work on by God's grace, and not to look to results at all.'
A 'supplementary mail' made possible a birthday letter (the last) written at 6 A.M. on the 11th of February: 'I wanted of course to write to you to-day. Many happy returns of it I wish you indeed, for it may yet please God to prolong your life; but in any case you know well how I am thinking and praying for you that every blessing and comfort may be given you. Oh I how I do think of you night and day. When Mrs. Selwyn said "Good-bye," and spoke of you, I could not stand it. I feel that anything else (as I fancy) I can speak of with composure; but the verses in the Bible, such as the passage which I read yesterday in St. Mark x., almost unnerve me, and I can't wish it to be otherwise. But I feel that my place is here, and that I must look to the blessed hope of meeting again hereafter....
'Of course no treat is so great to me as the occasional talks with the Bishop. Oh! the memory of those days and evenings on board the "Southern Cross." Well, it was so happy a life that it was not good for me, I suppose, that it should last. But I feel it now that the sense of responsibility is deepening on me, and I must go out to work without him; and very, very anxious I am sometimes, and almost oppressed by it.
'But strength will come; and it is not one's own work, which is the comfort, and if I fail (which is very likely) God will place some other man in my position, and the work will go on, whether in my hands or not, and that is the real point.
'Some talk I find there has been about my going home. I did not hear of it until after Mrs. Selwyn had sailed. It was thought of, but it was felt, as I certainly feel, that it ought not to be.... My work lies out here clearly; and it is true that any intermission of voyages or residences in the islands is to be avoided.'
Mrs. Selwyn had gone home for a year, and had so arranged as to see the Patteson family almost immediately on her return. Meantime the day drew on. The Consecration was not by Royal mandate, as in the case of Bishops of sees under British jurisdiction; but the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, wrote:--'That the Bishops of New Zealand are at liberty, without invasion of the Royal prerogative or infringement of the law of England, to exercise what Bishop Selwyn describes as their inherent power of consecrating Mr. Patteson or any other person to take charge of the Melanesian Islands, provided that the consecration should take place beyond British territory.'
In consequence it was proposed that the three consecrating Bishops should take ship and perform the holy rite in one of the isles beneath the open sky; but as Bishop Mackenzie had been legally consecrated in Cape Town Cathedral, the Attorney-General of New Zealand gave it as his opinion that there was no reason that the consecration should not take place in Auckland.
'Kohimarama: Feb. 15, 1861.
'My dearest Father,--Mr. Kerr, who has just returned from Auckland, where he spent yesterday, brings me the news that the question of the Consecration has been settled, and that it will take place (D.V.) on Sunday week, St. Matthias Day, February 24.
'I ought not to shrink back now. The thought has become familiar to me, and I have the greatest confidence in the judgment of the Bishop of New Zealand; and I need not say how your words and letters and prayers too are helping me now.
'Indeed, though at any great crisis of our lives no doubt we are intended to use more than ordinary strictness in examining our motives and in seeking for greater grace, deeper repentance, more earnest and entire devotion to God, and amendment of life, yet I know that any strong-emotion, if it existed now, would pass away soon, and that I must be the same man as Bishop as I am now, in this sense, viz., that I shall have just the same faults, unless I pray for strength to destroy them, which I can do equally well now, and that all my characteristic and peculiar habits of mind will remain unchanged by what will only change my office and not myself. So that where I am indolent now I shall be indolent henceforth, unless I seek to get rid of indolence; and I shall not be at all better, wiser, or more consistent as Bishop than I am now by reason simply of being a Bishop.
'You know my meaning. Now I apply what I write to prove that any strong excitement now would be no evidence of a healthy state of mind. I feel now like myself, and that is not at all like what I wish to be. And so I thank God that as before any solemn season special inducements to earnest repentance are put into our minds, so I now feel a special call upon me to seek by His grace to make a more faithful use of the means of usefulness which He gives me, that I may be wholly and entirely turned to Him, and so be enabled to do His will in Melanesia. You know, my dearest Father, that I do not indeed undervalue the grace of Ordination; only I mean that the right use of any great event in one's life, as I take it, is not to concentrate feeling so much on it as earnestness of purpose, prayer for grace, and for increase of simplicity and honesty and purity of heart. Perhaps other matters affect me more than my supposed state of feeling, so that my present calmness may be attributed to circumstances of which I am partially ignorant; and, indeed, I do wonder that I am calm when one moment's look at the map, or thought of the countless islands, almost overwhelms me. How to get at them? Where to begin? How to find men and means? How to decide upon the best method of teaching, &c.? But I must try to be patient, and to be content with very small beginnings--and endings, too, perhaps.
'Sunday, Feb. 24, St. Matthias, 10 A.M.--The day is come, my dearest Father, and finds me, I thank God, very calm. Yesterday, at 6 P.M., in the little chapel at Taurama, the three Bishops, the dear Judge, Lady Martin, Mrs. Abraham, Mr. Lloyd and I met together for special prayer. How we missed Mrs. Selwyn, dear dear Mrs. Selwyn, from among us, and how my thoughts passed on to you! Evening hymn, Exhortation in Consecration Service, Litany from the St. Augustine's Missionary Manual, with the questions in Consecration Service turned into petitions, Psalm cxxxii., cxxxi., li.; Lesson i Tim. iii.; special prayer for the Elect Bishop among the heathen, for the conversion of the heathen; and the Gloria in Excelsis.
'Then the dear Bishop walked across to me, and taking my hand in both of his, looking at me with that smile of love and deep deep thought, so seldom seen, and so deeply prized. "I can't tell you what I feel," he said, with a low and broken voice. "You know it--my heart is too full! "
'Ah! the memory of six years with that great and noble servant of God was in my heart too, and so we stood, tears in our eyes, and I unable to speak.
'At night again, when, after arranging finally the service, I was left with him alone, he spoke calmly and hopefully. Much he said of you, and we are all thinking much of you. Then he said: "I feel no misgiving in my heart; I think all has been done as it should be. Many days we three have discussed the matter. By prayer and Holy Communion we have sought light from above, and it is, I believe, God's will." Then once more taking both hands, he kissed my forehead: "God bless you, my dear Coley. I can't say more words, and you don't desiderate them."
'"No," said I; "my heart, as yours, is too full for words. I have lived six years with you to little purpose, if I do not know you full well now!"
'And then I walked, in the perfect peace of a still cloudless night-- the moon within two days of full--the quarter of a mile to St. Stephen's schools, where I slept last night. On the way I met the Bishop of Wellington and Mrs. Abraham, coming up from St. Stephen's to the Bishop's house.
J. C. P.--What a night of peace! the harbour like a silver mirror!
'B. of W.--Dominus tecum.
'Mrs. A.--I trust you will sleep.
'J. C. P.--I thank you; I think so. I feel calm.
'Sunday Night, 10 P.M. (Feniton, Sunday, 10.40 A.M.)--It is over--a most solemn blessed service. Glorious day. Church crowded--many not able to find admittance; but orderly. More than two hundred communicants. More to-morrow (D.V.). All day you have been in our minds. The Bishop spoke of you in his sermon with faltering voice, and I broke down; yet at the moment of the Veni Creator being sung over me, and the Imposition of Hands, I was very calm. The Bible presented is the same that you gave me on my fifth birthday with your love and blessing. Oh! my dear dear Father, God will bless you for all your love to me, and your love to Him in giving me to His service. May His heavenly blessing be with you--all your dear ones for ever!
'Your most loving and dutiful Son,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.
'February 25th.--I am spending to-day and to-morrow here--i.e., sleeping at the Judge's, dining and living half at his house, and half at the Bishop's--quiet and calm it is, and I prize it. The music yesterday was very good; organ well played. The choirs of the three town churches, and many of the choral society people, filled the gallery--some eighty voices perhaps. The Veni Creator the only part that was not good, well sung, but too much like an anthem.
'Tagalana, half-sitting, half-kneeling behind me, held the book for the Primate to read from at the Imposition of Hands--a striking group, I am told.'
Here ends the letter, to which a little must be added from other pens; and, first, from Mrs. Abraham's letter for the benefit of Eton friends:--
'The Consecration was at St. Paul's Church, in default of a Cathedral. Built before the Bishop arrived, St. Paul's has no chancel: and the Clergy, including a Maori Deacon, were rather crowded within the rail. Mr. Patteson was seated in a chair in front, ten of his island boys close to him, and several working men of the rougher sort were brought into the benches near. We were rather glad of the teaching that none were excluded. The service was all in harmony with the occasion; and the sermon gave expression to all the individual and concentrated feeling of the moment, as well as pointing the Lesson and its teaching.
'The sermon was on the thought of the Festival: "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen." (Acts i. 24.) After speaking of the special import and need of the prayers of those gathered to offer up their prayers at the Holy Communion, for those who were to exercise the office of apostles in their choice, he spoke in words that visibly almost overpowered their subject:--
'"In this work of God, belonging to all eternity, and to the Holy Catholic Church, are we influenced by any private feelings, any personal regard? The charge which St. Paul gives to Timothy, in words of awful solemnity, 'to lay hands suddenly on no man,' may well cause much searching of heart. 'I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.' Does our own partial love deceive us in this choice? We were all trained in the same place of education, united in the same circle of friends; in boyhood, youth, manhood, we have shared the same services, and joys, and hopes, and fears. I received this, my son in the ministry of Christ Jesus, from the hands of a father, of whose old age he was the comfort. He sent him forth without a murmur, nay, rather with joy and thankfulness, to these distant parts of the earth. He never asked even to see him again, but gave him up without reserve to the Lord's work. Pray, dear brethren, for your Bishops, that our partial love may not deceive us in this choice, for we cannot so strive against natural affection as to be quite impartial."
'And again, as the Primate, addressing more especially his beloved son in the ministry, exclaimed, "May Christ be with you when you go forth in His name, and for His sake, to those poor and needy people," and his eye went along the dusky countenances of his ten boys, Coleridge Patteson could hardly restrain his intensity of feeling.'
Another letter from the same lady to the sisters adds further details to the scene, after describing the figures in the church:--
'Lady Martin, who had never seen the dress (the cassock and rochet) before, said that Coley reminded her of the figures of some young knight watching his armour, as he stood in his calm stedfastness, and answered the questions put to him by the Primate.
'The whole service was very nicely ordered, and the special Psalm well chanted. With one exception (which was, alas! the Veni Creator), the music was good, and Coley says was a special help to him; the pleasure of it, and the external hold that it gave, helping him out of himself, as it were, and sustaining him.'
Lady Martin adds her touch to the picture; and it may perhaps be recorded for those who may in after times read the history of the first Bishop of the Melanesian Church, that whatever might be wanting in the beauty of St. Paul's, Auckland, never were there three Bishops who outwardly as well as inwardly more answered to the dignity of their office than the three who stood over the kneeling Coleridge Patteson.
'I shall never forget the expression of his face as he knelt in the quaint rochet. It was meek and holy and calm, as though all conflict was over and he was resting in the Divine strength. It was altogether a wonderful scene: the three consecrating Bishops, all such noble-looking men, the goodly company of clergy and Hohua's fine intelligent brown face among them, and then the long line of island boys, and of St. Stephen's native teachers and their wives, were living testimonies of Mission work. Coley had told us in the morning of a consecration he had seen at Rome, where a young Greek deacon had held a large illuminated book for the Pope to read the words of Consecration. We had no such gorgeous dresses as they, but nothing could have been more simply beautiful and touching than the sight of Tagalana's young face as he did the same good office. There was nothing artistic about it; the boy came forward with a wondering yet bright look on his pleasant face, just dressed in his simple grey blouse.
'You will read the sermon, so there is no need to talk about it. Your brother was overcome for a minute at the reference to his father, but the comfort and favour of His Heavenly Master kept him singularly calm, though the week before he had undoubtedly had much struggle, and his bodily health was affected.'
All the friends who were thus brought together were like one family, and still called the new Bishop by the never disused abbreviation that recalled his home. He was the guest of the now retired Chief Justice and Lady Martin, who were occupying themselves in a manner probably unique in the history of law and lawyers, by taking charge of the native school at St. Stephen's.
The next two were great days of letter writing. Another long full letter was written to the father, telling of the additional record which each of the three consecrating Bishops had written in the Bible of his childhood, and then going into business matters, especially hoping that the Warden and Fellows of Merton would not suppose that as a Bishop he necessarily had £5,000 a year and a palace, whereas in fact the see had no more than the capital of £5,000 required by Government! He had already agreed with his father that his own share of the inheritance should go to the Mission; and, as he says, on hearing the amount:--
'Hard enough you worked, my dear Father, to leave your children so well off. Dear old Jem will have enough; and my children now dwell in 200 islands, and will need all that I can give them. God grant that the day may come when many of them may understand these things, and rise up and call your memory blessed!
'Your words of comfort and blessing come to me with fresh strength just now, two days only after the time when you too, had you been here, would in private have laid your hand on my head and called down God's blessing upon me. I shall never know in this world what I owe to your prayers.'
There is much, too, of his brother's marriage; and in a separate letter to the sisters there are individual acknowledgments of each article of the equipment, gratifying the donor by informing her that the 'cutaway' coat was actually to be worn that very evening at a dinner party at the Chief Justice's, and admiring the 'gambroon,' which turned out to be the material of the cassock, so much as to wish for a coat made of it for the islands. Apropos of the hat:-- 'You know my forehead is square, so that an oval hat does not fit; it would hang on by the temples, which form a kind of right angle with the forehead.'
Another letter of that 26th was from the Bishop of Wellington to Dr. Goodford respecting this much-loved old pupil:--
'Anything more conscientious and painstaking cannot be conceived than the way he has steadily directed every talent, every hour or minute of his life, to the one work he had set before him. However small or uncongenial or drumdrudgery-like his occupation, however hard, or dangerous, or difficult, it seemed to be always met in the same calm, gentle, self-possessed spirit of love and duty, which I should fancy that those who well knew his good and large-minded, large-hearted father, and his mother, whom I have always heard spoken of as saintly, could best understand. Perhaps the most marked feature in his character is his genuine simplicity and humility. I never saw it equalled in one so gifted and so honoured and beloved.
'It is really creditable to the community to see how universal is the admiration for his character, for he is so very good, so exceedingly unworldly, and therefore such a living rebuke to the selfishness of the world; and though so gentle, yet so firm and uncompromising that you would have supposed he would hardly be popular outside the circle of friends who know him and understand him. Certainly he is the most perfect character I ever met.'
The last day of February was that of the Installation.
Again Mrs. Abraham must speak:--
'On Thursday last we had another happy day at Kohimarama, where Bishop Patteson was duly installed in the temporary chapel of St. Andrew's College, as we hope to call it, after the church at Cocksmoor, in "The Daisy Chain." The morning was grey, and we feared rain would keep us ladies away, hut we made the venture with our willing squire, Mr. M----, in the "Iris" boat to help us. The pity was, that after all Lady Martin could not go, as she had an invalid among her Maori flock, whom she could not trust all day by herself. The day lightened, and our sail was pleasant.
'The Primate and Missionary Bishop planted a Norfolk pine in the centre of the quadrangle--"the tree planted by the water side," &c. The Bishop then robed and proceeded to chapel, and the Primate led the little service in which he spoke the words of installation, and the mew Bishop took the oath of allegiance to him. The Veni Creator was sung, and the Primate's blessing-given. The island boys looked on from one transept, the "Iris" sailors from another, and Charlie stood beside me. I am afraid his chief remembrance of the day is fixed upon Kanambat's tiny boat and outrigger, which he sat in on the beach, and went on voyages, in which the owner waded by his side, and saw him (Kanambat) skim along the waves like a white butterfly. We all dined in hall, after the boys, on roast beef and plum pudding, melons and water melons, and strolled about the place and beach at leisure, till it was time to sail back again.'
On the Sunday the new Bishop preached at St. Mary's one of the sermons that broke from him when he was too much excited (if the word may be used) for his usual metaphysical style. The subject was the promise of the Comforter, His eternal presence and anointing, and the need of intercessory prayer, for which the preacher besought earnestly, as one too young for his office, and needing to increase in the Holy Spirit more and more. Very far were these from being unrealised words. God's grace had gone along with him, and had led him through every step and stage of his life, and so mastered his natural defects, that friends who only knew him in these years hear with incredulous indignation of those flaws he had conquered in his younger days. 'Fearless as a man, tender as a woman, showing both the best sides of human nature,' says one of the New Zealand friends who knew him best; 'always drawing out the good in all about him by force of sympathy, and not only taking care that nothing should be done by others that he would not do himself, but doing himself what he did not like to ask of them, and thinking that they excelled him.' Humility, the effort of his life, was achieved at last the more truly because not consciously.
The letter to his father was again almost wholly on money matters; but at the end come two notable sentences:--
'How can I thank you for giving me up to this work, and for all the wise and loving words with which you constantly cheer me and encourage me? Your blessing comes now to strengthen me, as work and responsibilities are fast accumulating upon me. I thank God that He enables us at the two ends of the world to see this matter in the same way, so that no conflict of duties arises in my mind.
'This book, "Essays and Reviews," I have, but pray send your copy also; also any good books that may be produced bearing on that great question of the Atonement, and on Inspiration, Authority of Scripture, &c. How sad it is to see that spirit of intellectualism thinking to deal with religion in forgetfulness of the necessary conditions of humility and faith! How different from the true gnosis!'
'Kohimarama: April 29, 1861.
'My dearest Father,--As I read your letters of Feb. 21-25, you are, I trust, reading mine which tell you of what took place on Feb. 24. That point is settled. I almost fear to write that I am a Bishop in the Church of Christ. May God strengthen me for the duties of the office to which I trust He has indeed called me!
'As I read of what you say so wisely and truly, and dear Joan and Fan and Aunt James and all, of my having expected results too rapidly at Mota, I had sitting with me that dear boy Tagalana, who for two months last winter was in the great sacred enclosure, though, dear lad, not by his own will, yet his faith was weak, and no wonder.
'Now, God's holy name be praised for it, he is, I verily believe, in his very soul, taught by the Spirit to see and desire to do his duty. I feel more confidence about him than I have done about anyone who has come into my hands originally in a state of complete heathenism. It is not that his knowledge only is accurate and clearly grasped, but the humility, the loving spirit, the (apparent) personal appropriation of the blessing of having been brought to know the love of God and the redemption wrought for him by the death of Christ; this is what, as I look upon his clear truthful eyes, makes me feel so full of thankfulness and praise.
'"But Tagalana, if I should die, you used to say that without my help you should perhaps fall back again: is that true?"
'"No, no; I did not feel it then as I do now in my heart. I can't tell how it came there, only I know He can never die, and will always be with me. You know you said you were only like a sign-post, to point out the way that leads to Him, and I see that we ought to follow you, but to go altogether to Him."
'I can't tell you, my dearest Father, what makes up the sum of my reasons for thinking that God is in His mercy bringing this dear boy to be the first-fruits of Mota unto the Christ, but I think that there is an inward teaching going on now in his heart, which gives me sure hope, for I know it is not my doing.
'All you all say about Mota is most true: I never thought otherwise really, but I wrote down my emotions and impulses rather than my deliberate thoughts, that my letter written under such strange circumstances might become as a record of the effect produced day by day upon us by outward circumstances.
'What some of you say about self-possession on one's going about among the people being marvellous, is just what of course appears to me commonplace. Of course it is wrong to risk one's life, but to carry one's life in one's hand is what other soldiers besides those of the Cross do habitually; and no one, as I think, would willingly hurt a hair of my head in Melanesia, or that part of it where I am at all known.
'How I think of those islands! How I see those bright coral and sandy beaches, strips of burning sunshine fringing the masses of forest rising into ridges of hills, covered with a dense mat of vegetation. Hundreds of people are crowding upon them, naked, armed, with wild uncouth cries and gestures; I cannot talk to them but by signs. But they are my children now! May God enable me to do my duty to them!
'I have now as I write a deepening sense of what the change must be that has passed upon me. Again I go by God's blessing for seven months to Melanesia. All that our experience has taught us we try to remember: food, medicine, articles of trade and barter.
'But what may be the result? Who can tell? You know it is not of myself that I am thinking. If God of His great mercy lead me in His way, to me there is little worth living for but the going onward with His blessed work, though I like my talks with the dear Bishop and the Judge. But others are committed to me--Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr go with me. Shall I find dear old Wadrokala and Harper alive, and if alive, well?
'And yet, thank God, we go on day by day, so happy, so hopeful!
'I see two sermons by the Bishop of Oxford, "God's Revelation Man's Trial," please send them. They bear, I conclude, on the controversy of the day. I need not tell you that I find a very great interest in reading these books, or rather at present in talking now and then, when we meet, with the Judge on the subject of which those books treat. The books I have not read. But I know no refreshment so great as the reading any books which deal with these questions thoughtfully. I hope you don't think it wrong and dangerous for me to do so; pray tell me. I don't believe that I am wrong in doing it, yet it may be that I read them as an intellectual treat, and prefer them to thoughtful books on other subjects, because they deal with a study which I am a little more conversant with than with history, science, &c.
'Besides, I do see that we have, many of us, very vague notions of the meaning of terms which we use, and I see that I must be prepared (I speak for myself) to expect that a clergyman may not with impunity use a language wanting in definiteness and precision. It is possible that men do too passively receive hereditary and conventional opinions which never have a living reality to them. But this, you know, I do not confound with the humble submission to authoritative teaching, given upon authority, to supersede the necessity of every person investigating for himself the primary grounds of his religious convictions.'
It is worth noting how the Bishop submits his reading to his father's approval, as when he was a young boy. Alas! no more such letters of comfort and counsel would be exchanged. This one could hardly have been received by that much-loved father.
Preparations for the voyage were going on; but the 'Dunedin,' the only vessel to be procured, at best a carthorse to a racer compared with the 'Southern Cross,' was far from being in a satisfactory state, as appears in a note of 3rd of May to the Bishop of Wellington:--
'Here we are still. The only vessel that I could make any arrangement about not yet returned, and known to be in such a state that the pumps were going every two hours. I have not chartered her, but only agreed with the owner a month ago nearly that I would take her at a certain sum per day, subject to divers conditions about being caulked (which is all she wants, I have ascertained), being provided with spare sails, spars, chronometer, boat, &c., and all agreement to be off unless by a certain day (already past) she was in a state satisfactory to Mr. Kerr. But there is, I fear, none other, and I am in a difficulty.'
Of the same day is a letter to the Rev. Stephen Hawtrey:--
'Taurarua, Auckland: May 6, 1861.
'My dear Mr. Hawtrey,--I was highly pleased to receive a note from you. Though I never doubt of the hearty sympathy and co-operation of all Eton friends (how could you do so with such an annual subscription list?), yet it is very pleasant and more than pleasant to be reminded by word or by letter that prayers and wishes are being offered up for Melanesia by many good men throughout the world.
'I should like to send a special appeal for a Mission Vessel by the next mail. We cannot get on without one. Vessels built for freight are to the "Southern Cross" as a cart-horse to a thoroughbred steed, and we must have some vessel which can do the work quickly among the multitude of the isles, and many other reasons there are which we seamen only perhaps can judge fully, which make it quite essential to the carrying on this peculiar Mission that we should have a vessel of a peculiar kind.
'Tagalana, from Mota (Sugar Loaf Island), in the Banks Archipelago, is, I think, likely by God's great mercy to become the first-fruits of that cluster of islands unto Christ. He is here for the third time; and I have infinite comfort in seeing the earnestness of his character, and the deep sense of what he was, and what he is going to be, so truly realised.
'He is now so unlike what still his people are, so bright and open in manner, and all who see him say, "What is come to the lad, his manner and very appearance so changed!" "Clothed," thank God, he is, "and in his right mind," soon to sit, if not already seated, at the feet of Christ. You may, if you think fit, let your thoughts centre more especially in him. He, of all who have come into my hands absolutely stark naked and savage, gives now the greatest ground for hope and thanksgiving. I shall (D.V.) think of all your dear friends assembled in your church and house on St. Barnabas Day. May God bless and reward you all for your work of charity to Melanesia!
'Very sincerely yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.
'P.S.--I hope to baptize that dear boy Tagalana on his own island in the course of the winter. I should wish to make the service as impressive as possible, in the presence of as many islanders as I can bring to the spot, under the shadow of a mighty banyan tree, and above the sparkling waves of the great Pacific.'
The 'Dunedin' was patched up into sailing with the new Bishop for his cathedral--the banyan tree of Mota.
It carried him away to his work, away from all knowledge of the blow that was preparing for him at home, and thinking of the delight that was in store for his family in a visit from Mrs. Selwyn, who, immediately after his Consecration, had returned home to spend a year in England on business.
Sir John Patteson's happiness in his son's work and worth were far greater than those of the actual worker, having none of the drawbacks that consciousness of weakness must necessarily excite. The joy this gave his heart may, without exaggeration, be deliberately said to have been full compensation for the loss of the presence so nobly sacrificed. On January 22 he had written to the Bishop of New Zealand:--
'You write most kindly touching him, dear fellow, and truly I am to be envied, qui natum haberem tali ingenio praeditum. Not for a moment have I repented of giving my sanction to his going out to New Zealand; and I fully believe that God will prosper his work. I did not contemplate his becoming a Bishop, nor is that the circumstance which gives me the great satisfaction I feel. It is his devotion to so good a work, and that he should have been found adequate to its performance; whether as a Bishop or as a Priest is not of itself of so much importance.
'Perhaps he may have been consecrated before I am writing this, though I am puzzled as to the time....
'May God bless with the fullest success the labours of both of you in your high and Christian works!'
There had for more than a year been cause of anxiety for Sir John's health, but it was not the disease that had then threatened which occasioned the following calm-hearted letter to be written to his son:--
'Feniton Court: March 22, 1861.
'My own dearest Coley,--I promised always to tell you the truth respecting myself, and will do so. About a month ago, on my rising from reading prayers, the girls and the Dawlish party who were here exclaimed that my voice was broken, at which I laughed. Whitby was in London, but his partner happened to call, and looking at my throat found it relaxed, and recommended a mustard poultice on the front. When we came to put it on, we discovered that the glands of the throat were much swelled and in hard knots. Whitby returned in two days, and was much alarmed. He declared that it was serious, and nothing but iodine could check it. I had been unable to take iodine under Watson some years ago, as it affected my head tremendously, so he applied it outwardly by painting; this painting did not reduce them, and he strongly pressed my having London advice, for he said that if not reduced and the swellings increased internally, they would press on the windpipe and choke me: it was somewhat a surgical matter. So on Tuesday the 12th inst. we went to London, and I consulted Paget. He entirely agreed with Whitby, and thought it very serious, and ordered iodine internally at all hazards. I took it, and by God's mercy it agreed with me. Paget wished to talk over the case with Watson, and they met on the 16th, Saturday. They quite agreed, and did not conceal from me that if iodine did not reduce the swellings, and they should increase internally, the result must be fatal. How soon, or in what particular manner, they could not tell; it might even become cancerous. They did not wish me to stay in town, but thought I was better here, and Paget, knowing Whitby, has perfect confidence in his watching, and will correspond with him, if necessary. At present there is no reduction of the swellings. The iodine has certainly lessened the pains in my limbs, but does not seem, so to speak, to determine to the throat, but it may be there has been hardly time to say that it will not. My own impression is, that it will not, and that it is highly improbable that I shall last very long. I mean that I shall not see 1862, nor perhaps the summer or autumn of this year. I cannot tell why, but this near prospect of death has not given me any severe shock, as perhaps it ought to have done. It brings more than ever to my mind serious recollection of the sins of my youth, and the shortcomings of my after life in thousands of instances. I have never been a hardened sinner, but years ago, if I did what was sin, it smote me, and I tried to repent; yet there has always been in me a want of fervid love to God, and to my blessed Redeemer for His unspeakable love in suffering for my sins; but it has been cold--that may have been the natural constitution of the man, I cannot tell--but I never have placed my hopes of forgiveness and of blessedness hereafter in anything but in His merits, and most undeserved goodness in offering me salvation, if I have not thrown it away. But what shall I say? As the time approaches, it may please Him in His mercy to give me a warmer heart, and a more vivid perception of all that He has done for me. If I were to say that I am not a sinner, the truth would not be in me; and if I am washed in His blood and cleansed, it is not by any efforts or merits of my own, but by His unlimited mercy and goodness. Pray for me, that when the time comes I may not for any fears of death fall from Him. You know that as far as regards this world and its enjoyments, save the love of my dear good children, they have sate but lightly upon me for some time; but it is not because we have nothing that we are unwilling to leave, therefore we are prepared for that which is to come. Perhaps it may please God to give me still a short time that I may try more strenuously to prepare myself. We shall never meet again in this world. Oh! may Almighty God in His infinite mercy grant us to meet again in His kingdom, through the merits of our blessed Redeemer....
'Oh! my dearest Coley, what comfort I have had in you--what delightful conversations we have had together, and how thankful we ought to be to our gracious God for allowing it to be so: and still not less thankful for the blessings of being watched and comforted and soothed by the dear girls, and by that dear and good Jem. All so good in their various ways, and I so little worthy of them...of Francis. That will indeed, humanly speaking, be a terrible loss to his family, for they want his fatherly care, and will do so for years. Not so with me; and as I am in my seventy-second year, it cannot be said that I am cut off prematurely: but on the contrary, fall like a fruit or a sheaf at its proper ripeness. Oh! that it may be so spiritually indeed.'
Another letter followed the next month:--
'Feniton Court: April 24, 1861.
'My own dearest Coley,--How many more letters you may receive from me, God only knows, but, as I think, not many. The iodine fails altogether, and has produced no effect on the swellings in my throat; on the contrary, they steadily increase, though not rapidly. Doubtless they will have their own course, and in some way or other deliver my soul from the burden of the flesh. Oh! may it by God's mercy be the soul of a faithful man! Faith and love I think I have, and have long had: but I am not so sure that I have really repented for my past sins, or only abandoned them when circumstances had removed almost the temptation to commit them. Yet I do trust that my repentance has generally been sincere, and though I may have fallen again, that I may by God's grace have risen again. I have no assurance that I have fought the good fight like St. Paul, and that henceforth there is laid up a crown of gold; yet I have a full and firm hope that I am not beyond the pale of God's mercy, and that I may have hold of the righteousness of Christ, and may be partaker of that happiness which he has purchased for His own, by His atoning blood. No other hope have I; and in all humility I from my heart feel that any apparent good that I may have done has been His work in me and not my own. May it please Him that you and I, my dear son, may meet hereafter, together with all those blessed ones, who have already departed this life in His faith and fear, in His kingdom above.
'My head aches occasionally, and is not so clear as it used to be.... The next mail will bring us more definite news, if indeed I am not myself removed before then.... I am afraid that you discern by what I have written that I am become stupid, and though I could never write decently, yet you will see that continued dull pain in the head, and other pains in various parts, have made me altogether heavy and stupid. I have had the kindest letters and messages from various quarters when it became known, as it is always very soon, that my health was in a precarious state: one particularly from the Bishop of Lichfield (all companions in Old Court, King's, you know) which is very consoling. He says, If not for such as you, for whom did Christ die? I will not go on in such strains, for it is of no use. Only do not despair of me, my beloved Son, and believe me always,
'Your loving Father,
'Feniton Court: May 25, 1861.
'O my own dearest Coley,--Almighty God be thanked that He has preserved my life to hear from you and others of your actual consecration as a Missionary Bishop of the Holy Catholic Church: and may He enable you by His grace and the powerful assistance of His Spirit to bring to His faith and fear very many who have not known Him, and to keep and preserve in it many others who already profess and call themselves Christians.
'I was too ill to be present at the whole service on Sunday, but I attended the Holy Sacrament, and hope to do so to-morrow. We have with us our dear Sarah Selwyn, who came on Thursday: she came in the most kind and affectionate spirit, the first visit that she could make, that she might if possible see me: "I will go and see him before he dies." What delight this has been to me you may easily imagine, and what talk, and what anecdotes we have had about you and all your circle; for though your letters have all along let us in wonderfully into your daily life, yet there were many things to be filled up, which we have now seen more clearly and more perfectly recollect as long as our lives are spared.
'What at present intensely fills our hearts and minds is all that took place on St. Matthias Day, and the day or two before and after. Passages and circumstances there were, which it is almost wonderful that you all could respectively bear, some affecting one the more and some the other; but the absorbing feeling that a great work was then done, and the ardent trust and prayer that it might turn out to the glory of God, and the good of mankind, supported every one, I have no doubt. It was about one of those days that I was first informed of the nature of the complaint which had just been discovered, and which is bringing me gradually to the grave.
'Trinity Sunday.--I am just returned from receiving the Holy Sacrament. You will do so the same in a few hours, and they may well be joined together, and probably the last that you and I shall receive together in this world. My time is probably very short. Dear Sarah will hereafter tell you more particulars of these few days. Dear Joan and Fanny are watching me continually; it is hard work for them continually and most uncertain, but in my mind it cannot be very long. Jem is here helping them continually, but his wife's mother is grievously ill at a relation's in Gloucestershire, and I will not have him withdrawn from her. I hope that next week she may be removed to Jem's new cottage, next Hyde Park, and then they, Joan and Fanny will watch me, and Jem on a telegraph notice may come to me. If I dare express a hope, it is that this state of things may not last long. But I have no desire to express any hope at all; the matter is in the hands of a good God, who will order all things as is best.... I would write more, but I am under the serious impression that I shall be dead before this letter reaches you.
'May our Almighty God, three Persons, blessed for evermore, grant that we may meet hereafter in a blessed eternity!'
One more letter was written:--
'Feniton Court, Honiton: June 12, 1861.
'Oh! my dearest Right Reverend well-beloved Son, how I thank God that it has pleased Him to save my life until I heard of the actual fact of your being ordained and consecrated, as I have said more than once since I heard of it. May it please Him to prolong your life very many years, and to enable you to fulfil all those purposes for which you have been now consecrated, and that you may see the fruit of your labour of love before He calls you to His rest in Heaven. But if not, may you have laid such foundations for the spread of God's Word throughout the countries committed to your charge, that when it pleases God to summon you hence, you may have a perfect consciousness of having devoted all your time and labour, and so far as you are concerned have advanced all the works as fastly and as securely as it seemed fit to your great Assister, the Holy Spirit, that they should be advanced. Only conceive that an old Judge of seventy-two, cast out of his own work by infirmity, should yet live to have a son in the Holy Office of Bishop, all men rejoicing around him; and so indeed they do rejoice around me, mingling their loving expressions at my illness and approaching death....
'I shall endeavour to write at intervals between this and July mail. It tries me to write much at a time.
'Your loving Father,
The calm of these letters was the pervading spirit of Feniton. With perfect cheerfulness did the aged Judge await the summons, aware that he carried the 'sentence of death within himself,' and that the manner of his summons would probably be in itself sudden--namely, one of the choking fits that increased in frequency. He lived on with his children and relations round him, spending his time in his usual manner, so far as his strength permitted--bright, kind, sunny as ever, and not withdrawing his interest from the cares and pleasures of others, but glad to talk more deeply, though still peacefully, of his condition and his hopes. One thing only troubled him. Once he said, and with tears in his eyes, to his beloved brother-in-law, Sir John Coleridge: 'Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you,' adding to this effect, 'Alas! That this has been my lot without my deserts. It pains me now!'
But as this popularity had come of no self-seeking nor attempt to win applause, it was a grief that was soon dispelled. Perhaps if there was one strong wish, it was to hear of his son's actually having been received into the order of Bishops, and that gratification was granted to him. The letters with the record of consecration arrived in time to be his Whitsuntide joy--joy that he still participated in the congregation, for though not able to be at church for the whole service, he still was always present at the celebration of the Holy Communion.
On the day the letters came there was great peace, and a kind of awful joy on all the household. For many weeks past, Sir John had not attempted to read family prayers, but on this evening he desired his daughters to let him do so. Where in the prayer for missionaries he had always mentioned, 'the absent member of this family,' he added in a clear tone, 'especially for John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop.' That was the father's one note of triumph, the last time he ever led the household prayers. In a day or two Mrs. Selwyn came to him, and he wrote the following to the Bishop of New Zealand:--
'Feniton Court: May 24, 1861.
'My very dear Friend,--Here I am, and I have with me your dear and good wife, who arrived yesterday. She looks well, and I trust is so. She has arranged her visits so as to come to me as soon as possible. "I will go and see him before he die," and I feel sensibly the kindness of it. What a mercy is it that my life should have been preserved to receive from my dear son Coley and from you by letter the account of his having been consecrated by you as Bishop of the true Catholic Church. There were [accounts?] of that most impressive service, which, had I been present, would have, I fear, sent me to the floor; and you and Coley must have had difficulty in holding up at those feeling statements of your having received him at my old hands. When you so received him, it was known I was satisfied that his heart was really fixed on this missionary work--that he felt a call to it. I believe, you know, and I am sure God knows, that I had not the most distant notion in my mind that it would lead to his becoming a Bishop, nor do I now rejoice in the result, simply on account of the honour of the office; but because my confidence in the honesty and sincerity of his then feelings has been justified, and that it has pleased God to endow him with such abundant graces. May it please God that you should continue together in your respective governments in His Church many years, and that we may all meet together in his kingdom above!
'When I parted with him I did not expect to see his face on earth, yet perhaps I hardly expected that our separation would be so soon, though I am in my seventy-second year. But in February I discovered these swellings in my throat; which, humanly speaking, could only be cured by iodine. Iodine has failed, and other attempts at a cure fail also; and it is only a question of time when the soul will be delivered from the burthen of the flesh. So indeed it is with all human beings; but it is one thing to know this as a general proposition, and another to know that the particular minister of death has hold of you, and that you are really only living from day to day.
'For all your many kindnesses to all of us and to my son, I thank you from the very bottom of my soul, and pray that we may meet hereafter, through the merits, and for the sake of our blessed Mediator and Redeemer Jesus Christ our Lord, that as we have striven on earth to be followers of Him and His glory, so we may be partakers of it in Heaven.
'Your loving Friend,
The July mail was without a letter from the father. The end had come in the early morning of June 28, 1861, with a briefer, less painful struggle than had been thought probable, and the great, sound, wise, tender heart had ceased to beat.
There is no need to dwell on the spontaneous honours that all of those who had ever been connected with him paid to the good old Judge, when he was laid beside his much-loved wife in Feniton churchyard. Bishop Sumner of Winchester, the friend of his boyhood, read the funeral service.
'His works do follow him:' and we turn to that work of his son's in which assuredly he had his part, since one word of his would have turned aside the course that had brought such blessing on both, had he not accepted the summons, even as Zebedee, when he was left by the lake side, while his sons became fishers of men.
Unknowing of the tidings in reserve for him, the Bishop was on his voyage, following the usual course; hearing at Anaiteum that a frightful mortality had prevailed in many of these southern islands. Measles had been imported by a trader, and had, in many cases, brought on dysentery, and had swept away a third of Mr. Geddie's Anaiteum flock. Mr. Gordon's letters had spoken of it as equally fatal in Erromango, and there were reports of the same, as well as of famine and war, in Nengone.
'God will give me men in His time; for could I be cut up into five pieces already I would be living at Nengone, Lifu, Mai, Mota, and Bauro!' was the comment on this visit; and this need of men inspired a letter to his uncle Edward, on a day dear to the Etonian heart:--
'Schooner "Dunedin," 60 tons.
'In sight of Erromango, New Hebrides: June 4, 1861.
'My dear Tutor,--Naturally I think of Eton and of you especially to- day. I hope you have as fine a day coming on for the cricket-match and for Surley as I have here. Thermometer 81°; Tanna and Erromango, with their rugged hilly outlines, breaking the line of the bright sparkling horizon.
'I managed to charter the vessel for the voyage just in time to escape cold weather in New Zealand. She is slow, but sound; the captain a teetotaller, and crew respectable in all ways. So the voyage, though lengthy, is pleasant.
'I have some six or seven classes to take, for they speak as many more languages; and I get a little time for reading and writing, but not much.
'I need not tell you how heavily this new responsibility presses on me, as I see the islands opening, and at present feel how very difficult it must be to obtain men to occupy this opening--
'True, we have not to contend with subtle and highly-elaborated systems of false religion. It is the ignorantia purae negationis, comparatively speaking, in some of the islands; yet, generally, there is a settled system of some kind observed among them, and in the Banks Islands, an extraordinarily developed religion, which enters into every detail of social and domestic life, and is mixed up with the daily life of every person in the archipelago.
'I think, therefore, that men are needed who have what I may call strong religious common sense to adapt Christianity to the wants of the various nations that live in Melanesia, without compromising any truth of doctrine or principle of conduct--men who can see, in the midst of the errors and superstitions of a people, whatever fragment of truth or symptom of a yearning after something better may exist among them, and make that the point d'appui, upon which they may build up the structure of Christian teaching. Men, moreover, of industry they must be, for it is useless to talk of "picking up languages." Of course, in a few days a man may learn to talk superficially and inaccurately on a few subjects; but to teach Christianity, a man must know the language well, and this is learnt only by hard work.
'Then, again, unless a man can dispense with what we ordinarily call comfort or luxuries to a great extent, and knock about anywhere in Melanesian huts, he can hardly do much work in this Mission. The climate is so warm that, to my mind, it quite supplies the place of the houses, clothing, and food of old days, yet a man cannot accommodate himself to it all at once. I don't say that it came naturally to me five years ago, as it does now, when I feel at home anywhere, and cease to think it odd to do things which, I suppose, you would think very extraordinary indeed.
'But most of all--for this makes all easy--men are wanted who really do desire in their hearts to live for God and the world to come, and who have really sought to sit very loosely to this world. The enjoyment, and the happiness, and the peace all come, and that abundantly; but there is a condition, and the first rub is a hard one, and lasts a good while.
'Naturally buoyant spirits, the gift of a merry heart, are a great help; for oftentimes a man may have to spend months without any white man within hundreds of miles, and it is very depressing to live alone in the midst of heathenism. But there must be many many fellows pulling up to Surley to-night who may be well able to pull together with one on the Pacific--young fellows whose enthusiasm is not mere excitement of animal spirits, and whose pluck and courage are given them to stand the roughnesses (such as they are) of a missionary life. For, dear Uncle, if you ever talk to any old pupil of yours about the work, don't let him suppose that it is consistent with ease and absence of anxiety and work. When on shore at Kohimarama, we live very cosily, as I think. Some might say we have no society, very simple fare, &c.; I don't think any man would really find it so. But in the islands, I don't wish to conceal from anyone that, measured by the rule of the English gentleman's household, there is a great difference. Why should it, however, be measured by this standard? I can truly say that we have hitherto always had what is necessary for health, and what does one need more? though I like more as much as anyone.
'How you will wonder at the news of my consecration, and, indeed, well you may! I would, indeed, that there were a dozen men out here under whom I was working, if only they were such men as the Primate would have chosen to the work.
'But it is done now, and I know I must not shrink from it. Never did I need the love and prayers of my dear relations and friends as I do now. Already difficulties are rising up around me, and I am so little fit to be a leader of work like this. Don't forget, dear Tutor, your old pupil, who used to copy the dear Bishop's letters in your study from Anaiteum, Erromango, &c.; and little thought that he would write from these islands to you, himself the Missionary Bishop.
'With kind love to all,
'Your loving old Pupil and Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
This thoughtful and beautiful letter was written in sight of Erromango, a sandal-wood station, whence a trader might be found to take charge of it. The ink was scarcely dry before the full cost of carrying the Gospel among the heathen was brought before the writer. Not only houses and brethren must be given up, but the 'yea and his own life also' was now to be exemplified almost before his eyes.
The Erromaugo Mission, like that of Anaiteum, came from the Scottish Kirk. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, as has been seen, had been visited on every voyage of the 'Southern Cross' during their three years' residence there, and there was a warm regard between them and the Bishop. It was then a great shock to hear a Nengone man call out from a sandal-wood vessel, lying in Dillon's Bay, that they had both been killed!
It was but too true. The Erromango people had been little inclined to listen to Mr. Gordon's warnings, and he, a young and eager man, had told them that to persevere in their murders and idolatries would bring a judgment upon them. When therefore the scourge of sickness came, as at Anaiteum, they connected him with it; and it was plain from his diary that he had for some months known his life to be in danger, but he had gone about them fearlessly, like a brave man, doing his best for the sick.
On May 20 he was in a little wood, putting up a house instead of one that had been blown down by a hurricane, and he had sent his few faithful pupils to get grass for the thatch. Nine natives from a village about three hours' walk distant came to the house where his wife was, and asked for him. She said he was in the little wood. They went thither, and while eight hid themselves in the bush, one went forward and asked for some calico. Mr. Gordon took a bit of charcoal and wrote on a bit of wood directions to his wife to give the bearer some cotton, but the man insisted that he must come himself to give out some medicine for a sick man. Mr. Gordon complied, walking in front as far as the place where lay the ambush, when the man struck him with a tomahawk on the spine, and he fell, with a loud scream, while the others leaping out fell upon him with blows that must have destroyed life at once, yelling and screaming over him. Another went up to the house. Mrs. Gordon had come out, asking what the shouts meant. 'Look there!' he said, and as she turned her head, he struck her between the shoulders, and killed her as soon as she had fallen.
Another native had in the meantime rushed down the hill to the sandal-wood station half a mile off on the beach, and the trader, arming his natives, came up too late to do more than prevent the murderers from carrying off the bodies or destroying the house. The husband and wife were buried in the same grave; the natives fenced it round; and now, on June 7, eighteen days after, Bishop Patteson read the Burial Service over it, with many solemn and anxious thoughts respecting the population, now reduced to 2,500, and in a very wild condition.
At Mai the Bishop spent two hours the next day, and brought away one old scholar and one new one.
At Tariko, where he had been three years before with the Primate, the Episcopal hat brought the greeting 'Bishop,' as the people no doubt thought the wearer identical. Of Ambrym there is a characteristic sentence: 'As we left the little rock pool where I had jumped ashore, leaving, for prudence sake, the rest behind me in the boat, one man raised his bow and drew it, then unbent it, then bent it again, but apparently others were dissuading him from letting fly the arrow. The boat was not ten yards off, I don't know why he did so; but we must try to effect more frequent landings.'
On June 12 Mota was reached, and the next morning the Mission party landed, warmly welcomed by the inhabitants. The house was found safely standing and nearly weather-proof.
'June 13th.--This morning I put up the framework for another small house, where I shall put Wadrokala, his child-wife, and many of our boxes. We had to carry up the timber first from the beach, and it was rather hot work, as also the carpentering, as I chose a place for the house where no falling bread-fruit or branches of trees would hurt it, and the sun was so hot that it almost burnt my hand when I took up a handful of nails that had been lying for ten minutes in the sun. So our picnic life begins again, and that favourably. I feel the enjoyment of the glorious view and climate, and my dear lads, Tagalana and Parenga, from Bauro, are with me, the rest in Port Patteson, &c., coming over in the vessel to-morrow, which I shall then discharge. I see that the people are very friendly; they all speak of your bread-fruit tree, your property. The house had not been entered, a keg of nails inside it not touched.
'Tagalana's father is dead. His first words to me were, "Oh that the Word of God had come in old times to Mota, I should not then cry so much about him. Yes, it is true, I know, I must be thankful it is come now, and I must remember that, and try to help others who may die too before they believe it."
'"Yes, I am quite your child now! Yes, one Father for us all in Heaven. You my father here! Yes, I stop always with you, unless you send me away. They ask me with whom I shall live now; I say with the Bishop."
'How I was praising and rejoicing in my heart as the dear boy was speaking: "Yes, I am feeling calm again now. When people die at Mota, you know they make a great shouting, but soon forget the dead person. But I am able to be quiet and calm now, as you talk to me about God and Jesus Christ. Yes, He rose again. Death is not the end. I know you said it is for those who repent and believe in Christ the Door to enter into life eternal. How different it all seems then!"
'When you read this you will say, "Thank God that I sent him out to Melanesia with my blessing on his head. I too may see Tagalana one day with Him who is the Father of us all."
'One soul won to Christ, as I hope and believe, by His love and power, and if in any degree by my ministry, to God be the praise!'
The comfort sent home to the sisters with the letter respecting this voyage is:--
'Mota: June 14, 1861.
'Now, dear Joan, don't any of you think too much about the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, as if my life was exposed to the same kind of risk.
'Certainly it is not endangered here. It may be true that at places where I am not known some sudden outbreak may occur; but humanly speaking, there are not many places that as yet I am able to visit where I realise the fact of any danger being run.
'Yet it may happen that some poor fellow, who has a good cause to think ill of white men, or some mischievous badly disposed man, may let fly a random arrow or spear some day.
'If so, you will not so very much wonder, nor be so very greatly grieved. Every clergyman runs at least as great a risk among the small-pox and fevers of town parishes. Think of Uncle James in the cholera at Thorverton.'
So with the 'Dunedin' dismissed, Bishop Patteson, Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and their pupils recommenced their residence at Mota. The Banks Islanders returned to their homes; and when the Bishop came to Aroa, Tagalana's native place, three weeks lately the little fellow received him affectionately, cooked yams, fetched mats, and was not ashamed before his own people to kneel down, and join audibly in hymn and prayer. The people begged for Wadrokala or some other teacher to be placed among them. The Journal continues:--
'On Friday, at 8.30, I started, not quite knowing whither I should go, but soon saw that I could fetch round the south end of Vanua Lava, which was well. The sea, when it comes through the passage between Mota and Valua, is heavy, but the boat had great way on her, sailing very fast, so that I could steer her well, and we did not take very long crossing to the small reef islands. I passed between Pakea and Vanua Lava (Dudley Passage), and then we had unexpectedly a very heavy sea, a strong tide up. I did not like it, but, thank God, all went well. One very heavy sea in particular I noticed, which broke some twenty yards ahead, and about the same distance astern of us, while the exact part of it which came down upon us was only a black wall of water, over which we rode lightly and dry. I think that it might have swamped us had it broken upon the boat. My boat is an open four-oared one, 26 feet long, and about five wide, strong but light. She sails admirably with a common lug sail. I had one made last summer, very large, with two reefs, so that I can reduce it to as small a sail as I please. By 4 or 5 P.M. I neared Aruas, in the bay on the west side of Vanua Lava; the same crowd as usual on the beach, but I did not haul the boat up. I had a grapnel, and dropped it some fifty yards from the beach.
'Somehow I did not much like the manner of some of the people; they did not at night come into the Ogamal, or men's common eating and sleeping house, as before, and I overheard some few remarks which I did not quite like--something about the unusual sickness being connected with this new teaching--I could not be quite sure, as I do not know the dialect of Aruas. There were, however, several who were very friendly, and the great majority were at least quiet, and left us to ourselves. The next morning I started at about eight, buying two small pigs for two hatchets, and yams and taro and dried bread- fruit for fish-hooks. I gave one young man a piece of iron for his attention to us. As we pulled away, one elderly man drew his bow, and the women and children ran off into the bush, here, as everywhere almost in these islands, growing quite thickly some twenty yards above high-water mark. The man did not let fly his arrow: I cannot tell why this small demonstration took place.'
When an arrow was pointed at him, it was Bishop Patteson's custom to look the archer full in the face with his bright smile, and in many more cases than are here hinted at, that look of cheery confidence and good-will made the weapon drop.
After a few more visits to the coasts of this archipelago the boat returned to Mota, where Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr had kept school every day, besides getting the station into excellent order and beauty. Their presence at the head-quarters left the Bishop free to circulate in the villages, sleeping in the Ogamals, where he could collect the men. They always seemed pleased and interested, and their pugnacious habits were decidedly diminishing, though their superstitious practices and observances were by no means dropped.
The Diary, on July 24, thus speaks of the way of life; which, however, was again telling on the health of the party:--
'I am so accustomed to sleeping about anywhere that I take little or no account of thirty, forty, fifty naked fellows, lying, sitting, sleeping round me. Someone brings me a native mat, someone else a bit of yam; a third brings a cocoa-nut; so I get my supper, put down the mat (like a very thin door-mat) on the earth, roll up my coat for a pillow, and make a very good night of it. I have had deafness in my right ear again for some days; no pain with it, but it is inconvenient.
'Several of our lads have had attacks of fever and ague; Wadrokala and his child of a wife, Bum, a Bauro boy, &c. The island is not at all unhealthy, but natives cannot be taught caution. I, thank God, am in robust health, very weather-beaten. I think my Bishop's dress would look quite out of keeping with such a face and pair of hands!
'There is much as usual in such cases to encourage and to humble us. Some few people seem to be in earnest. The great majority do their best to make me think they are listening. Meanwhile, much goes on in the island as of old.
'Sunday, July 28th, 11.45 A.M.--I have much anxiety just now. At this moment Wadrokala is in an ague fit, five or six others of my party kept going by quinine and port wine, and one or other sickening almost daily. Henry Hrahuena, of Lifu, I think dying, from what I know not--I think inflammation of the brain, induced possibly by exposure to the sun, though I have not seen him so exposed, and it is a thing I am very careful about with them. I do what I can in following the directions of medical books, but it is so hard to get a word from a native to explain symptoms, &c.; besides, my ear is now, like last year, really painful; and for two nights I have had little sleep, and feel stupid, and getting a worn-out feeling. With all this, I am conscious that it is but a temporary depression, a day or two may bring out the bright colours again. Henry may recover by God's mercy, the boys become hearty again; my ear get right. At present I feel that I must rub on as I can, from hour to hour.
'If I find from experience that natives of Melanesia, taken to a different island, however fertile, dry, and apparently healthy, do seem to be affected by it, I must modify my plans, try as soon as possible to have more winter schools, and, what is of more consequence, I must reconsider the whole question of native teachers. If a great amount of sickness is to be the result of gathering scholars around me at an island, I could do, perhaps, more single- handed, in health, and with no one to look after, than with twenty fellows of whom half are causing continual anxiety on the score of health. Now were I alone, I should be as brisk as a bee, but I feel weighed down somewhat with the anxiety about all these fellows about me.
'I must balance considerations, and think it out. It requires great attention. It is at times like these that I experience some trials. Usually my life is, as you know, singularly free from them.
'July 31st.--Henry died on Sunday about 4 A.M. Wadrokala is better. The boys are all better. I have had much real pain and weariness from sleepless nights, owing to the small tumour in my ear. What a sheet of paper for you to read! And yet it is not so sad either. The boys were patient and good; Wadrokala takes his ague attacks like a man; and about Henry I had great comfort.
'He was about eighteen or nineteen, as I suppose, the son of the great enchanter in Lifu in old times--the hereditary high priest of Lifu indeed. He was a simple-minded, gentle, good fellow, not one probably who would have been able to take a distinct line as a teacher, yet he might have done good service with a good teacher. We found that afternoon a slate on which he had written down some thoughts when first taken ill, showing that he felt that he was sick unto death. Very full of comfort were his written as well as his spoken words.'
On August 1, while the Bauro scholars were writing answers to questions on the Lord's Prayer, a party of men and women arrived, headed by a man with a native scarf over his shoulders. They had come to be taught, bringing provisions with them, and eating them, men and women together, a memorable infringement of one of the most unvarying customs of the Banks inhabitants; and from the conversation with them and with others, Bishop Patteson found that the work of breaking down had been attained, that of building up had to be begun. They must learn that leaving off heathen practices was not the same thing as adopting the religion of Christ, and the kind of work which external influences had cut short in Lifu had to be begun with them.
'Soon, I think, the great difficulty must be met in Mota of teaching the Christian's social and domestic life to people disposed to give up much of their old practices. This is the point at which I suppose most Missions have broken down. It is a great blessing indeed to reach it, but the building up of converts is the harder work. Here, for example, a population of 1,500 people; at present they know all that is necessary for the cultivation of yams, &c., they build houses sufficient for the purpose of their present life, they are giving up fighting, losing-faith in their old charms and contrivances for compassing the death of their enemies; they will very likely soon be at peace throughout the whole island. Well, then, they will be very idle, talk infinite scandal, indulge in any amount of gluttony; professing to believe our religion, their whole life will contradict that profession, unless their whole social and domestic life be changed, and a new character infused into them. It would be a great mistake to suppose that the English aspect of the Christian's social life is necessarily adapted to such races as these. The Oriental tendencies of their minds, the wholly different circumstances of their lives, climate, absence of all poverty or dependence upon others, &c., will prevent them from ever becoming a little English community; but not, I trust, their becoming a Christian community. But how shall I try to teach them to become industrious, persevering, honest, tidy, clean, careful with children, and all the rest of it? What a different thing from just going about and teaching them the first principles of Christianity! The second stage of a Mission is the really difficult one.'
A few days after the foregoing observations were written, H.M.S. 'Cordelia,' a war steamer, entered Port Patteson, and Captain Hume himself came across by boat to Mota, to communicate to Bishop Patteson his instructions to offer him a cruise in the vessel, render him any assistance in his power in the Solomon Islands, and return him to any island he might desire. Letters from the Primate assumed that the proposal should be accepted; it was an opportunity of taking home the Bauro and Grera boys; moreover there was a quarrel between English and natives to be enquired into at Ysabel Island, where the Bishop could be useful as interpreter; and, as he could leave his two friends to carry on the school at Mota, he went on board, and very good it was for him, in the depressed state of health brought on by rude bed and board, to be the guest on board a Queen's ship and under good medical care.
For the 'Cordelia' had brought out the letters which gave the first intimation of his father's state; and without the privacy, and freedom from toil and responsibility, he could hardly have borne up under the blow. The first day was bad enough: 'a long busy day on shore with just one letter read, and the dull heavy sensation of an agony that was to come, as soon as I could be alone to think.' Arrangements had to be made; and there was not one solitary moment till 9 P.M. in the cabin when this loving and beloved son could shut himself in, kneel down, and recover composure to open the two letters in his father's hand.
He wrote it all--his whole heart--as of old to the father who had ever shared his inmost thoughts:--
'It may be that as I write, your blessed spirit, at rest in Paradise, may know me more truly than ever you did on earth; and yet the sorrow of knowing how bitter it is within may never be permitted to ruffle your everlasting peace.
'I may never see you on earth. All thought of such a joy is gone. I did really cling to it (I see it now) when most I thought I was quite content to wait for the hope of the great meeting. I will try to remember and to do what you say about all business matters.
'I will pray God to make me more desirous and more able to follow the holy example you leave behind. Oh that the peace of God may be given to me also when I come to die; though how may I dare to hope for such an end, so full of faith and love and the patient waiting for Christ!
'I must go on with my work. This very morning I was anxious, passing shoal water with the captain and master beside me, and appealing to me as pilot. I must try to be of some use in the ship. I must try to turn to good account among the islands this great opportunity. Probably elasticity of mind will come again now for very pain of body. Oh! how much more sorrow and heavy weight on my heart! I am quite worn out and weary. It seems as if the light were taken from me, as if it was no longer possible to work away so cheerily when I no longer have you to write to about it all, no longer your approval to seek, your notice to obtain.
'I must go on writing to you, my own dearest Father, even as I go on praying for you. It is a great comfort to me, though I feel that in all human probability you are to be thought of now as one of the blessed drawn wholly within the veil. Oh! that we may all dwell together hereafter for His blessed sake who died for us. Now more than ever your loving and dutiful Son,' &c.
Such another letter was written to his sister Fanny; but it is dated four days later, when he was better in health, and was somewhat recovered from the first shock; besides which, he felt his office of comforter when writing to her. So the letter is more cheerful, and is a good deal taken up with the endeavour to assure the sisters of his acquiescence in whatever scheme of life they might adopt, and willingness that, if it were thought advisable, Feniton Court should be sold. 'This is all cold and heartless,' he says, 'but I must try and make my view pretty clear.' Towards the end occurs the following:--
'Last night, my slight feverish attack over, my ears comfortable, with the feeling of health and ease returning, I lay awake, thought of dear Uncle Frank, and then for a long time of dear Mamma. How plainly I saw her face, and dear dear Uncle James, and I wondered whether dear dear Father was already among them in Paradise. It is not often that I can fasten down my mind to think continuously upon those blessed ones; I am too tired, or too busy; and this climate, you know, is enervating. But last night I was very happy, and seemed to be very near them. The Evening Lesson set me off, 1 John iii. How wonderful it is! But all the evening I had been reading my book of Prayers and Meditations. Do you know, Fan, at times the thought comes upon me with a force almost overpowering, that I am a Bishop; and that I must not shrink from believing that I am called to a special work. I don't think that I dwell morbidly on this, but it is an awful thought. And then I feel just the same as of old, and don't reach out more, or aim more earnestly at amendment of life and strive after fresh degrees of enlightenment and holiness. But probably I have to learn the lesson, which it may be only sickness will teach me, of patient waiting, that God will accomplish His own work in His own time.'
Some of this is almost too sacred for publication, and yet it is well that it should be seen how realising the Communion of Saints blessed the solitary man who had given up home. The next letter is to Sir J. T. Coleridge:--
'H.M.S. "Cordelia," September 11, 1861.
'My dearest Uncle,--It is now nearly five weeks since I learnt from my letters of March and April, brought to me by this ship, the very precarious state of my dear Father.
'He has never missed a mail since we have been parted, never once; and he wrote as he always did both in March and April. I had read a letter from the good Primate first; because I had to make up my mind whether I could, as I was desired, take a cruise in this vessel; and in his letter I heard of my dear Father's state. With what reverence I opened his letters! With what short earnest prayers to God that I might have strength supplied and resignation I had kept them till the last. All day at Mota I had been too busy to read any but the Primate's letters. I had many matters to arrange...and it was not until night that I could quietly read my letters in the captain's cabin. My dear Father's words seem to come to me like a voice from another world. I think from what he says, and what they all say, that already he has departed to be with Christ.
'I think of him and my dear mother, and those dear uncles James and Frank, so specially dear to me, and others gone before. I think of all that he has been to me, and yet how can I be unhappy? The great shock to me was long overpast: it is easy for me to dwell on his gain rather than my loss; yet how I shall miss his wise loving letters and all the unrestrained delights of our correspondence.
'It is not with me as with those dear sisters, or with old Jem. Theirs is the privilege of witnessing the beauty and holiness of his life to the end; and theirs the sorrow of learning to live without him. Yet I feel that the greatest perhaps of all the pleasures of this life is gone. How I did delight in writing to him and seeking his approval of what I was about! How I read and re-read his letters, entering so entirely into my feelings, understanding me so well in my life, so strangely different from what it used to be.
'Well, it should make me feel more than ever that I have but one thing to live for--the good, if so it may please God, of these Melanesian islands.
'I cannot say, for you will like to know my feelings, that I felt so overwhelmed with this news as not to be able to go about my usual business. Yet the rest on board the vessel has been very grateful to me. The quiet cheerfulness and briskness will all come again, as I think; and yet I think too that I shall be an older and more thoughtful man by reason of this.
'There has been reported a row at Ysabel Island, one of the Solomon group, eighteen months ago. This vessel, a screw steamer, ten guns and a large pivot gun, came to enquire, with orders from the Commodore of the station to call at Mota and see me, and request me to go with the vessel if I could find time to do so; adding that the vessel was to take me to any island which I might wish to be returned to. Now I have long wished to indoctrinate captains of men-of-war with our notions of the right way to settle disputes between natives and traders. Secondly, I had a passage free with my Solomon Islanders, and consequently all October and half November I may devote to working up carefully (D.V.) the Banks and New Hebrides group without being under the necessity of going down to the Solomon Islands. Thirdly, I had an opportunity of going further to the westward than I had ever been before, and of seeing new ground. Fourthly, the Primate, I found, assumed that I should go. So here I am, in great clover, of course: the change from Mota to man-of-war life being amusing enough. Barring some illness, slight attacks of fever, I have enjoyed myself very much. The seeing Ysabel Island is a real gain. I had time to acquire some 200 words and phrases of the language, which signify to me a great deal more. The language is a very remarkable one, very Polynesian; yet in some respects distinguished from the Polynesian, and most closely related to Melanesian dialects.
'I need not enter into all this. It is my business, you know, to work at such things, and a word or two often tells me now a good deal of the secrets of a language--the prominent forms, affixes, &c., &c.; the way in which it is linked on to other dialects by peculiar terminations, the law by which the transposition of vowels and consonants is governed in general. All these things soon come out, so I am very sanguine about soon, if I live, seeing my way in preparing the way for future missionaries in the far West.
'But I must not forget that I have some islands to visit in the next month or two where the people are very wild, so that I of all people have least reason to speculate about what I may hope to do a year hence.
'The real anxiety is in the making up my own mind whether or not I ought to lower the boat in such a sea way; whether or not I ought to swim ashore among these fellows crowded there on the narrow beach, &c.
'When my mind is made up, it is not so difficult then. But, humanly speaking, there are but few islands now where I realise the fact of there being any risk; at very many I land with confidence. Yet I could enumerate, I dare say, five-and-twenty which we have not visited at all, or not regularly; and where I must be careful, as also in visiting different parts of islands already known to us in part. Poor poor people, who can see them and not desire to make known to them the words of life? I may never forget the Bishop's words in the Consecration Service:--"Your office is in the highest sense to preach the Gospel to the poor;" and then his eye glanced over the row of Melanesians sitting near me.
'How strange that I can write all this, when one heavy sense of trouble is hanging vaguely over me. And yet you will be thankful that I can think, as I trust, heartily of my work, and that my interest is in no way lessened. It ought to be increased. Yet I scarce realise the fact of being a Bishop, though again it does not seem unnatural. I can't explain what I mean. I suppose the fact that I knew for so long before that it must come some day if I lived, makes the difference now.
'I don't think, however, that your words will come true of my appearing in shovel hat, &c., at Heath's Court some fine day. It is very improbable that I shall ever see the northern hemisphere, unless I see it in the longitude of New Guinea.
'I must try to send a few island shells to M----, B----, and Co.; those little ones must not grow up, and I am sure that you all do not suffer them to grow up, without knowing something about "old cousin Coley" tumbling about in a little ship (albeit at present in a war steamer) at the other end of the world. Seriously, dear Uncle, as they grow older, it may be some help for them to hear of these poor Melanesians, and of our personal intercourse with them, so to speak.
'I have but little hope of hearing, if I return safe to New Zealand at the end of November, that this disastrous war is over. I fear that the original error has been overlaid by more recent events, forgotten amongst them. The Maori must suffer, the country must suffer. Confession of a fault in an individual is wrong in a State; indeed, the rights of the case are, and perhaps must be, unknown to people at a distance. We have no difficulty here in exposing the fallacies and duplicities of the authors of the war, but we can't expect (and I see that it must be so) people in England to understand the many details. To begin with, a man must know, and that well, Maori customs, their national feeling, &c. It is all known to One above, and that is our only hope now. May He grant us peace and wisdom for the time to come!
'I have been reading Helps again this voyage, a worthy book, and specially interesting to me. How much there is I shall be glad to read about. What an age it is! America, how is that to end? India, China, Japan, Africa! I have Jowett's books and "Essays and Reviews." How much I should like to talk with you and John, in an evening at Heath's Court, about all that such books reveal of Intellectualism at home. One does feel that there is conventionalism and unreality in the hereditary passive acceptance of much that people think they believe. But how on Jowett's system can we have positive teaching at all? Can the thing denoted by "entering into the mind of Christ or St. Paul" be substituted for teaching the Catechism?
'Not so, writes my dear Father in the depth of his humility and simplicity, writing to me what a father could scarcely say to a son! But our peculiar circumstances have brought this blessing to me, that I think he has often so "reamed out" his heart to me in the warmth of his love to a son he was never again to see in the body, that I know him better even than I should have done had I remained at home.
'So wonderful was my dearest Father's calmness when he wrote on the 24th of April, that if he was alive to write again in May, I think it not impossible that he may allude to these matters. If so, what golden words to be treasured up by me! I have all his letters. You will see, or have seen him laid by my dear Mother's side. They dwell together now with Him in Paradise.
'Good-bye, my dearest Uncle. Should God spare your life, my letters will be more frequent to you now.
'My kindest love to Aunt.
'Your affectionate and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
There is little more record of this voyage. There was less heart and spirit than usual for the regular journalizing letter; but the five weeks' voyage had been most beneficial in restoring health and energy, and it had one very important effect upon the Mission, for it was here that Lieutenant Capel Tilly, R.N., became so interested in the Mission and its head, as to undertake the charge of the future 'Southern Cross.' The 'Cordelia' was about to return to England, where, after she was paid off, Mr. Tilly would watch over the building of the new vessel on a slightly larger scale than the first, would bring her out to Kohimarama, and act as her captain.
So great a boon as his assistance did much to cheer and encourage the Bishop, who was quite well again when he landed at Mota on September 17, and found Mr. Pritt convalescent after a touch of ague, and Mr. Kerr so ill as to be glad to avail himself of Captain Hume's kind offer to take him back to Auckland in the 'Cordelia.'
Probably all were acclimatised by this time, for we hear of no more illness before the 'Sea Breeze,' with Mr. Dudley, came, on the 10th of October, to take the party off.
He says:--'The Bishop and Mr. Pritt both looked pale and worn. There were, however, signs in the island of a great advance in the state of things of the previous year. An admirable schoolroom had been built; and in the open space cleared in front of it, every evening some hundred people would gather, the older ones chatting, the younger ones being initiated in the mysteries of leap-frog, wrestling, and other English games, until prayer time, when all stood in a circle, singing a Mota hymn, and the Bishop prayed with and for them.
'That voyage was not a long one. We did not go to the Solomon Islands and the groups to the north, but we worked back through the New Hebrides, carefully visiting them.'
Mr. Dudley had brought letters that filled the Bishop's heart to overflowing, and still it was to his father that he wrote: 'It seems as if you had lived to see us all, as it were, fixed in our several positions, and could now "depart in peace, according to His word."'
The agony and bitterness seem to have been met and struggled through, as it were, in those first days on board the 'Cordelia.' In this second letter there is infinite peace and thankfulness; and so there still was, when, at Norfolk Island, the tidings of the good old man's death met him, as described in the ensuing letter:--
'"Sea Breeze," one hundred miles south-east of Norfolk Island: 8 A.M.
'My dearest Sisters,--Joy and grief were strangely mingled together while I was on shore in Norfolk Island, from 6 P.M. Saturday to 8 P.M. Sunday (yesterday).
'I was sitting with Mr. Nobbs (Benjamin Dudley the only other person present) when he said, "We have seen in our papers from Sydney the news of the death of your revered Father." He concluded that I must have known of it.
'How wonderful it seems to me that it did not come as a great shock. I showed by my face (naturally) that I had not known before that God had taken him unto Himself, but I could answer quite calmly, "I thank God. Do not be distressed at telling me suddenly, as you see you have done inadvertently. I knew he could not live long. We all knew that he was only waiting for Christ."
'And, dear dear John and Fan, how merciful God has been! The last part of his letter to me, of date June 25, only three days before his call came, so that I know (and praise God for it) that he was spared protracted suffering. Shall I desire or wish to be more sorry than I am? Shall I try to make myself grieve, and feel unhappy? Oh, no; it is of God's great mercy that I still feel happy and thankful, for I cannot doubt the depth of my love to him who has indeed been, and that more than ever of late, the one to whom I clung in the world.
'I could be quiet at night, sleeping in Mr. Nobbs's house, and yet I could not at once compose myself to think it all over, as I desired to do. And then I had much to do, and here was the joy mingling with the sorrow.
'For the Norfolk Island people have come to see how wise was the Primate's original plan, and now they much desire to connect themselves more closely with the Mission.
'Mr. and Mrs. Nobbs desire their son Edwin, who was two years at the Governor's at Sydney, and is now eighteen and a half years old, to be given wholly to us.... So said Simon Young of his boy Fisher, and so did three others. All spoke simply, and without excitement, but with deep feeling. I thought it right to say that they should remain at Norfolk Island at present, that we all might prove them whether they were indeed bent upon this work, that we might be able to trust that God had indeed called them. To the lads I said, "This is a disappointment, I know, but it is good for you to have to bear trials. You must take time to count the cost. It is no light thing to be called to the work of a teacher among the heathen. In giving up your present wish to go immediately, you are obeying your parents and others older than yourselves, and your cheerful obedience to them is the best evidence that you wish to act upon a sense of duty, and not only from impulse; but don't think I wish to discourage you. I thank Him who has put the good desire into your hearts. Prove yourselves now by special prayer and meditation."
'Then came the happy, blessed service, the whole population present, every confirmed person communicating, my voice trembling at the Fifth Commandment and the end of the Prayer for the Church Militant, my heart very full and thankful. I preached to them extempore, as one can preach to no other congregation, from the lesson, "JESUS gone to be the guest of a man that is a sinner," the consequences that would result in us from His vouchsafing to tabernacle among us, and, as displayed in the Parable of the Pounds, the use of God's gifts of health, influence, means; then, specifying the use of God's highest gifts of children to be trained to His glory, quoting 1 Samuel i. 27, 28, "lent to the Lord," I spoke with an earnestness that felt strange to me at the time.
'Simon Young said afterwards: "My wife could not consent months ago to Fisher's going away, but she has told me now that she consents. She can't withhold him with the thought of holy Hannah in her mind." And I felt as if I might apply (though not in the first sense) the prophecy "Instead of thy fathers, thou shalt have children."
'To add to all, Mr. Nobbs said: "I have quite altered my mind about the Melanesian school, I quite see that I was mistaken;" and the people are considering how to connect themselves closely with us.
'You may imagine, dear Joan, that joy and grief made a strange, yet not unhappy tumult in my mind. I came away at 3 P.M. (the wind being very fair) hoping to revisit them, and, by the Bishop of Tasmania's desire, hold a confirmation in six months' time. How I am longing to hear the last record of the three days intervening between June 25 and 28, you may well imagine.... Already, thank God, four months have passed, and you are recovering from the great shock. Yours is a far harder trial than mine. May God comfort and bless us all, and bring us to dwell with our dear parents in heaven, for our blessed Lord's sake.
'Your very loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
And this most touching account from within is supplemented by the following, by Mr. Dudley, from without:--
'He took it [the tidings of his father's death] quite calmly. Evidently it had been long expected and prepared for. He was even cheerful in his quiet grave way. In the evening there was singing got up for him by some of the Norfolk Islanders, in one of the large rooms of the old barracks. He enjoyed it; and after it had gone on some time, he thanked them in a few touching words that went home, I am sure, to the hearts of many of them, and then we all knelt down, and he prayed extempore. I wish I had kept the words of that prayer! Everyone was affected, knowing what was then occupying his mind, but we were still more so next morning, at the service in church. His voice had that peculiarly low and sweet tone which always came into it when he was in great anxiety or sorrow, but his appeal to the congregation was inspiring to the last degree. It was the Twenty- third Sunday after Trinity, and the subject he took was from the second lesson, the Parable of the Pounds, in St. Luke xix., and so pointed out the difficulties between the reception of a talent and the use of it. He showed that the fact of people's children growing up as wild and careless as heathen was no proof that no grace had been bestowed upon them; on the contrary, in the baptized it was there, but it had never been developed; and then came the emphatic assertion, "The best way of employing our gifts of whatever kind-- children, means, position--is by lending them to the Lord for His service, and then a double blessing will be returned for that we give. Hannah giving her child to the Lord, did she repent of it afterwards, think you, when she saw him serving the Lord, the one upright man of the house of Israel?"'
No doubt these words were founded on those heartfelt assurances which stirred his very soul within him that his own father had never for a moment regretted or mourned over the gift unto the Lord, which had indeed been costly, but had been returned, 'good measure, pressed together, and flowing over,' in blessing! can I grieve and sorrow about my dear dear Father's blessed end?' are the words in a letter to myself written on the 19th. It further contained thanks for a photograph of Hursley Church spire and Vicarage, which had been taken one summer afternoon, at the desire of Dr. Moberly (the present Bishop of Salisbury), and of which I had begged a copy for him. 'I shall like the photograph of Hursley Vicarage and Church, the lawn and group upon it. But most shall I like to think that Mr. Keble, and I dare say Dr. Moberly too, pray for me and this Mission. I need the prayers of all good people indeed.' I quote this sentence because it led to a correspondence with both Mr. Keble and Dr. Moberly, which was equally prized by the holy and humble men of heart who wrote and received the letters:--
'St. Andrew's, Kohimarama: November 20, 1861.
'Thank you, my dearest Sophy, for your loving letters, and all your love and devotion to him.
'I fear I do not write to those two dear sisters of mine as they and you all expect and wish. I long to pour it all out; I get great relief in talking, as at Taurarua I can talk to the dear Judge and Lady Martin. She met me with a warm loving kiss that was intended to be as home-like as possible, and for a minute I could not speak, and then said falteringly, "It has been all one great mercy to the end. I have heard at Norfolk Island." But I feel it still pent up to a great extent, and yet I have a great sense of relief. I fancy I almost hear sometimes the laboured breathing, the sudden stop--the "thanks be to God, he has entered into his rest."
'What his letters are, I cannot even fully say to another, perhaps never fully realise myself.
'As I write, the tears come, for it needs but a little to bring them now, though I suppose the world without thinks that I "bear up," and go on bravely.
'But when any little word or thought touches the feelings, the sensitive rather than the intellectual part of me, then I break down.
'And yet it seems to bring thoughts and hopes into more definite shape. How I read that magnificent last chapter of Isaiah last Sunday. I seemed to feel my whole heart glowing with wonder, and exultation, and praise. The world invisible may well be a reality to us, whose dear ones there outnumber now those still in the flesh. Jem's most beautiful, most intensely affecting letter, with all his thoughtfulness about the grave, &c., fairly upset me. I let the Judge and Lady Martin read some parts of it, and they returned it, saying it had quite overcome them. Now all day I feel really as much as at those moments, only the special circumstances give more expression at one time than at another to the inward state of mind.
'How I treasure up many many of his words and actions!
'What a history in these words: "All times of the day are alike to me now; getting near, I trust, the time when it will be all day."
'Those are the things that break me down. I see his dear face, and hear him slowly and calmly saying such words of patient trust and faith, and it is too much. Oh! that I might live as the son of such parents ought to live!
'And then I turn to the practical duties again, and get lost in the unceasing languages and all the rest of it.
'Now enough--but I write what comes uppermost.
'Your loving Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Very soon after the return, on the 6th December, 1861, an Ordination was held at St. Paul's, Auckland, when the Primate ordained two Maori deacons, and Bishop Patteson, the Rev. Benjamin Dudley.
Sir William and Lady Martin spent part of this summer in the little cottage at Kohimarama where the sailing master of the late 'Southern Cross' had lived: and again we have to thank her for a picture of life at St. Andrew's. She says:--
'The new settlement was then thought to be healthy, and he and his boys alike rejoiced in the warmth of the sheltered bay, after the keenness of the air at St. John's on higher ground. The place looked very pretty. The green fields and hawthorn hedges and the sleek cattle reminded one of England. As a strong contrast, there was the white shelly beach and yellow sands. Here the boys sunned themselves in play hours, or fished on the rocks, or cooked their fish at drift-wood fires. On calm days one or two would skim across the blue water in their tiny canoes. One great charm of the place was the freedom and naturalness of the whole party. There was no attempt to force an overstrained piety on these wild fellows, who showed their sincerity by coming with the Bishop. By five in the morning all were astir, and jokes and laughter and shrill unaccountable cries would rouse us up, and go on all day, save when school and chapel came to sober them.
'The Bishop had not lost his Eton tastes, and only liked to see them play games, and the little fat merry-faced lads were always on the look-out for a bit of fun with him. One evening a tea-drinking was given in the hall in honour of us. The Mota boys sung in twilight the story of the first arrival of the Mission vessel and of their wonder at it. The air, with a monotonous, not unpleasing refrain, reminded us of some old French Canadian ditties. I remember well the excitement when the Bishop sent up a fire balloon. It sailed slowly towards the sea, and down rushed the whole Melanesian party, shrieking with delight after it. Our dear friend's own quarters were very tiny, and a great contrast to his large airy room at St. John's. He occupied a corner house in the quadrangle, to be close to the boys. Neither bedroom nor sitting-room was more than ten feet square. Everything was orderly, as was his wont. Photographs of the faces and places he loved best hung on the walls. Just by the door was his standing desk, with folios and lexicons. A table, covered with books and papers in divers languages, and a chair or two, completed his stock of furniture. The door stood open all day long in fine weather, and the Bishop was seldom alone. One or other of the boys would steal quietly in and sit down. They did not need to be amused, nor did they interrupt his work. They were quite content to be near him, and to get now and then a kind word or a pleasant smile. It was the habitual gentle sympathy and friendliness on his part that won the confidence of the wild timid people who had been brought up in an element of mistrust, and which enabled them after a while to come and open their hearts to him.
'How vividly the whole scene comes back to me as I write! The Bishop's calm thoughtful face, the dusky lads, the white-shelled square in front, relieved by a mass of bright geraniums or gay creepers, the little bed-room with its camp bed, and medicine bottles and good books, and, too often, in spite of our loving remonstrances, an invalid shivering with ague, or influenza, in possession. We knew that this involved broken nights for him, and a soft board and a rug for a couch. He was overtasking his powers during those years. He was at work generally from five A.M. to eleven P.M., and this in a close atmosphere; for both the schoolroom and his own house were ill- ventilated. He would not spare time enough either for regular exercise. He had a horse and enjoyed riding, but he grudged the time except when he had to come up to town on business or to take Sunday services for the English in the country. It was very natural, as he had all a student's taste for quiet study, yet could only indulge it by cutting off his own hours for relaxation. He was constantly called off during the day to attend to practical work, teaching in school, prescribing for and waiting on the sick, weighing out medicines, keeping the farm accounts, besides the night classes in several languages.
'He was really never so happy as among his boys or his books. He had no liking for general society, though his natural courteousness made him shrink from seeming ungracious. He did thoroughly enjoy a real talk with one or two friends at a time, but even this he denied himself.'
Fanny Patteson had spent several days at Hursley in the course of the winter, and the Vicar and Mrs. Keble had greatly delighted in hearing her brother's letters. The following letter from Mr. Keble was written, as will be perceived, immediately after hearing the account of the baptism of the dying child at Mota:--
'Hursley, February 19, 1862.
'My dear Bishop Patteson,--I seat myself down on a low chair between the pictures of your uncle and your Metropolitan, and that by command of your sister, who is on a footstool in the corner opposite, I to send two words, she 200, or, for aught I know, 2,000, to greet you on the other side of the world. We have the more right, as your kind sisters have kept us well up to your Missionary doings from time to time, and we seem to be very often with you on board or in your islands (I say we, for my dear wife is more than half of me, as you may well suppose, in such sympathies), and it seems to me that, perhaps, in the present state of your island or sea-work you may have more time than by-and-by for thinking of one and another; anyhow we trust that that may happen which we ask for every evening--that we may be vouchsafed a part in the holy prayers which have been that day offered to the Throne of Grace, in Melanesia or elsewhere. I don't know whether I am right, but I fancy you at times something between a Hermit and a Missionary. God grant you a double blessing! and as you are a Bishop besides, you will breathe us a blessing in return for this, such as it is. Fanny's visit has been, as you know it would be, most charming and genial to us old folks (not that my wife ought to be so spoken of), and I shall always think it so kind of her to have spared us the time when she had so much to do and so short a time to do it in; but she seems like one going about with a bag of what Bishop Selwyn calls "hope-seed," and sowing it in everyplace; yet when one comes to look close at it, it all consists of memories, chiefly you know of whom. I only wish I could rightly and truly treasure up all she has kindly told us of your dear Father; but it must be a special grace to remember and really understand such things. It will be a most peculiar satisfaction, now that we have had her with us in this way, to think of you all three together, should God's Providence allow the meeting of which we understand there is a hope. The last thing she has told us of is the baptism on St. Barnabas' Day--"the first fruits of Mota unto Christ." What a thought--what a subject for prayer and thanksgiving! God grant it may prove to you more than we can ask or think.
'Ever yours, my dear Bishop,
' J. K.
'Don't trouble yourself to write, but think of us.'
Of course there was no obeying this postscript, and the immediate reply was:--
'My dear dear Mr. Keble,--Few things have ever given me more real pleasure than the receipt of your letter by this mail. I never doubted your interest in New Zealand and Melanesia, and your affection for me for my dear Father's sake. I felt quite sure that prayers were being offered up for us in many places, and where more frequently than at Hursley? Even as on this day, five years ago, when I touched the reef at Guadalcanar, in the presence of three hundred armed and naked men, (I heard afterwards) prayers were being uttered in the dead of your night by my dear old governess, Miss Neill, that God would have me in His safe keeping. But it is most pleasant, most helpful to me, to read your letter, and to feel that I have a kind of right now to write to you, as I hope I may do while I live fully and freely.
'I do not say a word concerning the idea some of you in England seem to take of my life here. It is very humbling to me, as it ought to be, to read such a letter from you. How different it is really!
'If my dear sisters do come out to me for a while, which, after their letters by this February mail, seems less impossible than before, they will soon see what I mean: a missionary's life does not procure him any immunity from temptations, nor from falling into them; though, thanks be to God, it has indeed its rich and abundant blessings. It is a blessed thing to draw a little fellow, only six months ago a wild little savage, down upon one's knee, and hear his first confession of his past life, and his shy hesitating account of the words he uses when he prays to his newly-found God and Saviour. These are rare moments, but they do occur; and, if they don't, why the duty is to work all the same.
'The intelligence of some of these lads and young men really surprises me. Some with me now, last October were utterly wild, never had worn a stitch of clothing, were familiar with every kind of vice. They now write an account of a Scripture print, or answer my MS. questions without copy, of course, fairly and legibly in their books, and read their own language--only quite lately reduced to writing--with ease. What an encouragement! And this applies to, I think, the great majority of these islanders.
'One child, I suppose some thirteen or fourteen years of age, I baptized on Christmas Day. Three days afterwards I married her to a young man who had been for some years with us. They are both natives of Nengone, one of the Loyalty Isles. I administered the Holy Eucharist to her last Saturday, and she is dying peacefully of consumption. What a blessed thing! This little one, fresh from Baptism, with all Church ministrations round her, passing gently away to her eternal rest. She looks at me with her soft dark eyes, and fondles my hand, and says she is not unhappy. She has, I verily believe, the secret of real happiness in her heart.
'I must write more when at sea. I have very little time here.
'I hope by God's blessing to make a long round among my many islands this winter; some, I know, must be approached with great caution. Your prayers will be offered for me and those with me, I know, and am greatly comforted by the knowledge of it.
'Fanny tells me what you have said to her about supplying any deficit in the money required for our vessel. I feel as if this ought not in one sense to come upon you, but how can I venture to speak to you on such matters? You know all that I think and feel about it. Send me more your blessing. I feel cares and anxieties now. My kind love to Mrs. Keble.
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Two more notes followed in quick succession to Hursley Vicarage, almost entirely upon the matter of the new 'Southern Cross,' which was being built under Mr. Tilly's eye. The two Bishops were scrupulous about letting Mr. Keble give more than a fair proportion towards the vessel, which was not to cost more than £3,000, though more roomy than her lamented predecessor. Meantime the 'Sea Breeze' was 'again to serve for the winter voyage:--
'St. Barnabas Day, Auckland: 1862.
'My dear Sisters,--Think of my being ashore, and in a Christian land on this day. So it is. We sail (D.V.) in six days, as it may be this day week. The Melanesians are very good and pretty well in health, but we are all anxious to be in warm climates. I think that most matters are settled. Primate and I have finished our accounts. Think of his wise stewardship! The endowment in land and money, and no debts contracted! I hope that I leave nothing behind me to cause difficulty, should anything happen. The Primate and Sir William Martin are my executors; Melanesia, as you would expect, my heir. I may have forgotten many items, personal reminiscences. Ask for anything, should anything happen. I see no reason to anticipate it, humanly speaking, but it is always well to think of such things. I am just going to the little Taurarua chapel to our Melanesian Commemoration service with Holy Communion.
'Oh! if it should please God to grant us a meeting here!
'Great blessings have been given me this summer in seeing the progress made by the scholars, so great as to make me feel sober- minded and almost fearful, but that is wrong and faithless perhaps, and yet surely the trials must come some day.
'God bless you all, and keep you all safe from all harm.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
'Friday, June 27th, 2 P.M.--How you are thinking of all that took place that last night on earth. He was taking his departure for a long voyage, rather he was entering into the haven where he would be! May God give us grace to follow his holy example, his patient endurance of his many trials, the greatest his constant trial of deafness.
'I think if the weather be fair, that we shall go off to-morrow. Oh! if we do meet, and spend, it may be, Christmas together.
28th, 3 P.M.--The first anniversary of our dear Father's death. How you are all recalling what took place then! How full of thankfulness for his gain, far outweighing the sorrow for our loss! And yet how you must feel it, more than I do, and yet I feel it deeply: but the little fond memories of the last months, and above all the looks and spoken words of love, I can't altogether enter into them. His letters are all that letters can be, more than any other letters can be, but they are not the same thing in all ways. The Primate has left us to hurry down the sailing master of the "Sea Breeze." It was a very rough morning, but is calm now, boats passing and repassing between the shore and the schooner at anchor off Kohimarama.'
The habit of writing journals was not at once resumed by Bishop Patteson when his father was not there to read them; and the chance of seeing his sisters, no doubt, made him write less fully to them, since they might be on the voyage when the letters arrived in England. Thus the fullest record of the early part of the voyage is in a report which he drew up and printed in the form of a letter to the Rev. J. Keble:--
'We chartered the "Sea Breeze" schooner in June last for four months: she is a vessel of seventy tons register, a little larger than the old "Southern Cross," and as well suited for our purpose as a vessel can be which is built to carry passengers in the ordinary way. No voyage can of course equal in importance those early expeditions of the Primate, when he sailed in his little schooner among seas unknown, to islands never before visited, or visited only by the sandal-wood traders. But I never recollect myself so remarkable a voyage as this last. I do not mean that any new method was adopted in visiting islands, or communicating with the natives. God gave to the Bishop of New Zealand wisdom to see and carry out from the first the plan, which more and more approves itself as the best and only feasible plan, for our peculiar work. But all through this voyage, both in revisiting islands well known to us, and in recommencing the work in other islands, where, amidst the multitude of the Primate's engagements, it had been impossible to keep up our acquaintance with the people, and in opening the way in islands now visited for the first time, from the beginning to the end, it pleased God to prosper us beyond all our utmost hopes. I was not only able to land on many places where, as far as I know, no white man had set foot before, but to go inland, to inspect the houses, canoes, &c., in crowded villages (as at Santa Cruz), or to sit for two hours alone amidst a throng of people (as at Pentecost Island), or to walk two and a half miles inland (as at Tariko or Aspee). From no less than eight islands have we for the first time received, young people for our school here, and fifty-one Melanesian men, women, and young lads are now with us, gathered from twenty-four islands, exclusive of the islands so long- known to us of the Loyalty Group. When you remember that at Santa Cruz, e.g., we had never landed before, and that this voyage I was permitted to go ashore at seven different places in one day, during which I saw about 1,200 men: that in all these islands the inhabitants are, to look at, wild, naked, armed with spears and clubs, or bows and poisoned arrows; that every man's hand (as, alas! we find only too soon when we live among them) is against his neighbour, and scenes of violence and bloodshed amongst themselves of frequent occurrence; and that throughout this voyage (during which I landed between seventy and eighty times) not one hand was lifted up against me, not one sign of ill-will exhibited; you will see why I speak and think with real amazement and thankfulness of a voyage accompanied with results so wholly unexpected. I say results, for the effecting a safe landing on an island, and much more the receiving a native lad from it, is, in this sense, a result, that the great step has been made of commencing an acquaintance with the people. If I live to make another voyage, I shall no longer go ashore there as a stranger. I know the names of some of the men; I can by signs remind them of some little present made, some little occurrence which took place; we have already something in common, and as far as they know me at all, they know me as a friend. Then some lad is given up to us, the language learned, and a real hold on the island obtained.
'The most distant point we reached was the large island Ysabel, in the Solomon Archipelago. From this island a lad has come away with us, and we have also a native boy from an island not many miles distant from Ysabel, called Anudha, but marked in the charts (though not correctly) as Florida.
'It would weary you if I wrote of all the numerous adventures and strange scenes which in such a voyage we of course experience. I will give you, if I can, an idea of what took place at some few islands, to illustrate the general character of the voyage.
'One of the New Hebrides Islands, near the middle of the group, was discovered by Cook, and by him called "Three Hills." The central part of it, where we have long-had an acquaintance with the natives, is called by them "Mai." Some six years ago we landed there, and two young men came away with us, and spent the summer in New Zealand. Their names were Petere and Laure; the former was a local chief of some consequence. We took a peculiar interest in this island, finding that a portion of the population consists of a tribe speaking a dialect of the great Polynesian language of which another dialect is spoken in New Zealand. Every year we have had scholars from Mai, several of whom can read and write. We have landed there times without number, slept ashore three or four times, and are well known of course to the inhabitants.
'The other day I landed as usual among a crowd of old acquaintances, painted and armed, but of that I thought nothing. Knowing them to be so friendly to us, instead of landing alone, I took two or three of our party to walk inland with me; and off we started, Mr. Dudley and Wadrokala being left sitting in the boat, which was, as usual, a short distance from the beach. We had walked about half a mile before I noticed something unusual in the manner of the people, and I overheard them talking in a way that made me suspect that something had happened which they did not want me to know. Petere had not made his appearance, though in general the first to greet us, and on my making enquiries for him, I was told that he was not well. Not long afterwards I overheard a man say that Petere was dead, and taking again some opportunity that offered itself for asking about him, was told that he was dead, that he had died of dysentery. I was grieved to hear this, because I liked him personally and had expected help from him when the time came for commencing a Mission station on the island. The distance from the beach to the village where Petere lived is about one and a half mile, and a large party had assembled before we reached it. There was a great lamentation and crying on our arrival, during which I sat down on a large log of a tree. Then came a pause, and I spoke to the people, telling them how sorry I was to hear of Petere's death. There was something strange still about their manner, which I could not quite make out; and one of our party, who was not used to the kind of thing, did not like the looks of the people and the clubs and spears. At last one of them, an old scholar of ours, came forward and said, "The men here do not wish to deceive you; they know that you loved Petere, and they will not hide the truth; Petere was killed by a man in a ship, a white man, who shot him in the forehead." Of course I made minute enquiries as to the ship, the number of masts, how many people they saw, whether there was anything remarkable about the appearance of any person on board, &c. The men standing round us were a good deal excited, but the same story was told by them all.
'After a while I walked back to the beach, no indication having been made of unfriendliness, but I had not gone more than a quarter of a mile when three men rushed past me from behind, and ran on to the beach. Meanwhile Mr. Dudley and Wadrokala in the boat were rather uneasy at the manner of the people standing near them on the reef; and they too suspected that something unusual had occurred. Presently they saw these three men rush out of the bush on to the beach and distribute "kava" (leaves of the pepper plant) among the people, who at once changed their manner, became quite friendly and soon dispersed. It was quite evident that a discussion had taken place on shore as to the treatment we were to receive; and these men on the beach were awaiting the result of the discussion, prepared to act accordingly. There was scarcely any danger in our case of their deciding to injure us, because they knew us well; but had we been strangers we should have been killed of course; their practice being, naturally enough, to revenge the death of a countryman on the arrival of the next man who comes from what they suppose to be their enemies' country.
'This story may show you that caution is necessary long after the time that a real friendship has commenced and been carried on. We never can tell what may have taken place during the intervals of our visits. I returned to the village, with Mr. Kerr and Mr. Dudley and slept ashore, thinking it right to restore mutual confidence at once; and there was not the slightest risk in doing so.
'Now let me tell you about an island called Ambrym, lying to the south of Aurora and Pentecost, the two northernmost islands of the New Hebrides group.
'Ambrym is a grand island, with a fine active volcano, so active on this last occasion of our visiting it, that we were covered and half- blinded by the ashes; the deck was thickly covered with them, and the sea for miles strewed with floating cinders. We have repeatedly landed in different parts of the island, but this time we visited an entirely new place. There was a considerable surf on the beach, and I did not like the boat to go near the shore, partly on that account, but chiefly because our rule is not to let the boat approach too near the beach lest it should be hauled up on shore by the people and our retreat to the schooner cut off. So I beckoned to some men in a canoe (for I could not speak a word of the language), who paddled up to us, and took me ashore.
'As I was wading to the beach, an elderly man came forward from the crowd to the water's edge, where he stood holding both his arms uplifted over his head. Directly that I reached him, he took my hand, and put it round his neck, and turned to walk up the beach. As I walked along with him through the throng of men, more than three hundred in number, my arm all the while round his neck, I overheard a few words which gave me some slight clue as to the character of their language, and a very few words go a long way on such occasions. We went inland some short distance, passing through part of a large village, till we came to a house with figures, idols or not, I hardly know, placed at some height above the door.
'They pointed to these figures and repeated a name frequently, not unlike the name of one of the gods of some of the islands further to the north; then they struck the hollow tree, which is their native drum, and thronged close round me, while I gave away a few fish- hooks, pieces of red braid, &c. I asked the names of some of the people, and of objects about me, trees, birds, &c. I was particularly struck with two boys who kept close to me. After some time I made signs that I would return to the beach, and we began to move away from the village; but I was soon stopped by some men, who brought me two small trees, making signs that I should plant them.
'When I returned to the beach, the two boys were still with me, and I took their hands and walked on amidst the crowd. I did not imagine that they would come away with me, and yet a faint hope of their doing so sprang up in my mind, as I still found them holding my hands, and even when I began to wade towards the boat still close by my side in the water. All this took place in the presence of several hundred natives, who allowed these boys to place themselves in the boat and be taken on board the schooner.
'I was somewhat anxious about revisiting an island called Tikopia. Once we were there, five or six years ago. The island is small, and the inhabitants probably not more than three hundred or four hundred. They are Polynesians, men of very large stature, rough in manner, and not very easily managed. I landed there and waded across the reef among forty or fifty men. On the beach a large party assembled. I told them in a sort of Polynesian patois, that I wished to take away two lads from their island, that I might learn their language, and come back and teach them many things for their good. This they did not agree to. They said that some of the full-grown men wished to go away with me; but to this I in my turn could not agree. These great giants would be wholly unmanageable in our school at present. I went back to the edge of the reef--about three hundred yards--and got into the boat with two men; we rowed off a little way, and I attempted, more quietly than the noisy crowd on shore would allow, to explain to them my object in coming to them. After a while we pulled back to the reef, and I waded ashore again; but I could not induce them to let me take any one away who was at all eligible for the school. Still I was very thankful to have been able twice to land and remain half an hour or more on shore among the people. Next year (D.V.) I may be able to see more of them, and perhaps may obtain a scholar, and so open the island. It is a place visited by whalers, but they never land here, and indeed the inhabitants are generally regarded as dangerous fellows to deal with, so I was all the more glad to have made a successful visit.
'Nothing could have been more delightful than the day I spent in making frequent landings on the north side of Santa Cruz. This island was visited by Spaniards, under the command of Mendana, nearly three hundred years ago. They attempted to found a colony there, but after a short time were compelled, by illness and the death of Mendana and his successor, to abandon their endeavour. It is apparently a very fertile island, certainly a very populous one. The inhabitants are very ingenious, wearing beautiful ornaments, making good bags woven of grass stained with turmeric, and fine mats. Their arrows are elaborately carved, and not less elaborately poisoned: their canoes well made and kept in good order. We never before landed on this island; but the Primate, long before I was in this part of the world, and two or three times since, had sailed and rowed into the bay at the north-west end, called Graciosa Bay, the fine harbour in which the Spaniards anchored. I went ashore this last voyage in seven different places, large crowds of men thronging down to the water's edge as I waded to the beach. They were exceedingly friendly, allowed me to enter the houses, sit down and inspect their mode of building them. They brought me food to eat; and when I went out of the houses again, let me examine the large sea-going canoes drawn up in line on the beach. I wrote down very many names, and tried hard to induce some young people to come away with me, but after we had pulled off some way, their courage failed them, and they swam back to the shore.
'Two or three of the men took off little ornaments and gave them to me; one bright pretty boy especially I remember, who took off his shell necklace and put it round my neck, making me understand, partly by words, but more by signs, that he was afraid to come now, but would do so if I returned, as I said, in eight or ten moons.
'Large baskets of almonds were given me, and other food also thrown into the boat. I made a poor return by giving some fish-hooks and a tomahawk to the man whom I took to be the person of most consequence. On shore the women came freely up to me among the crowd, but they were afraid to venture down to the beach. Now this is the island about which we have long felt a great difficulty as to the right way of obtaining any communication with the natives. This year, why and how I cannot tell, the way was opened beyond all expectation. I tried hard to get back from the Solomon Islands so as to revisit it again during the voyage, but we could not get to the eastward, as the trade-wind blew constantly from that quarter.
'At Leper's Island I had just such another day--or rather two days were spent in making an almost complete visitation of the northern part of the island--the people were everywhere most friendly, and I am hoping to see them all again join us soon, when some may be induced to.
'It would be the work of days to tell you all our adventures. How at Malanta I picked two lads out of a party of thirty-six in a grand war canoe going on a fighting expedition--and very good fellows they are; how we filled up our water-casks at Aurora, standing up to our necks in the clear cool stream rushing down from a cataract above, with the natives assisting us in the most friendly manner; how at Santa Maria, which till this year we never visited without being shot at, I walked for four or five hours far inland wherever I pleased, meeting great crowds of men all armed and suspicious of each other--indeed actually fighting with each other--but all friendly to me; how at Espiritu Santo, when I had just thrown off my coat and tightened my belt to swim ashore through something of a surf, a canoe was launched, and without more ado a nice lad got into our boat and came away with us, without giving me the trouble of taking a swim at all; how at Florida Island, never before reached by us, one out of some eighty men, young and old, standing all round me on the reef, to my astonishment returned with me to the boat, and without any opposition from the people quietly seated himself by my side and came away to the schooner; how at Pentecost Island, Taroniara (a lad whom the Primate in old days had picked up in his canoe paddling against a strong head wind, and kept him on board all night, and sent him home with presents in the morning) now came away with me, but not without his bow and poisoned arrows, of which I have taken safe possession; how Misial felt sea-sick and home-sick for a day or two, but upon being specially patronised by the cook, soon declared "that no place could compare with the galley of a Mission vessel, to the truth of which declaration the necessity of enlarging his scanty garments soon bore satisfactory testimony; how at Ysabel the young chief came on board with a white cockatoo instead of a hawk on his wrist, which he presented to me with all the grace in the world, and with an enquiry after his good friend Captain Hume, of H.M.S. "Cordelia," who had kindly taken me to this island in the winter of 1861.'
To this may be added some touches from the home letter of August 27, off Vanikoro:--
'I don't deny that I am thankful that the Tikopia visit is well over. The people are so very powerful and so independent and unmanageable, that I always have felt anxious about visiting them. Once we were there in 1856, and now again. I hope to keep on visiting them annually. Sydney traders have been there, but have never landed; they trade at arm's length from their boat and are well armed. It is a strange sensation, sitting alone (say) 300 yards from the boat, which of course can't be trusted in their hands, among 200 or more of people really gigantic. No men have I ever seen so large--huge Patagonian limbs, and great heavy hands clutching up my little weak arms and shoulders. Yet it is not a sensation of fear, but simply of powerlessness; and it makes one think, as I do when among them, of another Power present to protect and defend.
'They perfectly understood my wish to bring away lads. Full-grown Brobdignag men wished to come, and some got into the boat who were not easily got out of it again. Boys swam off, wishing to come, but the elder people prevented it, swimming after them and dragging them back. It was a very rough, blustering day; but even on such a day the lee side of the island is a beautiful sight, one mass of cocoa- nut trees, and the villages so snugly situated among the trees.
'Just been up the rigging to get a good look at this great encircling reef at Vanikoro. Green water as smooth as glass, inside the reef for a mile, and then pretty villages; but there is no passage through the reef, it is a continuous breakwater. We are working up towards a part of the reef where I think there may be a passage. Anyhow I am gaining a good local knowledge of this place, and that saves time another year.
'The ten lads on board talk six languages, not one of which do I know; but as I get words and sentences from them, I see how they will "work in" with the general character of the language of which I have several dialects. It is therefore not very difficult to get on some little way into all at once; but I must not be disappointed if I find that other occupations take me away too much for my own pleasure from this particular branch of my work.'
A long letter to Sir John T. Coleridge gives another aspect of the voyage:--
'"Sea Breeze" Schooner: off Rennell Island. 'Therm. 89° in shade; lat. 11° 40', long. 160° 18' 5". 'September 7, 1862.
'My dear Uncle,--I can hardly keep awake for the unusually great heat. The wind is northerly, and it is very light, indeed we are almost becalmed, so you will have a sleepy letter, indeed over my book I was already nodding. I think it better to write to you (though on a Sunday) than to sleep. What a compliment! But I shall grow more wakeful as I write. Perhaps my real excuse for writing is that I feel to-day much oppressed with the thought of these great islands that I have been visiting, and I am sadly disappointed in some of my scholars from San Cristoval.
'Leaving New Zealand on June 20th, I sailed to Norfolk Island, where I held my first Confirmation. By desire of the Bishop of Tasmania, I act as Bishop for the Norfolk Islanders. This was, as you know, a very solemn time for me; sixteen dear children were confirmed. Since that time I have visited very many islands with almost unequalled success, as far as effecting landings, opening communication, and receiving native lads are concerned. I have on board natives from many places from which we have never received them before. Many I have left with Mr. Dudley and Mr. Pritt on Mota Island at school, but I have now twenty-one, speaking eleven languages. At many places where we had never landed, I was received well.
'The state of things, too, in the Banks Islands is very encouraging. What do you think of my having two married (after their fashion) couples on board from the Solomon Islands (San Cristoval and Contrariete)? This was effected with some difficulty. Both the men are old scholars, of course. I ought therefore to be most thankful; and yet my heart is sad because, after promises given by Grariri and his wife, Parenga and Kerearua (all old scholars, save Mrs. Garm), not one came away with me yesterday, and I feel grieved at the loss of my dear boys, who can read and write, and might be taught so much now! It is all very faithless; but I must tell it all to you, for indeed I do not feel as if I had any right to expect it otherwise, but in the moment of perceiving and confessing that it is very good for me, I find out for the first time how much my heart was set upon having them.
'And then San Cristoval, sixty miles long, with its villages and languages, and Malanta over eighty miles long, and Guadalcanar, seventy! It is a silly thought or a vain, human wish, but I feel as if I longed to be in fifty or a hundred places at once. But God will send qualified men in good time. In the meanwhile (for the work must be carried on mainly by native teachers gathered from each island), as some fall off I must seek to gain others. Even where lads are only two, or even one year with mer and then apparently fall back to what they were before, some good may be done, the old teaching may return upon them some day, and they may form a little nucleus for good, though not now.
'As for openings for men of the right sort, they abound. Really if I were free to locate myself on an island instead of going about to all, I hardly know to which of some four or five I ought to go. But it is of no use to have men who are not precisely the kind of men wanted. Somehow one can't as yet learn to ask men to do things that one does oneself as a matter of course. It needs a course of training to get rid of conventional notions. I think that Norfolk Island may supply a few, a very few fellows able to be of use, and perhaps New Zealand will do so, and I have the advantage of seeing and knowing them. I don't think that I must expect men from England, I can't pay them well; and it is so very difficult to give a man on paper any idea of what his life will be in Melanesia or Kohimarama. So very much that would be most hazardous to others has ceased to be so to me, because I catch up some scrap of the language talked on the beach, and habit has given an air of coolness and assurance. But this does not come all at once, and you cannot talk about all this to others. I feel ashamed as I write it even to you. They bother me to put anecdotes of adventures into our Report, but I cannot. You know no one lands on these places but myself, and it would be no good to tell stories merely to catch somebody's ear. It was easier to do so when the Bishop and I went together, but I am not training up anyone to be the visitor, and so I don't wish anybody else to go with me. Besides Mr. Pritt and Mr. Dudley are bad swimmers, and Mr. Kerr not first-rate. My constant thought is "By what means will God provide for the introduction of Christianity into these islands," and my constant prayer that He will reveal such means to me, and give me grace to use them.
'What reality there is in such a work as this! What continual need of guidance and direction! I here see before me now an island stretching away twenty-five miles in length! Last night I left one sixty miles long. I know that hundreds are living there ignorant of God, wild men, cannibals, addicted to every vice. I know that Christ died for them, and that the message is for them, too. How am I to deliver it? How find an entrance among them? How, when I have learnt their language, speak to them of religion, so as not to introduce unnecessary obstacles to the reception of it, nor compromise any of its commands?
'Thank God I can fall back upon many solid points of comfort-- chiefest of all, He sees and knows it all perfectly. He sees the islanders too, and loves them, how infinitely more than I can! He desires to save them. He is, I trust, sending me to them. He will bless honest endeavours to do His will among them. And then I think how it must all appear to angels and saints, how differently they see these things. Already, to their eyes, the light is breaking forth in Melanesia; and I take great comfort from this thought, and remember that it does not matter whether it is in my time, only I must work on. And then I think of the prayers of the Church, ascending continually for the conversion of the heathen; and I know that many of you are praying specially for the heathen of Melanesia. And so one's thoughts float out to India, and China, and Japan, and Africa, and the islands of the sea, and the very vastness of the work raises one's thoughts to God, as the only One by whom it must be done.
'Now, dear Uncle, I have written all this commonplace talk, not regarding its dulness in your eyes, but because I felt weary and also somewhat overwrought and sad; and it has done me much good, and given me a happy hour.
'We had our service on board this morning, and the Holy Eucharist afterwards; Mr. Kerr, two Norfolk Islanders, a Maori, and a Nengone man present. I ought not to be faint-hearted. My kind love to Aunt and Mary.
'Your affectionate and dutiful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
The climate of Mota had again disagreed with Mr. Dudley, who was laid up with chronic rheumatism nearly all the time he was there; and the Bishop returned from his voyage very unwell; but Mr. Pritt happily was strong and active, and the elder Banks Island scholars were very helpful, both in working and teaching, so that the schools went on prosperously, and the custom of carrying weapons in Mota was dropped.
On November 7 the 'Sea Breeze' was again in harbour; and on the 15th, after mature consideration, was written this self-sacrificing letter:--
'St. Andrew's: November 15, 1862.
'My dearest Sisters,--I returned from a voyage unusually interesting and prosperous on the 7th of this month; absent just nineteen weeks. We were in all on board seventy-one.
'I found all your letters from April to August 25. How thankful I am to see and know what I never doubted, the loving manner in which my first and later letters about New Zealand were taken. How wise of you to perceive that in truth my judgment remained all through unaltered, though my feelings were strongly moved, indeed the good folk here begged me to reconsider my resolution, thinking no doubt kindly for me that it would be so great a joy to me to see you. Of course it would; were there no other considerations that we already know and agree upon, what joy so great on earth! But I feel sure that we are right. Thank God that we can so speak, think, and act with increasing affection and trust in each other!
'The more I think of it, the more I feel "No, it would not do! It would not be either what Joan expects or what Fan expects. They look at it in some ways alike--i.e., in the matter of seeing me, which both equally long to do. In some ways they regard it differently. But it would not to one or the other be the thing they hope and wish for. They would both feel (what yet they would not like to acknowledge) disappointment.' Though, therefore, I could not help feeling often during the voyage, "What if I hear that they may be with me by Christmas!" yet it was not exactly unwelcome to hear that you do not come. I recognised at once your reading of my letters as the right one; and my feelings, strong as they are, give way to other considerations, especially when, from my many occupations, I have very little time to indulge them.
'But for the thought of coming, and your great love to me, I thank you, dear ones, with all my heart. May God bless you for it!...
'Good-bye, my dear Sisters; we are together in heart at all events.
'Your loving Brother, 'J. C. P.'
The judgment had decided that the elder sister especially would suffer more from the rough life at Kohimarama than her brother could bear that she should undergo, when he could give her so little of his society as compensation, without compromising his own decided principle that all must yield to the work. Perhaps he hardly knew how much he betrayed of the longing, even while deciding against its gratification; but his sisters were wise enough to act on his judgment, and not on their own impulse; and the events of the next season proved that he had been right. To Sir John Coleridge he wrote:--
'Kohimarama: November 15, 1862.
'My dear Uncle,--I should indeed, as you say, delight to have a ramble in the old scenes, and a good unburthening of thoughts conceived during the past seven or eight years.
'And yet you see I could not try the experiment of those dear good sisters of mine coming out. It would not have been what they expected and meant to come out to. I am little seen by any but Melanesians, and quite content that it should be so. I can't do what I want with them, nor a tenth part of it as it is. I cannot write to you of this last voyage--in many respects a most remarkable one-- indicating, if I am not over hopeful, a new stage in our Mission work. Many islands yielding scholars for the first time; old scholars, with but few exceptions, steadfast and rapidly improving; no less than fifty-seven Melanesians here now from twenty-four islands, exclusive of the Loyalty Islands, and five bright Pitcairners, from twenty-four to sixteen, helpful, good, conscientious lads. There are eight languages that I do not know, besides all the rest; yet I can see that they are all links in the great chain of dialects of the great "Pacific language,"--yet dialects very far removed sometimes from one another.
'I find it not very easy to comply with reasonable demands from men in Europe, who want to know about these things. If I had time and ability, I think I should enjoy really going into philology. I get books sent me from people such as Max Muller, Grabalentz, &c.; and if I write to them at all, it is useless to write anything but an attempt at classification of the dialects; and that is difficult, for there are so many, and it takes so long to explain to another the grounds upon which I feel justified in connecting dialects and calling them cognate. It becomes an instinct almost, I suppose, with people in the trade.
'But I hardly know how far I ought to spend any time in such things. Elementary grammars for our own missionaries and teachers are useful, and the time is well spent in writing them. Hence it is that I do not write longer letters. Oh! how I enjoy writing un-business letters; but I can't help it--it's part of my business now to write dull Reports--i.e. reports that I can't help making dull, and all the rest of it....
'I cannot write about Bishop Mackenzie. Mr. Pritt (at 9.30 P.M. the night we landed) put his head into my room and said, "Bishop Mackenzie is dead," and I sat and sat on and knelt and could not take it all in! I cannot understand what the papers say of his modus operandi, yet I know that it was an error of judgment, if an error at all, and there may be much which we do not know. So I suspend my opinion.'
In a letter to myself, written by the same mail, in reply to one in which I had begged him to consider what was the sight, to a Christian man, of slaves driven off with heavy yokes on their necks, and whether it did not justify armed interposition, he replies with arguments that it is needless now to repeat, but upholding the principle that the shepherd is shepherd to the cruel and erring as well as to the oppressed, and ought not to use force. The opinion is given most humbly and tenderly, for he had a great veneration for his brother Missionary Bishop. Commenting on the fact that Bishop Selwyn's speech at Cambridge had made Charles Mackenzie a missionary, and that he would gladly have hailed an invitation to the Australasian field of labour, the letter proceeds:--
'How wonderful it is to reflect upon the events of the last few years! Had he come out when I did to New Zealand, I might be now his Missionary Chaplain; and yet it is well that there should be two missionary dioceses, and without the right man for the African Mission, there might have been a difficulty in carrying out the plan.
'The chapel is not built yet, for I have sixty mouths to feed, and other buildings must be thought of for health's sake. But I have settled all that in my will.'
'In a postscript is mentioned the arrival of some exquisite altar plate for the College chapel, which had been offered by a lady, who had also bountifully supplied with chronometers and nautical instruments the 'Southern Cross,' which was fast being built at Southampton.
The above letter was accompanied by one to Dr. Moberly:--
'St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama: Nov. 18, 1862.
'My dear Dr. Moberly,--Thank you heartily for writing to me. It is a real help to me and to others also, I think, of my party to be in communication with those whom we have long respected, and whose prayers we now more than ever earnestly ask. We returned on November 7 from a very remarkable voyage.
'I was nineteen weeks absent all but a day: sailed far beyond our most distant island in my previous voyage, landed nearly eighty times amidst (often) 300 and more natives, naked, armed, &c., and on no less than thirty or forty places never trodden before (as far as I know) by the foot of a white man. Not one arm was lifted up against me, not one bow drawn or spear shaken. I think of it all quietly now with a sort of wondering thankfulness.
'From not less than eight islands we have now for the first time received native lads; and not only are openings being thus made for us in many directions, but the permanent training of our old scholars is going on most favourably; so that by the blessing of God we hope, at all events in the Banks Islands, to carry on continuously the Mission Schools during the winter and summer also. We have spent the three last winters here, but it would not be wise to run the risk of the damp hot climate in the summer. Natives of the island must do this, and thank God there are natives being raised up now to do it. The enclosed translation of a note. It is but three or four years since the language was reduced to writing, and here is a young man writing down his thoughts to me after a long talk about the question of his being baptized.
'Four others there are soon, by God's blessing, to be baptized also-- Sarawia from Vanua Lava, Tagalana from Aroa, Pasvorang from Eowa, Woleg from Mota, and others are pressing on; Taroniara from San Cristoval, Kanambat from New Caledonia, &c. I tell you their names, for you will I know, remember them in your prayers.
'Will you kindly let Mr. Keble see the enclosed note? It does not, of course, give much idea of the lad's state of mind; but he is thoroughly in earnest, and as for his knowledge of his duty there can be no question there. He really knows his Catechism. I have scarcely a minute to write by this mail. Soon you will have, I hope, a sketch of our last voyage. We remember you all, benefactors and benefactresses, daily. Thank you again for writing to me: it humbles me, as it ought to do, to receive such a letter from you.
'Very faithfully yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
These names deserve note: Sarawia the first to be ordained of the Melanesian Church; and Taroniara, who was to share his Bishop's death. B----, as will be seen, has had a far more chequered course. Tagalana is described in another letter as having the thoughtfulness of one who knows that he has the seeds of early death in him; but he, the living lectern at the consecration, has lived to be the first deacon of his island of Aroa.
The ensuing is to the Rev. Derwent Coleridge, at that time Principal of St. Mark's Training College, Chelsea, upon the question whether that institution would afford assistants:--
'Auckland, New Zealand: Nov. 15, 1862.
'My dear Cousin,--You will not be surprised, I hope, to hear from me; I only wish I had written to you long ago. But until quite recently we could not speak with so much confidence concerning the Melanesian Mission, and it is of little use to write vaguely on matters which I am anxious now to make known to you.
'The general plan of the Mission you may get some notion of from the last year's Report (which I send), and possibly you may have heard or seen something about it in former years. This last voyage of nineteen weeks, just concluded, has determined me to write to you; for the time is come when we want helpers indeed, and I think that you will expect me naturally to turn to you.
'It is not only that very many islands throughout the South Pacific, from the Loyalty Islands on to the northwest as far as Ysabel Island in the Solomon group, are now yielding up scholars and affording openings for Mission stations, though this indeed is great matter for thankfulness; but there is, thank God, a really working staff gathered round us from the Banks Archipelago, which affords a definite field, already partially occupied with a regular system at work in it; and here young persons may receive the training most needed for them, actually on a heathen island, though soon not to be without some few Christians amongst its population. Now I can say to anyone willing and qualified to help me:--
'In the six summer months there is the central school work in "New Zealand, where now there are with me fifty-one Melanesians from twenty-four islands, speaking twenty-three languages; and in the six winter months there is a station regularly occupied on Mota Island, where all the necessary experience of life in the islands can be acquired.
'I am not in any hurry for men. Norfolk Island has given me five young fellows from twenty-one to sixteen years of age, who already are very useful. One has been with me a year, another four months. They are given unreservedly into my hands, and already are working well into our school, taking the superintendence of our cooking, e.g., off our hands; with some help from us, they will be very useful at once as helpers on Mota, doing much in the way of gardening, putting up huts, &c., which will free us for more teaching work, &c., and they are being educated by us with an eye to their future employment (D.V.) as missionaries. I would not wish for better fellows; their moral and religious conduct is really singularly good- -you know their circumstances and the character of the whole community. But I should be thankful by-and-by to have men equally willing to do anything, yet better educated in respect of book knowledge. No one is ever asked to do what we are not willing to do, and generally in the habit of doing ourselves--cooking, working, &c., &c. But the Melanesian lads really do all this kind of work now. I have sixty mouths to fill here now; and Melanesian boys, told out week by week, do the whole of the cooking (simple enough, of course) for us all with perfect punctuality. I don't think any particular taste for languages necessary at all. Anyone who will work hard at it can learn the language of the particular class assigned to him. Earnest, bright, cheerful fellows, without that notion of "making sacrifices," &c., perpetually occurring to their minds, would be invaluable. You know the kind of men, who have got rid of the conventional notion that more self-denial is needed for a missionary than for a sailor or soldier, who are sent anywhere, and leave home and country for years, and think nothing of it, because they go "on duty." Alas! we don't so read our ordination vows. A fellow with a healthy, active tone of mind, plenty of enterprise and some enthusiasm, who makes the best of everything, and above all does not think himself better than other people because he is engaged in Mission work--that is the fellow we want. I assume, of course, the existence of sound religious principle as the greatest qualification of all. Now, if there be any young persons whom you could wish to see engaged in this Mission now at St. Mark's, or if you know of any such and feel justified in speaking to them, you will be doing a great kindness to me, and, I believe, aiding materially in this work.
'I should not wish at all any young man to be pledged to anything; as on my part I will not pledge myself to accept, much less ordain, any man of whom I have no personal knowledge. But let anyone really in earnest, with a desire and intention (as far as he is concerned) to join the Mission, come to me about December or January in any year. Then he will live at the Mission College till the end of April, and can see for himself the mode of life at the Central Summer School in New Zealand. Then let him take a voyage with me, see Melanesians in their own homes, stop for a while at Mota--e.g. make trial of the climate, &c., &c., and then let me have my decisive talk with him.
'If he will not do for the work, I must try and find other employment for him in some New Zealand diocese, or help to pay his passage home. I don't think such a person as you would recommend would fail to make himself useful; but I must say plainly that I would rather not have a man from England at all, than be bound to accept a man who might not thoroughly and cordially work into the general system that we have adopted. We live together entirely, all meals in common, same cabin, same hut, and the general life and energy of us all would be damaged by the introduction of any one discordant element. You will probably say, "Men won't go out on these terms," and this is indeed probable, yet if they are the right fellows for this work--a work wholly anomalous, unlike all other work that they have thought of in many respects--they will think that what I say is reasonable, and like the prospect all the better (I think) because they see that it means downright work in a cheery, happy, hopeful, friendly spirit.
'A man who takes the sentimental view of coral islands and cocoa- nuts, of course, is worse than useless; a man possessed with the idea that he is making a sacrifice will never do; and a man who thinks any kind of work "beneath a gentleman" will simply be in the way, and be rather uncomfortable at seeing the Bishop do what he thinks degrading to do himself. I write all this quite freely, wishing to convey, if possible, some idea to you of the kind of men we need. And if the right fellow is moved by God's grace to come out, what a welcome we will give him, and how happy he will soon be in a work the abundant blessings of which none can know as we know them. There are three clergymen with me. Mr. Pritt, who came out with the Bishop of Nelson as his chaplain, but who, I am thankful to say, is regularly part and parcel of the Mission staff; Mr. Dudley, ordained last year, who for six years has been in the Mission, and has had the special advantage of being trained under the Primate's eye; and Mr. Kerr who was also ordained about ten months ago.
'I give 100 pounds to a clergyman when ordained, increasing it 101 annually to a maximum of 150 pounds. But this depends upon subscriptions, &c. I could not pledge myself even to this, except in the case of a man very highly recommended. But of this I will write more.
'Again let me say that I do not want anyone yet, not this year. I shall be off again (D.V.) in the beginning of May 1863, for six months; and if then I find on my return (D.V.) in November, letters from you, either asking me to write with reference to any young man, or informing me that one is on the way out, that will be quite soon enough.
'I need not say I don't expect any such help so soon, if at all.
'Finally, pray don't think that I underrate the great advantage of having such persons as St. Mark's produces; but I write guardedly. My kind love to Mrs. Derwent.
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
On the 29th of December, after two pages of affectionate remarks on various family incidents, the letter proceeds:--
'We are having an extra scrubbing in preparation for our visitors on Thursday, who may wish to be with us on the occasion of the baptism of our six Banks Islanders; and I am writing in the midst of it, preferring to sit in the schoolroom to my own room, which is very tiny and very hot.
'We have some eight only out of the fifty-one whom I am obliged to treat rather as an awkward squad, not that they are too stupid to learn, but that we cannot give them the individual attention that is necessary. They teach me their language; but I cannot put them into any class where they could be regularly taught--indeed, they are not young fellows whom I should bring again. They do the work of introducing us to their islands, and of teaching us something of their language. So I continue to give them what little time I can-- the real strength of our force being given to those whom we hope to have here again.
'We are all on the qui vive about our beautiful vessel, hoping to see it in about six or eight weeks. It will, please God, be for years the great means by which we may carry on the Mission if we live; and all the care that has been spent upon it has been well spent, you may be sure.
'I don't want to appear as if I expected this to be done in one sense, but it is only when I think of the personal interest shown in it that I suppose it right to thank people much. I don't want it to be thought of any more than you do as a gift to us particular missionaries. It is the Church carrying on its own work. Yet, as you truly say, private feelings and interests are not to be treated rudely; and I do think it a very remarkable thing that some 2,000 pounds should be raised by subscriptions, especially when one knows that so very few people have an idea of the work that is being done.'
'What a blessed New Year's rejoicing in hope here follows:--
'Kohimarama: Jan. 1, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,--The first letter of the year to you! Thank God for bringing us to see it! It is 1 P.M., and at 4.30 P.M. six dear children (from twenty-two to fourteen) are to be baptized. Everything in one sense is done; how very little in the other and higher sense! May Almighty God pour the fulness of His blessing upon them! I sit and look at them, and my heart is too full for words. They sit with me, and bring their little notes with questions that they scarcely dare trust themselves to speak about. You will thank God for giving me such comfort, such blessings, and such dear children. How great a mercy it is! How unexpected! May God make me humble and patient through it all!
'What a sight it would be for you four hours hence! Our party of sixty-one, visitors from Auckland, the glorious day, and the holy service, for which all meet.
'I use Proper Psalms, 89, 96, 126, 145, and for lessons a few verses, 2 Kings v. 9-15, and Acts viii. 35-9. After the third Collect, the Primate may say a few words, or I may do so; and then I shall use our usual Melanesian Collect for many islands, very briefly named; and so conclude with the Blessing.
'What this is to me you must try and realise, that you may be partakers of my joy and thankfulness. To have Christians about me, to whom I can speak with a certainty of being understood, to feel that we are all bound together in the blessed Communion of the Body of Christ, to know that angels on high are rejoicing and evil spirits being chased away, that all the Banks Islands and all Melanesia are experiencing, as it were, the first shock of a mighty earthquake, that God who foresees the end may, in his merciful Providence, be calling even these very children to bear His message to thousands of heathens, is not it too much? One's heart is not large enough for it, and confession of one's own unworthiness breaks off involuntarily into praise and glory!
'I know, my dear Sisters, that this is most likely one of the great blessings that precede great trials. I can't expect or wish (perhaps) always to sail with a fair wind, yet I try to remember that trial must come, without on that account restraining myself from a deep taste of the present joy. I can't describe it!
'Then we have now much that we ever can talk about--deep talk about Mota and the other islands, and the special temptations to which they must be exposed; that now is the time when the devil will seek with all his might to "have" them, and so hinder God's work in the land; that they have been specially blest by God to be the first to desire to know His will, and that they have heavy responsibilities.
'"Yes," they say, "we see man does not know that his room is dirty and full of cobwebs while it is all dark; and another man, whose room is not half so dirty, because the sun shines into it and shows the dirt, thinks his room much worse than the other. That is like our hearts. It is worse now to be angry than it was to shoot a man a long time ago. But the more the sun shines in, the more we shall find cobwebs and dirt, long after we thought the room was clean. Yes, we know what that means. We asked you what would help us to go on straight in the path, now that we are entering at the gate. We said prayer, love, helping our countrymen. Now we see besides watchfulness, self-examination; and then you say we must at once look forward to being confirmed, as the people you confirmed at Norfolk Island. Then there is the very great thing, the holy and the great, the Supper of the Lord." So, evening by evening and day by day, we talk, this being of course not called school, being, indeed, my great relaxation, for this is the time when they are like children with a father.
'I know I feel it so. Don't take the above as a fair sample of our talk, for the more solemn words we say about God's Love, Christ's Intercession, and the Indwelling of the Spirit, I can hardly write down now.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.
'P.S.--Feast of the Epiphany. Those dear children were baptized on Thursday. A most solemn interesting scene it was!'
Thoroughly happy indeed was the Bishop at this time. In a note of February 3 to the Bishop of Wellington, he speaks of the orderly state of the College:--
'Mr. Pritt has made a complete change in the Melanesian school, very properly through me; not putting himself forward, but talking with me, suggesting, accepting suggestions, giving the benefit of his great knowledge of boys and the ways to educate them. All the punctuality, order, method, &c., are owing to him; and he is so bright and hearty, thoroughly at ease with the boys, and they with him.'
The same note announces two more recruits--Mr. John Palmer, a theological student at St. John's, and Joseph Atkin, the only son of a settler in the neighbourhood, who had also held a scholarship there. He had gained it in 1860, after being educated at the Taranaki Scotch School and the Church of England Grammar School at Parnell, and his abilities were highly thought of. The Bishop says:--
'Joe Atkin, you will be glad to hear, has joined us on probation till next Christmas, but he is very unlikely to change his mind. He and his father have behaved in a very straightforward manner. I am not at all anxious to get fellows here in a hurry. The Norfolk Islanders, e.g., are in need of training much more than our best Melanesians, less useful as teachers, cooks, even as examples. This will surprise you, but it is so.
'I have long suspected that Joe thought about joining us. He tells me, "You never would give me a chance to speak to you, Sir."
"Quite true, Joe; I wished the thought to work itself out in your own mind, and then I thought it right to speak first to your father."
'I told him that I could offer but "a small and that an uncertain salary" should he be ordained five years hence; and that he ought to think of that, that there was nothing worldly in his wishing to secure a maintenance by-and-by for wife and child, and that I much doubted my power to provide it. But this did not at all shake either his father or him. I have a great regard for the lad, and I know you have.'
From that time forward reading with and talking with 'Joe Atkin' was one of the chief solaces of the Bishop's life, though at present the young man was only on trial, and could not as yet fill the place of Mr. Benjamin Dudley, who, soon after the voyage, married, and returned to Canterbury settlement. The loss was felt, as appears in the following:--
'Kohimarama; Saturday, 1 P.M., Feb. 7, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,--I have a heavy cold, so you must expect a stupid letter. I am off in an hour or two for a forty-mile ride, to take to-morrow's services (four) among soldiers and settlers. The worst of it is that I have no chance of sleep at the end, for the mosquitos near the river are intolerable. How jolly it would be, nevertheless, if you were here, and strong enough to make a sort of picnic ride of it. I do it this way: strap in front of the saddle a waterproof sheet, with my silk gown, Prayer-book, brush and comb, razor and soap, a clean tie, and a couple of sea biscuits. Then at about 3 P.M. off I go. About twenty miles or so bring me to Papakura, an ugly but good road most of the way. Here there is an inn. I stop for an hour and a half, give the horse a good feed, and have my tea. At about 7.30 or 8 I start again, and ride slowly along a good road this dry weather. The moon rises at 9.30, and by that time I shall be reaching the forest, through which a good military road runs. This is the part of the road I should like to show you. Such a night as this promises to be! It will be beautiful. About 11 I reach a hut made of reeds on the very brink of the river, tether the horse, give him a feed, which I carry with me from Papakura, light a fire (taking matches) inside the hut, and try to smoke away mosquitos, lie down in your plaid, Joan--do you remember giving it to me?--and get what sleep I can. To-morrow I work my way home again, the fourth service being at Papakura at 4 P.M., so I ought to be at Kohimarama by 9 P.M., dead tired I expect. I think these long days tire me more than they did; and I really do see not a few white hairs, a dozen or so, this is quite right and respectable.
'I am writing now because I am tired with this cold, but chiefly because when I write only for the mail I send you such wretched scrawls, just business letters, or growls about something or other which I magnify into a grievance. But really, dear Joan and Fan, I do like much writing to you; only it is so very seldom I can do so, without leaving undone some regular part of the day's work. I am quite aware that you want to know more details about my daily life, and I really wish to supply them; but then I am so weary when I get a chance of writing, that I let my mind drift away with my pen, instead of making some effort to write thoughtfully. How many things I should like to talk about, and which I ought to write about: Bishops Mackenzie and Colenso, the true view of what heathenism is, Church government, the real way to hope to get at the mass of heathens at home, the need of a different education in some respects for the clergy, &c. But I have already by the time I begin to write taken too much out of myself in other ways to grapple with such subjects, and so I merely spin out a yarn about my own special difficulties and anxieties.
'Don't mind my grumbling. I think that it is very ungrateful of me to do so, when, this year especially, I am receiving such blessings; it is partly because I am very much occupied, working at high pressure, partly because I do not check my foolish notions, and let matters worry me. I don't justify it a bit; nor must you suppose that because I am very busy just now, I am really the worse for it. The change to sea life will set me all to rights again; and I feel that much work must be done in a little time, and a wise man would take much more pains than I do to keep himself in a state fit to do it.
'I have told you about our manner of life here. Up at 5, when I go round and pull the blankets, not without many a joke, off the sleeping boys, many of the party are already up and washing. Then, just before prayers, I go into the kitchen and see that all is ready for breakfast. Prayers at 5.45 in English, Mota, Baura, &c., beginning with a Mota Hymn, and ending with the Lord's Prayer in English. Breakfast immediately after: at our table Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and young Atkin who has just joined us. At the teachers' table, five Norfolk Islanders, Edward (a Maori), five girls and two of their husbands, and the three girls being placed at this table because they are girls; Melanesians at the other three tables indiscriminately. There are four windows, one at the north, three at the east side. The school and chapel, in one long modern building, form the corresponding wing on the eastern side of my little room, and the boys dormitories between.
'We are daily expecting the vessel, though it will be a quick passage for her if she comes in the next ten days, and then what a bustle!
'We send Dudley and his wife away to Canterbury for eight or nine months; he is so weak as to make the change, which I had urged him to try for some time past, quite necessary.
'Next Sunday a Confirmation at Orehunga, eight miles off; back to Auckland for catechising and Baptism at 3 p.m. and evening service at 6.30, and never a word of either sermon written, and all the school work! Never mind, a good growl to you is a fine restorative, and really I get on very well somehow.
'Well, good-bye, you dear Sisters,
'Your affectionate Brother,
'J. C. P.'
On the last day of February came the new 'Southern Cross,' and two delightful notes announced it to the Vicar of Hursley and to myself in one envelope.
'St. Andrew's: Feb. 28, 1863.
'My dear Cousin,--The "Southern Cross" arrived safely this morning. Thanks to God!
'What it is to us even you can hardly tell; I know not how to pour out my thankfulness. She seems admirably adapted for the work. Mr. Tilly's report of her performance is most satisfactory: safe, fast, steers well, and very manageable. Internal arrangements very good; after cabin too luxurious, but then that may be wanted for sick folk, and as it is luxurious, why I shall get a soft bed, and take to it very kindly.
'Pray let dear Mr. Keble and Dr. Moberly know at once how very happy and thankful I am for this blessing. I know all you good friends at home will try to picture to yourselves my delight as I jumped on board!
'The boys are, of course, wild with excitement. It is blowing very hard. Last night (when we were thinking of them) it was an anxious night for them close on the coast.
'I have no time to write more. I thought of Lady... as I looked at the chronometers and instruments, and of you all as I looked at the beautiful vessel slipping along through the water with scarce a stitch of canvas. I pray that she may be spared many years to the Mission, and that we may have grace to use her, as she ought to be used, to His glory.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.
'You know that you are daily remembered in our prayers. God bless you.'
'10.30 P.M., March 1, 1863.
'My dear Mr. Keble,--One line, though on Sunday night, to tell you of the safe arrival of the "Southern Cross." You have a large share in her, and she has a large share in your good wishes and prayers, I am sure.
'Solemn thoughts on this day, an Ordination Sunday, mingle with the joy at the coming of this messenger (I trust of mercy and peace). I need not ask you to pray continually for us, for I know you do so. But indeed, now is the time when we seem especially to need your prayers.
'The lads have no lack of intellectual capacity, they not unfrequently surprise me. Now is the time when they are in the receptive state, and now especially any error on our part may give a wrong direction to the early faith of thousands! What an awful thought! We are their only teachers, the only representatives of Christianity among them. How inexpressibly solemn and fearful! This is the thought so perpetually present to me. The training of the future missionaries of Melanesia is, by God's Providence, placed in our hands. No wonder that I feel sometimes overwhelmed at the thought!
'But I know that if God gives me grace to become more simple-minded and humble, He will order even this aright. You I know will pray more than ever for me. My kindest regards to Mrs. Keble; I hope she is better.
'Your affectionate and grateful young Friend,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Before the first joy of the arrival was over, ere the 'Southern Cross' could make her first voyage among the multitude of isles, a great calamity had fallen upon St. Andrew's. Whether it was from the large numbers, or the effect of the colder climate, or from what cause could not be told, but a frightful attack of dysentery fell upon the Melanesians, and for several weeks suffering and death prevailed among them. How Bishop Patteson tended them during this time can be better guessed than described.
Archdeacon Lloyd, who came to assist in the cares of the small party of clergy, can find no words to express the devotion with which the Bishop nursed them, comforting and supporting them, never shrinking from the most repulsive offices, even bearing out the dead silently at night, lest the others should see and be alarmed.
Still no mail, except during the voyages, had ever left New Zealand without a despatch for home; and time was snatched in the midst of all this distress for a greeting, in the same beautiful, clear minute hand as usual:--
'Hospital, St. Andrew's: Saturday night, 9 P.M., March 22, 1863.
'My dearest Brother and Sister,--I write from the dining hall (now our hospital), with eleven Melanesians lying round me in extremity of peril. I buried two to-day in one grave, and I baptized another now dying by my side.
'God has been pleased in His wisdom and mercy to send upon us a terrible visitation, a most virulent form of dysentery. Since this day fortnight I have scarce slept night or day, but by snatching an hour here and there; others are working quite as hard, and all the good points of our Melanesian staff are brought out, as you may suppose.
'The best medical men cannot suggest any remedy. All remedies have been tried and failed. Every conceivable kind of treatment has been tried in vain. There are in the hall (the hospital now) at this moment eleven--eleven more in the little quadrangle, better, but in as anxious a state as can be; and two more not at all well.
'I have sent all the rest on board to be out of the way of contagion. How we go on I scarce know.... My good friend, Mr. Lloyd, is here, giving great help; he is well acquainted with sickness and a capital nurse.
'I have felt all along that it would be good for us to be in trouble; we could not always sail with a fair wind, I have often said so, and God has sent the trial in the most merciful way. What is this to the falling away of our baptized scholars!
'But it is a pitiful sight! How wonderfully they bear the agony of it. No groaning.
'When I buried those two children to-day, my heart was full, I durst not think, but could only pray and believe and trust in Him. God bless you.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.
'O Lord, correct me, but with judgment!'
On the 25th, two more were dead, and buried without time to make coffins, for thirteen still hung between life and death, while fresh cases were sent from on board ship. Mr. Pritt and Mr. Palmer cooked nourishing food and prepared rice-water unceasingly; while the others tended the sick, and the Primate returned from a journey to give his effective aid. On the night of the 30th, a fifth died unexpectedly, having only been ill a week, the only scholar from Pentecost Island. One of these lads, when all hope was over, was wrapped in his white winding sheet, carried into the chapel, and there baptized by the Bishop, with choked voice and weeping eyes.
Over those who had not faith enough to justify him in baptizing them, he said the following prayers as he laid them in their graves:--
'Sentences. Psalms from the Burial Service.
'Forasmuch as it hath pleased Thee, O Almighty God, to take from amongst us the souls of these two children committed to our charge, we therefore commit their bodies to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; humbly commending to Thy Fatherly mercy these and all other Thy children who know not Thee, whom Thou knowest, who art the Father and Lord of all things in heaven and earth, to whom be all praise and glory, with Thy Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
'We humbly beseech Thee, most merciful God, to remember for good the inhabitants of the islands of Melanesia, and specially we pray God by the grave of these children, for the dwellers in Vanua Lava and Ambrym that Thou wouldest cause the light of the Gospel to shine m their hearts. Give unto Thy servants grace in their sight, that we may go forth in peace, and return if it be Thy will in safety, to the honour and glory of Thy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
'O Almighty God, Father of Mercy, we cry unto Thee in our sorrow and distress, most humbly confessing that we have most justly provoked Thy wrath and heavy indignation.
'We know, O Lord, that this is a dispensation of mercy, a gift from Thee, to be used, as all things may be used to Thy glory. Yet, O Lord, suffer not our unworthiness to hinder Thy work of mercy!
'O Lord, look down from heaven, visit with Thy tender compassion Thy children lying under Thy hand in grievous sufferings of body. Restore them if it be Thy good pleasure to health and strength, or if it be Thy good will to take them out of this world, receive them to Thy tender mercies for His blessed sake who died for all men, Thy Son our Lord.
'Lord's Prayer. Grace.'
This was written down for use, in great haste, in the same spirit that breathes through the account of the next death: the entry dated on Coleridge Patteson's thirty-sixth birthday, April 1, 1863, which must be transcribed, though much of the detail of this time of trial has been omitted.
'Sosaman died at 9 A.M. this day--a dear lad, one of the Banks Islanders, about ten or twelve years old. As usual I was kneeling by him, closing his eyes in death. I can see his poor mother's face now! What will she say to me? she who knows not the Christian's life in death! Yet to him, the poor unbaptized child, what is it to him? What a revelation! Yes, the names he heard at our lips were names of real things and real persons! There is another world! There is a God, a Father, a Lord Jesus Christ, a Spirit of holiness, a Love and Glory. So let us leave him, O Father, in Thy hands, who knowest him who knew not Thee on earth. Thy mercies never fail. Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.
'I washed him, and laid him out as usual in a linen sheet. How white it looked! So much more simple and touching than the coffin--the form just discernible as it lay where five had lain before; and then I knelt down in our little chapel; and, I thank God, I could still bless and praise Him in my heart!
'How is it that I don't pray more? I pray in one sense less than usual--am not so long on my knees. I hope it is that I am so worn out, and so very, very much occupied in tending the sick and dying, but I am not sure.
'Anyhow I am sure that I am learning at terrible cost lessons which, it may be, God would have taught me more gently if I had ears to hear. I have not in all things depended upon Him, and perpetually sought help from Him.
'Oh that my unworthiness may not hinder His work of mercy!
'If I live, the retrospect of this most solemn time will, I hope, be very useful. I wonder if I ever went through such acute mental suffering, and yet, mind! I feel perfectly hardened at times--quite devoid of sensibility.'
He said in another letter that he felt that if he relaxed his self- command for one moment he should entirely break down. To him writing to his beloved home was what speaking, nay, almost thinking, would be in another man; it gave an outlet to his feeling, and security of sympathy. There was something in his spiritual nature that gave him the faculty of realising the Communion of Saints in its fullest sense, both with those on earth and in Paradise; and, above all, with his Heavenly Father, so that he seems as complete an example as ever lived of the reality of that privilege, in which too often we only express our belief.
Sosaman's was the last death. On a fragment of pink paper, bearing the date of the next day, it is declared that an alleviation in the worst symptoms had taken place, and that the faces and eyes were less haggard. 'Oh! if it be God's will to grant us now a great deliverance, all glory be to Him!'
The deliverance was granted. The next mail brought tidings of gladness:--
'St. Andrew's: April 17, 1863.
'My dearest Sisters,--You know the calm yet weary feeling that succeeds to the period of intense anxiety and constant watchfulness. Six dear children are taken from us, as you know already. Some twenty-one others have been very ill, nigh unto death. Two or three are still weak, but doing well.
'All the rest are convalescent. Oh! I look at them, to see the loving bright smile again on their poor wan faces. I don't mind breaking down now; yet I have experienced no decided reaction; only I am very indolent, like one who, for six weeks, has not had his usual allowance of sleep. What abundant cause we have for thankfulness! All the many hours that I spent in that atmosphere, and yet not a whit the worse for it. What a sight it was! What scenes of suffering! There seemed to be no end to it; and yet there was always strength for the immediate work in hand. Tending twenty-four sick, after hurrying back from burying two dear lads in one grave, or with a body lying in its white sheet in the chapel; and once, after a breathless watch of two hours, while they all slept the sleep of opium, for we dared almost anything to obtain some rest, stealing at dead of night across the room to the figure wrapped so strangely in its blanket, and finding it cold and stiff, while one dying lay close by. It has been a solemn time indeed. And now the brightness seems to be coming back.
'I have not yet ceased to think of the probable consequences; but, speaking somewhat hastily, I do not think that this will much retard the work. I may have to use some extra caution in some places--e.g., one of the two first lads brought from Ambrym is dead: one lad, the only one ever brought from the middle of Whitsuntide Island, is dead; I must be careful there. The other four came from Mota, Matlavo, Vanua Lava (W. side), and Guadalcanar; for the six who died came from six islands.
'One dear lad, Edmund Quintal, sixteen or seventeen years old, was for a while in a critical state. Fisher Young, a little older, was very unwell for three or four days. They came from Norfolk Island.
'The last six weeks have been very unhealthy. We had an unusually hot dry summer--quite a drought; the wells, for example, were never so tried. There was also an unusual continuance of north-east winds- -our sultry close wind. And when the dry weather broke up, the rain and damp weather continued for many days. Great sickness prevailed in Auckland and the country generally.
'The Norfolk Islanders, now four in number--Edwin Nobbs, Gilbert Christian, Fisher Young, and Edmund Quintal--have behaved excellently. Oh, how different I was at their age! It is pleasant, indeed, to see them so very much improved; they are so industrious, so punctual, so conscientious. The fact seems to be that they wanted just what I do hope the routine of our life has supplied--careful supervision, advice, and, when needed, reproof. They had never had any training at all.
'But there was something better--religious feeling--to work on! and the life here has, by God's blessing, developed the good in them. I am very hopeful about then now. Not, mind! that any one of them has a notion of teaching, but they are acquiring habits which will enable them to be good examples in all points of moral conduct to those of the Melanesians who are not already like B----, &c. The head work will come by-and-by, I dare say.
'April 22.--The storm seems to have passed, though one or two are still very weak. But there are no active symptoms of disease. How mercifully God has dealt with us! I have been very seedy for a few days, and am so still. In spite of two teeth taken out a fortnight ago, my whole jaw has been paining me much, heavy cold, and I can't get good sleep by reason of the pain, and I want sleep much. I think I must go to the dentist again. You see we hope to sail in ten days or so, and I want to be well.
'We have just washed and scrubbed the hall thoroughly, and once again it ceases to be our hospital. That looks bright, does not it? You must let all friends know about us, for I shall not be able to write to many, and perhaps I shall not have time to write at all. In the midst of all this, I have so much work about the management of the Mission farm and property, and the St. John's College estate, and educational prospects.'
The 'Southern Cross' was at sea again on May 2, and approved herself entirely to her owners' satisfaction.
Moreover, another clergyman had come on board for a trial trip, the Rev. Robert Codrington, a Fellow of Wadham, Oxford, who brought the University culture which was no small personal pleasure to Bishop Patteson in the companion of his labours. So that the staff consisted of Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, Mr. Codrington, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Atkin, besides Mr. Tilly, whose management of the vessel left the Bishop free from cares whenever his knowledge of the coast was not needed. Some of the results of his leisure on the outward voyage here appear:--
'I am glad I have read the accounts which Bishop Mackenzie's sister sent me. I know more about it now. Work and anxiety and necessity for action all came upon them so rapidly, that there was but little time for forming deliberate plans. I can well realise the finding oneself surrounded with a hundred poor creatures, diseased and hungered, the multitude of questions how to feed, lodge, and clothe them. How far it is right to sanction their mode of life, &c. One thing I am glad to notice, that the Bishop abstained from all attempts to convey religious instruction, because he was not sufficiently acquainted with the language to know what ideas he might or might not be suggesting. That was wise, and yet how unlike many hot-headed men, who rush with unintentional irreverence into very dangerous experiments.
'I confess, as you know, that there seems to me far too cumbrous and expensive and talkative a method employed in England, for raising supplies for that Mission and Columbia, Honolulu, &c. I never think of all that fuss of the four Universities, and all the meetings and speeches, without some shame. But united action will come in the train of real synodical action; and if I understand aright, the last Convocation of Canterbury accepted all that we are trying for, taking the right view in the question of Provinces, Metropolitans, position of Colonial Churches, joint action of the Church at large, &c. Extension of Episcopate in England. Oh, thanks be to God for it all. What a work for this branch of the Catholic Church! How can people sit quiet, not give their all!
'I like very much Vaughan's work on the Epistle to the Romans. That is the book to teach young students how to read their Greek Testament. Accurate scholarship, no private notions imported into the Greek text. I should like to hear Mr. Keble speak about the law underlying the superstitions of heathenism, the way to deal with the perversions of truth, &c. Somehow I get to marvel at and love that first book of Hooker more and more. It is wonderful. It goes to the bottom of the matter; and then at times it gives one to see something of the Divine wisdom of the Bible as one never saw it before.
'But I fear that I seek too much after a knowledge and understanding of principles of action which are attainable by a scholar and man of real reasoning power, but which I am not able to make of practical use, having neither the brains nor the goodness. This is what I really mean.
'May 20th.--Any really good book on the New Testament, especially dealing critically with the Greek text, I certainly wish to have. I feel that the great neglect of us clergy is the neglect of the continual study most critically and closely of the grammatical meaning of the Hebrew and Greek texts. Oh! that in old days I had made myself a good scholar! Oh! that I did really know Hebrew and Greek well! What a blessing and delight it would be now! I fear that I shall never be a good Hebrew scholar, I can't make time for it; but a decent Greek scholar I hope to be. I work away, but alas I for want of time, only by fits and starts, at grammars, and such a book as Vaughan's "Epistle to the Romans," an excellent specimen of the way to give legitimate help to the student. Trench's books I delight in. The Revision by Five Clergymen is an assistance. There was a review in the Quarterly the other day on the Greek Testament, very nearly an excellent one. The ordinary use of folio commentaries I don't wish to depreciate, but I think it far less valuable than the diligent study for oneself with the best grammatical aids of the original text. I always assume an acquaintance with the true mind and spirit of the Church of England as a substratum of interpretation. I like Westcott's book on the "Introduction to the Study of the Gospels."
'Oh! why, when I sat evening after evening with our dear Father, did I not ask him on all these points much more than I did? He did talk of such things! But I suppose it is partly the impulse given to such studies by the tendency of present religious thought. Yet ought it not to have been always put forward at Eton and Oxford that the close study of the text of the Bible is the first duty of a Christian scholar. I never really thought of it till I came out here, and then other occupations crowded upon me, and so it was too late to make myself a scholar. Alas!
'Now I really think nothing is so great a relaxation tome as a good book by Trench, or Vaughan, or Ellicott, or Dr. Pusey, and I do enjoy it. Not that I can keep up my attention for very long so as to make it profitable, but even then it is delightful, only I must go over it again, and so it is perhaps time wasted.
'But I greatly miss the intimate friend with whom to fix what I read by conversation and communication of mutual difficulties in understanding passages. I don't often forget points on which the Judge and I have had a talk, but what I read by myself I read too quickly, and forget. I want to fix it by subsequent discussion and enquiry with a competent friend. If I have intelligent young men to read with, that will almost do, it will easily help me to remember what I have read. It won't be suggestive, like the Judge's conversation; yet if one tries to teach conscientiously one does learn a great deal. I am puzzled as to books for my Norfolk Islanders. I should like much the "Conversations on the Catechism." Are they published separately? Shall I ask Miss Yonge to give me a copy? And the "Plain Commentary" would be useful too, if (which I doubt) it is plain enough.'
'"Southern Cross:" May 9, 1863.
'My dear Joan,--You ask me about qualifications which a man had better possess for this Mission, so perhaps I had better ask you to enquire of cousin Derwent Coleridge and of Ernest Hawkins for letters written to them some six months ago in which (if I remember rightly) I succeeded as well as I am likely to do now in describing the class of men I should like some day to have. I dare say they have not kept the letters, I forgot that, because although they took me some little time to write, they may have chucked them away naturally enough. Still if they have them and can find them, it may be worth while for you to keep a copy by you to show to any person who wishes for information.
'It is not necessary at all that a man should have a taste for languages or a faculty of acquiring them. What I want now is not a linguist, but a well-trained school-master of black boys and men, who will also put his hand to any kind of work--a kindly, gentle, cheerful, earnest fellow, who will make light of all little inconveniences, such as necessarily attend sea life, &c., who is so much of a gentleman that he can afford to do any kind of work without being haunted by the silly thought that it "is beneath him," "not his business." That is the fellow for me. He would have to learn one language, the language of the particular class given over to him, and I think that a person of any moderate ability might soon do this with our teaching. If I could get him to take an interest in the general science of language and to go into philological points, of course his work would be lighter, and he would have soon the advantage of knowing dialects cognate to that which he must know. But that is not necessary.
'The real thing is to train a certain number of lads in habits of attention, punctuality, tidiness, &c., to teach them also upon a plan, which I should show him, to read and write. The religious instruction I should take, and the closer investigation of the language too, unless he showed a capacity for going into the nicer points of structure, &c.
'But somehow a cut and dried teaching machine of a man, however methodical, and good, and conscientious, won't do. There must be a vivacity, an activity of mind, a brightness about the man, so that a lesson shall never be mere drudgery; in short, there must be a real love in the heart for the scholars, that is the qualification.
'One man and one only I hope to have some day who ought to be able to learn scraps at least of many languages, but he will have a different work to do. No work can be considered to be satisfactorily carried on while it depends on the life of any one man. Someone to take my place will come, I hope, some day. He would have to go round the islands with me, and acquire a knowledge of the whole field of work-- the wading and swimming, the mode of dealing with fellows on a first meeting, &c.; he will not only have one class to look after, but he must learn the same kind of lesson that I learnt under the Primate. Where to get such a man, I'm sure I don't know. He must be of standing and ability to be acceptable to the others should I die, &c., &c.
'So we need not speculate about him, and the truth is, I am not in any hurry to get men from home. We are educating ourselves lads here who will very likely learn to do this kind of work fairly well. Mr. Palmer will, I hope, be ordained at Christmas. Young Atkin will be useful some day. By-and-by if I can get one or two really first-rate men, it will indeed be a great thing. But who knows anything of me in England? I don't expect a really able man to come out to work with me. They will go to other parts of the world kept more before the notice of the public by committees and meetings and speeches, &c.; and indeed I am very thankful for it. I am not old nor wise enough to be at the head of a party of really able men. I must be more fit to lead before I can ask men to follow.
'Of course I know that the work, if I chose to speak out, is second to none in interest and importance, and that very little comparatively is known about it in England. But it is evidently far better that it should go quietly on without attracting much notice, and that we all should remain unknown at all events at present. By- and-by, when by God's blessing things are more ripe for definite departments of work, and men can have distinct duties at once assigned to them, and our mode of carrying on the Mission has been fairly tested, then it will be high time to think about first-rate men.
'And, presumptuous and strange as it may seem for me to say it, a man confessedly second-rate, unfit to hold a position with the best stamp of English clergymen, I had rather not have. I can get the material cheaper and made to my own hand out here.
'Some men are dull though good, others can't get away from their book life and the proprieties, others are donnish, others are fine gentlemen, others are weak in health, most have preconceived and, many, mistaken views about heathenism, and the way to deal with it; some would come out with the notion that England and English clergymen were born to set the colonies right.
'How few would say, "There's a young man for the Bishop, only a second-class man, no scholar, not remarkable in any way, but he has learnt his work in a good school, and will go out to him with the purpose of seeing how he carries on the work, and learning from him." I don't expect men worth anything to say this. Of course I don't; and yet you know, Joan, I can't take them on any other terms. No, I prefer taking promising lads here, and training them up, not with any pledge that I will employ them in the Mission, but with the promise of giving them every chance of becoming qualified for it.'
The voyage was much shorter than had been intended, and its history is best summed up here:--
'"Southern Cross," Kohimarama: Aug. 6, 1863.
'My dear Cousin,--This date, from this place, will surprise you. We returned yesterday, after a short voyage of only three months. I had arranged my plans for a long voyage, hoping to revisit all our known islands, and that more than once. We sailed to Norfolk Island, thence at once to Mota. I spent two days there, and left the Rev. L. Pritt in charge of the station; Mr. Palmer being with him and the four Norfolk Islanders, and several old scholars.
'I spent a fortnight in the Banks Archipelago, returning some scholars, and taking away others from divers islands; and then went back to Mota, bringing some sixteen or seventeen lads to the central school. I found them all pretty well; the whole island at peace, people moving about everywhere unarmed, and a large school being gathered together.
'I went off again to the south (the New Hebrides group), returning scholars who had been in New Zealand, purchasing yams for axes and iron, &c., to supply the large number of scholars at Mota. The season had been unfavourable, and the crop of yams in some islands had almost failed. However, in another fortnight I was again at Mota with some six or seven tons of yams. I found things lamentably changed. A great mortality was going on, dysentery and great prostration of strength from severe influenza.
'But of those not actually boarding at the station, the state was very sad indeed. About twenty-five adults were dead already, several of them regular attendants at school, of whom we were very hopeful.
'I spent two days and a half in going about the island, the wet incessant, the ground steaming and reeking with vegetable exhalations. During those days twenty-seven adults died, fifty-two in all, and many, many more were dying, emaciated, coughing, fainting; no constitutional vigour of body, nor any mutton broth, or beef tea, or jellies, or chickens, or wine, &c. Mr. Pritt did what he could, and more than I thought could have been done; but what could be done? How could nourishing food be supplied to dozens of invalids living miles off, refusing to obey directions in a country which supplies no food to rally the strength of persons in illness?
'I decided to remove the whole party at once, explaining to the people that we were not afraid to share with them the risk of dying, but that if Mr. Pritt and the others died, there were no teachers left. I felt that our Banks Island scholars must be removed, and that at once lest they should die. I could not send the vessel to the Solomon Islands without me, for Mr. Tilly was completely laid up and unable to move from rheumatic gout, and no one else on board knows those languages.
'I could not leave the party at Mota in the sickness, and I could not well send the vessel to Port Patteson for a time, for the danger was imminent. So I took them all away, in all thirty-nine.
'But now the vessel was full, more than sixty on board, and I had reckoned upon an empty vessel in the hot Santa Cruz and Solomon Island latitudes. Moreover, the weather was extraordinarily unfavourable--damp, foul winds, squalls, calms, unhealthy weather. Mr. Tilly was being greatly pulled down, and everything seemed to point out that the voyage ought not to be long. I made my mind up, took back the Solomon Island scholars; and, with heavy sea and baffling winds and one short gale, sailed back to New Zealand.
'How mysteriously our plans are overruled for good! I came back to hear of the war; and to learn to be thankful for my small, very young and very manageable party. Thirty-three Banks Islanders, the baptized party and select lads from their islands, one New Caledonian, four Ysabel lads, constitute this summer's Melanesian school.
'Don't be disappointed; I was at first, but I had the comfort of having really no alternative. I had, indeed, a great desire to make a thorough visitation of Leper's Island, and Santa Cruz especially; but the wind, usually so fair, was dead against me, we had, so to speak, no trade winds, and I had to give it up. It was certainly my duty to get to the south with my invalids as soon as I could, and alter my plans, which, you know, always are made with a view to divers modifications being rendered necessary.
'Training the baptized scholars, and putting into shape such knowledge as I have of Melanesian tongues, that made a good summer programme, as I was obliged to content myself with a small party gathered from but few islands. Concentration v. diffusion I soon began to think a very good thing.
'Well, so it is, and now I see great reason to be thankful. Why do we not always give thanks whether we see the reason or not?
'The vessel behaves admirably. I have written to Jem at length, and he must be applied to for my account of her. Pray tell Mr. Keble all this. I have a most valuable letter from Dr. Moberly, a great delight and honour to me. It is very kind of him to write; and his view of Church matters is really invaluable, no papers can give that which his letter gives, and only he and a very few others could give an opinion which I so greatly value. He speaks hopefully of Church matters in general, and there are great reasons surely for thankfulness and hope.
'Yet men such as he see far and wide, and to their great hearts no very violent storms are caused by such things as sorely trouble others. He sees the presumption and weakness, the vain transitory character of that phase of modern thought which Bishop Colenso represents, and confidently expects its speedy disappearance. But it does try the earnest, while it makes shipwreck of the frivolous, and exercises the faith and humility of all. Even a very poor scholar can see that his reasoning is most inconclusive, and his reading superficial and inferences illogical.
'God bless you, my dear Cousin.
'Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
Perhaps this is the fittest place to give Mr. Tilly's description of the Bishop in his voyages:--
'My acquaintance with the late Bishop Patteson began at Port Patteson, in the Banks Islands, in 1861. He went with us in H.M.S. "Cordelia" to the Solomon Islands, and after being together some two months we again left him at Port Patteson on our way back to Auckland. During the time he was on board the "Cordelia" it was arranged that I was to sail the new vessel (the present "Southern Cross"), then about to be built by the Messrs. Wigram, and the size, internal arrangements, &c. were told me by him. He did not trouble me with much detail, referring me almost altogether to Bishop Selwyn- -and gave no written directions; the little he said I carefully noted, observing that he spoke as with a thorough knowledge of the subject (so far as I could be a judge) as to sea-going qualities, capacity, &c., and to the best of my recollection, I found that while the vessel was building these few directions were the main ones to be kept in view. We entered Auckland harbour (from England) early on the morning of February 28, 1863, and hove to off the North Head, to wait for the Bishop coming off from Kohimarama before going up the harbour. It had been blowing hard outside the night before from the N.E., and there was still much wind, and some sea, even in the harbour. I was much struck by his appearance and manner. Having to launch his boat through a surf at Kohimarama beach, he had only on a shirt and trousers, and was of course drenched. He stepped on board more like a sailor than a clergyman, and almost immediately made one or two sailor-like remarks about the vessel, as if he understood her qualities as soon as he felt her in motion; and he was quite right in what he said.
'Before the building of the present vessel he had (I am told) navigated at different times to and from the islands; of his capacity in this respect, therefore, others who knew him there can speak. During the time I remained in the "Southern Cross," he never in any way, to the best of my recollection, interfered in the navigation or management of the vessel; but I came to know--almost at once--that his general planning of a voyage, knowledge of local courses and distances, the method by which it could be done most quickly and advantageously, and the time required to do it in, were thorough; and, in fact, I suppose, that almost without knowing it, in all this I was his pupil, and to the last felt the comfort of his advice or assistance, as, e.g., when looking out together from aloft he has seen shoal water more quickly than myself, or has decided whether certain doubtful appearances ahead were or were not sufficient to make us alter our course, &c.; and always speaking as no one who was what sailors call a landsman could have done. There was, of course, always a great deal of boat work, much of it to be done with a loaded boat in a seaway, requiring practical knowledge of such matters, and I do not remember any accidents, such as staving a boat on a reef, swamping, &c. in all those years; and he invariably brought the boat out when it was easy for the vessel to pick her up, a matter not sufficiently understood by many people. This was where Mr. Atkin's usefulness was conspicuous. Mr. Atkin was a fearless boatman, and the knowledge of boating he gained with us at sea was well supplemented when in Auckland, where he had a boat of his own, which he managed in the most thorough manner, Auckland being at times a rough place for boating. He (Mr. Atkin) pulled a good and strong oar, and understood well how to manage a boat under sail, much better in fact than many sailors (who are not always distinguished in that respect). His energy, and the amount of work he did himself were remarkable; his manner was quiet and undemonstrative. He took all charge--it may in a manner be said--of the boys on board the vessel, regulated everything concerning meals, sleeping arrangements, &c., how much food had to be bought for them at the different islands, what "trade" (i.e. hatchets, beads, &c.) it was necessary to get before starting on a voyage, calculated how long our supply of water would last, and in fact did so much on board as left the master of the vessel little to do but navigate. With regard to the loss the Mission has sustained in Mr. Atkin, speaking from my personal knowledge of his invaluable services on a voyage, I can safely say there is no one here now fitted to take his place. He had always capital health at sea, and was rarely sea-sick, almost the only one of the party who did not suffer in that way. And his loss will be the more felt now, as those who used to help in the boat are now otherwise employed as teachers, &c.; and as Norfolk Island is a bad place to learn boating, there is great need of some one to take his place, for a good boat's crew is a necessity in this work as may be readily understood when the boat is away sometimes for the greater part of the day, pulling and sailing from place to place. At those places where the Bishop landed alone, Mr. Atkin gradually acquired the experience which made him so fit to look after the safety of the boat and crew. In this manner he, next to the Bishop, became best known to the natives throughout the islands, and was always looked for; in fact, at many places they two were perhaps only recognised or remembered.
'Bishop Patteson was hardly what could be called a good sailor in one sense of the word; rough weather did not suit him, and although I believe seldom if ever actually sea-sick, he was now and then obliged to lie down the greater part of the day, or during bad weather. He used to read and write a great deal on board, and liked to take brisk walks up and down the deck, talking to whoever happened to be there. He was orderly and methodical on board, liked to see things in their places, and was most simple in all his habits. He always brought a good stock of books on board (which we all made use of), but very few clothes.
'The living on board was most simple, much the same as the crew, those in the cabin waiting on themselves (carrying no steward), until gradually boys used to volunteer to do the washing up, &c. School with all the boys was kept up when practicable; but the Bishop was always sitting about among them on the deck, talking to one and another, and having classes with him in the cabin. There were regular morning and evening native and English prayers. The sermons on Sundays were specially adapted for the sailors, and listened to with marked attention, as indeed they well might be, being so earnest, simple, and suitable.
'Speaking for myself, I used to look forward to the voyage as the time when I should have the privilege of being much with him for some months. While on shore at Kohimarama I saw but comparatively little of him, except at meals; but during the voyage I saw of course a great deal of him, and learned much from him--learned to admire his unselfishness and simplicity of mode of life, and to respect his earnestness and abilities. His conversation on any subject was free and full; and those on the few nights when quietly at anchor they could be enjoyed more, will be long remembered. Of his manner to Melanesians, others will, no doubt, say enough, but I may be excused for mentioning one scene that very much struck me, and of which I am now the only (white) one left who was present at it. We were paying a visit for the first time to an island, and--the vessel being safe in the offing--the Bishop asked me if I would go with them as he sometimes did on similar occasions. We pulled in to a small inner islet among a group, where a number of (say 200) natives were collected on the beach. Seeing they looked as if friendly, he waded on shore without hesitation and joined them; the reception was friendly, and after a time he walked with them along the beach, we in the boat keeping near. After a while we took him into the boat again, and lay off the beach a few yards to be clear of the throng, and be able to get at the things he wanted to give them, they coming about the boat in canoes; and this is the fact I wished to notice-- viz., the look on his face while the intercourse with them lasted. I was so struck with it, quite involuntarily, for I had no idea of watching for anything of the sort; but it was one of such extreme gentleness, and of yearning towards them. I never saw that look on his face again, I suppose because no similar scene ever occurred again when I happened to be with him. It was enough in itself to evoke sympathy; and as we pulled away, though the channel was narrow and winding, yet, as the water was deep, we discussed the possibility of the schooner being brought in there at some future time. I am quite aware of my inability to do justice to that side of the Bishop's character, of which, owing to the position in which I stood to him as master of the Mission vessel, I have been asked to say a few words. There are others who know far better than myself what his peculiar qualifications were. His conduct to me throughout the time was marked by an unvarying confidence of manner and kindliness in our everyday intercourse, until, gradually, I came to think I understood the way in which he wished things done, and acted in his absence with an assurance of doing his wishes, so far as I could, which I never had attained to before with anyone else, and never shall again. And, speaking still of my own experience, I can safely say the love we grew to feel for him would draw such services from us (if such were needed) as no fear of anyone's reproof or displeasure ever could do. And perhaps this was the greatest privilege, or lesson, derived from our intercourse with him, that "Love casteth out fear!"
'Tiros. CAPEL TILLY.
'Auckland: October 28, 1872.'
This letter to Mr. Derwent Coleridge follows up the subject of the requisites for missionary work:--
'"Southern Cross," Kohimarama: August 8, 1863.
'My dear Cousin,--Thank you for a very kind letter which I found here on my return from a short three months' voyage in Melanesia. You will, I am sure, give me any help that you can, and a young man trained under your eye would be surely of great use in this work. I must confess that I distrust greatly the method adopted still in some places of sending out men as catechists and missionaries, simply because they appear to be zealous and anxious to engage in missionary work. A very few men, well educated, who will really try to understand what heathenism is, and will seek, by God's blessing, to work honestly without prejudice and without an indiscriminating admiration for all their own national tastes and modes of thought--a few such men, agreeing well together and co-operating heartily, will probably be enabled to lay foundations for an enduring work. I do not at all wish to apply hastily for men--for any kind of men--to fill up posts that I shall indeed be thankful to occupy with the right sort of men. I much prefer waiting till it may please God to put it into the head of some two or three more men to join the Mission--years hence it may be. We need only a few; I don't suppose that ten years hence I should (if alive) ever wish to have more than six or eight clergy; because their work will be the training of young natives to be themselves teachers, and, I pray God, missionaries in due time. I am so glad that you quite feel my wants, and sympathise with me. It is difficult to give reasons--intelligible to you all at a distance--for everything that I may say and do, because the circumstances of this Mission are so very peculiar. But you know that I have always the Primate to consult with as to principles; and I must, for want of a better course, judge for myself as to the mode of working them out in detail.
'Two plans are open for obtaining a supply of young men. First, I may receive some few ready-trained men, who nevertheless will have to learn the particular lessons that only can be taught here on the spot. Secondly, I may have youths of (say) sixteen to eighteen years of age, sent out from such a school as Stephen Hawtrey's for example, who will come with a good general knowledge of ordinary things, and receive a special training from myself. I think, too, that New Zealand will now and then supply an earnest, active-minded young fellow--who will be a Greek or Latin scholar, yet may find a useful niche in which he may be placed. At present I have means only to maintain one or two such persons, and this because I am able to use the money my dear Father left me for this purpose. Indeed, I have no other use for it. The money received on public account would not keep the Mission in its present state, and the expenditure ought to be increased by maintaining more scholars and teachers. I don't forget what you say about the philological part of my business. My difficulty is this, mainly: that it is next to impossible to secure a few hours of continuous leisure. You can have no idea of the amount of detail that I must attend to: seeing everything almost, and having moreover not a few New Zealand matters to employ my time, besides my Melanesian work. I have, I suppose, a considerable amount of knowledge of Melanesian tongues, unknown by name to anyone else perhaps; I quite feel that this ought not to die with me, if anything should suddenly happen to me. I hoped this summer to put together something; but now there is this Maori war, and an utterly unsettled state of things. I may have to leave New Zealand with my Melanesians almost any day. But I will do what I can, and as soon as I can. Again: I find it so hard to put on paper what I know. I could talk to a philologist, and I fancy that I could tell him much that would interest him; but I never wrote anything beyond a report in my life, and it is labour and grief to me to write them--I can't get on as a scribe at all. Then, for two or three years I have not been able to visit some islands whose language I know just enough of to see that they supply a valuable link in the great Polynesian chain. One might almost get together all the disjecta membra and reconstruct the original Polynesian tongue. But chiefly, of course, my information about Melanesia may be interesting. I have begun by getting together numerals in forty quite unknown dialects. I will give, at all events, short skeleton grammars too of some. But we have no time. Why, I have from five hundred to two thousand or more carefully ascertained words in each of several dialects, and of course these ought to be in the hands of you all at home. I know that, and have known it for years; but how to do it, without neglecting the daily necessary work?
'Again: the real genius of the language, whatever it may be, is learned when I can write down what I overhear boys saying when they are talking with perfect freedom, and therefore idiomatically, about sharks, cocoa-nuts, yams, &c. All translations must fail to represent a language adequately, and most of all the translation into a heathen language of religious expressions. They have not the ideas, and the language cannot be fairly seen in the early attempts to make it do an unaccustomed work.
'I remember more of you and my Aunt than you suppose. Even without the photograph (which I am very glad to have--thank you for it), I could have found you and Aunt out in a crowd. I can't say that I remember my own generation so well.
'Thank you again for writing so kindly.
'Always, my dear Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
The next mail carried the reply to Johanna's sympathy with the troubles of the time of sickness in the early part of the year.
'August 28, 1863.
'My dear Joan,--Very full of comfort to have all your kind loving thoughts and words about our sickness. I know you thought and talked much about it, and indeed it was a very heavy visitation viewed in one way, though in another (and I really can't analyze the reason why) there was not only peace and calmness, but eyen happiness. I suppose one may be quite sure one is receiving mercies, and be thankful for them, although one is all the time like a man in a dream. I can hardly think of it all as real. But I am sure that God was very, very merciful to us. There was no difficulty anywhere about the making known the death of the lads to their relatives. I did not quite like the manner of the people at Guadalcanar, from which island poor Porasi came; and I could not get at the exact place from which Taman came, though I landed on the same island north and south of the beach from which I brought him.
'I do not at all think that any interruption of the work has been occasioned by it. It was very unfortunate that I could not, last voyage, make visits (and long ones too, as I had hoped) to many islands where in the voyage before I had met with such remarkable tokens of good-will, especially Leper's Island and Santa Cruz, but I think that if I can make a regular good round next time, it may be all as well. I imagine that in a great many islands it would now take a good deal to shake their confidence in us. At the same time it was and is a matter of great regret that I did not at once follow up the openings of the former year, and by returning again to the New Hebrides and Solomon Islands (as in the contemplated six months' voyage I intended to do), strengthen the good feeling now existing. Moreover, many scholars who were here last year would have come again had I revisited them and picked them up again. But the Mota sickness, the weather, and Mr. Tilly's illness made it more prudent to return by what is on the whole the shorter route, i.e., to the west of New Caledonia.
'You should have been with me when, as I jumped on shore at Mota, I took Paraskloi's father by the hand. That dear lad I baptized as he lay in his shroud in the chapel, when the whole weight of the trial seemed, as it were, by a sudden revelation to manifest itself, and thoroughly overwhelmed and unnerved me. I got through the service with the tears streaming down my cheeks, and my voice half choked. He was his father's pride, some seventeen years old. A girl ready chosen for him as his wife. "It is all well, Bishop, he died well. I know you did all you could, it is all well." He trembled all over, and his face was wet with tears; but he seemed strangely drawn to us, and if he survives this present epidemic, his son's death may be to him the means in God's hands of an eternal life. Most touching, is it not, this entire confidence?
'At Aruas, the small island close to Valua, from which dear Sosaman came, it was just the same; rather different at the west side of Vanua Lava, where they did not behave so well, and where (as I heard afterwards) there had been some talk of shooting me; but nothing occurred while I was on shore with them to alarm me.
'At Ambrym I landed with Talsil (Joval, from the same place, had died), a great crowd, all friendly, walked into the village and sat down, speechifying by the principal man, a presentation to me of a small pig; but such confidence that this man came back with me on board, where I gave him presents. I much wished to land at Taman's place, but could not do so, though I tried twice, without causing great delay.
'I could have brought away any number of scho1ars from almost any of these islands, probably from all. I have great reason to regret not having revisited Ambrym and other islands, but I think that a year hence, if alive, I may feel that it is better as it is.
'These Norfolk Islanders, four of them, I take as my children, for I can't fairly charge them (except Edwin Nobbs) to the Mission, and I wish to give Norfolk Island some help, as it is really, though not by letters patent, part of my charge. Edwin Nobbs is a thoroughly good fellow, and Fisher Young is coming on very well.
'Now, my dearest Joan, good-bye. My hats will come no doubt in good time, my present chapeau is very seedy, very limp and crooked and battered; as near green as black almost--a very good advertisement of the poverty of the Mission. But if I go about picking up gold in Australia, I shall come out in silk cassock and all the paraphernalia--very episcopal indeed!
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Herewith was a letter for Dr. Moberly:--
'St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama: August 29, 1863. 'My dear Dr. Moberly,--Thank you for a very kind and most interesting letter written in May. I know that you can with difficulty find time to write at all, and thank you all the more. If you knew the real value to us of such letters as you have now sent, containing your impressions and opinions of things in general, men, books, &c., you would be well rewarded for your trouble, I assure you. To myself, I must say to you, such letters are invaluable; they are a real help to me, not only in that they supply information from a very good authority on many questions which I much desire to understand, but even more because I rise up or kneel down after reading them, and think to myself, "how little such men who so think of me really know me; how different I ought to be," and then it is another help to me to try and become by God's grace less unlike what you take me to be. Indeed, you must forgive me for writing thus freely. I live very much alone as far as persons of the same language, modes of thought, &c., are concerned. I see but little (strange as it may seem to you) even of my dear Primate. We are by land four or five miles apart, and meet perhaps once or twice a month for a few minutes to transact some necessary business. His time is, of course, fully occupied; and I never leave this place, very seldom even this little quadrangle, and when other work does not need immediate attention (a state of things at which I have not arrived as yet), there are always a dozen new languages to be taken up, translations to be made, &c. So that when I read a letter which is full of just such matters as I think much of, I naturally long to talk on paper freely with the writer. Were I in England, I know scarcely any place to which I would go sooner than Winchester, Hursley, Otterbourne, and then I should doubtless talk as now I write freely. All that you write of the state of mind generally in England on religious questions is most deeply interesting. What a matter of thankfulness that you can say, "With all the sins and shortcomings that are amongst us, there is an unmistakeable spreading of devotion and the wish to serve God rightly on the part of very many."
'Then, the Church preferments have lately been good; Bishop Ellicott, one of your four coadjutors in the revision of the A. V., especially. I know some part of his Commentary, and am very glad to find that you speak so very highly of it. What a contrast to be sure between such work as his and Jowett's and Stanley's! Jowett actually avows a return to the old exploded theory of the inaccurate use of language in the Greek Testament. This must make men distrust him sooner or later as an interpreter of Scripture. I thank you heartily for your offer of sending me Bishop Ellicott's Commentary, but I hardly like you to send me so valuable a gift. What if you substitute for it a copy of what you have written yourself, not less valuable to me, and less expensive to you? I hardly like to write to ask favours of such people as Bishop Ellicott; I mean I have no right to do so; yet I almost thought of asking him to send a copy of his Commentaries to us for our library. I have ventured to write to Dean Trench: and I am pretty sure that Mr. Keble will send me his "Life of Bishop Wilson." But pray act as you wish. I am very grateful to you for thinking of it at all; and all such books whether yours or his will be used and valued, I can undertake to say. My good friend Kidding knows that I was, alas! no scholar at Eton or Oxford. I have sought to remedy this in some measure as far as the Greek Testament is concerned, and there are some excellent books which help one much; yet I can never make myself a good scholar, I fear; one among many penalties I pay for want of real industry in old days.
'Miss Yonge will hear from my sisters, and you from her, I have no doubt, my very scanty account of a very uninteresting voyage. I see everywhere signs of a change really extraordinary in the last few years. I can tell no stories of sudden conversions, striking effects, &c. But I know that in twenty, thirty, perhaps forty places, where a year or two ago no white man could land without some little uncertainty as to his reception, I can feel confident now of meeting with friends; I can walk inland--a thing never dreamt of in old days, sleep ashore, put myself entirely into their hands, and meet with a return of the confidence on their part. We have, too, more dialects, talk or find interpreters in more places; our object in coming to them is more generally known--and in Mota, and two or three other small islands of the Banks group, there is almost a system of instruction at work. The last voyage was a failure in that I could not visit many islands, nor revisit some that I longed to land at for the second or third time. But I don't anticipate any difficulty in reestablishing (D. V.) all the old familiarity before long. No doubt it is all, humanly speaking, hazardous where so much seems to depend upon the personal acquaintance with the people.
'By-and-by I hope to have some young man of character and ability enough to allow of his being regarded as my probable successor, who may always go with me--not stop on any one island--but learn the kind of work I have to do; then, when I no longer can do the work, it will be taken up by a man already known to the various islanders.
'I have not touched on many points in your letter. Again, thank you for it: it is very kind of you to write. I must send a line to Dr. Eidding.
'I am, my dear Dr. Moberly,
'Yours very truly,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
The next of the closely written sheets that every mail carried was chiefly occupied with the Maori war and apostasy, on which this is not the place to enter, until the point where more personal reflections begin.
'How all this makes me ponder about my own special work I need not say. There is not the complication of an English colony, it is true; that makes a great difference.
'My own feeling is that one should teach positive truth, the plain message of Christianity, not attacking prejudices. Conviction as it finds its way into the heart by the truth recommending itself will do the work of casting out the old habits. I do not mean to say that the devil is not in a special way at work to deceive people to follow lying delusions. But all error is a perversion of truth; it has its existence negatively only, as being a negation of truth. But God is truth, and therefore Truth is ----. Now this is practically to be put, it seems to me, in this way. Error exists in the mind of man, whom God has created, as a perversion of truth; his faculties are constructed to apprehend and rest satisfied with truth. But his faculties are corrupted,, and the devil supplies a false caricature of truth, and deceives him to apprehend and rest satisfied with a lie. But inasmuch as his nature, though damaged, is not wholly ruined by the Fall, therefore it is still not only possible for him to recognise positive truth when presented to him, but he will never rest satisfied with anything else--he will be restless and uneasy till he has found it.
'It is because I feel that it is more natural to man to follow truth than error ("natural" being understood to mean correspondent to the true nature) that I believe the right thing is to address oneself to the principle in a man which can and will recognise truth. Truth when recognised expels error. But why attack error without positively inculcating truth? I hope it does not bore you for me to write all this. But I wish you to learn all that may explain my way of dealing with these questions.'
The next day, October 25, a headache gives the Bishop a reason for indulging himself, while waiting for his pupils, in calling up and setting down a realisation of his sisters' new home at St. Mary Church, where for the time he seems to go and live with them, so vividly does he represent the place to himself. His first return to his own affairs is a vision that once more shows his unappeased craving for all appliances 'for glory and for beauty' in the worship of God.
'I may some day have a connection with Mary Church marbles. Sometimes I have a vision--but I must live twenty years to see more than a vision--of a small but exceedingly beautiful Gothic chapel, rich inside with marbles and stained glass and carved stalls and encaustic tiles and brass screen work. I have a feeling that a certain use of really good ornaments may be desirable, and being on a very small scale it might be possible to make a very perfect thing some day. There is no notion of my indulging such a thought. It may come some day, and most probably long after I am dead and gone. It would be very foolish to spend money upon more necessary things than a beautiful chapel at present, when in fact I barely pay my way at all. And yet a really noble church is a wonderful instrument of education, if we think only of the lower way of regarding it. Well, you have a grand church, and it is pleasant to think of dear dear Father having laid the stone, and of Cousin George. What would he say now to Convocation and Synods, and the rapid progress of the organisation of the Church?
'I think that what you say, Fan, about my overvaluing the world's opinion is very true. Self-consciousness and a very foolish sinful vanity always have been and are great sources of trial to me. How often I have longed for that simplicity and truthfulness of character that we saw so beautifully exemplified in our dear Father! How often I think that it is very good for me that I am so wanting in all personal gifts! I should be intolerable! I tell you this, not to foster such feelings by talking of them, but because we wish to know and be known to each other as we are. It is a very easy thing to be a popular preacher here, perhaps anywhere. You know that I never write a really good sermon, but I carry off platitudes with a sort of earnest delivery, tolerably clear voice, and with all the prestige of being a self-devoted Missionary Bishop. Bless their hearts! if they could see me sipping a delicious cup of coffee, with some delightful book by my side, and some of my lads sitting with me, all of them really loving one, and glad to do anything for one!
'A less self-conscious person could do what I can hardly do without danger. I see my name in a book or paper, and then comes at once a struggle against some craving after praise. I think I know the fault, but I don't say I struggle against it as I ought to do. It is very hard, therefore, for me to write naturally about work in which I am myself engaged. But I feel that a truthful account of what we see and hear ought to be given, and yet I never speak about the Mission without feeling that I have somehow conveyed a false impression.'
Again there was a time of sickness. The weather alternated between keen cutting winds and stifling heat; and there was much illness among the colonists, as well as a recurrence of the dreadful disease of the former year among the scholars of St. Andrew's, though less severe, and one boy died after fourteen days' sickness, while two pulled through with difficulty. In the midst came the Ember Week, when Mr. Palmer was ordained Deacon; and then the Bishop collapsed under ague, and spent the morning of Christmas Day in bed, but was able to get up and move into chapel for the celebration, and afterwards to go into hall and see the scholars eat their Christmas dinner.
In the letter he wrote in the latter part of the day, he confessed that 'he felt older and less springy;' though, as he added, there was good reason for it in the heavy strain that there had been upon him throughout the year, though his native, scholars were all that he could desire.
A few days' holiday and change at the Primate's brought back spirits and strength; but the question whether under any circumstances New Zealand would be a safe residence for the great body of Melanesian scholars was becoming doubtful, and it seemed well to consider of some other locality. Besides, it was felt to be due to the supporters of the Mission in Australia to tell them personally how great had been the progress made since 1855; and, accordingly, on one of the first days of February, Bishop Patteson embarked in a mail steamer for Sydney, but he was obliged to leave six of his lads in a very anxious state with a recurrence of dysentery. However, the Governor, Sir George Grey, had lent his place on the island of Kawau, thirty miles north of Auckland, to the party, so that there was good hope that change would restore the sick.
'Fancy me,' says the Journal of February 6, 'on board a screw steamer, 252 feet long, with the best double cabin on board for my own single use, the manager of the company being anxious to show me every attention, eating away at all sorts of made dishes, puddings, &c., and lounging about just as I please on soft red velvet sofas and cushions.'
The rest and good living were the restorative he needed; and, in spite of anxiety about the patients at home, he enjoyed and profited by it.
On February 6, Sydney was reached, but the Bishop sailed on at once for his farthest point. At Melbourne, on the 11th, he quaintly declares, after describing his kind reception: 'I feel at present a stranger among strangers; no new thing to me, especially if they are black, and begin by offering me cocoa-nut instead of bread and butter. This place looks too large for comfort--like a section of London, busy, bustling, money-making. There are warm hearts somewhere amid the great stores and banks and shops, I dare say. But you know it feels a little strange, and especially as I think it not unlikely that a regular hearty Church feeling may not be the rule of the place. Still I am less shy than I was, and with real gentlemen feel no difficulty in discussing points on which we differ.
It is the vulgar uneducated fellow that beats me. The Melanesians, laugh as you may at it, are naturally gentlemanly and courteous and well-bred. I never saw a "gent" in Melanesia, though not a few downright savages. I vastly prefer the savage.'
Melbourne was, however, to be taken on the return; and he went on to Adelaide, where Bishop Short and the clergy met him at the port, and he was welcomed most heartily. The Diocesan Synod assembled to greet him, and presented an address; and there were daily services and meetings, when great interest was excited, and tangibly proved by the raising of about £250. He was perfectly astonished at the beauty and fertility of the place, and the exceeding luxuriance of the fruit. One bunch of grapes had been known to weigh fourteen pounds. As to the style of living with all ordinary English comforts and attendance, he says:--'I feel almost like a fish out of water, and yet I can't help enjoying it. One very easily resumes old luxurious habits, and yet the thought of my dear boys, sick as I fear some must be, helps to keep me in a sober state of mind.'
On St. Matthew's Day he assisted at an Ordination: and on the 27th returned to Melbourne for three weeks, and thence to Sydney. His time was so taken up that his letters are far more scanty and hurried than usual.
'I have been running no little risk of being spoilt, and I don't say that I have come off uninjured. In Melbourne I was told by the Dean (the Bishop is in England) and by Judge Pohlman (an excellent good man) that they remembered no occasion during the twenty-two years of sojourn (before Melbourne was more than a village) when so much interest had been shown in Christian work, especially Mission work. This is a thing to be very thankful for. I felt it my duty to speak strongly to them on their own duties, first to Aborigines, secondly to Chinese (of whom some 40,000 live in Victoria), thirdly to Melanesians. I did not aim only at getting money for Melanesia; I took much higher ground than that. But the absence of the ordinary nonsense about startling conversions, rapid results, &c., and the matter-of-fact unsentimental way of stating the facts of heathenism, and the way to act upon it, did, no doubt, produce a very remarkable effect.
'I need not tell you that I did pray for strength to make good use of such unexpected and very unusual opportunities. Crowded meetings, nothing before like it in Melbourne or the provinces. I did not feel nervous, much to my surprise; I really wonder at it, I had dreaded it much.
'It was a sight to see St. George's Hall crowded, children sitting on the floor, platform, anywhere, and very many adults (about 500) besides. Now you know my old vanity. Thank God, I don't think it followed me very much here. There was a strong sense of a grand opportunity, and the need of grace to use it.'
The enthusiasm at Victoria resulted in 350 pounds, and pledges of future assistance; and at Sydney there was the like grand meeting, the like address, and hearty response; and the Churches of Australia pledged themselves to bear the annual expenses of the voyages of the 'Southern Cross.' A number of young clerks and officials, too, united in an arrangement by which she could be insured, high as was the needful rate.
The preaching and speeches produced an immense feeling, and the after review of the expedition is thus recorded:--
'As for my sermons in Australia, I found to my surprise that every minute was so occupied that I could not make time to write; and as for doing so in New Zealand before I started, why, I systematized and put into the printer's hands, in about four months, grammars, &c., more or less complete, of seventeen languages, working up eight or ten more in MS.!
'I had to preach extempore for the most part: I did not at all like it, but what could I do? Sermons and speeches followed like hail--at least one, sometimes two on week-days, and three on Sundays. I preached on such points as I had often talked out with the Primate and Sir William, and illustrated principles by an occasional statement of facts drawn from missionary experience.
'Now, old Fan, as you know, the misery of self-consciousness and conceit clings to me. I can't, as dear old father could, tell you what actually occurred without doing myself harm in the telling of it.
'It pleased God to make me able to say all through what I think it was good for people to hear. All meetings and services (with a few, very few exceptions, from heavy rains, &c.) were crowded. I could not in a few minutes speak with any degree of completeness on subjects which for years had occupied my thoughts: I was generally about an hour and a half, occasionally longer--I tried to be shorter. But people were attentive and interested all through. At Melbourne, it was said that 1,500 children (at a meeting for them) were present, and 500 adults, including many of the most educated people. All, children included, were as still as mice for an hour and a half, except occasional cheers.
'But generally there was little excitement. I did not, as you can suppose, take the sensation line; spoke very rapidly, for I had no time to spare--but clearly and quietly, sometimes gravely, sometimes with exceeding earnestness, and exposed sophistries and fallacies and errors about the incapacity of the black races, &c. There were times when I lost all sense of nervousness and self, and only wished that 10,000 people had been present, for I felt that I was speaking out, face to face, plain simple words of truth.
'The effect at the time was no doubt very remarkable. The Dean of Melbourne, e.g., said publicly that no such earnestness in religious, matters had ever been exhibited there. The plan of Mission work was simple, practicable, commended itself to hard-headed men of business. Many came to hear who had been disgusted with the usual sentiment- alism and twaddle, the absence of knowledge of human nature, the amount of conventional prejudice, &c. They were induced to come by friends who represented that this was something quite different, and these men went away convinced in many cases, seconding resolutions and paying subscriptions.
'I said what was true, that I was the mouthpiece of the Bishop of New Zealand; that I could speak freely of the plan of the Mission, for it was not my plan, &c. How I was carried through it all, I can't say. I was unusually well, looked and felt bright, and really after a while enjoyed it, though I was always glad when my share in the speechifying was over. Yet I did feel it a blessing, and a privilege, to stand up there and speak out; and I did speak out, and told them their plain duties, not appealing to feelings, but aiming at convincing the judgment. I told 1,500 people in church at Sydney, "I speak as to wise men, judge ye what I say." Do you know, Fan, I almost feel that if I live a few years I ought to write a book, unless I can get the Primate to do it? So much that is self-evident to us, I now see to be quite unknown to many good educated men. I don't mean a silly book, but a very simple statement of general principles of Christian work, showing the mode that must be adopted in dealing with men as partakers of a common nature, coupled with the many modifications and adaptations to circumstances which equally require special gifts of discernment and wisdom from on high. Then occasional narratives, by way of illustration, to clench the statement of principles, might be introduced; but I can't write, what I might write if I chose, folios of mere events without deducing from them some maxims for Christian practice.'
The impression produced was deep and lasting at all the Australian capitals, including Brisbane.
A plan was even set on foot for transferring a part of the Melanesian school to a little island not far from the coast of Queensland, in a much warmer climate than Kohimarama, where it was thought Australian natives might be gathered in.
Here is the description of the place, written a day or two after the return to New Zealand:--
'St. Andrew's: April 27, 1864.
'My dear Cousin,--I returned on the 24th from Australia. I visited the dioceses of Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Everywhere I met with great encouragement; and indeed, I thank God that (as I had hoped) the special work of the Mission became the means of exciting unusual interest in the work of the Church generally. It was a great opportunity, a great privilege in the crowded meetings to tell people face to face their duties, to stand up as the apologist of the despised Australian black, and the Chinese gold-digger, and the Melanesian islander.
'All the Primate had taught me--what heathenism is, how to deal with it, the simple truisms about the "common sin, common redemption," the capacity latent in every man, because he is a man, and not a fallen angel nor a brute beast, the many conventional errors on Mission (rather) ministerial work--many, many things I spoke of very fully and frequently. I felt it was a great responsibility. How strange that I forgot all my nervous dread, and only wished there could be thousands more present, for I knew that I was speaking words of truth, of hope, and love; and God did mercifully bless much that He enabled, me to say, and men's hearts were struck within them, though, indeed, I made no effort to excite them.
'Much may result from it. We may have a branch school on the S.W. of Curtis Island, on the east coast of Queensland, healthy, watered, wooded, with anchorage, about 25° S. latitude, a fair wind to and from some of the islands; to which place I could rapidly carry away sick persons.
'There I could convey two hundred or more scholars, in the same time required to bring sixty to New Zealand; there yams can be grown; there it may be God's will that a work may be commenced at length among the remnant that is left of the Australian blacks. The latter consideration is very strongly urged upon me by the united voice of the Australian Churches, by none more strongly than by the Bishop of Sydney. I dare to hope that the communion of the Australian and New Zealand Churches will be much strengthened by the Mission as a link. What blessings, what mercies!
'This will not involve an abandonment of St Andrew's, but the work must expand. I think Australia will supply near 1,000 pounds a year, perhaps more before long.
'To teach me that all is in His hands, we have again had a visitation from dysentery. It has been very prevalent everywhere, no medical men remember such a season. We have lost from consumption two, and from dysentery six this year; in fourteen months not less than fourteen: more than in all the other years put together. Marvellous to relate, all our old baptized and confirmed scholars are spared to us. Good-bye, and God ever bless and keep you.
'Your affectionate cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON, Bishop.'
One of these deaths was that of Kareambat, the little New Caledonian confided to the Bishop of New Zealand by poor Basset. He had been christened on the previous Epiphany.
No doubt this grief on coming home increased the effect of this year of trial. Indeed even on the voyage there had been this admission, 'Somehow I don't feel right with all this holiday; I have worked really very hard, but "change of work is the best holiday." I don't feel springy. I am not so young as I was, that's the truth of it, and this life is not likely to be a long one. Yet when used up for this work, absence of continual anxiety and more opportunity of relaxation may carry a man on without his being wholly useless!'
The Maori war was a constant grief and anxiety to all the friends on shore, and there was thus evidently much less elasticity left to meet the great shock that was preparing for the voyagers in the expedition of 1864. Mr. Codrington was not of the party, having been obliged to go to England to decide whether it was possible to give himself wholly to the Mission; and the staff therefore consisted of Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and Mr. Palmer, with Mr. Joseph Atkin, whose journal his family have kindly put at my disposal.
The endeavour was to start after the Ascension Day Communion, but things were not forward enough. May was not, however, very far advanced before the 'Southern Cross' was at sea.
On May 17, Norfolk Island was visited, and Edwin Nobbs and Fisher Young had what proved to be their last sight, of their home and friends. The plan was to go on to Nengone and Erromango, take up the stores sent to the latter place from Sydney, drop the two clergymen at Mota, and after a stay there, go to the New Hebrides, and then take up the party, and if possible leave them to make experiment of Curtis Island, while going to those Santa Cruz islands for which he always seems to have had such a yearning.
'I feel as usual,' he finishes the letter sent from Norfolk Island, 'that no one can tell what may be the issue of such voyages. I pray and trust that God will mercifully reveal to me "what I ought to do, and give me grace and power to fulfil the same."
'I have now been for some time out of the way of this kind of work, but I hope that all may be safely ordered for us. It is all in His hands; and you all feel, as I try to do, that there should be no cause for anxiety or trouble.
'Yet there are moments when one has such an overwhelming sense of one's sins and negligences provoking God to chastise one. I know that His merciful intention towards men must be accomplished, and on the whole I rest thankfully in that, and feel that He will not suffer my utter unworthiness to hinder His work of love and goodness.'
At Mota, Mr. Atkin's journal shows to what work a real helper needed to be trained:--
'The Mission-house had lost its roof in a gale of wind. The epidemic that was raging last year did not seem to have continued long after with such violence; some more of the people were dead, but not very many. We took off all the Mota boys, and things that were wanted in three boat-loads, the last time leaving the Bishop. There was, fortunately, very little surf, and we got nothing wet, but as the tide was high, we had to carry the things over the coral reefs with the water a little above our knees.
'About an hour later we dropped anchor at Vanua Lava. On Saturday morning I went ashore with the boat, and got water for washing and sand for scrubbing decks, and several tons of taro and yams discharged on board the vessel. Then made another trip, left all the boys on shore for a holiday, and took off twelve or fourteen cwt. of yams, taro, and cocoa-nuts. After dinner and washing up, went to fetch boys back. Where we bought the yams there was such a surf breaking that we could not haul the boat on the beach, and we had to wade and carry them out. After we got on board, we had a bathe. Two of the Solomon Islanders distinguished themselves by jumping off the fore-yard, and diving under the ship. Mr. Tilly and the mates had been stowing, and the rest of us had been getting yams all day, and if our friends could have seen us then, haggard-looking and dirty, singing choruses to nigger melodies, how shocked they would have been!
'Next Thursday went across to Mota, took the Bishop on board, and sailed south as fast as possible.
'Sunday morning we were at the entrance of the passage between Ambrym and Mallicolo, without a breath of wind. We had service at 10 A.M.; and in the afternoon, psalms and hymns and chants in the cabin, the Bishop doing most of the singing.
'June 6th.--On Monday morning we landed at the old place at Tariko. We began to buy some yams. The Bishop and William Pasvorang went ashore, and the rest of us stayed in the boat, keeping her afloat and off the reefs. Unfortunately the place where we landed was neutral ground between two tribes, who both brought yams to the place to sell. One party said another was getting too many hatchets, and two or three drew off and began shooting at the others. One man stood behind the Bishop, a few feet from him, and fired away in the crowd with a will. The consternation and alarm of both parties were very ludicrous. Some of each set were standing round the boat, armed with bows and arrows, but they were so frightened that they never seemed to think of using them, but ran off as hard as they could scamper to the shallow water, looking over their shoulders to see if the enemies' arrows were after them. One arrow was fired at the Bishop from the shore, and one hit the boat just as we pushed off.
'The Bishop himself says of this fray:--"I was in the middle, one man only remained by me, crouching under the lee of the branch of the tree, and shooting away from thence within a yard of me. I did not like to leave the steel-yard, and I had to detach it from the rope with which it was tied to the tree, and the basket too was half full of yams and heavy, so that it was some time before I got away, and walked down the beach, and waded to the boat, shooting going on all round at the time; no one shooting at me, yet as they shot on both sides of me at each other, I was thankful to get well out of it. I thought of him who preserves from "the arrow that flieth by day," as He has so mercifully preserved so many of us from "the sickness." Now don't go and let this little affair be printed.'
At Parama there was a friendly landing. At Sopevi Mr. Atkin says: 'We could not find the landing place where the Bishop two years ago found several people. We saw three or four on the shore. They were just the same colour as the dust from the volcano. What a wretched state they must be in! If they go to the neighbouring-isles they will be killed as enemies, and if they stay at home they are constantly suffocated by the ashes, which seemed to have fallen lately to the depth of more than afoot.'
At Mallicolo a landing place was found, and an acquaintance begun by means of gifts of calico. At Leper's Island St. Barnabas Day was celebrated by bringing off two boys, but here again was peril. The Bishop writes:--
'The people, though constantly fighting, and cannibals and the rest of it, are to me very attractive, light-coloured, and some very handsome. As I sat on the beach with a crowd about me, most of them suddenly jumped up and ran off. Turning my head I saw a man (from the boat they saw two men) a few yards from me, corning to me with club uplifted. I remained sitting, and held out a few fish-hooks to him, but one or two men jumped up and seizing him by the waist forced him off. After a few minutes (lest they should think I was suspicious of them), I went back to the boat. I found out from the two young men who went away with me from another place, just what I expected to hear, viz. that a poor fellow called Moliteum was shot dead two months ago by a trader for stealing a bit of calico. The wonder was, not that they wanted to avenge the death of their kinsman, but that the others should have prevented it. How could they possibly know that I was not one of the wicked set? Yet they did discriminate; and here again, always by the merciful Providence of God, the plan of going among the people unarmed and unsuspiciously has been seen to disarm their mistrust and to make them regard me as a friend.'
Curtis Island was inspected, but there was no possibility of leaving a party to make experiment on it; and then the 'Southern Cross' sailed for the Santa Cruz cluster, that group whose Spanish name was so remarkable a foreboding of what they were destined to become to that small party of Christian explorers. Young Atkin made no entry in his diary of those days, and could never bear to speak of them; and yet, from that time forward, his mind was fully made up to cast in his lot with the Mission.
It was on August 15 that the first disaster at these islands took place. Not till the 27th could the Bishop--on his sister Fanny's birthday--begin a letter to her, cheering himself most touchingly with the thought of the peace at home, and then he broke off half way, and could not continue for some days:--
'My dearest Fan,--You remember the old happy anniversaries of your birthday--the Feniton party--the assembly of relations--the regular year's festivity.
'No doubt this anniversary brings as much true happiness, the assurance of a more abiding joy, the consciousness of deeper and truer sympathy. You are, I hope, to pass the day cheerfully and brightly with perhaps ---- and ---- about you.... Anyhow, I shall think of you as possibly all together, the remnant of the old family gathering, on a calm autumn day, with lovely South Devon scenery around you.
'The day comes to me in the midst of one of the deepest sorrows I have ever known--perhaps I have never felt such sorrow...perhaps I have never been so mercifully supported under it. It is a good and profitable sorrow I trust for me: it has made so much in me reveal itself as hollow, worldly, selfish, vainglorious. It has, I hope, helped to strip away the veil, and may be by God's blessing the beginning of more earnest life-long repentance and preparation for death.
'On August 15 I was at Santa Cruz. You know that I had a very remarkable day there three years ago. I felt very anxious to renew acquaintance with the people, who are very numerous and strong.
'I went off in the boat with Atkin (twenty), Pearce (twenty-three or twenty-four years old), Edwin Nobbs, Fisher Young, and Hunt Christian, the last three Norfolk Islanders. Atkin, Edwin and Fisher have been with me for two or three years--all young fellows of great promise, Fisher perhaps the dearest of all to me, about eighteen, and oh! so good, so thoroughly truthful, conscientious, and unselfish!
'I landed at two places among many people, and after a while came back as usual to the boat. All seemed pleasant and hopeful. At the third place I landed amidst a great crowd, waded over the broad reef (partially uncovered at low water), went into a house, sat down for some time, then returned among a great crowd to the boat and got into it. I had some difficulty in detaching the hands of some men swimming in the water.
'Well, when the boat was about fifteen yards from the reef, on which crowds were standing, they began (why I know not) to shoot at us.-- (Another letter adds) 300 or 400 people on the reef, and five or six canoes being round us, they began to shoot at us.--I had not shipped the rudder, so I held it up, hoping it might shield off any arrows that came straight, the boat being end on, and the stern, having been backed into the reef, was nearest to them.
'When I looked round after a minute, providentially indeed, for the boat was being pulled right into a small bay on the reef, and would have grounded, I saw Pearce lying between the thwarts, with the long shaft of an arrow in his chest, Edwin Nobbs with an arrow as it seemed in his left eye, many arrows flying close to us from many quarters. Suddenly Fisher Young, pulling the stroke oar, gave a faint scream; he was shot through the left wrist. Not a word was spoken, only my "Pull! port oars, pull on steadily." Once dear Edwin, with the fragment of the arrow sticking in his cheek, and the blood streaming down, called out, thinking even then more of me than of himself, "Look out, sir! close to you!" But indeed, on all sides they were close to us!
'How we any of us escaped I can't tell; Fisher and Edward pulled on, Atkin had taken Pearce's oar, Hunt pulled the fourth oar. By God's mercy no one else was hit, but the canoes chased us to the schooner. In about twenty minutes we were on board, the people in the canoes round the vessel seeing the wounded paddled off as hard as they could, expecting of course that we should take vengeance on them. But I don't at all think that they were cognisant of the attack on shore.'
Several letters were written about this adventure; but I have thought it better to put them together, every word being Bishop Patteson's own, because such a scene is better realised thus than by reading several descriptions for the most part identical. What a scene it is! The palm-clad island, the reef and sea full of the blacks, the storm of long arrows through the air, the four youths pulling bravely and steadily, and their Bishop standing over them, trying to ward off the blows with the rudder, and gazing with the deep eyes and steadfast smile that had caused many a weapon to fall harmless!
Pearce, it should be observed, was a volunteer for the Mission then on a trial-trip.
There was an even more trying time to come on board. The Bishop continues:--
'I drew out the arrow from Pearce's chest: a slanting wound not going in very deep, running under the skin, yet of apparently almost fatal character to an ignorant person like myself; Five inches were actually inside him. The arrow struck him almost in the centre of the chest and in the direction of the right breast. There was no effusion of blood, he breathed with great difficulty, groaning and making a kind of hollow sound, was perfectly composed, gave me directions and messages in case of his death. I put on a poultice and bandage, and leaving him in charge of some one, went to Fisher. The wrist was shot through, but the upper part of the arrow broken off and deep down; bleeding profuse, of which I was glad; I cut deeply, though fearing much to cut an artery, but I could not extract the wooden arrow-head. At length getting a firm hold of the projecting point of the arrow on the lower side of his wrist, I pulled it through: it came out clean. The pain was very great, he trembled and shivered: we gave him brandy, and he recovered. I poulticed the wound and went to Edwin. Atkin had got out the splinter from his wound; the arrow went in near the eye and came out by the cheek-bone: it was well syringed, and the flow of blood had been copious from the first. The arrows were not bone-headed, and not poisoned, but I well knew that lock-jaw was to be dreaded. Edwin's was not much more than a flesh wound. Fisher's being in the wrist, frightened me more: their patience and quiet composure and calm resignation were indeed a strength and comfort to us all.
'This was on Monday, August 15. All seemed doing well for a day or two, I kept on poultices, gave light nourishing food, &c. But on Saturday morning Fisher said to me, "I can't make out what makes my jaws feel so stiff."
'Then my heart sank down within me, and I prayed earnestly, earnestly to God. I talked to the dear dear lad of his danger, night and day we prayed and read. A dear guileless spirit indeed. I never saw in so young a person such a thorough conscientiousness as for two years I witnessed in his daily life, and I had long not only loved but respected him.
'We had calm weather and could not get on. By Saturday the jaws were tight-locked. Then more intense grew the pain, the agony, the whole body rigid like a bar of iron! Oh! how I blessed God who carried me through that day and night. How good he was in his very agonies, in his fearful spasms, thanking God, praying, pressing my hand when I prayed and comforted him with holy words of Scripture. None but a well-disciplined, humble, simple Christian could so have borne his sufferings: the habit of obedience and faith and patience; the childlike unhesitating trust in God's love and fatherly care, supported him now. He never for a moment lost his hold upon God. What a lesson it was! it calmed us all. It almost awed me to see in so young a lad so great an instance of God's infinite power, so great a work of good perfected in one young enough to have been confirmed by me.
'At 1 A.M. (Monday) I moved from his side to my couch, only three yards off. Of course we were all (I need not say) in the after cabin. He said faintly, "Kiss me. I am very glad that I was doing my duty. Tell my father that I was in the path of duty, and he will be so glad. Poor Santa Cruz people! "Ah! my dear boy, you will do more for their conversion by your death than ever we shall by our lives. And as I lay down almost convulsed with sobs, though not audible, he said (so Mr. Tilly afterwards told me), "Poor Bishop!" How full his heart was of love and peace, and thoughts of heaven. "Oh! what love," he said. The last night when I left him for an hour or two at 1 A.M. only to lie down in my clothes by his side, he said faintly (his body being then rigid as a bar of iron), "Kiss me, Bishop." At 4 A.M. he started as if from a trance; he had been wandering a good deal, but all his words even then were of things pure and holy. His eyes met mine, and I saw the consciousness gradually coming back into them. "They never stop singing there, sir, do they?"--for his thoughts were with the angels in heaven. Then, after a short time, the last terrible struggle, and then he fell asleep. And remember, all this in the midst of that most agonizing, it may be, of all forms of death. At 4 A.M. he was hardly conscious, not fully conscious: there were same fearful spasms: we fanned him and bathed his head and occasionally got a drop or two of weak brandy or wine and water down. Then came the last struggle. Oh! how I thanked God when his head at length fell back, or rather his whole body, for it was without joint, on my arm: long drawn sighs with still sadder contraction of feature succeeded, and while I said the Commendatory Prayer, he passed away.
'The same day we anchored in Port Patteson, and buried him in a quiet spot near the place where the Primate and I first landed years ago. It seems a consecration of the place that the body of that dear child should be resting there.
'Some six years ago, when Mrs. Selwyn stopped at Norfolk Island she singled him out as the boy of special promise. For two or three years he had been with me, and my affection flowed out naturally to him. God had tried him by the two sicknesses at Kohimarama and at Mota, and by his whole family returning to Pitcairn. I saw that he had left all for this work. He had become most useful, and oh! how we shall miss him!
'But about five days after this (August 22) Edwin's jaws began to stiffen. For nine or ten days there was suspense, so hard to bear. Some symptoms were not so bad, it did not assume so acute a form. I thought he ought to be carried through it. He was older, about twenty-one, six feet high, a strong handsome young man, the pride of Norfolk Island, the destined helper and successor (had God so willed) of his father, the present Clergyman. The same faith, the same patience, the same endurance of suffering.
'On Friday, September 2, I administered the Holy Communion to him and Pearce. He could scarce swallow the tiniest crumb. He was often delirious, yet not one word but spoke of things holy and pure, almost continually in prayer. He was in the place where Fisher had died, the best part of the cabin for an invalid. Sunday came: he could take no nourishment, stomach and back in much pain: a succession of violent spasms at about 10.30 A.M., but his body never became quite rigid. The death struggle at 1 A.M. September 5, was very terrible. Three of us could scarcely hold him. Then he sank back on my arm, and his spirit passed away as I commended his soul to God. Then all motionless. After some minutes, I said the first prayer in the Burial Service, then performed the last offices, then had a solemn talk with Pearce, and knelt down, I know not how long.
'We buried him at sea. All this time we were making very slow progress; indeed the voyage has been very remarkable in all respects. Pearce seems to be doing very well, so that I am very hopeful about him. The temperature now is only 72 degrees, and I imagine that his constitution is less liable to that particular disease. Yet punctured wounds are always dangerous on this account.
'Patience and trust in God, the same belief in His goodness and love, that He orders all things for our good, that this is but a proof of His merciful dealing with us: such comforts God has graciously not withheld. I never felt so utterly broken down, when I thought, and think, of the earthly side of it all; never perhaps so much realised the comfort and power of His Presence, when I have had grace to dwell upon the heavenly and abiding side of it. I do with my better part heartily and humbly thank Him, that He has so early taken these dear ones by a straight and short path to their everlasting home. I think of them with blessed saints, our own dear ones, in Paradise, and in the midst of my tears I bless and praise God.
'But, dear Fan, Fisher most of all supplied to me the absence of earthly relations and friends. He was my boy: I loved him as I think I never loved any one else. I don't mean more than you all, but in a different way: not as one loves another of equal age, but as a parent loves a child.
'I can hardly think of my little room at Kohimarama without him. I long for the sight of his dear face, the sound of his voice. It was my delight to teach him, and he was clever and so thoughtful and industrious. I know it is good that my affections should be weaned from all things earthly. I try to be thankful, I think I am thankful really; time too will do much, God's grace much more. I only wonder how I have borne it all. "In the multitude of the sorrows that I had in my heart, Thy comforts have refreshed my soul." Mr. Tilly has been and is full of sympathy, and is indeed a great aid. He too has a heavy loss in these two dear ones. And now I must land at Norfolk Island in the face of the population crowding the little pier. Mr. Nobbs will be there, and the brothers and sisters of Edwin, and the uncles and aunts of Fisher.
'Yet God will comfort them; they have been called to the high privilege of being counted worthy to suffer for their Savior's sake. However much I may reproach myself with want of caution and of prayer for guidance (and this is a bitter thought), they were in the simple discharge of their duty. Their intention and wish were to aid in bringing to those poor people the Gospel of Christ. It has pleased God that in the execution of this great purpose they should have met with their deaths. Surely there is matter for comfort here!
'I can't write all this over again.... I have written at some length to Jem also; put the two letters together, and you will be able to realise it somewhat.
'This is a joint letter to you and Joan. It was begun on your birthday, and it has been written with a heavy, dull weight of sorrow on my heart, yet not unrelieved by the blessed consciousness of being drawn, as I humbly trust, nearer to our most merciful Father in heaven, if only by the very impossibility of finding help elsewhere. It has not been a time without its own peculiar happiness. How much of the Bible seemed endued with new powers of comfort.... How true it is, that they who seek, find. "I sought the Lord, and He heard me." The closing chapters of the Gospels, 2 Corinthians, and how many other parts of the New Testament were blessings indeed! Jeremy Taylor's "Life of Christ," and "Holy Living and Dying," Thomas a Kempis, most of all of course the Prayer-book, and such solemn holy memories of our dear parents and uncles, such blessed hopes of reunion, death brought so near, the longing (if only not unprepared) for the life to come: I could not be unhappy. Yet I could not sustain such a frame of mind long; and then when I sank to the level of earthly thoughts, then came the weary heartache, and the daily routine of work was so distasteful, and I felt sorely tempted to indulge the "luxury of grief." But, thanks be to God, it is not altogether an unhealthy sorrow, and I can rest in the full assurance that all this is working out God's purposes of love and mercy to us all--Melanesians, Pitcairners, and all; and that I needed the discipline I know full well....
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
It was not possible to touch at Norfolk Island, each attempt was baffled by the winds; and on September 16 the 'Southern Cross' anchored at Kohimarama, and a sad little note was sent up to the Primate with the announcement of the deaths and losses.
In spite of the comfort which, as this note said, Patteson felt 'in the innocence of their lives, and the constancy of their faith' unto the death, the fate of these two youths, coming at the close of a year of unusual trial, which, as he had already said, had diminished his elasticity, had a lasting effect. It seemed to take away his youthful buoyancy, and marked lines of care on his face that never were effaced. The first letter after his return begins by showing how full his heart was of these his children:--
'Kohimarama: Sunday, September 18, 1864.
'My dearest Fan,--I must try to write without again making my whole letter full of dear Edwin and Fisher. That my heart is full of them you can well believe.
'These last five weeks have taught me that my reading of the Bible was perhaps more intellectual and perhaps more theological than devotional, to a dangerous extent probably; anyhow I craved for it as a revelation not only of truth, but of comfort and support in heavy sorrow. It may be that when the sorrow does not press so heavily, the Bible cannot speak so wonderfully in that particular way of which I am writing, and it is right to read it theologically also.
'But yet it should always be read with a view to some practical result; and so often there is not a special, though many general points which may make our reading at once practical. Then comes the real trial, and then comes the wondrous power of God's Word to help and strengthen.
'Now it helps me to know where I am, to learn how others manage to see where they are.
'All that you say about self-consciousness, &c., can't I understand it! Ah! when I saw the guileless pure spirit of those two dear fellows ever brightening more and more for now two years. I had respected them as much as I loved them. I used to think, "Yes, we must become such as they; we too must seek and pray for the mind of a little child."
'And surely the contemplation of God is the best cure. How admirable Jeremy Taylor is on those points! Oh that he had not overlaid it all with such superabundant ornamentation of style and rhetoric. But it is the manner of the age. Many persons I suppose get over it, perhaps like it; but I long for the same thoughts, the same tenderness and truthfulness, and faithful searching words with a clear, simple, not unimaginative diction. Yet his book is a great heritage.
'Newman has a sermon on Contemplation or Meditation, I forget which; and my copy is on board. But I do hope that by praying for humility, with contemplation of God's majesty and love and our Savior's humility and meekness, some improvement may be mercifully vouchsafed to me.
'To dwell on His humiliation, His patience, that He should seek for heavenly aids, accept the ministration of an angel strengthening Him, how full of mystery and awe! and yet written for us! And yet we are proud and self-justified and vainglorious!
'The Archbishop of York, in "Aids to Faith," on the Death of Christ, has some most solemn and deep remarks on the Lord's Agony. I don't know that it could ever be quite consistent with reverence to speak on what is there suggested. Yet if I could hear Mr. Keble and Dr. Pusey (say) prayerfully talking together on that great mystery, I should feel that it might be very profitable. But he must be a very humble man who should dare to speak on it. Yet read it, Fan, it cannot harm you; it is very awful, it is fully meant that He was sinless, without spot, undefiled through all. It makes the mystery of sin, and of what it cost to redeem our souls, more awful than ever.
'And then, surely to the contemplation of God and the necessary contrast of our own weakness and misery, we add the thought of our approaching death, we anticipate the hours, the days, it may be the weeks and months, even the years of weariness, pain, sleeplessness, thirst, distaste for food, murmuring thoughts, evil spirits haunting us, impatient longings after rest for which we are not yet prepared, the thousand trials, discomforts, sadnesses of sickness--yes, it must come in some shape; and is it to come as a friend or an enemy to snatch us from what we love and enjoy, or to open the gates of Paradise?
'I humbly thank God that, while I dare not be sure that I am not mistaken, and suppose that if ready to go I should be taken, the thought of death at a distance is the thought of rest and peace, of more blessed communion with God's saints, holy angels and the Lord. Yet I dare not feel that if death was close at hand, it might not be far otherwise. How often the "Christian Year," and all true divinity helps up here! Why indulge in such speculations? Seek to prepare for death by dying daily. Oh! that blessed text: Be not distracted, worry not yourselves about the morrow, for the morrow shall, &c. How it does carry one through the day! Bear everything as sent from God for your good, by way of chastisement or of proving you. Pusey's sermon on Patience, Newman's on a Particular Providence, guarding so wisely against abuse as against neglect of the doctrine. How much to comfort and guide one! and then, most of all, the continual use of the Prayer-book. Do you often use the Prayer at the end of the Evening Service for Charles the Martyr? Leave out from "great deep...teach us to number"-- and substitute "pride" for "splendour." Leave out "according to... blessed martyr." In the Primate's case, it is a prayer full of meaning, and it may have a meaning for us all.
'Once more, the love of approbation is right and good, but then it must be the love of the approbation of God and of good men. Here, as everywhere, we abuse His gift; and it is a false teaching which bids us suppress the human instinct which God implanted in us, but a true leading, which bids us direct and use it to its appointed and legitimate use. On this general subject, read if you have not read them, and you can't read them too often, Butler's Sermons; you know, the great Butler. I think you will easily get an analysis of them, such as Mill's "Analysis of Pearson on the Creed," which will help you, if you want it. Analyse them for yourself, if you like, and send me out your analysis to look at. There is any amount of fundamental teaching there and the imprimatur of thousands of good men to assure us of it.
'I think, as I have written to Joan, that if I were with you, after the first few days my chiefest delight would be in reading and talking over our reading of good books. Edwin and Fisher were beginning to understand thoughtful books; and how I did delight in reading with them, interspersing a little Pitcairn remark here and there! Ah! never more! never more! But they don't want books now. All is clear now: they live where there is no night, in the Glory of God and of the Lamb, resting in Paradise, anticipating the full consummation of the Life of the Resurrection. Thanks be to God, and it may not be long--but I must not indulge such thoughts.
'I feel better, but at times this sad affliction weighs me down much, and business of all kinds seems almost to multiply. Yet there are many many comforts, and kindest sympathy.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
Just at this time heavy sorrow fell upon Bishop Hobhouse of Nelson; and the little council of friends at Auckland decided that Bishop Patteson should go at once to do his best to assist and comfort him, and bring him back to Auckland. There was a quiet time of wholesome rest at Nelson; and the effects appeared in numerous letters, and in the thinking out of many matters on paper to his sisters.
'Oh! how I think with such ever-increasing love of dear Fisher and Edwin! How I praised God for them on All Saints' Day. But I don't expect to recover spring and elasticity yet awhile. I don't think I shall ever feel so young again. Really it is curious that the number of white hairs is notably increased in these few weeks (though it is silly to talk about it. Don't mention it!), and I feel very tired and indolent. No wonder I seem to "go softly." But I am unusually happy down in the depths, only the surface troubled. I hope that it is not fancy only that makes the shortness and uncertainty of this life a ground of comfort and joy. Perhaps it is, indeed I think it is, very much a mere cowardly indolent shirking of work.
'Did I say I thought I might some day write a book? It will be some day indeed. It seems funny enough to think of such a thing. The fact is, it is much easier to me to speak than to write. I think I could learn with a good deal of leisure and trouble to write intelligibly, but not without it. I am so diffusive and wanting in close condensed habits of thought. How often I go off in a multitude of words, and really say nothing worthy to be remembered.
'How I should enjoy, indeed, a day or two at Hursley with Mr. and Mrs. Keble. A line from him now and then, if he can find time, would be a great delight to me; but I know that he thinks and prays, and that is indeed a great happiness.
'Oh, the blessing of such thoughts as All Saints' Day brings!--and now more dear than ever, every day brings!--"Patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and every spirit made perfect in the faith of Christ," as an old Liturgy says. And the Collects in the Burial Service! How full, how simple and soothing, how full of calm, holy, tender, blessed hopes and anticipations!
'So you think the large Adelaide photograph very sad. I really don't remember it; I fancy I thought it a very fair likeness. But you know that I have a heavy lumpy dull look, except when talking--indeed, then too for aught I know--and this may be mistaken for a sad look when it is only a dull stupid one. You can't get a nice picture out of an ugly face, so it's no use trying, but you are not looking for that kind of thing. You want to see how far the face is any index of the character and life and work.
I don't think it odd that I should look careworn. I have enough to make me so! And yet if I were with you now, brightened up by being with you, you would say, "How well he looks!" And you would think I had any amount of work in me, as you saw me riding or walking or holding services. And then I had to a very considerable extent got over that silly shyness, which was a great trial and drawback to me of old, and sadly prevented me from enjoying the society of people (at Oxford especially) which would have done me much good. But without all these bodily defects, I should have been even more vain, and so I can see the blessing and mercy now, though how many times I have indulged murmuring rebellious thoughts!
'Perhaps I shall live ten or twenty years, and look back and say, "I recollect how in '64 I really almost thought I should not last long." But don't fancy that I am morbidly cherishing such fancies. Only I like you all to know me as I am changing in feeling from time to time. There is quite enough to account for it all.'
A few days later he returned to Auckland, and thence wrote to me a letter on the pros and cons of a move from New Zealand. The sight of ships and the town he had ceased to think of great importance, and older scholars had ceased to care for it, and there was much at that time to recommend Curtis Island to his mind. The want of bread-fruit was the chief disadvantage he then saw in it, but he still looked to keeping up Kohimarama for a good many years to come. I cannot describe how tender and considerate he was of feelings he thought I might possibly have of disappointment that St. Andrew's was not a successful experiment as far as health was concerned, evidently fearing that I had set my hopes on that individual venture, and that my feelings might be hurt if it had to be deserted.
The next letters are a good deal occupied with the troubles incident to the judgment upon 'Essays and Reviews.' He took a view, as has been seen, such as might be expected of the delicate refining metaphysical mind, thinking out points for itself, and weighing the possible value of every word, and differed from those who were in the midst of the contest, and felt some form of resistance and protest needful. He was strongly averse to agitation on the subject, and at the same time grieved to find himself for the first time, to his own knowledge, not accepting the policy of those whom he so much respected; though the only difference in his mind from theirs was as to the manner of the maintenance of the truth, and the immediate danger of error going uncondemned--a point on which his remote life perhaps hardly enabled him to judge.
All these long letters and more, which were either in the same tone, or too domestic to be published, prove the leisure caused by having an unusually small collection of pupils, and happily all in fair health; but with Christmas came a new idea, or rather an old one renewed. Instead of only going to Norfolk Island, on sufferance from the Pitcairn Committee, and by commission from the Bishop of Tasmania, a regular request was made, by Sir John Young, the Governor of Australia, that the Pitcairners might be taken under his supervision, so that, as far as Government was concerned, the opposition was withdrawn which had hindered his original establishment there, though still Curtis Island remained in the ascendency in the schemes of this summer. The ensuing is a reply to Sir John Coleridge's letter, written after hearing of the attack at Santa Cruz:--
'Kohimarama: March 3, 1865.
'My dearest Uncle,--Many many thanks for your letter, so full of comfort and advice. I need not tell you that the last budget of letters revived again most vividly not only the actual scene at Santa Cruz, but all the searchings of heart that followed it. I believe that we are all agreed on the main point. Enough ground has been opened for the present. Codrington was right in saying that the object of late has been to fill up gaps. But some of the most hazardous places to visit lie nearest to the south, e.g. some of the New Hebrides, &c., south of the Banks Islands. My notion is, that I ought to be content even to pass by (alas!) some places where I had some hold when I had reason to feel great distrust of the generally kind intentions of the people (that is a dark sentence, but you know my meaning). In short, there are very few places where I can feel, humanly speaking, secure against this kind of thing. It is always in the power of even one mischievous fellow to do mischief. And if the feeling of the majority might be in my favour, yet there being no way of expressing public opinion, no one cares to take an active part in preventing mischief. It is not worth his while to get into a squabble and risk his own life.
'But I shall be (D.V.) very cautious. I dare say I was becoming presumptuous: one among the many faults that are so discernible. It is, dear Uncle, hard to see a wild heathen party on the beach, and not try to get at them. It seems so sad to leave them. But I know that I ought to be prudent, even for my own sake (for I quite suppose that, humanly speaking, my life is of consequence for a few years more), and I can hardly bear the thought of bringing the boat's crew, dear good volunteers, into danger. Young Atkin, the only son of my neighbour, behaved admirably at Santa Cruz, and is very staunch. But his parents have but him and one daughter, and I am bound to be careful indeed. But don't think me careless, if we get into another scrape. There is scarcely one island where I can fully depend upon immunity from all risk. There was no need to talk so much about it all before.
'As to Curtis Island, I need not say that I have no wish indeed to take Australian work in hand. I made it most clear, as I thought, that the object of a site on Curtis Island was the Melanesian and not the Australian Mission. I offered only to incorporate Australian blacks, if proper specimens could be obtained, into our school, regarding in fact East Australia as another Melanesian island. This would only have involved the learning a language or two, and might have been of some use. I did not make any pledge. But I confess that I think some such plan as this one only feasible one. I don't see that the attempts at mission work are made on the most hopeful plan. But I have written to the Brisbane authorities, urging them to appropriate large reserves for the natives. I tell them that it is useless for them to give me a few acres and think they are doing a mission work, if they civilize the native races off their own lands. In short, I almost despair of doing anything for blacks living on the same land with whites. Even here in New Zealand, the distrust now shown to us all, to our religion even, is the result in very great measure of the insolent, covetous behaviour exhibited by the great majority of the white people to the Maori. Who stops in Australia to think whether the land which he wants for his sheep is the hunting ground of native people or not?
'I confess that while I can't bear to despair and leave these poor souls uncared for, I can't propose any scheme but one, and who will work that? If, indeed, one or two men could be found to go and live with a tribe, moving as they move and really identifying himself with their interests! But where are such men, and where is a tribe not already exasperated by injurious treatment?
'It was the statement for our mode of action which commended itself so much to people in Australia, that they urged me to try and do something. But I answered as I have now written; and when at one meeting in Sydney I was asked whether I would take Australians into my school, I said, "Yes, if I can get the genuine wild man, uncontaminated by contact with the white man." I can't, in justice to our Melanesian scholars, take the poor wretched black whose intercourse with white men has rendered him a far more hopeless subject to deal with than the downright ferocious yet not ungenerous savage. "If," was the answer, "you can get them, I will pay for them."
'Indeed, dear Uncle, I don't want more but less work on my hands: yet as I look around, I see (as far as I can judge) so great a want of that prudence and knowledge and calm foresight that the Primate has shown so remarkably, that I declare I do think his plan is almost the only reasonable one for dealing with black races. Alas! you can't put hearty love for strangers into men's hearts by paying them salaries.
'I think that in two or three years I may, if I live, have some preparatory branch school at Curtis Island. If it should clearly succeed, then I think in time the migration from New Zealand might take place. I do not think two schools in two different countries would answer. We want the old scholars to help us in working the school; we can't do without them, and the old scholars can't be trained without the younger ones, the material on whom their teaching, and training faculties must be exercised.
'You all know how deeply I feel about dear Mr. Keble!
'Thank God, we have as yet no dysentery. I baptized last week a lad dying of consumption. There are many blessings, as all clergymen know, in having death scenes so constantly about one; and the having to do everything for these dear fellows makes one love them so....
'Your affectionate and dutiful Nephew,
'J. C. P.'
The above sentence refers to the paralytic attack Mr. Keble had on November 30, 1864. Nevertheless, almost at that very time, he was writing thus:--
'Penzance: March 7, 1865.
'My dear and more than dear Bishop,--It would be vain for me to write to you, if I pretended to do more than just express my heart's wish that I could say something of the doings and sufferings which now for years past we of course associate with your name, so as to encourage and support you in your present manifold distress. But (especially for reasons known only to myself) I must leave that altogether to Him who helps His own to do and suffer. One thing only I would say, that to us at our great distance it looks as if the sanguis martyrum were being to you as the semen Ecclesiae, and you know how such things were hailed in the time of St. Cyprian. May it please God before long to give you some visible earnest of this sure blessing! but I suppose that if it tarry, it may be the greater when it comes. Our troubles as a Church, though of a different kind, are not small. The great point with me is, lest, if in our anxiety to keep things together, we should be sinfully conniving at what is done against the faith, and so bringing a judgment upon ourselves. I do not for a moment think that by anything which has yet been done or permitted our being as a Church is compromised (though things look alarmingly as if it might be before long), but I fear that her well-being is more and more being damaged by our entire and conscious surrender of the disciplinary part of our trust, and that if we are apathetic in such things we may forfeit our charter. There is no doubt, I fear, that personal unbelief is spreading; but I trust that a deeper faith is spreading also; it is (at Oxford, e.g.) Pusey and Moberly, &c., against the Rationalists and other tempters. As to the question of the Bible being (not only containing) the Word, I had no scruples in signing that Declaration. One thought which helped me was, the use made in the New Testament of the Old, which is such as to show that we are not competent judges as to what passages convey deep moral or religious meanings or no. Another, that in every instance where one had the means of ascertaining, so far as I have known, the Bible difficulty has come right: therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that so it would be in all the rest, if we knew the right reading and the right interpretation of the words. And as to what are called the Divine and Human Elements, I have seemed to help myself with the thought that the Divine adoption (if so be) of the human words warrants their truthfulness, as a man's signature makes a letter his own; but whether this is relevant, I doubt. My wife and I are both on the sick list, and I must now only add that we never forget you.
Nothing has hitherto been said of this term at St. Andrew's: so here is an extract from a letter to one of the cousinhood, who had proposed a plan which has since been carried out extensively and with good effect:--
'The difficulty about scholars appropriated to certain places or parishes is this: I cannot be sure of the same persons remaining with me. Some sickness in an island, some panic, some death of a relative, some war, or some inability on my part from bad weather or accident to visit an island, may at any time lose me a scholar. Perhaps he may be the very one that has been appropriated to some one, and what am I to say then?
'This year we have but thirty-eight Melanesians, we ought to have sixty. But after dear Edwin and Fisher's wounds, I could not delay, but hurried southwards, passing by islands with old scholars ready to come away. This was sad work, but what could I do?
'I will gladly assign, to the best of my power, scholars whom I think likely to remain with me to various places or persons; but pray make them understand that their scholar may not always be forthcoming. Anyhow, their alms would go to the support of some Melanesian, who would be their scholar as it were for the time being.
'You would perhaps feel interested in knowing that the Gospel of St. Luke has been printed in the Mota language, to a great extent by our scholars, and that George Sarawia is printing now the Acts, composing it, and doing press-work and all. Young Wogale (about thirteen) prints very fairly, and sent off 250 copies of a prayer, which the Bishop of Nelson wanted for distribution, of which everything was done by him entirely. They both began to learn about last November.
'When morning school is over at 10 A.M., all hands, "dons" and all, are expected to give their time to the Mission till 12.45. Mr. Pritt is general overlooker (which does not mean doing nothing himself) of domestic work: kitchen, garden, farm, dairy, &c. You know that we have no servants. Mr. Palmer prints and teaches printing. Atkin works at whatever may be going on, and has a large share of work to get ready for me, and to read with me: Greek Testament, 12 to 12.45, Greek and Latin from 2 to 3. So all the lads are busy at out-door work from 10 to 12.45; and I assure you, under Mr. Pritt's management, we begin to achieve considerable results in our farm and garden work. We are already economising our expenditure greatly by keeping our own cows, for which we grow food (a good deal artificial), and baking our own bread. We sell some of our butter, and have a grand supply of milk for our scholars, perhaps the very best kind of food for them.
'If we can manage to carry on a winter's school here with some ten or twelve of the lads left under Mr. Pritt's charge, while I go off with the rest, I really think that the industrial department may become something considerable. It is an essential part of the system, for we must begin with teaching habits of order, punctuality, &c:, in respect of those things with which they have already some acquaintance. No Melanesian can understand why he is to sit spelling away at a black board; and he is not like a child of four or five years old, he must be taught through his power of reasoning, and perceiving the meaning of things. Secondly, we can gradually invest the more advanced scholars with responsible duties. There are the head cooks in the various weeks, the heads of departments in garden work, &c., &c. As these lads and men are being trained (we hope) to teach others, and as we want them to teach industry, decency, cleanliness, punctuality, to be, and to teach others to be honest, and careful, and thoughtful, so we find all these lessons are learnt more in the industrial work than in the mere book work, though that is not neglected. Indeed school, in the restricted sense of the word, is going on for four or four and a half hours a day.
'The main difficulty remains, of retaining our hold upon boys. Oh that I could live permanently in twenty islands at once! But I can't do so even in one; and all the letter-writing and accounts, and, worst of all, the necessity for being trustee for matters not a bit connected with Melanesia, because there is no one else, interferes sadly with my time. I think I could work away with the languages, &c., and really do something with these fellows, but I never get a chance. I never have two days together which I can spend exclusively at Melanesian work. And I ought to have nothing whatever to distract me. Twenty languages calling for arrangement and comparison causes confusion enough!'
These interruptions made the Kohimarama life trying. 'As for correspondence,' says the birthday despatch to Fanny, 'why this mail my letters to Victoria alone are twelve, let alone Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Tasmania, New Zealand, and England. Then three sermons a week, occasional services, reading up for a most difficult session of General Synod, with really innumerable interruptions from persons of all kinds. Sometimes I do feel tempted to long for Curtis Island merely to get away from New Zealand! I feel as if I should never do anything here. Everything is in arrears. I turn out of a morning and really don't know what to take up first. Then, just as I am in the middle of a letter (as yesterday) down comes some donkey to take up a quarter of an hour (lucky if not an hour) with idle nonsense; then in the afternoon an invasion of visitors, which is worst of all. That fatal invention of "calling"! However, I never call on anyone, and it is understood now, and people don't expect it. I have not even been to Government House for more than a year!
'There, a good explosion does one good! But why must idle people interfere with busy men? I used to make it up by sitting up and getting up very early indeed; but somehow I feel fit for nothing but sleeping and eating now.'
After an absence of three weeks at the General Synod at Christchurch, the Bishop took up such of his party as were to return, and sailed home, leaving those whom he thought able to brave the winter with Mr. and Mrs. Pritt, on one of the first days of June. The first visit was one to the bereaved family at Norfolk Island, whence a brief note to his brother on the 9th begins:--
'Nothing can be more comforting to me than the loving patient spirit of these dear people. Poor Mr. and Mrs. Nobbs and all the brothers and sisters so good and so full of kindness to me. It was very trying when I first met them yesterday. They came and kissed me, and then, poor things, fairly gave way, and then I began to talk quietly about Edwin and Fisher, and they became calm, and we knelt and prayed together.'
After landing the Bishop at Mota, the others crossed to Port Patteson where they found Fisher Young's grave carefully tended, kept clear of weeds, and with a fence round it. After establishing Mr. Palmer at the station at Mota, the Bishop re-embarked for Santa Maria, where, at the north-east--Cock Sparrow Point, as some one had appropriately called it--the boat was always shot at; but at a village called Lakona, the people were friendly, and five scholars had come from thence, so the Bishop ventured on landing for the night, and a very unpleasant night it, was--the barrack hut was thronged with natives, and when the heat was insufferable and he tried to leave it, two of his former scholars advised him strongly to remain within.
It was bad weather too, and there was some difficulty in fetching him off, and he was thankful that the wet had hindered more than 300 or 400 natives from collecting; there was no possibility of speaking to them quietly, for the sight of the boat suggested trading, and they flocked round as he was fetched off, half a dozen swimming out and begging to go to New Zealand. He took three old scholars and one new one, and sent the others off with fish-hooks, telling them that if they would not behave at Lakona as he liked, he would not do as they liked. However, no arrows were shot.
Then while the 'Southern Cross,' with Mr. Tilly and Mr. Atkin, went on to land the Solomon Island scholars, the work at Mota was resumed in full force. It seems well worth while to dwell on the successive steps in the conversion of this place, and the following letter shows the state of things in the season of 1865:--
'Mota: July 4, 1865.
'My dearest Sisters and Brother,--I must write a joint letter for all, with little notes if I have anything more special for anyone of you. I wish you could see this place. The old hut is queer enough certainly, quite open on one side, and nearly so on another, but it is weather-tight in the middle, with forms to sit on and a table or two like a kitchen table, on which I read and write by day, and sleep by night. Last night we killed five lizards; they get on the roof and drop down and bite pretty severely, so seeing these running all about, we made a raid upon them, poor things. The great banyan tree is as grand as ever, a magnificent tree, a forest in itself, and the view of the sea under its great branches, and of the islands of Matlavo and Valua, is beautiful.
'At daylight I turn off my table and dress, not elaborately--a flannel shirt, old trousers and shoes; then a yam or two is roasted on the embers, and the coffee made, and (fancy the luxury here in Mota!) delicious goat's milk with it. Then the morning passes in reading, writing, and somewhat desultory talking with people, but you can't expect punctuality and great attention. Then at one, a bit of biscuit and cheese (as long as the latter lasts). Mr. Palmer made some bread yesterday. Then generally a walk to meet people at different villages, and talk to them, trying to get them to ask me questions, and I try to question them. Then at 6 P.M., a tea-ation, viz., yam and coffee, and perhaps a crab or two, or a bit of bacon, or some good thing or other. But I forgot! this morning we ate a bit of our first full-grown and fully ripe Mota pine-apple (I brought some two years ago) as large and fine as any specimens I remember in hot-houses. If you mention all these luxuries, we shall have no more subscriptions, but you may add that there is as yet no other pine- apple, though our oranges, lemons, citrons, guavas, &c., are coming on. Anyone living here permanently might make a beautiful place indeed, but it becomes sadly overgrown in our absence, and many things we plant are destroyed by pigs, &c.
'Then after tea--a large party always witnessing that ceremony--there is an hour or so spent in speaking again to the people, and then I read a little with Wadrokala and Carry. Then Mr. Palmer and I read a chapter of Vaughan on the Revelation, then prayers, and so to bed. It seems as if little was done--certain talks with people, sometimes many, sometimes few; yet, on the whole, I hope an increased acquaintance with our teaching. You can well understand that the consciousness of sin and the need of a Redeemer may be talked about, but cannot be stated so as to make one feel that one has stated it in the most judicious and attractive manner. Of course it is the work of God's Spirit to work this conviction in the heart. But it is very hard so to speak of it as to give (if you can understand me) the heathen man a fair chance of accepting what you say. Forgetfulness of God; ingratitude to the Giver of life, health, food; ignorance of the Creator and the world to come, of the Resurrection and Life Everlasting, are all so many proofs to us of a fallen and depraved state. But the heathen man recognises some outward acts as more or less wrong; there he stops. "Yes, we don't fight now, nor quarrel, nor steal so much as we used to do. We are all right now."
'"Are you? I never taught you to think so. You tell me that you believe that the Son of God came down from heaven. What did He come for? What is the meaning of what you say that He died for us?"
'It is the continual prayer and effort of the Christian minister everywhere, that God would deepen in his own heart the sense of sin, and create it in the mind of the heathen. And then the imperfect medium of a language very far from thoroughly known! It is by continual prayer, the intercession of Christ, the power of the Spirit (we well know) that the work must be carried on. How one does understand it! The darkness seems so thick, the present visible world so wholly engrosses the thoughts, and yet, you see, there are many signs of progress even here, in changed habits to some extent, in the case of our scholars, real grounds of hope for the future. One seems to be doing nothing, yet surely if no change be wrought, what right have we to expect it. It is not that I looked for results, but that I seek to be taught how to teach better. The Collect for the first Sunday after Epiphany is wonderful.
'It requires a considerable effort to continually try to present to oneself the state of the heathen mind, to select illustrations, &c., suitable to his case. And then his language has never been used by him to set forth these new ideas; there are no words which convey the ideas of repentance, sin, heartfelt confession, faith, &c. How can there be, when these ideas don't exist? Yet somehow the language by degrees is made the exponent of such ideas, just as all religious ideas are expressed in English by words now used in their second intention, which once meant very different and less elevated ideas.
'I find everywhere the greatest willingness to listen. Everywhere I take my pick of boys, and now for any length of time. That is the result of eleven scholars remaining now in New Zealand. Everyone seems to wish to come. I think I shall take away five or six young girls to be taught at Kohimarama, to become by and by wives for scholars. Else the Christian lad will have to live with a heathen girl. But all this, if carried out properly, would need a large number of scholars from only one island. At Curtis Island, indeed (should it answer and supply plenty of food), we might hope to have a school some day of 300 or 400, and then thirty or forty from each island could be educated at once; but it can't be so in New Zealand. And a good school on an island before a certain number are trained to teach could not, I think, be managed successfully. I feel that I must concentrate more than hitherto. I must ascertain--I have to some extent ascertained--the central spots upon which I must chiefly work. This is not an easy thing, nevertheless, to find out, and it has taken years. Then using them as centres, I must also find out how far already the dialect of that spot may extend, how far the people of the place have connections, visiting acquaintances, &c. elsewhere, and to use the influence of that place to its fullest extent. Many islands would thus fall under one centre, and thus I think we may work. My mind is so continually, day and night, I may say, working on these points, that I dare say I fill up my letters with nothing else. But writing on these points helps me to see my way.'
On July 7, an expedition to Aroa seems to have overtired Bishop Patteson, and a slight attack of fever and ague came on. One of his aunts had provided him with a cork bed, where, after he had exerted himself to talk to his many visitors, he lay 'not uncomfortably.' He was not equal to going to a feast where he hoped to have met a large concourse, and after a day of illness, was taken back to Mota in the bottom of the boat; but in another week more revived, and went on with his journal, moralising on the books he had been reading while laid up.
'I looked quite through Bishop Mackenzie's life. What a beautiful story it is! what a truthful, simple, earnest character, and that persuasiveness that only real humility and self-forgetfulness and thoughtfulness can give. Then his early desire to be useful, his Cambridge life, the clear way in which he was being led on all through. It is very beautiful as an illustration of the best kind of help that God bestows on His children. Here was one so evidently moulded and fashioned by Him, and that willingly, for so it must be, and his life was just as it should be, almost as perfect perhaps as a life can be. What if his work failed on the Shire? First, his work has not failed to begin with, for aught we know; and secondly his example is stimulating work everywhere. I shall indeed value his Thomas a Kempis. [A copy sent home from the Zambesi stained with the water of the Shire, and sent to the Bishop by Miss Mackenzie].
The ship returned with tidings that the more important scholars would be ready to come back after a short holiday with their friends, and the Bishop embarked again on the 29th. At Mai he landed, and slept ashore, when little Petere, the son of the young man whose death had so nearly been revenged on the Bishop, a boy of eight years old, did the honours as became a young chief, and announced, 'I am going to New Zealand with you.' No one made any attempt to prevent him; but the old scholars did not show themselves helpful, and only one of them, besides three more new ones, came away. The natives were personally friendly, but there was no sign of fighting being lessened among them.
At Whitsuntide there was a brisk trade in yams, but no scholars were brought away; the parents would not part with any young enough to be likely to be satisfactory pupils, nor would the one last year's scholar come. Here intelligence was received that a two-masted ship had been at Leper's Island, a quarrel had taken place and some natives had been shot. It was therefore decided that it would not be safe to land, but as the vessel sailed along the coast, numerous canoes came out, bringing boars' tusks for sale. Three boys who had been taken on a cruise of six weeks the year before, eagerly came on board, and thirty or forty more. All the parents were averse to letting them go, and only two ended by being brought away: Itole, a young gentleman of fourteen or so, slim and slight, with a waist like a wasp, owing to a cincture worn night and day, and his hair in ringlets, white with coral-lime; his friend a little older, a tall, neat-limbed fellow, not dark and with little of the negro in his features.
A letter to me was written during this cruise, from which I give an extract:--
'It was a great delight to me to receive a letter from Mr. Keble, by the February mail from England. How kind of him to write to me; and his words are such a help and encouragement.
'I dare say I shall see Merivale's Lectures soon. Nothing can well be so wonderful, as a proof of God's hand controlling and arranging all the course of history to those who need it, as a subject for adoration and praise, to those who need not such proof, than the vast preparation made for the coming of Christ and the spreading of the Gospel. To popularise this the right way, and bring it home to the thought of many who have not time nor inclination for much reading, must be a good work. I suppose that all good Church histories deal with that part of the subject; it is natural for the mere philosopher to do so.
'And think how the early Alexandrian teachers used the religious yearnings of the East to draw men to the recognition of their wants, supplied and satisfied only in Christianity. Often it is the point d'appui that the Missionary must seek for. There is an element of faith in superstition; we must fasten on that, and not rudely destroy the superstition, lest with it we destroy the principle of faith in things and beings unseen. I often think, that to shake a man's faith in his old belief, however wrong it may be, before one can substitute something true and right, is, to say the least, a dangerous experiment. But positive truth wins its way without controversy, while error has no positive existence, and there is a craving for truth deep down in the heathen heart.
'Do you remember that grand passage of Hooker, where he says that he cannot stand to oppose all the sophisms of Romanism, only that he will place against it a structure of truth, before which, as Dagon before the Ark, error will be dashed in fragments?
'In our work (and so I suppose in a Sunday school) one must think out each step, anticipate each probable result, before one states anything. It is of course full of the highest interest. Can't you fancy a party of twenty or thirty dark naked fellows, when (having learnt to talk freely to them) I question them about their breakfast and cocoa-nut trees, their yams and taro and bananas, &c., "Who gave them to you? Can you make them grow? Why, you like me and thank me because I give you a few hatchets, and you have never thought of thanking Him all these long years."
'"It is true, but we didn't think."
'"But will you think if I tell you about Him?"
'"He gave them rain from heaven and fruitful seasons."
'How it takes one back to the old thoughts, the true philosophy of religion. Sometimes I lie awake and think "if Jowett and others could see these things!"
'And yet, if it is not presumptuous in me to say so, I do think that this work needs men who can think out principle and supply any thoughtful scholar or enquirer with some good reason for urging this or that change in the manners and observances of the people. Often as I think of it, I feel how greatly the Church needs schools for missionaries, to be prepared not only in Greek and Latin and manual work, but in the mode of regarding heathenism. It is not a moment's work to habitually ask oneself, "Why feel indignant? How can he or she know better?" It is not always easy to be patient and to remember the position which the heathen man occupies and the point of view from which he must needs regard everything brought before him.
'Thank you for Maclear's book. It is a clear statement of the leading facts that one wishes to know, a valuable addition to our library. You know, no doubt, a book which I like much, Neander's "Light in Dark Places."
'I shall remember about Miss Mackenzie's memoir of that good Mrs. Robertson. I wonder that men are not found to help Mr. Robertson. Here, as you know, the climate (as in Central Africa) is our difficulty. I think sometimes I make too much of it, but really I don't see how a man is to stand many months of it. But I can't help thinking and hoping that if that difficulty did not exist I could see my way to saying, "Now, a missionary is wanted for these four or five or six islands, one for each, and a younger man as fellow-helper to that missionary," and they would be forthcoming.
'Yet doubtless I don't estimate fairly the difficulties and hardships as they appear to the man who has never left England, and is not used to knocking about. I should have felt the same years ago but for the thought of being with the Primate, at least I suppose so.
'Well, I have written a very dull letter, but the place from which it comes will give it some interest. I really think that not Mota only, but the Banks Islands are in a hopeful state.
'Next year (D.V.) Mr. Palmer will try the experiment of stopping here for eight or ten months. I almost dare to hope that a few years may make great changes. Yet it seems as if nothing were done in comparison with what remains to be done.
'Sarah, Sarawia's wife, pronounced that as she was always ill at home, she would risk the New Zealand winter; two more married pairs came, and four little maidens to be bred up under Mrs. Pritt, girls from twelve to eight years old, of whom Sarah was quite able to take charge.'
There was the usual proportion of lads from various islands; but the most troublesome member of the community seems to have been Wadrokala's three years old daughter. 'I have daily to get Wadrokala and Carry to prevent their child from being a nuisance to everybody.' But this might have been a difficulty had she been white.
This large party had to be taken to the Solomon Isles to complete the party, sailing in company with the 'Curacoa,' the Commodore's ship, when the local knowledge and accurate surveying done by Mr. Tilly and Mr. Kerr proved very valuable, and Sir William Wiseman gave most kind and willing assistance.
Since his short interview with the Bishop off Norfolk Island, he had been cruising in the New Hebrides. There some of the frequent outrages of the traders had made the people savage and suspicious, and one of the Missionaries of the London Missionary Society living at Tanna had been threatened, driven away across the island, and his property destroyed. He had appealed for protection as a British subject, and Sir William Wiseman had no choice but to comply; so after warning had been sent to the tribe chiefly concerned to quit their village, it was shelled and burnt. No one seems to have been hurt, and it was hoped that this would teach the natives to respect their minister--whether to love his instruction was another question.
This would not have been worth mentioning had not a letter from on board the 'Curacoa' spoken of chastising a village for attacking a Missionary. It went the round of the English papers, and some at once concluded that the Missionary could be no other than the Bishop. Articles were published with the usual disgusting allusions to the temptation presented by a plump missionary; and also observing with more justice that British subjects had no right to run into extraordinary peril and appeal to their flag for protection.
Every friend or relative of Bishop Patteson knew how preposterous the supposition was, and his brother took pains to contradict the rumour. As a matter of fact, as his letters soon proved, he was not only not in company with the 'Curacoa' at the time, but had no knowledge either of the outrage or the chastisement, till Sir William Wiseman mentioned it to him when they were together at Sydney.
At Ysabel or Mahya, the party was made up to sixty, seven married couples and seven unmarried girls among them. The female population was stowed away at night in the after cabins, with 'arrangements quite satisfactory to them, as they were quite consistent with propriety, but which would somewhat startle unaccustomed folk.'
The 'Curapoa' stood in the offing while Sta. Cruz was visited, or rather while the 'Southern Cross' approached, for the Bishop thought it better not to risk landing; but numerous canoes came off, and all the curiosities were bought which were offered in hopes of reestablishing a friendly relation. There was reason to think the people of this group more than usually attached to the soil, and very shy and distrustful, owing perhaps to the memories left by the Spaniards.
Thence the 'Southern Cross' sailed across for an inspection of Curtis Island, and again with a favourable impression; but the Brisbane Parliament had just been prorogued, everyone was taking holiday, and the Bishop therefore gave up his visit to that place, and sent the vessel straight home to Auckland with her cargo of souls, while he returned to Sydney to carry on the same work as in the former year. Here one great delight and refreshment to him was a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Mort at their beautiful home at Greenoaks. What a delight it must have been to find himself in a church built by his host himself! 'one of the most beautiful things I have seen, holds about 500 people; stained glass, carved stalls, stone work, &c.,--perfect.' And the house, 'full of first-rate works of art, bronzes, carvings, &c.,' was pleasant to the eyes that had been so enthusiastic in Italy and Germany, and had so long fasted from all beauty but that of Nature, in one special type. The friends there were such as to give life and spirit to all these external charms, and this was a very pleasant resting place in his life. To Sir John Coleridge he writes:--
'I am having a real holiday. This place, Greenoaks, the really magnificent place of my good friends Mr. and Mrs. Mort, is lovely. The view of the harbour, with its land-locked bays, multitude of vessels, wooded heights, &c., is not to be surpassed; and somehow I don't disrelish handsome rooms and furniture and pictures and statues and endless real works of art in really good taste.
'One slips into these ways very readily. I must take care I am not spoilt. Everyone, from the governor downwards, lays himself out to make my visit pleasant. They work me hard on Sundays and week days, but it is a continual round of, I don't deny, to me, pleasurable occupation. Kindly people asked to meet me, and the conversation always turned to pleasant and useful subjects: Church government, principles of Mission work, &c. These colonies, unfortunate in many ways, are fortunate in having governors and others in high position who are good men, and the class of people among whom my time is spent might (me judice) hold its position among the best English society.
'I am very intimate with some few families, drop in and set the young ladies down to play Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and it is a nice change, and refreshes me.'
From Sydney the Bishop went to Adelaide and Melbourne, and these five weeks in Australia obtained about 800 pounds for the Mission; the Bishop of Sydney had hoped to raise more, but there had been two years of terrible drought and destruction of cattle, and money was not abundant. The plan of sending Australian blacks to be educated with the Melanesians was still entertained; but he had not much hope of this being useful to the tribes, though it might be to the individuals, and none of them ever were sent to him.
But what had a more important effect on the Mission was a conference between Sir William Wiseman and Sir John Young, the Governor of New South Wales, resulting in an offer from the latter of a grant of land on Norfolk Island for the Mission, for the sake of the benefit to the Pitcairners; at the same time the Commodore offered him a passage in the 'Curacoa' back to Auckland, touching at Norfolk Island by the way. The plan was carried out, and brought him home in time for Christmas, to find all and prosperous under Mr. Pritt at St. Andrew's. His mind was nearly made up on the expedience of a change to a place which was likely to suit both English and tropical constitutions alike, and he hoped to make the experiment the ensuing winter with Mr. Palmer and a small body of scholars.